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Continuing into the second day (Friday), the miracles kept on coming. All the doctors monitoring Joshua’s condition notified us that that the brain CAT scan showed no internal bleeding!Surgery was unnecessary and the MRI was negative confirming no broken bones anywhere in his body!Nonetheless, Joshua still needed to be closely monitored.
After a time of fasting and praying at the church with almost everyone participated, the pastors urged many believers to go to the hospital to visit and pray directly for the child. What was astonishing was that even though visiting hours were over, the hospital staff still allowed all of us to come in, as though they had a special bond with our Christian group and God granted special visiting hours! Joshua was lying on the ICU hospital bed still feeling very woozy from all the medications in his system, but everyone said a word of blessing for him: "God says that Joshua will return quickly, destruction has already been cast out, God has already healed you, rise up and come home so that the Church can have another testimony!..." These words are not just wishes only, but they bespoke the faith that leans upon God’s promises. Even Jesus spoke similar words of faith to a man that had been dead in the grave for four days and full of the smell of decay. The Bible reported it like this:"40Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" 41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." 43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (John 11:40-44)
Many times when we spoke to a living person they still could not hear us, even more so a dead person. But the Word of God is the Word of Life and Power. With little Joshua’s current condition then, anyone looking in would have seen a still figure that looks to be dead, as his whole body was covered with IV tubes and a white blanket wrapped around him. Yet, the Word of God and prayer brought forth something incredible. Due to the lateness of the time, most of us who had visited him were getting ready to leave, but right at that moment we saw little Joshua’s hands and feet move. Then one of his eyes opened, as the other was still swollen, and yet it showed movement. A torrent of joy burst forth from all of us, breaking the peaceful atmosphere of the ICU, as praises and thanksgiving to God were offered nonstop and changing into songs worshipping God! "God’s power never changes; His Holy Spirit is gloriously majestic! His Name gloriously shines over all the earth. The song of victory, we are bustling with songs, praising God, praising our Eternal Father! In the name of Jesus, victory already belongs to Him! The One who has victory over the darkness is Jesus! Let us follow after His footsteps! There is nothing that can stand before the name of Jesus!" Many of us pulled out our cell phones in order to take his picture, and then we called his name to see if he recognized any of us, or for him to raise his hand and say Hallelujah. The incredible thing that is even though he could not talk, but he recognized everyone with his eyes, and his hands were raised several times. But because little Joshua has just come out of his "unconsciousness" and still tired, and as it was late at night already, everyone had to regretfully leave, and it seemed as though everyone was cloaked by God with a new robe, what the Bible called "the robe of praise". Afterward, in the same night, another miracle occurred as Joshua’s mom, Jolene, was able to take Joshua’s hand to guide him into the bathroom, without needing to use the potty pan. Also, he told his mom that he wanted to go home in the family van, and sleep in his own bed with his daddy.
Although the family was only recent Christian believers, for the past four years; they love God dearly, they are full of zeal, and were always faithful to worship and serve Him on all occasions. Besides participating in our church services, studying the Word of God through the Bible studies with fasting and praying at the church on certain days throughout the week; they also volunteered to open up their home for an organized Bible study group. Jolene, Joshua’s mother, took the crown in the Mrs. Beauty pageant organized by the Church last year and passed the crown to her successor Mrs. Loi Binh. She is a dedicated and faithful dance worship team leader responsible for organizing praise dances for the church. Rose, Joshua’s grandmother, recently took first place for being the best-dressed in a fun contest organized at the Church during the Chinese New Year 2011. She is very dedicated to prayer and has fasted regularly. Mr. Nick Nguyen is a beloved Christian believer and faithful in serving God, recently completed a 9 month program with the Men’s Ministry at Phoenix First Assembly of God. He served the unfortunate and homeless through a Christian-based program called the House of Refuge.
Being raised up in such a family that reveres God, it is no wonder that Joshua from his infancy displayed great affection for singing and memorizing various hymns to heart. He also knew how to pray to God, with even stronger prayers now, and he always had and has words of blessings for others. When there were home group Bible study sessions, he also actively took part by playing the drums (something very precious is that he played on beat) he still does this and loves it. It is very special how he loves to sit next to the pastor in order to passionately mimic the pastor’s guitar playing with his own toy guitar. This incident was pulling the body of Christ together all over the world!
16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you." Our faith in God became enflamed with the light of hope, and our tearful prayers changed into words of praise and thanksgiving: "God has already saved Joshua! He has already healed Joshua! Hallelujah!""This is all so that God will be glorified! ALL things work to the good for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose! Hallelujah!"
The Word of God given to Pastor Tuan was then shared with the family and those in the room. Then we all joined in prayer in order to pray according to God’s promise; those same words were read aloud and then written down on a piece of paper and then they were placed on little Joshua’s hospital bed. As God illuminated understanding into His Word, Pastor Tuan shared this: ‘Even if a parent loves their child, they cannot constantly care for him, as there will be shortcomings and imperfections. Yet God always cares, and He never forsakes; also, He loves His children so much that He engraved us in the palm of His hand. Especially little Joshua, as he came out of his mother’s womb, who was specially prayed for by the Church and the pastor.’ As God spoke inHis WORD: "3"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. 4Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Isaiah 46:3-4). God also said that "your walls are ever before Me!"That is to say, He wants to let us know that He knew about the circumstances of Joshua climbing over the windowsill, pulling the window shutter aside, unlatching the locks on the window, sliding the glass window door open and falling headfirst to the cement below, so then…(what happens next?) Well, we will have to let Joshua recount that to us after he has returned to ‘the scene of the accident’. God was on the other side of that wall because Joshua’s house was a place of worship. He did not promise that His children will never face troubles or challenges in this life, because this world is still a "fount of suffering", a place influenced by sin and the curse that is slowly deteriorating and soon to be destroyed; but God promised that He will always be near to protect and save His children, all of us, in the troubled times; and that He will cause all things to work for our good. Finally, His Word also promises: "Those who destroyed you and laid waste to you will leave you." And of course, this is a precious promise from our God, who is Faithful and True. This promise was confirmed by God through a specific sign that followed:
During the first night at the hospital, after the above words had been shared, Pastor Tuan and Pastor Noel Benoist, accompanied by a group of fellow believers, came to visit. Usually, in the ICU, only the patient’s family & relatives can come to pay a visit but in this situation many of us were allowed to come in and pray for Joshua. This was allowed for several days after as well. It looked as if God had opened wide the doors to transfer His favor in a magnificent way! We gathered at the bed to lay hands on him to pray and declare total healing according to the promises given above. Right at the instant of declaration for total healing and an order for the swelling to go down; an amazing thing happened, every one of us saw clearly that the soccer ball sized swelling on Joshua’s face shrank slowly, just like a balloon being deflated of air, and the bleeding under the swollen area changed color from dark red to a pink color. We were so touched that we could no longer hold ourselves in check, and with a loud voice we gave praise and thanks to our God! "Hallelujah! God is present! Joshua is already healed!" Even though Joshua was still dazed and sleepy, when we left him that night, everyone had an indescribable joy and peace. Everyone was excited and wondering what God was going to do next. An expected tragedy was turning into an exciting adventure! "God works in strange ways His wonders to perform!"
Thinking about all the past teachings and miracles people started to realize that is because Joshua’s family is composed of his grandmother, father, mother, and his older sister who is six years old and they are all children of God from the Vietnamese United Baptist Church of Phoenix. God wants to use this innocent child to glorify His name and show the world He IS real and He wants His church to come together with the hearts of the mothers and fathers turned to the children and the hearts of the children turned to the mothers and fathers!
On Thursday morning, February 10, 2011, in the city of Glendale, near Phoenix, Arizona, around 11 AM, at a house located in the cul-de-sac of a quiet neighborhood everyone had already gone off to work, including Mr. Nick Nguyen and his wife Jolene. The mother of this couple, Rose, is a seventy-three year old woman and she was taking care of her three year old grandson named Joshua who has a room on the first floor. During this time, the boy went upstairs to his play room, where all the toys were stored; his grandmother reminded him, "When you are hungry, make sure you let Grannie know, ok?" Ten minutes later, she heard the door bell ring.Thinking that it was probably some locals handing out advertisements because there was no appointment on schedule; she did not open the door. Usually, when the door bell would ring, Joshua would run out to open the door; but this time he did not appear. She called for him but no answer, so she decided to go upstairs to look for him. When she got into his play room, she saw the window shutter wide open. Panicking, she ran over to the window and looked out. She saw her neighbor cradling Joshua in her arms with her husband standing near. The ground seemed to swirl unstably as she ran downstairs and outside of the house with eyes full of tears and trembling from her hands to her feet.Wanting to wrap her grandson in her own arms, her neighbor cautioned her not to, in order to prevent causing further damage to his body, there was no way of telling how much andwhat kind of damage had already been inflicted. With the fall he took head first and impacting solid concrete it should have been very severe. Right at that time the ambulance and the police came in force. They immediately transported Joshua straight to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center because it is one of the top hospitals in the nation for dealing in neurological intensive care.
The first couple of miracles have now already occurred in that the couple next door left their house at just the right time that morning due to an unexpected need, and that caused them to be the first on the scene to discover the child lying on the ground, crying heartily. Not only that, the husband was a captain currently working for the city of Glendale fire department.He was fully trained and is a very experienced paramedic. So as soon as he assessed the situation, he quickly administered emergency care, as well as directing an ambulance to come and transport Joshua to a hospital that could provide the appropriate kind of intensive care for Joshua’s conditions. For instance someone could have discovered himtoo late. Then again, the person who discovered him might not have been trained in emergency medical care techniques; for example, if the grandmother were to discover him but she does not understand about emergency care, not to mention not being fluent in English and then being in a precarious state of mind and wanting to just faint. All of these factors would cause the situation to deteriorate even further.
When Joshua’s parents heard the news, they hurried home right away and took their mother to St. Joseph’s Emergency Center. However, it was several hours later before they were allowed to see him and they were then notified by the doctor of Joshua’s current condition. Inwardly, there were two cracked portions on the right side of his skull, and outwardly there was swelling to the point of looking like a half of a soccer ball and it involved his eye, forehead, and ear. Although there were no open bleeding wounds, you could see the purple bruises caused by bleeding under the skin. The doctor advised that this child needed to be monitored closely until nighttime. People there were told, if by then the swelling hadn’t stopped or there is still internal bleeding in the brain, a cranial surgery needed to be performed. The boy lay immobilized on the bed with so many IV tubes connected throughout his body, but amazingly there was not even a scratch on his body, hands or feet, and none of his bones were broken. This fact caused the doctors and everyone else who came to visit him to be very surprised. Everyone felt that there was something extraordinary happening.Could it just be coincidental? Or, was it perhaps just pure luck? Was it by some miraculous intervention? If so; what is it that allows for, or causes, such a miracle to occur? People started think back over the past three years.
Our pastors set Fridays of every week as the day of fasting and prayer for the Vietnamese United Baptist Church of Phoenix, for our city, state, nation, homeland, and the world we live in. We started to see miracles at the very start with healings and changed lives. Through this faith LOVE filled prayer to our Father in the name of Jesus, our church has seen many miraculous wonders that God has poured out on us. For instance, during Thanksgiving week of 2008, God had wondrously healed Mrs. Loi Binh, a forty year old woman who had many indiscernible sicknesses in the stomach region. Even the doctors could find no diagnosis of what the sickness actually was, and she had to undergo six surgeries. At that time she was lying on her deathbed at the hospital, her body like a skeletal corpse with skin covering over it, and her family members from afar had hurried over to visit her for the last time.
Yet when some of our prayer warriors shared with her about the Almighty Savior Jesus Christ, Mrs. Binh yieldingly received Jesus Christ and His salvation. There was a Word promised for those who believed in Him, that: "3The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. 4I said, "O Lord, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you." (Psalm 41:3-4) A ‘word of knowledge and prophecy was given telling her she would spend thanksgiving at home.’ It is so amazing! When Mrs. Binh immediately received her salvation from Jesus, her soul and her body were healed. So she left the hospital right on Thanksgiving Day. So what is the after-result?—Just this: On New Year 2011 we had a Mrs. Vietnamese Pageant (this is only for fun for the New Year) that was held at the Vietnamese United Baptist Church of Phoenix. Mrs. Loi Binh has taken the award of being Mrs. Vietnam 2011. She is also an active member of the dance worship team for the church. The team leads in worship expression every Sunday service, as well as for certain special events. It is truly a miracle that a person was saved from the brink of death into life, and then to have a life full of vitality and filled with joy afterward. God is good, all the time! We LOVE shouting this!
It is also by fasting and prayer that another miracle occurred during Lent and Easter 2009. Mrs. Thuy Ngo is a believer over fifty years old she was in charge of food preparations for the Church. She suddenly found out that she had ovarian cancer in the last stage. In the beginning, her family allowed only the Senior Pastor Tran Q. Tuan to know about her condition, and so he visited them to share the Word as well as pray for her privately. Yet after a time passed, her sickness became more severe. Her stomach and liver were filled to the brim with fluid and a needle was inserted into the abdomen to remove the fluid, sometimes extracting three liters of fluid from the stomach and from the two livers, each containing one and a half liter of fluid. Her doctor told the family that it was time to prepare for her last moment, as she could be dying within three months. Realizing that his prayer alone is not enough, the pastor asked her family to allow him to disclose the information and urge the congregation for special corporate prayer. He had her brought to the Friday time of fasting and prayer. Pastor Noel cursed the cancer and told it to die and pass out of the body. He got a ‘word of knowledge and prophecy and told the sister to take her back to the doctors the following week and insist on a new test. He said the cancer would be half gone but that God wanted everyone to continue in prayer ‘in one mind and one accord’ seeing her as cancer free. The following week doctors had no explanation when they agreed to the test, reluctantly, and found the cancer was half gone.
They started treatments. Pastor Noel said the doctors were not going to steal God’s glory when they scheduled an operation. So a period of fasting and prayer ensued, according to each person’s capability to handle their fasting limit: the majority fasted three days, some one week, and others two weeks, and three weeks even. It was the urgent earnestness of prayer in one mind and one accord that was the key to opening the heavenly doors of power to be poured down. Pastor Noel told the sister to insist on a test before the operation and that it would show the cancer was totally gone. The family insisted on a test and Mrs. Thuy Ngo was healed completely. Even all of the doctors attending to her were surprised and amazed to no end. If we have to recount all the things that have happened in this amazing healing, it will have to be another article written altogether. So what is the after-result?—Currently, Mrs. Thuy Ngo, just like Mrs. Loi Binh, is not only a witness to others of Jesus Christ but also every week, along with her daughter, they bring flowers as appreciation to the Church. They also moved from their old apartment and bought a new house to live in, using it as a place of home group worship services for families. Many of us still have the opportunity to enjoy the great meals that she has made. Mrs. Thuy is like a flower that has spread her roots in the desert. Truly it is a miracle, where a person was transformed from despair to fullness of joy, and became a source of blessing to many others.
About three and a half years ago God sent an American Minister to us at the mountain camp we have for our youth every year. God made it known he was a man of God and he was sent by God "with signs following". Pastor Tuan asked him to merge his ministry with our ministry and he said yes without hesitation because he already knew it was what God had sent him for. Since that time these two have been Co-Pastors for ourchurch. Pastor Tuan focuses on the Vietnamese with English translation and Pastor Noel, the man God sent, focuses on the Amer-Asian with Vietnamese translation when needed. This results in him working with our youth most of the time and with the adults from time to time.
About three years ago Pastors Tuan and Noel started moving the church in the direction of KNOWING who we are in Christ, becoming a full Body of Christ with people working together and being everything from ultra conservative to ultra liberal but following "decent and in order" for the glory of God. At times Pastor Tuan led prayer and we had miracles and at times Pastor Noel led prayer and we had miracles. Pastor Noel always said for us to pray from the heart and expect results: then see the victory in our mind and spirit and keep asking God what to do and say until the resulting victory shows up physically. Pastor Tuan kept teaching and portraying word pictures people could see in their mind and spirit; then take it into our heart. He always had many bible verses to prove what he was teaching. "If I am not teaching the Holy Bible don’t believe it. If I am teaching the Holy Bible receive it." This is the philosophy and statements of both our pastors.
Miraculously Escaping From Death
Let us try to imagine this scenario, of a three year old boy who fell head-first through the window from the second floor of his house onto the front driveway—the height difference of about 14 feet (roughly 4.50 m) from the windowsill to the cement driveway—what do you think the final outcome will be?! Of course this accident will bring much suffering and sorrow not only to this precious child but also to his loved ones as well, in the present and continuing into the long term future. Yet, the story that will be unfolded here has many extraordinary parts, involving God’s all knowing foreknowledge, amazing divine intervention, a miraculous reversalof the decided outcome, the transforming of many tearful eyes in mourning and fear into tears of joy and praise. Let us look and see how this miracle took place. We believe, and pray, it will bring newfound faith and hope to every readerexperiencing a normal course of life that is filled with many wayside obstacles and dangers. About four years ago none of the people involved had any idea what was going to take place but God knew everything. The mom and dad knew they were going to have another child and that was about all they knew at the time. God had already set things in motion so that this and many other miracles would take place over the next three years and many people would come to KNOW the Agape’ LOVE and power of THE God who is almighty, all knowing, and everywhere at the same time.
However, the incredulousness and surprise did not stop there, the miraculouscontinued. That evening, as the family departed from the hospital to go back to their house, they received a phone call from a fellow believer in the Church.He had been extremely busy for the past couple of days until now. Upon trying to pay Joshua a visit, could not find him!He could not help himself, "What! Home already? How is it so quick?! Hallelujah!"
In the city of Glendale specifically in our neighborhood, it was the same expression of amazement. One neighbor, upon seeing Joshua’s parents in the front of their home, came over to asked how Joshua’s condition was, and upon finding out that he was already home, his eyes opened wide as he exclaimed: "Are you kidding!?"
On Joshua’s part, as soon as he got home, and when he came upstairs, standing near the very same window that he had fallen out of, the child voluntarilyshouted out loud, that: (paraphrased) ‘I climbed up here! I opened the shutter and slide the window out! I fell out…But an "angel" flew over to me, and tied my hand with a green rope, the angel flew with me…!’ Little Joshua kept on repeating these words, while his whole family were touched and filled with tears, for they recognized that God was there when it happened and had sent His angel to appear and to save Joshua. Anyone asking Joshua about the same topic would have still received the same answers: ‘the green rope’, ‘that was tied to my right hand’, ‘the angel wore beautiful clothes’, and ‘the angel flew over to me’.At the following Sunday, during worship time at the Church, little Joshua and his entire family stood up to give a testimony about God’s grace and how He saved Joshua.
"16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…; 2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." (Romans 1:16; Isaiah 61:2-3)
The people that we talked about above have already received the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, for theirspirit and body. They have been named as "oaks of righteousness and splendor", and they have been planted by the Living God. Even though they may face challenges and disasters in this world; the power of God will cause them to receive amazing blessings in and through all the circumstances that may arise in their lives. It is like the old proverb: "A fragrant tree can make the ax blade that chopped it down fragrant." Whoever lives in God, the God of Life, then no matter how unbecoming a situation may be, it will reverse into an opportunity, the opportunity of spreading the fragrance of the LOVE of our Living God.
All the unimaginable miracles and blessings described above are not just for a privileged few, but it is for everyone who recognizes that Jesus Christ is their Savior, and they come to Him with a trusting heart then receive Him and His Message of Salvation. His Word says: "12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:12-13). Below is the prayer listed specifically for those who are willing to come to Jesus and cry out to Him. This is the prayer of all those in our church family! "Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s you have perfected praise!" Everything here is truth and "the truth will make you free".
"Dear Jesus who is the Living and most Loving God, I need You in my life. I thank You for dying on the cross for me, for my sins. I believe that You came back from the dead in victory, to give eternal life to me. I receive You Jesus as my Savior. Holy Spirit, please come into me and guide my life, so that I may become a source of blessing and help me to lead many others to You, God. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!"
* Phoenix, March 01st, 2011
Words written according to personal testimonies and given to you from all of us at The Vietnamese United Baptist Church with Pastors Tran Quang Tuan and Noel T. Benoist.** Please contact us at the above address and phone number with any questions you may have about God and His miraculous power. Thank you!
"Your children will return quickly!" Joshua’s healing and recovery happened so quickly in the following days, at a rate that was very surprising to even the best and most experienced of doctors and thatincluded the senior neurologist. Two doctors said: "The case of little Joshua is a miracle"!"
On Saturdayevening,the third day after the incident; after conferring, all the doctors agreed to remove the IV tubes from little Joshua, even though the next morning they still had to transfer a small amount of blood into his body. That night, he could sit on the wheelchair and his whole family proceeded to take him around the hospital for a stroll. Afterward, he slept very well with his daddy Nick. They slept in the hospital together and there was no further need to take any more painkillers. The pain was gone. As his condition had become much better, his mom Jolene and his grandmother Rose had the peace of mind to go home and rest. They prepared for Sunday service the next day to attend Church. On that Sunday, through Jolene’s testimony, it was a truly blessed service, with joyful shouts of praise and thanksgiving before God, with tears of joy dancing on the faces of many believers. At the hospital that Sunday evening, little Joshua was transferred to a regular section for patients that were recovering.
On the fourth day after the incident, Monday, little Joshua went for therapy so doctors could examine whether he had any kind of negative impact on his brain, nerves, or motor control. Everything was fine! There were incredulous looks on all the nursing staff.
"Your children will return quickly!"—Yes truly! On the fifth day after the accident, the morning of Tuesday, the family was informed by the hospital staff that Joshua could be discharged from the hospital. Everyone came to congratulate little Joshua and the family, and being overwhelmingly touched by the handiwork of God’s power and healing over Joshua, the woman in charge of therapy knelt by Joshua’s bed praising God for His miraculous wonder. It was another miracle that the hospital became a place for the worship of God.