I am the Grandfather mentioned in the above recounting of the May 27th service at Living Word Family Church in Santa Rosa with Mario Murillo. As Living Word Family Church was not my home church and those at the service did not know of my situation, I was asked several times while leaving the service about my granddaughter’s and my situations, so I will take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about me and my family.
I have been married 39 years, the father of 3 daughters, the grandfather of 4 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. My wife and I have had a very good life and I planned on retirement by the time I was 60 which is just a couple of years away. Then the Great Recession hit. I have virtually seen my business wiped out in the housing industry in the last 5 years.
Additionally, in the last few years I have poured everything I have into saving my business, my home and everything I have accumulated over my lifetime. I have tried to do the right thing by putting everyone else first and sacrificing myself for my family and employees.
When it didn’t seem that it could get any worse, in the last 2 years, I lost my business partner and best friend to cancer, my accountant in the business to pneumonia, my favorite and last surviving uncle to heart failure and my mother, who has struggled with severe rheumatoid arthritis for over 50 years, to heart failure and pneumonia and a 39 year old nephew to a flu virus that attacked his pancreas. During all this time I didn’t tell anyone but I was having constant chest pains and was concerned that I was going to have a heart attack. I was taking cholesterol and high blood pressure medicine and I would sleep with my Bible clutched to my chest every night and constantly prayed for strength and wisdom to make it through another day.
When I didn’t think things could get any worse, 7 months ago, on a spur of the moment motorcycle ride, on a winding and narrow road near Glen Ellen, the edge of the roadway broke away and I plunged over a 30 foot cliff off Sonoma Mountain Road into the Sonoma Creek. I sustained a broken back, a fractured pelvis, a broken and dislocated hip, 8 broken ribs, a fractured elbow and trauma to my head and neck. After 3 hours of rescue efforts, several days in intensive care, emergency surgery in which I was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the operation, and almost a month in the hospital, I was left in constant pain and unable to work or even to fully care for myself.
Kaylee is my 5 year old granddaughter that is in the above recounting of Sunday nights service. Kaylee has always called me “Poppy” while I am “Papa” to the others. She is smart, precocious, tenacious, and doesn’t give up on anything and more than any of the other family members thought that her Poppy walked on water. Kaylee mysteriously developed debilitating pain and swelling of her ankles and knees 2 years ago. She couldn’t walk up stairs, run, ride a bicycle, swing on the monkey bars or keep up with the other kids of her age. Her mother and father have had continuous tests, including frequent visits to the Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, with the diagnosis always pointing to juvenile arthritis, Lyme disease, or any number of autoimmune diseases. At times Kaylee could not walk at all and had to be carried wherever she went.
Even on good days, Kaylee fought to keep up with the other kids and really had a hard time that her 3 year old sister could physically do more than she could. Last Thursday, Kaylee stood in front of the entire school, the parents and grandparents and guests of over three hundred attendees and boldly announced the Kindergarten program at the Windsor Christian School. Kaylee’s teacher told her mother, my daughter, that Kaylee really loves Jesus and constantly pronounces her faith and is an inspiration to her and her class.
Last Saturday, the day before Sunday’s service, after watching something on television that must have had something to do with “wishes”, she announced to her mother that if she had one wish, she wished that she didn’t have arthritis anymore.
During the service, when Mario Murillo asked the audience to place their hand on someone’s shoulder to pray for them. Kaylee would place her hand on my shoulder and close her eyes. My wife and I had our hands on Kaylee’s knees. We were all praying for a miracle. I prayed before the service for God to heal Kaylee and for Him to give her my portion of any healing. When Mario Murillo appeared near closing the service, my wife said “Let’s take Kaylee up to the front”, I agreed but before I could act Mario, walking back to the front of the church suddenly turned around, pointed to me and asked me to stand. He said God had something for me, I said, “No, my Granddaughter… “then my voice broke down.
The rest is in Mario’s recounting of the events above. After the prayer and the announcement from Mario that we were healed, while I wept, Kaylee pumped her little fist in the air. The next day Kaylee was running and playing with the other kids and I was carrying my Grandchildren around and pushing them on the swing. By the grace of God, I am proclaiming that Kaylee and I are healed and ask for your continued prayers for Kaylee and your prayers and blessings for Living Word Family Church and Mario Murillo Ministries.