Miracles on our Spiritual Journey

October 1, 2014

Miracles on our Spiritual Journey

Mark's Story

God showed His light to me during my university years. As I was growing up, my parents had taken me to church, even had me baptized when I was three weeks old, but we did not understand salvation.

In 1994, one of my friends became involved in a Christian student union movement at the university he attended, and his life changed noticeably. He invited me to a campaign at a resort area near Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe. Although I was not into Christianity, I went. Before returning home, the participants were challenged to go back with a life that was shining for God. That spoke to me because of the difference I had seen in the life of my friend. I thought, If I die, I will not go to Heaven like my friend.

As I returned to the university, there was an understanding in my heart that I needed to find God. Often I walked the streets of Bulawayo and thought, God will just tell me to go into a church and start worshiping Him. Yet I did not know how that would work out.

As a young man living away from my parents, it would seem that I should have felt happiness and freedom. However, God’s Spirit spoke to my soul about my evil activities. A hunger for God caused me to start changing my ways, including the music that I listened to and the friends I associated with. I was into football and had the desire to join one of the prominent teams in our city. God let me know at that juncture that I needed to make a choice: was I going to continue into professional football or was I going to go to church? It was a simple decision—go to church. I knew that I needed God, but I did not know how to find Him.

Finally in desperation I prayed, “God, I want to live with a Christian family.” A fellow student and I rented a cottage in February, 1995. The lady who owned it was a Christian and saw that I was very argumentative and thought we would not listen to her about Christianity. She decided the best way to witness to us was to give us a stack of Light of Hope magazines and tracts from the Apostolic Faith Church.

When I read that literature, the testimonies touched me significantly. I was struck by the fact that people could live Christian lives. It made sense to me that there was something more to Christianity than just going to church. My friend started attending the same church as this woman, and I decided to accept his invitation and go with him. There, the music especially touched my heart.

The consistent Christian life of this lady was even more convincing than what was said in church. She was really living what the Word of God says. It showed in how she related to her daughter and son-in-law and all those about her.

Anytime I committed sin, I reasoned it away, saying, “As far as I am concerned, it is not sin.”

My problem was pride. Anytime I committed sin, I reasoned it away, saying, “As far as I am concerned, it is not sin.” But the Word of God was preached to me, showing that the problem of sin is from the heart. Then it was so clear to me that my struggle with sin could only be solved by God. I admitted that I was a sinner, and that brought much conviction to my soul. Praying alone in the rented cottage, I surrendered to God and asked Him to save my soul. He wonderfully did so, and gave me the confirmation that my name was written in the Book of Life!

The literature I had read and the sermons I had heard told about sanctification. Just two days after receiving my salvation, when I was praying, God sanctified me. Within a couple of days, God baptized me with the Holy Spirit in that rented cottage. It was a thrilling experience. Thus my journey as a Christian began.

God put a love for serving Him into my heart. In time, it was my privilege to help teach the children in Sunday school and to begin learning music. It was a great joy to go out to revival meetings, to witness to people, and to share Christ with the students at the university. As my studies were nearing completion, quite a number of students from my department were interviewed by a particular company, and God gave me the job. Some of my classmates teased, “How could we get that job when Mark had been praying to God about it before the interview?” I am thankful that my life convinced them I was living for God.

God was faithful to show me who to marry. A girl named Marble was active in organizing a Christian fellowship at the university she attended, and as a young minister, I had the opportunity to participate in this outreach. God touched the hearts of many students, and some of them became a part of the Apostolic Faith Church.

One night after a service she was mugged and left for dead. They hit her in the head, and she was bleeding for hours before being noticed and taken to a hospital. Our pastor was out of town, and I was the minister responsible for visiting her in the hospital. During that time, God let me know that I was supposed to marry her. Her injuries had left her partially paralyzed, but we prayed, and in less than three weeks she was well. After consulting with our pastor, we eventually married on June 30, 2001.

Since then, God has wonderfully provided for our needs. He gave me a job in the Republic of Ireland and then provided the money for us to move there from Zimbabwe. Later, other job opportunities caused us to move to the United Kingdom, and now we live in Manchester.

The Lord gave us a son and a daughter. Then in 2006, our young son became very sick, and one of his lungs collapsed. He was about to be transferred from one hospital to another specializing in care for critically ill children when the nurse came to tell us, “Your son’s heart has stopped.” God worked mightily, and our son revived. Miraculously, he was able to do many activities that the doctors thought might be impossible. However, he continued to have challenges with his lungs, and his health was up and down.

In December 2011, we visited Zimbabwe for the camp meeting, and the sickness took hold of our son again. One of our church leaders from western Africa was also visiting. When he heard of our son’s illness, he assured me of his prayers. He said, “You should know that God can heal him.” Then he made one statement three times: “Should God decide to take him away, you need to accept it.” God did choose to take our boy to Heaven. However, this minister’s wise counsel came to mind, and God gave us strength to accept what He had deemed best. His comfort sustained us.

God has done so much in my life. He has saved my parents, brothers, and some of my sisters. He has provided and healed. He has granted favor in the workplace and helped my career as an engineer to progress. But most importantly, He helped me accept this way of holiness that leads to eternal life. At the end of my time on earth, I want to see Jesus Christ face to face.

Marbel's Story

God has showed me incredible mercy and favor from above. My parents always took us to church on Sunday, but it was just an activity. There was no happiness in our home. Instead there was noise and chaos as people tried to settle their differences.

I was a rebellious girl, showing no respect to my parents. My father tried to correct me, but I would not listen. Eventually, my brother told our parents that he wanted me to move with him to the city. In my mind, that was a good opportunity to try even more sinful things. I loved music and dancing, and thought maybe at some point I could have my own band. My brother also loved music, so the city seemed the right place for us to live.

However, God had a different plan altogether. My brother had just married, and when I got to his house, his wife said, “Can you please go with me to look for a church? I’ve seen one in town and want to find out if it is the right one.” They had just invited me to live in their home and I needed her favor, so I went.We ended up in the Apostolic Faith Church, even though that is not where she had intended to go. According to us it was a mistake, but according to God, that was the right place. When we entered the church, the people showed us respect as if we were important. They even gave us seats in the front with armrests. As we sat down, I wondered what was going to happen.

When the preacher stood up to preach, it was as if someone had told him about my whole life. For a moment I wondered if my sister-in-law had told them how bad I was. How could he just preach my life, noting all my sinful acts? My heart was heavy and I could not look up. I thought the sermon was about me, that I was the only bad person in the place. I wanted to run out, but the church floor was wooden and my shoes would have made noise, so I sat and continued to listen.

God’s Spirit let me know that I was a sinner. That knowledge was difficult for me, and I really didn’t know what to do about it. In the church I had previously attended, one person did the praying for the whole congregation. So at the close of this service when others went forward to kneel and pray, I did not know what to think.

As well as being rebellious, my heart was full of anger. Being angry was like a defense, and I asked myself, “If I leave here as a nice person, will people then be able to do whatever they want with me?” To my surprise, this anger was the first thing that God took away, even before I repented.

God helped me to continue attending that church. The pastor always greeted me with a firm handshake, saying, “Well done, my sister.” Every time I considered not going back, his voice would be in my mind, and I thought if I did not go back, it would be exactly the opposite of “Well done”! As I kept going to services, the understanding came that I should not live in condemnation, but that I should confess my sins to God. When I did that, I was so happy and felt so light. Something said to me, “Now you are like these people.” I felt that I belonged.

All my sinfulness disappeared, and I became a changed person. The brother I was living with began to think something was wrong with me because I was always reading my Bible. When I asked my parents for forgiveness for all the bad things I had said and done, they were amazed. They looked at me and wondered what had happened.

In time I prayed, “God, my family has no idea how this happened to me, and I find it difficult to convince this multitude of people. Why don’t You save one more person from my family so that the two of us can go back and tell them about salvation?” God answered that prayer precisely. My cousin was well known as a drunkard. I wrote a letter to him, telling what had happened to me and giving him the address of an Apostolic Faith Church in the city where he lived. The next thing I heard, he had attended services and been saved. God is so faithful!

My cousin and I arranged for a group of ministers to come to our hometown so my parents and our other relatives could hear the Word of God. Sadly, my parents had positions in their church, and were afraid of changing, so they were not saved at that time. However, God later touched their hearts and they were born again.

After God saved me, He gave me the experience of sanctification. Then it took me some years to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost because there were things I really did not want to do. I especially did not want to be involved in children’s services or with Sunday school because it seemed very challenging. I thought it would be better if God called me to something else, so I procrastinated and did not make the consecrations that God wanted. Finally, I came to the point of praying, “God, whatever You want me to do in Your work, let Your will be done.” When I surrendered everything to God, He answered my prayer and filled me with His Spirit.

When I went to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, to get my degree, God was with me. Some people said, “Now that you are going to a big city, maybe you are going to stop worshiping God.” But the Lord gave me the strength to purpose more than ever to stand for Him. He helped me to start a fellowship at the campus, and many students came for Bible studies. Before long, a sizable number of them were attending the Apostolic Faith Church in that area.

One night when I was returning from a service, some robbers hit me and left me for dead.

One night when I was returning from a service, some robbers hit me and left me for dead. I have no memory of what happened until I found myself in the hospital. My body was partially paralyzed, but God changed all of that and healed me totally.

The people of God had told me that I should pray about who would be my husband, but I was a bit hesitant. Finally I said, “God, I don’t know how to pray about this, but I need You to help me and to provide a life partner for me.” There was an assurance in my heart that God would provide one in His time. When Mark came to see me while I was in the hospital recovering from my injuries, it was clear he was the one God had in mind for me, and all I had to say was, “Let the will of God be done.”

God blessed our marriage with a wonderful baby boy. In a miraculous way, that touched the hearts of my parents. We were attending camp meeting not long after the birth, and my father came there to see the baby. Thank God, he not only saw the baby, but he met Jesus Christ and was saved. He went home and told my mother, and her heart was touched and she was saved also.

In 2006, when our son’s lung collapsed, and the nurse said, “Your son’s heart has stopped,” we did not panic. We just believed God, and He revived our son. For the next several years he was in and out of the hospital. Then in 2011, it pleased God to take him to Heaven. The comfort God gave us at that time is difficult to explain. He helped us realize we should not fight against Him but accept His will.

Over the years when employment has taken us to cities where there was no Apostolic Faith Church, God has given us the opportunity to hold Sunday school in our home. We have seen God bless. It is our privilege at this time to be in Manchester, where God has provided a church building. We thank God for all He has done.

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