One from Richard:
One from Beryl:
Born into a farming family in Huntingdonshire, we very soon moved to 'the sticks' in East Sussex. I grew up with my four brothers and one sister in this heavenly spot, with absolutely no worries. We had a pretty big playground and a pretty big farmhouse, so inside or out, we had loads of room.
Every Sunday, we all piled in the Land Rover and Dad would drive us to Chapel, in the metropolis of Crowborough, about half an hour away. We went there because my Mum's sister, Florrie, lived there and it was the chapel she attended with her family, two boys and a girl, Ruth, who was about my age and we did everything together - mostly getting into trouble!
Although we went to Chapel every Sunday, at home we didn't have prayers, grace, or any other sign that here was a God-fearing family. I don't think we even had a Bible - we certainly didn't read one. Although, at the time, I could not put into words what was in the depths of my mind, there was definitely the underlying feeling that something didn't add up (but more of that later, much later). We spent the entire day at Chapel - the morning service started at 11 (which, actually, for farming people was way into the day, so it wasn't the entire day, just half of it!). However, we all joined in the Gadsby's hymns, accompanied by Stan on the old organ, getting the loudest noise he could out of it, and we all sat through the 45-minute sermon, which was sort of o.k., we were used to it - a bit boring but we occupied ourselves with one form of mischief or another. I remember when I was very young I just used to go to sleep against my Dad's ample belly! When I was a bit older, I mostly sat with my aforementioned cousin, Ruth, in their pew. Oh, dear, we did get into some trouble, fidgeting, making noise and scratching words into the varnish on the pew in front of us. There were a lot of digs in the ribs and looks that could kill!! My poor aunt.
When that was over there was lunch at 1o/c. Every family brought their own sarnies to eat in their seats in the Chapel, and the ladies helped make teas in giant teapots. It was quite a going-on as there were up to 100 people gasping for a cuppa. We children wanted to eat and get out to play (in and around the graveyard !!) before Sunday School which, I think, was at 2o/c. I didn't mind Sunday School. One week, the 'teacher' of my group, one of the church elders, announced that the following week we would be learning about The Prodigal Son. I've always been fascinated by language and 'prodigal' got my attention; I determined to find out what it meant before the next Sunday. Sure enough, he duly asked what that word meant - I was the only one who knew! Ha, definitely, a highlight - I didn't usually know anything!!
After Sunday School the parents had their own service in the afternoon, while all the children were taken for a walk down the lane which led to a stream at the bottom of the hill. This is when the real fun began, well, for Ruth and myself, certainly not for Muriel, 'the poor unfortunate' who was in charge of all 30 of us. She had one or two other adults to help and we'd be gone about an hour. Ruth and I didn't want to just walk along looking at trees and chatting nicely, we wanted to go and find acorns or chestnuts and we didn't mind if we had to go through a hedge or a fence - well, I was used to that, wasn't I?
I remember, one time we hid behind a bush while the others walked past. They'd just gone by when we heard Muriel say 'has anyone seen Ruth and Beryl?' We laughed and, when they'd gone round the corner, we came out and ambled behind. Muriel got her revenge though. She must have asked one of her little helpers to walk back to see if we were there. Ah, caught! It was bad enough punishment for us having to stay by Muriel's side for the rest of the walk, but the worse thing was if we had to actually hold her hand as we walked, Ruth on one side, me on the other - oh no, that was awful!
However, fast forward several years...I was 18 and living with another of Mum's sisters, this time in Caterham, Surrey. This large and loving family lived their faith - the name of Jesus was constantly in their conversation and, each evening after dinner, my uncle, who had a beautiful, deep voice, would read from the Bible then pray. Hearing the word of God in that gorgeous, resounding voice was very moving for me and I used to close my eyes and just let it wash over me. All those years of subconscious learning at Chapel and Sunday School came together with what was unfolding before me, and began to make sense. I was actually happy to go to Chapel, not only once but twice. We attended the evening services, too. I wanted to listen to the messages - I wanted to learn. In no time at all God got my attention. One evening, the preaching was from Romans 6 v 23, 'For the wages of sin is death...' You might expect it would be the second part of the sentence in that verse which would lead a girl to give her heart to Jesus...'but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' But it wasn't - I didn't even hear that bit. But God broke through to my heart and, as if to confirm it, someone was gently pushing on my left shoulder, as if to say, 'go forward and tell them'. Well, this was a bit of a shock because this was a Strict Baptist church and you do not go forward, raise your hand, speak out in the service, or any other thing which might draw attention to yourself! I turned to see who was pushing me....no-one was there, I was against the back wall!! Hallelujah! I KNEW it was Him.
This is the wonderful, amazing account of the miraculous healing of Ian's & Pat's Granddaughter Kinsley, as told by their son-in-law, Kinsley's dad, Aaron Trimble
March 5th 2016 The Testimony of Kinsley Grace Trimble
My wife Sara started contractions early in the morning on March 5th and by 1:03pm we heard the cry of a new born baby. We were rejoicing of God’s goodness and happy seeing the baby safe and sound. She had swallowed amniotic fluid and they were giving her oxygen to keep her up to speed breathing but when they would take the oxygen away her breathing quickly diminished. She wouldn’t nurse right away so they gave her formula which was spat up instantly, raising some red flags. She was very limp for a new born and we could see the doctors and nurses talking more and more, just out of distance. I noticed the nurses weren’t leaving the room and our Doctor stayed close by. An x-ray was called in to look at the lungs, showing still a lot of fluid. On a second x-ray, the tube placed down the esophagus was seen to curl back up like a fishing hook, as if it was hitting something and not reaching the stomach. This x-ray showed no sign that the esophagus was attached to the stomach. A rare Tracheoesophageal fistula. So milk could be flooding the lungs and never reaching where it was supposed to. Children’s Hospital Doctors were now talking with West Point and looking at x-rays taken, and it was collectively decided that Children’s Hospital would come immediately and take our unnamed baby, now 3 hours old, to do an emergency surgery.
We felt so helpless as she was tested and poked again and again. Sara was heartbroken and I was trying to be strong, but I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Why God? was the question in my heart and mind. Why is everything such a struggle? I couldn’t bear the thought of scars upon my perfect new born child. But time was ticking and Children’s Hospital was now here to pick up our baby. I will never forget them bringing the baby into Sara’s room to say “goodbye”. It was as emotional and heart-wrenching as I ever want to experience. She was taken by 3 nurses, in blue full-body suits and placed in a seat-belted incubator with oxygen. I followed the ambulance with its flashing red lights and I prayed, but in shock I couldn’t pray very well. Sometimes all you can say is the name, Jesus… but I do know that my God heard me. I also texted the whole known Christian world around me to be in earnest prayer for our baby.
For an hour and a half I could feel the enemy’s attacks upon my mind. Had I brought this on myself? Is this some kind of a punishment or chastening? Yet, at the same time there seemed a greater peace that passed understanding. He was there with me in that car - He being Jesus. And folks from everywhere across the country were texting in saying they were praying for a specific miracle to be done. Namely for the oesophagus to be attached to the stomach.
In Omaha, on the 4th floor of the NICU at Children’s Hospital, I stood very broken but awaiting what might be a long and uncertain night. They told me that they would x-ray her again to triple check, before doing surgery. I walked, passing a floor with 40 little beds who were also emergency situations and I prayed for them as I waited in the room with my newborn, praying and hoping against hope for an answer from God.
A nurse and a Doctor came into my room just then to show me the latest x-ray. This x-ray was different from the previous one. The probe used to go down the throat, now had clearly found the stomach. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I squinted through the tears welling in them. The oesophagus was clearly attached. I said, “So…so…!" The nurse finished my sentence saying, “So your baby is going to be alright!!!” And this daddy wept as the joy of the Lord overwhelmed me and peace flooded my heart.
I had to tell Sara! My next call was to my wife, back in West Point at the hospital. As I explained what had all transpired, I assured her there will be no surgery tonight, our baby is going to be fine. Then the questions came...did the Doctors get it wrong? Was there some kind of mistake in assumption? At that time we didn’t have those answers. But what we did know was this, that sometime during the hour and a half ride from West Point to Omaha, as Christians prayed and believed for my little girl and for my wife and I, JESUS CHRIST TOUCHED her and HEALED HER!! I stayed in the Rainbow House that night, after holding and comforting my miracle girl.
Sara was reunited with her newborn the next day and the baby grew stronger day by day. On Tuesday we were all able to come home and all the kids were so ready to see Mommy and the new addition to the family.
Sara and I remembered, how we had often prayed that our lives would be used as a testimony to the grace and glory of God. We had received our test and now a wonderful testimony to the wonder-working power of the Lord’s healing touch.
I can’t say enough about the staff and the West Point Hospital, especially our Nurse Maggie for her watchful eye and great instincts, as well as our Dr. who made all the right calls to examine and x-ray our little one. The whole time they handled us with the greatest of love and of care. The Doctors saw all the text-book signs of a Tracheoesophageal fistula; they even reviewed the x-rays time and time again with Doctors at Children’s Hospital, before making the call. They didn’t miss it.
As I left to follow the ambulance the night of the birth, our Doctor grabbed hands with us and asked me to pray. I’m a pastor and that is my job, right? Well this time I couldn’t…it was too much. So the Doctor knelt and Sara and I agreed as he prayed over us and this fragile, little new life. I will never forget this. Nurses stopped in quickly to share that they would be in prayer for this child. Those prayers paid off.
At the one week check-up back in West Point, Sara told me, as she talked to her Doctor, that God is still in the miracle-working business and that we mark this down as one for sure!
Thank you, nurses and doctors in West Point and Omaha. Thank you, Christian friends and family who believed God for the healing touch of our little Kinsley Grace Trimble. Praise God for His making good on His promise to our prayers, to always give us a testimony that would glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you, and may God’s son Jesus always be the greatest blessing of your life and ours.
Aaron and Sara
Katelynn, Keaton, Kristen and Kinsley Grace, the Trimble’s.