1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


Revelation 12:11

“Healed by His Stripes- Isaiah 53:5”

Hello, my name is Denise Davis

I would like to share my testimony so that others will know that God heals, delivers, and can set you free from any stronghold that you may have. Growing up as a child I was raped and molested. The rape and molestation caused me to be depressed, bitter, afraid, ashamed, and made me feel down-right dirty. I started to hate myself as time went on. I started to drugs. All kinds- you name it, I did it. I took drugs because I thought it would make the pain, hurt, and shame go away. Only to find out later that it caused more pain in my life.

I was young, confused, depressed, and suicidal; having no one to trust. I turned to the streets where things got worse- well let me back up for a minute. I realize today that it was worse but when I was living in sin and darkness, I thought my life was “A-OK.” I started to get chosen by the top notch drug dealers, lawyers, and doctors. See, I was a beautiful young lady and I guess the look that those kinds of men wanted I had, not to mention they all could afford my habit. Some even tried to help me get off drugs.

While on drugs, it separated me from my family, but most of all, from my one and only child, LaTonia. The enemy had me so far gone. I started believing that as long as I had a beautiful home and my daughter didn’t want for anything, there was nothing wrong with what I was doing. Yes, the enemy plays with the mind and will make you think wrong is right when you know what is really right from wrong. As time went on, my body was telling me to stop using drugs.

Of course, I paid no attention to the warning signs until I almost lost my life to kidney and liver failure. All I can remember was me and God walking and

Talking and I saying, “Lord, please give me one more chance.” I could hear people around me but wasn’t able to respond to any of them. I kept praying and praying in my head asking God to please give me one more chance and he did. I came out off my comma and off the life support machine, and the first thing I remember saying was to my daughter, “Please forgive me,” and she did.

After coming out the hospital and joining church, the enemy was still tempting me. See, I thought I could beat the addiction on my own, but of course I couldn’t. I went boldly to the throne and fell down on my knees praying to God saying, “Lord, I surrender! I can’t do this on my own. It’s hard and I know with you all things are possible. Lord, I’m tired I don’t want that life anymore. Please, Lord, heal and deliver me from every unclean desire I may have.” I then started to go to prayer, bible study, church, and changed the company I was keeping. I’m telling you there is power in prayer.

I have been drug-free for over twenty four years. Saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled, and loving every minute of it. I promise you if you have a loved one or if you are on drugs, God is able to deliver you. If he did it for me, he will do it for you. Try him, and TRUST him. He’s able. He loves you so much and all he wants you to do is let him in. Be encouraged and trust God.

I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in July 2010.  I consulted a naturopath after the initial shock and began a cancer-fighting regimen.  I also consulted with the doctors associated with my health plan regarding treatment.  Throughout it all I asked God for supernatural healing.  I didn’t want surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. I wanted ‘instantaneous healing.

I was concerned that the doctors within my health network wouldn’t state whether I would have a colostomy bag for the rest of my life.  I decided to come to Cancer Treatment Centers of America for a second opinion.  Further testing showed there was a 60-70% chance that the procedure could be reversed.  I chose CTCA for treatment.

I was blessed to meet many people on this health journey – to share hopes, prayer for healing, encouragement and tears over the next eighteen months.  I underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries between September 2010 and September 2011.  The colostomy was reversed.  My 2012 tests show NO SIGN of cancer anywhere in my body. ALL HONOR, PRAISE AND GLORY BELONG TO GOD!

This experience forced me to re-examine my priorities.  I had refused to answer God’s call to the ministry.  I had begun writing a book about gospel music ministry that was not completed.  I promised God that the rest of my life was His and that I would no longer say no to whatever He said.  Make A Joyful Noise: A Brief History of Gospel Music Ministry in America was completed during my recovery and self - published in July 2011.  I continue to watch what I eat, and adapt to the “new normal” that is my present body.

I thank all who are a part of CTCA-Midwest Center.  The faith and hope present in that healing community inspires patients to continue to persevere in spite of their challenges.  I also salute the caregivers who were there with their family and friends.  I have come to realize that God’s plan for me is for my good (Jeremiah 29:11).  I didn’t receive supernatural healing as I had imagined it – BUT I did receive supernatural healing.  My prayer is that those still in the midst of this health challenge remember God has not forgotten or forsaken them.  His promise in Hebrews 13:5b is true: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  I am a better, stronger, more compassionate human being – because of His stripes that healed me.

In Christ,

Minister Kathryn Kemp

I grew up w/ physical, mental, and sexual abuse at the hands of my step father, and it was a way of life. As I got older to escape from the shame , quilt and pain I started to use drugs. I used for of period of 17 years, losing 1 child to CPS ,than another to CPS years later, and I had made several attempts to quit. The shame quilt at this time was much too great even for the drugs to cover, then I tried to take my life. I was empty and full of the worst kind of anger, pain, and I hatred for myself. A  my final rock bottom was reached and I knew GOD would be the only thing that would  heal me spiritually and mentally. I decided to turn my life over to GOD August 14 2007. I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, since that day my life has been changed forever. I have now been clean for 2 years, and am on the most awesome journey w/ GOD directing my thoughts, my decisions and 
my actions. Also I am months away from getting custody back of my 3 year old!!!  I love your reading especially the one a “NEW ME”.Where once I felt unworthy and unloved, now I am alive and healing in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST, AMEN!!! I still have things the “HE” is dealing w/ me on ,but as it is so written : He who has begun a work in me will not finish until completion , in the mean time I'm enjoying the journey as a new creation in CHRIST!!!!! Thank You!!!
-Elizabeth Restivo

I know that God has brought all of Us through some-thing, and has done amazing things in Our lives, but He has been  especially  Good  to me. 
At one time of my life I didn't Know God, I knew of Him , of course, I was  raised in the Church, I went to Sunday School and  church, as  a child, every Sunday Morning, and  BTU on Sunday evenings…. started playing piano at age 11 for our "little"  youth choir, married  a young "minister" at age  18,but I never really  knew  Him. A few years into my marriage my husband backslid and I slid right along with him. We began to experiment with drugs  and  alcohol. Needless  to say our marriage ended after 5 tedious years of "hell" ; we called it  quits. I was stuck with 2 young sons and left in a very hopeless situation. I lived  “ the party life" drinking and drugging, and  doing just whatever I wanted to do , with no consideration for God’s Word ;His Promises or His Purpose for My life. I completely had removed myself from God, and spent  years struggling with an addiction I couldn't control. During  that time I went  to (5) treatment centers, trying  to get my life back on track. Only to pick up the drugs again.

 On October 2, 2004, I was at a point of giving up. I was tired of living and prayed  to die. But a "sweet voice" told me  to pray for life and to ask for help from on high.

 I cried  and prayed and prayed and  cried and...God  heard me after  all theses  years, He heard me.He  saved me and  gave me instructions for healing. I surrendered to Him,I got in His  word , started  to go to church and  trusted  Him to heal my  soul , my heart  and my mind. Today I  believed  that God is the answer TO ALL MY PROBLEMS.... I thank Him daily for his love. I haven't  always   thanked Him  waking me  up, for giving me health, for  being able to see and  have the use of my senses...when I paid no attention to Him…. gave Him no glory; and walked contrary to His Word...God watched over me.
I AM a  testimony  and  I am only here today because of  God’s  Grace  and Mercy. I could have been dead  or crippled from driving drunk ,could have been dead from a  drug overdose, or a stray bullet because I put my life in so much danger , so many times…but God  said no……..God  didn’t allow death to touch me.
Even while I was  still struggling with addiction He gave me  a husband  that is  saved  and prayed  and  waited  for me  to open my eyes  and find  salvation, then he gave me  you  and all those like you that have witnessed  to me  and told me to hang in there and  to trust in Him and to keep the faith. I have a testimony today because I have a Loving  God … a praying Mother  and Grandmother who never gave up on me at a time when the enemy  was  trying to kill me.

 I have a testimony  today cause God  was  there!!,  waiting for me when I came  to Him beaten down and  broken ; he  took me in his arms and  comforted me,  gave me strength to go on when I wanted to give up, He fixed me up and  put me back together. 
He  is keeping me  and  He  won’t let me be ashamed  of  where I came from, and  He  gets allthe Glory in My life. He  won’t let  me be afraid  of  what  he has  for me .. because he  has given me strength and courage and I trust Him.
So, if you don’t know that  God  is still saving lives , still  saving  souls and working miracles.
Look at me, I am a living testimony!                                        
Debra S

My name is April and I live in Texas. God has done some pretty amazing things in my life to say the least. As a child I was a continuous magnet for sexual predators as well as growing up in a pretty rough environment. My mother was a single mom raising both my brother and I. At the time, she had not found God yet and lived a pretty busy life both socially and work wise. She married a really good man who took her in with two children when I was 9 years old. He really has had a great impact on our family. I devoted myself to God when I was 14 and was very much about his purpose (Mat.28: 18-20) throughout high school. After high school, I made a life changing decision to leave my Father and join another family, a gang. What a contrast, huh? I begin to do hurtful things to my soul, mind and body. After getting arrested I knew that if I did not leave, I would end up in jail for real. So, I joined the military. I still was out there pretty bad and did not have a care in the world. Although I was promiscuous, I did not go crazy. I was a one man woman. But I did go crazy with drinking, drugs and partying all the time. There was several thoughts through out this time that I wanted to go back to God but my sinful nature had such an incredible pull on me. My last year in the military, as I was getting high on drugs, my thoughts starting ringing, saying, I know what a good life is and this is not it. here I am wasting away and living for no purpose. I was tired. I was tired and fed up with myself and the choices I made. So, I found my sister church here in Texas (im originally from the Chicago area) and truly repented my lifestyle. God has truly blessed my life and decision by giving me a truly humble and awesome husband, two wonderful little boys who loves God and speaks freely of him, the ability to stay home with my kids and true and meaningful relationships. Looking hindsight, I see how Satan was out to destroy me even before I could speak. He was right there from birth waiting and trying to destroy my soul with all the abuse and rough life I grew in to. And even, after finding God and choosing to walk away, He never forgot about me. God allowed me to go through things all the while protecting me. I knew that if God can reach me while being stoned out of my mind, it was time to come home. I know I broke His heart time and time again but by His amazing Grace and unconditional love for little ol'bitty me, I was found and restored to my faith. It has been 10 1/2 years since this restoration came and I thank our heavenly Father each and every day for giving me this life. Although I went through such a life as this, I am grateful. I understand there is a real and true spiritual battle. Satan does not play fair and to understand that and realize that...to embrace my past as it is and know that I am who I am... God has allowed me to see Him through all things...in the end, all Glory is to God and God alone. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope it is short enough for you. thank you again mighty warrior for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I left high school with a full scholarship to college.  It was supposed to be the start of my life.  Well as life goes, things happened in my family and I was unable to complete college off my scholarship.  I began working and trying to attend school on and off.  At the age of 21, I was admitted into the hospital because I was pregnant with twins.  My twins were trying to get out 4 months early, doctors told me they were coming any day now and that they probably wouldn’t make it.  I refused to believe that my kids were not going to make it.  Despite all the experiments they wanted me to commit my unborn children to, I chose to have faith. My doctor said they needed to make it until 28 weeks in order to make it.  God being the AWESOME God He is, my children made it to 30 weeks.  Although they were tiny, they came out breathing on their own.  No bleeding in the brain and just as healthy as they could be.  Well two weeks after their birth, my daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  The doctors said she would never be able to go to “regular” school, never be able to hear, have all of these problems.  My daughter has had problems, one being a heart problem, but not to the extent she was diagnosed.  She had heart surgery and was out of the hospital in one day.  Her heart is functioning fine, she is in “regular” school, can hear better than anyone and takes some classes with her peers.  Well through all of this, their father decided it was too much.  All the while, I am still trying to finish school.  No child support, no emotional support, and no parental support, I carried on with my life because as a great friend told me, God is a husband to the husbandless and a father to the fatherless.  Last year God blessed me with clarity I never experienced.  I left all that I know in Chicago and moved to Maryland with just my twins.  Despite so many family and friends being negative and not understanding my decision, I left and God has continued to bless me.  I have a brand new job, my kids attend a better school and I am able to play a more active role at their school.  The thing that I am extremely proud and grateful for is that I am finally graduating from college.  In December, I will have finally completed my undergraduate in Psychology and will move forward to obtain my Doctorate.  This is only a snapshot of my 28 year life.  I have learned that God will guide your life down the right path if you let Him.  I have learned to let go and let God. 
God Bless!!!
LaTasha Burl

Before the ANOINTED Smile 

There is a woman who was once a little girl, who always dreamed of seeing her entire family as one. Living in one home getting along well. The little girl carried so much pain and disappointments on the inside of her that she would react in a very angry and violent way. She did stupid things to hide the pain that she was feeling. She made many poor choices that society labeled her with. She had a smile that was SO beautiful on the outside, YET she was still hurting on the inside. The root of rejection was one of her biggest fears and what she feared kept her in years of agony and bondage. Having a dysfunctional childhood, teen pregnancy and very low self-esteem, she begin to spiral into a life of rage and anger and MANY suicide attempts. One day she made a very wise DECISION. A DECISION that would forever change her life. She decided that she would give all of this up to FOLLOW JESUS and since she made this BOLD decision her life hasNEVER been the same. When everyone looks upon her NOW they all see “THE GLORY OF GOD UPON HER.” Saying ALL OF THAT:Never underestimate the POWER OF GOD, because if He can take all of my ashes and trade them for HIS beauty, how much more will He do for YOU? Many of you see the bright smile that I carry now, BUT GODhad to do ALOT of HIS WORK in me, He’s still working on me, to make me who HE CALLED me to be and ONLY in HIM am I walking in faith, boldness, character, integrity and excellence. Once again NO MATTER what you’ve done in your past, God is still in the FORGIVING and TOTAL RESTORATION business. Many of people have told me NO or I couldn’t do something, because in their eyes I wasn’t educated or qualified enough, BUT when GOD says YES, it is YES and Amen. HE NEVER CALLS THE QUALIFIED, HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED!  P.S. I am no longer ashamed of my past, because it is my past that has helped me become the GOD FEARING WOMAN that I am today. It is only when I came to the end of myself, God would takeover to do a complete work in me. I am thankful and humble that He loved me enough to give me a better life than I ever knew I could have. My life belongs to Him.

In His Love & Belief,
Hillary S. Santos

Keep your head up and be encouraged! All my life the devil has tried to destroy me.  When I was a child I was molested.   I lost my mom at 21 and then my aunt the next closest thing to me a year later.  I felt that I would never make it. Recently, I was in a friendship that I thought she would stick through everything with me, but I burdened her too much.  I cried I asked God, WHY?  I just couldn't understand why everyone I loved and cared for disappeared. My heart seemed like there is so many cracks. Now, I realize that I can not depend on man.  God is my friend and he has unconditional love for me.  I realize that God is still working on me and I am getting closer and closer to him.  He is mending all the cracks in my heart one by one.  He is going to give me a brand new heart.  A heart with no more pain, cracks or sadness.  It is going to be replaces with the joy of the Lord, who is my strength.  The power of God is awsome.  I know that God has a plan for my life.  You can make it through Christ Jesus.  I am a proud mom of four and married for 9 years.  The devil is a liar and he has no control over my life.  I am God's child and he will take care of all my needs.      If you can relate, I tell you keep your head up.  People may doubt you or let you down, but just remember that God will never let you down.  He is there through thick and thin.  Don't depend on man, depend on God.  Remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.  God is using you and me as living testimonies to help another girl, young lady or women who is going through. Be encouraged!!                                                            
-Tasha G 

 I have been asked to share my testimony. I was in love with a man who was never nice to me. I guess you can say that I put myself into a situation that was not a winner from the start, but I loved that man. I was with my husband when he got 7 years in prison. I was a college girl who met a hustler and fell in love. I wanted him to know that I was down with him so I stood by his side in prison. When he got out he dogged me he treated me like trash. But I couldn't let anyone know how hurt I was because everyone had told me that he is going to hurt you but I could not let them know they were right so I smiled in public and cried indoors. Only one or two people knew what I was going through. I was sick- emotionally scarred for life. At the time I was with him when he got out I was working for the D.A.'s office in Milwaukee. My job was okay I had made good friends and I enjoyed helping the people in my community with their problems. I was a Victim/Witness Specialist. When he got out he was treating me real bad. I remember going out to dinner one night with a friend of mine and his and something happened were I got upset and he in turn got upset with me and we left and when we got in the car we were fussing and he slapped me. That was the first time he slapped me and it got worse from there. In fact, I had 3 black eyes in 1 year-I hid from my family, bought make-up to hide the scars but my mother and everyone knew that I was getting treated badly. He was cheating openly with females who never cared about him. Sometimes I tried to get away but he wouldn't let me. He would follow me sit &watch my house or other family members house. I was terrified of him but I loved him so I couldn't bring myself to call the police on him. Well one day I got the nerve to leave him-I moved into my mom's home. One night I went out with some friends of mine and he was at the place we were at with two females he was dating. I was hurt but I was faking it off enjoying my friends. One of the girls I was with said something to him that set him off and they got into it. It was a big mess-things happened that never should have happened on both ends. Nevertheless, I lost all my friends, my job, my dignity, my self-respect-I lost everything. I sacrificed and compromised who I was for someone who never loved me. He continued to beat me, threaten me-I was so scared of him. People didn't understand how scared I was of him-why I could not just leave him-my fear & love of him keep me in total check. I didn't understand myself. I tried to commit suicide-I didn't want to be on this earth cause I was so sad but as many times as I tried it never worked. I didn't understand. I had a nervous breakdown. I had my cousin Tonia by my side trying to help me, even though I know she didn't understand she still stood by my side. Mostly everyone else washed their hands of me. I will never forget that. Well he went to jail because of the incident with my old friends and I still loved him and was still very scared of him but I stood by his side in fact I married him. I think now it was out of love but more guilt because he would always throw in my face if it wasn't for my friends none of this would have happened. I felt very guilty for years for him and my old friends but he used that to his advantage. He was in jail when I married him and I stood by his side faithfully for years cause I loved him more then I loved myself. He was not worthy of my love. But his going to jail was a blessing in disguise, me losing some of my friends was also a blessing in disguise. God needed me to be myself-he needed to work on me-my self-esteem, my love for myself and my love and devotion for him. I needed to be remade into something different. I was never a bad person but I don't think I was the person He wanted me to be. While my husband was in jail, he stayed the same-but I didn't. I did all my wifely duties-I was loyal to him but he wore me out. God put me in graduate school, got me a home that I love, and helped me get into a career where I could do his work and help young people with their life. God taught me so many lessons it was unbelievable. I felt like a butterfly being released out of their cocoon. I started to fall in love with me and treasure me-I wasn't all the way healed but I knew I could not take any more of my husband and his ways. He was still mean to me when he was in prison after all I had done he was still mean-I let go-I started to breathe again this time though the air was fresher-I couldn't let go of the fresh air. So I divorced him, he tried to get alimony from me and equity out of my home but God is good he gave me a judge who was not trying to hear any of that. I moved on. Now don't get me wrong my relationship with men after him has not been all beautiful I am still learning. I have to remind myself that I have been doing myself harm for years it may take years to completely rid myself of the negativity I put myself in. But I do know now what I do not want in a man and what I will not accept. My boundaries are set before I was set on pleasing the man now I am set on pleasing God, myself and the man God will send to me-and I know he is coming. Ladies my struggle is not over but because of the trials and tribulations God brought me through, I know my life has really begun. I am blessed but the blessing really comes in when you know you have more blessing coming your way and you can then bless others with your blessings. Be blessed beautiful sisters and remember to be a blessing to others!!
I love you All,
Your sister in Christ
My name is Carminita Oliver-Sheppard.  My story begins by saying I have been delivered from Alcohol and Drugs for 440 days today.  I had been a functioning addict for 28 years. I drank at the early age of 13.  To make myself go to sleep; so I did not hear my father beat my mother.   Then I did both drugs and alcohol.  I cried out so many times for God to give me the strength to stay clean and sober but after a week I started back at full speed.  I have been married for 20 years and have 2 beautiful girls.  I had enough strength to stop drinking and drugging for both pregnancies but started right back a month after delivering.  Vodka became my best friend.  It was the only substance I would take.  I rarely ate.  I tried to stop drinking on my own but I had an alcohol induced seizure I was rushed to the hospital and put on medication.  I continued to drink until October 31, 2004.  My family noticed that I was talking to myself and hallucinating.  I was throwing up clear liquid body fluid.  I was admitted immediately. into the hospital.  My kidney and liver stopped functioning and the poison was entering my blood stream.  My immune system had shut down.  I had no cells to fight off the infection.  I was put in ICU and the doctors had given me only 48hrs if that to live.    The hospice nurse came in to talk to my husband regarding me dying at home.  Because there was nothing that they could do.  My family and I did not attend church but my brother-in-law is assistant Pastor of Family Worship and Praise in Acampo, CA.  He came and he also brought his Pastor.   They came in and prayed LIFE back into my lifeless body.  They anointed my soul with oil , from head to toe.  They prayed.  My family started coming in they to prayed.  The Head Doctor of ICU came back in the room in less than 24 hours.  In amazement he said he did not know what they did but, MY KIDNEYS WERE FUNCTIONING, MY LIVER WAS FUNCTIONING AND MY IMMUNE SYSTEM WAS PRODUCING THE CELLS.  The doctor said that my kidneys and liver would never get back to 100%. I am here to say at 440 days of being delivered of alcohol and drugs I got a clean bill of health.  My liver and kidneys are functioning at full capacity.   I can say today that My family and I are members of Family Worship and Praise.  My daughters and myself are members of the Praise Group and My husband and I are Missionaries of the Church.  There is nothing I wouldn't do in The Name of Jesus. God is the Head of my Life.  God did not forsake me as I did him.  God is so Worthy to be Praised.  God healed me.  God saved me.  God is so Worthy to Be Praised. I PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME.  GOD IS MY SALVATION.  I WILL NEVER FORSAKE HIM. SBS- Truly a Blessing to Testify How Good God is. 

 Love and Many Blessings, 
Sis. Carminita O. Sheppard 
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