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A Testimony of Miracles

Returning to Botswana, the land of my heart, I was full of excitement for what was ahead. I was returning to Africa from the U.S. where I had gotten our middle son, Jordan, settled in at CFNI( Christ For The Nations Institute). He was joining our oldest son, Remick. Both had lived their whole lives in Botswana, Africa, where we have lived and ministered since l987.

Two weeks prior to leaving the U.S., I had had a very unique experience when a CFNI alumnus treated me to what I called a “getaway to connect with God” in the Texas hill country. Little did I know then what lay ahead–in just seven days! I arrived in on Saturday, May 24. I was so excited to get back into our busy lives and particularly eager to see our long-awaited rescue center for babies–the Lorato House of Love– up and running. It had been a long, six year battle for licensing, and we were close to opening our doors.

Sitting down to a good cup of tea, and getting briefed on all the “God things” that took place while I was away, Jerry shared the recent report he had been given from the doctor. A week before my homecoming, he had learned that he had stage 4 cancer. He shared this unbelievable report of Squamous Carcinoma, meaning both sides of his neck were full of cancer.

In all the years we had been faithful to pour our lives out for others, our Father had never let us down. In fact, just a year prior, friends had given us catastrophic health insurance. Little did we know then what we’d be facing. Jerry asked me to preach the next morning to our church family, so I preached a message about Jesus being the Lord over our storms. The church leaders anointed us, wept with us, and then took arms to pray for us.

At home, I repacked my bags to travel back to the states with Jerry to MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas. Upon arriving in Houston, we were given a beautiful house to stay in, less than five minutes from the hospital. We arrived full of faith, determined to return and resume our assignment in Botswana.

We were greeted by a wonderful Christian oncologist who informed us that the treatment could take up to six months. We consulted with our spiritual mentor, Dodie Osteen, who had been healed of cancer many years ago, and Dr. Paul Osteen, her son. They encouraged us to walk the healing path Jesus had put us on. Chemotherapy started right away.

The cancer was aggressive and had spread. Since Jerry was healthy in every other way, they gave him the strongest dosages possible. Three months were scheduled, but after the first round–miraculously, no cancer was identified in the first PET scan! We rejoiced, thinking we might be able to get back to work! However, our doctor reminded us of the six month commitment, which meant three months of chemo and three months of radiation. Jerry agreed with one stipulation. He would do the treatment if he could fly back to Botswana for our annual Camp Meeting, so he could join their 10 branch churches for their annual leadership conference. The doctors and I would “wink” at each other, saying, “Yes, of course we can.”

I left early to speak at a conference in Sudan. Jerry and I would hook up in Johannesburg to go on to Botswana. On blood thinner, requiring two injections a day, weak and bald, but bold for Jesus, Jerry made his way with our good friend, Dr. Doug Stringer, who accompanied him to the conference as one of the speakers. The church was electric with excitement; all our branch churches rejoiced at our presence there–in the midst of our storm! We have a great team; Jerry and I believe the ministry was never to be built around “a man,” but around “The Man,” Jesus Christ.

We returned to Houston for the last three months of treatment, which included the first round of radiation treatment. Throughout our journey, we were encouraged by a picture we saw in our spirit. It was a very real picture of Jerry and me, sitting in a sail boat, out on the sea of life. Dark clouds loomed overhead, the wind was blowing harshly against the sail, and the waves were lapping against our boat, trying to sink our dreams and the future! But in the midst of the dark clouds and raging waters, there was Jesus. He gave us instruction to look to the other side, to focus our eyes upon the storeline. As we practiced this, we could see something beautiful and bright waiting for us there. This filled us with courage and joy!

Every day Jerry got up. No matter how he felt, he showered, dressed, and had a purpose for each day. We ministered to others around us at the hospital. We preached in churches on weekends, we gave our best to others, and it filled us with strength.

At a time when America and the rest of the world battled with economic struggles, we came out on the other side of this enemy called cancer. We reached the shoreline, and the months that followed were nothing short of supernatural! In November, we headed back to Botswana with a clean bill of health and a mandate to get regular checkups as prescribed by the oncologist.

But Jerry’s miracle was just the beginning. The next miracle came when a donor wanted to “give a gift that keeps on giving” to the Love Botswana Mission. So he bought us a Safari Lodge just a few miles from town. It is a luxury lodge with numerous game–giraffe, zebra, plains game, and ostrich– and a private villa. This has contributed to the operations of the mission and provided a wonderful place to house our guests.

The next miracle came when we received the license for the rescue center for abandoned babies and children in need. At a child’s funeral, which we felt our center could have saved, the Lord said, “Jana, it’s time to push.” I had been in “labor” for six years with this mandate, and the Lord was giving me permission to “push.” One year later, on Thanksgiving Day, after we moved ahead and broke ground for our rescue center, I got a call that we received our license. Today, we have 10 babies, and the building, which can hold up to 75 babies, is almost completed.

Another recent miracle was the funding of our Community Life Center, which houses the programs that are currently in temporary building and tents. Construction of the 40,000 sq.ft. center has started with the Lord providing 3.5 million dollars. Our community has a one-in-three HIV positive ratio and 87 percent of the population are youth, 25 and under. The average life span of a male is 27 years. Change is on the horizon as young people are making choices to combat HIV/Aids transmission through A-Abstain, B-B faithful, and C-Commit to Christ! We continue to look forward to the great things God has purposed for us and the people of Botswana.

Certainly, the devil is taking some serious blows for his attempt on Jerry’s life. Today, as God promised, we are still walking safely on the shoreline with Jesus!

(Jana Lackey is an ’82 CFNI alumna. She and her husband, Jerry, cofounded Love Botswana Outreach Mission, www. lovebotswana.org, which is comprised of persons from many backgrounds who have served the people of Botswana and Southern Africa for over 23 years. This article first appeared in the July 2011 issue of Christ For The Nations Magazine and the author granted permission for the reprint of this edited version. )

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20120302
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Jul-Sep 2012. CCMUSA.