About seven years ago, at a class where I was skeptically listening to Sozo prayer training by a BSSM alumni, I felt the electric touch of God pass through me and later realized I was healed of plantar fasciitis that I had had for three years. After this remarkable experience, I felt drawn by God to learn about healing. I looked up Bethel on the Internet and saw a page out of one of Bill Johnson’s books about bringing heaven to earth. A blogger was showing that page in an effort to theologically refute Bill. But I read Bill’s words and felt the Holy Spirit confirm inside me, “This is true.” I saw on Bethel’s website they have a healing school; I attended it two years in a row. Later, I also attended the Randy Clark School of Healing at Bethel with two friends. Bethel has really had an impact on me. As I have absorbed the teaching, I feel like the Lord has changed and grown me in important ways. God prepared me and grew my faith…and then we had this really big miracle!
I have been married for almost 15 years to the love of my life, my husband Mike. We traveled to Mexico in November 2019 because I own a piece of property there near the ocean, and we needed to pay the taxes on it in person. We love the ocean, and we were playing in the water on Saturday at our hotel’s beach. Mike is a former surfer and knows the ocean very well. He was out farther than I was, and I watched a wave break over him before I body surfed the same wave in to shore. From the beach, I eventually began looking for Mike. I saw a man floating face down far out in the waves. And then I recognized Mike’s swim trunks! As I watched, a wave came and tossed him around and he disappeared. I started yelling for help and pointing to where I had last seen him go down. As the hotel lifeguard ran out to him, I sat down and could not watch. Months later, we learned from the lifeguard that Mike’s body was lying several feet below the water on the sand. The lifeguard only found Mike when his foot brushed against him. I was also unaware in that moment that the wave had banged Mike’s head on the sea bottom, severely damaging his spinal cord. Mike had been instantly paralyzed from the neck down including his lungs.
When they brought him out, Mike’s lungs were full of water, he was non-responsive and he had no pulse. A doctor who happened to be at the beach directed the two hotel lifeguards to do CPR; after about 15 minutes, Mike’s pulse came back and we cheered. He wasn’t breathing though and wouldn’t wake up. For about two to three hours, Mike was kept alive by people taking turns using a hand pump to keep air in his lungs. Eventually, Mike was taken by ambulance to the local government hospital, the only hospital in the district with a ventilator.
At the government hospital, the doctor said, “We don’t have the equipment here to find out what his injuries are.” Not knowing I understand Spanish, he also said, “He will probably die in the night.” All day I texted people to pray. I kept trying to figure out if it was possible for Mike to go through that much time in the water without oxygen without having severe brain damage. Probably not. All day I could not get the picture of him floating face down in the water out of my mind.
Our Kaiser health insurance let me know they were planning to airlift Mike that same night to a modern hospital in Mexico City. I had to leave Mike and go back to the hotel for our things.
A couple weeks before, I had listened to a Bethel podcast and heard Bill Johnson say, “When you are going through the worst thing in your life, it’s your opportunity to offer to God a sacrifice of praise; and you can make the devil watch you do it.” I said, “Jesus, you have the ability to make my life wonderful no matter whether Mike lives or dies. I worship and praise you. I trust you.” I was lying face down on the onyx floor of the hotel room when I was shocked to hear God talk to me loudly, “Mike is in heaven with me. He doesn’t want to come back, but I’m sending him back to you.” That living word changed everything. As I pondered the words I had heard, faith exploded in my heart, and I began expecting to see a miracle.
A husband of a friend was acquainted with a Bethel pastor and texted him to ask for prayer for Mike. The prayer request was passed around, and a Bethel small group that was meeting Saturday evening prayed for Mike. A ten-year-old boy, one of the Bethel pastors’ sons, said, “When we prayed for that guy, I saw God send him back to earth from heaven, and he had the word ‘leader’ on him.” Their prayer was right around the same time that God was talking to me in our Mexico hotel room.
We were flown in a Lear jet to a very modern hospital in Mexico City, where doctors worked on Mike several hours, extracting more sea water out of his lungs and connecting him to various machines and monitors. I slept a couple of hours in a room with lounge chairs. I was woken up by a talkative Mexican lady asking me questions about why I was at the hospital. She said to me in Spanish, “When I woke up this morning, I saw Jesus standing next to you. I believe your husband is going to be fine.”
The proof of a miracle began when the Mexico City doctors told me later that day that their scans showed Mike had no sign of brain damage! But…Mike’s spinal cord was injured between C2 and C3 vertebrae (like Christopher Reeve’s injury). The doctors explained that Mike was now a quadriplegic with paralyzed lungs. They said, “But keep some hope; sometimes nerves find a new path and some movement might come back.” God’s words to me had by this time built a tower of faith in my heart; I had no doubt Mike would fully recover from quadriplegia.
My friend, Irene, is my spiritual mentor. She is the person in my life who has the faith to pray for miracles. I had called her and asked her to come to be with me in Mexico City. Four years before, Irene’s son, who had a wife and small children, was in a waterskiing accident that left him a quadriplegic. His doctors said he needed to accept that he would never get out of a wheelchair. Irene stood firm in faith that God would heal him. She prayed, and we all prayed. Over about 18 months, slowly but surely, Irene’s son began improving and eventually walking normally. He has his full life back. Irene arrived in Mexico City right after I found out that Mike was quadriplegic. She said, “Now I see why God brought me here. I know just how to pray for this!” Irene’s testimony and faith helped Mike with faith for his own healing. He knew God would heal him like he healed Irene’s son.
After 10 days stabilizing Mike in Mexico City, Kaiser airlifted us to Oakland and then to the Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, California. The US doctors were concerned about the severity of Mike’s spinal cord injury. They wanted to do major surgery on his spinal column; they said this surgery would be the best hope for some movement to come back. We both prayed and decided to say no to the surgery. Mike’s feet and legs already had some movement, and we were sure God was in the process of completely healing Mike from quadriplegia. God had this.
During the next four weeks at a spinal cord injury in-patient program at Santa Clara Hospital, Mike’s ability to move continued to improve. The hospital worked hard to prepare Mike for life as a disabled person, but days after they would teach him a special skill or train him how to use special equipment for the disabled, he would gain enough movement back not to need that skill or equipment. By the second week in Santa Clara, Mike was getting some movement back in his hands and arms. By the last week, Mike was secretly standing up from his wheelchair and taking small steps around his hospital room. Once Mike came home from the hospital, he decided after about a week that he was walking well enough to give away the wheelchair.
It has been 18 months since the accident, and Mike’s hands still have abnormal touch; he says they feel like he has gloves on. But other than that, Mike runs, walks, jogs, bikes and skis. Days after Mike got out of the hospital, he returned to working fulltime as a civil engineer. Mike has no memory of the accident or heaven or his days in a coma, but other than that, his memory and brain are just like before the accident. God sent my husband back from heaven to me just as His words I heard promised. Our God is faithful!
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