By Alfred and Jinky Cruz as told to the Testimonial Ministry
The Cruz brood is just your typical Christian family. They say prayers at mealtimes and before going to sleep. They go to church every Sunday and serve at their parish. They pray to get out of the heavy traffic or just to get a parking slot in a crowded mall.
But never did they think the Lord would touch their lives on a deeper level and call them to The Feast.
In February, the head of the family, Alfred, came home from a 5-month business trip in Dubai. They were all excited since they weren’t able to spend Christmas and New Year together. But the next day, Alfred could not move his arm! His wife, Jinky, and their son immediately rushed him to the hospital. On the way, he was uttering, “Lord, please save me!”
At the emergency room, the nurses were talking to him but he couldn’t give a coherent response. His blood pressure was at 220/160. His CT scan revealed he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in the brainstem. The doctors could not give a definite answer whether he was going to be alright. He was brought to the ICU for closer monitoring.
On his 2nd day Alfred’s neurologist said it would be risky to operate and hoped he would respond to the medications instead. That was when Jinky and the children called family, relatives, friends, co-workers and church mates for prayers. By late afternoon, Alfred’s respiratory and heart rate, together with his body temperature, increased above normal levels and by night time, he was in a coma.
“We just couldn’t believe my husband would give up just like that. We couldn’t accept he would only have a very short time to fight for his life. His neurosurgeon said 80% of patients who suffer this kind of stroke do not survive. We continued to pray fervently and asked everyone to keep praying. We were clinging on to the hope Alfred would be part of the 20% who survive.” Jinky related.
After half an hour, the neurosurgeon gave them the greatest news: Alfred did not need to undergo an operation. At that moment, Jinky believed the Lord had heard their prayers. They received messages of encouragement and prayers of healing for Alfred. Some even formed a prayer brigade here and overseas! Overwhelmed by the love, they were given hope that the Lord was listening to their cries to bring Alfred back to them.
On the 3rd day, the Lord revealed Himself. “While being wheeled to the CT scan room, Alfred was wide awake. His face was beaming and he was waving to me as if saying he was alright. I was crying and thanking the Lord for His goodness and love. I immediately called my children to relay the good news. Knowing the Lord is in control gave me peace,” Jinky remembers with tears. She added the Lord had been in control since the day they rushed Alfred to the hospital. The minute Alfred cried out to Jesus, the Lord provided everything from the light traffic going to the hospital, to the right doctors and nurses, to faithful family and friends.
Later on, Alfred would recount his astounding encounter with the Lord.
“I was inside a room. There, I saw people in a line. I do not remember their faces, but all of them were in critical condition. I heard voices mentioning my name and my family. I realized these were the people praying for me. Thereafter, a man who was fair-skinned, with sparkling green eyes, a short beard and brown hair, and in a red cloak appeared. It was Jesus! He asked me, ‘Do you want to live?’ I replied, ‘Yes, Lord. I want to live for my family but the problem is – I cannot move my hands and my feet.’ He told me, ‘Don’t worry. You are healed.’ As He turned around, I could already move my hands and my feet! He sent me back with a promise everything would be okay.”
Alfred stayed in the ICU for 9 days and in a private room for 12 days. It has been 3 months since the incident. He has been undergoing a series of physical therapy sessions. The stroke affected his vision, hearing, speech, balance and coordination but through God’s grace, he is now able to see and hear well, speak clearly, and walk with the aid of a cane. Everyone, especially the doctors and the nurses in the hospital, are amazed by this miracle.
“The Lord has proven He is indeed our Healer and Deliverer. In difficult situations, especially in times of desperation, we have to keep our faith and be persistent in prayer for the Lord hears and answers prayers,” Alfred enthuses. His body may still be healing from the stroke he suffered, but his heart and spirit overflow with energy and enthusiasm.
Two months after the incident, the family attended The Feast. The Feast has filled their hunger for spiritual needs. It has refreshed their faith and strengthened their relationship with the Lord. It has made them realize that being a Christian is more than just listening to God’s Word and obeying His commandments; its purpose is to bring Jesus to others.