Radically Changed

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She was a man trapped in a woman’s body.

Or at least that’s what Leng had believed for the past 50 years. She used to take pride in being a toughie, thinking it was her masculinity and her strong and unrelenting personality that got her through most of life’s challenges.

That was until when, at the age of 50, she encountered something that radically changed her life. Or rather, she encountered Someone.

Her world was changed the day she encountered Jesus Christ and realized He is not just the religious figure she had revered since childhood, but a very real Presence, an all-consuming fire that revolutionized her entire being. For the first time in her life, she desired nothing more than knowing Him, following His lead, and experiencing His love.

After so many years of playing it tough, her rock-hard psychological defenses finally broke down in the face of this awesome reality. The sheer freedom of finally knowing the truth and knowing Jesus Himself was more wonderful than anything she could imagine. Soon, one after the other, changes were happening in her attitude, emotions, and the way she looks at life.

For one thing, she no longer desired sexual relationships with the same sex. Understandably, at first this didn’t go well with her long-time girlfriend and companion with whom she had raised a son. For Leng, however, the woman she had lived with for so long together with their son would always be her family and home. She would always be to her a dear sister and bestfriend, and mother of her son.

Despite her girlfriend’s initial displeasure, however, it didn’t take long and she was soon convinced to come to church with Leng. Together with their son, they now attend services at Victory Churches of Asia in Quezon City, Philippines every Sunday like a regular family.

The profound change in Leng’s life—the transformation from a defensive, tough-talking, bitter and usually angry façade—left no doubt to its authenticity. Physically, however, she still prefers her usual get-up—pants, leather jacket, sneakers, and closely cropped hair. It’s not that easy to get rid of half a century’s fashion habits. She couldn’t bring herself to wear a dress either. While she is aware of occasional looks of disapproval from some “religious” Christians, she is happy to find in God’s Word that

“People look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

Still, there are times when she would ask God—“Why am I this way?” meaning why does she still prefer to dress up like a man. And the answer soon became apparent.

The sense of God’s overwhelming love compels Leng to share Jesus to everybody and anybody she meets—in the office, on the streets, and everywhere she goes. And that’s when she finally understood. The way she looked gave her some sort of “access” and approachability to people whom other Christians would normally find hard to connect with. It was easy for her to reach out to both men and women and people who consider themselves of the third (and fourth) sex. She reveled in the thought that even her appearance had a purpose for His cause.

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A few weeks ago, she got to her office at City Hall and found an old man slumped motionless on her desk. She asked around and learned that the old man had been standing in line in one of the cityhall’s transaction windows and could have suffered a stroke. So the office staff took him to where the airconditioner was a lot cooler—in Leng’s office—and had him sit on her chair.

For Leng, it was an opportunity she couldn’t miss. She talked to the old man, telling him of Jesus’ love and power to heal. She touched his arms and found that he couldn’t even raise them. His fingers were twisted and gnarled and very stiff, and he was just totally weak.

Leng knew that just as Jesus healed a lot of people while He was on earth 2,000 years ago, He is still actively doing so now—through the hands of people like her who believe and have a living relationship with Him, who take Him at His word, who are willing to step out despite what other people might think. Thus, in obedience to Jesus who said, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons,” Leng declared healing for the old man in His Name.

Almost immediately, the man was able to raise his arms straight up, his fingers softened and were able to move, and strength began to return to his body. Overwhelmed with joy, the man reached out for Leng’s hands and almost wanted to kneel before her. Leng recalled reading from the Bible about the exact same reaction from a lame man whom the apostle Peter had healed. Peter had said,

Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see”. (Acts 3:12-16)

Leng patiently explained to the old man, “It wasn’t me. It was Jesus”.

Question: Have you ever met a person whose life had been radically changed from inside out? Please leave a comment. 🙂

Woman Proves Jesus Still Heals the Sick Today

Woman Proves Jesus Still Heals the Sick Today

When Mommy Ofel went back to her home province last year after a long time of not seeing her children, things were never the same. Gone were the feelings of hurt and bitterness, and all she ever wanted was to share her new life with her children.

Mommy Ofel is 68 years old and lived in Manila a long time before deciding to pay her family in the province a visit. Her relatives who reunited with her marvelled at the fact that there seemed to be something different about her—a new attitude, an air of peace and calm, an inner joy.

When Mommy Ofel learned that her brother suffered a stroke and was at the ICU of the provincial hospital, she rushed to take care of him. The sight of him with all kinds of tubes and machines supporting his weak body was just too much. But instead of feeling discouraged, somehow Mommy Ofel felt unfathomable hope. She knew things were different now, and she has that one important thing she hadn’t known before. Or better yet, she has come to know Him—Jesus, the reason for the joy deep inside her that nothing else, not even sickness, could break.

It was Jesus who changed her life, took away her emptiness and emotional baggages, and who said these words: “…these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover…” (Mark 16:17-18)

The provincial hospital was the largest in the entire region but numerous patients occupied the ICU, and their relatives were crammed together in a waiting area where Mommy Ofel sat waiting. The stench of near-death and the atmosphere of hopelessness was heavy in the room, but she was more bothered by the negativity and vulgarity of the conversations around her. Whenever she mentioned God, they would react with sarcasm and irreverent humor.

Among the patients in that ward, her brother seemed to have the worst of conditions. Still, she would place her hands on him everyday, praying in faith, believing that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross brought healing to everyone who truly believes—healing in the mind, emotions, and the body. In her spirit, she bound the evil that brought this sickness upon her brother. She made a stand and used her authority as a child of the King of Kings. And in the powerful Name of Jesus, the Name by which the entire universe was created, the Name to which every force or sickness or disease must bow down, she claimed healing for her brother.

Soon, the people in the waiting room witnessed how, one by one, the tubes and medical gadgets were being removed by the doctors from Mommy Ofel’s brother. Gradually, all his vitals were improving and to their surprise, he recovered faster than any other patient in the ward. Before long, he was up and moving about like nothing happened.

Seeing this miracle right before their eyes, the relatives of the patient next to hers asked that she pray for their patient, too. Mommy Ofel obliged, supernaturally feeling Jesus’ compassion for the person who in the natural sense was but a complete stranger. There were no magic words, no hocus-pocus. It was pure unadulterated faith in the One who, while He walked on this earth, spent as much time as He could healing people of physical, emotional and spiritual sicknesses. And knowing Him enough to believe that He still wants to do the same things today. Through people who, as He said, truly believe.

The same thing happened. That patient recovered faster than the doctors could believe what they were seeing.

Mommy Ofel is old, lived in a poor community and works as a laundry woman. If you were an advertising or promotions manager, you wouldn’t choose someone like her to show your product to the world. She would be the last person anyone would choose for an endorsement or a publicity campaign.

Yet, the Creator of the entire Universe, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, does not think like we do. In fact, Jesus had prayed, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! (Matthew 11:25)

And this story did not end there. The people at the hospital waiting room—those who thought they were pretty cool bad-mouthing those who believed in God—suddenly lost their cynicism and asked Mommy Ofel to pray for their patient, too. And of course, Mommy Ofel was just too happy to oblige.

Question: Do you believe that Jesus still heals the sick today through people like Mommy Ofel? Please leave a comment. 🙂