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The Miracle at Calapadan
Steven Ray Bragg
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I’m Pastor Steve Bragg, a missionary, serving our Lord in the Philippines. We build new churches in remote areas. We currently have 24 churches in these communities. Our Lord has blessed us in wonderful ways as we defeat strongholds and as the Lord manifests His blessings in the people. The barangay of Calapadan is one such story.
About six months ago, we started a house church in the mountain community of Calapadan. It is a remote community, previously held by the New People’s Army (NPA). The NPA was an active rebel force, especially during the 1980s and 1990s. Calapadan can potentially be a dangerous place to visit. However, our very own Pastor Jojo is from this area, and we have been given permission and even protection to enter. Because we have shown our love to the people through feeding and clothing programs and have given aid during Typhoon Yolanda, the NPA have announced that we have the same goal: to help the people. Most importantly, many have received the Good News of Jesus Christ.
On our last trip to Calapadan, we stopped at the barangay captain’s home, which was eight kilometers away from a paved road. It can only be reached by motorcycle and, then, by foot. After a long narrow path, there are seventy-two cement steps up to the first level. Then after a little walk, the view of the breathtaking and easily-protected valley opens up. The valley is a green rice-land. The surrounding mountains are full of banana and coconut trees and various kinds of root crops. Families also raise chickens and pigs.
It is at this first level where I met the captain of Calapadan and his family. They live in a modest bamboo home. Each barangay, or rural community, is governed by a captain and council members. The captain’s home is here. He has seven children, typical of a Filipino family. We were immediately greeted by the captain’s daughter, Bebe. She was a beautiful, smiling and articulate young lady. She spoke English well. As we talked, it became obvious that she was educated. She had just finished college in Manila and received a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I was so happy that she would be likely to get a well-paying job and help her family. This is the custom. Families sacrifice greatly to give their children an education. If the children do well, then most likely they will help their family.
Well, when Bebe went to Manila to start working, she had to undergo a medical exam. They discovered she has rheumatic heart disease (RHD). She was sent home. All her hard work, and all the family’s sacrifice and hopes, were for nothing. RHD is curable, but it requires a year or so of expensive medication. Bebe and her family cannot afford the medication.
Most Filipinos have little to no access to health care or medicine. Often, while their illnesses can be diagnosed by a clinic, they have no money for medication. Even simple colds can turn into pneumonia without medication and be fatal.
So we prayed, Pastor Jojo for the family, and I for healing. I knew there was something about Bebe that was different. My prayer for healing felt different. I felt an amazing closeness to God and her.
Well, rainy season soon set in. Calapadan is almost always impossible to reach during the rainy season. We heard reports of Bebe walking to a nearby town. RHD would prevent her from walking any distances. We heard rumors only. We guessed that maybe she had found a way to get the medications needed. Often, I would ask Pastor Jojo if he was able to visit Calapadan or if he had heard more about Bebe.
Then yesterday, we received a call from Pastor Jojo. He had been to Calapadan. Our Lord had healed Bebe. She had an immediate healing. None of us knew. She suspected her healing and had reapplied for a job in Manila. The same clinic that had examined her before now said there was no sign that she had ever been sick. Not a trace! She was cleared to work, and she is now working at the IT department of Petron Corp!
We serve an awesome God! All praise and honor go to our Lord Jesus!
Thank you, Lord Jesus!
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