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Towards the end of 2014 the Newton Family had some difficult decision to make concerning a very dear family member, Chris, Michelle’s dad, who lived in Greece, was ill and put a lot of strain on all of us. However, through prayer, phone calls etc. things seemed to get better but not to the liking of some family members.
Over the New Year period we received a phone call from Chris saying he was coming back to the UK as he agreed he could not cope on his own but the date of return was not until 22nd Jan 2015.
Michelle, Mike and Marc attended the family service on the 4th Jan 2015 and thought it was an important time to ask Sue and Ian to pray for a few things:
Bigger house to accommodate visitors and family staying
Family life, rebuilding relationships with Chris / Granddad
Church Work with Michelle’s discussion to give up children’s work temporarily to concentrate on family life
On leaving the church full of emotions, happiness and a weight off our minds we left the prayers with the One we are growing to trust in our faith journey.
All the church family who know us continued to pray over the coming week to GREAT NEWS.
On Thursday the 8th Jan we received a phone call from the Housing Association offering us a three bedroom house in Overton.
Friday 16th January we had the keys!
Close church family members gave us hope, reassurance and vision saying there was nothing the Lord could not do.
Since getting the keys it seems the Lord has sent his own DIY SOS team into the house from St Marys Church, Overton, many of whom have taken time and effort to transform the house into a loving home for us to move into on the weekend of 14/15 Feb
A huge thank you to all those who have given up time etc. to help and those who have continued to pray,
You know and our Lord knows who you are and your help, love and support are gratefully received.
Mike & Michelle Newton
In November 2014 I had to have a left hemi-colectomy. In simple terms this meant I had to have my descending colon removed. My ovaries were to be removed as well- as a precaution -and I would have a cystoscopy at the start of the operation, to have a look at an abnormality with one of my ureters and check my bladder was free of tumours.
It all happened fairly quickly, so there was no time to dwell on it. In the past 4 years I had two total knee replacements, and I thought it couldn’t be any more painful so went to hospital like a lamb to slaughter, anxious and ignorantly brave, but trusting in God.
The home group, of which I have the privilege to be part of, said they would pray for me on the Friday morning between 8.30 and 9am- the scheduled time for the operation was 8.30am.
The Christian meditation group I attend on a Monday- said they too would pray for me around that time. Some members from the Andover Baptist church asked their church to pray for me, and so did the St Mary's Overton congregation. Added to this, my internet friends, who, when told of this prayer chain, said they would join in as well. I am told the Methodist church members also prayed and not forgetting my family and neighbours.
I went to theatre at 8.25am and got onto the table with a quiet calm, knowing God would be with me. The nursing staff, anaesthetists and doctors were all so kind, and so good to me.
As is the norm, things went black almost instantly. Usually oblivion follows and one is aware of nothing until they 'bring you round'.
Something extraordinary happened.
I don’t know what time this was, but I found myself (in a vision or dream) in what seemed to be an aeroplane without wings- not a bubble- some sort of 'pod'. Anyway I was above the clouds looking down. There was a very bright sun/or light ahead- I don’t know who was 'driving' but I was aware someone was in the front. There was a person on my left- the other side of an aisle- I couldn't see a face or even a shape- I was looking to my right out of the window at very thick dark clouds for as far as the eye could see, which we were flying above. Then, as I looked out of the window, I saw very bright orangey or gold coloured, what appeared to be, steam rising out of every cloud. I stared in amazement and then I turned to my left and said ‘look at that, I've never seen anything like it, what is it?
And a voice answered – 'those are prayers, rising heavenwards to God.'
After that, there was absolute oblivion.
At around 6pm that evening I came around for the first time with a voice calling my name saying, ‘wake up. You’re in recovery- you have had an operation.'
I had no idea where I was- I have no idea what I said, but I opened my eyes to look into a beautiful face who asked me 'are you a Christian?' To which I replied 'yes.' She said 'so am I my dear, you will be alright; God is good and will look after you.'
I only know this was real and not a dream because as she was handing me over to the staff who were taking me to the ward .I looked at the clock it was after 6pm. Five minutes past or could have been ten past. I told her my back was so sore, and she said because I had such a long operation. All the practical things, proof that I wasn't dreaming. She had her hand on my arm as she said goodbye- so very comforting.
I wondered how in a crowded room full of recovering patients, nursing staff etc. I was blessed with a Christian, who, in this day and age, when its not considered PC to ask such a question, she had the courage to ask it. She had been with me, taking care of me for over two hours., on a one to one basis. I would love to know if it was something I said? Was I praying or did she just know? Whatever is was, I was humbled by Gods hand in all this- how very blessed I was to received the 'vision of prayers' and that He sent an 'angel' to take care of me and let me know he was with me.
So often, in the following days, I told the Lord I couldn’t take any more, and cried a lot.
Suffice to say, that in those early days I was extremely unwell and experienced the indignity and pain that comes with this type of surgery.
I can honestly say the worst experience of my life.
The 'vision of prayers' will stay with me always, so too the way God reminded me He was with me.
When I forgot -He reminded me-from the Christian nurse to several other amazing experiences.
I thank you Lord, with all that I am
I can honestly say the most wonderful spiritual experience of my life.
I have shared my experiences with several people who have been blessed by them too, I want to cry every time I repeat them. The message doesn't seem to diminish - no matter how often I tell it.
It is two and a half months since the surgery and I am well, and my healing continues. Surgeons have said this was a better outcome than anyone could have expected, and my recovery miraculous.
How powerful is prayer, and His Love!
Pete went to Uganda in June with Sue from St Mary’s Overton, as part of a team, to help run 3 'Rooted in Jesus' Junior conferences in the western region of Uganda called South Rwenzori.
The team were led by Jonathan Rendall and Kenyan Revd Capt Joshua Opondo was also a member of the team.
Pete always felt that he would receive more than he would be giving when he went but he received more than he expected.
This is how Pete tells it.“For some 30 years I have suffered with a hiatus hernia which imposes severe limits on the food that I can eat. No fat, no sugar, no fruit, no fish – the list is a long one. I have taken daily medication for the condition for many years and take a double dose when I am away from home. On this trip, living out of a suitcase, I managed to lose a quantity of tablets and asked the team for prayer. We asked the Lord not only for help managing without medication but for complete healing. From that day onward I stopped taking medication and have now been without for over 4 months. I would say that I am substantially healed and am able to eat very many foods that previously I could not. I still get the occasional bad day, probably because I have been too adventurous, but I would estimate a 90% recovery. My brothers and sisters at St Mary’s and I are continuing in prayer towards a complete healing and I give thanks and praise to God for his grace and power. I am now able to eat in restaurants and so can take my wife and family out socially much more easily, which is such a blessing. Praise the Lord!”