17May

Lisa struggled with asthma and allergies, acne, digestive problems, depression, abandonment, fear, and anxiety. Despite her attempts to seek help from astrologers and psychics, her life only changed when she completely surrendered to Jesus. 

Lisa Buldo

Mentoring, Coaching, Consulting, Author, and Host of The Victorious Life Broadcast


"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57) 

I was a very sickly child with asthma and allergies, which I developed at the age of 4. I struggled with asthma and allergies throughout my teen years as well. Then, at the age of 19, I developed acne, which I had for 15 years, and then in my early 30s, I struggled with digestive problems. The Lord burned a passion in me for nutrition, health, and wellness. Through all of this, I have learned how to get healthy and overcome my health challenges. Later on, I went on to become a Certified Health Coach. I have been working with clients and speaking all over the nation for 17 years, and I have been a researcher of health and nutrition for 23 years. 

Additionally, I went through a traumatic divorce in 1999, and it humbled me to the point of death. The reason for the divorce was due, in part, to my beginning. I grew up without a father, and I had abandonment issues along with fear, anger, and depression. It carried right into adulthood. I did not know how to have a proper relationship. I was very needy, controlling, and angry, and it ruined my marriage. After the divorce, I was so angry and depressed that I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think straight. I just existed. I sought out astrologers and psychics for help, and it made my situation worse. I had panic attacks and constant anxiety. 

One day, while I was at work, I had such a bad anxiety attack that I thought my heart would jump out of my chest. I went into the bathroom and locked the door, got on my knees, leaned over the toilet seat, and said, "God, I surrender. Please, if you help me, I’ll do anything. I don’t want to die!” A couple of minutes later, I composed myself and went back to my desk. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, a co-worker said to me, “Why don’t you just call your church and see if they can help you?” Embarrassed as I was, I did call my church to ask for help. They put me in touch with a woman who would forever change my life. Her name is Florence. I counseled with Florence once a week for 6 months, and I grew strong in the Lord. I read about 25 books during that time by Kenneth E. Hagin, and that began my “faith walk.” I’ve never looked back. I’ve been walking and growing in the Lord ever since, and I have overcome my struggle with fear, anger, and depression. I now coach clients all over the world and travel, speaking on the subject of healthy and victorious living. I specialize in healthy weight loss, type 2 diabetes, acne, and digestive issues, as well as the emotional issues of fear, anger, and depression, through the Biblical principles in God's Word. The scripture verse that helped me the most during the worst of my struggles is: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) I am called to spread the Good News, be a light in a dark place, and help the multitudes live in victory! 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) 

Lisa shared her testimony on a VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies broadcast. Please consider liking, sharing, and subscribing. Thank you! 


         Mentoring/Coaching/Consulting in Faith, Healing, and Kingdom Authority

The Victorious Life (Streaming Live Every Thursday at 8pm EST

IT CAN BE DONE! You Can Live In Victory 24/7

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

31Jan

Marty Breeden had a near-death experience that brought him into the Lord's presence. While in heaven, he received an urgent message for the Church. Join Marty, as he shares his amazing testimony called CODE BLUE.

Marty Breeden

"...while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed."   (Titus 2:13) 

At one time, as a young man of 17, I had given my heart to the Lord with great passion. As in many cases thoughI got busy with life. In 2015, at 51 years of age, those years of experiencing the zeal of the Lord seemed far away. I had no idea how the Lord was about to sternly, yet lovingly, bring me back to Himself.

On July 17, 2015, as a result of my going into acute respiratory failure, I went “Code Blue”. I would go “Code Blue” yet again within 48 hours. When I “coded” the first time, I immediately left my body, and I found myself standing in what I sensed was the presence of the Lord. Thinking back now, there were a million things He could have said to me, and what He did say, I was certainly not expecting. With an imminence and urgency beyond description, He said, “MY CHURCH DOES NOT REALLY BELIEVE THAT I’M COMING BACK SOON!” He repeated this two more times, as I stood there in stunned silence. Each time, it was with more volume and more passion. I finally said, waving my hands like a school child to get His attention, “Lord, yes we do believe you’re coming back soon. We sing about it, pray about it, study about it; yes, Lord, we do believe that you’re coming back soon!” He then said, “MY Church does not really believe I’m coming back soon, for if they did, they would not be living as they are!” Then, I listened as the timbre of His voice changed. He said, “I AM coming back soon, and my Church is not readyNow, go back and tell the things that you have heard, and know that your message will not be received!”

I was in the CCU for three weeks, the majority of that on a respirator with a tracheotomy. I survived and would go to the University of Virginia Transitional Care Facility to learn how to walk, talk, and swallow again. It was there, that I had a second encounter with the Lord on August 14, 2015. In a night vision, He spoke to me these words: “My church should be living as though this is the TWO-MINUTE WARNING!” Being a huge football fan, I knew exactly what He was saying: That we should be working with absolute purpose and passion because, in that Two-Minute Warning, those last 120 seconds can determine victory or defeat. It’s an all-out rush to do all you can to win the game, to put up a strong offense, and—if you’re winning—to keep the opposition from gaining ground or scoring points. As the Apostle Paul said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Those encounters changed my life, and as I lovingly warn the Church, I see this message changing the hearts of others as well. I now go to the highways and byways and compel men to come in. I often pray that in the remaining time I have I will live a life that will make sense in the light of eternity. With all that is within me, I know He is coming, and I believe His blessed return to be nearer than most would believe. Get your houses in order; ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and leading as to what you are supposed to be doing at this late; late hour. Surely, our “redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28 KJV).

Photo of Marty in the Hospital

Marty's Telegram Channel


Almost Heaven with Marty & Georgia Lee 

(Worship Music, Devotionals, Short Messages, and Prayer) 

Contact Marty and Georgia Lee: almostheavenmgb@gmail.com


                                                         















15Jan

Brian and Shawn Chrisagis are identical twins that were born three months premature. They were in incubators for the first two years of their lives after tests revealed they had life-threatening allergies. For the next five years, they did not leave their home. When they were seven, their mother learned about the power of prayer in which she was not only healed from a debilitating heart condition, but they were instantly healed and set free.



Brian and Shawn Chrisagis

Founders of the Chrisagis Brothers Ministries & Productions

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Brian and Shawn Chrisagis were born with life-threatening allergies to the sun, grass, most foods, and clothing. The doctors said they wouldn't live past the age of two, but now—they are walking, talking miracles. The twins needed to be in an incubator for the first two years of their lives. When their parents brought them home from the hospital, the windows of their house were covered with bricks to protect them from the sun. The Chrisagis Brothers' early years were marked by a series of "tests and errors" from doctors in the United States, Italy, France, and Germany. It was discovered that the only foods they could eat were soybeans, milk, sardines, rice cakes, and peanut butter. Their mother (Marguerite Chrisagis) and grandmother (Carmie 'Nana' DeFilippo) made all their clothing out of the few fabrics their skin didn't react to. If they had to go outside, they would have to cover up with hats and blankets–if the sun touched their skin, they could die and have to be rushed to the hospital.

 
When Brian and Shawn were seven years old, their mother, Marguerite, suffered from a severe heart condition and became confined to a wheelchair and needed oxygen. One day, Marguerite went to a healing service at a Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting. After the sermon, she went forward to ask the preacher, Father Michael Scanlan, to pray for her sons' healing, but he insisted on praying for her. Father Scanlan told her that as a parent, she had the authority in her home to stand in the gap and pray for her sons' healing and deliverance. That is when Marguerite learned how to break the bloodline of sickness, death, and disease over her home and loved ones.


After Father Scanlan prayed for Marguerite, she got out of her wheelchair, took off her oxygen, ran around, and wasn't winded. When she got home, she had the whole family pray over her sick children. Marguerite' felt an evil spirit push her onto the floor,' and the twins were instantly healed from all sickness! Marguerite asked the boys to name anything they would like to eat in the act of faith. "Hot fudge sundae!" was the unanimous response, and the family went out to a nearby restaurant for the boys' first ice cream.


The entire week, the family went to the doctors, who "redid the tests and x-rays about five times" before they finally confirmed the twins were entirely well and their mother had "a new heart." Their doctor became a born-again believer that day, marking the beginning of the twins' powerful ministry. Today, Brian and Shawn are ordained ministers who have devoted their lives to sharing their powerful testimony and God's love through their music and creativity.

 
The Chrisagis Brothers have become staples for their wholesome family entertainment and fun through the years. To check out Brian and Shawn's biography and career highlights, please visit their ministry site, The Chrisagis Brothers Ministries & Productions

Chrisagis Brothers Music CD's

Chrisagis Brothers Support Club

ArtBy Chrisagis

If you are interested in purchasing artwork from Brian & Shawn please message them on their ArtBy Chrisagis Facebook page. Artwork is $50 plus shipping @ $8---each picture is 8 and a half by 11--larger sizes are 11 by 17 for $70 plus shipping. Proceeds help support this wonderful ministry!   

Little House on the Prairie by Shawn

Russ Taff and David Phelps by Brian & Carmen and Michael W. Smith by Shawn

Kathy Troccoli by Brian

A beautiful book about the Chrisagis Brothers Mother, Marguerite "Margie" Chrisagis, and their family called A Legacy of Love--by Debbie Fuller (Author), The Chrisagis Brothers (Contributor) -- Click on the book cover to order on Amazon 

Special tribute song for Brian & Shawn's Mother Marguerite "Margie" Chrisagis called If Heaven Had a Phone

Jesus Everywhere I Go Music Video--Classic MTV video that made the Chrisagis Brothers known

In Loving Memory

Shawn Chrisagis, of the beloved singing duo The Chrisagis Brothers, passed suddenly in June 2023. Shawn was a minister of the gospel, singer, and performer who loved the Lord and people with all his heart. He was anointed, loving, creatively brilliant, and authentic. Shawn will be greatly missed by all those who loved and cared for him and by all the lives he touched while sharing the love of Jesus. Well done, good and faithful servant! —Matthew 25:23


14Oct

Forty-nine years ago, Patrick found Jesus Christ inside his Halloween bag. It's important to share about Jesus throughout each day. This includes being available to those who may be visiting your house on Halloween. Let us always be the light in the darkness!

 

Patrick Fitzpatrick

Plumstead Christian School Head of School in Buck's County, PA

Children's Book Author

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

Those who come to our door tonight will find an extra treat nestled in among the candies of each bag of treats—a Happy Halloween tract. Sure, most of these tracts will be tossed into the trash, but maybe when you discover what happened to me forty-nine years ago on this night you will understand why my family tries to shine brightly on one of the darkest nights of the year. On Halloween night, 1974, I donned a homemade costume (I think I was a clown) and canvassed my neighborhood in Escondido, CA, in search of candy. I was ten and in fourth grade. I filled my pillowcase to overflowing with lots of treats, and I remember one elderly lady throwing a little booklet into my bag in addition to the candy she gave me. I really didn’t think more about the booklet, but when my mother went through my candy to make sure it was all safe, she discovered the booklet. It was a religious booklet, and she took the time to read it that evening. It piqued her curiosity about God and inspired her to join a Bible study, and my mother discovered through this Bible study that God loved her despite her sin and that He made a way for her to be reconciled to Him through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus. She gave her heart and life to God that day, and my father, my siblings, and I noticed immediately my mom’s transformation. One day, soon after her conversion, she sat down with me and explained not only her journey but also how I too could be saved. I wanted this. I believed. My journey of faith has now spanned forty-nine years, and my relationship with God is stronger and more alive today. I now draw my nourishment from the living water, and I am blessed to be called God’s adopted son. God used this one woman’s simple act of obedience to transform four generations of Fitzpatricks! Praise God. So, yes, when the neighborhood children are out collecting their treats, we are committed to presenting them with the best treat of all – the good news of Jesus Christ. Please join in praying for those who are being presented with the gospel on Halloween night.

A Resource to Purchase to Share the Love of Christ on Halloween 

Patrick is the author of two children's books. Please click on the book photos to be directed to where you can purchase them.


19Jan

Ken Mansfield shares his story about his former career in the recording industry, how it was living in the "fast lane" of fame and fortune, losing everything, and coming to know Jesus.

Ken Mansfield

Author, Speaker, and Minister

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8)


1. Brief overview of career highlights.


My former career was in the recording industry. I started as an entertainer during the folk era. Typically, like many of us, I was in a fraternity in college, and we had a folk group. The whole Kingston Trio, The Limeliters--Peter, Paul, and Mary era was happening at that time, and we played for beer and pizza. Pretty soon, we played in some local clubs, and then clubs in the Los Angeles area started bringing us in. Eventually, we were discovered by some Beverly Hills managers. They signed us to Fred Astaire's record company. During this time, I knew that I didn't have the individual talent to go all the way, even though I was the leader of the group, but I was smart enough to use my Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and knew I would need to use that in the long run. During this time, I met a fellow from Capitol Records who used to come to the clubs to look for bands for Capitol, and he asked me if I ever thought of working in a record company. I was thrilled with the idea, so he sponsored me at Capitol Records, and I ended up getting a job there. And that was the springboard for me of how I started working with the Beatles and became friends with them. We just hit it off! I was in my 20's, they were in their 20's, and I was a young hotshot. I was in California with a suntan, Cadillac Convertible, and house up in the hills with a pool, and that was everything they had read about growing up with this "magic view" of Hollywood. In a way, they were as intrigued with me as I was with them. So it was a very natural thing for us, and we all thought we were a bunch of hotshots anyway. That was how those relationships started, which led me to expand my career in the entertainment business.


2. How was it living in the "fast lane" of fame and fortune? 

 
At the time, I thought it was great! We were young and invincible. This was the whole era of free spirits in which you could do what you wanted to do if it felt good--you had the money and all the fame and the perks that went with it. It was an exciting time in the industry and America as a whole because the Beatles in particular were the band that more or less, delivered people from the horrible things that were going on at that time with the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Kennedy and King. Something about the Beatles was so innocent and fresh that we could do anything we wanted, and because we were young, we didn't realize that there might be a downside to all of this. It was uncomplicated because we just thought about ourselves and had a good time. We made a lot of money and did a lot of fun things. 


3. During this time, did you seek different ways to obtain peace?

 
Those were the primary options that we went to. The main thing was the indulgence and decadence of it all. This was when the drugs came on the scene in the '60s and '70s. We all believed the big lie that marijuana wasn't habit-forming and cocaine didn't hurt you, and by taking the psychedelics, you got closer to God. It was one big lie, and we thought there was no downside to it. It was the free love era. It was the feel-good era, and as far as the world was concerned, there was nothing wrong with that, so it wasn't even like you were terrible. You were doing what was happening at the time--You were being very hip and having a good time, and of course, when you're young like that, you didn't think that anything could ever go wrong. Later on, we started to see that some of our buddies were getting hung up on this stuff, and their lives were falling apart. They were dying and getting messed up, and then there came a dark side in time. The devil is such a deceiver, but he's smart. One of his main tools is being gradual. He's patient. He doesn't need to take you down in two minutes--he'll take 20 years to take you down if that's the way to do it, and so--everything is happening so slowly that you don't quite realize what's happening until all of a sudden one day, it's too late. When I first got into the business and started to be successful, I began to see how crazy some successful people were and thought--"I'm never going to do that," and then ten years later, I realized I'm like they are or were. I didn't see it happening.


4. Who led you to Christ? 

 
First of all, the one thing is that the devil never knows when to stop, and he destroyed my life so much that I reached such a bottom that I had to find something else, and I started searching. What God did was He put a young lady into my life, who brought me the truth, and she eventually brought me to the Lord, and we got married. God sent her to me at my very bottom when I needed something so desperately, and I no longer had any answers. When I met her, I had a guru. I was a stoner. I was broke. I had a bad reputation, and I was still trying to overcome this in the world's ways. I thought it was all up to me to do it--never realizing that there was someone who could save me and cast all my burdens on, so I could be redeemed and start fresh and anew. Without my wife coming into my life, I probably would be under the ground with a bunch of my buddies.


5. How has your life changed since then?


It has changed entirely. It's almost like you wanted to remodel your house, but then you found out that the house was in such bad shape that you had to tear it down to the ground and start all over again with a new house. It will be better than the old one because it's brand new and fresh. I was so broken and broke that God just really let me start all over afresh. And I believed His promises right away--He gave me some great gifts in the beginning, and I still had my talents. I had just been misusing them all those years, so when He redeemed me and made me brand new, He then had a vessel that He could use for His purpose. The idea of me becoming an ordained minister and having this unique, powerful outreach ministry is something I could've never dreamed of. Talk about being undeserving and unworthy. It is just like getting Peter, a fisherman, to become a disciple. He pulled me out of the common ground and set me in some pretty nice places. 


6. What do you do for the Lord today?


We're in full-time ministry. We travel around to churches doing outreach events and what makes it so interesting is that God has taken all those years in the industry with the Beatles and has used that for His purpose. To this day, the Beatles are still such a phenomenon that people that normally wouldn't visit a church will come because they are fascinated with the guy that used to be with the Beatles and was on the roof with them the last time they played together and was in their homes, in their cars, in their offices, and hanging with them. They are fascinated with that, so they'll come to my outreach events, really in some cases, to hear or meet the guy that was with the Beatles. We do a question and answer period at the end, so they may have some questions they want to ask, and they'll hang through my whole testimony and presentation for the sake of asking about Yoko Ono or something. We are averaging about 40% of visitors to these outreach events at the churches. So this is pretty amazing--if you have a church that seats 1,000 people when 400 of those are visitors from the community, this is a great harvest possibility for the pastors and their local ministries to take off. People, that come in say, "Maybe these people are not so bad after all?" "This touched me." We do the question-answer period to meet the pastor on an informal basis and feel comfortable with him. Many of them come back and end up as members of the church. The event is unique, designed for the visitors to make them feel comfortable, and the Word is not watered-down. It's just surrounded with a bunch of other exciting things, so it's meant to be entertaining and enjoyable to the congregation, but also to reach out to the people who are coming in. What we typically do is we will have the worship team start the event with a few Beatles songs with changed lyrics because, you take a lot of these Beatles songs and change two words. You have a gospel song: Help, Got To Get You Into My Life, The Word, All You Need Is Love. These songs are so easy that the worship team will open up with these songs, and it just relaxes the visitors right away because they know the songs, but now they are hearing them with Christian lyrics. Then we showed a film about the Beatles and myself that was filmed in Europe. It's exclusive to where I appear, so it's been shown all over Europe, but you can only see it in America, where I speak. Then after the film, I give my pretty interesting testimony, and then at the end of my testimony, the host pastor comes up, and we do a question and answer period. When he feels we have gone long enough, he'll excuse me for getting ready to sign books, and he's able to close off the event and take it into his hands. This allows him to determine when the event has accomplished the purpose he is looking to do by bringing me in. It's a very well-crafted event, and when they give altar calls, we have an incredible response. And that's what I tell people during my testimony--that I think that was the whole idea from the start. I thought it was because I was a young hotshot, and that's why I was with the Beatles, but I think He has had this thing planned out a long time ago. 

The Books of Ken Mansfield

The Beatles, the Bible, & Beyond--Podcast on AccessMore

Find Ken on Facebook



31Jul

“Through the life of Muhammad, I found DEATH. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I found LIFE!”

Sonia Azam

               
   

"When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me." (Psalm 27:10)


“Through the life of Muhammad, I found DEATH. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I found LIFE!”

I was Muslim–born in Islam and in a Pakistani family in Britain. The Lord Jesus began a good work in me and I know He's going to complete it until the day He returns! When I was a young Muslim–I used to read the Quran quite a lot. My dad taught me to read the Quran in Quranic Arabic when I was young which is very common with Muslim families. Parents are very important in teaching children everything they know about the religion to grow in the faith. From the very young age of five, it was my dad who taught me how to read certain verses in the Quran. We had to memorize the verses in the Quran in Arabic, not in English. Muslims pray and memorize scriptures in the Arabic and by the time I was in my late teens and early 20’s–I was reading the Quran, but it would puzzle me because I wasn't able to comprehend exactly what I was reading and I found out that this is often the case with many Muslims. We can memorize all the verses from memory–we have volumes of Arabic prayers and scriptures that we have memorized, but we don’t know what we are talking about because we didn't understand the language that it was being taught. It’s like learning the Bible in all Hebrew, but we didn’t understand the meaning because it's not our dialect. My parents speak or adore Punjabi, but mostly at home we learned and spoke English. There was just something about the Quran that I didn't understand because it was in Arabic. Eventually, I got to read the Quran in English because my dad gave me an English translation and it was in this, that the Lord Jesus began to work behind the scenes. God knows when one’s soul is longing to seek the truth. He's so faithful! The more time I spent reading the Quran in English, the more I would come across verses about Jesus. I began to compare and contrast verses in the Koran about Muhammad and Jesus and would question why He died on the cross. I didn't understand–it didn't make any sense. I couldn’t find any answers in the Quran regarding this person Jesus. He seemed so different–so special–really special–even in the Quran there's a testimony of Jesus! The true living God began to reveal Himself to me by sowing seeds in my heart.

I also thank God and grateful for street preachers on the train and London public transports for it was through these faithful preachers of the gospel, that would hand out tracts so I can learn more about Jesus. Honestly, if it weren't for them I don't know how long it would have taken the Lord to get me to believe in Him. This all began to happen at the same time when I was seeking the Lord and trying to understand Allah, Mohammed, and Isa. I was searching for the truth. 

A little more about my family background–I was the eldest of four kids–a tomboy, and considered the rebel –the scapegoat–the black sheep. It was in my 20’s that I started seeking God in my heart. I wasn't a religious Muslim girl–I was spiritual you could say and trying to find out who Jesus was. Why was He so different than Mohammed? I would keep the amazing little gospel tracks that I received on the street and the trains, and I would keep them secret and safe from my family because in those tracks there were scriptures about why Jesus came and died on the cross. Then, I would think–the Quran says He didn't die on the cross, but Christians say He did, so to me, it was a contradiction.

Later on, I found out that historically it’s a proven fact that Jesus did die on the cross for our sins, but at this early stage of sorting things out, I had a lot of questions. I have a very inquisitive mind and I was very curious. At the time, of putting the truth together, I felt that I had no theological understanding because I wasn't very good with religion in that I didn't understand anything about Christianity or Islam. Everything I learned was from the Quran. Some of the things that the Koran shares about Jesus stood out to me because it says that Jesus is a Spirit of God and He's the Word of God. The Quran also says that the Word was in Jesus and He did lots of miracles. I learned that Jesus had a lot of power. Again, I concluded that there was something really special about Him and I desired to know more. It was because of the gospel tracks that I received that I learned even more truth. Keep in mind, that I still didn’t have a Bible and back then, the internet wasn’t a big thing to look information up as it was 2001. So, I would read the scripture verses in the tracks and compare them to the Quran. I also tried to talk to my god at the time Allah, but he was so distant and all I saw was blackness. I even began to question why Muslims say they worship one God but pray faithfully bowing down before a rock like a star in the Kaaba. This was something that never sat right with me even as a Muslim–I was very hesitant to learn about the prayer because there is just something about the Kaaba–the black shrine in Mecca because remember, that's their prayer point–the focal point for all Islamic prayers facing the Kaaba (black stone) in Mecca. I would see the picture of the Kaaba all the time on the prayer mat in my dad's room where he would pray and it would freak me out a little bit. I used to have a lot of problems with fear and I knew the spirit of fear was following me for many years. As a little girl, I never liked being in the dark and for some reason when verses of Jesus would pop up, it would do something in my heart and I wanted to know so much more about Him, but I wouldn’t dare get a Bible–it didn’t even cross my mind. Eventually, what happened was I got to the stage where I began to believe the reason why Jesus died on the cross and that He was the Lamb of God–He was sacrificed and He offered Himself up to die for all humanity's sins in the world. As a Muslim, I understood what sacrifice meant because of the animal sacrifices that are done when celebrating two different types of Eid’s. One of them is where they would commemorate Abraham offering Ishmael, not Isaac. Remember Muslims believe that they are the chosen people not from the Isaac bloodline they believe it is from Ishmael. So when I came across the scriptures about Jesus dying for the sins of the world and He was the Lamb of God–it began to make so much sense to me and the Lord was giving me understanding. Again this is without having a Bible and through having a few gospel tracts that I would keep safe by hiding them in my briefcase. In the next few months, I came to believe the Good News that Jesus Christ was God who came in the flesh–the Word of God because I had that testimony from Islam that He’s a Spirit of God.

Then one day around 3 am or 4 am, I waited for everyone to be sound asleep and I got out of my bed to kneel and talk with the Heavenly Father. It was there, that I surrendered to Jesus as I remember saying to Him…“Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of your Son Jesus who became a sacrifice for my sins…I'm so sorry, please forgive me…help me and my family to see you and help us to know who you are.” It was at that point, that I crossed the line from being a Muslim girl to believing in Jesus—a breaking point. It seems cliché, but I’m telling you that I received the peace of God from that day onward. His Holy Spirit came and He started to live in my heart—I know it because it was right after this I desired to get a Bible and read what Jesus wrote.

In deciding to follow Jesus, I had no idea how bad my Muslim family would take it, so I kept it a secret for five or six months. My baptism happened months later. I end up doing some temporary work in my employment for extra cash. Bear in mind that I'm still living with my mom and dad and siblings while keeping Jesus a secret until the day came when I got this job, and I'm supposed to be helping the local community Town Hall. It was the general elections in the United Kingdom, and I was helping them with the ballots. It's the town in London called East Town. It’s still there and on my lunch break, I would confess to others that Jesus is Lord. I had no trouble with it and I knew He was God and eventually He would work it out–He would tell my family about Himself and would save my mom and dad. I had it all worked out in my brain. Well, during my lunch period one day there was a Pentecostal gathering of Colombian Christians in the town hall in the venue where I was working. I went into the main hall because I was curious and I peeped in as they were singing songs in Spanish or in the Colombian language—I wasn't sure, but I just had a good feeling about it so I walked in and they were so excited they thought I was Colombian, so they said to come on in. I thought they were celebrating a marriage or something, and then one of the girls by the name of Angelica came over and asked me if I was a Christian. I stumbled for my words—looked over my shoulders and whispered “yes I am”. She then asked if I would like to come in and if I had a Bible with me. I told her that I don't have a Bible, and I'm actually on my lunch break—I was making all these excuses because I got nervous as I was still keeping it a secret. She said to me to come over as she went and grabbed a Bible and gave it to me. I wish I could rewind and see this moment in history. I just grabbed the Bible and thanked her so much. After, I just wanted to run off and sneak it in my handbag, but I stayed in the service. Then the pastor or preacher began what we call an altar call for people to come up front and give their lives to Jesus. I saw one person than another walking up to the front to surrender their life to Jesus. I thought to myself that I wanted to do this because I knew I should make a public confession. Later on, when I got into reading the Gospels I learned Jesus said that if we deny Him before men He’ll deny us before His Father, but if we confess Him before men He’ll confess us before the Father. (Matthew 10:32-33) So I waited a few minutes for people to do their thing and I knew that I wanted to surrender my life to Christ. I was nervous doing it because again, I’m in a Muslim family and still considered Muslim and I knew if anyone was to see me there would be hell to pay, but I did it anyway because I felt that I was in a safe environment and I knew that God had to set this thing up for me.  After all, He even had a stranger give me a Bible. There is no such thing as a secret believer in Christianity—we must boldly confess Jesus Christ—we must deny all false religions—deny idolatry—and publicly confess that there is only one God—there is only one name and that name is Jesus Christ. We must come to the place where we do this boldly and unashamedly. At the time, I was still very timid and nervous about this whole thing because I was keeping Jesus a secret, but I will never forget that it was a Saturday on June 2nd, 2001, that I gave my life to Jesus. After this, I was so hungry to read the Bible. I started reading the Bible from Genesis. I have heard that most people when they come to Jesus go to the Gospels or to the book of John, but I didn't have anyone to help me or say start here or go there, so I just figured the best way to start a book is in the beginning. I read the whole Old Testament in a couple of months and then began the New Testament. In between, I would go back to the Old Testament to check things out. I found the Bible fascinating and I was getting so many answers to my questions from why Adam and Eve were created and what the deal was with Satan because the Islamic view of the devil in the early stages of creation is peculiar and made no sense.

So when I was reading Genesis I went over to the books of the law and I understood a lot from all the books of the law which is Deuteronomy and Leviticus. During this time, I also discovered Christian cable TV and would watch some in the early hours while my parents were sleeping. I used to love Derek Prince's teachings and I learned so much from him early on in my walk with the Lord. I am so in love with Jesus it’s like fire as Jeremiah says His Word is like a fire—How can I hide it? How can I keep it a secret? I can’t! I would write love letters to my Heavenly Father and little poems of prayers and keep them in my bedroom. I didn't know how to express all this love that He was giving me—I didn’t know how to express all this love He was giving me especially while still living in a Muslim household. As some time went by, my mom noticed that I wouldn’t wake up early for Ramadan to fast, and then eventually, she found my prayers that I wrote to my Heavenly Father and saw my Bible that fell out of my handbag. 

Once my family found out, everything began to happen quickly. One day my mom picked me up from the town hall where I worked and while we were driving home she began to ask me…What do the letters mean that she found? Who was my Heavenly Father? And, then she said that you’re not even fasting. I was really quiet and she started to get very aggressive and angry. This is how the demonic works—it wasn't my mother it was demons—Demons in my mom getting irritated with me. She said you're not even admitting and denying it! We do not call Allah our Heavenly Father and Jesus is not a Son of God! She was beating me as she was driving the car and then said…“You better think this through before you come home today—I'm going to drop you off and tell your father so you better reconsider because he’s not going to be happy! I got really scared but knew that I was going to have to say what I believe. At the time, I was still with my ex-boyfriend and he wasn't supportive or seeing the transformation going on in my life. In fact, he slapped me on the face for believing in Jesus. I learned that you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but Jesus Christ will always pull you out. Even though I was considered the scapegoat and black sheep in my family—the taunting increased. When I got home my dad confronted me and asked if it was true what my mom was telling him? Surprisingly, it was my mom that was more aggressive with me than my dad and after my father and I talked—my mom ramped up the attacks a lot against me in which she began to get all the relatives to come over to try to talk sense into me and interrogate me. Remember, I was only just beginning to read the Bible for myself and trying to understand the history where Jesus came from—I was very young in the faith not baptized yet—my family was coming over and putting me in the hot seat and asking me so many questions intimidating me. I would tell them that He’s the God of Abraham. They didn’t like what I said, but I shared with them what it says in John 10:1-11“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” 

I then remembered that I read that same terminology before in the Old Testament about the Good Shepherd in Ezekiel 34, so I knew He was Jesus there's no doubt about it it's all over the book and that He is the God of the Old Testament—It has always been Jesus! Ezekiel 34:11-16 says— ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, [b]in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” Jeremiah 23 speaks about the Shepherd as well.

So this is why I was trying to tell my family that He’s the God that has created everything. I said to my dad…“Don’t you agree because in the Quran it says that Jesus is coming to judge the world?” I continued …“Muhammad isn’t coming to judge the world—He’s dead.” This is when I would get slapped on my face. Jesus is alive—He’s the resurrected God—It’s so amazing, and the truth of the Gospel shakes everything you know. I was only beginning to learn, but He was going to show me much more.

So anyway, I dealt with my family members coming over for awhile, but then it culminated to the point where I was asked to leave the family home because they couldn't accept that I have become a Christian and an apostate in Islam. It was very embarrassing for the whole family, and my dad and mom would say that I was the only one who has ever done anything like this and it was the worst thing that could have happened to the family and it would have been better if they found out that I was doing drugs or something else because then they could contain and help me, but the fact that I've denied Islam and in doing this—I denied my family. They took it very personally. I shared with my dad, that he said that our faith lies in the roots of Abraham and in that regard, Jesus is the same God. I wanted my dad to read it for himself, but it was difficult. I knew that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one and I knew in my heart, that He was with me all along. It wasn't possible that Jesus could come and be physically present with me, but by His Spirit He's with me—He’s with us. His Spirit of truth gave me comfort in the midst of things becoming so heated with my family. I received and believed the truth of what the Bible says and found myself not knowing where I was to go for I had nowhere to go.

The Lord would speak to me through scriptures, and as I would be asking Him what to do, I would turn to a page in the Bible that would speak to me and would receive help from Him. How many times does this happen to us when we’re praying about something and we open the Word and boom—the Lord is talking to you? Many times! One of the scriptures I turned to was from Matthew 10:21-23 and it says…“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another.” So I would read all these beautiful things that were encouraging to me, and God would speak to me through them that everything was going to be alright and I was doing the right thing. I learned that Jesus taught us that if we follow Him, people would reject and betray us, and if you’re going to deny Islam as I did and stick up for the name of Jesus, you can even lose your parents—You can lose everything. God tells this in His Word so we would be prepared.

By the time Christmas Eve came of 2001, my parents called the emergency doctor to come and visit me because of course, they thought I was losing my mind. They told the doctor that I was hearing voices and talking nonsense. I told him that I was absolutely fine and it was just a domestic situation at home with a disagreement we were having. The doctor said if I needed any further help to call the special number that he gave me. If I happened to be upstairs while my relatives visited, I would have to go downstairs and sit and listen to all the stuff they were saying to me in trying to talk sense into me. They would even say I would burn in hell and that I have become an apostate or a kafir and I should be dead by being stoned to death. I cried a lot because at the time, I didn’t understand why they were so hostile toward me. I was naive and I really came to Jesus with a childlike faith. I believed with my whole heart that Jesus was Lord—that He was alive and not dead because He came back to life, and that He was coming back again. The Quran actually says that Jesus will be coming back to judge the earth as well. I would rather follow a man that is alive than dead! God gave me some boldness even in the early days and I would speak what He was putting on my heart.

It was Christmas Day and my mom, dad, sisters, and brother were home. My parents wanted me to leave the family home, but I had nowhere to go and I didn’t have any Christian friends as of yet. My younger sister, who was around 12 years old at the time, shared my room and would often see my parents smacking and beating me so she was worried and would get really upset and cry at times not knowing what was going on. I would try to comfort her by letting her know that everything was going to be OK. My brother was in his early teens and didn't understand.

When the night would come, my dad would say to me…“You have to understand…What you have done is very bad and we cannot accept you this way. You need to make a decision. Either you continue with Jesus or you come back to your senses and we’ll get you married to a Muslim man, and you’ll be fine and you can forget about Jesus.” I told my dad that I cannot deny Jesus because He is God. I proceeded to apologize over and over again for all the bad things I did in my life and for giving them so much trouble as I was a rebellious tomboy.

I tried to encourage my dad to read the scriptures for himself on why I have come to know Jesus is God, but he couldn’t receive it, and they thought I lost my mind—we couldn’t reason with each other. They were sure that someone in my life was brainwashing me, and they wanted to know who told me Jesus was God. I was scared to say anything to them, but I needed to tell them that He clearly showed me the truth that in Islam, you’re worshiping an idol as paganism. My mom became very emotional as I am sure she believed she had lost her daughter. That night, I was slapped and beat and realized how serious the situation was. I sat at the edge of my bed talking to God telling Him that I did not know what to do or where to go and that I love my parents. I was always a homely girl and wasn’t independent like some teenagers and people in their 20’s. In fact, I went to a university a couple of years prior and dropped out because I was so homesick. I was terrified because I didn't know what to do so I opened the Bible and this is what I read from Psalm 27:10…“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” When I read this, I knew that the Lord was with me and was going to take care of me—Everything was going to be OK. How can anyone tell me that Jesus is not God when I'm talking to Him and He's talking back to me? That’s no coincidence! So I took a deep breath, and I said …“All right then, okay Lord, let's do it.” I had a suitcase which was full of things that I have accumulated over the years that I emptied as my little sister watched with concern. I told her not to worry and that it would only be for a short time and I will be staying with a friend. As I was packing, I remembered what Jesus said in the Gospels if you want to follow Him. It says in Matthew 16:24…“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” I wanted to stay with my parents as I had attachment issues, but the Lord was allowing me to surrender in His time step by step. It was around 4 in the morning, that I sneaked out of the house while they were all sleeping to catch a taxi. Three months went by and I was still very mindful of how upset everybody at home was as well as the Islam community. Once in a while, I went home to check in on my family to test the waters and see if they calmed down, but they were still very angry with me and there were just more arguments and they would say nasty things about Jesus and I would leave again. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell my family where I was staying because I didn't want them to know in case there would be any drama for the people that I was living with.

After leaving home, I started attending a church and soon was baptized. Of all days for my mother to look for me and find out where I was, it was on the day of my baptism. I was already anxious that anyone from my family would find out about what I planned to do. As I was getting ready to be baptized, I gave my testimony and began to cry. When I looked up, I saw my mom and auntie there. My heart sank and I thought to myself…“Not today! Not on the day that I’m getting baptized!” I then tried to tell the pastor to give him a heads-up that there might be some trouble because my mom was there. He said that it would be fine and it was good that she’s in church, but then as I was stepping down into the base of baptismal water she walked up and was screaming and cursing about Jesus and me. At the same time, Pastor Tony continued to baptize me while holding his hands over my ears so I couldn't hear what was being said. He then proceeded to say…“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” I was so excited to die to myself and rise up with Christ as well as saying my own prayers in my head trying to block out what my mother was saying as she screamed at the edge of the baptismal water. I asked the Lord to please forgive her because she thought I was lost and didn’t know what she was doing. The people that were at the church rose and began to pray in tongues. It was the first time I have ever heard what it means to pray in the spirit or in tongues and I realized what was happening was a spiritual battle. I was still sobbing my eyes out because I didn’t want anything to happen to my mom as she was so hysterical saying things like…“I'm going to burn this church down! I'm going to get your brother to burn this church down! You rejected Islam! You rejected Allah! You rejected the whole family!” The leaders in the church tried to calm her down, but she had what seemed to be super-human strength which was actually demons manifesting in her. After the baptism, I got dressed and stayed with a family from the church for a season. There was a rumor going around that the local taxi firm had my photo and gave it out to the drivers who were mostly Muslim to be on the lookout for me, so every time I would leave the house or go anywhere, I needed to disguise myself because I didn’t want anyone to recognize me.

Eventually, I moved up to north England in Derbyshire and stayed there for five years. In those years, the Lord isolated me so I can have time alone with Him to get grounded in the Word and grow in my faith. There were lovely people in the church and they looked after me and gave me a job. While there, I did keep in contact with my family and they tried and succeeded to persuade me to come back home, so I did. When I moved back, they forbid me from going to church, and unfortunately I compromised for the sake of saving them respect in the community and because they both were struggling with sickness. In fact, one night my dad collapsed due to his type 1 diabetes and we were concerned that he would go into a coma. I had memorized Isaiah 53:5 and I confessed healing over my dad in the name of Jesus. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” My dad came around and felt better before the ambulance came and he said to me…“I heard you pray in the name of Jesus for me.” I said…“You did?” and then, I thought he was going to hit me, but he didn’t and said…“Thank you for doing that.” A miracle in itself!

When I moved back home, my career and social life distracted me and my relationship with Jesus grew more lukewarm. I turned to music and dancing which as a little girl I always liked. Because of the prohibition my family put on me, when I would go to church they would find out. I didn’t want the church to get in trouble, so at the time, I thought it was best not to go. When I moved back to London, the Lord began opening doors for me concerning a documentary and opportunities to share my testimony on very popular media outlets under a different name than my own of course. My interests also grew in political things such as terrorism. I knew that the Lord had a calling on my life and for various reasons the enemy was trying his best to take me off track. Even from the early days, I became distracted from hurtful people that would come into my life, but the Lord still kept me close to Him even though for a bit, I had a pattern of drifting from Him and then coming close to Him again. In this, I learned that fellowship with other believers is essential not only for encouragement, but for our protection and support. Going to church too is very important in strengthening our walk with Him. Because I didn’t have this at the time, I threw myself into my career, music, clubbing, and getting involved in politics. I began to have many contacts in the media as I continued to do things “behind the scenes” fearing what my parents would do if they found out. All the while, I didn’t stop reading my Bible because I knew that God showed me so many things in those five years, and He began something special so I can help others by exposing truth and being a bold vessel for Him. But first, I knew I needed to get rid of my fear of man that always seemed to be there even though my heart burned for Jesus. As I share my story, it’s 2019, and I moved to California. Before moving, there was three to four occasions where my dad had me sit with the Imam from the Mosque because they were so worried that I was getting more stubborn in my faith with Jesus, and they thought it would take a Imam Mosque leader to talk with me about why I was wrong about Jesus and that I have been brainwashed into believing that the Bible is true. At the time, I didn’t know how to answer the questions that he was asking—as they were questions that  only apologetic's and people like that would be able to answer. So I had no idea what to say, but I had my Bible in my hands and would tell him…“Well, it says here” to no avail as they would not listen. Unfortunately, there’s a blindness and an evil spirit behind this thing and twice, the Imam said to me that my punishment for what I’ve done was death and that I’m a kuffar or apostate and I need to die for it, but then he said something to my dad like well you know, this is the UK though. I knew the seriousness of what I’ve done to accept Christ and appreciated the concern of the Muslim community, but they don’t know what I know right now, but they will. Many from the Islamic community are coming to the knowledge of Jesus. In fact, Muslims are coming to Jesus in great numbers around the world because He’s appearing to them in dreams and visions. Those that have found Jesus are persecuted, but they don't care because they are saying… “We found everything…He’s our treasure!” Jesus talked about the treasure in His parable—He’s the treasure—He’s the world’s most precious treasure and no one can steal that from me ever again! “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44) I want to serve Jesus for the rest of my life! I have to let my light shine like a candle in the darkness.  I ask for boldness in Jesus name. We all are special in Jesus' eyes. He considers us so much that He even numbers the hairs on our head. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

Jesus is returning soon—I'm so excited! A lot of hard times are coming, but we have to be strong. We can't let anything shake our faith. He’s the Shepherd—He’s the door and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—there’s no other and I want to serve Him all the days of my life! Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

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“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But  whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."  (Matthew 10:32-33) 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”  (John 10:1-11)

‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, [b]in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”       (Exodus 20:4-6)              

“Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”  (1 Corinthians 10:14)


24Aug

My life consisted of nonstop run-ins with the law, getting arrested, fighting, abusing my body with drugs and drinking, and even witnessing friends around me die that were living the same life that I was living. All along my stepfather never gave up on me...he kept bringing up this one name...Jesus...Yet, I continued to shrug him off.


Christopher J. Maskey


               
   

  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  

(Matthew 11:28)


These are the words that were spoken by Jesus Christ—Yeshua Hamashiach—who has changed my life and this is my testimony.

Many of you know me from preaching the Word of God, and from helping lead others so they come to a place of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. But, my life wasn’t always like this—my daily thoughts and motives weren’t always this way.

I grew up in a small town about an hour north of New York City, named Cold Spring. It was a quiet little town, where I would end up spending the majority of my time alongside, my mother & stepfather. My biological father and mother split up shortly after I was born, and my mother married my stepfather when I was around 5 years old. My father had problems with drugs and alcohol and when I was 6 years old we had received the phone call that he was found dead in his apartment from an apparent  suicide. As a child, my mother wouldn’t tell me the truth of his death—she would just tell me that he was really sick. Even so, as a young child, it affected my life and was always in the back of my mind that my father was gone. 

My mother was my best friend. She was the best mother any kid could ask for—on top of having a great stepfather, who was always supportive and there for me—it kind of took away some of the pain, I was experiencing with losing my father at a young age. As a kid, they both decided it would be best that I attended a Catholic school where I also took part in all of the required sacraments and was an altar boy. At this time, my mother & stepfather, were truly seeking the Lord in their lives, and became disappointed because they just weren’t finding what they were looking for inside the Catholic church. They eventually gave their lives to Jesus Christ and both became born- again Christians. 

The majority of my childhood, I remembered my mother & stepfather reading their Bibles, going to church, and both living their entire lives for Jesus Christ in all that they did. They did all they could to lead by example, and to teach me the truth about the Word of God and Jesus Christ. As a child, I believed in Jesus Christ—but the temptations of being a teenager, and getting involved in the things of the world took precedence in my life. 

During my senior year of high school, my life took a turn for the worse when my mother got the phone call that changed our lives forever. She found out that she had cancer and needed to be immediately rushed in for radiation treatment. While most of the kids were enjoying their final year in high school, and planning on where they were going to college—my mind was occupied day and night with the health of my mother and what my life was going to be like without her if she died. I noticed my mother and stepfather always were praying, and instead of me joining them—I hid behind drinking and using drugs to take away the pain of what I was feeling. At 17 years old, I was borderline an alcoholic and stared to experiment with drugs to escape from reality. I remember my mother would always keep a positive outlook, and her faith in Jesus Christ was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Standing before these doctors who were showing her the cancer that was growing in her—she continuously, remained strong and trusted in her faith in Jesus to get her through it.

As the months went by, my mother went through numerous surgeries, radiation treatments, and she was now but a shell of the person she once was because of it. The cancer had literally destroyed her body—but it couldn’t touch her spirit. My senior year came and went, and eventually my mother’s cancer had gone into remission right before I was to start my freshman year of college. I went to a local college about 20 minutes away and was able to still come home and visit my mother and stepfather often to check up on her. Everything seemed to be getting back to normal—my mom’s health was improving, and my new life as a college student had just started. Shortly into my sophomore year—the cancer had come back, and as it did—I continued to seek comfort in drinking and using drugs. Coming home and seeing my mother smile knowing that she was struggling was tough to see, but one thing her and my stepfather always had was their faith in Jesus Christ. It was during my sophomore year, that I came out to visit my mother, and she had the difficult task of finally telling me the truth about my father—he didn’t die because he was sick, but that he indeed killed himself. My life was crushed, all the years of believing he was just sick now, I had to face the fact that he committed suicide—I truly wasn’t prepared mentally to walk around with this news. My mother and stepfather always would talk about the power of having Jesus Christ in their lives, but I ignored what they told me and tried to seek comfort in the things of this world.

Halfway through my junior year of college, the cancer was now fully attacking my mother’s body and was more aggressive than ever. I decided to drop out of school and move back home, so I could take care of her, and spend every day with her while she was fighting for her life. Shortly after, she was asked to come into Sloan Kettering’s cancer center in Manhattan for a last effort surgery to remove the cancer that was inside of her mouth and throat, but just an hour into the surgery the doctor’s called us down to let us know that the cancer had spread throughout my mother’s body and they knew there was nothing they could do. My life came crashing down at that point, and reality set in that soon—I was going to be losing my mother. We walked back up into the recovery room to see her sitting up smiling, and asking how she did—I didn’t have the heart to tell her the news the doctor told me, so I just hugged her and told her how much we all loved her. Throughout her entire battle with cancer my mother had her Bible right next to her. I couldn’t understand where she was getting this courage and comfort from just reading a book—she was staring at death and yet she wasn’t afraid at all.

A couple weeks later my mother finally passed away. I was now a 21 year old college dropout, no job, no money, medical bills coming in, and I just lost my best friend in the whole entire world. It was just me and my stepdad living together in our little home, and I remember how he used to tell me about Jesus, and how I needed to fully ask Him into my life, but—I still wasn’t ready. I was very angry inside—angry that my father killed himself, angry that God would take my mother away from me, depressed and at that point—I really didn’t care much about living anymore.

The drinking had fully taken over my life—drugs were taking over as well, and I began to seek ways to take out my frustrations in life, and I found it in the form of music. I had always been interested in hip hop music; it was my life for the majority of my childhood and as a young adult. The sound was very aggressive, angry, and the songs were full of violence which was exactly fitting for the way that I was living. I began going to the studio week after week, getting high on drugs, and creating my own songs. I was going on the radio performing, doing shows, sleeping with different woman every week—the life of a rock star as many would call it. The pain and anger in my songs was something that really made me stand out from the majority of the other artists, and I was quickly making a name for myself in the New York music scene. I had opened up for some of the most popular artists in the industry and it seemed as if my time was coming to be next. It seemed on the surface that I was happy, but inside I was full of pain. As the years went by, I had lost sight of who I was—the drugs and alcohol had fully taken control of me, and when I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t recognize the person I was looking at. I never once faced any of my problems. I buried them deep down inside—hidden behind a wall of drugs & alcohol, but I found out quickly that just because they are hidden, doesn’t mean they go away. My life consisted of nonstop run-ins with the law, getting arrested, fighting, abusing my body with drugs and drinking, and even witnessing friends around me die that were living the same life that I was living. All along my stepfather never gave up on me, and kept bringing up this one name—Jesus. Yet, I continued to shrug him off. 

I maintained this lifestyle for over 6 years, and with no sign of any future or reason to continue living in my mind. Until the day that Jesus Christ finally got hold of me. I was coming down off of a 2 day binge just sitting in my room, and at my lowest point in life. Staring at a picture of my mother—depressed and upset at the thought of how disappointed she would be of the person I had become. I sat back on my bed and then it happened—I overheard in the other room my stepfather listening to a message from a preacher on the television. I walked closer to the door, and I felt something leading me to listen to what was being said. It was as if the preacher was talking to a whole congregation of people, but the message was directed towards just me. He started talking about sin, and how Jesus Christ died to take away our sins to give us a new life—A NEW LIFE??? That’s what I NEED! 

He then started talking about the devil and how Satan wants us to keep seeking drugs, keep seeking alcohol and women. It was like everything I was hearing was about MY life. How could this be??? Then the preacher said the one scripture that forever changed my life. He quoted from the book of Matthew when Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are wary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Rest??? Nobody needed rest more than I did at that very moment. Rest from running away from my father’s past, rest from the pain of losing my mother, rest from the anger inside of me, rest from all the drugs and drinking that ruined my life—I was mentally and physically exhausted, and now this man is telling me that Jesus Christ can give me rest??? I wanted to stop, I wanted to change, but I was so scared because I didn’t know how—and, I didn’t think I was strong enough to leave behind my old life and fully trust in HIM. But I knew that I wasn’t going to last much longer if I continued, and it was at that point I fell down to my knees, and called out to Jesus Christ—with tears in my eyes I said, “I just can’t do it anymore—I was ready—I needed rest—I needed a new life—I NEEDED JESUS!!”

I can still remember the prayer I made. I said to Him that He could have my life, but I just ask that you find me someone that I can marry and have a child with to start over and have new life together. I remember asking for Him to bless me with a good job so I can provide for my family. And, I remember just laying down everything—fully giving my life to Jesus Christ that day. I felt like a new person, I felt like for the first time in years the weight of the world was taken off of my shoulders, and I just wanted to live every day from there on out for Jesus.

As I sit here and tell you my testimony, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s been almost 9 years already. Since then the Lord has completely blessed me with a new life, a happy life, a lot more abundant life than I could ever imagine. Shortly after I called out to Jesus Christ and asked Him into my life, He introduced me to an amazing woman, who eventually would become my wife. We’ve been together now for over 8 years, and have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy, and a 2nd child that is on the way in November. I was also blessed to land a great job shortly after meeting my wife, and I’ve been there for over 8 years as well. Literally, everything I asked for when I gave my life to Jesus Christ the Lord has blessed me with, and more! I look back at where my life was, and where He’s brought me from and I can’t help but praise the name of my Lord & savior Jesus Christ—Yeshua Hamashiach—for saving me. My change was not overnight—little by little He’s been removing my old ways of living and replacing them with His righteousness, changing me into His image, and He’s still working inside of me every single day.

For years now, I have been completely free from the hold of alcohol and drugs in my life, free from feeling the pain and anger that was inside of me, and replaced with His everlasting love. All along the answer to my problems was right in front of me—the same thing that my mother used in fighting her battle with cancer—the same thing my stepfather used to get through the tough times of losing my mother, and—the same thing I needed in MY life—Trusting in Jesus Christ and asking Him into my life.


Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”


Jesus Christ died not just so you and I can have eternal life, but He also died so we can experience true life on earth, the type of lives that our Heavenly Father wants us all to live! All we have to do is trust in Him and seek Him to give it to us—and it will be.


2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


I urge anyone out there who may be reading and listening to my testimonial video below, to call on the name Jesus Christ. You don’t have to keep struggling—there is a way to obtain a new life. And it’s not by going out and trying to conquer your problems on your own. COME AS YOU ARE! The bible says “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” If He could change my life—He can change yours for it was nothing that I did, it was all in Jesus Christ. I was just willing to take that small leap of faith and call out to Him, admitting I’m a sinner, acknowledging that He died for my sins and was raised 3 days later, and then finally asking HIM to take over my life—HE hasn’t left my side since. If you are struggling in life, please don’t wait another day. NONE of us are promised another hour in this life. Jesus is the one and only way to eternal life—He’s the only way to bring about the changes we all are seeking in our lives on earth. I come to you as someone who was once in your position, and I plead with you to stop fighting these battles on your own, stop running—JESUS is waiting with open arms for you to come home—your new life is right before your eyes, and the power is all in the name of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross! Don’t wait another day.

The Maskey Family


               
   

     

New Addition to the Family


               
   
 

Link to Purchase Christopher's book, “It Shall Be Given”   


Christopher's Video Testimony:  "Last Call to Calvary"  &  YouTube Channel


Christopher's Christian Rap Songs 






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!


24Jun

Ruth Almada, shares her incredible story--Strength in Scars--to give hope to ones's extraordinary circumstances--especially from the pain of generational abuse.

Ruth Almada

"Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding."
(Proverbs 4:7)

In this life, we do not choose who we are born to or in what conditions we are born under. God knows what He is doing, and He never makes a mistake. In my book and story, there is nothing that is politically correct, ear tickling, watered down or sugar coated. It is as raw and authentic as it gets because that’s what this world needs more of-- especially, when sharing about the very REAL power of God in our lives.

My story starts off knowing, that we live in a fallen world run by the devil, and evidence of this is literally--in every single facet of the conditions that I lived in. It was most definitely not an easy journey, and with being born to two lost folks (my parents)--I was bound by decades of generational curses at the time of birth. However, Jesus had another plan.

A plan so powerful that knowing about it now, still very much leaves me in moments of sheer amazement and utter gratitude. A plan so powerful that I am able to thank God for our trials today. I have learned along the way, that Jesus is pulling many people out of the very same hell we endured. There are no words that can properly describe this other than GLORY to God in the highest!

Here is a summary of my story:

As a child, we learn based on what is poured into our lives, experiences and environment. There is a large family dynamic, that God has lovingly and powerfully touched that governs five lines of my families generation. From grandparents to grand-babies. The easiest way to describe it is-- the enemy has placed assignments on my bloodline for who even knows how long. This spans from decades of abuse in most-- if not all--forms that seemed to keep repeating over and over with each new generation.

My story talks about this from my own experience as a girl up until roughly eight or so years ago. I have experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and mental trauma most of my life and--on many different occasions. In many instances, I thought most of it was perfectly normal yet, knowing deep down inside there must be a better way. I remember thinking, I wish I was normal because normal people could cope with life far better than I could. I often felt that something was deeply wrong with me. This was the 4th grade me, who didn’t realize that in my terms of “most” I was looking at people, that had not endured what was occurring and--had occurred most of my life. 

I gave my life to Jesus as a girl, but didn't realize until YEARS later the profound impact of the ultimate changes of my path would be based on this vital and literally life-saving decision. It was not until my painful past was attempting to replay with my own children, that a true consensus needed to be made no matter the cost and WHAT A COST it was! I am eternally grateful for Jesus, and owe him absolutely everything!!

I have seen first-hand unexplainable miracles in my life, and the very fact that I am even alive today is most definitely one of them! I have been raped, beaten, molested, mocked, and tormented all before the age of seven. Many of these instances happened other times even after this. I tried drugs for the first time at fourteen, and this was given to me by my momma. I also became a momma, right after my seventeenth birthday to a beautiful set of twins, that I couldn’t afford to care for.

With the deepest heart-felt intentions--I place them in their paternal grandparents home while, I served in the US Army--not knowing the real intents of these two people that I loved deeply. They did unspeakable things to my twins for the first few years of their lives. They wouldn't even let me have them back, and I had to fight for several years in court--with almost every spare dime, that I could muster to get my boys away from them. I never understood why until several years later.

There was a sick, dark, and sinister plan unfolding in my children’s lives that I didn’t even know was there. It was not until my precious daughter, Hope, had the courage at the very young age of three to tell me. The rest is in the book however, I can tell you this much, our story is NOT just our story, it's MANY people's stories. God has done such a work in my life and in the lives of my children, that the ripple effect has now spilled outside the doors of our home on to other family members such as, my siblings and parents and many others.

God has broken these curses all of them that included: pedophilia, rape, poverty, abandonment, abuse, word curses, and many others. He has HEALED my mind, body and spirit. He has HEALED my children. He has HEALED my relationship with my parents and YES--even with these grandparents that did this to my children. My heart and mind has been HEALED in Jesus name!! ALL THINGS are possible for those who love Him, believe in Him, and are called according to HIS will. Who the Son sets free TRULY is free indeed, don’t for a second just think that, KNOW IT!

Our story is a story of REAL hope that the LIVING God cares, and wants to set you free from past and present bondage. He truly wants to HEAL your deepest wounds and we are living breathing proof that it's in fact possible.

The other dynamic of this is that the God of this Universe is PERFECT in duplication. His seeds produce fruit after their own kind. He also gives us the unique ability to comfort others with the same measure He has given to us! If God can set me free from my horrible fallen past and use it to help someone else (which He has and still is HELPING MANY)--then my friend--He can, and will do the same with yours! Hang in there, because Jesus is coming for you and counting on YOUR breakthrough, so you can help many others too! What He has done in my life, He most definitely can in yours! Praise Jesus!!

Ruth Almada's Story on Deception Detection Radio with Kay Carswell


Ruth Almada's Story on David Heavener's Broadcast


Purchase Ruth's Books on the Sites Below

WESTBOW PRESS (A Division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan)

Christianbook.com

Amazon

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