Healed in the name of Jesus Christ
John; a simple man with faith!
I met John Perry in September of 1999, while working as a part-time janitor for Grace Mission Church in Tallahassee, Fl. John was a humble, friendly man who was homeless at the time and came to the church to worship Jesus Christ and eat a fellowship meal with the other believers.
Grace Mission Church was a place where anyone could walk into church in whatever state they were in; receive a friendly welcome as they prayed and worshiped together. Being a church that reached out to those on the streets, there was always a good meal served afterward. For those who needed it, you could also wash your clothes and shower to feel more civil.
John was always a pleasure to be around, with a quick, genuine smile and always quick to make a joke to get all around laughing. John had been coming to GMC for several weeks, and always offered to help me clean up the dining room and kitchen. I counted on a couple of volunteers every week to help me get the enormous amount of clean-up chores done after every service. John was always quick to volunteer his help, working hard and joyfully to get the work done.This particular day John needed a change of clothes to wear, so that he could wash all his clothes to be prepared for daily labor work for the week.
Our church service was packed that day and many people were blessed as we worshipped God together. Our chef Arif had prepared another excellent meal for our Sunday lunch with lemon pepper baked chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Everyone enjoyed this sumptious feast as they fellowshipped with the pastors and other church goers.
As usual John, Arif, John Goodie, and Jim Lyle all offered to help me clean up the kitchen, sanctuary, and dining facilities to make my duties easier. The two pastors; Mike and Sterling had to leave before lunch was finished to meet friends from out of town. After our clean-up John went to catch a quick shower after sweating through all the hard work.
Arif, John G. and Jim were all sitting enjoying a cup of coffee when John finished with his shower, dressed and came out to join us.
"Hey Slim, would you come an' take a quick look at this on my back?" John said as he came out the shower door. "What's this look like to you?"
John pulled his shirt up to his neck to reveal a hideous black lump on his right shoulder blade the size of my fist. I cringed as I viewed what seemed to be a large tumor. "I don't know for sure John, but it sure doesn't look too good. Have you seen a doctor?"
"Yeah, I seen a doctor about five years ago. He said it is a cancerous tumor, an' recommended surgery. But I'd just lost my job an' couldn't afford no surgery. You know though that I was praying an' reading the word this week. I seen where it says in James 5: 14,15 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. (NLT) Do you believe that's true?"
"Yeah John, I believe that, but the pastors have already left for the day," I replied.
"Yeah, I know, but that makes all you brothers here the elders of the church right now. Doesn't it, John stated with a simple smile?
"Yeah, I guess you're right John. Hey Arif, wanta grab the olive oil from the kitchen. Guys, let's all gather around place our hands on John and pray that God heal him in the name of Jesus Christ!"
So a bunch of normal guys; many of whom were homeless, ex-alcoholics and ex-drug addicts took turns petitioning God to heal our brother John. Then we went on our separate ways, not really thinking about it again. At least until a week later during the mid-week service, pastor Sterling was doing the service and asked if anyone had prayer requests or praise reports.
John Perry raised his hand I supposed to ask for healing at this service. To my surprise, when called upon, John pulled his shirt off and said, "Yeah, I got a praise report, God healed me of skin cancer. That tumor just fell off my back a few days ago."
Having pulled his shirt off, I moved closer to see that there wasn't even a mark on his back where that fist sized cancer had been. Everyone praised God and Jesus for this amazing healing that he wrought by the faith and hands of men that the world rejected. Obviously, Jesus Christ and God the Father deserved all the praise and glory, as none of us were anything special.
I spent time with John and this group of brothers for several years, before he went home to Tennessee to see family. God works miracles in the lives of those simple folks that receive him and seek to know him in spirit and truth.