The Second Branch: Mission Trip Excerpt

(WEDNESDAY, later that day – Reynosa, Mexico, 2006)
Gateway's 2006 Reynosa Team
Gateway's 2006 Reynosa Team

Later that day were walking when I noticed a big healthy tree with a dead limb. I had a strong inclination to break off the dead branch. We then went down the alley. We ended up meeting two wonderful families there and Glen felt lead to buy them some groceries. On the way back from the store, Doug was carrying the box on his shoulder and hit the very dead tree limb I had wanted to break off. “I knew I should have broken it off, ” I thought. At that time, it didn’t mean anything more to me than this.

During our debrief, I didn’t say much because I felt that Doug and Glenn got into the Prayer walk more than I did, but I decided I would share a “little God story” about this tree branch. Everyone laughed at me for calling it such, but I almost didn’t bring it up due to the seeming irrelevance of it, but did anyway.

At lunch I wondered what God would have me do next as I had now done each thing once. He told me Covering Prayer. I asked why, and He said to pray for my mom. (If you do not know, my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer). I had not spent too much time thinking about her on this trip, but knew that we would be praying for her at some point on this trip. Now was the time. I came out of the room as different teams were preparing for their assignments and I just felt amazing. I was standing next to Trent and let out a whoop. I had never felt so good. Yvette who had seen the purple vision that morning came up and said she didn’t know why she was supposed to be in Covering Prayer again, but had felt since the morning that this was her day to pray for others. I told her that we would be praying for my mom among others.

She said, “Yeah, I thought that tree story was a metaphor of your mother.” I was dumbfounded!

Of course!

I told her that I would be back and started running back to where the tree was. When I approached the tree, the enormity of what was happening engulfed me and I began to sob. Let me be clear: I am not a very emotional person. The reality of God’s Mercy was just too much to bear. It was very palpalbe and tangible. I was so humbled and grateful to Him for hearing mine and everyone else’s prayers for her. I knew that He would heal my mother! I kneeled crying and praying under the tree for a while. At one point I looked up and noticed a Mexican woman looking across the field at the crazy Gringo crying under a tree. Tommy ran up at that point and helped me break the branch off.

We came back and got together for Covering Prayer. God reigned glorious in that room. The prayers for my mother were powerful. As we prayed, Yvette again received the purple vision from the morning. There was no doubt my mom would be healed.

Months later after surgery, she was told that it would have spread throughout her body. What she had had been nasty and was in multiple lymph nodes. The doctors did a scan to determine where else in her body the cancer had spread. While in this machine, my mother experienced this same purple vision that Yvette had with yellow pin wheels being cleaned off one by one. She knew she was healed and the doctors were shocked to report that they could not find anything else in her.

As I read this two years later, I’m haunted by something I forgot. As I studied the tree with a renewed interest that day, I noticed there were a couple other small dead limbs that were a little harder to get to. I felt a nudge to break these off too, but I didn’t. It kept bugging me for a while after I returned that I had not broken these other branches off, and I actually thought about driving back down to Mexico and finding that tree to finish the job. I told myself that I was being silly. Now my mother was healed in a miraculous way, but looking back a couple years later I also know that the second branch was very important. Her cancer did come back a couple times. She is once again battling and could absolutely use your prayers. But I also have absolute confidence that He is completely healing her. There is no doubting what I/we experienced that day and I can’t understand it could mean anything else.

(to be continued)

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