16May

In this powerful testimony, you will read Darlene's incredible account of surviving a severe car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-95 and the Lord's faithfulness in her healing and recovery process and throughout her life. Prepare to be inspired and uplifted.

Darlene Van Dyke

Christian Music Recording Artist and Founder of Redemption Cove

Darlene's testimony was shared on the VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel. Please consider liking, sharing, and subscribing. Thank you!  


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

The Lord is your protector; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not beat down on you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time and forever. (Psalm 121:5-8 NASB)     

“we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NASB)


These are the questions that I asked Darlene during her interview on the VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel, and what she shared.  


Darlene, can you explain how you use your property in Southampton, Pennsylvania, for a ministry called Redemption Cove? 

Well, we have always dedicated the property of Cherry Lane to the Lord. I had the privilege of stewarding this place for about 28 years, and the initial ministry that started there was an annual caroling party—we would go into the streets at Christmas time and sing about the birth of Christ. I had done that as a small child with my parents in a small town in Ohio called Steubenville, and it just rested in my heart all of my childhood and into my adult life, and then when I had my first child, I wanted her to have those memories, but we live in Pennsylvania in a suburb of Philadelphia. I didn’t know of anybody who was going caroling, so we thought we would just go ourselves, and that small little desire in my heart grew into 25 years of an annual caroling event there at the property and the streets, and we shared about the birth of Christ. It’s interesting because of the neighbors’ reactions—we received wonderful reactions and some not-so-good or sad reactions...or unfortunate reactions. I say unfortunate or sad because I believe people who don’t know Jesus are missing out on a lot. So, we began using the property at Cherry Lane in Southampton, Pennsylvania, and then all kinds of ministries emerged from that place because we have always dedicated it to the Lord. There was a time when my stepson, whom I consider my son, and I had this vision of taking this little plot of land and turning it into an outdoor worship venue, so in three days, the Lord facilitated all the resources. Ryan and I built that space using mostly discarded items, and I prayed and said, Lord, what do you want to call this place? The name Redemption Cove came to mind because we have experienced redemption, being discarded, hurt, and being abused many times. The Lord is a Savior—He saves us. So many things in Redemption Cove were “trash finds,” if you will, and they all had a significant spiritual attachment, like when Ryan and I were building the wall out of old barn wood pieces from a friend’s historic farmhouse that her husband was discarding—I said, oh, I think I can use those.” Ryan was building the walls, and we came to a spot where I said to him that it would be so cool to have a door right here, and he agreed. I went to pick my daughter up from school that day, and wouldn’t you know, there was something in the trash. It’s just interesting because everything that happened was in the Lord’s timing. There’s granite flooring there that was donated, and there’s an old metal globe from the ‘70s that was placed in there, as you know, for God so loved the world—there’s a clock hanging, and everything there was significantly placed. As you know, time is short—Jesus is coming—we need to be redeemed, so this was the thought behind Redemption Cove. 


Can you share what happened in May 2023 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-95?

I moved to Pennsylvania when I was 20 years old, and for about 40 years I have driven back and forth from Ohio, where my parents live, to Philadelphia and never had an issue, even in all kinds of weather—rain, sleet, snowstorms. Last May, around 11 a.m., it was a beautiful sunny morning. I set my cruise control at 65; the speed limit was 70. I just wanted to enjoy my trip and listen to music, and suddenly, I heard a loud explosion sound in the rear of the SUV. I thought that maybe a tire blew out, and then instantly, I couldn’t see anything in my rearview mirror. I didn’t know what happened or why my vehicle was being catapulted–It felt like a huge hand was pushing me violently with great strength to the cement median. Then, I remember feeling my vehicle begin to lift and begin turning over, and as I saw the median, I said to Jesus, I wonder if I’m going to die. And immediately after I said that everything went blank. I don’t remember the impact—I don’t remember anything. The next event that I have in my memory is that I heard voices murmuring, and I heard things before I could see them because I was coming out of an unconscious state. I then opened my eyes, and I couldn’t quite figure out where I was. I kept looking and looking, and I saw glass and things that looked familiar, but yet they didn’t, and I came to realize I was hanging upside down from my seat belt. I didn’t recognize things because they were upside down. I then thought–Wow, the seatbelt is holding me, and then I prayed and said, Lord, please let the seatbelt unclick. I think I need to get out of here. Please don’t let me be stuck in here. I checked my arms to see if they were okay because I thought I could crawl out. I opened my eyes and saw that the window on the driver’s side was shattered, but all the metal was bent down and smashed, so I realized there was no way I could get out that way. But the passenger’s side was completely missing, and there was a big opening. I thought I could climb over there, so I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t realize that a vehicle had struck me. I wondered if the car was on fire or if it was going to explode. My first feeling was that I needed to get out of here. Then I looked around, and I thought, well, I’m just going to crawl out, and I heard a voice say, Are you okay? And this murmuring turned into a man’s voice, and I saw him tuck his head down and look into the vehicle, and I said, well, I’m conscience, and I unclicked the seat belt, and I just crawled onto the glass and the debris, and I began to army crawl, and then I realized I had no strength in my body, and I and I couldn’t crawl. I was just weak and limp, and he said, Can I help you? And I stretched my hand as far as I could to the window, and I said, Would you please pull me out? He took his hand, and he did one jerk and got me at least out of the vehicle. I rolled over on my back on the turnpike, and I could see now that the vehicle was upside down and totaled, and a woman appeared next to him—again, I’m still not sure what happened—and she asked, Can I help you? I’m a nurse, and I said to her, Would you find my cell phone, please? and she found my phone underneath the tire of another vehicle that was behind my vehicle, and I was thinking, maybe he stopped to help me, and here it was the gentleman who had hit me. The lady found my cell phone under the tire of his car. The ambulance came, the policeman, and all details of just normal rescue behavior. Interestingly enough, the EMT assistant was female, and she said, Honey, I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to cut off your clothes. I think she said that because I was wearing my favorite comfy outfit. She put the neck brace on me, and she cut off my clothes, apologizing, and then in the ambulance, I said, look, I need to make a couple of phone calls. I was headed to an appointment for two different meetings, and she said, Well, I think your ankle is broken. She said I can give you something for that, and I said, if you give me something, I won’t be able to talk to you, and she said, So, she said, I think you probably are going to need something, especially when you get to the trauma unit, so she gave me something for pain, and I’m so grateful that she did because once I reached the trauma unit, they did all kinds of testing. 

You know, I don’t know how many doctors came and pressed on my body in certain places, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I don’t know why that was. I just had no strength, I had no energy, and it was almost as if I wasn’t even in my body I couldn’t move, but I could hear and they would tell me what they were going to do to me to check me and I a woman’s voice to my left but she was different she was not talking like a doctor and I forced my eyes to peep open a little bit and it was an African-American woman and she had a blue uniform on and I thought she was a nurse and so I said to her where am I? And she said, Holy Spirit Hospital and I said, oh well that’s a good place to be because He’s here and she replied–YES, HE IS and immediately I got a good response now in the world normally when I talk to people or strangers sometimes our conversation will I’ll say something about the Lord or God or I’ll make a comment as if everybody knows him and those who are usually pick up on that and we have a great conversation so when I said He is here and she said, YES, HE IS–and immediately in my spirit there was a quickening and an aliveness came inside like I was jumping inside but my body couldn’t move and she started to pray and quote scripture–all things work together for good to those who love God and I started quoting scripture and she started saying it with me and she and I together were quoting the scriptures that I would start and then she would continue with it with me and then I’m telling you there was such power in that and we were in the presence of Jesus because He is the Word and if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven–that’s His promise so they took me to do a CT scan they brought me back there was all kinds of scurrying activity and somehow I remember that this woman and I were alone again and she was on my right side now and she said, I’m going to tell you something she said, God’s not done with you yet now she has no idea who I am at least I don’t think she does if you would feel human you know an angel I don’t know he said I’m going to tell you something she said, God is not done with you yet she said you are going to make it out of here she says many people don’t make it out of this unit but you’re going to make it out and started quoting Jeremiah 29:11, and I begin to say it with her, and she just spoke the Word over me, and she prayed over me again, and then I don’t really remember too much of what happened after that, and then I was in a recovered room later with a splint on my leg from my toe up to my knee because I had a mangled ankle. I was banged up from head to toe, I had to bump on my head, a torn retina, surgery on my eye, three broken bones and a torn muscle, and of course, ligaments that were sprained, cuts, and there were a lot of blood loss, I was tired and weak and woke up in recovery with a cast on my leg and people coming in to check on me and I never saw that nurse in that room again I never saw her from that last time that she prayed over me she’s not there the rest of the time. I think it’s so awesome how the Lord at that moment sent somebody to me and prayed over me in a trauma unit in a hospital way out in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania–in a place that I never imagined I would ever be, but the Lord was with me through all of that and then there are more stories beyond that once I left the hospital that is quite interesting.


May you share some of the stories you shared with me after you left the hospital?

The hospital surprised me by discharging me after I had a horrible accident, despite being nowhere near my home and my vehicle being totaled. Maybe they didn’t have room, but they arranged for me to stay at the hotel near the hospital and sent an Uber driver to bring me.

I waited in the hospital lobby in a wheelchair with a wonderful assistant. He was a former military personnel, and we talked about my son-in-law, Jared, who’s a master sergeant in the Marine Corps. We talked about the military until the Uber driver arrived since my daughter, Rikki Lyn, and her husband, Jared, were stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

When the Uber driver pulled up, you could hear him screaming and yelling in his vehicle. I’ve used Uber before and usually, they’re calm and I thought to myself–what’s up with this guy? The hospital assistant that was helping me was wondering the same thing. When he wheeled me to the car, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the license plate with a couple of letters and the numbers six, six, six–It was so funny! The hospital assistant looked inside the car as the driver continued to yell and complain to someone on the phone then, out of concern he asked… “Are you able to take her and then are you able to help her because she can’t walk?” “You’re going to have to carry her bags into the hotel and go over and above what an Uber driver would normally do.” The Uber driver looked back at me and said he would do it. I could tell that the gentleman from the hospital was very leery of putting me in the vehicle.

I got into the Uber, still looking like a mess with a pair of crutches, blood on my face, and glass in my hair. Thank goodness, I had a pair of work clothes in a bag in my SUV I could wear because, at the accident scene, my original outfit had to be cut. As I sat in the backseat with my crutches across my lap in the condition that I was in, I thought… “This guy was clearly frustrated about something and I wanted to calm him down a little because he’s driving me and I was just in a horrific accident, so I said to him… “I understand I’m not your normal Uber passenger. I was in a terrible accident today and I need to get to the hotel so I could rest. I appreciate that you’re taking me and helping me–I almost could have died today, and he responded… “I wish I could die today”. And right then and there, I thought this could not be by chance–This was a divine appointment, so I continued to say to him… “I’m sorry that you’re having a bad day, but I know someone who has a purpose and a plan for your life and He loves you”. He looked in his rearview mirror to look at me and I said… “His name is Jesus.” And he responded… “Don’t give me that religious stuff. I’ve already been through that whole thing.” And I said… “Well, that’s probably the problem. If you’ve been through “religious stuff” then you don’t know Jesus. Jesus loves you and He wants your life to be abundant and fulfilling–He loves us in whatever state we are in and he calmed down and listened to what I was sharing and here I am with glass in my hair, blood on my face, clothes that were ripped up, and crutches and telling him Jesus loves him. 

When we got to the hotel, his entire attitude had changed. He pulled up to the front, got out of his vehicle, and carried my bags in for me as I moved inch by inch like a snail toward the hotel lobby because I couldn’t walk well, I was hungry, lost blood, and should have remained in the hospital–I still don’t understand why they released me, but maybe he was the reason. I desperately needed to get to this hotel so I could rest. 

As I was in the lobby, he stood beside me, almost like a soldier or guard. He stayed with me and asked them if they could take care of me from here on out and the hotel staff promised they would. I said… “You know what, I’m going to be praying for you. I appreciate what you’ve done for me today.” As I looked at him, I noticed that even his countenance had changed. I asked what his name was and he said… “My name is Jacob.” I thanked the Lord for sending me Jacob as he walked back to his vehicle, and I can only hope and pray that Jacob knows Jesus today.

After Jacob left, I made my way up to the hotel’s check-in counter, and I told the woman, I’m the patient coming over from the hospital, and I need my room, and she said... “Okay, you’re on the third floor,” I asked her where the elevator was, and she said they didn’t have one. I told her I couldn’t walk, and I was trying to get by on the crutches, and she said… “Oh, my goodness, that’s right, we’re going to have to find a room for you on the first floor.” In the meantime, she got someone to carry my bags. This young man came over, and he was in a hurry. It was a convention weekend at the hotel. He grabbed my bags, asked what room I would be in, and started to take off. I had to tell him I couldn’t follow him at that pace. He said... “That’s all right. I’ll get your stuff in your room.” They found one empty room on the first floor, and he took off, and I started hobbling towards him. Suddenly, I felt like I was going to pass out, so I made my way to the wall in the lobby, and sat down on the floor, leaning against the wall with my crutches across my lap, glass in my hair, blood on my face, and my cut-off pants. I’m leaning against the wall, and I’m weak, tired, and hungry, and I cannot help myself. 

Now, that is an unusual place for Darlene Van Dyke to be because I’ve never been helpless like this before, and here I am in a strange town in the middle of the state. I leaned against the wall, waiting for the Lord’s next move. And I said… “Lord, I can’t do any more than what I’m doing.” Just then, a man wearing a lanyard walked up to me, looked at me for a split second, and asked if I was okay. I told him I wasn’t and was in a car accident. He continued by saying… “Well, I hope you’ll be okay,” and he went into his room and shut the door. Right then and there, the Lord reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan. How many times do we come across people that need help and we pass them by? Sadly, our world has desensitized care and compassion. Scripture says in the last days that evil will get worse and worse and that men’s hearts will grow cold. I had an up close and personal experience about the coldness of our hearts–a coldness towards those who need care. I believe that all those times we turn away from helping somebody; it’s creating a barrier between us and what God has designed us to do. It’s a daily thing. So many people say that they wish they could have a ministry. We do—all of us are ministers in the Kingdom. It’s the ministry of compassion and care. For anyone that has a need that and we walk away, the Bible says it’s a sin—to know to do good and to do it not to Him is sin. We all have a ministry—a ministry of compassion and care.

When the man who had my bags returned, he noticed me sitting on the floor, so he went to find a wheelchair. Next, I instructed him how to assist me into the wheelchair, and he then pushed me into my room. He permitted me to keep the wheelchair so that I could move around. Before he left, I told him how much I appreciated his help, and I asked him his name, and he told me it was Isaac. Jacob and Isaac were there, assisting me that day.

Finally, I’m in the room and can breathe a sigh of relief. I rolled to the bed using my wheelchair. Thankfully, my arms weren’t broken. I had cuts on my arms and fingers, but I could get to the side of the bed so I could lie down. I got in an upright position and laid on the mattress, and here the bed was broken—probably the reason it was the only open double-bed room on the first floor. The mattress slid off the base, and I slid down to the middle aisle of the floor between the two beds. I thought it was too funny, and there had to be a hidden camera somewhere. I somehow stopped myself from sliding off the mattress, and I made my way back to the wheelchair, wheeled myself to the other bed, and said... “Lord, let this one be okay.” I laid across it, and it was okay, so I was finally in a position where I could rest. There I was, with the Lord being my keeper.

In the King James version, Psalm 121 says that the Lord is my keeper. I used to be a soccer coach at my home church for a few years, and I'm familiar with the word keeper in an athletic sense. Well, what does a keeper do for a soccer team? He’s the goalie, and the keeper’s job is to stop the opponent from scoring. The Lord is our keeper—He protects us from the enemy, Satan, scoring in our lives and preventing us from getting ahead of where we should be. If we allow Jesus to be our keeper to stop the enemy assaults, attacks, and fiery darts from scoringHe is our keeper, and on this particular day through the horrific events, He was my keeper. He sent me everything I needed when I needed it so perfectly. Now, I’m still injured, in pain, and suffering, but the story’s not over yet because I need to get home. 

I want to touch on something for those who may watch this broadcast and perhaps have not been so fortunate and maybe lost a loved one in an accident or maybe have lost anybody for any reason and are still suffering or you’re still in pain. What do we do with that? Where is this keeper? For example, Pastor Rick Warren had a son commit suicide; Steven Curtis Chapman’s older son ran over their little daughter in the driveway, and she did not survive; a very dear pastor friend of mine, Evangelist Ricky Riggs, was a guest evangelist at a church and backed out of a parking lot in the same way; and Toby Mac lost his eldest son to addiction. 

There are many tragedies, and unfortunately, those who don’t have a full understanding of how much God loves us—the puzzle doesn’t fit—the pieces don’t fit. How can God be a keeper and yet we suffer? Scripture says the earth is a cursed place from the fall of man in the garden, and we’re living in that—it’s not heaven, and we’re only passing through. It will not be perfect all of the time. There’s going to be pain and suffering. Jesus even had pain and suffering. God promises we will never be alone—we will never have to go through things alone. We’re not abandoned by our Creator, who loves us, and despite the enemies’ assaults, the Lord still initiates the plan that He has for our lives if we align our will with His so it can happen. 

A personal example is my mother, who was a Christian since she was a teenager. She loved Jesus. When she was in her seventies, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I happened to be with her the day that the diagnosis was given, which again was a miracle because I lived 360 miles away from her, and I happened to be visiting on the day she had a doctor appointment for a follow-up to a mammogram. I was able to be there for her, hug her, and tell her it was going to be okay. The Lord always works out what we need at the very moment we need it—you can’t plan this stuff, but God does. The Lord sees the end from the beginning and knows the complete picture. Jesus knows where we are and what we need.

Where are you in your healing process from the accident? 

The physical healing is still happening for me, and the Lord is also healing other things. Five specialists have worked on me, and I have had therapists. One therapist that was working on my ankle was a Christian. We got to talk about the Lord and shared scriptures while other therapists were around listening. Many people don’t tune into anything Christian until they overhear a conversation about the Lord, and at that point, they can respond towards the Lord or continue to stay how they are, but He’s always faithful.

He sets at liberty them that are bruised from Luke 4:18. We are the walking wounded. He gives us a way to live in freedom, even though we have a wound. We can still walk in our purpose and abundance, knowing that the Lord loves us and He's with us.


Redemption Cove in Southampton, Pennsylvania

Photos of Darlene's Car from the Accident on the  Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95

17Apr

Joel is a sinner saved by God's grace. He grew up in a broken home and turned to drugs to fill the hole in his heart for 28 years. It was in Teen Challenge, that he came to know the love of Jesus, which transformed his life forever!

    Joel Jakubowski 

Men's Ministry Director at The Potter's House Addiction Recovery & Discipleship Ministry 

"The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

Hello, my name is Joel. I am a sinner saved by grace, God’s grace, that is. I am a man who has experienced deliverance from the grasp of darkness. And today, I walk upright in the light of Christ.

My parents divorced when I was pretty young. My sister and I continued to live with my mother. After my father’s departure, my mother succumbed to mental illness. Unfortunately, this left my sister and me to “raise ourselves.” The torment of loneliness, abandonment, and uncertainty permeated my innocent heart and soul. At the age of eight, I had become disillusioned with this life and the love it was offering. It was only a matter of time before I reached for the hand of Satan in the form of a marijuana cigarette, and this marked the beginning of my near-fatal sin-induced demise. After the succession of poor decisions, misbelief, and compromises, I became a full-time crack addict that lasted twenty-eight years. Eventually, it was painstaking to acknowledge my skeletal reflection in the mirror, a mirror that so bitterly mocked my bondage. And then, finally came God’s miraculous light. My sister had been delivered in Christ for several years, bringing the Teen Challenge program into my seemingly hopeless world of degradation. And just in time, because thoughts of suicide were now becoming the center of my attention.

On June 16, 2003, I entered the Teen Challenge induction center in the heart of Newark, New Jersey’s urban jungle. I did not come to search out Christ’s heart but only to attempt to stay clean for a year. But much to my exceeding joy, I can say now that Jesus was there waiting to search my heart. I did not know it then, but I realize now that God had given me the so precious and necessary gift of brokenness! He had prepared in me a receptive heart to receive this life’s only truth: His Son finally. Little did I know that the hole in my heart was Christ-shaped all along.

I gave my life to the Lord in a public confession only ten days after arriving at the center. I graduated from the induction center and began a more exhaustive pursuit of God’s heart. Here at that training center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania, I fell in love with Jesus. I then began to study the scriptures and learn of God’s promises. I found that my faith in His Word and in His love had the power to “repay me for the years the locusts have eaten.” (Joel 2:25) I found that He had a plan for my life, “to give me a hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11) Praise God! He said I was a new creation in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) At last, I had finally found TRUTH!

Then it began--God restored the trust I had betrayed among my loved ones. He restored my wonderful mother’s mind and our once strained relationship. He renewed my heart and transformed my entire perspective of life and my fellow man. He gave me His love, the only love that cannot disappoint or fade away. He gave me a calling and taught me the meaning of life--To love and serve God. As a result of my devotion, He has continued to bless my socks off to this very day!

Again my name is Joel, a sinner turned saint saved by loving grace. May God bless you!


Joel is a Men's Ministry Director at The Potter's House which is a safe place for men & women to recover from addiction, to experience Christ-centered discipleship, and embrace their God-given destiny for their lives. For more information please visit their ministry site at https://thepottershouselancaster.com/

Purchase Joel's book by clicking on the book cover below.

Joel's testimony from the VictoryEmbraced book was featured on CBN's The 700 Club 


Breaking Free From Addiction 

10Apr

Faith shares her powerful testimony of how she was once deep in the practice of witchcraft but found redemption and new life through Jesus Christ. Her journey is one of transformation, hope, and the amazing power of faith. Let Faith's testimony be a reminder that no one is beyond the reach of God's love and grace. Her journey brought her from darkness to light, from fear to freedom, and from witchcraft to Jesus. 

Faith Aponte

Author of Coming Out of Witchcraft

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34


These are the questions that I asked Faith during her interview on VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel, and what she shared. Please like, share, and subscribe by clicking on the channel logo. Thank you! :) 


Did you grow up in a Christian home? 

Faith: I grew up in a Christian home. I guess with not understanding information, for me, it was like okay we just have to wake up to go to church early, sing songs, have snacks, and do crafts but I never really understood who Jesus was in my walk.


When & why did you get into practicing witchcraft? 

Faith: I got into witchcraft after my sexual assault as a way to try to control situations to protect myself from more hurt. In the spring of 2016, someone sexually assaulted me, and it left me feeling very broken and lost. I questioned God a lot then, saying to Him, Well, God, I went to church in the morning, and I did all this, and why didn’t you protect me?” I was scrolling on social media one day and saw that you can open up your “third-eye” chakra and root yourself, and they said, Did you know you’re more powerful and you just need to tap into that? It led me down a rabbit hole of new-age things like reading tarot cards and casting spells to take control of things to protect myself.


What kind of witchcraft were you involved in? What are the dangers of practicing witchcraft? 

Faith: I used to practice as an eclectic witch, which is a witch that practices a variety of different methods. Whatever caught my eye or interest in witchcraft, that’s what I did. Through a witchcraft app, I learned and practiced voodoo, ouija boards, light and dark magic, tarot cards, spirit boxes, horoscopes, and crystals. I thought I was doing the right thing, so hence, I was a “good witch,” as people would say, but witchcraft is witchcraft. Because of my Christian background, I focused more on angels and started worshiping them, and the Bible says we shouldn’t worship or serve anything but the Lord. I was heavily into Roman and Greek mythology because I believed that based on my zodiac sign, that was a god that I served, and it had me go into a whole rabbit hole of a bunch of different things. I was heavy on horoscopes too, and I would not start my day until I read my daily horoscope, and that was my Bible. For instance, if it told me not to get into an agreement or not talk to a certain friend, I would not talk to that friend or get into an agreement, and it had me in bondage and controlled my life instead of being led by the Holy Spirit and doing what the Lord wanted me to do and live. These became idols and opened demonic doors in my life. I was in bondage and walking into darkness, not knowing I was agreeing with Satan’s plan and not God’s plan and purpose for my life. Satan and demons are real, and witchcraft opens demonic doors. I put myself in danger with the spirit realm, and I didn’t put two and two together—I just thought... Oh, this is fun, and it’s very, very dangerous and nothing to play with. 


How did Jesus help you heal from the trauma you have gone through & come out of witchcraft? 

Faith: I don’t want to sugarcoat anything—I’m still healing from the sexual assault. Healing is like layers, one on top of the other. I love how Jesus helps us heal. Daily, I make the choice to give up my past, remain completely surrendered to Him, trust Him, be obedient to what He teaches, expose what happened to me, and be very transparent. I have given the book He had me write to Him. My testimony is in there, and that’s part of my healing. He heals one layer at a time as I continue to lay everything down and give it to Him.   

Things kept on getting worse and worse and I was exhausted from trying to control and protect myself from everything and I realized that I’m not powerful, only God is. I completely surrendered to Him, and that’s how I got out of witchcraft. Once I gave everything to God, He led me to a church in North Carolina, and a guy prophesied over my life and shared with me I used to live in Pottstown, PA, was sexually assaulted, involved with witchcraft, and that I was in a homosexual relationship. I got delivered, woke up the next day and everything was gone—the depression, the anxiety; everything. I repented to God that I was wrong; I completely surrendered to Him and told Him I would trust Him—I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for God. 


Why is it important to know your identity in Christ? 

Faith: It’s very important to come to know our identity in Christ because if you don’t know your identity in Christ, the enemy will give you a false identity. I talk about this in my book Coming Out of Witchcraft because a lot of people are claiming false identities known as zodiac signs. Nobody wants to be friends with a Gemini because they’re too-faced, but you’re coming in agreement with the spirit of confusion, Satan, and multiple personality disorders. If you don’t know your identity in Christ, the enemy is going to give you a false one, and you’re going to be walking in bondage, and you’re not going to be walking God’s truth about what He says about you in His Word.


How can you encourage others never to get involved with anything related to witchcraft?

Faith: I always start with my testimony because I’ve noticed that, especially when God puts somebody in my path, I always tell them my testimony—the testimony that God has given me to share. Sometimes, the only Bible that people are going to read is you, so your testimony is so important, and if somebody doesn’t know, I’m like, Hey, do you know the history of the evil eye? or Hey, do you know what’s wrong with using crystals? I will ask them questions. And they say, Well, it will protect me, and I can share that God can protect you. It opens up the door for prayer and sharing about Jesus, but led by the Holy Spirit because not everyone will receive you—we are hard-headed—and sometimes God will allow us to walk in our consequences for us to learn so we can then help other people. 


Purchase Faith's Book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

In the book, Faith shares her struggles of going through sexual assault, homosexuality, prostitution, mental health issues, and more. The book also shares how she got involved in new age and occult practices and how Jesus saved her. Coming Out of Witchcraft exposes Satan's kingdom and it includes prayer points, biblical scripture, and steps to take to break free from the kingdom of darkness.

Faith, may you share a little bit about your book? When we talked on the phone, you shared something that I related to because I struggled the same way in school. 

Faith: Yes. I am not an author—I'm just a person who is on fire for Jesus. In first grade, I had a speech impediment and IEP and got held back a year. Writing was not my first strong suit, nor is math really, so I would mess up words—I guess you can say like dyslexia—but I felt God showed me that this is what I was to do, and I was very discouraged at first when writing the book and showing it to people because they would say, “Oh, you got mistakes in there,” and I thought I should pull it back and fix it, but God said no—I chose you and had me read about Moses because he stuttered. God will use you where you don’t think you can be used, and that’s the thing that keeps me humble. I can tell you that Coming Out of Witchcraft is Holy Spirit-led. The Lord would wake me up to write between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., and I'm not a morning person. I did my best to walk in obedience, and you know, obedience is way better than sacrifice, because that was the thing that I had to lay down. In essence, I needed to lay down my past so I could go into my future. All glory be to God!


Faith shared her testimony on VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube Channel.

Click on the Photo Below for the Broadcast Interview

Please consider sharing, liking, and subscribing. Thank you! :)

Bible scriptures and teaching resources that were used during the broadcast.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God;” (1 John 4:1  NKJV)


“...Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  (2 Corinthians 11:14 BSB)


“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness…”  (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)


“You must not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out, or you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”  (Leviticus 19:31 NASB)


“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NIV)


The importance of knowing scripture: In Acts 17:11 it teaches us to be a good Berean & to examine the scriptures every day to see if what is said is true.


Teaching Resources from Bible Questions Answered/Got Questions Ministries:  

What Does the Bible Say about Witchcraft? https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-witchcraft.html

***At the root of witchcraft is the desire to control events that are not ours to control–only God’s. The desire has roots in satan’s first temptation to Eve–“You can be like God” in Genesis 3:5*** 


Put on the whole armor–dress for battle–Ephesians 6:10-17  https://www.gotquestions.org/full-armor-of-God.html

17Jul

From the time Amanda Grace was a child, she fought illnesses, and at one point, she was even in a wheelchair. Through each battle, she learned to keep persevering in the Lord and not to give up faith and hope for the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Amanda Grace

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)


What the Lord has done for me has been like a baptism by fire, and I believe what I've been through really shows the strength and power of the Lord because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The more we go through—the more of His strength can be demonstrated in our lives. The Lord is everything to me! 

From the time I was a child, I fought illness. At the age of four, my mother found me in my crib blue and rushed me to the pediatrician. It was discovered, that I had severe asthma. I found myself in the hospital a lot because I would get pneumonia and bronchitis often. At times, I would need oxygen tents because I couldn't breathe outside of them. Because I was in the hospital so much, I missed a lot of school work. Unlike today, the choices to treat asthma were limited. Two of the options were adrenaline shots and slo-bid which was like giving a child ten cups of coffee. When I was about six years old, nebulizer treatments became available. 

I praise God for my mom because she's a strong woman in the Lord and she raised me to be the same—a fighter—one that perseveres and doesn't give up. My mom took care of me a lot when I was going through all of this. Unfortunately, my father wanted nothing to do with the Lord and everything to do with the world and worldly things. This caused a bit of a rocky childhood because the Bible talks about a house divided cannot stand, and because of my dad's choices, there were both spiritual and physical implications in our lives. So fighting illness, and dealing with this was not easy. 

I was raised on the border of the Bronx, NY (the south end of New Rochelle), and by the time I was fifteen—we moved into Hudson Valley, NY. This move was a whole new ordeal for me because the high school was rough even back then to the point of needing security guards. I then went on to John Jay High School, which was another adjustment, and I began to have gastrointestinal issues—this was the secondary symptoms showing up before the primary symptoms. 

I ended up having terrible gastrointestinal issues, and at the age of sixteen, my gallbladder had to be removed because it stopped working due to problems with the ducts going to my pancreas. By the age of seventeen, I ended up getting pancreatitis from all the gastrointestinal issues I had been fighting. 

I began to attend Santa College in Lavelle, NY and while there, I was still very sick and thin because I couldn't eat a lot of foods due to my incredibly limited diet. The college was very accommodating with everything, but it was very frustrating. 

By the age of twenty, my parents ended up getting a divorce. My mother tried she did, but there are just times that somebody is so set in their ways as my dad was, that it's too destructive and not good all around.  With the divorce, my whole world changed and I found myself taking six classes while working thirty hours a week to try to support myself. 

Nine months after getting out of Siena College in Loudonville, NY...I was working at Global Financial Services in Harrison, NY as a hedge fund accountant on a hedge fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars and I ended up the way I ended company that found me that job and when I interviewed at Globo they had me take a financial IQ test and the highest score because it was so difficult was a 40 out of a hundred and I scored an 80 out of a hundred I doubled their highest score and so they immediately hired me had a very generous salary for a 21-year-old, when they saw the score I'd gotten on that test and it was a very stressful job it was very intense a hedge fund that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars has different currencies stocks bonds commodities futures you name it it's in that fund and so I did that for nine months and during that time because of all I had gone through as a kid I stayed away even through high school in college from a lot of local um indulgences that other kids experiment with I stayed away from drugs cigarettes I barely drank a glass of wine every now and then and Because of the health problems that I have been through—I was going to the gym, eating right, and doing everything I could to keep my body completely healthy. But nine months into doing all I could to keep healthy—I began to feel flush however, this was no regular flu—this was a killer virus and within seven days, I collapsed on the floor of my mother's bathroom and she rushed me to the hospital. The doctors did not know what was wrong and thought it might be Lyme disease or MS. They ran many tests, but couldn't find anything. In an instant, my life changed! I was unable to walk or talk well and I was very weak. I will tell you that this was an attack from the pit of hell! 

Nineteen years ago, doctors did not know about viruses attacking the nervous systems and neuropathy—they knew much less back then than they know now about such issues, and so the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I was released from the hospital and we started our journey of looking for specialty doctors. We went to fourteen specialty doctors in a year and a half to try to figure out what had happened to me because, it was clear that something was very; very wrong. I deteriorated more over that time, and by the time I got to Dr. Adam's a year and a half later, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, he had to admit me to the hospital because my blood pressure was 70 over 40—I was thin and very weak. After testing, he thought that maybe I had pots syndrome (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), but he said…"There is something else going on here that we can't quite put our finger on…an underlying autoimmune issue that we can't quite diagnose yet." Then, Doctor Adam's told me that I had to go into rehab because I was too weak and my body wasn't functioning correctly. So, I was admitted to Burke Rehabilitation Institute in Westchester, New York. It's a fabulous rehab center and the people there were amazing. I spent over a month there which happened to be during Christmas and New Year's. Even going through this God was faithful! So many people came to see me, and they decorated my room for Christmas. One of my mom's friends made food for Christmas day. The young adult's group from Faith Assembly of God that I used to help came to see me too. God was faithful in sending all these people to support me during this time. Now, as good as the rehab center was, they had never quite dealt with nervous system issues like I was having so I will tell you—rehab was very intense and difficult. 

I started rehab in a wheelchair, but when I left—I walked out of there using a cane—praise God for that. The doctors told me, that I couldn't go back to work in the field of finance due to it being too stressful—They felt it would break down my body, so I had to figure out how to rebuild my life. I was very shy at this point and even afraid to pray out loud because as a kid, nobody was allowed to talk about God around my father. He would get very angry, so I was very introverted about my relationship with the Lord until He helped me with this through this trial.

I ended up being very weak and frail for a long time and would go through bouts of sickness. The doctors had trouble keeping me healthy as I would keep getting infections, so it was one step forward and two steps back. Doctor Adam's decided that I needed to have white blood cell transfusions (IVIG immunoglobulin) which are put into your body intravenously, with about a four-hour drip. They started me on a regiment once a month for five days in a row. I will tell you, they give them to cancer patients too and make you incredibly sick and tired you're down for days after you get these treatments. Well, I had an anaphylactic reaction from the brand they put me on and needed to be rushed to the hospital, so they decided to put me on it once a week instead of five days in a row. I was very weak a couple of days after treatments and was in the house a lot—I did not have much of a life—I couldn't drive and had to have somebody watch me when I went out because my legs tended to give out on me. 

For seven years, I slowly got better. I still couldn't work, but I was able to drive. I continued to fight intense pain with neuropathy. It felt as if, my limbs were on fire or I was being burned with cigarettes, as well as needles being stuck into my joints. It took a lot of mental toughness to push through. To try to ease the burden and the excruciating pain, my doctors put me on a pain regiment. Pain is stress on the body, and if the body is in too much pain, it will break down the immune system. They didn't want me in a more weakened condition and to be able to go out and live and function as much as I could. 

In 2012, I got married and was attending a church called John 3:16 Christian Center in Burbank, NY. The Lord had brought some wonderful people into my life there. At this point, I was able to do some housework, drive a little and some other things, but would have to pace myself—one day on—one day off—so if I had to go out and do grocery shopping, I'd have to rest the entire next day because it took my body three times more energy and fortitude to do the simple tasks that everybody else takes for granted. A lot of times, when people get sick they don't feel useful and their self-worth goes down a lot because their identity becomes that illness. I encourage you to not let an illness you are fighting become your identity because you are so much more than that lie of illness that's going on in your body. God is greater than any illness—Jesus died for people to be healed—He died for our sins. 

I had to keep reminding myself during this trial that my relationship with the Lord and faith in Him was growing. Unfortunately, other things were going on in my life that added more stress and for anyone fighting autoimmune neuropathy diseases/illnesses conditions—stress is one of the worst things for your body—it's toxic and can cause relapses and the body to break down. At this point, I was in such a weakened state I was not supposed to be around anybody sick and I ended up being around somebody that was sick and from that, I ended up getting pneumonia and needed to be rushed to the hospital—something was not right the morning I woke up on September 30th, 2012. I woke up that morning, and my limbs were involuntary, I was having a lot of trouble breathing, my chest was in pain, and I felt as if I had an infection. The doctor said that I had to get to the hospital immediately. So my mother rushed me to Putnam Hospital in Carmel, NY. By the time the doctors got there and examined me, my left lung had completely shut down and no air sounds were coming out of my left lung. Within 30 minutes, they had me on a heart monitor, an IV drip of antibiotics, and steroids which are like my nuclear option—I wouldn't touch them unless it's life or death—steroids are great for inflammation, but they have a host of unpleasant side-effects. Once admitted to the hospital, I was put in the cardiac care unit because of the neuropathy and autoimmune complications I was fighting, my entire nervous system crashed—my body crashed—I lost the ability to walk, my blood oxygen level had dropped to 90 which anything below 95, the doctors don't like to see because it tells how well your body is moving oxygen through your bloodstream. I was having a lot of trouble breathing, and even trying to get into my wheelchair to go to the bathroom my heart rate would shoot up to 170 beats per minute setting off all the alarms at the nurse's station (they put my room in front of the nurse's station for this reason). I was in the hospital for three weeks but wasn't completely stable and the doctors made a decision, that I had to go to rehab again to learn how to walk again. Well, let me tell you that during this time, I had a lot of conversations with the Lord about why He let this happen—"Lord why am I going through this again? Why do I keep getting sick? Why? Why? Why? I asked a lot of why's in that hospital bed, but I also knew that I had to cling to the Lord for dear life because He was the only one that was going to save me in this—He was the only one that could heal my body—He was the only one that could bring me through this trial. I have learned that the devil (enemy) will launch an offensive before the plans of God even come to fruition in your life to stop His plans. In the Bible, the enemy did this a lot even causing the fallen angels to go down and have relations with earthly women to create the Nephilim those Giants to try to interrupt the seed—the line that Jesus would be born through. So the enemy is known for launching offensives to try to stop the plans of God from coming to fruition in your life before they even come to fruition. 

When they told me that I had to go to rehab again, I was crying—I was tired—I wanted to go home—I didn't want to be in the hospital anymore—and trust me, they were lovely people the Lord sent— amazing nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists—a pulmonologist, a gastroenterologist, a primary doctor—there were quite a few specialists involved in this decision. Before going to rehab, you're supposed to be stabilized however, the primary doctor made the mistake of sending me too early, and I was transferred by ambulance to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. When I arrived, I was in terrible distress and had a very difficult time breathing and then a horrible asthma attack—so much so, the doctor said that they didn't know if I was stable enough—they were angry at Putnam Hospital for sending me prematurely to rehab, and they said to me that they didn't know if I could endure rehab because of my lungs and all the pain I was in. Pneumonia had exacerbated the neuropathy and I was in twice as much pain as normal. The pain felt as though it was between an eight to ten 10 all the time. The doctors decided to put me on an IV pain medication to get me through rehab and on round-the-clock respiratory treatments. I was also given large doses of steroids which they had already done a Putnam Hospital. One of the unpleasant side effects of steroids is they make you gain a lot of weight and I blew up like a balloon. My face looked round and at 5'9" I almost weighed 220 pounds. Between the steroids and the heparin shots given to me in my stomach every day to thin the blood and prevent blood clots, I was black and blue—swollen—looked completely disfigured—Yes, I felt ugly and like a black-and-blue disfigured bloated pin-cushion! Emotionally, I went through a very hard time with how much this fight—this trial—the disease—pneumonia—and how the medication had disfigured me—It was very difficult to deal with. 

I ended up starting a two-month stay at the rehabilitation center, and tied the longest record they had for rehabbing there. They put me right in front of the nurse's station. I praise God because I did have a lot of favor through everything. I had a private room and when the nurses took their breaks, they pulled the curtain and they would chat with me—my room was the happening place to be to hang out and chat. Other patients would come to visit me and I'd go visit them as well. The hospital gave me special privileges and one of them was to be able to decorate the wing for Christmas. I decorated my wheelchair too with all sorts of garland in the spokes and ornaments hanging from the handles then, go scooting around the floor—the nurses would laugh. The nurses were very attentive to me not only when I was in pain or distress, but also if I wanted special food from the cafeteria. I had wonderful physical and occupational therapists, who were dedicated to trying to get me well. 

While at rehab, I was on medication to help my heart rate, antibiotics, steroids, and a cocktail of drugs that tried to keep me stable and alive. Then another complication arises from the steroids and weight gain—for the first time in my life, I became diabetic and needed insulin shots anytime my glucose level went above 200. I continually had IV's and then, they put a PICC line in me, running from my vein to my heart. I had to put my faith in the Lord and trust Him—I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but God was walking with me—I was never alone—He never left me—He never forsake me—He never allowed the plans of the enemy to come to fruition in my life—He never allowed the enemy to kill me— He always stepped in the way and gave me the grace because His grace is sufficient to help keep me pushing—"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4) "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

I was at physical therapy for a couple of months and while there, they had to put metal braces on my legs from my knees down to my ankles—I looked like the bionic woman. These metal braces forced me to stand up and during therapy; I would have somebody behind me with a wheelchair and someone else on the side of me. At first, they had me walking a few feet then—I slowly progressed to the point where they sent me home in a wheelchair along with physical therapy. Let me tell you that it's a very humbling experience when somebody has to take you to the bathroom—when they need to help bathe you—wash and dry your hair—and dress you—count your blessings for the simple things you can do because if you lose them, you will see very quickly how important doing tasks independently really are. 

I was sent home four days before Christmas on December 21st, 2012, and my husband, Chris, had put up a Christmas tree. My dog's Roxy and Gracie had no clue where I went for two months—they were dumb-founded and when I arrived home, they were happy and confused all at the same time. I do have to say, that I felt very insecure being home on my own because my husband worked and I was in a kind of incubator for two months with people around to watch and protect me. 

To help at home, I got an aide three times a week and my mom would come to help as well, but I had to learn a lot on my own like how to slide into the wheelchair by myself and go to the bathroom. I also needed to learn in my weakened state, how to go get food out of the fridge and feed myself. Soon, I received a wonderful aide by the name of Mary, who was sent by the Lord to help me with everything including walking my dogs and the insurance company. With her help, I was able to get an electric wheelchair with all the bells and whistles. This helped me greatly, so I could get out of the house and walk my dogs around the property. Getting fresh air was another huge blessing! I knew that the Lord was providing these blessings to help me get through everything—He was giving me provision to help me endure the battle. I have learned that passionate people have a will to fight and being a feisty Italian girl who was raised in the Bronx—I had a will to fight!  

It's a good thing I am a fighter because by Christmas I got sick again with such a horrible infection that I couldn't even sit up. My mom and dad came over even though they're divorced—which was slightly uncomfortable, but they both wanted to be there for me. My husband, Chris, was determined to cook Christmas dinner and my mom helped him. I was so sick I couldn't even get up to enjoy Christmas. I was bloated and something was very wrong because I couldn't move—perhaps I was sent home a little too early because four days later, I end up back in the emergency room with the doctors telling me that I had bronchitis and they had to admit me. All the progress I made for the two months that I was in rehab being able to stand up with the braces and walking a little bit was lost. It was like I was paralyzed from the waist down—I had no use of my legs—my body had completely crashed. I was back in the hospital depressed and beside myself and crying out to God from my heart..."Where are you? I need you! Why?" Over the next three weeks, the Lord did some pretty miraculous things. I had ended up back in the cardiac care unit and they had sent me to a step-down unit, which is when you're well enough to be out of ICU or cardiac care and they send you to a regular floor. My husband came early on New Year's Eve to see me, but he was exhausted and went home. I said to the Lord sadly…"I'm going to ring in the New Year all by myself in a hospital bed." Well, no sooner than I said that, the nurses from the entire floor came into my room with hats and noisemakers and said…"Amanda, we took a vote and we unanimously decided we all wanted to ring in the New Year with you!" This was an answer to prayer praise God—the Lord really heard my prayer about feeling alone, and all the nurses came in and put a party hat on me, gave me a noisemaker, and we all rang in the New Year together.  

Every morning, I had a respiratory therapist come in and they would make me blow into a peak flow meter which would indicate how well I was breathing. A good reading is 400 or higher and mine was around 280, so my lungs were still not completely healthy. The one time I blew into the meter, it felt like somebody had plunged a knife into my chest sending my therapist running to get the nurses because I couldn't breathe. They rushed down the hall and brought an echocardiogram (EKG), which read that I was having a heart attack. Then they rushed out of the room and called a code. Because most of the doctors and nurses on the floor knew me, and the room number that I was in, they all came running. I was suddenly surrounded by twelve doctors and nurses. It was too early in the morning for my husband or mom to be there, so I was alone and scared as they were taking blood, putting things into my IV, making me put nitroglycerin under my tongue, got me on oxygen as they were rushing me back down to the cardiac care unit. I said a very simple prayer…"Lord, you're the only one that can reach into my chest and stop this heart attack—I'm scared—please help me." By the time we got down to the cardiac care unit another echocardiogram was taken, the heart attack had completely vanished! It just registered that my heart was beating a little fast, and the doctors and nurses were in the corner comparing the two EKGs saying…"How did this happen?" They checked the machine and it didn't malfunction—they were completely dumbfounded! The Lord miraculously stopped the heart attack that the enemy was trying to bring against my life! That is the power of almighty God! Yes, my heart needed to yield to what God says—that's how powerful the name of Jesus is because every knee must bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11)

They called my mother and in turn, she called my husband. She raced over to the hospital and when she got there and heard what happened she was just praising Jesus up and down—she was calling people—I mean it was truly miraculous! You know it is one thing to hear about miracles, but when the power of almighty God manifests in your life and miracles begin to happen it's a whole different ballgame—it's a whole different story. I was at the hospital another two weeks before they sent me home in a wheelchair. I couldn't walk at all and it was too soon for me to go back to the rehab, so I needed to go home and they had a nurse come to clean my PICC line. The nurse happened to be a gentleman who was about six foot five and 300 pounds—he was a very big boy! Well, my puppy, Roxy, who we rescued from a high kill shelter down in Georgia, had enough of people taking her mommy away and she was going to do something about it, so on this particular day when the nurse was washing his hands in our kitchen sink, I heard Roxy yelp, and the nurse yelled…"Your dog just bit my a**!" Shock and embarrassment came over me, like blood draining out of my face, and before I could yell at Roxy, she was doing a victory lap wagging her tail—head held high running around the kitchen and living room like she just did a great thing and from that day forward, that nurse never turned his back on Roxie again. 

I was only home for about ten days when I woke up one morning throwing up among other symptoms. The PICC line in my arm was red, hard, swollen and oozing. I felt like I was going to die! My husband could see that there was something very wrong, so he called my mother and they brought me to the hospital which was a tough ride because I threw up the entire way. My mother called the hospital when we were on the way, so the medical staff was ready when I arrived. When I got there, they immediately put me into nausea medicine, pain medicine, and they pulled the PICC line out. When the PICC line came out, there was a hole in my arm that was oozing. They did cultures and sent it to be analyzed and it came back that I had MRSA. I became septic and found out it's so rare to get MRSA through a PICC line that I had to be reported to New York State. Now, I was septic fighting MRSA that kills healthy people and I am in a weakened state—my heart was weakened—my body was weak—I couldn't walk, and now here comes the third attack MRSA and septic. They immediately admitted me to the hospital and put me on a nuclear bomb of antibiotics that included multiple IV bags at once. The situation was grave—In fact, I found out later that the doctors didn't know if I was going to live because my body had little strength to fight off this very; very deadly infection. 

My mother called everyone who could pray because God was the ONLY ONE who could intervene and stop what was going on. Well, something miraculous happened—within two days, the numbers on my blood work doubled and were near normal! Dr. Singh was so stunned that he came into my hospital room and said…"Amanda, I have to tell you—we didn't think you were going to live and it's incredible the turnaround you've made in just two days!" Well, because I kept on improving, I only had to stay there a week and they sent me home without a PICC line for good reason. 

They couldn't get me back into the rehab facility, so I went home completely paralyzed from the waist down—I had no use of my legs whatsoever. The Lord had saved my life yet again—He had miraculously intervened yet again—No infection—No disease—No situation is impossible for God! I am home in a wheelchair, bloated from the steroids, black and blue from the PICC line, and disfigured but—I'm alive—Praise God! Once home, I had to adjust to life in a wheelchair. My aide, Mary, came back to work with me again and she would bathe me, wash and blow-dried my hair, help with laundry, walk the dogs and so much more. My mom was also working overtime to help out because my husband was not around during the day due to his job plus, it was like an automatic pilot for my mom because she's been through this with me since I was a kid. Even though Mary and my mom were coming over to help a lot, I tried to learn to do things on my own as well such as—doing the laundry, how to get in my electric wheelchair and walk the dogs, and how to slide on and off of the wheelchair without falling. It was rough, but I had to accept the fact that at that moment, I was in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down. The Lord and His favor were so good because a physical therapist, named Gary, was sent to my house who was determined to try to help me walk again. Gary was Catholic who believed in the Lord but never has seen a miracle before, so God was setting up something pretty incredible. Gary was special because I had another physical therapist come before and say that I wasn't going to walk again and it wasn't worth trying. But Gary wanted to try and he had a lot of compassion on me—thank God. 

When Gary came over, Roxy didn't want anyone to take her mommy away again so she would get up on her hind legs and try to push Gary away from me. God bless Gary—he had the patience of a saint with Roxy and worked with her till she trusted him. Roxy would circle the wheelchair and get anxious when Gary would work with me because, in her mind, I was supposed to be in the wheelchair at all times. If anyone tried to stand me up, I'd flop right back into the wheelchair because I had no use of my legs and my upper body was so weak from what I had been through for over five months. Gary worked with me on building up my upper body and moving my legs. Well, it was about a little over a year and I still couldn't stand up and still very sick and weak. I couldn't do a lot and I felt very useless and worthless because people had to do most everything for me, which is a very humbling and embarrassing feeling—Praise God I had the help, but it's a very humbling and embarrassing feeling, when you can't do many simple tasks for yourself like doing your hair, showering, going to the bathroom, and getting food. I was determined over that year to learn how to do some things for myself. It was now May of 2014, and on a particular day, the Lord told me to go to church, which was an odyssey because just getting ready to go to church was exhausting for me and an ordeal for my husband to take me in a wheelchair. That morning though, the Lord told me to go, so I got myself dressed which is something as that point I could do on my own. 

Chris wheeled me into the church in which everybody already knew that I was parlayed from the waist down. Well, they decided that day for everyone to stand up and walk down to the altar meanwhile, I was feeling that the joke was on me—it was something about an exercise in faith. So now, I'm being wheeled in this line while everybody else can stand up and walk. I began to say to myself…"Oh yeah—simple for them—I'm in a wheelchair my legs don't work." So I get to the pastors and they said to me…"Amanda, Do you want to try to stand now?" I call this my "get out of the boat moment". Was I going to stay in the boat, stay in the wheelchair where it felt safe or was I going to have the faith that when I got out of the boat, that the Lord was going to meet me, and I was going to walk? Well, I was so desperate at this point and sometimes the Lord gets us good and desperate to increase our incredible faith to do what man deems impossible, and I said "yes", I want to try to stand, so they started praying as the congregation watched. Then I began to brace myself by putting my hands on the handles of the wheelchair and in my heart I said…"Lord I need you to meet me—I'm taking a step out in faith—I need you to meet me and as I began to push, I began to stand as my legs were trembling. They were holding me—not completely, but just balancing me and then they asked… "Do you want to try to walk now?" I can taste it—now the miracles happening—now the Lord is present—now I want it and I said "yes" and one by one, I walked up those steps with their help and walked across that stage fighting for every step with my legs trembling—my body sweating from working so hard, but the Lord was touching my legs and I was walking for the first time in over a year! I was walking and you could have heard a pin drop in the congregation—they were stunned because they all knew my condition—people began crying and praising the Lord. The pastors got on the microphone and said that this is what happens when someone takes a step of faith and truly trusts that the Lord is going to meet them—This is what faith in action does! 

Remember Gary had no clue what took place at church and he comes on Monday for physical therapy. When he came, I was sitting in the wheelchair and I told him that I had something to tell him. I said over the weekend, I went to church and I was prayed over and I miraculously got up from my wheelchair and I'm able to walk. With that, he threw a walker in front of me and said…“Show me!” I stood up with that walker and walked 10 feet unassisted and sat down. Gary was so stunned and proceeded to say…“In my whole career, I have never seen a miracle this!” Mary was dumbfounded too! All of a sudden, Gary had a revelation… “How am  I going to explain this to the insurance companies—How am I going to explain to them that you couldn't walk on Friday and now you can walk?” Gary then had a great idea…“I know what I'm going to do!—I will write it’s an “Act of God” in the reports!” It was a complete act of God and because God does nothing halfway—the insurance accompany accepted his report and told him to continue doing physical therapy with me until I could completely walk on my own. Praise God! Gary was with me another six months or more and I was able to walk with a walker quite a way. The Lord touched me and I continued to get better. During this time, there was a wonderful woman named Barbara Nelson Stone. The Lord brought her into my life eight years prior and she had been in the prophetic ministry for over thirty years. As I was getting better, God was also increasing me in prophetic gifts. From the time that I was a child, I had dreams about heaven—I would see angels in my doorway—and I would talk with my mother about events coming before they happened. As a child, it’s hard to know how to harness this gift God put in me. So over time, I got better and I became less introverted with my relationship with the Lord. Barbara prayed for my boldness to begin to pray out loud because I was shy and this poses a problem if the Lord is going to use you as a mouthpiece and vessel. I'll never forget that I was getting better in my health, my faith and relationship with the Lord was growing a lot as well—everything was growing together. 

It was 2015 going into 2016, and I anointed our property and I said a prayer telling God that all the wildlife can come and live here and be blessed. Well, let me tell you—be careful about what you pray for because life and death are in the power of the tongue. The Lord taught me a very funny lesson about this through what happened within 24 hours of my prayer—I kid you not because my mom and my husband both witnessed it—hundreds of birds showed up, sixteen deer, about eight vultures, numerous forest critters all within 24 hours. I hid behind the couch while I was on the phone with my mother because it was like the attack of the birds. I told Barbara what was happening and she suspected, that the gift the Lord put inside of me from a little girl was beginning to flourish, so she prayed about it and the Lord put on her heart to mentor me.  During her mentoring, she taught me invaluable lessons and I began to prophesy and seeking the Lord continually because the Lord would give me dreams about events to come before they happened. As my soul prospered, so did my health! "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." (3 John 1:2) As the Lord was continuing to prepare me, I began to prophesy in church and putting prophecies out from the Lord on Facebook that have come to pass such as the Spain attack, the earthquake in Iran, and a word shared a day before the election of President Trump. 

The Lord sees the beginning from the end and He shows His children what is to come so others can prepare and come to Him. At the same time that I was getting better—the Lord started sending many animals to our property that has a pond—Ducks of all different kinds, geese, deer—you name it—they were coming! The Lord told me to begin to feed them, so that’s what I did. God gives seed to the sower—so I began taking my own money and sowing into the feed to bless God's creation, and the more I did—the stronger my legs got because I began to have to walk the property by getting outside to do manual labor. Then, the Lord sent me a Muscovy duck, named Jake, who ended up on my property. Jake was too domesticated to be wild, so he probably lived on a farm and illegally released. My husband, Chris, built a patent on our property for him, and then God sent other rescue ducks and a chicken named Jingles. Bald eagles began showing up too. The Lord kept on sending so many animals and I would faithfully feed and take care of them including a beautiful African Collared-Dove, who I named Grace and has become well-known on the broadcasts. 

I encourage you to be faithful in the little things, and the Lord will give you bigger things to do. God honors our faithfulness in simple tasks because if the Lord can't see you can't do a simple task every day consistently how they expect you to fulfill the demands of a bigger task the same thing in your job the same thing in life be faithful in the little things those simple tests are important doing it consistently is important God does honor that so I'm going to encourage you to keep being consistent in the little things bless all of God's creation bless God wants all of his creation blessed people and animals he wants you to bless all of them he wants you to show his love to all of them he wants you to sew into all of them and if you are faithful in that God will give you bigger things God will honor you before men, God will make you an effectiveness so we are vessels we are instruments we cannot be played unless our Creator plays us like a like a saxophone or a violin or a guitar somebody's got to pick that up and play that instrument to make beautiful sounds to make beautiful music it's the same thing with our Creator we are the vessels he operates through us he is Almighty he is everything we are dust without him and to be an effective vessel for the Lord you have to know that you are a vessel you are simply a humble vessel that God has chosen to operate through you and whatever gift or task he's given you so please do the simple things every day read your Bible consistently every day your spirit and soul need the nourishment of God's Word as much as your body needs good food to run properly to be healthy simple tests read God's Word every day do it every day consistently I encourage you to do that because it will transform you from the inside out and I will tell you the Lord has completely restored me. 

The Lord restored me from my head to my feet and inside out! I still fight some pain, but I am the strongest I have been in a long time. God will restore, but the thing about restoration is the old has to be torn down first and everything in my life in a way got torn down but, it has been built back up so much more beautiful and stronger than it was before. Are there some days that I get frustrated? Yes, but I have an open line of communication with the Lord and I tell Him how I feel— I tell him if I'm upset—I tell him if I don't like something but I continue to praise Him through it anyway. God wants an open relationship with us. He wants us to speak to Him—to walk with Him—to activate His Word speaking it out loud because the Word of God is a sword and whatever trial you're going through, you can swing like heck with that sword—resist the devil and he shall flee from you! It has been difficult looking back on these 16 years, but I know He gives and restores to us what the locusts and cankerworm have eaten. Yes, the years that have been taken—the Lord restores. He has restored everything to me—including my physical appearance. I am in the best shape that I've been in a long time, and that's because of the Lord and His grace and I continued to walk things out with the Lord with fear and trembling— dedicated to persevering even in the face of an impossible situation. I stared the mountain of the challenge down because through faith, my God moves mountains. Your deep grounded faith brings forth deep roots and will bring forth the most amazing miraculous events in your life.  Today, I am a walking testimony—a living letter read by all men as to the power of Almighty God and what He can do for one—He can do for another. Keep fighting and persevering in the Lord. Do not give up faith—do not give up hope! The joy of the Lord is your strength. Sing praises to the Lord and speak God's Word and watch those mountains move in your life. God bless you all!


11Aug

Dana Repetti, grew up in a dysfunctional home filled with hate, fear, alcohol, abuse, and witchcraft. Her childhood caused her to have overwhelming fear, and she became a people-pleaser with a very low self-esteem. At the age of seventeen, Dana had her first abortion. Through it all though, Dana, has learned about the beauty of God's love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. She is now helping others to do the same and has written a wonderful personalized devotional called "Being Immersed in the Father's Love".

Dana RepettiDana Repetti

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  (Psalms 27:13)

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 8:1)

I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. I was a very depressed child and full of fear. My perspective on life and how I processed life was through a very negative lens and filter. Even though I was saved at the tender age of twelve, there were a whole host of strongholds that I would have to take captive to the obedience of Christ throughout my lifetime.

When I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my mom prayed that the memory of what I had endured as a child would be wiped clean. That all I would remember was from Salvation onward. I must confess I only have glimpses of my childhood.

What I do remember is that my dad was a very angry man. He was very scary to me when he got upset. Growing up in my house there was a saying, “Children were to be seen and not heard!” and I never felt as if my opinion mattered, or that I had a voice. My self-esteem was very low. I really did not know how to think for myself. I was very much a people pleaser. As long as I did everything right, I was a good girl, but if I did something wrong or that appeared wrong, I would pay the consequence. As a little girl, it felt as if it was the end of the world. I always wanted to do everything right. This perception would carry on well into my thirties. It would take a very long time to find my voice and for God to bring me into what His thoughts were towards me and what His word says about me.

My mom was a very depressed mother and wife. I always had the feeling that she hated me. When I would look into her eyes, they appeared very dark and I saw such hatred. It felt as if she wanted to kill me. I’m sure that was not the case, but it was how I felt during those years of my life. I hated going to sleep for fear that in the middle of the night; something or someone would come in my room and hurt me. I would sleep with the covers up to my neck; face the door so I would be able to protect myself, still totally frightened. It felt as if I never slept. This went on from the age of five, until I was twelve.

My mother dabbled in the occult. She would have séances, levitate, have premonitions, consult palm readers, psychics, read tarot cards and play the Ouija board. There was a lot of demonic activity in our home to say the least. She also was an alcoholic and was suicidal. I would come home from school and find her at the bottom of the basement stairs blacked out, not knowing if she was dead or alive. I remember being afraid all the time not knowing what the next day would bring.

My parents would argue and fight, which seemed like all the time to me. It was very intense and very loud. There were so many sayings in my family growing up like; we’re loud, we’re Italian, that’s how we talk, if the truth hurts, each followed by very negative, outspoken comments. No! All of which consisted of arguing and verbal abuse, yet while not understanding that as a child and living through it. I thought that was normal. There was one time my father came home from work and found my mother sitting on the floor in the corner of their bedroom, in the dark with a scotch glass in her hand. She was drunk and they began to argue. This argument must have been so intense because it is etched into my memory. My mom threw the full scotch glass at my father. I ran to my room like so many other times and would pray that God would make it stop, that they would not get divorced. I was always so frightened and living on the edge. I did not realize at the time that I was a depressed little girl as well.

I was raised as a Catholic while growing up and went to a Catholic school. Very often before heading to school, my mom would play a song from Helen Reddy, “I am woman”, and she proceeded to tell my sister and I, never to forget that we were women. There was one day my mom was so angry, I can’t remember why, but she told me she hated me and to go, get out of the house and go off to school. I remember feeling devastated. My fears of her hating me were becoming true. I was so broken that I hated the day I was born. I remember saying to God, “why, why was I born into this family. I wish I had never been born.” Sad I know. Around this time in my life, I was in a store and I saw a keychain with a witch on it. So I purchased it and I gave it to my mother and said, “This is who you are to me” and sang her a song called Witchy Woman. After I told her again saying, “This is who you are to me!” She said,”I know.” and proceeded to hang it on the knob of the kitchen cabinet. So there it stayed.

As I stated earlier, I don’t have a lot of memory of my childhood, but I remember feeling very dirty whenever my dad would hug me. As a little girl, I remember finding Playboy magazine’s under his bed on his side. For some reason, I always was able to relate to someone who was sexually abused. I only have glimpses of certain things and questions as to why I would feel so hated during those years. Before my dad passed away in 2010, I felt impressed by God to speak to my dad and released him from any torment he might be going through, from guilt of the past. I was so nervous, but I knew it was something I had to do. My dad had leukemia and meningitis to the point that it affected his brain. In the past, if I would have brought this up, he would have been on the defense and reacted angrily. Instead, he allowed me to share all my questions and concerns. I told him that God wanted me to come to him so he could be released of anything that may have taken place in the past that if anything did occur, I had forgiven him. It was the most loving and freeing time I had ever had with my dad. He had no such memories. I am sharing this to show the goodness God has to tend to the issues of our hearts. He took care of my father’s heart as well as mine. I watched God be faithful to His word in Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” My dad went to be with the Lord two weeks after my visit. Gods timing and ways are perfect. I have learned to trust and obey Him even when it’s scary.

At the age of ten, I was about to make my first communion. I always loved God. He placed within me a heart that loved Him and always wanted to help people despite what I was living through. The night before I was to make my first communion, I prayed that God would allow me to die in a car accident. I thought if I died on my communion day, then I would go straight to heaven and would not have to go to purgatory. My understanding was that people had to pray you out of purgatory; after all...my mother was a drunk and she hated me, while my dad only went to church on Christmas and Easter. In my mind, I would be stuck in purgatory forever and never make it to heaven. I prayed and prayed and was so disappointed when it did not happen.

Two years later, I am now twelve years old. My mom made the decision that she is going to take her life. She said that she had such a sense of peace in making this decision, and we were all better off without her. That day, God interrupted with His divine appointment. She was in a store that morning and she ran into a cousin of hers that just moved into the area we were living. Being polite, my mom invited her over for a cup of coffee. Her cousin had given her heart to the Lord and was a born-again Christian. She began to share with my mother about how much Jesus loved and cared for her and how He died to take away her sins and redeem her life. The whole time her cousin was talking, she thought she was crazy, while she knew the plan she had in her head to take her life. As her cousin was leaving, she said to my mom, “Marge, Jesus loves you. He truly does. Just give Him a try, ask Him into your heart and to forgive you your sins.”

That evening, my mother could not get out of her mind what her cousin shared with her earlier that day. She cried out to the Lord and said, “Ok Jesus, if you’re real like Alice says you’re real, I ask that you forgive me of all my sins and come live in my heart.” She began to feel a hand go over her mouth trying to suffocate her. During this struggle, she kept hearing her cousin’s voice in her mind saying, “say Jesus is Lord!” She began to scream in her head, “Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord!” At the end of the struggle, she saw in her mind’s eye a vision of Jesus with His arms wide open saying, “Marge, come to me. You’re my child.” The next day, my mom poured out all the alcohol we had in our house (we had a fully stocked bar) and threw away her cigarettes as well. My father thought my mother had a nervous breakdown and he was very angry. After all, that was a lot of money to throw down the drain. My mom’s old man (spirit) died that night and she became a new creation. The power of sin and death over my mother was destroyed that evening, through the blood of Jesus Christ. My mom went to her cousin’s house the next morning, banging on the door saying, “What did you do to me?” Her cousin began having bible studies with her, praying and taking her to church. One night after my mom got home from church, my father put my mother up against the wall and said, “It’s Jesus or me!” my mom said, “It’s Jesus” and he let go of her. So now we are going to check out this church my mother is going to, making sure she is not involved in a cult. My dad would say,”I was born a Catholic, I will die a Catholic.”

In July of 1974, a Friday evening, we visited the church my mother was attending on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. I was amazed by the love, joy and peace these people had. I wanted what these people had. I asked my mother if I could go to the altar and receive Jesus in my heart. At first, she said “no”, nervous of what my father might do. My father would not think twice about hitting someone if he felt like they were bothering him or his family. He grew up fighting people his whole life. I asked again and this time my mom said “yes.” As I went up, a young man asked me if I wanted to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I responded yes!

Well, my dad was furious. He went up to the altar to grab me away from these crazy people and when he went to grab me, I immediately got filled with the Holy Spirit and he fell. My father tried again twice to get me and each time he kept falling down. He would look around, but there was nobody there. God was trying to get his attention, and that He did. My father gave his heart to the Lord that evening as well. God is amazing.

The Lord answered my prayer that evening. When I was ten, I wanted to die and go to heaven, fearful of being in purgatory. Two years later, my old man (spirit) died when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was forgiven, redeemed and had the promise of eternal life. I no longer worried about not making it to heaven.

I continued to live in joy and happiness like I never experienced before. Things were so much more hopeful and peaceful. I would attend church every time the doors were opened. I was involved in Sunday school and went on to eventually teach the two-to-four year olds who attended. I was also, involved in a youth group and helped with VBS. Life was good.

Then at the magical age of fifteen, this young man liked me. I was so flattered. He was four years older than me and on the worship team. He asked me out to the church’s Valentine’s dinner. The only problem was, I wasn’t allowed to date until the age of sixteen and I was only fifteen and a half. So I did what any teenager would do; I pleaded my cause. What magically happens in six months? After all, I will be sixteen! He’s on the worship team! I wore them down and they gave in. This would be the beginning of compromise entering my life. Slowly he became my everything. I lived to please him. In April of 1980, in my senior year of high school and at the age of seventeen, I became pregnant. I was full of fear and wanted to marry him and have the baby. We were both terrified of what my parents might do. He said my parents would kill us. So the spirit of fear drove us to make the horrible decision to have an abortion. I truly wanted to be married and have this baby. While we drove up to the abortion clinic, there were people with signs outside and one especially, stood out to me, “Mommy, don’t kill your baby”. I was sick. I wanted to die. I wanted to run from this place and I really wanted to be married and have the baby, but fear had the loudest say. This so far, was the most horrifying experience of my life. I came out of that room so sick and hatred immediately filled my heart. I would not be the same person for many years. I still wanted to die. I struggled with thoughts of suicide. The only thing that kept me was the fear of going to hell. I went into a severe depression, where guilt and condemnation were always present within me. My father told my boyfriend that he was to stay away from me, that he did not know why his daughter was so depressed. This caused more hatred to fill my heart towards my parents. I told them I hated them for breaking us up. In my mind, the only way to make what we did right was to eventually be married. This is how my seventeen-year-old mind was processing everything at the time. The enemy had me believing so many lies. I felt as if I could never be forgiven. I murdered my baby.

I continued to spiral downward. I told no one of what I did. The only people who knew were my ex-boyfriend and me. I lived with shame, guilt, condemnation, self-hatred and offense towards my ex-boyfriend for a very long time. This secret seemed to be with me every moment of every day. It was my constant companion, a continual reminder of what a failure I was and that I didn’t deserve to be forgiven. The enemy had gained access of my thought life and I believed every lie he spoke. My heart became so calloused and hardened. I began to run from my thoughts by living for whatever gave me pleasure at the time. I wanted to fit in to this new world I was about to experience. The world of sinfulness. I began to drink, party, do drugs, go clubbing and do whatever I wanted to do. I hated myself. I wanted to hide from anything that had to do with the Lord. This continued for about seven years. The only problem was that God never stopped pursuing me. I couldn’t hide. I had a praying mom and I was continually convicted by the choices I was making. Psalms 139:7-8 & 11-12 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8.) If I make my bed in Sheol, behold You are there 11.) If I say, “surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me” 12.) even the darkness will not be dark to You, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”

I had no rest or peace. My parents were always praying for me. The Lord truly leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one. At this time in my life, even this disturbed me. My parents would make me go to church and of course, God was always pursuing me, but I would choose to resist. There was a visiting evangelist this one Sunday and after he spoke, he had an altar call. Of course this altar call was for me, but I would not go forward, so he came to me. He said, “Jesus forgives you, now forgive yourself.” I thought if you only knew the extent of my sin, my secret, you would not be saying this to me. I murdered my baby; this is the most unforgivable sin in my mind. I could not receive what this man was speaking to me at this time in my life. My secret had me bound and truth could not enter in.

I grew tired of dating and the life I was living and I decided to pray to God, not believing He would want to even listen to me, but I prayed. I said, “Lord I am tired of dating. If you can hear me, let the next person I meet be the one I marry. I don’t care how long it takes or what he looks like, it can even be ten years from now, just let him be the one. Please, I’m tired.” The very next week, a client who went to the hair salon I worked at, asked if I wanted to go to a Fourth of July party. He was nice to talk to, but definitely not my type. I thought well, God totally did not hear my prayer but I had nothing else to do, so I went. In my rebellion I thought, my parents never like who I bring home...let me bring someone home they truly would not like. After all, I didn’t even like himHe was nice as a friend, but in no way was he boyfriend material. He was extremely wild. The stories I heard scared me. We began seeing each other more and more and before I knew it, we were dating. Then when I brought him home, my parent’s loved him! I said you have to be kidding me; I don’t even ‘like him - like him’. They said, “There is something in his eyes, he seems genuine.” About a month into our relationship, we slept together and I got pregnant. I told him I was pregnant and that I was having an abortion. I had already made plans and my girlfriend would be taking me. He said, “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” I said, “yes” and I have already made the arrangements!” I did not even care what he thought. I told him, “I already had an abortion from my first boyfriend, and I am not ready to be a mom!” My heart was so cold, calloused, hard and selfish. My secret was out. He was the only one I had ever told about my first abortion. I went on to have that abortion and we never spoke of it again until...well, I will get to that a little later in my story.

Things began to get serious between my boyfriend and me. He wanted to get married. We were living a partying lifestyle, drinking, smoking pot, snorting cocaine. It was crazy to say the least. All of this while knowing what God wanted. Even though I was living like this in my mind, I could not marry anyone who did not receive Jesus as their Savior. Crazy I know, so I took him to church to see what he would do. I knew in my mind if he did not believe the same way I did, I could never marry him. He was the type of person that would never do something he didn’t want to do. So I knew if he were to receive Jesus as his savior, it would be because he truly wanted to. Well, you will never believe this, that traveling evangelist was at my church again and had an altar call for Salvation. I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Would you like to leave”. He said, “No, I want to check this out. I want to go up front.” I went with him and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The evangelist said to him, “Is this your wife?” and he said, “No”. The evangelist nodded his head and said, “someday!”. John drove home that evening and said this was better than any high that he ever had. God had answered my prayer that one night when I said I was tired of dating. John and I have been married for 32 years. We have three children and four grandchildren at this current time.

I would love to say that we immediately served the Lord after John received Christ, but that was not the case. We continued living a compromised lifestyle. Got engaged, got married and four months into the marriage, I was pregnant with our first daughter. We discussed living right before the Lord, now that we would be parents. We had a friend that would come by every Saturday and bring over cocaine. This was my husband’s drug of choice. This one Saturday evening he was over, I went into the bathroom and began to pray. I said, “Lord, we promised to stop this and live for you. Please show up. Let us never do this again. Deliver us.” I started praying in tongues in the bathroom. The gifts of God are truly irrevocable. I went out into the living room where they were waiting for me and I was filled with words of knowledge. Our friend could not open his hand to put the cocaine out on the table. He was flipping out as God was speaking through me. He kept saying, “Man, I can’t open my hand.” John was getting very angry saying, “Put it out!” and his friend kept saying, “I can’t”. Then John told me to “SHUT UP”. Filled with the Spirit, I remember saying, “Satan would love for me to shut up, but I am going to speak what the Spirit tells me to speak”. I continued to speak whatever the Spirit had me speak. At the end of this encounter, John’s friend opened his hand to put the cocaine out and it was all melted. John got delivered that night and we have never touched any drug again after that evening, nor returned to a compromised lifestyle. His friend came to church with us the next day, as he was blown away at the events that took place that evening.

Our journey with God began after that evening. I had asked God to forgive me of my sins, but forgiving me was a lot more difficult. Now would begin a process of many strongholds breaking off my life and my mind being transformed, renewed through the word of God and confession of my sins. I no longer kept what I was struggling with a secret. When we moved to Pennsylvania and got involved in a church, around the age of twenty-eight, we were asked to become youth leaders. My conscious would not let me be free to do ministry with the guilt I carried around of having two abortions. I confessed to my pastor what I had done. He led me in prayer and gave me the scripture in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I read it and thought it was good. It wasn’t until I meditated on what it truly said, that I was set free from the guilt of my sin. It said, “ALL”, unrighteousness, not some. The word ALL jumped off the page. All means all, not some. I began to reason in my mind. If God can forgive and cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness, how can I not forgive myself? Am I greater than God? No, of course not. So I prayed and said to the Lord, “Jesus thank you for forgiving me of ALL unrighteousness. No matter how big the sin, I choose to forgive me! Enable me to love and serve you all the days of my life. I did not deserve this grace and mercy, but I receive it in full measure. I Love you with all my being and I am eternally grateful to you.” It is the truth of God’s Word that sets us free from our own reasoning and the lies of the enemy. God is truth and there is no lie found in Him.

At around the age of thirty-six, John and I went through a program called Cleansing Stream and that was the first time we ever spoke of the abortion we had when we only dated for a month. God brought much healing into our lives at this time.

James 1:2-4  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3.) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4.) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

I have lived through many trials throughout my lifetime. There would be too many to write about in this testimony. From 2008-2015 John and I walked through a very difficult season in our lives. During this time, I chose to rise up in my Spirit man and declare the goodness of God in the land of the living, regardless of the circumstances or outcome. John and I lost our home of twenty-five years due to the economy affecting his business. I was in a car accident in 2012, with no health insurance and during that time, lost four family members to cancer and illness. Out of this, God would have me write a personalized devotional, “Being Immersed in the Father’s Love” in obedience to the Lord’s directive. This is His heartbeat to all His Children. It is a personalized devotional that Immerses you into His kind intentions towards you through His word, no matter what the circumstances. Whether you know the Lord for one day, one hundred years, or not at all, this devotional will touch your life in an intimate way. He is a good, good Father! He orders our steps. The good steps and the hard steps. Receive His love, His truth, and His promises. May every lie be broken and cast down in Jesus name! Amen!   

 


Join Dana's Devotional:    Being Immersed in the Father's Love Devotional        

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Dana's Testimony on Victorious Life TV with Lisa Buldo

Being Immersed in the Father's Love (Purchase on Amazon---Great Reviews!)   


Description of Dana's Ministry in Her Own Words:

"Come and be immersed in the overwhelming love of God the Father. Encounter His desire and the kind intentions that He has for you through the personalizing of scripture presented in this devotional. Picture a waterfall of God's promises washing over you and fully immersing you through the faithfulness of what He has promised to you in His word. Where negative mind-sets and perspectives will be washed away and replaced with great worth and value. Experience how you will be enabled to have victory in your life even while encountering difficult trials and circumstances. Your trust and faith will increase as you engage with Him. He is desiring you and is willing to give you all that He has promised. Come and encounter the goodness of God the Father and allow Him to lavish His love upon you. All you need to do is be willing to receive what He is providing. He is trustworthy and will not disappoint! Come and be immersed!"      

~Dana Repetti






 




 


15Apr

A story of hope and inspiration---Marcus Stanley, was touring with a major recording artist when they decided to stay at a hotel on the west side of Baltimore, Maryland for the evening. Marcus, left the hotel to get some food and a drink at the nearest gas station however---it was on this walk into the night that Marcus's life changed forever. Marcus's amazing videos of his testimony on YouTube and CBN's The 700 Club can be found after his written story--- as well as links where you can purchase his worship music.

Marcus Stanley (Minister, Pianist, and Speaker)

Marcus Stanley's Site

Your life is a gift. Everyone that is still alive has a testimony. The purpose of this message is simply to share hope. Hope that no matter what you are facing in life--you will survive.

I was in Baltimore, MD touring with a major recording artist when all of this happened. We were supposed to stay at the Hyatt Hotel downtown by the harbor, but all the rooms were taken because of a sporting event that was happening the same night. So, we had to stay in west Baltimore in a rough area of town. It really didn't make a difference to me because, I've been in hotels all across the country good and bad. When I check into a hotel, I kind of have a pattern of doing things no matter where I am. I drop off my luggage---I joke around with the band for a little bit and---I go to the nearest gas station to get some junk food (Gatorade, Waffle House, IHOP)---Whatever is open and then, I come back and relax. This day was no different. 

I walked outside and headed towards the gas station which was about three blocks away. As I walked through the second block, I could see six guys standing on the corner talking to each other looking in my direction. I really didn't even pay them any mind, I just kept walking towards the store. Just then, I realized that I left my wallet in my room and turned around to head back to the hotel to get it. My best friend Lydell, who was a drummer in my band at the time, told me to stop going places by myself. I told him that I was good---like I normally do and went back to the store. I went past the same group of guys and they were watching me again. I continued to the store and got my usual Gatorade, candy, junk food, and headed back to the hotel. I came past the same block, and the same guys, immediately came towards me. Strangely, the whole street was clear and no one was on it like I saw just a few minutes before. By the time, I figured out that they were a gang, the leader came towards me and said, "What you doing out here homie"? I just turned to him and said, "I'm chillin' bro" and kept on walking. They circled around me and asked, "What's up with that phone"? At this point, I knew it had nothing to do with the phone or nothing that I said or did, had anything to do with what he was asking me. I figured they were going to rob me, so I didn't even respond---I just told them it was off and put it back into my pocket. Really, it was off though---Sprint had cut me off for being over my account spending limit. 

He walked closer to me and...right to my face said, "Well, you got to roll out homie". At that point, he pulled out a .45 caliber gun from his jacket, and pointed it directly at me point-blank range. I didn't even have time to react. I heard the first shot---ONE---and saw a bright light from the gun that blinded me, and I fell immediately to the ground. Then, he stood over top of me and said, "Peace out homie"! He fired seven more shots into my body---TWO---THREE---FOUR---FIVE---SIX---SEVEN. Instantly, I saw an angel appeared in front of me. The angel looked transparent, and it was kneeling down with his arms crossed in front of me as if, every bullet was going through the angel. I knew it couldn't have been a figment of my imagination because, I had no time to even think about this. I had no time to think about anything other than the pain that I was feeling from every single bullet that was going in my body. When he finished shooting me, his other boys picked up the shell casings that had fallen to the ground around me and they laughed and joked with each other about how they just "smoked" me. Right then, I heard God speak to me..."Do not move"! It was really strange because, I wanted to yell---I wanted to scream---I wanted to breathe---I wanted to know if I was alive, but I couldn't do it. They were still looking at me, so I just laid there & didn't breathe. My eyes were still opened, but they were fixed---even though, I felt pain all across my body. For the first time in my life, I felt no pain from even not breathing which, was the strangest feeling I've ever felt. That's how I knew, God was right there with me. As I continued to hold my breathe waiting for them to leave, I felt the blood all around me. When they finally ran to the car, they drove off at full speed---it was then, that I was able to take my first breath. I remember softly yelling--"OH, GOD...GOD". I looked around me and saw the pool of blood and holes in my shirt. I tried to stand up, but couldn't. I couldn't feel my legs, so I dragged myself off of the street and onto the sidewalk---literally crawling. I tried to flag down cars to stop and help me, but nobody would stop. People slowed down and kept going. It was literally only me and GOD!

I had a moment where I had my life flash before my eyes. I thought about everyone that loved me---I thought about my own funeral---I thought about the things that I should've said to my family and the friends that I didn't tell---Just then, I remembered that I had my cell phone still with me. My hand was completely covered in blood, but I still managed to dial 911. When the operator came online, I told her that I had been shot and she asked me where I was. Thankfully, I was lying right next to a street sign, so I could give her an idea of where I was. She tried to keep me talking, but I really couldn't because I was losing my breath every minute that went past. Eventually, about five officers showed up. One walked toward me and asked me my name and how old I was. After that, they drew lines around me and put up police and crime scene tape setting up a perimeter. This is where my faith really had to step in though. Even though, all around me it looked like death--I had to SPEAK LIFE. I began praying for there was nothing I could do, but that. The ambulance got there about seven minutes later, and loaded me in. Immediately, they began cutting off my clothes and hooking me up to all kinds of machines. This was actually the first time that I saw the gun shot wounds. At that moment, tears started to flow from my eyes---my body just looked dead---like I shouldn't be alive, but I was. I heard the EMT say to her partner, "I don't think he's going to make it". It hurt me to hear those words, but I tried to hold onto life. By the time I got to the hospital, they rushed me down the hall into surgery. When I arrived in the room, it was the strangest scene that I've ever seen. The room was lined with nurses, doctors, police officers, and other hospital employees looking at me in disbelief---almost as if, all that they heard on the radio about my condition---they were stunned that I was still alive. The lead doctor whispered in my ear..."I'm about to give you some anesthesia to put you asleep for the surgery. Can you sign this paper for me"? Oddly enough, I was able to sign it---and did pretty good---I did so good, that the doctor joked and said, "For someone who's got shot all these times you sure do have a good signature". Right at that moment, I looked in front of me and saw people standing at the door, people surrounding all around me, and then I saw the same angel that I saw on the street---He was standing in front of me with his arms folded looking at me nodding his head as if to say---"Everything is going to be alright". Right then, I felt a peace upon me---I relaxed my breathing and fell asleep. When I opened my eyes, I saw tubes all around me, I heard beeping, and sound from all the machines. I saw bandages across my chest. I thought to myself---I'M ALIVE! The first thing that I thought was---HOW IN THE WORLD WAS I ALIVE? There was a nurse standing to my left and she looked at me right in the eye & said, "YOU MADE IT---YOU MADE IT MARCUS"! 

A doctor came in the room, and told me that I was lucky to be alive. I knew "luck" had nothing to do with it. He proceeded to tell me that he performed an eight hour surgery on me and removed half of my stomach, my whole spleen, half of my small intestine, reattached my colon, removed half of my pancreas---I just looked at him in disbelief, but I believed him. I found out later that my doctor FOUND GOD THROUGH MY SURGERY---HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE DID THE SURGERY BY HIMSELF. 

TODAY, I CAN WALK---I HAD TO LEARN THAT OVER AGAIN.

TODAY, I CAN PLAY THE PIANO---EVEN THOUGH, I LOST THE FEELING IN MY RIGHT HAND.

TODAY, I CAN WALK IN PEACE BECAUSE GOD GAVE ME PEACE DURING THE MOST CHAOTIC TIME IN MY LIFE. 

TODAY, I KNOW THAT GOD IS A HEALER! 

Psalms 30:2 "O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me".                                                                

And, Mark 9:25 says, "Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  

 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,"  (Revelation 12:11)

Do you believe? I know that I do! I encourage everyone that reads my testimony to DO GOD NOW--NOT LATER! A common misconception is that you need to clean yourself up before you come to God, but the truth is, you just have to come to God and He will change you.

God bless you all. God keep you and remember that GOD IS SOVEREIGN. GOD IS BIGGER THAN EVERY PROBLEM AND EVERY SITUATION!  

This is Marcus's testimony that he did on YouTube. Please share his testimonial videos on any social media site that you can--to bless others with this incredible "God-story"! 

Marcus's Testimony was shared on CBN's The 700 Club. 

This is one of many of Marcus's songs. He is a very gifted pianist!