Hi, My name is Trudy and I live with my family in Ontario, Canada. I will try to give you a mental picture of who I am, where I came from and where I am now, spiritually speaking.
My teenage years were very rough, I did hang around with the wrong crowd and I did not know how to get disentangled. My young life had been ruined; I had chosen the broad path.
What to do next, I did not know…Where to turn to…Would death be the answer??
I was living in Holland and in my early twenties when I was in a very desperate situation. I called upon God not really knowing on whom I was calling. I was not a Christian at that time, not even a churchgoer.
Shortly after, I met a young Christian family via an elder of a local church who did not know how he could help me. He thought perhaps if I could find somebody with whom I could have a social time, such as reading or knitting together, it would help me get over my problems. I told him that it would not do me any good, my problems were so obvious you just could not talk them away.
I needed more than a knitting friend, I needed God to help me, I needed a miracle. So, the elder suggested for me to contact this family, who lived just down the road, but he said not to pay too much attention to the man of the house…. He believed in miracles and so forth…. Ooh…Ah…. Ja… That did draw my interest! I thought maybe this miracle believing man has something to offer me? …I will call this man John.
I got all my courage together and paid these people a visit. The very first night John told me about his own life; what all happened to him during the war; that he had betrayed his own people; how God met him when he was working for the enemy, the NSB. He then told me how God had opened his eyes and showed him all his wrongdoing. He then realized he needed forgiveness and turned himself in at the Dutch Government.
John was just beaming while he was telling me about the treasure he had found in Jesus, the happiness and peace of mind, knowing that his sins were forgiven. I had never heard a testimony like this. I also knew that this man was not making up some sort of a story. This was for real and I could sense a deep truth in it. I was all ears and soaked every word in like a sponge. It all did sound like music, beautiful music, what my soul had been thirsting for.
I felt right away, that it was exactly what I needed. I envied him for his faith and he told me if I just would believe in Jesus as my Savior, He would give me faith too. I started to forget my own problems and my attention was drawn to my oldest sister, who had been suffering from some sort of mental disorder shortly after the II World War. For the past 10 years she had been in and out the mental institutions, receiving terrible treatments, such as 24 electric shocks. If you just knew what that meant!
Years later…when I lived in Canada and took training in the Health Care field, I saw a video on how in those earlier days electric shock treatments were applied. The body of the patient was strapped down to the stretcher. Electrical wires were connected to the patient’s body, mainly to the head. Once the electricity was turned on, the body started to shake violently, so much though, that if the body would not be strapped down it may have jumped of the stretcher. Needless to say, how I felt where my dear sister had gone through. I cried… and cried…also, because I remember how she cried. When she had to go for those treatments. She begged my parents: No… No….please, no electric shocks. I have often wondered if she experienced those treatments without anesthetic.
So…I told John all about her and I was wondering why God had not healed her. John replied, “Did anyone pray for her healing or deliverance?” I could not tell, but I knew that sometimes deacons from the church had visited, but as far as I knew the subject of Maria’s sickness was never touched. “How can we expect God to do something if He is not asked and if there is no faith,” John said. “But would God answer such a request?” I asked again. At this point the Bible in John’s hand was opened and he read: Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Oh…I thought…finally, something concrete, somebody I could depend on” The Same, He is always the Same”. How could Maria receive healing when nobody believed, was my question.
John explained that if I brought her in faith to the Lord, He would heal her. He said: “When Jesus walked on the earth, He healed all who came to Him and the Bible says that ALL things are possible for them that believe. If the Lord would not keep His Word, how could we be sure of our Salvation.
In the mean time I did do some arithmetic: 2+2=4, nobody can change that, so it is with the Scriptures. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He healed then, so He heals now. That was as clear as a bell and simple as pie. But how could I bring my sister in prayer to the Lord? I did not have any faith myself. John said that I only had to be willing, that the Lord will give me faith and do the rest. I thought for a while:I have to give my will to Him, then He will bring it to pass. Well, my life was already a mess anyway, so to be a fool again would not hurt. But…. That RISK could mean my sister’s healing. So, I said to John: “If the Lord is going to heal my sister on that condition, then I will follow Him.”
What a wonderful Gospel, I had never heard anything like it! It was 10 O’clock that night when I went to my apartment, which was only a couple of houses down from John’s home. Of course, John went right down on his knees to call upon the Lord, little did I know.
When I came in my apartment, a very special feeling came over me. I experienced a lightness, as if a heavy weight was taken off my shoulders. All of a sudden I felt in my heart, that something had happened. I opened my curtains and looked at the dark sky. I do not know how to explain it, but I said out loud: “Lord, I do not understand where you are, but I know You just healed my sister. Lord, I don’t know it with my understanding, but I feel it in my heart and it is true.”
I was so certain that it had happened, that I wrote a letter to my parents that same night and put it in the postbox at the corner of the street. Now, isn’t this a little bit foolishness????? The next day I became a little worried and I had to find a place to pray at my job. “Lord,” I said, “I wrote in that letter to my parents that Jesus had healed Maria, I don’t care if they call me crazy, but I have used your Name in that letter. You put that certainty of Maria’s healing in my heart, please, now confirm it in Jesus Name”.
Of course, the Lord had healed her, so much so that Maria gained 20 lbs. within two weeks. This was also the doctor’s observation time before they sent her home – what had happened that night when I visited John. My sister who was in a private cell (room) had asked the nurse for a pail of soapy water and a mop, because she did find it quite dirty – and it probably was. The nurse could not believe her ears and asked Maria what she was saying. The request was repeated, and the nurse provided the pail, water and mop.
So, Maria started to wash the floor, while the nurse was looking on. She went down the hall, the stairs etc. etc. with the nurse following. Anyway, my sister did not even realize that she was a patient, she thought she was housekeeping staff. Before she became institutionalized she worked in a nursing home in that capacity.
After two weeks my parents could take her home and of course they brought Maria first to my apartment. My sister responded in a normal fashion, she liked my room and the view from my window. It seemed such a long time since I heard her speak a normal sentence.
I started to cry and so did my parents. My father asked me to tell him exactly how this all came about. I did not know where to start. So… quietly I said to the Lord: “I don’t know what to tell him and how to explain it, because there is no explanation.” I just opened my Bible and there was the answer right in front of me. There were a couple of more questions and the Lord gave me the answers in the same manner. Then my father said: “How do you know all that… have you studied theology?” I replied, “Father don’t ask me, I don’t know.”
This first miracle in my life changed me completely, as you well can understand. I also had a desire to live with my parents again to support my sister. My father was not exactly thinking the way I did. He felt he would like to move out of the city where people knew him so well, because of my previous questionable reputation.
So it took a while before they had found a suitable home in a small village. I needed a job and not too far from our new home was an ammunition depot from the Ministry of Defense. I read in the paper that a secretary was needed… I did apply for that job, but after my medical examination I was turned down, due to the fact that my lungs did not appear too healthy. According to the X-ray I had all dark spots on the tips of my lungs and the doctor thought that I must have suffered from pleurisy at one time. I told him I never had been sick with anything like that, but that I had been a very heavy smoker…whatever…. I did not get the job.
I went to Neeltje Bouw, the lady preacher, and told her how much I needed that job and what the X-ray had shown. I said, “If the Lord can heal a mental sick sister, He could heal my lungs and make them clear.” So, I asked Neeltje to pray for me, but she did not think it was needed. “You show faith by making that statement, so the Lord will do according to your faith,” she replied.
And He did. I reapplied, knowing that not too many would go for a job in an isolated area, where about 120 men and one woman worked as soldiers and civilians. Once more I underwent medical examination, with the same doctor. He asked me, “haven’t I seen you here before?” “Yes,” I smiled, knowing that this time he would see something different on the X-ray.
After a while, with bewilderment in his eyes, he walked up to me and said, “weren’t you recently rejected, wasn’t there something wrong with your lungs?” “Yes, “ I replied, “but something has happened.”
Again he went into the dark room and came back with another X-ray picture on glass, from my first examination. “I don’t understand this at all,” he went on, “the same person and two different X-rays within a couple of weeks?” He looked at me for an explanation. “I know,” I said, “it is hard to explain, but my lungs have been healed by the Lord.” Of course, that was not a good enough explanation for a doctor. “The Lord… who…the Lord?” he replied. This gave me an excellent opportunity to give my personal testimony, and…. I got the job. The doctor was never the same after!!!!!
So, I went to live with my parents in Schalkwijk… had a job and supported my oldest sister, emotionally and spiritually. It was not always easy, but the Lord was good and all things were working together for good, for me who loved Him (Romans 8:28). Sometimes when friends and family came to visit my parents’ house, I had to clear the downstairs of anything that showed my presence. For me, my life had changed and I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, but my parents could not fathom that. I was a little too fanatic for their liking.
Once, someone drove in the driveway and came to visit us unexpectedly, I had to go out the backdoor, waited until the visitors were in the living room, then I had to sneak down the hall and upstairs to my bedroom. My father did not want anyone to know that I was living with them. I often cried and felt unwanted, but I knew the Lord was in charge of my life, He was on my side and working on my behalf.
One evening the minister and an elder from the church came to visit us. They had heard about my sister’s healing. The minister said to me: “So, you think that God is just like a light switch, you push the button and the light goes on?”
“Well,” I replied, “you sing in church Psalm 81 verse 7, ‘Thou called in time of trouble and I delivered thee,’ and verse 10, ‘Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it’. ‘Ask and thou shall receive’. That is what the Scriptures say… not me.”
Then I asked my sister Maria if she would tell the minister what had happened. Maria stood up and said: I cannot explain what happened to me, but I know that Jesus Christ has healed me.
I was sent upstairs, because my father thought I had responded in an inappropriate way to the minister’s remark.
I had met the Savior and nothing was getting between us. The joy of the Lord was far greater than any suffering.
Within a year I met a young Christian man and we married two months later. Irresponsible??… Not knowing each other??… The Lord knew us…and by now we are married for nearly 35 years. God does not make mistakes!!! The Lord gave us four children and we immigrated to Canada in 1966.
This is part of my testimony and I just have touched the tip of the iceberg. God is unlimited and He will manifest Himself in our lives, if we let Him. To Him be the Glory, great things He has done. It is no secret, what GOD can do. What He does for others, He will do for you!!!
I believe, that, while you have been reading my testimony, God’s Spirit is revealing Himself to your heart. Don’t be afraid to lift up your hands towards heaven and cry out to HIM. Surrender your ALL and put ALL your trust in the Father, who sent His Son Jesus Christ to set you free!!! “Who the SON has set free, is free indeed”