Now there is an art to loading six kids into the back of a station wagon for sleeping. You can pack more in by placing the three taller teenagers, Monica, Brian, and Emily, head to foot across the back sideways. Then place the smaller children, Joanna, Margaret, and baby Daniel, lengthwise up behind the parents' front seats.
We placed packing and mats throughout the back of our station wagon to level it and boarded all six kids for the trip from Florida to Upstate New York.
We drove north on a family mission for God.
This glorious trip was the one where baby Daniel noticed every passing truck with his own expression, "Oof! Oof!"
Of course, his big brother, Brian, encouraged the act by pulling his imaginary truck horn with his fist and arm at the window. The big rig truck drivers noticed this ceremonious load of young expressions and honked their booming truck horns back at the kids.
"Oof! Oof!" echoed in the back of the car. Yes, this was a memorable trip all the way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Upon arrival, we ministered on a Wednesday evening in our former neighborhood church prayer meeting. We called for healing. Five men, father, sons, and brothers actually related to each other, came up at the same time. They decided to lock arms as we prayed for their individual needs.
I laid hands on the first one in line. The power of the Holy Spirit flowed like an electrical current on his head. In fact, the power simultaneously flowed through the five men with locked arms. The fifth man in line dropped to the floor.
"Never put God in a box!" we always say. You cannot limit God.
One by one, we prayed over each of the men, and one by one they dropped to the floor! Never expect God to work in a set pattern.
Next up, we prayed over a dear lady friend of ours. Beautiful in her gentle spirit, she had been suffering for a time from hemorrhaging. Trying different medicines, the doctor had been unable to stop her bleeding.
Well, Doctor Jesus did. She felt the healing power and phoned us within a few days that she was dried up, no more bleeding.
Next, came a humble mother of small children. She suffered painful tendinitis in her shoulder. I suspected it was caused by the loving carry of her children in arms.
The pain immediately stopped when the power of the healing Jesus touched her. No more pain.
Last of all, we prayed over a gentle, elderly couple. He fell off scaffolding and suffered pain along his backbone. His wife suffered severe pain in her arthritic knees. Both were under a doctor's care.
Mary and I commanded God's healing. He healed both of them. All pain stopped.
On Thursday afternoon, we visited another very humble, pastor friend and his lovely wife, Ron and Jeanne. A very spiritual couple, we always enjoyed just sitting with them and talking with them about the Lord around their kitchen table.
This time, we heard a tale of woe. Pastor Ron had undergone surgery and was unable to maintain his side job for income. They were short of money.
Unobtrusively, I wondered around the kitchen and then glanced in the refrigerator. A shiny light bulb glowed, but the box was empty.
The Holy Spirit began to prod my heart. Mary and I counted very little money after our trip north. Only a hundred dollars was left in my wallet.
But here I could see my brother had no income, no money, and no food to provide for his wife and three little boys. His need was greater than mine.
I also knew a hundred dollars was never going to get us to Florida for our return trip. With God's persistent prodding, I emptied my wallet underneath the kitchen table and placed the cash on top of the refrigerator as we left toward the front door.
Yes, I swallowed hard and knew I now had no money remaining for our trip home. In my flesh I was afraid.
"Now you've done it!" said the devil.
"God, we're in your hands," I prayed.
On Friday, while I was out, Mary visited with her mother at home. The elderly man who had fallen off the scaffolding telephoned and asked if he could visit. Mary's mother invited him to come.
"My wife is healed, and I am healed," he said when he arrived at the house, "Here's the money I would have paid to the doctor. I figure now that we are healed I should give it to you."
Into Mary's hand he placed a roll of cash, two hundred and forty dollars.
When I arrived back at the house, Mary gave me the cash. It was the money we needed for our return trip to Florida.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38 NIV).
On Sunday, at Pastor Abe and Naomi's "Grace Chapel," our teens Monica and Brian each sang to the congregation. Then the whole family sang worship songs, glorifying God.
At the end of the service, we called for a healing line. We prayed over a mother and child with severe scoliosis of their backs who were healed.
"It was definitely a ministry trip," said Mary. "It felt like a ministry trip. It felt like we were going as a family to share healing gifts with the Body of Christ."
(True story #27 in the series, “100 Million Miracles.”)
Bill, your stories never stop to amaze me. They are so full of life and miracles of the Lord it makes me cry. I so wish we heard more of these wondrous things of the Lord so all could see His glory and know His love. . . Take care my friend and kept those miracles coming. . . Debby