A female missionary in China, had health problems and was taken to a local hospital, where she was hitting an all-time low. As she was in a weak state, all alone in a foreign hospital, she had the following experience, which she related to her friend in the following letter:
"...I don't think the full impact of what happened or where I was really hit me until the next morning. I woke up feeling as if I'd been run over by a truck, I was so weak. Nurses were chattering away around me, and try as I could, I just couldn't understand anything anyone was saying. I don't learn languages easily. I have to really concentrate to speak and understand under the best of circumstances, and somehow because of my weakness, my ability to understand anything in Chinese at that point, other than yes and no, was gone.
When they brought me some food, I could barely lift my arm to feed myself. It was very strange; my arms felt like they were detached from my body and I would miss my mouth when I'd try to bring the food up to it. To top it off, I had an intravenous drip in my right arm, so I had to try to feed myself left-handed with a pair of chopsticks, lying flat on my back.
I lay there covered with food and dried blood, and felt like I'd reached an all-time low. I couldn't do anything, not even sit or use a bedpan, without total assistance. It was embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating.
I must interject at this point that the hospital staff were angels. Those dear nurses tried to do everything they could to help me and understand what I needed. It's just that the Lord hadn't been able to get through to me when I was in a position where I could rely on myself, so He had to knock all the props away so I couldn't even talk to anyone else or even do anything for myself. I felt down at the bottom — very low and discouraged. So, proud as I am, I hid under my blanket so no one would see me, and I started to cry.
Around that time I had several very vivid spiritual experiences. They weren't just like a vision or a picture you get when you pray or receive a prophecy. But they were tangible and real, to the point that I actually experienced them. They happened, and I could feel them, touch them and live in them.
I guess it's what we'd call a spirit trip, or an out-of-body experience. I'd never experienced anything of that type before, other than dreams and more common spiritual experiences. Not that simple visions aren't real, but this was totally different than anything that had ever happened to me before. I didn't quite know what to make of it at first.
I suddenly saw a face of a man floating in front of me, with a huge smile on his face. It was the kind of smile you give someone you are really glad to see after a long time. Then I could see the whole man, a smiling, happy young person, and he walked up to me and gave me the biggest hug! I hugged him back, although I didn't have the slightest idea who he was. But it was obvious that he knew me and was glad to see me! He laughed, as he commented that I didn't remember him. I apologized that I didn't. He just seemed so friendly and sweet and happy that it was contagious!
He then explained that his name was Drake, and that I had witnessed to him years ago when he was a traveler in India, back in 1976. He said that I probably didn't remember it, as it wasn't such a big event, just another day out witnessing. He said he was one of a few different people we had met that day. He said we witnessed to him briefly and he prayed the Salvation prayer with us, and that was the last time he ever saw us.
But he went on to explain that it was a very important event for him, because not long after that he was in a bus accident and was killed. He showed me a picture of the smashed-up bus. He said that because we had prayed with him, he went to Heaven and it was so wonderful! He was just bubbling over, talking about how beautiful it was, and how happy he was! He said he had now come back to help me out.
He told me he wanted to let me know that little things are so important, and things that seem insignificant to us affect others for all eternity! As he was talking, I had the impression he was trying to tell me that the things I was doing at home with the kids, the humdrum, day-to-day things, were so important and that I shouldn't underestimate them. Then he was gone, just like that!
I was so surprised that such a thing had happened, and I lay there thinking about it for the longest time. It was very exciting, but at the same time very strange! Later when Matthew [her husband] came, I didn't have the faith yet to tell him about it, as I thought he might think I was just delirious. It seemed so special; I didn't want to have anyone laugh at it or misunderstand.
GUESS WHO CAME TO SEE ME!
I was still pondering what had happened during the day, when later that evening I was surprised to have another short spirit trip! This time I looked over and Who was standing by my bed but Jesus, smiling down at me! Maria, He looked so beautiful! He had the most smiling eyes. He reached down and took me by the hand and said He wanted us to spend some time together.
We stepped out of the hospital room and suddenly we were in Heaven together! We didn't have to travel; we were just There. There were beautiful plants all around, stars overhead, and soft, glowing lights. We were on a sort of outdoor pavilion surrounded by tall marble pillars, with a wide railing all around it. There was beautiful, slow, romantic music playing, and He held me in His arms.
For the longest time we rocked back and forth, like we were slow dancing. I didn't even want to talk; I just wanted to rest on His shoulder. It just felt so good to be with Him. I remember His hair was so soft and I kept running my fingers through it. I was so thrilled that I could be there with Jesus like that!
I think we talked a little. I don't remember much of what we said, as I was pretty astounded. It was so good to be with Him, and I felt so relaxed and calm. I remember the feeling of being loved overwhelmingly and I somehow wanted to express my love for Him. I remember we kissed a lot, and He had the most tender, soft kisses.
Some very sweet music began playing and He took a step back. I had the feeling that He wanted to watch me dance for Him. I wanted so much to express how much I loved Him, and as I danced it was very emotional. I was blowing Him kisses, tossing my hair, and brimming over with so much feeling, acting out how much He meant to me. And Maria, He said the sweetest thing! He sat back, leaning against a pillar with His arms folded, watching me and smiling, His eyes full of love, and He said so tenderly, "I just love to watch you!"
He was so natural and easy to be with, and I was having such a wonderful time. Then, just like the first spirit trip, it was suddenly gone and I was in the hospital bed, blinking my eyes and thinking, "Wow!"
Maria, when it comes to dancing I've "hung up my veil," so to speak, many years ago. I've hit 40, I have lots of gray hair, am pregnant, and have bulges in "all the wrong places". I don't go out of my way to do a sexy dance for someone to show my love for them any more, as at this stage of my life I feel some things are better left for the imagination, rather than facing the cold bare facts!
But all those flaws didn't mean a thing to Him. He couldn't have loved me more. It was such a comfort to experience that. He was Love!
I thought so much about this after it happened — it was so incredible and real! After that, things started to look a lot more positive. Also my ability to think clearly was coming back, and I started to be able to understand more of what the hospital staff was trying to say to me. I stopped fighting against what had happened to me, and it stopped being such a terrible thing to have to be cared for and washed and pottied and looked after.
I began to get to know the nurses, and some of them had such kind, sacrificial spirits. The whole hospital experience stopped looking so grim and I began to feel a lot more at peace.
I still didn't have the faith to communicate much about what had happened to me with anyone else, until it happened a third time, one day later! This last time, though, was quite a wild experience!
Again I was lying in bed, listening to a tape, when Jesus suddenly showed up again. I was more prepared for seeing Him this time, and had gotten over the shock of it all. I was just so happy to see Him, as I was so bored with being in bed. So He said, "Come on!" He told me He knew I loved dancing, so we were going to go out and spend the evening together! I was just so thrilled — I grabbed Him and off we went! It felt so good to be out of bed! I was jumping around and having so much fun!
At first we were in the same place as before, the pavilion, only this time there was a band there, playing the most gorgeous live music. Singers were all around, singing all sorts of songs, and harmonizing. We weren't just rocking back and forth this time, but we were really dancing. I was so shocked that the Lord was such a good dancer, ha! I guess I'd never really thought about it before, but He was just great!
At first we were doing some of the old fashioned ballroom-type numbers, and He really knew the steps. He was holding me close and laughing and enjoying Himself a lot! We were talking away, though He could read my thoughts, too, and would laugh at the things I would think, like being surprised that He could dance well. I was very excited and we were having so much fun. When He would laugh, it was never condescending, but more like He just enjoyed the things I was thinking.
Maria, He had such a sense of humor! At one point I remember realizing, "Wait a minute! Here I am dancing with Jesus, and He's taking all this time with me, but He's supposed to be running the whole universe! He must have a lot more important things to do!"
At that thought He chuckled, drew me closer and whispered in my ear, "Remember, I can be in more than one place at a time!" Then he looked at me and smiled and added, "It's one of the advantages of being the Son of God!" Ha! He was so funny. I laughed and laughed at some of the things He said.
It was a genuine party atmosphere! He wanted to take me to a few different places. We went through some beautiful, tall hedges to a park-like place. It seemed that each place had its own type of music. Some had ballroom-type songs; other places had the hot, clinging, passionate, slow dance songs and singers; other places fast songs! At each place we'd stop and dance a few dances, enjoy the atmosphere and talk.
He talked about so many things. Many things I can't remember now, but at one point He was talking to me about China. He told me that for now He had called me to be a prayer warrior for China, and that I had no idea how vital and important that was at this particular time. It was like He wanted to do so much here in China now. The little things I wanted to do were just drops in the bucket compared to what He wanted done.
The way I felt frustrated that I couldn't do things, imagine how He felt about what couldn't get done just for a lack of prayer! He impressed this on me — how important prayer was — and I remember thinking it was a definite commission.
He was so human and understanding. I never felt condemned in the slightest, even though He and I both knew how much I'd blown it. He would just patiently clarify things, and then we'd go on and have some more fun and laugh and dance and then He'd talk some more. I don't remember how long we spent together, but it seemed like a very long time and we went to lots of different places. He really wanted me to have fun!
The dances were getting faster, and He cut loose! I kept being amazed at seeing the Lord dance the way He did. It was with utter abandon. Everybody around just loved to watch Him! There were various singers and musicians and others dancing and they were all so thrilled the Lord had dropped by.
I remember at one point when I was so inspired by the music, He paused and said, "That's why music is so important. It's very important that it glorifies Me, because it's a vehicle!" And I understood that He meant it was the music that could actually transport us, and take us places. I don't fully understand it now, but it made perfect sense while There!
PRAISE TIME IN HEAVEN!
Then He told me He wanted to take me to Praise Time in Heaven! He was very excited about it and I could see He was as happy about going to it as I was. We walked into an area that was like a concert stage, with one of those sound shells in a half circle in the back to throw the sound. A huge crowd of people was getting ready to perform a song and they were all so excited the Lord had come to hear them!
At that point I felt a tinge of jealousy, as up until this time, other than people being around us in the background, I'd had the Lord and His attention pretty much to myself. But now He was turning His attention to these others and I knew He'd have to interact with them. Though I knew my feelings weren't right, I felt a wave of jealousy, wanting Him back all to myself. He read my thoughts and gave me the biggest hug and reminded me that I'd just spent twenty years trying to teach others to love Him too, and now I could see how wonderful it was that everyone Here did love Him! Again, it wasn't the slightest bit condescending or judgmental, just so understanding. He would clarify things in such a simple way.
When He explained this way to look at His being with these others, I thought, "Yes, that's right!" And suddenly I didn't feel bad at all anymore! It was very moving to see everyone rush up and be so excited that He was there, and I could step back and enjoy it.
This group of about 100 people had been practicing the song that's on one of the variety tapes, "And the Lord Came Through!" The chorus keeps repeating "When there was no other way, the Lord came through!" It's a real rock-out number, and they had everything in it — dancers, singers, costumes. It was a musical extravaganza! They were so excited Jesus was there to watch and they put their all into it.
They were walking and strutting up and down these steps of the stage, singing with all their hearts. When the instrumental section came on, they danced so wild and free! It was like one of our teen dance videos cranked up about 20 times! And Jesus was just so thrilled watching them! He just loved it! I was standing beside Him and marveling at how much He just seemed to soak up the praises and songs to Him and how much it inspired Him! I know these are all things you've brought out before, Maria, but to see it firsthand was awe-inspiring!
About halfway through the song, the Lord got up and started dancing with them all. It was so beautiful! It reminded me of the verse about how David danced so wildly to show his love for the Lord. Now the Lord was dancing so wildly to show His appreciation of our love. It was gorgeous! It was even shocking!
He was really flinging Himself around, jumping and spinning and just dazzling us! The performers were thrilled that Jesus jumped in there with them!
Then when they were singing the verses of the songs about different Bible characters, the Lord waved His hand and the whole sky behind the stage became like a video screen, from one end to the other! Each scene played up in the sky in full color — Moses crossing the Red Sea, Daniel in the lions' den! Each scene from the verse was acted out in perfect time with the music. And every time they came to the chorus of "And the Lord came through," everybody would just rock out beyond belief! There is just no way I could describe it!
At the end of the song, everybody came rushing up, hugging and kissing Jesus, surrounding Him, praising Him, and thanking Him. It was so beautiful! Thank You Jesus!
Then another song began to play and it was a different type of song. I don't know what it was, but it was very majestic! We all stepped back and He began to rise into the air. The song filled the air, louder and louder, and Jesus began to glow and became larger and larger, filling the sky. He was shining and was every inch the Son of God and Lord of lords and King of kings.
We were all singing and looking up at Him and marveling that while He is a Man and understands us and walks with us and dances with us and laughs with us, He also is the King of everything, sitting on the right hand of God! It was overwhelming!
Tears were rolling down my cheeks and I was so thrilled at the sight of Him when — boom! — I was back in my hospital bed!
It took me longer to get over this trip than the others! I was flabbergasted. It was so incredible! — I had been There! I just lay there, thanking the Lord over and over, and thinking about it again and again, trying to relive it. When Matthew came, I just had to tell him about it, and he took it really well. Ha!
That was the last time it happened, Maria. He didn't show up again. But every time I was tempted to get down, I'd remind myself that it was worth it, because I'd gotten to dance with Jesus!
The bleeding stopped completely. They did an ultrasound and the baby was fine, thank the Lord! I began to feel better and stronger, and started to be able to sit up in bed. Sweet Matt, at my request, brought pictures of the kids and taped them to the wall next to my bed. I think every doctor and nurse in the hospital stopped by to see them and marvel at the fact that there was a woman with six kids and one on the way. Couples here can only have one.
On the fifth day I was able to go home, and I've been told to take it easy for the next month. If I get up too much, I have slight bleeding to remind me to take it easy, so I'm in bed most of the time. But it's a pleasure now to just rest in Him!
Those experiences in the Spirit while I was in hospital changed my life. I wish I could say that now I am a better person and totally loving and kind and patient and spiritual and all sorts of great things, but unfortunately that didn't happen. I'm still me — a mess, with all of my faults! But somehow it has made me see things in a different way.
Now it is a privilege to pray. I just love to pray and I've prayed more for China since I've been home than I think I did in the whole time we were in China before that!
Jesus is so much closer! I'm still a mess but I know He loves me so much in spite of everything. I can't put it into words, but He changed my life once again. I don't know why it happened, and I feel a bit funny about it, as it is kind of strange, but also very beautiful.
I'm sorry, Maria, that this is so long, but I felt I had to share it. I also wanted to ask if it would be possible to somehow have others pray for China? It was clear during this spirit trip that it is very important we pray right now for the Lord's work all over China, not just for the Family's work. There is so much to do here that if every Family member were working here full-time, it would be a drop in the bucket compared to the vast need! But I feel we need to pray for the Lord to move in every place and every city and every heart. That was the main thing I felt I had to bring back — that urgency to step back and pray for the field of China.
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