Rick Hockenbury

A little over two years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma cancer. The melanoma was located on my right leg and surgery was scheduled a short time later as the first stage in my recovery. On the Sunday before my surgery, after church service was over, Pastor Jim blessed my day by praying over me. It was a beautiful compassionate prayer spoken from the heart asking Our Lord to watch over me and heal me of all my illnesses. Near the completion of Pastor Jim’s prayer, he removed his hand that was resting on my shoulder and placed it over my heart and at that moment I felt a sensation I never felt before.
 
At that moment all the stress and worry about the unknown and my upcoming surgery were gone. As I left the church that day, feeling Our Lords blessing, I stopped suddenly outside when I realized something amazing had happened to me. For years I have suffered from severe sciatic back pain, from two herniated discs in my lower back, and that constant pain that debilitated me at times was completely gone. The pain that I learned to live with every day of my life, the pain that kept me awake through the night, the pain that needed medication to be controlled was completely gone. As of the writing of this testimony that pain that I lived with for so many years has never returned. We prayed to Our Lord for a successful surgery and a healing of my cancer and He knew that I needed more and blessed me by healing my pain.
 
The surgery went well, and they were able to remove all the cancer from my leg. An exploratory surgery was completed on the same day to remove two lymph nodes, near the area of the cancer, for testing to see if the cancer had spread. The test came back and revealed the cancer had spread to both lymph nodes, so another surgery was scheduled to remove all remaining lymph nodes from my right groin. The surgery, although predicted to stop the spread of the cancer, would leave me with a condition known as lymphedema which is a painful swelling of the leg. I would have to wear a painful compression stocking on my leg for the rest of my life to control the swelling.
 
On the Sunday before the surgery I asked Pastor Jim once again to bless me with a prayer. Pastor Walt was close by and Pastor Jim asked if he would join us in prayer. Wow Pastor Jim and Pastor Walt praying over me, how blessed was I. Pastor Walt recited a beautiful heart felt prayer over me with Pastor Jim and the love of my life Ana by my side. The surgery was successful and the surgeon removed all the lymph nodes from the right groin. The lymph nodes were sent to the lab for testing to see how far the cancer had spread. Now the best part. Not one lymph node showed any sign of cancer. The doctor, although happy with the results, had difficulty explaining how the two lymph nodes, that were tested at the time of the first surgery, had cancer present yet all remaining lymph nodes were completely free of cancer. Furthermore, the right leg that now had no lymphatic system to support it causing Lymphedema, a painful swelling that needed a compression stocking to control, has never swollen or showed signs of pain to this day. The doctors had difficulty explaining this also.
 
Now in the two and a half years since my first diagnosis I have seen my doctor every three months and had a CT scan prior to each visit. In my very first scan there were three small nodules detected in my lungs. The doctors said they could be nothing more than scaring, however they would watch them to see if they change in size. Every three months they would show up on the scan never changing in size since they were first detected, but always there which concerned me because my Mom had to have a tumor removed from her lung. A few weeks ago, at the end of church service, Pastor Walt recited a healing prayer over the entire congregation. At the conclusion of this beautiful prayer Pastor Walt said we would all leave church that day and something positive would have changed in our lives. That week following service I had my three months checkup and CT scan and when the results came back those three nodules on my lungs, that were there for two and a half years, were gone. The test was re-checked, concluded to be accurate, and again my doctor had difficulty explaining the results.
 
My hope is that someone struggling with illness, struggling with pain, struggling with belief in the power of prayer will read this and renew their faith and trust in Our Lord.
 
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