Gabriel and JoAnne Nevarez

Gabriel and JoAnne Nevarez

  Bro. Gabriel Nevarez

Bro. Gabriel Nevarez

I had a real mom and dad. They taught me the right way as a family oriented life. Came from El Paso, TX. Raised in Juarez, Mx. We lived in New Mexico and Texas. I was born in Hatch, N.M. I moved to Oxnard, CA, then to Ventura, CA then on to Camarillo, CA, then finally to Ontario, CA in 1968. I went to Jr. High and High School there. I was exposed to gangs and drugs while in Jr. High. I wasn’t going to graduate in 1975, because my grades were too low.  I made a choice to graduate in 1975. After graduating, I made a mistake in my life by going back to the ghetto I was raised in, in Ontario, CA. I ran back to the gang I used to hang out with.  I did what was required in a gang. Robberies, initiations, etc. I ran with this gang for a couple of years. I dealt drugs for a good ten years, along with using the drugs heavily.  One time I was high in a park, and that is when I met my future wife for the first time. We got high together. We ended up getting our own place and having three children together. I would still get high, continued dealing drugs. We eventually moved to another place in Ontario. I got involved with a biker gang. I started dealing heroin. We would steal Porsches, part them out and sell the parts. During this time, I was doing a lot of speed and heroin.  My wife and kids moved out of the area and away from me.  I was separated from them for roughly 18 months due to my drug dealing and doing drugs. I moved in with a friend and dealt more drugs. I was with this friend for about one year.  Eventually, I moved in to my mom’s home in Ontario. I got heavy into drugs. My cousin from Tijuana was a drug dealer. I sold for him, but also was constantly strung out on drugs and used the drugs I was supposed to sell, so therefore the people that were supposed to get their drugs, never did because I used the drugs myself. I was given Heroin to sell and did the same thing. My life was threatened. At this point in time I was at my lowest. My future wife called me (she was in church at this time). Her current pastor told her that it was the will of God for the daddy of their three children raise his own kids.  I tried three times to go to her, but stuff kept on getting in the way.  The third time I had a little money in my pocket and I left Ontario and moved to Manteca. I went to church and sat in the back. Saw my girlfriend in church. I thought the church was weird. My girlfriend came back and looked at me and told me if I want to be a part of their life that I had to go to the altar and quit sitting in the back pew. I went to the altar on 12/7/91 and God moved on me and filled me with the Holy Ghost.  The pastor of the church put me on 90 days probation to prove myself. I lived in Riverbank for the 90 days. Went to church all the time. We couldn’t live together yet. I would take my kids lunch and clothing. I finally got to move in with my family after we got married. We lived in Manteca for 15 years. I ended up getting my ministerial license and was used in all areas in the church. Sunday School, Prison Ministry, Rest Homes, Outreach, Fundraisers, etc.  God blessed us that during those 15 years we saw three great revivals there. After 15 years there, we felt the need to move and we moved to Red Bluff, CA and was there 4 years. We commuted to Susanville for roughly a year. We came back to the Red Bluff church under a new pastor for roughly 1 ½ years. After living in Red Bluff for 5 years, we felt the need to move to Anderson and while under Pastor Green’s guidance.

  Mick Baker

Mick Baker

  Bro. Mick Baker

Bro. Mick Baker

I went through high school, trying to be accepted and popular. I purchased muscle cars to impress and get girls. During my high school years, the big thing was weekend keggers and doing drugs. I remember how I always wanted to go hunting with my dad, but my dad would never take me because he didn’t like to hunt. Also, during my formative years, I not once remembered hearing my dad tell me he loved me.  Deep down inside I knew he loved me, but he didn’t know how to show it except to work hard and provide for the family. Still to this day, I would still love to hear my dad say, “I love you”, just once. I enlisted in the army in 1975 shortly after I got out of high school. I wanted to get away from Aberdeen, where I grew up. I felt my life was going nowhere. I put in to go to Germany or Korea. I was stationed in Germany. I ended up partying even harder in the army than when I was home in Aberdeen, Washington. I felt empty and didn’t know what to do with my life. While in the army I was very, very drunk and didn’t give God any thought at all. I remember one time I was watching a German TV program, while drunk. This TV program showed German family life. It caused me to think (in my drunken state), about having a family. I remember asking God to give me a family like that. I continued doing drugs and drinking heavily. I used acid, hash, cocaine, speed. I would go to rock concerts loaded. It was a miracle I didn’t get arrested or in a wreck. There was one time I forgot my cash in my wall locker in the barracks, so I went back and Ron Devine had our door locked. His buddies from the infantry were there doing heroin. He let me in, but I had to try it (Heroin) to comfort others' paranoia, not knowing me. I came home from the army in December 1979. I was released a month early for the holidays. I flew to Spokane, Washington to stay with my Grandparents and then drove from Spokane to Aberdeen with my Grandparents to spend the Christmas Holidays with my parents. I went to Junior College to take machinist classes, since this was the direction I decided to take in my life. I ended up getting hired at a company called Lambs Grays Harbor. I was there for 4 years and never made it to the coveted machinist position before I ended up being laid off.  During this time at Lambs, I met my future wife, Rhonda Baker (Russell). We partied, drank, did drugs together. I met her through my uncle who told me about this lady in Shelton, Washington who challenged me to meet her on a blind date. During this time, my uncle and I had a bet that I wouldn’t get married before I turned 25. This bet was at $250.00. Later we upped it to $500.00 that I wouldn’t get married before I turned 30. So, this challenge to meet this Rhonda lady, was a way for my uncle to win the bet, because he had this gut feeling we would hit it off. So, I agreed to get together on a blind date. Well, I cheated and drove to Shelton a week early and walked in to the Credit Union she worked at and found her desk with her name on it. So, I got a good look at her and knew who I would be having a “blind” date with. I never admitted this to her till much later. We started dating and I slowly started moving my stuff into her apartment. During this time of dating, I still hadn’t found God yet, but knew I found the woman of my dreams. We married in June 1982. I hired on at Simpson Timber Company in McCleary, Washington. We both continued partying and doing drugs. My wife, when I met her, partied with bikers in the area, so to party with my soon to be wife, I got rid of my Kawasaki and bought a Harley Davidson. The Credit Union my wife worked at, opened a satellite office in Anderson, California. They offered my wife a job down there with all expenses paid to move down there and help start up this new office. So, we sold our home, packed up and moved down to Cottonwood, California. At this point in time, both my wife and I were oblivious to God’s hand in our life and how He was directing our path. This move put us closer to where God wanted us. We continued partying down in California, because as the saying goes, water seeks its own level. Eventually, after 7 years of marriage, my wife and I started a family. When my wife realized she was pregnant, she chose to stop drinking and doing drugs. She quit her cigarette habit. We both remembered that our friends up in Washington would still party and do drugs even while pregnant. My wife stopped for the baby’s sake. We ended up buying land and built our second home (our first was up in Washington). By this time our first born was 3 years old. During this time, I got into contact with metal art work and decided I wanted to go that direction to keep myself busy and out of trouble. I continued to drink and smoke. During this time in our life my wife decided to go back to church. I knew deep down inside that this was eventually going to happen. She went back to church to what she knew at that time.  I stayed home and would not attend with her.  My wife also had a babysitter that she hired when she chose to go back to work. During this first year of taking our daughter to the babysitter, the babysitter would witness to her about the plan of salvation. I remember my wife coming home upset at what the babysitter was telling her.  But, bit by bit my wife started seeing what God’s word said and realized that she wasn’t saved. This took about a year of testimony from her babysitter to get my wife to see and understand. She quit going to the nominal church she was going to and chose to attend the Apostolic church her babysitter was going to. I chose not to go, but tithed anyway because of my wife and daughter (eventually a second daughter came on the scene also). My wife convinced me to go, but I went very infrequently. Eventually my wife’s babysitter switched to a different apostolic church. My wife stayed at the current one she was going to. A gentleman that was going to True Life Church (the one the babysitter switched to), invited me to a revival service. My wife convinced me to go because she explained that it wasn’t sheep stealing because I wasn’t classified as a “sheep” in the church she was going to because I didn’t go.  My wife was desperate to get me in church. I decided to go, but drove around and around nervous to go in. I eventually went to a mini mart and bought a beer and guzzled it down in the church parking lot. I finally walked in to the church with “beer courage” and looked around for the guy who invited me. I listened to the service but wasn’t moved on to go to the altar only because I was holding back, but I felt it and knew it was right. I was invited to come back. When I got home my wife asked me how it was and I told her it was good, but I didn’t go back. Somewhere during this time, the church my wife was going to had an evangelist there. I went to one of the services. This was on 7/4/93. My wife got the Holy Ghost at this service and God moved on me mightily that night. The pastor of that church told me I needed to get baptized in Jesus' name, so that night I got baptized. Roughly two weeks later I was drinking fairly heavily and had a cassette in my stereo called “Sanctuary Praise.” I was listening to it cranked up, drinking my beer and crying. My wife and her best friend were at church. What I didn’t know is that they got out of church and walked in to the house to witness my listening to the songs and crying. With my wife witnessing this it moved her and her friend to want to practice this song and plan on singing it when the time came that I chose to come to church. Unfortunately, my wife was not allowed to sing it at church due to whatever reason that is not important now, just that my wife was desperate to get me to church. This decision devastated my wife and she made the decision that she could not go back. My wife told me what happened and I told her that she needs to have a meeting with the pastor at our house to let him know why, and why she wouldn’t be coming back. My wife started going to True Life Church in Anderson in September 1997. I started going with her and lightened up my beer drinking and smoking. On December 7, 1997, we had a missionary from Ireland on deputation who preached for us. To this day I do not remember what his message was and for some odd reason the message did not get recorded by the media person. I was drawn to the altar that night. I repented and stood up and raised my hands. Many men surrounded me. I was praying real heavy. I heard someone say, “let it go, Mick, let it go!” so I did. I started crying and God filled me with the Holy Ghost. I was speaking in tongues for quite some time with tears streaming down my face. During this time is when I really started living for God. I realized I was an alcoholic. I was under attack right after God filled me with the Holy Ghost. I would sneak a beer and cigarettes. A brother that went to the same church worked at the same mill I did. I had to be really careful that this brother didn’t see me sneak around. If he ever did know what I was doing, to this day he has never let me know. I hid it really well. I was still struggling on into 1998. I battled depression. I would drive to a mini mart store where I knew no one would see me and I would sneak a beer and buy cigarettes. Then I would head home. In November 1998, I and my wife went to PSR (now WCC). Bro. Vaughn Morton preached a message on how you can lose a soul. He was speaking directly to me.  He brought up how someone in your church can be witnessing to someone, trying to get them to come to church. They may be working at a grocery store or wherever. And you are sneaking around buying your cigarettes and beer at the place the person works at. This person eventually comes to church and sees you there at the church worshipping God, hands lifted up and yet he/she remembers seeing you buy beer and cigarettes from them at the store they work at.  That you have just lost your testimony and hindered the person trying to win that soul. This affected me immensely, because that person was me. I didn’t go to the altar but made a beeline to find my pastor. I found him and hugged him and confessed to him and apologized. I learned from that day forward how to shun temptation. I was done with the beer and the cigarettes. God helped me by delivering me from alcohol, but not the nicotine habit.  It was a hard go, but with God’s help, I finally was able to quit. I realized that living for God and having a family living for God is what it is all about. When I was in the army, I saw family units and realized that is what I wanted. God answered my prayer way back in Germany when I was watching their TV. God knew what I needed and wanted. Many years later I realized God did hear and answer my prayers. I am now a Grandpa twice over and have two lovely daughters in the truth and two wonderful sons-in-law and all are going to the same church my wife and I go to. God has certainly blessed me over and over.

  Debbie Matis

Debbie Matis

  Sister Debbie Ann

Sister Debbie Ann

I was born on June 6, 1959 and raised in New Jersey.  I was brought up in a Lutheran Church.  When I was 15 years old an Evangelist came to our church and was having services for us once a week.  He taught us about the Holy Spirit.  I received the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in other tongues, at this time in my life.  I was a changed young teenager.  I felt something I never felt before.

I met my future husband, Jeff Engle, in Los Osos.  He was, at the time, an apostolic back slider.  We moved to Livermore in 1993 and lived together for 7 years. At this time I was in business for myself making Roman Shades and had been in this business since 1985.  On Easter Sunday, Jeff and I went back to an apostolic church in Tracy.  That day, Jeff repented and was refilled with the Holy Spirit again.  Praise God! Jeff was not sure if I would follow.  He was willing to leave me if I did not follow him.  I chose to follow Jeff into the truth and because of that, a week later I received the Holy Spirit while praying in bed.  I was so excited.  I was baptized in Jesus Name on May 17th, 1998.  Jeff and I got married on December 5th, 1998.  We moved to Escalon in 1999.  I was still doing my Roman Shade business, but also got a part time job as a one on one with Autistic children. 

In 2005 we moved to Shingletown.  I got a job with the Shasta County School District as a teacher's aide, which included one on one with Autistic children.  We chose to attend Church on the Rock in Anderson, California, because Jeff had known the pastor of the church, Pastor Ronald A. Green, when they both lived in Arroyo Grande.

On August 15, 2007, I had a terrible car accident on Highway 44. I was reading a text from my Verizon bill.  This was the biggest mistake of my life.  I rear ended a car and the passenger in that car died of her injuries due to the accident. In March 2009, I went to trial.  By this time a law had just been passed that it was illegal to text and drive. I was sentenced to 6 years in prison, being the first example on this new law. On March 14th, 2009, I went to prison.  I was so scared. The Lord opened numerous doors for me to spread the truth to the ladies who needed Jesus.  I touched numerous ladies while I was there. I kept praying for the Lord to give me strength and put a hedge of protection around me, while incarcerated.   I saw and learned things I would never had if I had not gone to prison.  Lots of the ladies are good people.  I ended up serving only 3 out of the 6 years of my sentence.  God was totally with me during these times.  I am now home and back at my home church under Pastor Ronald A. Green.  I am writing to 30-35 ladies that are still incarcerated and sending them bible studies.  I truly made some true friends during my sojourn in prison.  I could not have done it without Jesus.  God will never give us more than we can handle.

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
  Ronald A. Green

Ronald A. Green

  Pastor Ronald A. Green

Pastor Ronald A. Green

I was born in East L.A. and grew up in the San Fernando Valley until I was 11 years old.  At that time, we moved to Arroyo Grande.

Although, my Grandpa and Grandma Green were Apostolic preachers, my parents never went to church, nor took us.  I have a couple of faint recollections of my Grandma Green locking herself in the cellar and praying for several days seeking God for her lost family.  She passed away when I was 4 years old and my Grandpa Green a few years later.

But, I have an Aunt Alpha (my dad's baby sister) who lived for God and would pick us up occasionally for church.  She tells stories of how she would hold me on her lap during service and I wouldn't utter a peep.  We attended Sunday School in Burbank and Van Nuys when some saint from the church would pick us up.  We tended to move quite often in my childhood years, so it was "hit and miss" attending church.

After we moved to Arroyo Grande, I began to seek for the Holy Ghost when I was 12 years old.  I was attending church at the Gospel Lighthouse in Grover City at that time.  Bro. Cobb was the pastor.  As time went on, I drifted away from the church.  My Aunt Alpha and Uncle Bill, and their daughter Carolyn always were a strong influence in my life though.

Reaching the teenage years, I began to drink and party.  I hung out with the "cowboy" crowd and was always the "life of the party." As I approached my senior year of high school, life as I was living it began to get old. I became very dissatisfied with the direction it was heading.  I had seen my dad's life and knew if I kept going in the direction I was heading I would turn out just like him.  One night as I sat on my bed, I took my shotgun out, loaded it and contemplated killing myself.  I knew what I needed was something that lasted, and that was God.

I began attending the Gospel Lighthouse again.  One night, after seeking for the Holy Ghost, the pastor, Bro. Billy Fulguim, asked me if I wanted to be baptized in Jesus Name.  I said sure.  On November 24, 1974, I was baptized in a horse trough out in the Sunday School annex, and came out of the water speaking in tongues! My first thought was "This is it! This is what I have been looking for!"

I began my walk with God.  My life changed drastically.  No longer were parties, drinking, and running around the foremost activities in my life.  Now it consisted of the things of God.  I began to invite my buddies to church, trying to win them to God.  Many of my old friends came to church with me. It was quite a sight to see that row of cowboy hats in the church!

After attending church faithfully for a year or so, I began to get discouraged.  I began to backslide towards that old lifestyle again.  One night after attending a party with my girlfriend, as I drove home, I decided to stop at a 7-11 on the Pike in Arroyo Grande to get something to drink.  I never made it there.  I pulled over on the side of the Pike and passed out at the wheel.  I didn't realize my foot was pushing the throttle down causing the engine to roar until it blew up and caught on fire.  As my car was burning, slowly making its way into the interior of the car, where I was passed out, God used a teen-age girl who was awake because she was sick and couldn't sleep.  My car was parked right in front of her house.  As it exploded and caught on fire, she heard it and looked out and saw what was happening.  She called the fire department, who showed up shortly thereafter. My next recollection was being handcuffed and put in the back of a police car.  That officer looked at me and told me "Son, you are a lucky young man.  A few more minutes, and you would have been a fried potato."  That same night another young man who was backslid also was hit and killed.  God was so merciful to spare my life.  After about a year of being miserable, I came back to God, praying through to the Holy Ghost again.  Since then, I have never looked back!  God's goodness and mercy is ever present in my life.

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
CategoriesTestimony

When I was 5 years old, I lived on the streets of Mexico.  I lived with numerous relatives.  I had to eat outside, wash my own clothes, etc.  I was hated by my family in Mexico.  I ran the streets of Mexico, panhandling.  I would play with my friends and never go home, since I never was shown love in my own home.  Eventually, while panhandling,  I would get drunk with the gangs in the area.  One of the gang members took me under his wing and took me home and fed me.  I would drift from place to place.  Once in awhile, I would go to my aunt's place, but would still feel the hate they had towards me.  They never cared where I went and what I did.  At one point in my life, my Aunt's family tried to sell me to a rich man in Mexico.  He showed me all that he had and showed me a bedroom and told me this would be my bedroom if I would be his son.  I got scared and ran away.  My aunt was very mad, since they were hoping to get money off of me by selling me to this rich man.  Because of this, I finally left my aunt's home for good.  I moved in to an elderly ladies home and started calling her "Grandma".  She would encourage me to go home to America, where some of my family lived.  I eventually found my mother and moved in with her and her live in boyfriend, Javier.  My mother, at this time, was heavily into drugs, but not Javier.  I would go through cycles of my life seeing my mother abused by Javier and then me being beaten by him also.  Eventually, Javier, my step father landed in jail.  When he got out, he moved our family to Richmond to try to start a new life.  They lived at the mission till Javier finally was able to find work.  I left and went to Lakeport where some of my family was.  I was about 13 at the time.  Some of my family members were going to church and said they were praying for me.  About this time, during the Christmas season, is when God started dealing with me.  While in Lakeport, I had gang members looking for me, so I fled back to Richmond.  I was in Richmond for about 6-8 months, when my grandfather, Buddy Davis, came into my life.  He told me all about Redding and Anderson.  My grandfather was a carpenter by trade and he was remodeling a home in Anderson.  So, I left Richmond to come live with my Grandpa.  Shortly after moving to Anderson, I got in trouble and was put in Juvenile Hall.  During this time in Juvenile Hall, I started praying.  I was full of hatred and bitterness.  Around the age of 14-15 my mom started taking an interest in me and told me to start looking for a job.  I was walking along on Silver St. in Anderson and was praying to God asking Him to give me a job.  Eventually my older brother, Manuel, came into my life.  I was around 17 years of age.  We robbed a Mexican restaurant and partied all night.  Later, my brother Manuel, got invited to church.  He asked me to come with him and I told him "no" that church life was not for me.  Later, he asked me again and told me they have food too.  I was hungry, so I went, just for the food.  The preacher preached about creation and that is when I realized that God was our creator and that there was a divine purpose in all of this.  I got convicted and said the sinners prayer.  That was the last time I went to church.  Around New Year's, my plan was to get dirt faced drunk.  I went home very drunk, laid in bed and felt Jesus while lying there.  I felt horrible conviction and cried for an hour.  I started repenting.  About this time is when  I met Reymundo Garcia (he was working at the same place I was working at).  Rey invited me to church.  It was the first time I had ever heard the apostolic message.  On June 13, 2006, I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in other tongues.  I was 17 years old.  Ever since, I have been living for God.    Raul Romero Davis  

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
 Jared in the NICU

Jared in the NICU

 Jared as a young healthy boy.  Praise God!

Jared as a young healthy boy.  Praise God!

Jared was born November 16, 2012 with a high fever. After 24 hours and still battling high temps, the doctors ruled that he needed to be taken to the NICU for further tests and treatments. Of course as a new parent, this was the scariest thing in the world for me! After the nurse told me the news she gave us some time alone before taking Jared back. I immediately burst into tears and asked my parents and husband to pray. The prayer was powerful and the whole time Jared just stared up at us with such peaceful eyes and wonder. After he was admitted into the NICU, the doctors started running every test they could think of. Jared was also breathing heavy too and they couldn't figure out why. They put him on antibiotics as a precaution and had doctors all over the US looking into his case. Towards the end of the week we had a meeting with the doctor and they were just stumped. All the tests were fine, he was eating and gaining weight like crazy, and he showed no signs of fever. After the last blood work they did that showed his counts were perfectly fine they released him to come home. We never knew what was going on in his body because God healed my baby when we called upon His precious name the night he was taken to NICU! To God be the glory!

-Jen Womack

Posted
AuthorChurch On The Rock
 Dallas as a baby born addicted to Methadone

Dallas as a baby born addicted to Methadone

 Dallas as he is now.  Praise God for His unfailing mercies.

Dallas as he is now.  Praise God for His unfailing mercies.

Born March 7, 2010 at 12:57 a.m. 6 pounds, 4 ounces, 18 1/2" long.  

Dallas was born addicted to methadone.  He is our grandson, but at seven weeks of age he was placed in our home by CPS and he has been here ever since.  When he was two years old his adoption became final and we are the only parents he has ever known.  Therefore he is now our son.  He has always called my husband "Daddy" and me "Momma."  This baby is nothing short of a divine miracle.  He was exposed to all kinds of drugs during pregnancy, including heroin, marijuana, nicotine, methadone, etc.  He should never have lived, but God had His hand on him from the beginning.  He was born with a myriad of problems.  The church prayed and Pastor Green came to the NICU and prayed for Dallas.  Dallas was in the NICU for three weeks.  Today he is a living walking miracle.  He is a rambunctious little boy full of life and fun with no health problems.  He has been a huge blessing and joy to us.  I thank God continually for Dallas.  There is no God like my God!  

Sis. Loretta Hunt (Momma)

 Jordan in ICU being monitored for Methadone addiction

Jordan in ICU being monitored for Methadone addiction

 Jordan as a young healthy boy delivered from Methadone addiction withdrawals.

Jordan as a young healthy boy delivered from Methadone addiction withdrawals.

Jordan, born September 6, 2013.  Jordan, also our grandson, was born addicted to methadone and spent one month in the NICU.  Once again the church prayed, Pastor and Sis. Green came to the NICU and prayed for Jordan, and after one month, Jordan was discharged from the hospital and placed in our home by CPS.  God did a mighty work.  Today Jordan is nine months old, crawling, standing, and trying to walk.  He is a perfect little baby.  It's impossible not to fall in love with him.  We are in the adoption process now.  God has blessed us with another little boy.  Who says God doesn't heal anymore?  To God be all the glory!

Sis. Loretta Hunt

 Jamie Plotkin before living for God.  Heavily into the Goth world.

Jamie Plotkin before living for God.  Heavily into the Goth world.

I was sick, now, I am healed.  I see-now I know the truth.  I live-Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, infilling of the Holy Ghost, with obedience to God's Word.

 Oh what a change.  Sis. Jamie as she is today.  Living for God.  

Oh what a change.  Sis. Jamie as she is today.  Living for God.  

I was delivered from Bi-Polar Disorder, mental problems, panic attacks, schizophrenia, insomnia, confusion.  I couldn't make decisions.  I was paranoid.  I heard voices.  I lived in a haze, I couldn't see.  I was a zombie with no emotions except being sad.  At one point I slept continuously.  I woke up, ate, laid on the couch, slept, woke up, ate, went back to the couch, and slept.  I woke up, ate, crawled into bed, and slept until morning.  On days I went to church, I'd come home and have a panic attack.  I'd be around other people and go home and just freak out because I didn't know what to do.  I'd start pacing thinking "what do I do now?" I was alone and I didn't understand that by the grace of God, I was still here.  Maybe a person doesn't really understand the presence of the Lord right off the bat.  I would feel the presence of God at church, then go home to the emptiness of home.  As God revealed Himself to me over the years, I have learned that God isn't just there watching me like a person watches his neighbors.  He is actually an active member of my life.  I am guided in what to do and what not to do.  If I do something wrong, I know it almost instantly, if not beforehand.  If I make a mistake, He will let me know and give me a chance to repent and be forgiven through His grace.  What a wonderful God we serve!  He loves us as a father loves his child.  I used to be bound to taking medications day and night.  Some would hurt me if I stopped taking them suddenly or some were going to hurt me in the long run.  I took a medication that gave me a stroke at age 33.  That ought not to have happened.  Thankfully God had been dealing with me (yes, marijuana was one of my "prescribed" medications).  For quite a long time, I remember a service (this is where the preaching of the word is so important) where Pastor Green said it is a sin not to get prayed for.  Well I was new and kind of scared, so I didn't get prayed for.  However, it stuck with me and I thought on it quite a bit.  Eventually I got the idea (from God) that I needed to quit my medications in order to be healed.  So I wrestled with that for a while.  Pastor kept preaching about mood altering drugs and the repentance in my heart finally turned me around and I dumped the medications.  I dumped them down the toilet in May 2013.  I also dumped my cigarettes in the trash and my cannabis paraphernalia also.  I went looking for things to dump.  I was ready to be clean.  My God, My Glorious Merciful God, delivered me from all of it.  I had no side effects from the drugs.  I should have had panic attacks.  I should have gone into convulsions.  I mean I didn't even crave a cigarette.  And don't you know the next day all hell broke loose all around me.  I kept thinking, "it's just the devil because he is mad that God broke my bonds."  I am not a slave anymore, Satan's slave.  Now I am a humble willing servant of my Lord Jesus Christ.  I have victory in Jesus' Name, over my sins, my problems, over my enemies.  I talk different.  The slang I use, what I talk about, and who I talk to.  God has changed me to an optimist.  I walk different.  I walk with confidence toward the hope that Jesus Christ has given me.  The places I go are different.  The time I spend is different.  My destination is different.  I have a walk with God that is Holy and Pure.  I walk upright!  Praise God.  My path is straight and I know where I am going. I'm on the highway to heaven, in Jesus' Name!  I think different.  My hopes, dreams, desires are different.  My attitude and spirit are different.  My situation is different.  God has completely changed my life.  I am not the same person I was.  I have learned to embrace change.  You see, when God makes changes, it's always for the better.  Even if you can't see it right away, just hold on because He is working everything out for your betterment.  Now I say GOD CHANGED ME!  I don't want to stay the same.  He holds us in His hands.  He created us and let me tell you that He knows what's best for us.  He is always right on time, so if you just hold out; hang in there.  God will cover and correct all your wrongs and straighten out your life with His Mercy and Grace and Holy Spirit.  You just trust in Jesus and keep on keeping on!

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
  Sis. Rhonda Baker after God healed her cracked rib.

Sis. Rhonda Baker after God healed her cracked rib.

In March of 2012 I was suffering severe pain in my side.  It hurt to move my arm.  At this point in time I wasn't too concerned over what was going on.  I thought maybe I just had a pulled muscle or pinched nerve.  When the pain was not subsiding, I decided the best way to take care of it, was ignore it and pretend it isn't there.  Including trying my best to not let people see the pain I was in.  Pretty much a couple of months had passed and inside I was getting concerned.  I did confide in a close friend of mine and she asked me if I was concerned it was cancer coming back.  I told her that my flesh was concerned, but I had to hold on to the promise God had given me after my last bout of cancer.  God had spoken not only to me, but to a good friend of mine and the preacher who was preaching that same evening at church.  June of 2005.  God had promised through all three people, in one evening, that I would not have to deal with cancer again.  I held onto that promise, but deep inside I was battling the thought that I might have cancer again.  Due to the urging of another friend who noticed my grimace, trying to hide my pain, she encouraged me to go to the doctor to find out what was going on and why I was in pain.  I went to my family practitioner and he ordered an x-ray.  I received a phone call a couple of days later from the doctor's office.  I was informed that they saw "suspicious lesions" on my rib cage and that they are referring me to my oncologist.  As you can well understand, that made my heart start to race.  After I got off the phone, I immediately went in and prayed trusting God that His word is true.  About this time, our church was getting ready to go to Family Camp in Ventura.  The travel down there had me in quite a bit of pain.  During Bro. Lambeth's preaching, the Holy Ghost was moving so strong.  I was worshiping and praising God, even though the pain was very distracting.  I rebuked the pain and focused on giving God the glory.  Unbeknownst to me, when we left for lunch after service, I didn't even realize I was moving my arm around without pain.  When it dawned on me, I started pumping air I was so excited.  My pastor was sitting at the same table with Pastor Klann.  He leaned in and explained to Pastor Klann what was going on.  I was able to give God the glory for the healing he wrought in me.  When I went to bed that night I slept pain free for the first time in months.  On arrival back home, I had my appointment with my oncologist.  She had ordered an MRI previously before I left for camp.  In the follow - up appointment, she diagnosed it as a cracked rib.  She asked me how on earth I was able to move about freely because the crack was quite extensive.  She indicated that a crack like that takes up to 6 weeks to heal.  I testified to her about God's healing touch.  This time, she just looked at me and smiled.  This is the same oncologist that I testified to about God healing my cancer back in 2004.  God is so gracious and merciful to me.  I love Him so much.  There is nothing my God cannot and will not do.  Sis. Rhonda Baker

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
  Sis. Rhonda Baker with her chemo hat

Sis. Rhonda Baker with her chemo hat

In April 2004, again I was diagnosed with cancer.  This time the cancer was invasive.  The cancer had spread so quickly it had invaded the lymph nodes under my right arm.  I went through a lot of tests in April.  This was a week before spring break.  In my consultation with the oncologist, she emphasized that this was life threatening.  I guess I must not have taken her seriously, because she had to get my attention and look me straight in the eye and get serious with me.  But, she doesn't know my God.  I was told to go ahead and go to Atwater, because when I got back, things would change, plus my surgeon told me I would need that get away, and that waiting a week would be okay.  When in Atwater, a brother preached towards the tail end and mentioned cancer.  I went up to get prayed for.  While I was up at the altar, my wonderful Pastor had to "part the sea of people" so to speak, just to get to me.  He laid hands on me and prayed for me.  He knew God had spoken to me.  He asked me later if God had spoken to me and I told him, yes.  God said "I am the Lord and beside me there is no other God."  God was reassuring me that He was going to be with me through this.  When I got back, I was scheduled to start chemo the day  my mother-in-law was due to be here.  I tried to talk them out of starting the chemo that day, but they would not budge.  It took 6 months later for me to get it through my thick head why they would not delay the chemo.  The tumor was measured as being 4x5 cm.  By July of that year, the measurement of the tumor was down only 1.5 cm.  4 months for the tumor to go down was very little.  I was having chemo every other week.  I went to a drama tour in Eureka.  After service was over with, a special call was made for those who needed a healing in their body, to lift both hands.  My hands shot up, because at that moment, I knew God was going to do something.  I was surrounded by people praying for me.  The power of the Holy Ghost was so strong.  The next week, when I went in for chemo, as usual, they measured the tumor.  They could not find it.  I knew God had shrunk it or took it away, but didn't know for sure until I had my surgery.  I went in for surgery in September 2004.  the lymph node tumors were all gone with no cancer in the tissue.  The other tumor was shrunk down to 1.2 cm.  God may not have taken it away, but God shrunk it down in 1 day, what it took chemo to shrink down in 4 months.  I testified to my oncologist when I got back.  She told me "chemo does that sometimes."  I looked at her and told her "no, my God did it."  Later, after radiation was finished I had my follow-up visit with my wonderful Nurse Practitioner, in March 2005.  I testified to her about all that God did for me.  She gave me a huge hug, cried and told me that she knows God healed me.  In all of this, I did my very best to testify to the doctors.  To help them to understand why I was not nervous.  Why I had the utmost confidence that I was going to be okay.  My nurse practitioner told me "Rhonda, doctors are trained to think scientifically and it is very hard for doctors to go beyond thinking in a scientific way."  As I look back, this affected my husband and my children more than I realized.  It is really hard to put into words the total and unconditional trust in God, that you are going to be okay.  Even if I would have passed on, I would have been with my Lord and Savior forever and ever.  But, that was not God's plan.  He kept me alive for His purpose.  Sis. Rhonda Baker

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
  One year after my diagnosis.  God is good!

One year after my diagnosis.  God is good!

In March of 2001, I was diagnosed with malignant cancer.  The term for it was DCIS. Ductile Carcinoma in Situ.  As you can imagine, I felt like someone hit me with a ton of bricks.  I remember battling twitches underneath my skin.  It first started in my eyes and then moved on to my face.  They weren't noticeable by anyone other than myself, but they were driving me nuts.  I remember one evening talking with my Dad over the phone and I couldn't even carry on a decent conversation.  I would lose my train of thought and not remember what I was talking about. My Dad told me months later, that he was really concerned about me after that conversation.  I also found out from a cousin of mine who has taken biology in college, and she told me later that those symptoms are symptoms of someone suffering a minor stroke.  She, of course, didn't tell me this until I was able to testify about God's goodness later.  The straw that broke the camel's back is when Bro. Klann was at our church preaching revival and I was trying to concentrate and look at him, but all I could see was flickering as if a flickering monitor. That's the only way I could describe it. That Sunday morning I went up to get prayed for.  And, again, the Holy Ghost was so powerful, I was almost brought to my knees.  I didn't realize it until our family was heading home after morning service, but the twitches in my face were totally gone.  I also knew that God had healed me of my cancer.  I tried to get the medical community to do another mammogram and they would not.  I then realized that I was going to have to go through surgery.  Realizing my body wasn't my own, but is God's bought for a price, I knew that God was in control.  I went through the surgery and then was told that it would take roughly 4 days for the results from the pathology lab to come back.  I received a phone call from my doctor's office saying they had found no cancer in the outlying tissue.  With much questioning of the nurse, she finally put the doctor on the phone.  He in turn told me that no cancer was found in the outlying tissue.  I told the doctor that I understood that, but what were the results in the tissue they had excised?  He had to tell me flatly "no".  I had a meeting with him the following Monday and asked him if I could talk to him about this in our meeting.  That Monday, when he walked in to the examining room, he immediately reiterated that they could not find cancer in the outlying tissue.  I waited till he was done with his business, then I asked him if I could talk to him about this.  I ran through the whole gamut, about the twitching face, getting prayed for, etc.  That doctor, out of his mouth, said he knows I got healed!  Praise God.

Posted
AuthorRhonda Baker
CategoriesPentecostal