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Personal Testimony
Personal Testimony of Mary J. Durrance

When the doctor said I had only two days to live is when the healing power of Jesus Christ transformed my life!

I grew up as a happy, healthy and vivacious teen-age girl in Miami, Florida during the 1940's, in a Christian home with loving parents and seven brothers and sisters. We were always taught to love the Lord, to depend upon His Word, to pray and to respect the church which is the Lordís body. In fact, our whole lives revolved around our family, the things of God and the church.

Little did we know that something was soon to happen in my life that would take me to the brink of death. In this experience, our family would see the manifestation of the healing power of Jesus Christ that would forever be a witness to His authority over the "last enemy", which is death.

When I was thirteen years old I decided, without my parentsí permission, to go visit a neighbor lady whom we called Granny Hogan. I was so excited about learning how to quilt that I slipped out of the house against my motherís instructions and made my way to Granny Hoganís house. After arriving and finding her not at home, I opened the door of her house and a bulldog bit me on the calf of my left leg. I immediately made my way back home and told my parents, who prayed for me, but they thought it best to take me to our family physician, Dr. Faud Hanna. Starting that day, I had to take a shot in my stomach once a day for the next twenty-five days.

I tried to remain in school, but soon found that it was impossible because of the developing complications that I was experiencing, so my teacher came to the house and tutored me. I began to develop daily headaches, hemorrhaging, a severe pain in my right side, and a nervous stomach for which I took soda every day. I was not allowed to hear any bad news, as the slightest little thing would upset me, because I began to have frequent convulsions. Dr. Hanna had warned my parents that convulsions could result in serious injury to myself. Therefore, I could never be alone. All this time, my family, our pastor and many friends were praying night and day for me, but seemingly to no avail.

"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed."
-- Isaiah 53:5


". . . by whose stripes ye were healed."
-- I Peter 2:24

It became more and more difficult for me to eat as I was nauseated all the time. The only food that I could eat was baby food and I had a severe weight loss until I only weighed 89 pounds.

In June of 1950, while attending service in Hialeah Church of God, I became very ill. I was so sick, I hardly knew where I was or what was happening around me. I was taken to the church parsonage where people wiped my face and head with a cold wet cloth. Naturally, the people were desperately praying that the Lord would heal me and spare my life. Little did I know that I would be bedfast for the next three months. After extensive tests, Dr. Hanna diagnosed me as having peptic ulcers, besides my other complications. I continued eating my baby food but decreased my consumption from one-half jar to one teaspoon at any given time. I lived on nothing but canned baby food for one and a half to two years.

It was very obvious that my physical condition was gradually getting worse. With the advice of Dr. Hanna, my parents would take me to other clinics until I had seen a total of seven doctors. None of the doctors recommended surgery, because they said it would only give me a 50 percent chance of survival. All this time my stomach began to swell as I had developed severe constipation. At times it seemed like I would get a little better and would be able to walk around and stay up for a while. The convulsions, headaches, hemorrhaging, and nervousness continued and made me housebound except for trips to the doctor and to church. In spite of my severe physical condition, my family continued praying for me. I knew God was going to heal me, but I couldnít understand why it took so long. My family gave me so much encouragement, and I could not doubt God would heal me.

By this time, I had been sick for more than two years. Added to all my persistent ailments, I had developed totally locked bowels which I had for two months. In spite of the fact that I was taking the strongest medicine prescribed by the doctors, this condition continued and my digestive system began to wither in size. I remember my mother and father telling me that they would continue to trust God for my healing, even though medical science had done all they could possibly do.

Finally, I was taken to Dr. Ash, a Chiropractor in Hialeah. One Monday, on my regular visit to his clinic, Dr. Ash gave my mother and me some very sad news. He told me that I had only 48 hours to live, but it still didnít change my faith in God. By this time I had been sick for twenty eight months. On the way home from Dr. Ashís clinic, my mother saw a silver-lined cloud, and she told me that one day I would have a silver lining in my dark cloud. I was thinking it had to be soon, since I only had forty-eight hours to live. Jesus tells us in His Word that when weíve done all we can do, then just STAND. Stand on His unfailing Word. Jesus also tells us in His Word that He "...is not slack concerning His promise..." (II Peter 3:9). This can be waiting for repentance of your friends and loved ones or it can be for your healing.

"When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up: and she felt in her body that she was healed of the plague... And He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
Ė Mark 5:27-29, 34


By now, the news had gotten out to relatives and friends that I was failing. When Mother and I arrived at home that afternoon, we found that my motherís two sisters and their husbands had driven down from Charlotte, North Carolina when they had heard of the seriousness of my condition. In their conversation, they mentioned that they expected to be going to my funeral.

During the next two days, I began to get weaker and weaker. The doctor had already told me that my intestines were shrunk, and I had begun to give off a foul odor. I was certainly at deathís door. My forty-eight hours were up, and now it was Thursday. My mother made the statement just before suppertime that "I will not eat again until my daughter is either healed or dead." That afternoon, my dad had paced the floor and had taken a walk down the road to pray, when suddenly he felt the Holy Ghost touch him on his left shoulder.

God spoke to his spirit and assured him that I would be healed. He then came back to the house and called Mother and me aside. My mother was a very firm believer in God with no foolishness at all but she had a little resentment against a minister friend, Brother W. B. Newton, whom dad had asked to pray with us that night. My dad had asked her if she would be willing to forgive him. She said, "Iíll do anything to get my child healed". Bro. Newton arrived at 11:45 p.m. We sang some hymns and then knelt to pray. All the men laid their hands on my head and all the women laid their hands on my abdomen. I told God that whenever they touched me with their hands, according to James 5:13-15, let it be as Your hand touching me. I really felt the power of God on me, but other than that, I took Jesus at His Word, by faith. The prayer lasted only a few minutes. I got up and hugged my parents and retired for the evening. By the morning I had a normal bowel movement and began to eat normal food for breakfast. Thank God I was instantly healed by His miraculous power and saved from the last enemy which is death. I was healed in November 1952, and was later married and became the mother of six children.
 
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Quotes

"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"

MAYNARD G. JAMES
(1902-1988)
HOLINESS EVANGELIST

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