Sunday night I went down to the hotel restaurant to get a Coke. As I was passing by the front door on the way back to my room, the bellhop stopped me and asked if I spoke Spanish. I gave him my standard response of "un poquito." He tried to explain to me that there was a gentleman outside having some medical issues. He kept pointing into his mouth and saying "epilepsia." I went outside the hotel and saw a man sitting against the building. His arms, legs, head and torso were convulsing violently. I ran back inside and went up to the meeting room where the medical team was having worship. I pulled Jeff Davis out of the room and asked him to come with me. I explained the situation the best I could. Jeff attempted to assess the man's condition, but was not making any progress giving the language barrier. I ran back up to the meeting room to find a translator, but they had all gone to their hotel for the night. I asked Amber Peek to come with me, as she is fairly fluent in Spanish. Shanna Smith, Melissa Martin and Neal Blackwelder followed.
At some point after we were back outside, we discovered that a taxi driver had dropped the man off at the hotel. Since Jeff, Shanna and Melissa were not sure what to do to treat the man, a decision was made to take him to a hospital. Shanna suggested that we pray over him before we left. We all gathered around the man and laid hands on him. Individually, we prayed. I recall asking God for healing for the man, but also for the faith to believe the healing would take place. We all closed our prayers and I remember hearing Neal continue to pray "set him free...in Jesus name" over and over and over again. Each time he verbalized the name of Jesus, the man's body began to calm down. After a few minutes, his body went completely still and he slumped against the building, with most of his body laying on the sidewalk. I lost it...to say the least.
At some point during these events, the taxi driver came back. Apparently, he dropped the man at the hotel because he thought it was safe and then he went to the pharmacy to get the man some medicine. All we knew at this point was that the man needed some medicine and his supply was used up. The taxi driver witnessed the prayer and the man's calmness. We stood him up and the taxi driver gave the man some medicine he had purchased. Jeff, Amber and I put the man in the taxi and the taxi driver took us to the nearest hospital. He had begun convulsing again as we put him in the taxi. Upon arrival at the hospital, it was apparent that we were not in the best of circumstances. I felt very uncomfortable even though there was a policeman in the area. The man would not go into the hospital. He said that since he was poor, the hospital would let him die and then steal his organs and sell them. Apparently, this is a common fear among the poor in the area.
He kept telling Amber and the taxi driver that he needed food. We found a street vendor near the hospital and Jeff bought him some dinner. The taxi driver tried to feed the man, but he refused to take the food. We found out why...he wanted to pray and thank God first... He subsequently let the driver feed him and then after a while took the spoon and fed himself.
As it turns out, everyone in the area knew the man. We subsequently found out that he had Parkinson's Disease. The remainder of the evening was spent getting the man to a pharmacy so he could be comfortable that the was taking the correct medicine. He kept trying to look at the medicine through a single lens from a pair of glasses. The lens was smudged and the the man was still shaking enough to make it difficult for him to read the dosage. As it turned out, he knew he hadn't had enough.
We got him back to the hotel so Shanna could get him a new pair of glasses. He hugged and kissed us before getting into another taxi to take him home. He said that Amber was an angel from God. (I saw the other taxi driver the next night and he said the man had come by the hotel looking for the doctors to thank them for helping him.)
After he left, we gathered in the lobby and had a group hug. We all broke out into tears. This story on the blog cannot possibly relay the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit that night.
A short while later that evening, my roommate Jack Roberts relayed the story of the deaf and paralyzed boy that had been healed earlier that day. I got into the shower and the Holy Spirit hammered me with some sin that I had been living with for the last two years. I almost fell to my knees in spiritual agony. The Lord opened my eyes to the fact that I had let my prayer life die off after my friend Troy passed away. It wasn't a conscience decision to stop praying for healing of others, but Troy's death made me feel like my prayers were not heard. In God's beautiful sense of timing and purpose, the local pastor we were working with asked me to preach at their revival the next night. He said I was to preach on healing. The Lord gave me the scripture about the mustard seed. It was difficult to verbalize what God had laid on my heart, but I managed to say what I thought God wanted me to say. Several people were prayed over and healed at that service. It was an amazing turn of events. God is so good! And his timing is perfect!
story by Robert Plummer