by | Jun 3, 1999 | Testimony


These testimonies are being submitted in the hope that they may give encouragement to someone who is sharing a similar experience. Throughout my life, I have had a number of spiritual experiences that provides very clear evidence to me that God is well and truly concerned for me and has intervened on my behalf.

Lance Wearmouth Director Bible Studies

Testimony 1

I guess I was not much different than many a boy who was brought up in a Christian atmosphere and went wild for a time. I always maintained my belief in God which made me feel uncomfortable in several situations. But I did them anyway to see what they were like. Sound familiar?

I was raised on a small farm and we attended a nearby Methodist church. My father was Presbyterian and my mother a Baptist, but the Methodist was the nearest to where we lived and sometimes we had to walk. At the age of 17 I was a teacher in the Sunday School at this church. By the time I was 19 I was drinking and had discovered girls and motorbikes. I went west in my job and heavy drinking of beer was about all there was to do. The tremendous heat in the west of Queensland aided the desire to drink something cool.

By the time I was 27 I was handling 5 bottles of whiskey (Canadian Club, Rob) a week on top of beer, was at home in the roughest of western pubs and with the roughest of men. I was also a serving part time soldier in the army reserve. It was in the town of Longreach where the Lord started casting for me. It didn’t seem to matter when I went to a hotel, I would hardly settle down when the Salvation Army Officer would walk in with his collection box, look around, and make a beeline for me. It was as though I was some sort of magnet for him. Smote my conscience a bit causing me to give generously which I suppose aggravated the problem.

Shortly after, I met Lorraine and we started living together in a small town about 80 miles from Longreach where I was acting as Postmaster. Guess what? The Salvo had a plane which he flew around to the outlying towns and stations and dropped in for a visit. Embarrassed us by catching us living together out of wedlock. We became friends and he visited quite often for a cup of tea and a chat. I asked him how it was he was able to find just the pub I was in with such unerring accuracy. (He didn’t do them all on the same day). He just smiled and said it must have been meant to be.

When we married it was in the Salvation Army hall in the town where my parents lived and we attended the army for several years. Lorraine also had a Christian background and we both straightened our lives out and determined to bring up our children in the church. After all that, I finished up married to a good woman, I am not an alcoholic, although I must have been well on the way, and as you know have grown in the knowledge of the Lord through the years. For those of you who thought I was some kind of bible guru, you now know I am just a human sinner like the rest of you. I may even have advised some of you not to do the things I did in some of my studies. If so, it is not all hypocrisy. The bible tells that if we sow to the flesh, of the flesh we shall reap corruption. I have a corrupt body and I speak from experience.

Testimony 2

This is a testimony concerning an experience of my wife Lorraine, that affected both of us.

When Lorraine was a child she was living with her parents and siblings of a sheep station near Muttaburra in central western Queensland. Her father was caretaker on the property. She was about 6 when she was repeatedly butted in the stomach by a pet ram, who had her backed up against a drum. Her mother, who heard her screams took no notice since, as she said, Lorraine was always screaming. They were not worried about snakes because the pet pig, Ugly, saw to them. (Pigs love snakes and suck them up like spaghetti. Snakebite does not bother a pig who simply stores the poison in body fat. Many outback properties keep pigs around the house for this reason. When it rains and the cracks in the ground close up there is a plague of snakes.) At the time this happened Lorraine’s father was out on the property somewhere in the only vehicle and not expected back until later in the week. There was no communication. Consequently, although there was bleeding from the vagina, no medical attention was obtained. She ‘could’ have flagged down a motorist on a nearby road but did not. While this may seem strange, Lorraine was not blest with a mother that loved or even wanted her. She had been abandoned at the hospital after birth and retrieved by her father. Another time she had fallen in her basket from the old Land Rover which had no doors, and again found by her father. She spent 7 years of her childhood with her father’s sister, a Christian woman, who gave her the only stability she knew as a child.

Later, at the age of about 15, Lorraine was admitted to hospital in another larger town, with appendicitis. An emergency operation was performed by the young hospital doctor who was drunk at the time. He failed to locate the appendix and passed out before the operation was over. The anesthetist sewed her up and did not do a real good job. Three days later, pretty far gone with peritonitis, she was again opened up by the flying surgeon using a laparotomy. He located the appendix in the region of the left kidney and removed it. He also removed a section of the large intestine, cleaned her up and got out. He noted the damage but could do nothing about it at the time.

Sometime after that Lorraine heard the surgeon talking with her mother, explaining the condition of her insides and that she would never be able to have children. This greatly upset her. Late at night she awoke to find a strange man sitting on the foot of her bed. He was not hospital staff and she had never seen him before or since. He said to her, “Don’t worry about what the doctor said, that you can’t have children, you will have six.” With that, he vanished. Thinking it may have been a dream Lorraine kept this to herself. There were further problems when the wound from the original appendix operation burst open and had to be repaired.

She told me this story before we married in case I wanted to back out. The same year we married, 1973, she developed abdominal pain and we consulted a western doctor who said it was only an ovarian cyst and to not worry. This got worse and we consulted the family doctor while on holidays with the result that we were referred to a gynecologist. It was discovered that surgery would be required. Before that took place, we nearly lost her again to peritonitis caused by the aggravation of the internal examination. During the surgery I sat in the waiting room pretending to read a book. It was later pointed out to me by a nurse that the book was being held upside down the whole time. Some tuff guy eh? Some hours later the doctor emerged from the OR to talk with me.

He was splattered with blood from head to toe. He told me the news. He had never seen a woman in such a mess inside in his life. A piece of the peritoneal lining from the botched appendix operation six years ago had wrapped around the right fallopian tube, causing a cyst to develop. The whole right side had to be removed. The left ovary was damaged and partly cut away. The left tube was badly scared from the infection. The uterus had been inverted and contained a number of tumors, one of which was later discovered to be cancerous. He had straightened out her insides and put everything in it’s right place. He said he would normally have taken the lot but something prevailed upon him to try and leave her some small chance at having a child. He said that this would be medically impossible, perhaps 10 %, and that in the unlikely event it did happen the extensive scar tissue, adhesions, she would have, would probably make it impossible to carry to term. She had the hiccups throughout the operation and had bled profusely. She had ‘died’ on the table but had been revived when more blood arrived from across town with a police escort. He said she should otherwise recover alright. (Ever see a stunned mullet?)

As you can imagine all this was provoking quite a bit of prayer and recriminations for previous misdeeds. We were greatly comforted during recovery by an old Nun, a nursing sister. We were in a Catholic private hospital. About a year later, Lorraine did conceive against all odds, but the pregnancy was ectopic. We had all the drama of a rush to hospital and emergency surgery booked. This time we were advised, she would have to lose all her parts. She subsequently sacked the doctor and refused surgery. I was called in to the hospital in the middle of the night from where we were living, about two hours drive away, by nursing sisters, again Nuns, who were distressed over Lorraine’s behavior. The doctors and nurses all expected her to die. I was not permitted to override her refusal of the surgery and we just had to wait it out. As it turned out the foetus aborted naturally and surgery was not required. Lorraine told me later that she had been hanging on the prophecy given by the man on the foot of her bed and would not let them take away her last chance. We applied for adoption.

Two years later in yet another western town, we were next on the list to be placed with an adopted baby when it was discovered she was again pregnant. We went back to the specialist who had performed the major surgery and he would not believe it. Said it was probably something else. He had to change his mind when he got a heartbeat. She was looked after like a sore thumb and had extreme difficulty with the adhesions and nausea. For some time all she could keep down was tripe and onions. We practically lived on the stuff. (How ‘bout that?). Despite the difficulties with carrying, the baby, a boy, was born without fuss. Although we took the precaution of traveling to the capital city for the delivery. We were told it was a miracle, to be grateful for what we had and to know that it could not possibly happen again. Five months later the second boy was on the way. (More tripe, we had the butcher interested!) There was so much difficulty carrying him that we were advised to not do it again or Lorraine could die trying. We turned to contraceptives. The third, another boy was conceived with an IUD, the fourth, a girl while on the pill, and the fifth, another girl while using a condom. (We still have tripe occasionally for old times sake.) We were advised to have an abortion on each of the last three pregnancies because of the danger to Lorraine’s health. After the fifth however, I took sterner measures which caused me to walk slowly for a while. All this with a woman who was certified as unable to conceive and who ovulated only once or twice a year. My timing was impeccable eh? By the way, don’t take a contraceptive pill and a multivitamin at the same time. One thing I learned.

I have since learned that God counts babies who miscarry or die in the womb, so the prophecy was fulfilled in the face of tremendous odds, and the visitor in the night must have been an angel. No one else could have known.

For the biblical reference to the dead unborn, see Job 3:1-19. Verse 11 speaks of stillbirth and verse 16 of miscarriage. In either of these cases Job would have slept with the rest of the dead. And if he slept, he will awaken. This has been a long story but worth telling and sets up some of the things that happened later.

In case you are wondering, the specialist who performed the surgery the year we married, followed up on every one of Lorraine’s pregnancies, staying in touch with our doctors behind the scenes, maintaining an interest and giving advice and so on. He repeatedly used her record cards and case history while lecturing at the University. Many young doctors who don’t know her name have reflected on her case history. We visited that specialist, who by now meant quite a lot to Lorraine, while he was in semi retirement, just for a check up and a chat. He was still shaking his head in amazement.

Testimony three

You will have gathered from the last story that my mother in law was not a very loveable one. We were renting on a farm near the town of Roma in Queensland. This was a second house on the farm, put there for a worker that the owner could not afford at the time. There were no houses for rent in town. Our first baby was expected and if you read the last story you will understand that this was an anxious time for us. Lorraine wanted her mother with her.

She came, but what we did not know was that there was a blow up at her home before she left. It wasn’t long before we learned that she could not go back. About this time she had a heart attack. Apparently she had arranged for a job as a hotel cook in another western town before leaving home but could not take it up now. She would not be able to live alone. It seemed we had no choice but to accept her as a permanent fixture. She was a woman filled with hate and a bad temper. In her latter years, blind and helpless, she found Christ. But at this time was not good news at all. She precipitated problems with the owner of the property and we were told to leave. There was no where to go. Our only option was to get a loan and buy a house.

Against odds we managed to do this through a friend who was loan manager of a Credit Union. Banks would not consider us as we had no deposit and an existing loan with the Credit Union. Mum was on her best behavior and we were able to put up with her. Problems started when Lorraine was 5 months pregnant with our second child. Lorraine’s young sister visited. Seems she had decided to shift allegiance from her father to her mother. The young teen as she was then did not intend harm but provided a catalyst for her mother to shift the focus of her ever festering hatred to Lorraine. I came home for lunch one day and witnessed a display of vicious bad temper such as I had never seen before. I realized this woman was capable of murder. I feared for the welfare of my pregnant wife and child.

It was one of the more difficult times of my life. I had given my word that Mum could stay with us indefinitely, but I could not keep this promise at the very real risk that she would harm my wife. While a child, Lorraine had suffered at her hands to the extent of two broken collar bones and a broken arm through beating with a broom handle, a saucepan edge embedded in her scalp, contusions on her legs from being beaten with a dog chain, and several knife scars. This was not a woman to fool around with. I arranged some emergency leave from work, packed Lorraine and the baby in the car and drove to my parents home seven hours away. There I left my family while I went back alone to deal with the dragon.

On the way back I was suffering with anxiety, wondering if I still had a house and wondering how I was going to kick out a fairly helpless woman with a weak heart that I had promised could live with me. I felt bad. I knew the Salvation Army was having a picnic in a nearby location, it being a public holiday. I sought them out and asked the officer for advice. We were attending the Army at this time and I knew the man well. He did not have his bible with him as it was a fun outing but he told me there were several passages in the bible to comfort people in distress. He reassured me there was nothing else I could do but move the old woman out, my wife and child must come first. He called the group together for prayer and advised me to just open my bible when I got home and read where it fell open.

When I got home I discovered there had been no damage to the house. Mum and her young daughter were packing her things, preparing to evacuate, but there was a lot of tension in the air and many harsh words spoken. I went to my room and opened my bible. It fell open at a page where my wife had inserted a bookmark card. This card had been there for about 2 years I was later told but I could not remember seeing it before. When I turned the card over, typewritten on the back by the old man who had sent it to my wife, was every verse and reference that I needed to find. It was like being hit on the head with a brick. Suddenly a feeling of peace and confidence washed over me and the anxiety disappeared. God was looking after me and He had just reminded me of it.

When I told this story later to the Officer, he was astounded. He said that he was at a loss to advise me what to do and the thought just came to him to tell me to open the bible at random. He had no idea that God had planned a little surprise for me.

Testimony four

This story goes back in time a couple of years from the last. Lew was a school head teacher in Muttaburra when we got married. We were friends. He helped us out with a bit of furniture. When we left Muttaburra on transfer, we went to Chinchilla on the Darling Downs. We discovered that Lew had also been transferred to a small town nearby. We used to visit him there.

Lew was a man about 10 years my senior, a naturalized Australian, born in Italy of a German father and a Hungarian mother. He had cut sugar cane by hand to put himself through University after coming to Australia. This was hard dangerous work (mostly because of the Taipan snake which lives in cane fields in Queensland and allows only 30 minutes to live after striking), 20 tons a day was considered a good day’s work. It was hot and humid tropical work, dirty because the cane had been burned to remove trash, workers became covered in soot and syrup which would leak from the cane. Probably one of the most unpleasant tasks one could imagine. Lew had a number of degrees and when we knew him he was working on a doctorate.

When this incident took place I had only recently re committed myself to the Lord and was no where near as advanced in knowledge as I am now. I had loaned Lew a book given to me by the Salvation Army Officer on the ‘Seal of God’. This little book discusses how the Hebrew and Greek letters are given a numerical equivalent, and how when this is done with the bible text, patterns built on the number ‘seven’ appear in it. In fact whole arithmetic and geometric progressions are present throughout the bible. Although the bible was written by some 40 different men over a time span of some 2000 years, the same number patterns appear throughout. No other book in the world has this. Random numbers will of course appear in other texts but not a repetitive pattern. The book discusses how this is the ‘seal’ placed by God on the bible. I had given the book to Lew in the hope he would, with his vast education, see the significance of this.

Lew was searching for meaning in the bible. He had read it through a few times but could not get a ‘feel’ for it. In other words he was looking at it academically, not spiritually. I was witnessing to him one afternoon, getting on toward dusk, when I noticed he was leaning forward in his seat, hanging on every word and staring with an intent expression on his face. He pointed to me and stammered out that there was a halo around my head. At that moment a tremendous surge of spiritual power flowed through me and met in conflict with a surge flowing through Lew. My wife was in the room and was aware of the energy charge, though not part of it. She did not see the ‘halo’. This only continued for moments but it left us both exhausted. I must have felt much the same way Daniel felt when he described how all the energy left him and he was weakened at the presence of spiritual beings.

It took about half an hour before either of us could stand. Even then Lorraine had to assist me down the stairs and drive me home. My knees were too weak.

I did not see Lew again as this was on the eve of a transfer for him so I don’t know whether he got the spiritual evidence he was seeking. I know he had a powerful spiritual experience as had I. I did hear through a mutual acquaintance in recent years that he had died of a heart attack while serving as a Professor at the University of Queensland.

I did not feel fear during this experience, only awe and a sense of utter helplessness when caught up in the power that was in the room. This is how I know it was the Holy Spirit. I was not speaking in ‘tongues’, I was speaking in English. But it was not me that was in control in that room, it was God.

Testimony five

This is the story of the miraculous way I was led by the Spirit into keeping the Sabbath. I should point out at this stage that I realize that some might see this as being critical of them keeping

Sunday. Please do not think this. If the Spirit is leading you in a certain direction, you will ‘know’, as I did. I do not imply that all Sunday keepers need to start keeping Saturday, only that ‘I’ needed to. This ministry does not support any one Christian church above another and this should not be seen as anything other than my own story.

Although I do not agree with all the religion’s precepts, the little country church I attend on Saturday is my spiritual home and provides me with an infrastructure for fellowship, renewal of my spirit, and for deep and meaningful bible study with like minded people. I firmly believe that the only requirements for salvation are to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became flesh and died for our sins, to confess this with your mouth, and to confess your sins directly to Him. The bible is clear that if you do this you will be saved. No one who is thus saved will be lost. The Spirit will direct the paths of all who are saved.

As you will have gathered from previous testimonies, we were attending the Salvation Army. When I transferred on promotion from Chinchilla to Roma, I had to go on alone for a few weeks until I could find accommodation in the new town. During this time I boarded with a local woman, Mrs. Evans. Who took in private boarders from time to time. While there she gave me a Christian book. Said that someone had called at the door and left it with her once. It was of no interest to her but I might like to read it, which I did. Two doctrines discussed differed markedly with those taught by the churches I had attended. The Sabbath, and the state of the dead.

Now I was brought up to understand that the dead are asleep in Jesus and I received confirmation of this from the content of the book. The Sabbath issue made sense to me so I approached the Officer on the issue. I did not get a satisfactory answer. Over the intervening years I continued to worry this topic of the question of the Sabbath day. I was being put under pressure to become a uniformed soldier and could not resolve this issue in order to do so. So I left the Army and attended the Baptists for a couple of years. They at least have a doctrine of freedom of conscience and allow for divergent belief so long as one does not cause any conflict.

During this time I continued to study for myself this topic and became convinced that Saturday was the day I should be keeping and not Sunday. At this stage I had no contact with Saturday keeping churches. I had heard of them but knew nothing other than they were considered as ‘funny’ by the churches I had so far associated with. We got a new pastor and one of the first sermons he preached was on the eternal nature of the law of God, the ten commandments. He pointed out that no one had the right to abolish, change or interfere in any way with any one of these laws. I don’t think he realized he was preaching the exact sermon I needed to hear. After the service at handshaking I asked him about the 4th commandment. He said, “Does it bother you?” “Yes.” I said. He then said, “Well, you will have to do something about that, won’t you?” So I stopped going to the Baptists.

I did not go anywhere for about six months, just marking time as it were. One day when I came home from work my wife was excited and had something to tell me. She had heard a vehicle screech in the intersection outside our house and had run out to see if there was an accident. A vehicle did a U turn in the intersection and pulled up in front of our house. A man emerged from the car and came up to her. He said, “I was driving past just minding my own business, when I got a sudden urge to visit this house, can you tell me why that might be?” He introduced himself as a worker for a local Saturday keeping church and Lorraine told him that I had been concerned about the Sabbath day question. He promised to come back when I finished work.

As a result of that visit we started study with the local pastor. I had already some well formed views, specifically, the nature of prophecy. I had studied the futurist aspect of Revelation while this church held with the historicist view. The local pastor was not in a position to argue the fine points with me and sought the help of a leading Evangelist, pastor Bill Otto, now deceased. Bill made the seven hour trip by car (a 14 hour return journey) every Friday for months, just to lead me through the full story. I was confused about many things and Bill was able to show me from the bible, with cross references he had memorized, the truth of the matter. My foundation was not built on material produced by the church, but on the Word of God, opened for me by this great man, Bill Otto. I was not aware at the time that Bill was only making this onerous journey just for my benefit. Nor was I aware he was ill, for he died a few short years later. Neither did I have any idea just WHO he was and how highly regarded he was within the organization. It is only in later years that I have learned just how privileged I was to be receiving the personal attention of this highly placed and very learned man.

We were baptized in 1982, in Roma in western Queensland. At our baptism I gave a testimony much like the one I have written here. An old woman in the congregation burst out crying as she listened. She spoke up with a trembling voice and told that it was her that had left that book with Mrs Evans seven years ago.

By now you can see how God has worked through various church organizations to bring about my spiritual development. Methodists gave me my early foundation, Salvation Army led me back, Baptists pointed me in a certain direction, and my present church gave me a spiritual home.

I have no doubt that I am where the Spirit wants me to be. God and some of his servants went to a lot of trouble for me and the telling of these stories makes me wonder how I could ever doubt that I was being cared for in a special way. But I did. And that will be the next story.

Testimony 6

At about the same time as our baptism, I was transferred in my job from Roma to Toowoomba and started attending the same church in that city. However the love and fellowship we had known at Roma was not there. Instead we found it a cold place, spiritually that is, with emphasis on keeping the law. On our first visit to this new church we occupied seats designated as ‘For Families With Small Children’. We were approached by an elderly couple who advised us we were sitting in ‘their’ seat. I later found out they used to sit there when they did have small children and still did.

Feeling disillusioned we opted to attend a group who was building a new church in the town to branch out from the original, the membership now being too large to all fit in the building. We did not have the same trouble with seating but were not any happier. It was at this time we found out about how the church central administration built up their property portfolio. Members would borrow money from the central administration to build a church building. This would be repaid, plus commercial rate interest, by the members who would take up a special collection for the purpose. When the loan was finally paid off the buildings would then belong to the local membership you would think, but no, ownership was then transferred to the central administration.

This seemed rather unfair and greedy to me and must have to others too. In more recent years the central administration decided to close down a small country church and sell the buildings because attendance was low. The members challenged their right to do this in court and won. Good on them, I thought.

We were persuaded to send our two school age children to the church school at what was for us a considerable financial burden, especially since the state schools were free. It was there that our eldest son experienced bullying the like of which I have not previously seen at any school. Two young female teachers would spend the lunch hour in the staff room talking and the children ran unsupervised in the playground. There was an embankment they could get below which was out of site from the staff room and this is where the bullying took place. Our son was traumatized by this and when he told his teacher he was accused of lying. We found out about it when he awoke at night screaming. In the subsequent investigation the pastor convinced us to let him sort the matter out instead of going to the Police or to court. The matter was covered up. We took our children from the school and enrolled them in a state school where small children had a protected playground and supervision was properly provided.

After this we were ostracized at church because some of the wealthier and more influential families were offended by our accusations which involved their children, and by our voting with our feet. A special collection which was publicized for some time for the ‘welfare’ work done by the church was taken only after ‘pledges’ were given by all members. At this time we had five small children and a mortgage and were struggling financially. We supported this collection thinking it must be for a great work and later discovered it was for an elaborate six burner gas stove for the hall. The only use this was ever put to in our time there was for members heating up their lunches after church.

We were now very disillusioned with this wonderful new church we thought we had found. In Roma one day we were having a combined lunch and one lady, still studying to come into the church, brought chicken sandwiches. This church has an official public profile of being vegetarian so no one was eating her sandwiches. The pastor, fearing she would be hurt, took a sandwich and ate it, complimenting her on the taste. Others followed his example. That is the kind of love situation we thought we had found. We were very disappointed.

This was further exacerbated when we asked for assistance for Lorraine who was having a very hard time coping emotionally with the pressure of five small children and the baby being epileptic and requiring special attention. No one could be found to even spend a couple of hours with her to give her some company. One lady from another church did what she could but she had small children of her own. Eventually our doctor arranged assistance through a community organization. All the women in the church, including the pastor’s wife were busy increasing their own wealth and had no time to help anyone in need. Not even one of their own members.

It was about this time that we started travelling on weekends on a regular basis to spend time with my father who was slowly dying. On one of these trips we visited a church of the same religion in a little country town near to my parents home. The warmth that wrapped itself around us in that little church was incredible. We walked in a bit late, the service was in progress. An elderly man rose from his seat and made us welcome. The preacher, the head elder I later discovered, stopped his sermon and came down the aisle to also welcome us. Other members gathered around, we felt quite special. There was an easy camaraderie in the place and a atmosphere of love for each other. The difference was like the difference between light and darkness. It was as though we had ‘come home’.

I obtained a transfer on promotion to the city where I now live and we still attend this little country church which is only a short drive from where we live. I have learned that it is the members that make a church, not the religious organization involved. When those members put Jesus first and not self interest, His presence can be felt in the room.

We have nothing more to do with the church in the previous centre, although I have heard they had one pastor disfellowshipped and that another resigned. The coldheartedness I felt was not an illusion.

Testimony 7

At the close of the last testimony it seemed that I had found my niche. However that did not come without some tribulation, doubt and falling away.

In the early 1990’s I entered a turbulent period at work. I was an Administration Manager with Telecom Australia. Reorganization was upon us and the office I managed was to be closed down. All the functions of my office were to be transferred to the capital city and the sixty staff I supervised were to be either transferred or retrenched. This applied to me also. As you can imagine this was industrially difficult involving intense negotiations with unions and upper management. I carried the emotional burden for my staff as well as for myself. I was suffering from some health problems not diagnosed at that time and the pressure on top of these problems caused me to crack up. Because agreement had not been reached at this time, it was necessary for me to continue, or a ‘hatchet man’ would be sent out. One of my senior staff propped me up. Went to meetings with me, kept a schedule, reminded me of things to do and generally ‘held my hand’ until agreement was reached and signed. I then went on extended sick leave followed by accepting retrenchment.

About 12 months went by while my depression deepened. I had always been a self reliant man and struggled to continue in my own strength. It was at this time that I stopped going to church because no one there knew what I was going through and all would try and help with ‘advice’ about ‘picking myself up’ and ‘getting more faith’. Also at this time there were problems in the church with personalities clashing and one member I counted as a friend being shunned by the others. A pastor we had at the time was abrasive and made the matter worse by asking my friend to not come back to church. This was wrong and damaging but I was not capable of dealing with it so I stayed home most of the time. Discouragement caused by my children rejecting church as they advanced into their teens did not help.

My depression deepened further and I became suicidal. Eventually I sought medical help and was admitted to a mental health ward for treatment. I was advised I suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. I could not bring myself to continue at church after this for some years and instead led a bible study class at my mother’s home once a week. It was during this time that I started writing on prophecy.

It was also during these years that Lorraine returned to work as a nurse and put herself through university to obtain a nursing degree. My retrenchment pay dwindled away during these years of low income. Lorraine had considerable strengthening from above during this period and her achievement was truly remarkable. She re entered the workforce after 20 years as a housewife and mother, took on a degree course with no prior high school education at all. Her only schooling as a child was an incomplete primary school education. She suffered three stress attacks during the period requiring transportation to hospital by ambulance. Usually at exam times she had to cope with other crises as well. She lost a mother, a foster mother, an aunt and an uncle she was close to (different families) a pet dog, had two major car accidents the second in which she suffered minor injuries and wrote off the car. Three times our intellectually challenged daughter overdosed herself deliberately on her medication and our youngest son became involved with the drug scene. Most of these incidents occurred at or near exam times. And on top of all that she is dyslexic. Throughout the 4 years it took, she attended university full time and worked every weekend at the local hospital to earn bread money and keep continuity of employment. It wasn’t easy. Assisted by my daughters, I took responsibility for the household chores.

I continued in this way until the end of April 1999 when I was admitted to hospital. I had gone to bed at night with a couple of painkillers and low grade renal cholic, something I had suffered frequently for about 5 years. My wife came home from night shift at the hospital in the morning and found me unconscious on the bed. I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and treated with fluids and pain relief. I did not recover consciousness and the next night slipped into a coma with septicaemia, toxic shock and renal failure. I also developed bacterial pneumonia. The family was called in and advised to prepare for the worst. My chances of survival at Ipswich were zero. My chances of surviving transfer to a large city hospital were estimated as negligible. If I survived transfer and was placed on dialysis, my chances were estimated at 3% and in the unlikely event I did survive I would be a vegetable. My wife was invited to turn off life support and let me go, or authorize an attempt to transfer me. She decided to transfer me and called on the pastor to have me anointed.

I survived the transfer after the ambulance was stopped three times to have me stabilized. On arrival at the city hospital Lorraine was again advised that I could not live, but that they would do ‘what they could’. I have seen my charts and it was 5 days before a notation was made by a doctor that it appeared I might live. I was 15 days in intensive care and two months in recovery. The medication to raise blood pressure caused total blindness in my left eye and left me with a small amount of good quality central vision in my right eye. Sufficient to use the computer but not enough to drive a car. I also lost all the toes from my left foot to dry gangrene. It was thought at one stage that I would lose both legs below the knee so I guess a few digits is not too bad. I also had a vivid dream I still think may have been a vision, of Sydney Australia being destroyed by balls of fire. The detail of that is on my website if anyone is interested.

I also had a near death experience I would like to include here. I have a memory of watching from across the room as two doctors worked on a man with the electric paddles. He was naked to the waist. Between shocks they were pounding on his chest and saying ‘Come on Mr Wearmouth’ I remember thinking that was my name and realized it must be me they were working on. One then stepped back, looked at his watch and said, ‘That’s it! Time of death….’; and I realized I had died. At that moment a wonderful feeling of peace and comfort came over me. Words cannot describe the feeling but I have never felt so safe or so wonderfully at peace in my life. Many things passed through my mind at that time and it seemed it took quite a while but must have only been moments before the other doctor said; ‘No, let’s give him one more hit.’ The memory ended there. When I awoke I felt cheated to find out I was still alive. The hair on my chest was burnt off in two rectangular patches so I knew the experience was real.

I learned from this experience that since the memory was written to my brain which was still inside my head, that the feeling of watching from across the room was either a trick of my imagination or I was seeing through the eyes of my angel. I know from my studies that the spirit of man has no consciousness in death. I do know that there is a window of awareness in the moments between when the body has given up and the mind still lingers. Had I needed to make peace with God, I would have had time. This may be a comfort to those who have lost a loved one and did not know if they had accepted Jesus or not. If you have watched someone die you will have seen this look of awareness at the end. Do not be afraid of death, when you are beyond pain, the mind soars and the wonderful peaceful feeling will wrap you in comfort.

I have been advised by the head of ICU, who visited my bedside that there is no medical reason for me to have lived. It was not known, he said for anyone to survive against such odds. He assured me that nothing the doctors did preserved me, I was beyond their help. There remains only divine intervention. Despite assurances from my loved ones that God had some unfinished business with me, I again became suicidal. Grieving I suppose for my loss of vision, my inability to drive, and the changes this has forced on my lifestyle. This passed quickly and I returned to regular church attendance. It was about six months after this crisis that I was sent a copy of Rob’s newsletter and started contributing answers to some of the questions of the week. At this stage Rob was doing everything himself and was feeling the strain. After a little while of swapping correspondence Rob asked me if I would consider becoming a Director and taking over some of the work from him. The rest you know.

God has taken away all my distractions, driving, looking for work; has given me sufficient vision for using the computer, time to use it, a modest income from the blind pension available in Australia, introduced me to A2P and put me to work for Him. I am reminded of a quotation once published on A2P… ‘What would shed light, must itself, burn.’

I am now God’s to do with as He wishes. Researching for answers to your questions has increased my bible knowledge and understanding considerably. I suffer physically for having sown to the flesh in my younger days, but I thank God for the mercy He has shown me and for the privilege of serving Him in this ministry. I thank him too for the wonderful wife who supports me now, and who has endured so much to become the family breadwinner. But mostly I thank Him for the sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf, so that a sinner like me can look forward to eternity in paradise.