Testimonies

We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony in us!   His testimony is that He came to the Glory of God the Father and died for all our sins!   Our testimonies are great encouragement and faith builders for others.  Share your testimony with us to encourage others.  A testimony can be the story of how you became a believer in our Savior Jesus or an event  or series of events that God has brought about in your life.   We will start by sharing our ‘Incredible Story to a Simple Prayer” testimony (The Garbage Miracle).  Smile.  Be blessed!   =)

PS:  Let us know if you would like to have your testimony posted anonymously.  We can remove your email address before posting.  We may end up with a lot of spam here, but I think we’ll have some great submissions too!   Unfortunately, it is time consuming weeding through spam.  We are praying for each spammer.  Imagine what they could do with their time to the Glory of God.  Smile.  No one is too sinful for God to forgive and save!   Jesus died of all our sins, past, present, and future; and now the only sin anyone can be condemned of is the sin of refusing to believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (they know they are a sinner and need Christ as their Savior–1 John 5:10).  Once someone has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, they are born again, His Holy Spirit will help them and they can never commit the sin of unbelief again.  If we seek Him and pray, He will help our unbelief.  Praise His Holy Name!   John 3:16

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An Incredible Answer to a Simple Prayer

Well,  this past summer of 2010 our beloved friends,Jim and Pat, invited us to join them at Palmer Lake in rugged and beautiful North Central Washington. My beautiful wife and I had a grand time of fun and fellowship as we enjoyed this magical land of water,sage and pine!

After four glorious days, at the lake front log cabin, we sadly had to leave and I offered to take the garbage to town to dispose of. Well my bride of two years was not a happy camper! Ten pounds of disgusting smelly cargo in her beloved 01 Toyota was no laughing matter! Well, Gayle very hesitantly allowed me to place the putrid mess on our back seat inside our water raft. We had a seven mile journey into town and I was in serious trouble.  I said a  prayer including “Lord, please help me with our garbage”.

We arrived in Tonasket and I dropped my frustrated sweetheart at the Natural Foods Co-op and I went to go get some gas. I came back to the co-op, went inside looking for Gayle and noticed a “local yokel” in the check out line. I asked this bearded mountain man if he knew of any place to dispose of our funky cargo and he said the the local dump was 6 miles north of town. Well, I tend to be a cheapskate sometimes and I did not want to pay the $12 minimum disposal fee. As we walked outside this gentleman mountain man said, “I have my truck here. Why don’t I take it for you”. Well I was very surprised and delighted that this stranger would help us! On the way to his truck, a block away, I asked him where he was originally from. “Tacoma”, he said.  I asked, “What high school?”  “Stadium,” he said.  I asked,  “Did you know my brother,  Brian…?” Then his eyes got wide and he said, “Are you Gary??” My eyes must have gotten big too; and I asked him his name.  He said, “I’m Gary….  I got more excited–still not recognizing him.  I then asked him, “Is your mother Marge?” The bearded stranger again responded, “Yes!” Marge had discipled me in my newly found  Christian faith in the early 1970′s! I had  met Gary at his mother’s place in Tacoma, Washington 39 nine years ago and had not seen him or his mother since! Well get this–Gary, who told me he just finished his 30 year prison sentence last May, only came into town once a week from his new home in the mountains 16 miles away. That was Thursday—the day we met.

We were passing through on our way to Kettle Falls to see my wife’s cousin, Don. Gary bought us some delicious fruit yogurt and we had an incredible time of remembering the old days and fellowshipping in the coffee shop in back of the Co-op!

The Lord did answer my “garbage” prayer in a very unusual way but the story had only just begun! I will let my wife take over from here. Some say that our Lord is like a weaver and all our lives are mysteriously interrelated and intertwined into one giant tapestry of His Grace.  I believe it-now more than ever.  He loves us sooo much and uses simple little prayers to increase our faith in Him!! “It is a small world after all” and wait till you hear Gayle’s side of the garbage miracle!

<Gayle’s version of the story>

We had a wonderful time staying at a cabin with some dear friends at Palmer Lake.  When we were leaving, my husband offered to take the garbage.  I felt bad and still do, because I did not have a real good heart about doing that favor—smelly garbage inside the car because the trunk was totally full. I shamefully remembered mentioning Jim and Pat could put it on the rack on top of their car so no-one would have to smell it all the way to Tonasket.  My husband was being sweet, as usual.  We prayed that the Lord would help us find a place to put the garbage that was legal and inexpensive.  I also prayed the Lord would help put my heart in the right place.

Several miles later my husband dropped me off at the Food Co-op in Tonasket while he went to fill the car with gas and see if he could find a place to dump the garbage.  While I was in line at the check out counter, my husband came in all excited and said come on outside and meet someone named Gary that he hadn’t seen in 39 years.  I came to find out that he also offered to take our smelly garbage after my husband asked him if he knew where we could dump it.  If old time friend, Gary, had not offered to take the garbage, they would not have recognized each other; because it was after they went to go get the garbage they started talking to each other about where they were from, etc.

My husband introduced me to the man named Gary just outside the co-op and also mentioned that Gary’s mother, Marge, actually discipled my husband back in 1971.

Gary mentioned he just got out of prison in May after 30 years.  My husband asked him where he spent time.  He mentioned McNeil Island Penitentiary.  I asked him when and I believe he mentioned 1997 – 2002.  I asked him if he knew a friend of mine named Michael H who I thought may have been there around that time and was saved by the love of Jesus in prison.  Gary mentioned he wasn’t sure–it had been quite a while since he was in McNeil.

During the conversation he mentioned his mom, Marge, was living in Tumwater; his sister, Susie, was also living there in Tumwater; he had a sister, Joyce, in Kettle Falls; and a brother Mike, but Mike died.  Getting a little excited, I asked him if his sister Susie had cancer and if his brother Mike died recently.  He said, “Yes!”  To my amazement I felt sure I knew this guy’s family!  I asked if Susie was doing better.  He said, she was in remission.  Praise God!

I mentioned that Susie’s brother Mike, (Gary’s brother), lived with my cousin Don and his wife, Dotie, in Kettle Falls for quite a while (we later found out it was over a year).  We were actually on our way to visit my cousin, Don and his wife Dodie!  We found out later when we arrived in Kettle Falls that my cousin, Don, actually facilitated Mike’s memorial service.  Mike had died in April, and Gary was released from prison in May, so Gary was not able to attend his brother’s service.  Gary’s brother, Mike, and my cousin were very good friends.

My cousin, Don, had contacted me about 3-4 years ago and mentioned his friend Mike’s sister, Susie, just moved to Tumwater and found out she had cancer.  She didn’t know anyone down there and Don asked if I’d contact her.  I said sure.  I lived and worked in Olympia all my life and I had not met my husband and moved to University Place, WA with him until about a year or two after I met Susie and Mike.  I mentioned to Gary that I did contact Susie and got together with her.  We had a nice visit and got to know each other.  When her cancer got bad she quit returning my phone calls.  I did still speak with her brother fairly often.  Her brother, Mike, actually brought Susie to my house and we all visited.  Mike actually joined me for a prayer group at my dear friends Lela and Michael’s house.  I would speak with him by phone later from time to time while he was living with my cousin until probably around the time I met my husband and he moved away from Kettle Falls.

We were all astonished that we would all know each other.  Gary  invited us to have coffee and a yogurt with him and we had a nice visit, hearing more about him.  He claimed to be a Messianic Christian, but the local church there in Tonasket had completely thrown out the New Testament due to Paul’s teaching regarding Gentiles not being under the Law.  I said, “Wow!”  My cousin, Don and his wife Dodie in Kettle Falls are Messianic Christians too; but they study both the new and old testaments.  My husband and I were both looking forward to going to church with them the next Saturday morning.  Not only was God increasing our faith, but he was truly blessing Gary for his faithfulness.  We left to go see my cousin after a nice visit with Gary and exchanging phone numbers and emails.  We were not yet aware of how Gary had impacted others and how this story would grow.  It is amazing what God will do with a simple prayer of need–”Lord, please help us find somewhere to take out our garbage”—smile.  I truly believe the Lord has a sense of humor too!

My husband and I were so excited we could hardly contain it by the time we got to Kettle Falls.  My cousin, Don, called Gary and had a great visit with him.  We actually viewed a video of Mike’s memorial service.  My husband actually remembered Mike from the pictures in the memorial.  He said he hung out with Gary’s older brother, Mike, more than he did with Gary.

My husband called Gary’s mother, Marge and had a nice conversation too.  We all agreed to get together after we got back to the western side of WA.  My cousin, Don, also set up a nice visit with Gary’s sister, Joyce who lives near Kettle Falls.

When we got back home from Kettle Falls I shared the story with my friend, Michael who was saved by the blood of Jesus while incarcerated at McNeil Island Penitentiary.  Michael actually thought he remembered Gary in prison at McNeil Island. I gave him Gary’s phone number and email.  After I hung up I emailed Michael and asked him if Vern Weaver was pastoring in Tonasket.  I thought that maybe Gary would enjoy Vern’s church since it had not sounded like he had found a church to call home.  We had a prayer meeting while at Palmer Lake with Jim and Pat; and their friends had mentioned Vern pastoring at Tonasket–I had forgotten until just then .  Vern use to come and visit at the church I attended south of Tumwater before I got married and moved away.  I always enjoyed listening to Vern.  Great pastor—very funny too.  Michael emailed back and said he’d mention it to Gary.  We later found out from our pastor that Vern’s church is not actually right in Tonasket, but on the way to Omak.

The following week we came down to go to church at my old church south of Tumwater, where my friends, Michael and his wife Lela attend and Michael teaches Sunday school.  Yes, God has truly gifted Michael with teaching His Word.  We planned to meet with Marge later in the afternoon that day.  I met Lela approximately 15 years ago.  Lela married Michael just under six years ago. We all went out to lunch after church and Michael mentioned he did speak with Gary.  Michael shared that Gary was actually a strong influence in his conversion to Christianity.  They both used to go for walks on a track at McNeil Island; and Michael indicated Gary gave him a book called 9 o’Clock in the Morning that really blessed him.

Hold on!  The story gets bigger!  Lela indicated she thought she may have been best friends with Gary’s wife, Kathy.  They lost touch over the years.  Lela indicated that if this was the same guy, her son actually grew up with Kathy’s daughter and still keeps in touch with her currently via Facebook.  Lela asked me to ask Gary if he had a wife named Kathy and a daughter named Selah.  Also check to see if he remembers her and Mars.  Lela mentioned that before Gary went to prison he witnessed to her too and what he said influenced her strongly.  She turned from some ‘new age’ views to seeking Jesus and become a born-again Christian!

Well, we called Gary and asked him if he had a wife named Kathy and daughter Selah.  I also mentioned Lela’s son Mars still keeps in touch with Selah.  He said, “Wow!  Lela and Mars!  Give Lela a hug for me!”   I also shared that Lela indicated he had strongly influenced her years ago for Christ.  He obviously influenced Michael also, who has been teaching Sunday School successfully for several years!  We all were touched by this man, Gary, or his family long before any of us knew each other.  Truly an amazing gift from God!

We met with Marge, Gary’s mother later that day.  She is still very sharp and remembered my husband and discipling him.  She also is very knowledgeable about health issues including one that I was currently just starting to struggle with.  She was able to help me immensely with literature that will help me on the road to living comfortably with it.  I spoke with her again the other day to see how she was.  She would also like to talk to my husband again.  She may be able to share some past experiences she has endured that may be helpful to my husband also.  We have all been blessed by each other’s company.

We are wondering if this story will blossom more.  But truly, we are praising God for this incredible gift.  Even if any of us believed in ‘fate’, which we don’t, it would be too hard to believe that all this could happen out of coincidence! We are wondering if God will pull anymore of our friends into this story or what He’ll reveal next.

Don’t forget to come to our Lord and ask him for help with our needs—no matter how simple (Ask and you shall received… Smile).  If we do, and pay attention, we may see a wonderful blessing of answered prayer.  God gives us many friends in our lives—brothers and sisters to encourage each other and fellowship along during this wonderful gift of life.

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Be blessed!  Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.  John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son that whosoever (we’re all whosoevers) believes in Him will not parish, but have eternal life.  Amen!  Seek the Lord Jesus Christ and embrace His wonderful gift of Salvation, His Holy Spirit, and His forgiveness of all sin, His love, mercy, joy, peace…

 

 

 

Comments

( 3 )
  1. Michael H Jan 29th, 2012 22:14

    I attest to the truth of this testimony. I am the one who walked the McNeil Island track with Gary in the late 1990′s. I enjoyed our talks, because Gary is a very intelligent, thoughtful brother in Christ. At the time, I was struggling with the whole issue of the gift of tongues (see 1 Corinthians 14, for example), because I could not understand it. I can’t understand how Yahweh weaves our lives together, either, but He does it! Gary recommended a book called 9 o’clock in the Morning, which tells of one thoughtful pastor’s experience with the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues. Throught Gary’s patient counsel, I dropped my skeptical attitude and subsequently received this gift by faith. We had many wonderful conversations. More than a decade later, after Gayle called to tell me (very excitedly!) about this man, I eventually thought that I might know him. When I called, I mentioned the book, and Gary said, “Yup. That would be me.” We both remembered a few details from the conversation. A few months later, I had the opportunity to take a road trip to central and eastern Washington, and I paid a visit to Gary in his new home. We have since stayed in touch and encouraged one another greatly. I don’t know if we will learn of more strands to this part of our lives, but I do have the confident belief that God is busy working out circumstances for His glory. And if you know how good He is, you will know that this is grounds for unbreakable hope and joy! Praise God for all His goodness!!

  2. agadmin (Admin) Feb 20th, 2012 23:45

    Thanks so much Michael! We are all so blessed! Love and prayers, Gary and Gayle
    PS: Our lives are so interrelated–touched by our Father!

  3. THANKS MICHAEL!!! IT IS A VERY SMALL WORLD!!! PRAISE JESUS–HE COUNTS THE HAIRS ON OUR HEAD AND KNOWS HOW TO TAKE CARE OF OUR GARBAGE!!! GARY

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