Sep 3, 2023 | by The Fellowship
My parents arrived for a visit on June 14. My mother has been coming from Colombia once a year, but this time my father also came. He and I had not seen each other for five years. My daughter was turning 15, and he was here to help us celebrate. In our culture a young woman’s 15th birthday is a very significant milestone, a “coming of age”, and we all were very excited to be together as a family for the big event.
When I decided to immigrate to the United States some years ago, my father was not happy. I was working as a lawyer in Colombia and doing very well. He could not believe that I was going to leave everything behind and go to another country to start all over again. But I suspect the real reason he did not want me to leave was because he knew that my daughter would also go.
When he arrived in Houston, my dad was in good health. But two days later, he woke up struggling to breathe and could not walk. Very frightened, I took him to the closest emergency room. He was placed on oxygen and admitted to the hospital. After being in a room for an hour, suddenly a lot of nurses came running in. One hit my father in the chest and another climbed up to do CPR. Overcome with fear, I started screaming. A different nurse ran to me and hugged me, then took me to another room. I realized that I had to be strong for my daughter, my sister and my mom who were also devastated to see my dad like that.
A beloved friend came and prayed for my dad and me. She shared about her church, The Fellowship, saying that if you attend this church, the people there become your family. After she let The Fellowship know of our situation, Pastor Brian and many other church members began to pray for my dad and our family. It made me cry because, despite having no relatives here, the church adopted me and made me feel very loved and part of their family. My friend said, “Remember – you can always count on your family in Christ.” Some of the church members brought dinner to our home.
Pastor Brian and three ladies came to the hospital to pray in person for my dad and each of us in the family. One of the ladies was an excellent translator, solving the language barrier. As we all prayed, the presence of the Holy Spirit in that room was very real to every one of us.
Five days after my father was hospitalized, the doctors met with my mother, my sister and me. They said with no emotion that my dad was going to die in less than 15 days because his organs were not working. My mother left the room, went to the bathroom where she fainted due to the impact of the news, and was treated at the hospital. She and my father have been married for 36 years. My sister, my daughter and I were very shocked by what was happening. All we could do was pray and cry out to the Lord for healing and help. Knowing that God's power is supernatural and that He is in control, we all declared our faith in Him to do miraculous things.
I looked at my dad and said to my sister, “I do not think Dad looks like he is going to die! What do you think?” She said to me, “He looks fine to me!”
Fifteen days after the cardiac arrest, the doctors told us to take him home for his last days, that they could not do anything more for him. On Friday, June 30, he arrived at my house, full of life and full of the Holy Spirit! We kept the TV on praise channels and my daughter read the Bible to him a lot. It was very important to me that my dad was aware that Jesus had raised him up, and now he can share his testimony as well as the gospel message.
On July 23, my parents returned by air to Bogota, Colombia. My dad got on the plane without oxygen and had an excellent trip. They arrived home with no problems. The doctors have given their opinion, but truly it is God who decides what the future holds for my father.
Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Never are we more aware of His presence and power than when we find ourselves helpless in a very critical situation. That Is when He comes to pour out His grace and fill us with hope.
P.S. I am overwhelmed by the love, compassion and prayers from the people at The Fellowship when they did not even know me. Thank you to everyone who reached out during this crisis in my life. May God continue to pour out His Holy Spirit on this church!
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you …
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.