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I have been dealing with a situation at work for the past 10 months. The longer my situation drug on, the messier it became and the more hopeless it was beginning to look. My boss seemed determined to not resolve the situation until I quit or got fired. During the week of fasting, I pressed in and asked God for a miracle. I asked Him to make a way where I was starting to believe there was no way. On Wednesday of fasting week, God caused my path to cross with Pastor Lester who encouraged me, prayed for me, and spoke words of life over me when I needed it most. By Saturday of fasting week, I received news that my situation would be resolved in the coming days and that I would be returning to work! Our God is a way-maker, a promise-keeper.
~Annonymous

The fasting week was a powerful one. It was a deliberate time to expose myself to prayer and to teaching tapes. The theme was “The Fear of God” as the foundation for moving in life. The opposite is the fear of man. Today’s society has tremendous pressures to conform to the world and to the spirit of this world. False beliefs that permeate society and denigrate God and His Word. I have to decide whose side I am on, and in 2023, it may cost me something (or a lot) to stand up and stay in God’s side. My past life has times when I have been able to straddle the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. I have failed many times and I look back on my many mistakes. But this fasting week assured me that there is only one side to take and only one place where there is salvation. Only Jesus saves. Only the Kingdom is where I can and should be. There are many battles ahead. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.
~ JT

The fast I have done has helped me to go to God more often and has deepened my dependence on Him. The blessing of running to Jesus' open arms has been increased in my life by taking moments aside and reordering time! ~BB

Yet another miracle story… Keep ‘em coming, Lord! I discovered a lump behind my ear. I thought it was a pimple so I squeezed it, but nothing came out. I left it alone but over a week it grew. It was very painful and there was a lot of pressure. It looked like someone put a grape under my skin. So I finally went to the doctor thinking he would lance a boil or something. He started by putting a needle in to draw out what he expected would be an infection. But there was no infection. It was just blood. He sent me in for an ultrasound which was done yesterday. The ultrasound found two hypoechoic masses measuring 9x6x13 mm and 5x6x5 mm. I was scheduled today to have them removed. Of course, we prayed. I had a sense that it was cancer but I was at peace. The Dr cut me open and was shocked that I only bled. There was nothing to remove! There were no masses anymore! I praise God for another miracle in my life. I am so thankful that everything is gone.
~ER

Ed Eby and I went to Kenya Africa to help Randy and Bonnie Martin of Preparing the Way Ministries do a Crusade in Shimoni, Kenya. It is a town with more than 80% Muslim population and much witchcraft. During the five-night Crusade, Randy estimated that over 100 persons gave their lives to Christ. There were many healings and deliverances as well. A female witch doctor tried to curse the sound speakers, but it had no effect. A Muslim principal would not allow some Christian girls to return to the Crusade on Sunday, but we were able to go to their school and minister to them there. There was great unity between the teams, especially the worship team and Randy's team. Ten young people were water baptized on Sunday afternoon. A door for Christianity was opened in Shimoni as this was the first Christian large gathering held in that town. ~Mike Ingold

Wanted to share some praise. I had asked for prayer a while back for my husband who lost his business, largely because of Covid. We prayed a lot and we asked God to order his steps. And He did! He found a part-time job that was really beneficial to him and helped him be on his own and think about things. Then he found the job he has now at a chiropractic office, where he is doing different chiropractic techniques and enjoying it. His boss is amazing and very understanding and casual. And the people who work there are nice. I praise God for blessing us with all these gifts! Thank you, Jesus! We are thankful to anyone who prayed about the situation for us from church.
~MM

I didn't have many friends growing up, yet I knew I always had Jesus. I have been in this church since I was born. I went to youth group back when Darrel Martin was the Youth Pastor. I had my fair share of excitement, you could say. It started at creation when I learned about weed and made some friends that way. Drugs seemed to make you cool. I was about 15 and I started thinking, “I have to get more.” It was addictive. I wasn't doing as good in school as I should have been. My grades were slacking, and my mom was always sick. I always wondered why I was born. It wasn’t until later that I discovered why I was born. For a while I was in and out of jail for about 3 years total but over a period of 6 years. Some might say I have regrets, but I learned from it. I made it through an abusive relationship with my ex, and my son, who has disabilities. I told God I would praise him in the good and in the bad, and He got me through more times than I care to count. Each time thanking God for He is good. I also think I owe it to my mom. She taught me about Jesus and his love. I learned the biggest lesson about loving those who hurt you, and today I bring a message of hope that I’d like to share with the world, but I’ll just start with the church. I’m no saint, well frankly nobody is, but it’s about getting back up again and not focusing on the storm but focus on Jesus and you won't sink. I came a long way, and I learned the importance of life and how to love, even if that love costs you everything. The Lord restores and heals. Maybe not right away but believe it and it shall happen. Today I do not worry as much as before and I feel I was called back here with good news. I had this dream of doing more of God's work and spreading hope to us all. I guess that’s what I was made for. Not to be some rich guy with a big house and 5 cars, but to love till there was no end. I gave my life to Jesus the day I ran out of gas and a lady stopped and gave me some. I thought I was on my last breath, but He restored me and brought me back with a heart for him..S. I have seen the power of Jesus how he molds us like clay and it’s amazing. I’m hoping all might hear this. ~ D.S.

Before fasting week I was talking to God about what to fast from and he told me he didn’t want me to fast food, but to give him my mornings. So I did all week. On Thursday morning God told me to not pack a lunch, and that he will provide me lunch. All morning I wasn’t sure where my lunch would come from. At lunchtime the homeowner came out and gave me a $20 bill and said, “go get yourself some lunch!" ~ K.M.

I lived with my husband Ronald for 15 years before I proposed to him. It took getting married and dedicating our lives to the Lord to have full trust in Him. If it weren't for my faith in Christ and relationship to Petra, I wouldn't have made it this far. I am dedicated to taking care of Ron full time, due to his health changing dramatically; I haven't had a job in a year. I monitor his meds, cook and clean, and put both Ron and my church family before myself. God strengthens my heart and soul, and so does my Petra family. If it weren't for my faith and trusting God, I don't know where I'd be. God gives me strength!  ~J.W.

My family and I walked to the fireworks in Ephrata on July 4. While we were watching the fireworks, I noticed a woman. I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to pray for her. I love praying for people, but don't do it often with someone I don't know. After the fireworks, I decided to approach this woman. I simply asked if I could pray for her. She was very willing to receive prayer. As I was praying, you could see goose bumps appear up and down her arms. This was so cool. After praying, I talked with her a little and discovered she didn't know Jesus. So, I asked if she would like to accept him into her heart. She said "YES." So, right there in that 10-minute moment, she committed her life to Christ! What an awesome experience! Way to go, Jesus!  ~E.M.

I want to share my story of being a recipient of an act of kindness on Saturday, May 19, during our Missions Festival weekend.

I awoke that morning to my children telling me we had a leak from our living room ceiling.  After days of rain, this was disappointing.  I am a single mom of eight (seven living children).

We had a bucket in the living room but I figured it would be better if I were to go up into the crawl space to place a bucket in the attic so the water would not come down into the living room.  I was already in tears dealing with this but climbed up.  I was trying to locate the exact drip source as the plywood was pretty wet over a big area under the roof, when next thing I knew, half my body fell through the living room ceiling.  Praise God I caught myself from totally falling but three of my little ones saw it happen and freaked out.

Once I peeled myself out of there (sobbing), I didn't know what to do.  I texted two gals who are prayer warriors, one being from church.  She immediately contacted my regional deacon, Neil Martin.  Within an hour, both gals and Neil showed up at my house.  Neil tarped my roof and Melissa Mabry was there for physical support as I was a mess before that.  (My friend, Holly, came as well).

Neil left but came back and fixed the huge hole in my ceiling by dry walling it!  He also came back on May 24 and caulked my roof to keep it from leaking again.

The most amazing "God story" of this is that the same Saturday morning, Neil said he was cleaning his own attic and found an old tent he was going to pitch.  He then decided to cut off the bottom part to keep and use as a tarp someday if needed.  Less than an hour later, Melissa contacted him on my behalf for help and said I needed a tarp.  ONLY GOD!!!

I'm so thankful for Petra's continued support of my family during this tough time!  They are truly the hands and feet of Jesus!  ~J.P.

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