Miracles are just in the Bible, right?

by:  Erick Hooker, Crossroads Summer Staff Leader

This summer I had the opportunity to go to Kenya with CKM, and it was amazing! It was beautiful and filled with the most joyful people and an inviting host church. I’m glad that people pushed me to goand that God called me there. However, my journey started long before I boarded the plane in Atlanta.

I've had the great fortune of growing up in a house and environment that has always tried to protect me and steer me towards the Lord. It helped me learn who Jesus Christ is, while also forming my own personal relationship with Him. It also helped me grow through the many seasons I royally screwed up. 

One thing I didn’t see often within my own house was true fear, pain.

In January 2015, my sister Gaby gave us news that her and her husband Joseph were expecting a BABY! It was my favorite news! Having a nephew means you can love them, spoil them, play with them, and then give them back. Little did we know that Gaby's tiredness and doctor visits would lead to something else:  Leukemia.

You never really see something like this coming. For me, I would have never dreamed to hear about something so great, immediately followed by something so scary. There it was, blurted out because it is hard to say with poise the first few times. Gaby was a trooper about it, and never let fear consume her; if she ever did, she hid it pretty well.

I remember her sitting our grandma down to say, “You can be sad and cry today, but tomorrow I need you to be strong for me.”

I thought to myself, “How do you have such confidence and faith right now?”

I didn’t immediately understand the power of prayer, faith, or hope, but I do believe it's something God carried me through this season to teach me. Through all the visits, the chemotherapy, and pain, Gaby encouraged me to answer the calling I felt so strongly - I was led to Kenya. I didn't want to leave her, but when someone you're willing to stay for says go, you go!

I learned a lot about serving from Susan and Len Eastwood, our hosts in Kenya. Everything they did while we were there was to serve the people around them, either immediately or in the long run.

We built a giant chicken coop (the coop was giant, NOT the chickens) and we put some serious work into it. Today, it's a source of money for the youth group in the local church. Len showed us how fun it is to work hard with others for a greater purpose. Susan showed us why it's important to be intentional; she told us (and even showed us) how her real friendships with the women in her community have created opportunities to show them Jesus in a way they might not have experienced before.

My head and heart struggled to stay in the moment, to listen carefully and be present while we were there. I was scared. I didn’t have the same trust and hope that my sister had at home. 

I remember learning about the miracles in The Bible:  parting the Red Sea, bringing down fire from Heaven, healing a blind man, raising the dead to life, but I feared that type of stuff didn’t happen anymore. Somehow, I had this idea in my head that there are some things that God can’t do. I saw a line drawn in the sand and cancer was on the wrong side of it. Lucky for me, I met someone who changed that perspective.

Her name was Estar; a woman who had chosen to believe her God would provide a safe place for her family. She was an amazing artist, making journals, bracelets and jewelry, bookmarks, and different things with fabric. We were fortunate enough to spend time with her, and hear her testimony about a God who still does miracles today.

A few years ago, she had a baby boy. But when he was born, he had some health issues. At 6 months of age, the doctors diagnosed her baby with Cerebral palsy. They told her that he would be in a vegetated state his whole life, and just cost her money. As if the recommendation for her child was to abandon him, to let him die. But even in that moment Estar knew that the God she served still had his hand on that baby. At three years old, Estar’s baby still had very little control of his own neck and was not showing signs of muscle development, but still Estar believed. One day, a true miracle happened:  the baby, named Maxwell, lifted his arm.

Little did we know that the little boy running around the room was the same boy that was once diagnosed with no future. Someone the doctors had given up on was now playing, speaking, and carrying on with classmates as a six years old. Estar and Maxwell helped me see something my sister had already revealed to me:  Our God is STILL in the business of doing miracles.

In Kenya I saw that miracles happen, HOPE is real, and having FAITH in Jesus is more reliable than fear. I got home, and I could see that same hope and faith in my family. I saw the light in Gaby’s eyes as she got baby gifts, in the way Joseph would help her with anything that she needed or wanted, and the way my family opened up to one another. With hope and faith in the same God that did miracles in the Bible, my family persevered through the hardest and darkest times I've ever seen. Today, we have a five month old baby, Louis, and a healthy mom that will sing that song for the rest of their lives.

I don’t know much of anything, but I do know there isn't anything too big for God. There's nothing He can’t do. He will always have His hand on your life even through the hard times, even when we can’t feel it.

About the author:  Erick Hooker is a soon-to-be college grad, soon to be pursuing a life in CDH11. He has been part of Crossroads Summer Camp for the last six years, and has loved serving on mission trips with CKM. You can find him @thecaptainhook4 on Twitter, or @the_captainhook on Instagram.