My cameo and abiding memory from the trip to Newbury on Halloween (see account below) was of Gwen, very disabled at the outset of the meeting, walking from the rear of the room, with a triumphant look on her face, towards the front, where her cane lay flat on the floor.
She was asked if she needed help to pick it up, but refused because she wanted to do it herself.
For some reason she squatted down some way away from her cane, so that she had to reach out for it, while remaining balanced on her toes.
Nevertheless, she reached out, picked it up and rose to her feet, entirely unaided.
That was simply impossible before prayer!
It was also a wonderful end to a meeting which began with failure.
Did I say “failure”? I meant the opportunity to learn!
God is so good!!
Rob was invited to return with a team of students from the latest SSE to Newbury where he was due to speak at the bible study group that he had previously visited during the summer. People were really friendly towards us and each other and we sat and chatted with Chris and an older lady called Gwen who seemed quite frail.
Having enjoyed coffee and wonderful homemade cakes Rob shared some testimony of what God is doing in Reading, and encouraging the group to think about healing they may like later after he had spoken. He said that the healings that we are seeing are tokens of a greater move of God to come, and invited anyone wanting healing to move forward.
Gwen was the first to begin to come forward. She accepted the offer of a chair and sat before two other ladies came up to the front, one with arthritis in her hands, and one who had damaged her back in several traffic accidents over a period of years. [38 years in fact!]
Gwen waited whilst the others were prayed for. She had been in pain for a long time, with two hip replacements one of which had left her in constant pain ever since her operation, bad knees and lower back pain. However, her list of ailments did not prevent her responding to the invitation, having hobbled to the front as fast as she could (which was pretty slow) with the aid of a stick.
Rob prayed for the first ladies hands, without any reported relief. Not an encouraging start, but to show that we do not have to have healing to give healing, she was encouraged to pray for the lady for her bad back, who reported, with some surprise, relief from her back pain. [of 38 years!]
Finally, both were asked to pray for Gwen.
When asked what she wanted prayer for, she had replied ‘I just want to be able to walk’. Gwen put her hands out expectantly. After prayer, Rob asked if there was any relief, and she said ‘yes’. [She could feel a sensation running up and down her back]
When asked if she could demonstrate any improvement, she flexed and straightened her knees out, saying she couldn’t do that before.
Asked if she would be able to stand up, and offering her the walking stick back, Rob went to help her up, but she declined, wanting to get up by herself! She then stood up unaided and moved around far more agilely than before.
She was full of joy, saying ‘I knew God could do it, I knew he could…’ and her face shone. Because Gwen had some relief for her back, we asked her to sit down again and continued to pray for her back. The back pain decreased further. She then started to testify to the meeting ‘Don’t be afraid, come up, it’s wonderful’. She continued to radiate joy and encouragement for the rest of the meeting and beyond.