God Stepped on the Scene

January 01, 2001

When their little son jumped out of his wheelchair and started running down the hospital corridor, they knew that a miracle had taken place.

By Don Wolfe

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s young parents, my wife and I enjoyed God’s blessings. We had two little girls, and then our first son, Gary, was born. Of course, we were elated at his birth. However, soon after bringing him home from the hospital, we realized that something was seriously wrong. His bodily functions were not working correctly.

The pediatricians we saw did not seem to know what to do, giving conflicting advice. He began getting pale, weak, and very distended. This condition worsened through his first two years. Eventually, Gary had to be examined at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) hospital, where specialists were equipped to deal with unusual conditions.

After he was changed into a hospital gown, he was whisked away, crying his heart out. His mother and I were heartbroken.

That very night the situation came to a head when, after an all-night vigil, he could not hold down even a spoonful of water. Gary was admitted to OHSU the next day. After he was changed into a hospital gown, he was whisked away, crying his heart out. His mother and I were heartbroken. The staff told us that we might as well leave and try to get some rest. We spent that difficult afternoon with my wife’s parents. When we called the hospital later in the day they said, “We have been trying to get in touch with you. We have a team standing by to perform an emergency surgery, but we need your signature. Please come up and sign the papers.” What a shock! We weren’t ready for that at all.

When we first saw Gary after the surgery, his tiny body was connected to tubes everywhere. As he gradually gained strength he seemed to be doing better, but soon the same symptoms started once more. During the next year he underwent five more operations. He would come home for a while, the symptoms would recur, and he would have to go back in again. Gary would not even cry; he would just grit his teeth. From birth, pain had been his way of life. After the last operation, we were assured, “This should take care of the problem.” At first he seemed to be doing fine. Then the familiar signs of trouble came back.

I looked up at the clock on the wall. It was ten minutes to eight; lights were being dimmed around the ward. I thought, They are probably praying at the church right now for Gary.

His condition became so critical that we stayed in his room around the clock. We had called the church time after time requesting prayer, but on this particular night, we called once more. Before putting him down for the night, we decided to take Gary around the hospital ward for a short ride in a wheelchair. He was too weak to hold up his head, so we propped him up and tied him into the chair with flannel straps, his head resting on a pillow. As we came out of his room and started down the corridor, I looked up at the clock on the wall. It was ten minutes to eight; lights were being dimmed around the ward. I thought, They are probably praying at the church right now for Gary.

Suddenly Gary’s head snapped up off the pillow and he said, “Daddy, me walk!” I didn’t question him. I just untied the straps that held him in the chair, and turned him loose. He took off, running and laughing and giggling. I can assure you, that caused a real stir among the nurses! There could be no doubt: Gary had had a visit from the Lord. We took him home the next day.

Before his release we were cautioned that he would not be able to eat normally, and that the trauma he had experienced would very likely affect him psychologically. However, the professionals predicted incorrectly on all counts. God had done a perfect job on Gary. Today he is a healthy man, and the father of three children. He is a born-again Christian and works full-time in the Lord’s service.

God’s miraculous intervention became a landmark in our family, an experience we have looked back to many times. We thank God for His wonderful goodness to us.

About the author

Don Wolfe is the retired Director of Music of the Portland Apostolic Faith Church. His son Gary has worked at the headquarters church office in Portland for thirty-nine years.