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.