Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Her hands were clenched tight enough to cause fingernail impressions, but even those had been chewed to the quick. Her facial expressions were hard, depressed, and did not reflect that of a 30-year-old young woman. I could see the pain in her dark eyes as she shuffled closer to me. Her first words brought meaning to her small frame and short, very thin, black hair. “Ten years ago I was diagnosed with a nerve disorder. I used to have long, thick, black hair, but I’ve pulled it all out. Over the years, this disorder has caused other sicknesses in my body such as stomach ulcers and heart problems. Will you pray for me that God will heal me and make me whole again?” Nadia said.
That was the purpose of my visit to this Ukrainian church, located in a small town three hours from Kiev. Fadey, my interpreter, had never interpreted for a teacher before, and let’s just say we were both stepping out in faith that day.
Little did I know that pastors from another church were also asked to speak for the first 45 minutes, and I would be given the last 45 minutes to speak. This was certainly not common in the U.S.A where I was raised. People did well to make it through a 20-minute sermon, much less a 90-minute sermon. I guess I was their backup plan if the other pastors didn’t show. Would I even be asked to speak? If I was, would the people really be interested to listen and stay that long?
Moments before I was to step on the stage, Fadey confided in me that he was very concerned about his ability to interpret every word, especially as it pertained to my speaking subject, healing. I assured him that God was able to give him every word that He spoke through me to His people. We prayed together and believed in faith that God would do just that.
I took all 45 minutes and then some as people lined the church walls to receive prayer for healing. An hour later is when Nadia approached me for prayer. The next 15 minutes was one of the most unforgettable experiences. I’ve seen many healings and miracles in my life, but this was a transformation that only God could perform.
With her permission, I cradle my hands around Nadia’s head and began to pray. Nadia’s clenched fists began to release and open as tears flooded her eyes and began to catch in the creases of her aged skin. Just like a child who is in pain wanting her father to pick her up and comfort her, she lifted her head and hands towards her heavenly Father. I could physically see her facial features change and the peace of God rest upon her. I knew that God was healing her. I removed my hands from her head and stood still waiting on the Lord to finish the work He began in her.
We stood in that moment together for 10 minutes. She slowly lowered her arms and explained what had just happened, “I felt something all over my body like I’ve never felt before. I feel light and free.” Her once aged face full of darkness, depression, and pain looked as if she had a facelift. We praised the Lord together, as she had not only received a facelift, but all pain was now gone.
After 2 hours of praying for others, Fadey and I sat down to a meal with the church leaders. An older woman abruptly opened the door and began screaming, “Fadey, Fadey!” She then proceeded to speak loudly and very fast in Russian so I could not understand her. I wasn’t sure if her excitement was good or if there was an emergency at the church?
Fadey began to interpret what the excitement was all about. This was Nadia’s mother which we had not previously met. He continued by telling me that she understood the seriousness of her daughter’s condition. This disorder had kept her daughter in bondage for the last ten years. Then came the words that gave glory to the ONE who healed her daughter.
She said, “…but NOW I can see light shining in her eyes!”
A Mother Knows.
When I thought this was the best day of my life, Fadey shared more good news with me on the way back to meet our friends. He said, “Today when I was interpreting for you, I used words that I had never heard before. I don’t know where they came from, but I believe that God gave me the exact words I needed to interpret what you were saying.”
Thank you, Jesus!