Imagine growing up unable to hear and constantly worrying that your children will also lose their hearing because of a genetic predisposition to deafness. Then, within 12 hours of your friends praying over you for healing, you wake up with sounds flooding your ears for the first time in ages.
That’s what happened to *Marie, a non-Christian friend of BMS World Mission workers Claire-Lise and David Judkins.
Marie lost her hearing at a very young age and now relies on a hearing aid and lip reading to understand speech. She joined Claire-Lise for an Alpha day with their other friends at the church the Judkins planted in Calvisson, France.
After a day packed with inspirational talks and discussions, naturally they decided to close everything with prayer. Marie did not want to join in. Claire-Lise said to Marie, “Imagine, in your dreams, if God did exist, what would you ask?” Marie thought for a minute, “my hearing,” she finally replied.
So at approximately five o’clock in the evening they prayed, and went their separate ways.
Marie normally wakes to silence at six every morning. The day after being prayed for, something was different. Her slumber was disturbed by sound. Scared, Marie thought she was going crazy.
“For someone who doesn’t believe in God, miracles are terrifying,” says Claire-Lise. “For us as Christians, we don’t understand these kind of reactions. We think people should rejoice. But for someone who doesn’t believe, it’s a trauma. They realise that what they’ve believed their entire lives isn’t the whole reality; and their whole world changes.”
Marie went to work but told none of her colleagues what had happened. She came home and did not tell her family. On Tuesday morning, Marie’s hearing was perfect. “You have to remember, this lady doesn’t believe in God,” says Claire-Lise. “So it can’t be possible for her to be healed, because God doesn’t exist.” Remembering Sunday’s prayer and worried that Claire-Lise would pray over her again, Marie called another lady from the Alpha day and explained what was happening.
In the evening, Marie decided that she needed to share the news with her husband, a former Catholic priest who had been ostracised by his church and deeply scarred by their treatment of him. He told his wife that the sounds were in her head, and that she could not have been healed because there was no God to heal her.
Still reeling from the two days of sudden hearing, Marie believed him.
Her hearing was gone by Wednesday morning.
Now, Marie is more open to the possibility that there is a God who controls the world we live in. This brief bewildering experience of being able to hear and then returning to deafness has left her wondering what she believes and deepened her connection to the group of Christian women with whom she has bonded.
“For us, doing church planting is not about putting leaflets in boxes,” says Claire-Lise. “We believe that we have to be involved in the community, town or village where we are, like regular people. When you do that, people open their lives to you, they want to be your friend. When you share what is precious to you, for instance what God does in our lives, then they are very open.
"They don’t think we are trying to sell them something because we are friends.”
Though Marie’s husband is not supportive of her involvement in the Alpha course, the friendship formed between the Judkins and Marie’s family is what brought her to the church for the event and has helped convince Marie to continue searching for answers to her faith questions.
Please pray for Claire-Lise and David Judkins
as they continue church planting and sharing the gospel with their community. Pray also for Marie as she battles with her beliefs and continues attending the Alpha course. Pray that her husband will allow God back into his life to heal emotional and faith scars.
*Not her real name