Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Reunion with the kid who was healed 45 years ago

Below is a testimony of a miraculous healing that many of my friends have read about before. But the final paragraphs below give some new information and present an addendum experienced on Facebook today, a glorious reunion with the high school kid, now an adult, who confirms the testimony. ---Billy Long

In 1971 when Laurel and I were first married we were asked to speak at a youth retreat for a group of high school kids from a Baptist church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.. While I was sharing our testimony of our walk and experiences with the Lord, you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if Jesus was walking among us. His presence became more real each time I mentioned his name. A couple of the kids expressed a desire to know Him. Then a few more. Suddenly twenty of them were on their feet and praying with and for one another. The other twenty, along with the football players, remained seated and just gazed in wonder at what was happening.

Then a young man named Rob came up to me. He had both emphysema and asthma. His breathing was a loud wheezing and was so labored that it could be heard all over the room. He had a breathing machine with him, and his doctors had recommended that he not go to this retreat. But there he stood before me with a look of despair and desperation. I pulled him off to the side and said, “Rob, do you want to know Jesus?” He said, “Yes,” but then pointed to his chest to communicate the agony he was going through with his lungs.
I quoted Jesus' words about laying hands on the sick, and then I laid my hands on his head asking Jesus to touch him. Suddenly he fell back and began to shout, “I can breathe! I can breathe!” The Lord had instantly healed him of the emphysema and asthma. I then yelled out to the group, “Hey, everybody, God just healed Rob!” Immediately the other twenty kids rose up like a covey of quail. All forty kids were standing with arms uplifted to the Lord praising and thanking Him for the miracle. They all instantly gave their lives to the Lord and stood there weeping, laughing, and praising Him. God did a wonderful work in those young people.
Following the retreat, the youth pastor invited me to meet with the group a couple times and teach them about the Holy Spirit. This was my senior year of at college, and when I graduated college Laurel and I moved away and have had no contact with Rob for the last 45 years. However, we often spoke of Rob and wondered where he was and how he was doing, and we often told the story of his healing.

Then today, to my great surprise and delight, I received the following message on Facebook. Here is how the exchange went:
ROB MITCHELL: "Can you remember a youth retreat in the summer of '71 in Oklahoma? Steve Stockley was the youth pastor from Oral Roberts University. Were you the guest speaker?"
BILLY LONG: "Rob, how could I forget that!!!! Such a wonderful retreat. Are you the Rob who was healed?"
ROB MITCHELL: "Wow! This is great! Do you remember praying for me? I was completely healed that day, forever changed my life, and the lives of many others. I pastored for 20 years, and told my testimony everywhere I went. I'm crying like a baby just thinking about it… So much to tell you. Will surely talk some more, I still think of you and Laurel often."

Rob and his wife have five wonderful on-fire Christian children, and they currently lead a ministry in the toughest part of Tulsa. What a wonderful and joyful blessing it was to me and Laurel to re-establish contact with Rob, and now 45 years later, to hear him confirm the healing that took place at that retreat, and to know that he has been serving and walking with the Lord faithfully all these years.
I am rejoicing and am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to re-establish contact and hear the continuing story of his testimony.
Praise the Lord!
Billy Long