My mother and I are waiting in Doctor Garber’s examining room, which always has a sharp smell of rubbing alcohol. She’s the patient, and I’m with her sitting on a chair eyeing the metal tray holding at least a dozen tiny vials, so cute they look like they could fit in the kitchen of my doll-house. But they are vials of venom, possible culprits. Nurse Becky Longenecker carefully fills little syringes with each fluid, which puncture the skin of Mommy’s extended arm trying to determine whether it is house dust, hay, mildew, turpentine, or cat dander that is causing her frightful asthma attacks. I watch as some injections leave a puffy patch or a bright red spot. She leaves the office with a paper packet of pills to try. Maybe these will help.

But I guess they aren’t working either. Once again, Mother is propped up on feather pillows gasping for breath, her face blanched white with the effort. It’s scary for Daddy and my sisters too. We feel helpless. But Daddy knows about Ordinance # 7 in the Statement of Christian Doctrine of the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church: “Anointing. According to James 5:10-18 we encourage our members to call for anointing with oil accompanied by the prayer of faith for healing.”

Olive oil in a Vial of Healing

Olive Oil in a Vial of Healing

So my dad has called for Pastor Martin R. Kraybill and Deacon John R. Kraybill, brothers, to come to Mom and Dad’s bedroom upstairs for the anointing of oil as prescribed in the New Testament passage of James 5:14 & 15.

Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church: and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

As Pastor Martin prays and reads the scripture to Mother and to the family assembled around her bed, Deacon John anoints her forehead with olive oil, an outward symbol of the healing that is transpiring within. Mom later describes a tingling sensation like a warm, electrical current radiating from the top of her spine to the bottom. “It felt wonderful!” she says. She has been healed immediately—and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

No more doctor visits for asthma ever again, the vials of venom to test for triggers, a thing of the past. Praise God!

Have you or someone you know had an experience similar to this? We’d love to hear your story.

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