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grigori
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« on: April 04, 2005, 09:32:05 AM »

Hi everyone!

I only just found this board through a Yahoo search and, after reviewing some of the discussions that are archived here, decided to join straight away. So, not wanting to be one of those people who suddenly start replying to topics without having first introduced themselves, I thought I’d give you a little background information on me. It’s probably a lot longer than it needs be, but then I believe that anything in praise of God’s miraculous work on Earth needs to be voiced and not kept in private. :-)

Having been born in the United Kingdom, I was raised by my grandmother and mother under the Church of England. Of course, compulsion (as the old saying goes) doesn’t guarantee dedication and thus just because I was forced to sit through church each Sunday didn’t mean that I was growing spiritually.

So, like many people in my situation, I grew up knowing the bear minimum that a Christian ‘needs to know’ and would, whenever asked, refer to myself as a ‘practicing Christian’. Of course, what I was practicing was very much open to speculation… I never went to Church (too ‘socially awkward’ was my most commonly used excuse, I believe); I never read my Bible; and I certainly didn’t feel like the Christian I was supposed to be.

My one redeeming feature, I realize when I look back on my adolescence, was the fact that I would pray every night. Not the Lord’s Prayer… not anything I learnt from church during my earlier years… just a simple prayer each night asking God to protect the ones that I loved. That said though, my nightly routine was more because I feared that something ‘bad’ might happen if I missed a prayer. Obsessive compulsive behavior, I think, rather than an indication of my faith in the protective power of the Lord Almighty.

Anyway, I continued through my early teenage years as described above: praying as part of a habit that was based out of superstitious fear; telling those who enquired that I was a Christian but not really practicing; and believing, even if only at a subconscious level, that there was a God but He was a passive being who existed only in the Bible and in biblical times long since passed.

I think at that point in time I believed in the concepts of Christianity but felt that it was a world far removed from my own. I believed that there was a heaven, but could never picture myself going to it. I believed that the events of the Old and New Testaments had taken place in the past, but they felt so detached from modern times that it was easy to dismiss the events of the Bible as mythology. Lastly, I believed that miracle healing did occur in the world, but only at Healing Crusades that I would never be able to attend.

Then, one day my grandmother (the woman who fed me sweets in church to keep me quiet during the sermon) told me something that shocked me…

As a child, I had almost died.

At the age of three I suffered from Intussusception: a serious problem where part of the intestine collapses into itself. The onset was fast and every test my doctors performed indicated that death was a likely outcome if the problem wasn’t corrected immediately via surgery. So, with little time to spare, I was prepped for surgery and placed under a general anesthetic. According to my grandmother, she and my mother were told before I was anesthetized that the surgery would probably take several hours, depending on the level of intestinal collapse.

Much to their surprise though, the surgery took less than thirty minutes.

What had happened, according to the surgeons, was something neither of them had ever encountered in their entire respective careers. When they made their initial incision (from my belly button straight down to my waist-line – from which I still have the scar), my intestines literally burst from my belly (akin to something seen in horror movies, I imagine). With the pressure released, it was a simple matter for the surgeons to replace my intestines into my belly and sew me up… no further surgery required!

When my grandmother asked the head surgeon if that was normal, his reply was something like: “It’s the first I’ve every heard of something like this happening. I’d submit this case to a medical journal but, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone would believe me.”

“So what?” I told my grandmother skeptically after hearing the story. “A medical mystery perhaps… hardly a miracle.”

To which my grandmother replied: “That was the first time.”

She went on to explained that, as a toddler, I was unable to walk or crawl. Shuffling across the floor was my mode of transportation, which caused my parents enough concern to take me to a doctor. X-rays later revealed that I had no hip-bone. The solution: surgery to insert a metal replacement hip which, due to the fact that I would continue to grow physically over the next decade or so, would have to be replaced once every four years – each time the recovery period from the surgery being painful and immobilizing.

So, while my parents waited for my surgery date, I was placed in a hip cast to avoid any further damage from extraneous movement (or something to that effect). While my parents waited, my grandmother asked her church to pray for me. My mother was skeptical, but since it couldn’t do any harm she allowed my grandmother to take me to her church and have her reverend place his hands on my missing hip while in prayer.

The day before my scheduled surgery, more X-rays were done which were to be used by the surgeons. Like previous X-rays, they confirmed my lack of a hip-bone.

On the day of the operation, just before I was prepped for surgery, my grandmother pleaded with my doctor to have one more X-ray taken. My doctor and the surgeons performing the operation couldn’t see the point, after all, a hip-bone doesn’t grow in a day. But, to appease my grandmother, one more X-ray was taken.

And there, on the X-ray, was a small undeveloped hip-bone.

My doctor and the surgeons couldn’t believe it. Believing that it must have been an error with the X-ray film, a total of six more X-rays were taken; and each and every one showed the same thing: a hip-bone! Underdeveloped, no doubt, but there nonetheless.

Not surprisingly, the operation was cancelled. No-one; not my mother, father, my doctor, or the specialist surgeons, could believe it. Hip-bones, the medical specialists kept repeating, just don’t grow overnight! They couldn’t explain it.

According to my mother though, my grandmother could explain it. It was why she had pleaded for the last-minute X-ray, and the reason why she was the only one who wasn’t dumbfounded by the seemingly impossible.

It was Jesus, she told the doctors with absolute certainty. Oddly enough, none of those so-called medical experts had anything to say about that.

After hearing this recount of my past, I was a little less skeptical. Could I really have been the recipient of the Lord’s healing touch? I didn’t know for sure, but from that point forward I had been given a new lease of faith. I began to read the Bible with enthusiasm not entirely natural to my personality. My prayers at night were no longer out of habit, but genuine communications with the Lord. And although I still didn’t attend church, I felt that I had entered into a personal relationship with my savior Jesus Christ.

I’m much older now, although I’m still learning just how little I actually know. I still pray enthusiastically, although not just at night anymore. I still read my Bible and love discussing the topics within with other Christians. And I still don’t go to Church despite being told by other Christians that I should.

Praising God with my Christian brothers and sisters is one thing –something I enjoy immensely— but church honestly isn’t for me. My church is something much less tangible… when I walk at night  --breathing in the refreshing night air… enjoying the silence of a still city under the dozens of stars visible from my part of the hemisphere-- and praise the Lord for all the good things in my life.

That’s my faith, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else; organized religion or otherwise.

Anyway, I hope this long-winded account hasn’t bored you too much (for those of you who managed to get all the way through it that is, lol). I hope that I will be able to get to know all of you really well through this forum in the near future, and I look forward to talking to you all!
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2nd Timothy
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2005, 09:52:59 AM »

grigori,

What an amazing testimony!   God truly is a God of miracles and wonders isn't he?

Thanks for sharing, and welcome aboard!


Grace and Peace!
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Tim

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Brian.L.
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2005, 11:33:40 AM »

Hi grigori

 Wecome and am happy you are here my friend. My wish is you find this site rich and rewarding. Will no doubt hear from you later.  Have a great day and again welcome.


   Your Brother in Christ: brian.
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2005, 09:16:50 PM »

Grin Hello Grigori-WELCOME to Christians Unite forums! Indeed, that is an awesome & powerful testimony! Thank you for sharing~ Lord Love & Bless you~ **Hugs**
Nice to meet ya~ Im Nateycakes (Natashiia) Grin
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nChrist
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 09:23:45 AM »

WELCOME GRIGORI!

I enjoyed reading your testimony, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy Christians Unite.


Jump in and have some fun.

Love in Christ,
Tom

Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
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