Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (KJV). I glorify God for His deliverance of my granddaughter, Ava Richardson.
While she was still in the womb, Ava’s parents were given the option to abort or to have a baby whose life would be filled with almost insurmountable challenges. The family was devastated by the news, but we put Psalm 50:15 into action. We called our pastor, our family, friends, and prayer warriors went into action on Ava’s behalf. I claimed Hosea 13:14 as my weapon for my granddaughter.
Ava was taken to intensive care as soon as she was born. Before she was 3 months old she underwent surgical procedures on her heart, trachea, stomach, and intestines.
After five months she was discharged with all the equipment that comes with those different types of surgery. She was unable to cry, laugh, or babble. Her mouth would open, but we heard no sound. Though she cried at the top of her lungs, it was silent. After about a year doctors performed a procedure, and we could hear sound. Praise the Lord!
Ava suffered from acid reflux. It terrified me every time she had an episode. One day as she was vomiting I got angry! I raised my hands over her and rebuked the enemy in Jesus’ name. After that she vomited no more. Praise the Lord!
Physical therapy was tough, and she still has problems with occupational therapy. Food is a problem, but not candy and pound cake. Imagine that!
I praise and thank God for her life, and for all He has done for her. Ava has been given a clean bill of health!
Zena Richardson, a retired principal, loves Jesus and her family. She lives in Clarksville, Maryland.
At this season of Thanksgiving I am tremendously thankful for what the Lord has done in my life.
A while ago I left my home country and came to the United States with many goals and aspirations. I was ready to be independent and to have the ability to make my own decisions. I felt that I was ready emotionally and spiritually to tackle what lay ahead.
Unfortunately, I later realized that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. From making some unfortunate decisions that affected me in various ways, to the pain of losing loved ones because of death and illness, I felt that the Lord had forsaken me.
In those sad moments I remembered that my father had taught me always to pray, no matter the situation. Although I used to pray, I had lost that intimate relation with God. However, it was in my greatest time of need that I honestly cried to the Lord, and He answered.
I’m absolutely thankful to friends who prayed for me and encouraged my Christian walk. I never used to go to my church’s Wednesday prayer meeting, but reluctantly I started going, and I was strengthened by the testimonies and answered prayers from the believers. It was only through the Holy Spirit that I started to attend the meetings, and I’m thankful that it turned into something I always look forward to every week.
While my life isn’t perfect, I’m thankful that I serve a God who is in control of it and who loves me dearly. I’m thankful to know that I should never regret making a decision for Christ no matter what the world thinks of me.
Akiki Kiiza, is a young adult who lives Burtonsville, Maryland
Numbed and unprepared for the news that I had stage IV cancer, I struggled to find the words to tell my family and friends. I wept for myself and for my son, who had already lost his only sister. Now I, his mother, had one year to live. I asked God for guidance, and started my journey into conventional and alternative cancer therapies.
Friends and family encircled me with prayer. They rallied their friends, and the circle grew, until Christians from around the world, whom I had never met, were praying for me. Friends and prayer warriors let me know that they were praying for me every day. God has been a very present help, and I know that His presence has brought peace to my heart.
During these five years I have experienced anxiety when I thought that God would not do what I wanted Him to do. However, I have come to understand that when I pray without demanding absolutes, I am less likely to worry. I am at peace if God says no. Sooner or later we will all die. I enhanced the quality of my life by making peace with death. I am sad that my son and loved ones will be left to bear the loss. However, I am assured that God and time and tears will bring healing.
Meanwhile I rejoice and thank God for each day He gives me on earth. I pray that He uses this broken vessel in whatever way He can. I have been blessed with a spirit of joy and gratitude for life’s basic, simple things. My tumors are not fast-growing. I can live to the fullest within my new limitations. I can see God’s hand directing my life, and I know He will be my joy as long as I live!
June Moore, nurse practitioner, loves Jesus. She and her husband live in Ypsilanti, Michigan.