God is Moving in Vineyard City Church of Tucson: Gary Stokes

Last Sunday at Vineyard City Church, our announcer shared her story in tears when she came up to the microphone. She is diabetic and has had foot problems. A few months ago she developed a foot infection and went to the hospital for tests. The next morning, her specialist came into her room looking upset and told her he was so sorry, but they saw infection all the way down to the bones. They would have to do surgery that night, and it was likely they would have to amputate her foot and possibly her leg.

Lots of Vineyard City folks and her family prayed with her and for her that day. After the surgery, the surgeon came to the family looking shaken. It turns out there was no infection when he got in there! He had no explanation. After several months of recovery, due to the incision and exploratory surgery, she has been fitted for a walking boot and walked up to do announcements Sunday praising God.

Two years ago we had a woman come to church who was a dual diagnosis veteran, both mentally ill and an addict. We have a multi-ethnic urban church and draw a lot of vets who have dual diagnoses. One of our members went through a program to volunteer at the VA and word spread there about our church.

When this lady first started attending, she kept a knit cap over her face, didn't make eye contact and was obviously troubled. But a few weeks later she came to me to talk after the Sunday service. She explained that she was schizophrenic and delusional and that going to church triggered her delusions, causing her to think she was Mary.

She was a believer, but she hadn't been able to attend and stay in a church service for 20 years. She informed me that not only was she able to stay in our service, but she could also follow the teaching (that's a miracle right there!) and could recognize when she was having delusions. That was a new experience for her, and I am told it is rare for schizophrenics.

Three months later, we laid hands on the woman and released her to lead a Bible study in her group home. About six months after that she began a weekly recovery ministry for us, and it is one of the most dynamic small groups at our church. Her doctor took her off her medications, and she is back working full time as a nurse and restored to good relations with her grown children, from whom she had been estranged.

Pretty good, huh?

Gary Stokes, Tucson, AZ
Submitted November 20th, 2012

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