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I never thought I'd live to have gray hair!
2011: My wife and I at the fair!
2013: new garb, new duties at the fair!
I went to school in a little one-room yellow schoolhouse a quarter of a mile down the road from our farm. I also went to Sunday School and Beatrice Eastman was our Sunday School teacher. God put her there so her teachings would stick with me all my life. I am forever grateful for God putting her there, as if it were not for Beatrice, I probably would not have the faith I have. You see, God has a purpose for each and every one of us. This is a shout to all you faithful Sunday School teachers who wonder if you are having an impact on the young lives who attend, sometimes sporatically and squiggly and what becomes of them.
I was between twelve and thirteen when I first had actinomycosis and was under treatment with a sulfur drug at that time. There was no cure; it was a death sentence to contract it. It is a bacteria that grows on hay as well as in the soil. I was under treatment with the sulfur drug until I went to the Lahey Clinic when I was between twenty and twenty one. I was the horticulture foreman at the Univeristy of Maine at that time. They checked me out and had me come to the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts that they worked out of.
I was experimental case number 149 and rarity number 1. There they started me on penicillin shots to see if I would show any signs of rejection to very high doses of penicillin. There was no reaction. The nurses were whispering when they walked passed my door. It only took me a few minutes to figure out I probably was seeing my last days on earth spent in a hospital. The doctor came to my room; he had a very long face. I was always laughing and joking. The doctor asked me how I was feeling and I said I was doing fine. So I cracked a joke and he did not laugh as usual. His face was very long and I could see he was having a hard time with what he wanted to say. So I asked him, "How many days do I have left?" He answered, "Five." I said, "Good." Then I asked him, "What are my chances?" He said, "One in a hundred thousand." (1/100,000 or .00001) I said, "I’ll take it and this will be the happiest five days I have on this earth." So we talked and I told some jokes. I got him laughing. The nurses thought the two of us had lost our minds. He asked me if I had any requests and I said I wanted to go to the Chapel downstairs to have a talk with God. He had a nurse wheel me down and bring me back. I was there about a half hour or so. To this day I still do not remember what took place in the Chapel. I had total peace when I came back.
They put me on twenty million units of penicillin a day intravenously for twenty seven days. I had a traveling I.V. pole so I could move around. They had me going to other rooms talking to others who needed to be cheered up who were down in the dumps thinking they were going to die when they were not even close to it.
As it got closer towards the end my temperature started going up a degree per minute. I remember the doctor telling me to hang on for a few more minutes. I thought he was whispering. I found out later he was yelling so I could hear. I did hear him yell down the hall to the nurses station to run to the medicine closet, grab an armful of clorimycetin bottles and run. "Don’t stop to pick them up if you drop any! Just get four here!"
At that time I heard my temperature was 106 degrees. It was still going up.
The next thing I knew I was going through a short tunnel to the light and was setting on a split cedar rail fence. I was intrigued by it
as there were no nails or wire holding it up, just cross pieces that should have fallen down. The light was very bright but did not hurt your eyes;
it was a golden light. The fields were of grain like barley and wheat. It all was golden in color and blowing back and forth. The air was so fresh;
there is none so fresh on earth. The music was the most beautiful I had ever heard; no music on earth is like it. I felt a peace I had never ever felt
in my life on earth. It was at that time I noticed a cloud drifting towards where I was setting. It was so white it almost had a blue tinge to it. It
stopped a little ways from me. A voice came out of the cloud saying,
“It is not your time to die. You have to go back.”
I remember answering, telling the voice (I was talking without opening my mouth),
"I am not going back."
The voice told me I had to. I said,
“I am not going back! It is hell on earth.”
The voice told me I had a long and hard life to live and in the end it would all be worth it. Then the voice told me,
"The time is running out; you have to go back and you have to go NOW!"
When the voice said NOW, the Heavens shook! I went back through the short tunnel. I opened my eyes and the nurse said loudly, “He’s back! He’s back!” I heard the doctor say to check me closer since it might just be a reaction of my body. So she checked me again and told the doctor, "He's really back!"
To the right side of my bed were two ministers, one Protestant and the other Catholic. Father Fisher looked at me and said, “You took a little trip didn’t you?” I only nodded my head as I was so weak at that time. He said he would let me rest and come back the next day to hear my story about the trip. When he did return he told me that a book existed of people who left their bodies. I had no idea others had experienced something like this.
I found out I had been gone about two minutes. I remember when I woke I saw four doctors conversing at the foot of the bed. They said it was a miracle from God that I was back.There was a great deal of joy in the hospital as the word spread! The person who had brought cheer to others in the same hospital had come back!
I am now a Reverend Deacon in the Anglican Church after walking many walks of life. I feel that God wanted me to go through all I have been through to become a better minister for HIM.
I titled my testimony page "God has a plan for us." Actinomycosis could not thwart that plan. Only my decisions can thwart God's plan. That half hour I spent in the Chapel (that I have no remembrance of what went on between myself and the Lord) must have indicated my decision to give my life to God whether it meant death or life. God let me know in a wonderful way, "You shall live and not die." Thank you, Jesus!
The fields are white with harvest but the laborers are few.
Oh Lord! Add me to your list of laborers!
Last Updated: 01/23/2015