Humans of Redeemer

Elise Arsenault | Reporter 

"Tell me about a time you saw prayer answered."

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“This was during my time in England, with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). It could be a coincidence, but I like to think of it as a God moment. I knew this man who worked in a retail store, he was a cool ginger guy. They weren’t meeting the mark they needed to because they were low on business. We’d go to this place pretty regularly, and pray for him all the time, so I prayed for his store. When I came back a week later, he’d hit twice as much in terms of revenue.

            So the guy was like, ‘You need to be here more often!”’

 

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            “It’s a long, convoluted story, but basically, it is this. There was a student from Calvin College in her final year, training as a music teacher. Before starting her practicum to go into the Michigan schools, she had to write a multiple choice competency exam covering a multitude of areas — not just music.

            She tried these tests, but she failed them, which meant she couldn’t do the practicum, which meant she might not be able to finish her degree at Calvin. So, she contacted me, saying ‘I’ll try it one more time, but if I don’t make it, is there a possibility of finishing my degree at Redeemer?’

            I told her we could certainly talk about that, but to focus on passing these tests first. I said I’d pray for her. And, she passed! She was saved from a whole bureaucratic snafu!”

 

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            “When I first came to Redeemer, for whatever reason my OSAP came in really late and evaluated me really low. It was a month before school was supposed to start, so I wasn’t going to be able to be here. I was really distraught, and didn’t know what to do, so I just kept praying about it. And then — literally a week before school started — they reevaluated me on a whim, and gave me exactly what I needed to be here! So that was kind of fun, and stressful.”

 

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            “My dad was a Pastor in the States during the recession there, and we had to leave because the Church was unable to support my family. We moved back to Canada, and my parents were confident that God would provide a Church for my dad to pastor soon. Doors kept closing, though, so we ended up moving in with my grandparents while my parents worked minimum-wage jobs to keep providing.

            My parents didn’t stop praying for a year, hoping in God, and my Dad just kept applying. He’d preach at churches for the weekend, but there weren’t any long-term opportunities. They felt a lot of stress, and since my grandparents were fostering three kids, there were ten of us in one house. Then, at the end of the summer, my dad got three or four job offers from different churches, all at once! It was amazing. God’s timing may be different from our own, but he will always provide.”

 

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            “When I came to Canada almost four years ago, the culture shock was so grave that I responded with a neurological breakdown. My body began twitching semi-voluntarily, so we went to the doctors and they diagnosed me with all these weird neurological conditions — it was a very confusing time, because I was under a lot of pressure. My parents were on a honeymoon at the time and were very worried about me.

            When they came back, my mom asked her friends and my church back in the Dominican to pray for me. The doctor said that my symptoms would go on for a year, but a few days after that, my mom said ‘You’re going off medication, God is going to heal you’ and then — with all the prayers from my church and friends — I was healed. I had a realization that God was with me, and that he had healed me.”

 

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            “When I went to Scotland to study, I didn’t know a soul. So all summer I was trying to figure out where I was going to live, and somehow made a connection online with a Christian guy who was looking for a roommate, so we arranged to live together.

            I had never met him before, so I was expecting to have to find my own way to the apartment and everything. I also needed a bed since the apartments didn’t come furnished, and my only transportation was a bus! So I prayed about it.

            Then, the day before I came, my flatmate was like ‘Hey, do you want me to pick you up from the airport?’ and he didn’t even own a car. He got a friend to come with him, so I knew he was pulling favours to get me there, which was amazing.

            Then, that same day, he got a different friend to come with his car and take me to Ikea. We were able to fit a mattress and bed frame into the tiniest car. So here’s this guy I’d never met before, taking three hours out of his day to help me get a bed (from then on, I called him Ikea Andy!). He thought it was the tiniest act of kindness, but it was my first day in a foreign country, and I had a very practical need — so that was huge.”

 

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            “One time at YWAM, my team was short about $4000 two weeks before our outreach in China and Thailand. My co-leader and I were freaking out a little bit, and unsure of what to do. We were cutting budgets, planning to eat really simply, and counting on enough money to come in for us to go.

            Then anonymous donors started giving us checks fulfilling exact amounts. We saw the gap become smaller. People started to find cash on their beds — hundreds of dollars — from random people! A few staff members decided to help out anonymously, and one family paid a huge amount. We ended up with $500-$600 extra for the trip! We were then able to give more generously on our outreach. It was incredible.”

 

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            “God has always been faithful to my family and marriage. My husband used to be a Muslim, and then he was born again. My father-in-law became a Christian too — just before he died. That is a testimony for me.

            This is how it happened. My husband and I were in England on holiday, and his father was sick. My husband was so bothered, asking: ’is this man going to die unbelieving?’ But God came through. Of course, it took a lot of prayer and intercession, but without anybody putting any pressure on him, he asked for his wife’s pastor to come over. And with joy, he came and shared the Word with my father-in-law. He gave his heart to Christ, and not long after, he died. We didn’t mourn like those who do not have hope. We were sad because he was no longer with us, but we were glad inside because we knew his destination. That was a big miracle for us — and it still is a miracle. Salvation is always a miracle.”