by LJ Engkong

It was March 23, 2009 when the theater club of the school where Jem is enrolled presented their production entitled “The Prince of Egypt”. Jem played the title role _-Moses. As I was watching the play, tears fell down my cheeks – not because of the plight of Moses in the story but because I could imagine where Jem could be now if God had not intervened in his life 14 years ago. I still could freshly savor the love of Christ, His mercy and faithfulness while Jem powerfully acted his part in the play. Indeed, because of God’s intervention, he snubbed the prospect of despair that could have been his future…

Jem is one of the few survivors of maternal infection caused by rubella virus (German measles) which I contacted on the third month of my pregnancy. Medically, the virus, especially contacted during the first trimester of pregnancy could result to either death or birth of an infant with congenital anomalies. Incidentally, no one of all four doctors I consulted gave encouraging prognosis.

I became overly concerned. I very well knew that no doctor or medicine could do anything about a congenital disease. I had only one hope – the Lord Jesus Christ.

I prayed to God, casting all my fears and anxieties to Him. In His mercy, He led me to Daniel 6:27 which says, “He rescues and He saves. He performs signs and wonders in the Heaven and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” I strongly claimed that verse and His enabling grace gave me peace.

After sometime, Jem was born. He looked normal and very healthy that nothing seemed wrong about him.

After two months, however, we noticed some motor deficit in him. He would over extend his neck and roll up his eyeballs. When vertically suspended, he would extend his legs backward. At rest, he would arch his back, stomach out, twisting his limbs as if they were a useless extension of flesh and bones. He also had seizures. These became more evident as he matured. At 7 months, he could not yet raise his head nor stand on his feet even with support. My son was suffering from a type of cerebral palsy. The neurologist who examined him said that his brain did not grow with his age.

His condition brought me to my knees. With all my strength I wrestled with God in prayer. I had never before felt the kind of heart-wrenching intensity I put into those prayers, always seeking what was in God’s mind and heart for Jem, at the same time claiming His promise of deliverance.

One day, an evangelist-healer arrived in town. I thought of bringing Jem to the crusade to ask for prayers, but a strong conviction from the Holy Spirit led me to open my Bible to Ecc. 3:6. This gave me an impression not to be in a hurry for there is a proper time and procedure for every matter. The thought of God right into our situation was overwhelming. He knew what was happening, even in my mind.

I admit though that there were more times that I got discouraged than hopeful. And God, in His kindness, would send people to encourage me. Expressing their concern over Jem, many relatives and friends consistently and persistently prayed for him. Some fasted. The church elders laid hands on him when I brought him to them in obedience to God’s instructions. On one occasion, the whole congregation prayed for him. They were all wonderful prayer warriors and I felt assured with their powerful voice on our side.

By the time Jem reached the age of one, he could lift his head already. He had also mastered the art of crawling on his belly. After another four months, I became a witness to a miracle – the wonder of God’s precious promise. For the first time, Jem stood on his two feet and made a slow, uncertain step forward. He didn’t fall. He tried another step, and he didn’t fall. He took more steps, faster and still he didn’t fall. My son can now walk!

At fifteen, Jem is like any other normal teenager. Although the rubella virus affected his hearing ability, it was for God’s greater glory because in time, he developed a passion for music.

More exciting and thrilling than this beautiful miracle of God was the fulfillment of its purpose. I learned that going through trials, no matter how insurmountable they may seem to be, is a matter of perception. Time passes, but it doesn’t pass us up if we keep in step with our Master. Moreover, I realized the importance of belonging to a body of believers who pray, consequently making the whole thing lighter to carry.

Together with the witnesses to this miracle, we say GLORY TO GOD, OUR JEHOVAH ROPHE!

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