Miracle Corner



A Healing Miracle

    Mark had been in pain right through the ‘across Australia’ car trip he, Michelle and their 5 young daughters had embarked on in late December 2007 and January 2008. Back in Perth, he entered hospital in severe pain on 3rd February and is still there. All the while the doctors have not been able to effectively reduce the pain level and Mark has had little respite. Some of us have spent much of our time beside his bedside. Many, many people across the world have been praying for him.

    Cat scans and an MRI found the tumour. Mark had two biopsies but neither was able to determine what the tumour was. On 19th Feb he underwent a 6 hour operation to remove it, or at least remove enough of the tumour for a decent biopsy to be performed. Mark’s collarbone had to be broken and it is now fixed with a metal plate and 9 screws. The surgeon told us that he was unable to remove all of the tumour, it was wrapped around the brachial plexus (a network of nerves located in the neck and axilla, composed of the anterior branches of the lower four cervical and first two thoracic spinal nerves and supplying the chest, shoulder, and arm), and there was a significant danger of cutting some of the nerves if he tried to remove everything. But he said he took enough of the tumour to enable an effective biopsy. Since 19th Feb, the specialists have been trying to identify the tumour. They are still not sure but think they have narrowed it down to a couple of benign tumours (giant cell tumour, or aneurismal bone cyst) and research is continuing. The surgeon said it was absolutely necessary to remove the remaining tumour, otherwise it would regrow and crush the nerves. However, there was a distinct possibility that removing it could severe the nerves that control the right arm, hand and fingers. According to the doctors the whole thing is ‘very rare’; the location was highly unusual, and this type of tumour is usually found inside the bone. So, the 2nd operation, to remove all of the tumour, was set for 28th Feb.

    On 17th Feb a friend, Steve Gillespie, reminded me of God’s promise in Mark 11:23-24. Since then, many of us have been vocally claiming that promise in relation to Mark’s tumour.

    On 22nd Feb Fr John Rea, a member of Lamb of God Covenant Community who has a strong healing gift, arrived from New Zealand to stay with Disciples of Jesus for a week. During that time Fr John celebrated healing Masses and ran Healing workshops.

    On Saturday 26th Feb evening Fr John and a few of us prayed for Mark at the hospital. Fr John specifically prayed that the tumour would go within 24 hours.

    On 28th Feb Mark underwent the operation to remove the tumour. The surgeon was surprised to find that the tumour had disappeared. A cat scan confirms there is no tumour. The surgeon has no explanation. We have, because that was what we have been praying for, and claiming!! According to one of the nurses who was part of the Theatre Team for Mark’s first operation, the ‘whole hospital’ is talking about it. God is a God of miracles. Our challenge is to believe His promises.

    Pain is reduced and is attributed now to the broken collarbone.

    All glory to God, and sincere thanks to you for your prayers. - Reg (March 2008)


Testimony to Community Life



The Story of the Little Seed

    Once upon a time, there was a little seed, in a big garden full of all kinds of living things. This little seed was born into a nice family, where it was protected and nourished. It was connected to a source of life, and had full potential to grow into something beautiful.

    Suddenly, a storm came. The little seed was picked up by the storm, and taken away to another part of the garden, far, far away from its family. It had to learn how to survive in this new land, but it was so difficult, because the conditions and lifestyle in this land was so different from what it had known. The little seed struggled to put down roots. Even though it had access to some water and nourishment, there was no one to watch over it and make sure that it grew into what it was meant to be.

    The little seed, now a seedling, could see that it would not survive on its own. It cried out to the Great Gardener to help, to put it back on the right course. The Gardener heard its cry. His heart melted, for He loved all of His plants, and wanted each of them to grow to their fullest potential, for only then would the garden be at its most beautiful.

    The Gardener picked up the little seedling and brought it to a pond, where there was ample water and sunlight for the seedling to grow, and where it would be safe from danger. He sent His servants to watch over it, to fertilise, cultivate, water and protect it.

    Little by little, the seedling was able to extend its roots and grow to maturity in its new home. Nourished and nurtured in this pond, it was able to bloom and blossom into a beautiful lotus flower. In realising its potential, it was able to play its part in the Gardener’s plan for an exquisite and pleasing garden!


What does it mean?

    My mum tells me that my name, Sulyn, in Chinese, means “little lotus flower”. So from this story, you can guess that I am the little seedling that struggled to grow, until the Gardener placed it in the right environment, providing the right kind of nurture and care for it to blossom. The Gardener, of course, is God, and the right environment, the pond, is Disciples of Jesus Community (“DOJ”, “Community”). The servants are my brothers and sisters in Community.

    When I was 17, I moved out of my parents' home in Perth, and came across the country to Sydney to study. I did well enough, in a worldly sense, but I struggled to maintain and practise my Catholic faith, because I had no one to support me, to journey with me, to help me grow. Going to church was a lonely experience for me, as none of my peers were interested in it at all. During this time, I knew deep within me, that something was missing. I knew that there was so much more to God, and to life, than I had discovered so far. I cried out to God – “If you are real, then show me!” And He did!

    He brought me to the Summer School of Evangelisation in 1997, run by DOJ. This was a life changing experience. There, I found other young people who believed in God – other young people who were trying to walk the same road as me, trying to live a life of faith in this secular world. There, I also discovered that there is such a thing as a personal relationship with God. There, I found Christian community.

    I joined DOJ in 1998. They are family to me, in a city where I had no one. They are the ones who have loved me and cared for me. They have walked the journey with me. They challenge me to live a spiritual life. They pray with me, teach me, support me and nurture me in my faith. They inspire me to keep going when times are tough, and they celebrate with me in good times. They are living examples to me, of what it is to live a Christian lifestyle – I see married couples who love one another deeply, and who, despite difficulties, continue on in their commitment to God, and to one another; I see how it is possible to raise a Christian family; I see men who are not afraid of responsibility and commitment, and who are able to show affection for one another and for their wives and children; I see women who know what it is to be loved and cherished, and who are able to freely do the same for their husbands and families and friends; I see men and women who are free to say YES to God’s calling on their lives, and NO to the ways of the world; I see a deep love for the Church and the Sacraments; I see a deep respect for consecrated life; I see God every day in these people.

    I thank God for the gift of Community. Without it, I would not have grown and blossomed into the woman that I am. I would be a lot further away from realising my potential as a child of God, and perhaps a lot further away from God Himself. - Sulyn (November 2007)


Nothing Short of Miraculous

    This story is nothing short of miraculous. In 2000 a friend of mine, Mary, and I went to Karrinyup shopping centre with the intention of just ducking in and quickly renting a suit. Mary is a very generous person and she had wanted us all to look very handsome for our YMT brother's 21st birthday party. So generous that she had hired suits for all 3 of the brothers! What a giver!

    Anyway to cut a long story short, when we arrived at the suit hire place we both realised that the rest of Perth was in the shop too! So we went off to get a coffee and on the way did some window shopping. One man walked straight into Mary and her handbag swung on her shoulder like the pendulum of a clock. Right now you might be thinking, what on earth does this have to do with anything but it will make sense soon.

    The coffee tasted great, but to our complete shock and horror Mary's handbag was gone, so we got our coffee and cake for free, but at a cost. The first thing that we did was retrace our steps back to the shops, the car and the cafe. But the bag was gone! We did the only thing that we could think of PRAY.

    Mary prayed to St Anthony and I prayed in tongues and all we did was trust in God that everything was going to be OK. I had never before walked through the shops praying in tongues, but I strangely felt completely at ease. By now we thought that we had better alert security. We asked the security to look back on the security video. While the video was being looked at, over the twenty to thirty minutes we were sitting there, for some absurd reason Mary decided to call home and asked her housemates to check if the bag was there and it was, but how could that be? The man bumped into Mary, I saw it move like a pendulum and I recall it being at my feet in the car on the way to Karrinyup.

    As I stated in the beginning it was a miracle, nothing short of a miracle. This story shows the importance of trusting in God; He will repay you, even in ways you NEVER thought possible. - Bruce


God Answers Prayers

    Every night, the family prays over one another for God to protect and provide for each of our needs for the following day. It has become a routine prayer. Unknowingly, our prayers on the night of the 23rd of June was to be the prayer that miraculously saved Angelo's life.

    On the afternoon of July 24, Angelo was hit by a car in a 60 kilometre speed zone as he was crossing the road. The impact hurled him on top of the car's bonnet damaging the windshield and threw him about 2 metres away from where the car stopped. But miraculously, he went away from that crash with only a broken collarbone and minor scratches. No injuries to the head, spine or even death. He was even able to stand up on his own, walk to the bus stop and go home!

    To us, that was a miracle. We know God's angels cushioned the impact and protected Angelo from any major injury. God never takes our prayers for granted. He hears them and he answers. We prayed for God to protect Angelo on the 24th of June and of course, He did answer our prayer! - Epay


A Witness to God's Love

    A friend of Margaret Cantrall died at Waitara who was a fellow parishioner for over 20 years. A family man and very kind soul. Another friend of his felt his passing greatly and was very alone in life. One morning after a short dialogue before Mass, this surviving friend went into church, but was too agitated and distressed to remain in church. Relying on the Holy Spirit's prompting, Margaret restrained herself from offering any assistance and let him go.

    An hour or so later, this man arrived at Margaret's place with a letter of explanation. He was greeted by acceptance and a comforting hug with a desire to ease his pain and struggle with himself at this stage of his life. The letter contained an affirmation of being able to see the clarity of God's love i.e. Jesus, in Margaret's life. Not just a momentary glimpse, but from an observing gaze over 20 years, outside witnessing of the trials and struggles of bringing up a family and maintaining a Christian aspect to life. The friend had recognized God's sustaining presence in Margaret's life and had valued this more than any of the scripture passages in the Bible.

    Praise God that through our faithfulness to Him in living out our ordinary lives, we can give witness to His living presence among us. God has given (in)sight to the Blind!! - Margaret