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A missionary who beat the deadly Ebola disease has declared: “God saved my life.”
Dr Kent Brantly – an aid worker for Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia – was flown back to the USA for specialist treatment after contracting the virus, which has claimed over 3,000 lives across West Africa.
Dr Brantly, 33, said, “I am thrilled to be alive. As I lay in my bed in Liberia the following nine days getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me, be faithful even in my illness.
“And I prayed in my life or in my death that he would be glorified. I did not know then, but have learned since that there were thousands, maybe even millions of people around the world praying for me throughout that week and even still today. Through the care of Samaritan’s Purse and the missionary team in Liberia, the use of an experimental drug, and the expertise and resources of the healthcare team at Emory Hospital, God saved my life – a direct answer to thousands and thousands of prayers.
“Above all, I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life and I am glad for any attention my sickness brought to the plight in West Africa amidst this epidemic. Please continue to pray for Liberia and the people of West Africa.”
Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said the organisation was celebrating Dr Brantly’s recovery.
Read the full story in the December issue of Direction Magazine
“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse teams around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital,” he said in a statement. I know Dr Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle.
We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr Brantly – along with the other doctors, aid workers and organisations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.”
Meanwhile, Christians across the world are continuing to pray for the disease to stop spreading and vigils and organised fasts have been held in some churches.
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Physiotherapist left amazed by recovery
This is the moment when a woman who was left unable to walk without crutches or a Zimmer frame after a health problem took her first steps.
Kuria Amoyaw, from London, had endometriosis and suffered severe abdominal pain. After an operation in February, she was left with further complications meaning she couldn’t walk without assistance and required help climbing stairs and washing.
She attended the Follow Your God-given Passion conference at her home church, Revival Christian Church of Enfield, in North London, and was prayed for by American pastor Cleddie Keith and his team. Within seconds, Kuria – a worship leader at the church – threw down her crutches and began to run and jump.
She told New Life: “I am bowled over by God’s mercy. I’ve been able to walk up and down the stairs and have slept properly for the first time in four months. I am bewildered and still in shock. It feels like a dream.
“I’ve just been telling everyone about it! I went to see my physiotherapist four days later who was in shock to the point that she even acknowledged that it was a miracle.”
Describing the moment she was healed, Kuria, 25, said: “I felt something like strength and power enter the base of my spine into my legs, especially my right leg, which was the most troublesome and painful in terms of movement.
Read all about Kuria’s miraculous healing in July’s issue of New Life Newspaper, and why not give away a copy to your friends and neighbours?
“I also experienced a strong sense of faith enter my heart so I took my hands out of my crutches and slid my right foot forward. Before I could even register what happened, I had started walking unaided!
“My brain and heart took a while to engage with what my body was doing. I was in total shock. I screamed. I hollered. I walked. I danced. I sang. I jumped! I had not been able to do any of those things for so long.
“Two months on I’ve had some tests and they’ve come back all clear. The doctors are surprised and can’t seem to work it out. I showed them a copy of New Life Newspaper and they have put it in my medical file. They admitted that science has failed them on this occasion. I understand all the staff were shocked and they’ve kept a copy of the newspaper open in view for people to see!”
Kuria’s pastor Nick Chanda added: “We experienced the presence and power of God like never before. Kuria’s miracle was the biggest highlight of the week as she had not been walking for four months due to post-operation complications and much pain.”
Pastor Cleddie plans to return to Revival Christian Church of Enfield from October 29 – November 2.
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David Nobbs is a member of the pastoral team at Salisbury Elim who has had two battles with cancer and won. He told Direction how having God on our side makes all the difference
When you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s a momentous occasion. If you’re a professional nurse who knows your way around a diagnosis, it’s even worse. When David Nobbs was told he had developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he was faced with this dilemma.
“Being a nurse by profession, one instantly thinks, ‘This is the beginning of the end.’ Being a Christian, one’s thoughts are, ‘God can help me.’”
These might seem like opposites, but David’s story is actually a bit more 50/50 than you might imagine. He was diagnosed in January 2001 and admitted to Salisbury District Hospital.
“After minor surgery the diagnosis was confirmed,” he says. “The consultant said I was to commence chemotherapy the next day and told me he could do 50 per cent, but I must do 50 per cent.
“I told him that I was a Christian and that with much prayer we would win this battle. Praise God – when I had a scan halfway through my treatment the consultant advised me that there was no evidence of the disease. He could not quite understand this and I was privileged to tell him that my God was the answer. People had prayed for me all across the country and God was responsible for my cure.”
After his remarkable recovery, you’d think that David would just be pleased to see the back of the hospital, but that’s not quite what life had in store.
“Twelve years later, my wife found me unconscious on the floor,” he remembers. One whirlwind hospital trip later, a divine connection sawDavid referred to Southampton. “The consultant in Salisbury had been the specialist registrar to one of the country’s leading surgeons,” he explains.
“Whilst I was ill, the church was brilliant in supporting me. I was in the regional liver unit in Southampton which is a long way from Salisbury and my wife, Jeanette, doesn’t drive. Nevertheless, they didn’t forget me.”
Successful surgery removed the malignant tumour from David’s liver, and 18 months on, he was as fit as a fiddle.
“The oncologist told me he could not understand how I was so well, but that he was going to discharge me. I thanked him for this and I said to him that I have a strong Christian faith and that God had control of the situation.”
As amazing as his story is, David’s healings are simply a part of a life lived in faith.
“I was brought up in a Christian home and converted as a young lad of 12 years old through the caravan mission to children,” he recalls. “I did start to drift away, but I’m so grateful that the Lord didn’t let me go far.
“It’s been an integral part of my life – the main drive. The Lord has looked after me in many ways, not only from a health point of view. I was involved with St John Ambulance from the age of 11 and ended up as deputy chief nursing officer.
“When I went to interviews to become the second most senior officer in the organisation, I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want me to do this, make it very obvious,’ and the Lord answered those prayers so clearly – and that’s been our way through life, my wife and I.”
Although he’s been a Christian for much of his life, David hasn’t always been in Elim. He and his wife certainly felt led to Salisbury Elim, where they found a new lease of spiritual life. “We came to Elim and all the people came and said hello and welcomed us and we just felt that the Lord had led us down that road.
“The biggest change in our Christian walk came when we joined Elim. I had never had any real Pentecostal experiences, but it’s been the happiest years of our lives, in Elim. We look after the pastoral care, visiting people’s homes, taking the Lord’s table to them and having fellowship. We’re so grateful and privileged.”
David’s not the only one in his household that has suffered at the hands of debilitating illness either.
“My wife had cancer too,” he explains, “but she had a mastectomy and also recovered, which is great news. I think the essence of our life is, as the Scriptures say, ‘In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.’ He has. He’s never let me down. I’ve let him down millions of times, but he’s never let us down.”
A healing story can be a great witness and that’s exactly what David has found.
“Just this morning, a man came out to pick up my car for repair,” David says, “and he said, ‘I never thought I’d see you again!’ When he picked it up two years ago I had just had major surgery. Whilst I don’t take anything away from the medics, I started to tell him about how I had a God in heaven, and he was quite taken really!”
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Dave Campbell speaking
God healed Dave Campbell’s throat as a teenager and gave him a boldness to preach. He hasn’t looked back since. Becky Barlow met the popular member of Elim’s National Leadership Team
Dave Campbell’s arrival into the world made headlines when he and his identical twin, Ian, were born with a combined weight of 20lbs!
With the average weight of a twin being just 5.5lbs, Dave went on to thrive in every sense of the word. The third generation Elim member excelled at school and was pushed forward, finishing a year ahead of the pack – at a time when something happened which changed the course of his life forever.
“God really got hold of my life,” he recalls. “I had something wrong with my throat and I lost my voice for six weeks. I had to go into hospital and I went and got prayed for by my pastor, Richard Lighton, who the Lord had just healed from cancer, and God healed me and gave me my voice back.
“Before that I was really shy in public but I remember praying, ‘God, if you heal me, I will speak anywhere for you.’ And when my voice came back, my problems with public speaking disappeared too.”
But Dave was doing well in his chosen career as an accountant and had no intention of entering the ministry – until he encountered the fire of God.
“When my pastor prayed for me to get baptised in the Holy Spirit, he prophesied that I would go into the ministry,” Dave says. “I didn’t want to give up my job and go into the ministry full time – I thought that I could just do it as well as working.
“But God reminded me of my promise to him during that six-week period of illness. Eighteen months later I went to Bible college – which was in Capel at the time – for three years. It was a great time and some of my contemporaries were Nigel Tween and Robert Millar.”
Upon his graduation, Dave spent six years at Ashbourne where he met his wife, Mandy, before moving to St Albans, where his experience of the Holy Spirit was to go even deeper.
“We saw phenomenal growth in the St Albans church and we became a Holy Spirit-centred church,” he explains. “We were the first Elim church to visit Toronto in 1994 and we came back and all heaven broke out. We had seven years of blessing.
“My grandmother was saved under George Jeffreys and she was a founding member of Greenock Elim. Later my father was an Elim minister for a short time. For me, the whole Toronto experience took me back to the stories my father would tell me about what it was like during the early days of Elim with George Jeffreys, so it was like we were rediscovering our roots.”
This passion for the Holy Spirit birthed RIVERcamp – a family event now in its 12th year, that last years attracted more than 2,000 people.
“RIVERcamp came about when we handed over the church leadership and took over the Region – we stopped doing the church conferences and RIVERcamp became a natural successor to that,” Dave explains.
“Someone suggested that we have a camp where the whole family could be touched by the Holy Spirit. That was 12 years ago – we started with around 300 people and now we have around 2,000 over the whole weekend.
“I’m a Holy Spirit person; I like the reality of that. I don’t do religion, I’ve had too much of the real thing. I put it like this: once you’ve had a colour TV you don’t want to go back to watching black and white! But our ministry has to be enough not to just bless Christians, but to give away.”
It was at St Albans that the father-of-two’s other passion was developed – missions.
“I’ve always had a heart for releasing people into missions, so when we came to St Albans we started double tithing to up our missions giving and that’s something the church still does today,” he says.
“When the Toronto Blessing came, our prayer was always that God would give us enough to give away. We sent a lot of people on short-term missions and they’d come back passionate about missions for the rest of their lives. In 1995, 120 people went out on a short-term mission, which was nearly half the church.”
Although Dave, 56, resigned from St Albans eight years ago to concentrate on his role as a Regional Leader for Elim, he is keen to point out that the local church is at the forefront of everything that he does.
“I still have an office at St Albans and try to be there on a Sunday at least once a month,” he says. “I became a Regional Leader in 2000 and though I handed over the church in 2005, the local church is still very important to me. I make myself accountable to them. That’s the key.
“Deep down I’m a revivalist and always have been. I believe in and seek for and pray for revival. Elim was birthed in revival – every Movement needs to revisit their roots when they’re looking to the future. Elim’s roots are unashamedly Christian and unashamedly Pentecostal which suits me down to the ground because that’s what I am.
“Reaching the lost and church planting is how we started, so we are just going back to our roots with The Big Centenary Ask. It’s not a new thing but it’s a new way of going back to our roots and to what God gave us as a Movement in the first place.”
Read more articles like this in Direction Magazine every month.