"Thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words. I'd like to thank you Saints for all of your kind and blessed prayers and your great love.
At the end of February, I went to Africa to serve with a dear Pastor who had built a Church on top of a garbage hill in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, taking care of now 160 Children. Some are orphans, many are malnutritioned, some have aids, and all are desperately poor. God also permitted us to minister to young men in the slums some of whom had been involved in crime. By the mercies of God I was allowed to share His words with the Masai tribe near Mount Kilimanjaro, where there are already many sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus.
When I returned from Africa I got terrible pains, sometimes to the point of fainting. Microbes from Africa were suspected but cultures grown showed no microbial attacks. A Doctor and Surgeon in Milton, Canada, guided by the Lord was given the knowledge on what was wrong. It had nothing to do with Africa. I delayed following up with the doctor for an operation as I had faith that God would heal. I had been healed of cancer and upper thigh muscle loss in my left leg before and trusted God. After prayer and after severe pain continuing, a dear Pastor and one of my daughters counselled me that God may have a different plan this time as God also works through doctors.
I went to hospital for two stays totaling 25 days and an emergency operation for an obstruction, abscess, fistula and life threatening infection. I did not know it until shortly before the operation, but I was ill to the point of death. After the operation, and during recovery I was not able to adjust well to new physical circumstances and the scarring in my lower body. The Surgeon told me that a reversal operation may not be possible and that I needed to think about my condition to remain unchanged until I die. He will re-examine me in December.
During this time I was wrestling with God. Had he really called me for His ministry? Had He called me for Revival? I felt I was being sifted, in a battle with Satan and evil. The physical condition was not comparable to the spiritual battle. Satan is a murderer and wants to destroy us. Without a vision the people perish and Satan was trying to steal from me what God had said. I nearly believed. Often we judge by our circumstances and condition. What God has ordained and what God has said He will do, regardless of our circumstances. It is His Great Name that is at stake. After accepting that, I started to get much better.
In retrospect dear Sisters and Brothers I have learned so much. The Lord Jesus has enriched me so much in faith and knowledge. I would not want to do without the scars in my body, I would not want to do without the illness, I would not want to do without the pain, I would not want to do without the hospital stay. All is now precious to me because God has taught me so much during this period of time; I rejoice and I Thank Him. He taught me about the power of the Holy Spirit, He taught me about the power of His resurrection, He taught me about Victory, He taught me about His unchangeability, He taught me that I can depend on Him; He taught me about the reality of His presence within my inner man. Perhaps in the future the Lord will allow me to share practical examples from each of these subjects.
In closing I would like to give two examples from what I learned about the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. What did Jesus say? Power for what? Power to witness? Yes witness with my mouth and my life.
In Hospital I prayed: Lord I can't move much but if you bring people to my Bed please give me the strength through your Holy Spirit to share the Good News of the Lord Jesus. You have to make the arrangements, and you'll have to bring the people. Thank you and Amen.
The Holy Spirit went to work and opened the door with many people. Towards the middle of my hospital stay a nurse came in the morning. I was kind and joyful with her. She said: Mr. Reich, I don't understand you. You are supposed to be grumpy. You are a sick man and sick people are grumpy. Why are you not grumpy? She would not let me respond and continued. She said, you have not eaten. How many days have you not eaten? I said 5 days. She answered: You must be hungry. Hungry people are grumpy. Why are you not grumpy? Without letting me answer she continued: On top of that you are old. Old people like to be in their own bed. You are supposed to be grumpy. Why are you not grumpy? I pointed to my Bible on my bed and said it's all in this book and I started to talk about Jesus the Son of God. She came near and whispered I know, I know.
On another occasion, I had closed the curtains around my hospital bed, in anticipation of the life threatening operation. I wanted to do four things before I might go into eternity: 1.) Be right with my Lord; 2.) Call family and dear friends to tell them, that I loved them; 3.) Witness again to 14 people for whom I have been praying for 8 years, and witness to unbelievers on my mailing list, 4.) write a will. I had come from New Jersey and needed a will for Canada to make it easy for my daughters. I had papers all over my bed. A young nurse stuck her head through the curtains and said: What in the world are you doing? I answered: I am writing my will before the operation. The nurse said: So you are afraid to die. I said no I am not afraid to die. She said: All people are afraid to die. I said I am not afraid to die, I am a Christian. She responded: All the Christians I know are afraid to die. What is so different about you? The Lord then allowed me to share my testimony how Jesus had saved me, gave me a new life, made me right with God the Father, and that I was sure I would be going to heaven. The nurse heard from the Holy Spirit that heaven and to be with Jesus was far better than being on earth. The Holy Spirit was at work. I told her that she needed to accept the Son of God as her Savior to be right with God.
During the two hospital stays the Holy Spirit arranged 55 witnesses as recorded in my diary. The Holy Spirit prepared the way, the people and the time.
In the future and the Lord willing, we'll share more of what has happened. In the meantime, and if you rely on the Holy Spirit, yield to Him, and ask Him, He will bring people to you to witness about the Son of God. Again thank you for your love and praying. I am truly overwhelmed by your Agape love. Without your prayers I would not have made it.
God bless you, Thank you and I pray for you too."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon