Healing Stories

Arthritis Healing

My husband and I recently attended a Healing Service at St. John’s where I had hands-on healing prayers said for me by a group of ladies at the church.  I had prayed for healing of the arthritis in my lower back and a few other things, but after Saturday night I have not had the pain in my lower back.  I didn’t say anything to my husband until after Bible Study this morning.  I had to walk up about 6 steps and down for study.  I did not have pain with this.  I was tired and so were my legs - but no pain. 


That morning was my test. The pain was still gone!! I have since shared this wonderful news with my husband.  Jesus healed my back!!

Hip Healing

Dear Father Paul Feider,

Despite the fact that you do not know me at all, I feel compelled to write to you, because I need to report to you a blessing, which I have received from Our Lord through your hands and prompted through your prayers.

Last week was a period of intense, almost disabling, pain for me.  For the first time in my life I began suffering from what might have been an infection of the sciatic nerve in my right hip and thigh.  Because of this, driving became impossible. So I remained at home, I missed evening prayer, shrine prayer and rosary last Monday, Bible study on Thursday and every other event and activity in between.

My wife (Francoise?) noticed your announcement in the newspaper inviting people to Plymouth last Saturday.  Since I met you many years ago and since I know of you and your ministry through my dear friend Father Charles (I miss him so very much!) and others at Grace I spoke about you to her. She is a Roman Catholic and not very familiar with some of the spiritual aspects of our faith.

Saturday came and the sciatic nerve pain was more intense than ever. I was thinking about you, but had no intentions to go give in to the pain and make the trip from Sheboygan Falls to Plymouth. Almost too late, Francoise insisted that we drive to Plymouth – she would drive, she said, and she did. We arrived just as you began the teaching portion of the evening. I learned a lot, but always holding back, since I saw myself outside the circle of the kind of persons you were mentioning.

Nevertheless, I presented myself at the altar to receive your blessing and your prayers. As I expected, I walked away with the same pain as before, exactly as I had inwardly predicted. I awoke late on Sunday morning. Fearing that I might be late for Mass, I jumped out of bed. Father Feider; there was absolutely no hint of any pain. I have no words to tell you what I felt…and still feel!!

I waited to write to you until today, worried that this healing might not last.  I confirm gratefully that the pain has not returned. Thanks to you and the healing power of Jesus, my hip is healthy again and my spirit got a boost I never considered possible.

Thank you Jesus, and thank you dear Father Feider.

Gratefully yours,


2014 Healing Conference, Generational Healing

During the healing conference when Jack & Anna Marie Sheffield spoke on generational healing I came to the realization that I was very angry with my Mom for all the times that she had hurt me over the years and not protecting me as a parent should. Anna Marie encouraged us to forgive those that had hurt us and to give it over to the Lord.

After a couple of days of prayer at the conference, I realized that I was holding myself in bondage by not forgiving my Mom. I recognized too that forgiving her was not saying that what she had done was right, but I could be free of the anger, bitterness and resentment that I was carrying around as a heavy burden all these years.

Just as I want the Lord to forgive me of my sins, I needed to forgive my Mom for the times she had hurt me. The day I made the choice to forgive her was incredibly freeing.

Later that same day Mom called me and asked what was new. I started telling her about the conference and generational healing. Although I hadn’t planned to tell her about my feelings of hurt, I realized that I needed to tell her so I could really begin to heal from the memories. So I told her how much she had hurt me over the years and how sad I was that she hadn’t protected me.

She responded with a heartfelt apology. I broke down in tears at the apology and realized that the tears were a long time in coming. She asked me what she could do to make it right and I said we need to pray together. We asked the Lord to help us forgive one another and to teach us how to have a healthy mother/daughter relationship.

I am so thankful that the Lord guided me to be at the conference on that weekend and for the healing that I have experienced byforgiving my Mom.

2014 Healing Conference, MS Healing

I attended a healing conference hosted by St. John’s Parish, facilitated and hosted by Fr. Paul Feider, Directed by Rev. Jack and Anna-Marie Sheffield, Deep River Ministries.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006; when many lesions were discovered in my brain as a result of this disease.  When I came to the healing service in the spring of 2014, my upcoming MRI appointment to determine if the disease had progressed growing new lesions on my brain was weighing heavily on my mind. 

Towards the end of the service I approached Jack and Anna-Marie to ask for healing prayers for my MS. When they began to pray for me with their hands placed upon me, I remember Jack telling me that God wanted to heal me from the burden of always being there to care for everyone else.

(His comments surprised me as I hadn’t shared any of my personal history with them.  Being the eldest of twelve children, caring for and being responsible for my siblings, was a way of life.  As an adult I also I took care of and put the needs of my husband; and my daughter, who has also has MS before my own.)

As the praying continued, I was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit.  My knees went out from under me as I sank to the floor with Jack and Anna-Marie assisting me.  Feeling like I was nailed to the floor, I was completely at peace.  Unaware of anything that was going on around me; I was content to be in the moment, as I was saturated with the love of the Holy Spirit. Eventually I became aware of my surroundings, and was able to get up.  Feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and joy, I left all of my concerns and worries I had been dealing with behind me that day.

I continued to feel at peace and blessed throughout the time of my MRI appointment. The results the test came back showing no new lesions on my brain after 8 years of coping with the disease!!  I feel that I was healed that day of the conference, and have been happy and content since that time.


Healing of the Heart

Praise the Lord!  I attended the Order of St. Luke meeting last Saturday and Jesus did a miraculous healing.  Several weeks ago I had taken a stress test and failed it royally.  At that time, my cardiologist told me about the possibilities of either several stints or even a major bypass surgery that I would need.  I had an angiogram done on Monday to determine the severity of the blockages and praise Jesus!! There were NO blockages.  I really believe that Jesus healed me on Saturday.  I knew Saturdays meeting was great, but did not know how great until after the angiogram on Monday.  Just wanted to share this with you. 
    Also wanted to know if there were any other healing seminars coming up in addition to the one on November 2.. Will not miss that one.
Love in Christ.
Lee Annette

Thank You

"You just cannot imagine what a great impact you have had on our lives. This whole healing thing can surely take some time. Really great things are continuing to happen to us. Thank you for your courage to invite us to Fr. Paul Feider’s Healing Service. I think a 1000 watt light bulb went on in my head as he spoke."

A Story of Inner Healing

I had been working through memories of childhood sexual abuse I think I have reached the last perpetrator and he is my father. How ashamed to admit my father would do these things to me. It was so deep and hard to access that my psychiatrist sent me to hypno therapist to see if we could get anything that way. This memory had been buried for many years and I thought if I started digging around I might completely fall apart. However, the Lord showed me better.

With the hypno-therapist I retrieved only the tip of the memory and it took 7 years before I found myself in Father Paul’s office. I showed up at St. John’s Church one day with my Bible and intended to pray and just sit with the Lord and ask for help and guidance. I soon heard Father Paul come down the isle. He was so gentle and exuded such empathy for me. I told him the pieces came together for me when I attended our Spiritual Enrichment Seminar. He very gently asked me to tell him my story of the abuse. I began by sharing the event that brought back the memory of the abuse.

I was in a department store and saw a pair of summer shorts in the Madras material and they were popular in the seventies and I could not take my eyes off them. Soon I remembered that that is what you were wearing when my father raped me. Oh yeah- and my read t-shirt with my leather sandals and the gold rings. And I know in my gut that I was seventeen. What a revelation considering I couldn’t remember anything for 7 years. I was ready to let Jesus heal this traumatic memory.

Father Paul asked if I had invited Jesus to be part of my prayer for healing. He suggested that I go back to the time and place where my father abused me and be attentive to the presence of Jesus. I did that and I asked Jesus where he was during this assault. Jesus very softly whispered in my ear that he was at the head of my bed. I could see Jesus lay his head on my chest and put his arm around the back of my head.

In all of my healings I was so surprised to know that Jesus was actually there!!!! He knew everything!!! Taking time to feel him there released the intense pain and began the healing process.

After the assault I went it my closet and stayed there until my eyes had dried up. Jesus was in the closet too and for the first time I could fell him there with me.

The bible says, "Cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you".

I felt such shame about this event but after this prayer for inner healing it was all gone. There is no condemnation in Jesus’ presence but only pure love and acceptance. His love healed the deep pains and freed me to live in peace.

It is so exciting to know that this kind of healing of memories is accessible to anybody in our congregation and beyond. Christ wants our healing and he wants us to live an abundant life. He is working in our church and community. He is so wonderful, so compassionate, so merciful - PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD FOREVER!!!!

The Diary of a Present-Day Healing

Recently I was contacted by a fellow St. John’s church member (Mike) who asked me if there was anything our church could offer us in the way of prayer. I first asked that several parishioners who are facing serious illness be remembered in prayer. Toward the end of our conversation, I stated that I was in Stage 4 of chronic kidney disease and asked if I could be remembered in prayer also.

For the last 5 years I have been treated for chronic kidney disease progressively worsening. Over the last 6 months my kidney function had been falling to the point where my kidneys were no longer stimulating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, I was forever feeling tired, cold, and weak. My glomerular filtration rate (GFR) had dropped from 34%, down to 27%, down to 22%. I knew that I could be soon facing kidney dialysis once the GFR would fall below 20%.

Two weeks ago I had another regularly-scheduled appointment to see the kidney specialist expecting that I would soon need to be prepared for dialysis, however, for the last 2 months I had not required Procrit shots, I was starting to feel much warmer, less tired, and my skin coloring was beginning to look better. Much to my amazement, my GFR had come back up to 49%.

I feel in my heart the prayers offered up for my health have given me God’s miracle of healing! I thank my brothers and sisters of our church for their care for one another as well as God’s grace in h(Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family).

Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. I found out that the teenage daughter of a friend of mine was in a local hospital. She had been in a coma since Wednesday, Oct. 13, apparently caused by the interaction of drugs prescribed for severe migraine headaches. She had just returned home from being in the hospital for a week, where the specialists were trying to diagnose the cause of her migraines. They were unsuccessful.

Upon learning of her condition, I went to the hospital to be with her and her family. Before I left her hospital room, I stood at her bedside and lightly stroked her arm as I silently prayed for her healing. Her arm was very cold and clamy. While I was praying, her sister took her hand in order to polish her nails, and exclaimed with surprise, "Nancy! Your hand is warm!" Later that day, the monitoring electrodes were taken off from her forehead.

Saturday, Oct. 16. This evening there was a healing Mass at St. John’s Church in New London. I attended, and as I was anointed, I prayed again for Nancy’s healing. On the way home, the Lord impressed upon me that I should go back up to the hospital, which I did. While I was there, the nurse came in to talk with Nancy’s dad, and she explained that the next day Nancy would be taken off from the respirator, and the feeding tube would be removed. Also, the drug she had been given to immobilize her so her lungs could begin to heal would be discontinued. Before I left for the night, I told her dad that I was going to pray for Nancy, and I invited him to join me or not, as he wished. He did. I noticed that when I put my hands on her arm to pray, she was no longer cold and clamy. She was warm.

Sunday, Oct. 17. I returned to the hospital after attending church. Nancy was out of the coma, although very groggy and not able to talk very well, the effect of having had the feeding tube removed. She also had developed pneumonia from having aspirated material that she had vomited when she went into the coma. Such aspiration is very serious and potentially fatal. I continued to pray for her healing.

Wednesday, Oct. 20. Nancy was released from the hospital. She has had no migraines since coming out of the coma. The doctor gave the explanation that sometimes when there is an episode such as Nancy experienced, the brain "re-wires" itself.

I don’t think so. The One who created Nancy’s brain to begin with has done the "re-wiring", if you will. JESUS has healed her! To HIM be all the honor and glory! Amen and amen!

Healing Power of Prayer

Recently I was contacted by a fellow St. John’s church member (Mike) who asked me if there was anything our church could offer us in the way of prayer. I first asked that several parishioners who are facing serious illness be remembered in prayer. Toward the end of our conversation, I stated that I was in Stage 4 of chronic kidney disease and asked if I could be remembered in prayer also.

For the last 5 years I have been treated for chronic kidney disease progressively worsening. Over the last 6 months my kidney function had been falling to the point where my kidneys were no longer stimulating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, I was forever feeling tired, cold, and weak. My glomerular filtration rate (GFR) had dropped from 34%, down to 27%, down to 22%. I knew that I could be soon facing kidney dialysis once the GFR would fall below 20%.

Two weeks ago I had another regularly-scheduled appointment to see the kidney specialist expecting that I would soon need to be prepared for dialysis, however, for the last 2 months I had not required Procrit shots, I was starting to feel much warmer, less tired, and my skin coloring was beginning to look better. Much to my amazement, my GFR had come back up to 49%.

I feel in my heart the prayers offered up for my health have given me God’s miracle of healing! I thank my brothers and sisters of our church for their care for one another as well as God’s grace in healing me.

A Testimony of Transformation

I am often asked why I drive 85 miles round trip from Green Bay to New London to be involved in St. John’s Church? This is my story:

Once upon a time, I was comfortable, I was safe, and I was content. I am pretty sure I qualified for being lukewarm. Being lukewarm is not good. Check out Rev 3:15-17. Looking back, I was mechanically doing all the right things, but I did not feel them. My heart was not involved. I did not relate to Jesus as my friend, my personal savior. He was important, but distant. I had stopped growing spiritually and I did not even know it. I was managing my life just fine – thank you. Then I encountered a medical problem and God used that time of helplessness to move in.

My wife and I had started doing crossword puzzles. That was great. Being an engineer crosswords are right down my alley. Every word can be verified by the other words linking into it. Crosswords are logical and rational. Just what I liked.

My medical condition required surgery. I figured the doctors would open me up, take care of the problem, sew me up, and send me on my way. I was wrong. The surgery lasted over 12 hours and had some complications. During recovery God made His move. A number of people talk about a peace, a warmth, or a white light during a near death experience, but God took a different course of action to get my attention. He showed me the Other side. He showed me what it is like to be separated from Him.

I was suspended over a dark bottomless pit held up by a web work of crossword puzzle words. I was, for the moment, safe. Then I heard a voice say, “This is not correct”. I argued my case. All the words fit together, logically the solution had to be correct. The answer was immediate, “you do not have it correct”. And then: darkness, cold, completely alone, separated from everything, fear. It was indescribable.

I woke up screaming. Nurses came running down to the ICU to see the cause of the alarm. I told them what had happened, and they claimed it was the anesthesia. I now know different. I did not close my eyes for two days. I was truly afraid of what else might be in store for me, and I did not wish to see anymore. Finally fatigue took over and I slept.

At home during my rehabilitation, my wife and I talked about my vision. It was decided that I needed to seek out “more” spiritually, and that the full meaning of what had been shown to me would only be revealed as I grew closer to God. My wife and I started our search for “more” and we found St. John’s Church in New London. Here I was allowed to “hang around”. Something different was going on. I was exposed to inner healing, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the love of Jesus as a friend. I have come to understand that the core of my faith needs to be that love. As I now can accept the love Jesus has for me, I am able to love others. This is the insight I needed to be able to understand. This is what God has shown to me.

I was not afraid to die because I hadn’t lived, I was afraid to die because I had not loved. I had not loved my God without reserve, completely, holding nothing back; to let Him be the Lord of my heart, not just my head. The only way to do this was to replace the hurt, anger and fears that I had accumulated from this world with the love of the Father as shown to me by Jesus. St. John’s community has gently helped me to do this. I thought I had everything under control. I was doing things right, going to church, and following the rules. I had filled in my life’s crossword puzzle with my answers; but God had very clearly stated “no, not correct”. He required that my relationship be more than just good actions, my relationship with Him must be about my answer to the love He has for me. I needed to be the Prodigal son, and return to the Father’s love each and every day. God did not intend my life to be a structured response to the world, but rather a testament to His power of forgiveness and love.

For me it has not been a lightening bolt change. It has taken time to clear out the stuff not of God and to replace it with His love and compassion. I am now more able to get “me” out of the way and be a healing conduit of God’s love, to awaken the power of the Holy Spirit within me, and to be aware of God’s glory in my life.

I now realize that spiritual growth never stops. There is always “more”. I may rest when I reach a plateau, but I must only pause, and then continue. That is where Christian community is so important. They encourage me to persevere, to carry on, to increase the Kingdom. Jesus says “ I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus promises me that peace and strength that I need. All I had to do was say “yes” to His love, clean out my heart, let Him move in, and then put that lamp on its stand so that I may give light to the whole house (Mat. 5:14-17). I am now beginning to have life to the full. My priorities are different, my use of time is different, my friends are different, my decisions are different; I am different.

With my answer to accept the Father’s love for me, the awe and wonder of a child has returned, and I recognize the majesty of God that surrounds me. The life I now live must include forgiveness and love, not just in action from my head. I must feel God’s presence in my heart. I do not worry too much about tomorrow anymore. The great I AM is in charge of that. My job for today is to witness His glory as it is revealed in my life and those around me.

Ken Kurtenacker

A Testimony of Love

I recently returned from Uganda where Chuck and Rachel Friesema and I completed a second School for Healing Prayer. It was overwhelming to see how God’s love transformed wounded people into vessels filled with his healing presence. For this School we had 60 new students and 17 from the first School which we led in November of 2006. These 17 helped facilitate the small group training sessions this time.

The first day we listened to the 17 return students give testimonies of what God had been doing in and through them in the two years since the first School. They testified to the deep inner healings that they experienced in the first School which opened the way for them to bring healing to their communities. One described how the pain in his foot went away two years ago after inner healing prayer. Some told stories of seeing lame people walk and blind people recovering their sight after healing prayer. They spoke of many people being freed from evil spirits through healing and deliverance prayer. One gave testimony of a large crowd of people coming to a healing service where at least three people received their sight.

The next nine days we presented teachings on God’s desire and power to heal. After many of the presentations we had the participants form groups of four in which they listened to and prayer with each other. Though the focus of the School was on training them to pray with others for healing, many students experienced deep inner healings and release from oppression of evil spirits during the practicum sessions. As the days progressed, the times of worship became much more lively and exhilarating. As I watched the student’s eyes I could see them receiving more and more of God’s love. They kept thanking us for the teachings and training because they could feel how it was transforming them. A university professor who was taking the School told me that his hands became hot every time he heard me teach. It was a sign of God’s anointing. One woman gave testimony of a healing she experienced a number of months earlier. She said that after she received Holy Communion and was in prayer, she felt a power move through her whole body. She had been HIV infected but after that experience she went in for a blood check and it was back to normal. Not only that, but her six year old son was also healed of HIV infection.

At the final supper the participants shared the blessings of the School. One leader talked of the new life she felt when she heard me describe how each of us was conceived in the perfect love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Her childhood had been filled with much pain, but the picture of God’s love surrounding her at conception gave her a freedom and identity that she had never felt. She said she felt like a new person. One priest shared how our humble coming among them with the message of Jesus’ love “redeemed his picture of Americans.”

The people of Uganda are financially poor but I witnessed a deep spirituality among the students who shared in the school. They not only desired to learn about Christian healing ministry but they were willing to sacrifice to bring it about. Their worship and sharing demonstrated a very deep love for Jesus and a willingness to be his disciples no matter what the cost. The three priests who celebrated morning mass each day demonstrated a passion for doing the mission of Jesus through their actions and their preaching. It was a blessing to look into the eyes of these students as we concluded the School and to see the love of Jesus radiating from them. They have become a testimony of God’s love.

Rev. Paul Feider

Everyone Can Belong

A young man of 13 years showed up on picnic day with his sister at St. John’s Church. They sat alone at the picnic until a group of us made room for them at our table. It turns out that his passion was Ipods and music and so we asked him every technical question that we could think of, which he found very amusing! The rest of the summer he rode his bike to worship at St. John’s and even taped all his favorite songs so that he could play them day and night. This young man was from a broken home and very hurt, but he said whenever he was at church he cheered up. He bought a small cross which he wore "to show everyone he now followed Jesus Christ." He began to greet people at the door and feel a part of the community. On his birthday the whole church sang for him and he buried his head under his arms because he was so embarrassed, but then he lifted it and absorbed all of us praying for him with affection. During the school year he lives elsewhere but as he said "good bye" in fall he decisively said, "See ya next summer." God wants everyone to belong to the Christian family.

Story of God’s Power and Love

Testimony from Abby:

"My name is Abby. I am 14 years old. I live in western North Carolina . During the summer (June) of 2008, I went on a ministry trip to Guatemala . During part of the trip, we divided up into small ministry teams (5 to 7 people) and visited different villages in the San Pedro La Laguna area. We traveled from village to village telling the Indian people about Jesus. On one particular day, we were visiting in the home of a young woman. She lived in a small village of about 14 or 15 houses. We were trying to lead the young lady to Christ, but it was not going very well. After awhile, we decided to move on. Before leaving, we asked the woman if we could pray with her about anything in her life. She told us that just the day before, she had given birth to a stillborn baby and that we could pray with her about that.

"In Guatemalan culture, there is great shame and condemnation on mothers who give birth to deformed or stillborn children. We prayed a simple prayer that everything would go well with the funeral and burial of the baby and that the mother would be spared the shame and condemnation associated with having given birth to a stillborn child. As we were praying this simple prayer, my friend and fellow ministry team member, Julia (age 17), told me that we needed to pray over the baby’s body. I thought she was crazy to suggest this and that it was not a good idea. Julia was persistent. She said again that we really needed to pray over the baby’s body. She told me to ask the mother if she still had the baby’s body. When I asked, the mother told us the baby’s body was wrapped up in a burial cloth in the back room. I asked her if we could pray over the body. The mother hesitantly said, yes. We went into the backroom and saw the baby’s body wrapped up in a bundle! on the bed. Julia poked her head out of the back room and asked if she could unwrap the baby’s head. The mother said, yes, if we wrapped it back correctly when we were done. Julia picked up the body and unwrapped the head. The baby’s head was tiny and pale. The baby was stillborn and had been dead outside the womb for 27 hours. Her skin had turned shades of purple. Our entire ministry team, five of us, began crying and praying over this baby.

“We prayed for thirty to forty minutes. At the end of that time, Julia screamed out to God, telling Him that she believed with all of her heart that this baby could be raised from the dead. After Julia screamed out, everyone was silent. We were quietly interceding and praying. Within a few minutes, the baby started moving. Then the baby coughed and began crying. The mother came rushing into the room. She was screaming, what is going on? No one could answer her. We were just staring at the baby, who had come back to life. The mother asked us again, what is going on? She began crying as she saw that her baby was alive. She ran out of the house and banged on every door in the village, telling all of the people that God is real because her baby was alive. Within about thirty minutes, the baby’s! skin tone and movements had become completely normal.

"The other villagers came to the house to see this amazing miracle. They asked us which of the Indian gods we had prayed to for such a miracle to happen. We told them we had prayed to the biggest God ever and we began to explain to them about Jesus. Soon, we realized we would not have time to minister salvation to each person individually. So, we gathered all the villagers together, turned on our little sound system and explained the way of salvation. Everyone in the village, 80 to 90 people, prayed to receive Jesus. Each of them was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. Many would fall to the ground as the power of the Holy Spirit came on them.

"Five days later, we returned to the village to check in on the mother and the baby. The village had prepared a big dinner in honor of our team. We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship together. The baby, whom they named Julia, was perfectly healthy and had gained weight. Even after five days, the mother was still shaking from the impact of God on her life through the resurrection of her child. Two days after our follow-up visit, the mother brought baby Julia to church. The mother was still shaking from the power of God on her life following this astounding miracle."

A Father’s Day Healing

On Father’s Day I received healing prayer from Fr. Paul. I felt a chill thru my body and was relieved of my aches from a bad back. This relief lasted for over a week.

-A grateful Father

Neck Pain Healed

I was invited to your Healing Service during Holy Week. I had a pain in my neck for quite a while. As you prayed over me I could feel the floor tremble. I have no pain whatsoever in my neck. The healing service was so very powerful. We went to Sunday Easter service at St. John’s which was very nice. The main thing about St. John’s is the genuine friendliness and sense of fellowship that I feel when I’m there. We’ve been looking for a church for a year and believe me that doesn’t always exist. We tried about a dozen times; the service was excellent, but the people were not friendly. St. John’s rocks! I signed up for the series, "When Heaven Invades Earth which starts next Thursday night, and I’m looking forward to that.

Hand Healed

One evening recently, as I was praying in bed, the Lord came to me in a vision. His hand held mine! The next day during a Bible Study he reminded me of Isaiah 41 which says, "I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." As I shared this with my friend, she told me she couldn’t write because of the pain in her right hand. She was comforted and our God healed her hand right then and there! God continues to tell me, "I am with you always." He does this through signs like a cross i saw in a store, the words of the gospel read at church, and through a card I gave to a friend. Truly he is with me always.

Story of Freedom

I wanted to take the time to thank you again for accepting me into your church and believing in me enough to free me from evil. I have a hard time understanding how your church did everything to help me and still continue to call me and make sure I am ok while my church said come back in 1 year. You and your church made me feel welcome and stayed by my side even though you did not know me. You accepted my just the way I was.

It would have been easy for me to give up on Jesus again after coming so far only to be turned away. But the Holy Spirit led me to your church. You gave me no excuses. You did not turn me away even though I am a sinner and you believed in me and my brokenness enough to give me hope.

My journey has only begun. God Bless you and your parish with all the goodness of HIS love.

You believe in everyone no matter the sin. As Jesus cured the leper and said go show yourself. I am showing myself and testifying that you and your church are doing what you are called to do.

God’s Goodness

My husband has been laid off for several months, but I have continued to tithe and refused to fret over the future. During these days, a relative gave us a $2000 patio set; I received a bonus at work; we had a huge batch of our home grown asparagus, strawberries, and raspberries; someone took be to Red lobster for a birthday dinner; and a loved one gave us $2000 to pay off a loan we needed for medical bills! Papa God so tenderly orders our steps and assures us that if we stay in His tracks, and focus on him, these earthly concerns and pressures will be taken care of, in his perfect time. I hear him whisper, "Not to worry, dear." What a Savior!

Note from Fr. Ed

I know that many of you have been praying for my wife, Joan. We asked for a miracle and God in his goodness has replied. We went to Madison on Monday for a consultation on when to begin chemotherapy for her leukemia. The doctors reviewed her tests and said she did not need chemo at this time, and in all likelihood would never need it. Praise the Lord! Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer. God is good.

Christine’s Story

In recent months God has kindly blessed me with several personal miracles. I am often prayed for during Healing Services and deeply touched when I receive Holy Communion at St. John’s Church. During these times, God makes me feel safe and loved.

One day recently, after healing prayer, I woke up and noticed that the large lump on my wrist called a ganglion, which was the size of a plum, had disappeared over night. A few days later I saw my doctor for a diabetic check and all my blood work was normal for the first time in 4 years! I know it sounds too hard to believe, but after 30 years with psoriasis on my face, I am also completely relieved.

It is so wonderful to have had God’s support when I suffered these physical trials, but it is even more wonderful to be healed of them! As a survivor of abuse, I know God heals not only the body but also the broken heart and mind. He has a plan for each of us, and his love is there for us in good times and in bad.

Judy’s Story

I would like to share with you how I came to be here at St. John’s and what it means to me.

I came to St. John’s for the first time nearly four years ago. A friend of mine invited me to her granddaughter’s First Eucharist. Since I know and love the family, I decided to go. I wasn’t attending any church and hadn’t been for a long time. I knew that something was missing in my life. I was searching, but I wasn’t sure what I needed. I don’t mean I didn’t have a busy life, but I mean that he most vital part of my life was missing. I came to St John’s the first time for someone else and God has been pulling me back ever since.

You see, it took me a while but I eventually realized that it was God who led me here, and it was God who was needed in my life.

Fr. Paul invited me to "hang around for a while and see what happens." After two years of just hanging around, I realized that just hanging around was not enough. This is not the sort of place that hanging around is ever enough.

I attended my first healing service after we moved into our new church building and had the most profound experience of my life. I have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for fifteen years, and when I attended that healing mass, everything changed. I had no idea what to expect, but as I waited for Fr. Paul to reach me to bless me, I prayed to God that if it was his will, I knew he could and would heal me. When Fr. Paul placed his hands on my head and began to pray, I felt an intense feeling of heat that radiated the length of my body from head to foot. If people hadn’t held me up, I would have fallen to the floor. It took several minutes to regain my equilibrium. I was filled with a feeling of such joy and peace that I never wanted it to end.

When I had that experience, I was taking 800 milligrams of anti-inflammatory medication daily and suffered from swollen, painful joints so stiff it often took 30-40 minutes just to get out of bed in the morning. Since that night I have not taken any anti-inflammatory drugs, and I have not had a significant arthritis flare up since.

I have grown greatly in my spiritual life through daily prayer, bible study, worship, and most importantly, through the Eucharist. As I have grown, I’ve felt a deeper and deeper commitment to God and to my church.

It is my privilege to contribute my time to volunteer at the Thrift Store on Fridays, to lead bible study, to help with the Alpha Program, and to provide hospitality when it’s my turn. What a joy it is to read scripture at our service on Saturday nights.

It was also my privilege as a member of St. John’s to contribute a percentage of my income for the honor and glory of God. After all, everything that I have, He gave me. He has blessed me more than I deserve. When I was spiritually lost, He led me to this place of healing and peace where I have learned the depth of His love for me. Now He fills my life every day and I have found Him. He has taught me that through Fr. Paul’s spiritual guidance, we can share His love for us together as a church family. We can heal and grow together by helping and praying for each other. We can reach out to other people in our community so that they will know how to answer when God is calling to them, just as someone showed me when I was one of His lost sheep.

You can’t hang around for long without getting involved. the more I’ve learned of God’s love, the more I want to give back.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you. Each person here has his or her own story, probably not so different form mine. The one thing we all have in common is the love of our Father in heaven. In this holy place, we can learn to use the tools we need to stay in His grace and grow in His love. Thank you for letting me share my story.

Susie’s Story

My excitement mounted as I answered my phone and heard Susie say, " I think I found God."

It was an early morning and as the phone rang I wondered who was calling so early. I was surprised to hear Susie’s voice full of excitement. Susie is a new member in our Adult Child Group. She had attended group the day before, very angry and apprehensive. She was angry at everyone for the way her life was going. She seemed to want to control everyone in her life and make them change. The group talked about how we can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. Susie seemed to be at a loss to understand this. She saw no need to change herself and couldn’t see why others didn’t understand this. Just before the group closed Susie looked so lost and alone. I asked her if she had a higher power. Susie looked at me blankly. I then said , "Do you know God ?" Susie looked at me tearfully and told me that she didn’t know or understand God. I suggested that she decide she was willing to know God and leave the rest up to him.

As she left the group she was crying and saying she needed something to make her sleep because she was so weary.

The next morning the call came. Susie was so excited. She had gone to sleep the night before very sad and depressed. During the night she awoke and felt a presence in her room . She said she thought she was dreaming because she could feel God sitting on her headboard. She tried to think it away but it remained. She finally went back to sleep, telling herself she was crazy. To her surprise when daylight came and she awakened , God was still on her headboard. She immediately called me. I think she needed someone to reassure her that she was not crazy. I felt her fear and excitement. It was like she was saying , is this too good to be true? I immediately said ," Wonderful " She told me she was going to go on with her day and leave God on her headboard. I told her she could take him with her and she didn’t seem to understand. I assured her it was o.k. to leave him there if that’s what she wanted to do. I sensed that this was overwhelming for her and she couldn’t handle anymore at this time. She hung up sounding happy and excited although a little skeptical that this could be true. I hung up and said ," Thank you, God"

It has been two weeks now and Susie is still bubbling and talking to everyone she meets. In group yesterday she shared that she has had a spiritual week and she is in awe about everything that is happening to her.

Miracles, you bet!

Charlie’s Story

Charlie has been coming to our church for a couple years. He came because of his wife and children. He wanted to do the right thing for them. I saw Charlie as a very caring man with his adopted children. He was also very angry and fearful of any religion. He was so afraid of being sucked into something he didn’t want. Charlie and I became friends and he started sharing his fears. I suggested that he attend the Adult Child Group. At first he was very reluctant. Charlie has been in a twelve step program for a number of years to deal with an addiction. He has been very successful with this program but needed something more to deal with his spiritual issues. I encouraged him to take a risk and join the group. He came in, very angry and telling everyone he didn’t think he needed to be there. He had a very foul mouth and took up a lot of group time. We were patient with him and welcomed him back. When he stopped talking he started hearing other people’s pain. He was fearful of church , fearful of God and ashamed of the life he had led. He continued coming to group and church and things started happening to him.

Charlie had been hearing in church and in group how some of us are so broken by life. Charlie had had surgery and one day a little neighbor stood in front of him and said, " Charlie, where are you broken ?" This hit Charlie right in the heart. Charlie realized later that the little boy was talking about his surgery , but that was not what Charlie heard. Out of the mouths of babes, right? I told Charlie God can use anybody to bring his messages. Charlie shared this in group and was awed by it.

Charlies’ miracles were just beginning.

Charlie attended a healing service. A gentleman attended, smelling of alcohol. Charlie was very aware of this because of his recovery of his own addiction. The gentleman walked out of the service and sat in the entrance. When Charlie noticed the man sitting alone he got up and went to sit with the man. He sat there quietly until he saw the gentleman was crying. He invited the man to come back into the healing service and invited him to take Eucharist with him. As Charlie and the gentleman returned to their pew .The man was crying again and even though Charlie has a real fear of touching another man he couldn’t stop himself from putting his arm around the gentleman. Charlie said he only meant to touch him and let him know he was there. To Charlie’s surprise he could not remove his arm from the gentleman’s shoulder for five minutes. The man finally stopped crying and Charlie sat in awe. As we were leaving the service Charlie said to me, " You won’t believe this." I said, " Charlie , I think I will."

Charlie came to group the next week and shared this . After the group had started the gentleman from the church joined us , Charlie was thrilled. Charlie told the man he was so glad to see that he was real, I had been teasing Charlie that the man was an angel.

Charlie has wonderful insight into himself and others. His job is ending and he is going to enroll in school to get in a field where he can help others.

Miracle, right on!

Trudy’s Story

New London woman believes in healing power of prayer

By Cheryl Sherry
Post-Crescent staff writer

There were days when Trudy Hill was so weak merely covering her body with a quilt made her a prisoner in her own bed. “I couldn’t move,” the 45-year-old New London woman said. “It was too heavy for me.” Hill’s life changed dramatically in 1997 when she says she was miraculously healed from the inside out.

As Christians around the world today celebrate Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the idea of miracles in our midst is close to the heart. Do miracles happen? Many scoff, with memories of shady televangelists dancing in their heads.

But some believe. And they stand firm in their belief even when skeptics shake their heads.

Trudy Hill is such a believer.

Diagnosed in 1991 with polymyocitis, an autoimmune disease that destroys the healthy muscle tissue in the body, Hill had lost about 50 percent of the muscle in her legs and another 15 percent in her arms. She was tired, in nearly constant pain and on numerous steroidal and pain medications.

While it was hard on Hill it was equally difficult on her husband, John, who worked not only a full time job but had a part-time job on the side in order to support them and their two sons, Matthew and Jacob. Money became increasingly tight. “We had to sell our house of 10 years in 1993, couldn’t afford our furniture or our van and had to move into an apartment,” Hill said. “We had gone through a lot.”

Then came a winter’s night in 1997 when Hill’s inner voice kept urging her to go to church. “It was New Year’s Eve and there were 102 things to do rather than go to church,” she said. “But I had this nagging thing that I had to go. I saw an article about (The Rev.) Paul Feider in the paper that said he was holding a healing mass (at St. John’s Center for Inner Peace).”

Feider, who had come to the then small Episcopalian congregation in November of that year, was quite familiar with the healing ministry. He had written his seminary thesis, “Healing in Light of Redemptive Suffering,” on the subject, which was later published.

“One of first things I said in November 1997 was on New Year’s Eve, we will have a healing mass,’” Feider said. “They thought no one would come.” They were wrong, as 125 people piled into the 65-seat church, including Hill, who “prayed for strength, spiritual strength to endure this long illness that I thought was going to be with me for the rest of my life. And just basically to keep my family all together,” she said.

When the service ended, Hill and her husband literally ran out the doors to the parking lot. “For a minute we sat there and John couldn’t get the key in the ignition in the car,” she said. “It hit us as something really special. My husband could barely drive the car home because we were shaking so bad. It was so emotional for us,” she recalled all these years later with tears in her eyes.

When February rolled around, Hill went to her regular three-month check-up. She was asystematic, showing no symptoms of the disease. “I was still on autoimmune suppressant medicine and some pain medicine I occasionally used.”

Toward the end of March she was feeling so good that she felt guilty using her disabled parking plates. She took them off the car and gave them to Feider. It was then she believed she had been healed by God. “It took me that long to realize that I had gone to that healing mass and God knew what was in my heart that night,” Hill said. “Besides wanting to be healed spiritually, I needed to be healed physically.”

In April she quit taking all her medication. She didn’t tell her rheumatologist. “I just did it as a big old test,” she said. She saw her doctor again in May or June, she said. “He said, ‘How are you doing?’ I was still feeling very well and had no pain. I said, “I’m doing really good. I’m not taking any of my medicine anymore.’ He said, ‘When did you quit that? I said, ‘April 1. Are you mad?’ He said, ‘I’ll get over it.’”

Hill, who works as a medical assistant at Theda Care Physicians in New London, said it took her a long time to admit that a healing occurred and “to work through the feelings of accepting a blessing and feeling worthy of a blessing. Sometimes I still have doubts, but it happened nonetheless. And I am very grateful.”

Feider said healings are truly miracles. “Miracles are basically when people experience the love of God so powerfully that something changes in them and science can’t explain it, but they know it happens,” he said.

The healing power of prayer, Feider said, has nothing to do with the person needing the prayers. “The person receiving it doesn’t need any faith. They just need to be open to God blessing them. In the scripture it says, ‘Your faith made you well.’ It’s not the faith of the sick person. It’s the faith of the prayer.” Healing can be a physical cure, or it can be an inner healing or healing of traumatic memories, Feider said. “People who come here for a while notice their relationships are getting better, they’re feeling better about themselves.

“It’s all miracles and we stand back in awe because we know it’s Jesus,” he said. “I’m just the vessel to set the stage for God’s love to flow. And when God’s love starts to flow people experience healing.” But, when it comes to healing there are no guarantees, he added. “We bathe people in the love of Jesus as well as we can but never really know what’s going to happen. I can’t tell a person they are going to be cured.”

These days, Hill said she isn’t any more spiritual than the next person. She is now simply more conscious of it in her life. “My relationships with my family all changed. Those family members I was on the outs with, we’re not anymore. My relationship with my husband is better. I think I have a little kinder heart though some days it’s a challenge. Now I think before I say stuff and am a little gentler.”