– by Martha Griego –
I would like to thank the congregation and all who prayed for me on this trip: Pastor Ken, 5 A.M. prayer, Tues/Thurs prayer, Laura Tassin’s group, Dennis Ponce’s group and many more. To God be all the glory for the things He has done.
Joellen and I recently went on an emergency trip to Washington to visit her mother who had been told that she was dying. If this had happened a few weeks previously, we would not have had transportation, but the Lord had already miraculously provided a car mid-July. It happened this way: When I came back from a Bible Study I found a strange car in my carport and I wanted it removed. My kids were laughing at me. I told them to get the person to move the car. My husband came downstairs and gave me some keys and said, “You move it, it’s your car.” We got it insured right away, so it was ready to be used on a trip, but we didn’t know that the Lord had prepared the way for a trip filled with miracles.
The finances for the trip came in from different people that the Lord impressed upon. I would like to thank those who did contribute from the church. He also opened the doors for us to stay with one of Jo’s aunts, Agatha or Aggie as we got to know her. The Lord gave us a word at morning prayer the day that we left: the people in Washington were going to be watching everything we did and say and they were going to discover that we were real and we did walk the talk. And that we were going to be very pleasantly surprised…and we were wonderfully surprised.
The trip was very pleasant in this sense: the Lord provided rest stops where there were cool breezes on a hot day and I was able to take naps which I never had been able to do before.
On the second day, we stopped in Portland to eat, I saw an Italian restaurant, but we didn’t stop because I said I didn’t want spicy food. I still had some driving to do and thought I might be uncomfortable if I ate spicy food. So we stopped at a different restaurant where the special was breaded veal with bread pudding. I ordered that. Jo, being a vegetarian, ordered something else. Well, I never tasted such bland food and they didn’t even have salsa! Jo was raving about how good her meal was. I was complaining to myself about the terrible food. The ladies there gave us two cups of ice water for the trip and the Lord told me to pray for them, so I did. When I got back on the freeway the Lord reminded me that I had said I didn’t want spicy food and to be careful of what you say. When I had asked the Lord for naps and cool breezes, He brought forth the good things I had asked for. That taught me that I had to guard my words. It became very real to me that I was supposed to be careful of what I said.
I said to the Lord, “You told me to watch what I say and I’m asking you for there to be light until we get to our destination and for You to guide us.” We arrived at 10 PM and we could still see – there was light until we got there. I saw the Hand of God. We could sense His presence. He was directing us with a plan.
When we went to see Jo’s mother, Mary, I saw death in her face; I have seen it before. She had all the signs of someone who was going to die very soon. The things I did were prompted by the Lord and the first thing was to speak life into her body. We didn’t stay very long because we didn’t want to tire her. The next day they sent her home, to die, because they couldn’t do anything more for her. She had had radiation treatments and her lungs were almost completely gone. She also had pneumonia and her eyes were yellow or jaundiced. But, anytime anyone would ask me how Mary was doing, I would say that she is getting better – she’s getting better and better everyday. I might have thought that she looked bad but I didn’t voice it because the Lord had asked me to watch what I say.
Joellen had told the Lord that it was alright to take her mother, “but please make sure that she knows You for real.” That was our constant prayer that she was saved. The previous year she went through the motions of accepting the Lord but Jo knew that her mother had not really accepted the Lord. The second day we saw that she looked a little bit better — the yellow in her eyes had gone away but they still appeared to be unfocused. Her appetite had been terrible but that very day she asked for something like Sustacal and some fruit and she started to eat again. She started to look better and talk better. Jo had the very best conversations with her mother that she has ever had. Her mother told her that she loved her numerous times and she hadn’t done that before. She asked one of her friends to leave so that she could visit with her daughter. This was a big major break-through because it was the first time she preferred Jo’s company over her friend’s.
During the week Jo met some of her cousins. One was named Rocky who had lost a leg several years ago and he walks with crutches but does just about everything else pretty well. We found out that he needs a lot of prayer. When we talked to him, he used cuss words but he did apologize later through his mother. I never said anything to him about it and the Lord kept saying to love them all and we did. Her aunts would see our routine of getting up, praying, reading the scripture and praising the Lord with music on the CD. I would help out in whatever way I could. Jo and I would tease each other, have fun and just be ourselves. People could see that we were real. We would joke and laugh. The Lord gave us favor.
On Thursday, we found out that one of Aggie’s sons, Roger, had gone for testing and they found a spur that had penetrated his spine and there was leakage. The next day he had an MRI and they found a huge tumor that had entangled itself in his spine. Surgery was scheduled for the next Monday. The prognosis was that he would lose the use of one of his legs and that he only had a year to live even with the surgery.
On the way over there to minister to him, we had prayed in tongues and prayed, “Nothing of us Lord, just You – to You be the glory.” So we prayed for him and, at one point, this heat came over me to the point perspiration covered my face and body and I was soaked on a very cool day. The Lord had told me to come against that cancer. Out of my mouth came the words, “Cancer you be no more.” I spoke that it had to stop and it had to decrease and become nothing. I prayed for the others also. Within the prayer the Lord had me give thanks that I’m a witness to what He can do. The Lord had just dissolved a mass in my breast that had been diagnosed as cancer after a biopsy but, when they went to find it, it was completely gone. He had healed my mother of leukemia and Parkinson’s disease. I included these facts in my prayer because the Lord wanted me to. I also thanked the Lord for the improvement we saw in Mary. They knew she had been at death’s door and they could see that she was getting better day by day. All Roger said to me was, “Thank you so much for praying for me.” We knew that the Lord’s glory had fallen and He had done something.
We left and Aggie told us that Jo’s uncle was coming from Montana (perfect timing). We had put some money aside for ourselves, but when we found out about a lot of relatives coming, we used it to make a big dinner for them because He told us that we should use the money that way. So we asked the Lord for the best for less at the store. We made a lot of food and the Lord stretched our money. Aggie didn’t tell us until afterwards, but one night she tested out our practice of praying before you go into the store. Remember, the Lord had told us that people would be watching what we do. She came back from the store saying “It works!!” She was happy and laughing. “I prayed like you do: God give me the best for less.” She got three big roasts for $7.00 and ground beef for an unusually low price. She was so happy that God had given her enough food for her family and her sister for the rest of the month.
On Saturday, I went to a Christian book store. I found some money in the parking lot and there was nobody to return it to. The Lord had given me money. I came to the counter to pay for my purchases. I said, “Be sure to give me the discount.” Now I didn’t know if there was a discount or not. He said that he could only give me a minister’s discount. And I said, “I am a minister,” and showed him my card. He gave me a 33% discount and, with that, I had all the money I needed to buy the things I picked out. The Lord wanted me to see that He had His hand on every detail.
We bought some really nice Bibles at the Good Will store. We also got a good buy on a Chicken Soup for the Soul and we found a book on Angels by Billy Graham. We found out that Jo’s aunts are avid readers and Aggie had wanted to read the Chicken Soup book. Jo’s mother wanted to know more about angels. So we were able to give them the books they wanted. We didn’t know why we were buying this or that at the time, but the Lord did.
On Sunday we had a big meal – the Lord had brought abundance. There were trays and trays of enchiladas, beans, salsa, potato salad, fruit salad, and a turkey. A lot of the relatives came and gave me a big hug and told me I was a part of the family, but they had warned me about one of the aunts who they thought may be a problem to us. This aunt brought Jo and I over, sat in between us and said, “You know I’m a Catholic.” I had already been told that she likes to pray, so I mentioned that and asked if it was a charismatic Catholic Church. I also asked if she had accepted the Lord as her savior and she said, “Yes.” I said, “Well we serve the same God.” She hadn’t expected this and her whole attitude changed. After she showed us a lot of pictures and talked to us, she said, “Sweetie if you want a mother, I adopt you.” She couldn’t have been nicer to me and Jo. Then she gave each of us $10 a piece, saying, “You know I have never given out money but this time I want to and it’s from my heart.” FAVOR!!! It was because of the love of God flowing in that place. That was a big witness to Aggie’s children. The Lord brought reconciliation between members of her family during our time there.
After the meal, everyone went to visit Roger but me because I was tired. Rocky came over and I shared with him the miracles that I had witnessed in my life. He said, “You know I accepted the Lord five years ago but I walked away and I would like to come back.” He prayed with me and rededicated his life to the Lord. That night the Lord gave him a dream that his brother, Roger, would not have cancer, that they would operate on him and they would not find cancer. I told him that it was very important that Roger knew the Lord before his surgery.
After he left, we went to say goodbye to Mary. Jo said that she eats like a horse now. The Lord was showing us that she was well into recovery. As we were saying our goodbyes, I was thinking that the main mission had been for Mary to accept the Lord. I had asked Him many times, “When?” Finally the Lord said, “Now.” Jo said, “Go for it.” I grabbed Mary’s hands and I knew that the Lord was going to bring her into the Kingdom – it was a done deal in my Spirit. He let me see afterwards that I was walking in the authority of a minister. It was not me – it was His authority that He was teaching me to walk in. I started praying – repeat after me, you could sense the presence of the Lord and then the GLORY came. She repeated everything. We saw her countenance change and she was glowing. After we prayed, she thanked the Lord for another opportunity because she knew that He had given her life back. The love that went through that room was tangible. MIRACLES!!
We left and drove back to Aggie’s. We were saying goodbye to Aggie and Mark, her Down’s syndrome child, and Jo was telling her that her mom had accepted the Lord. Right then Mark comes over to me and takes my hand and asked me, “Would you pray for me. I want Jesus.” It was all the Lord’s doing. Mark accepted the Lord and the Lord had me ask him if he had a Bible. He said, “No.” Remember, we had bought Bibles and they were in the car. The Lord showed me the one that He wanted him to have. It had the picture of a Shepherd with His sheep following Him on the front. When I gave it to him, he hugged that Bible and said joyfully, “It’s mine. It’s my Bible”. I get goose bumps just remembering.
After that kind of day I couldn’t sleep, just to have seen the Lord at work. I was praising the Lord. We left about 4A.M. and we called back on Monday night. By then they had already operated on Roger and they had not found cancer. They found a very, very small fleshy thing on the spine which they removed. Before the operation, Rocky had told Roger that the Lord had given him a dream that they would not find cancer. Roger said, “I know because when I was prayed for, this heat came on me and wouldn’t leave me. It kept going up and down my spine.” So when he went into operation he knew that they would not find cancer.
When Jo called Mary, she said that when we prayed with her, she felt heat go up and down her spine. She felt healing power. She’s gone back to the doctors and the doctors are amazed at how much she has recovered. On that Monday, she was eating well and had greatly improved. On August 3, she turned 70 years old and is doing great.
Heading home on Tuesday, I was nodding while driving so I needed to find a place to nap. The Lord guided me to a shady spot so that I could sleep, near Sacramento. We got back to the freeway for a just little while, and we were reading the signs – so many miles to here or there. I had not been driving that long when I saw a sign that said ‘one mile to Bakersfield.’ We had just been on the outskirts of Sacramento – how can we be one mile to Bakersfield? The only answer is that the Lord had transported us over one hundred miles. And, again, I think of all the prayers going up for us. If it weren’t because of Joellen’s presence in the car, I would not talk about it, but I have a witness – that the Lord transported us all that distance. To God be the glory.
This is just a taste of how He is going to use all those who love and serve Him.