WHY I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES People are growing increasingly skeptical about thepossibility that miracles can happen and do happen today. What is a miracle? It can probably be described as”an event that takes place which transcends the laws of nature and cannot beexplained by any scientific or rational means.” Do miracles happen today? Why don’t you ask HenkFrijters? He would have quickly told you that he didn’t believe in miracles. Hewas much too practical for that. Besides, he would have said “these are onlythings that you read about as having happened somewhere far away to people givento neurotic tendencies who only imagined that something miraculoushappened.” But let me tell you about Henk. Henk Frijters was born in Tilburg, Holland in 1945.His father was self-employed and sought to give the very best to his family.That included taking them to church regularly but it meant very little toHenk. When Henk was thirteen the family moved to Belgiumwhere he attended high school and planned to become a drama teacher. He servedfor a time in the Belgian army. But in 1965 something happened which drasticallychanged his life. One night the local chief of police confronted him on thestreet and told him that his parents had been involved in a serious caraccident. It was a grinding crash which resulted in his father’s leg having tobe amputated and his death two weeks later. His mother was in a coma for thenext eleven weeks and died without regaining consciousness. Henk spent the next few years at home taking careof a younger brother and sister. During this time he suffered from constantnightmares and feelings of guilt. On the night of his parents’ accident Henk’sindecision as to whether or not he wanted to go along delayed them. He did gobut had gotten out of the car a mile before the place where the accident occurred. His thoughts haunted him. “What if I had made up mymind quicker? Or had even taken a little longer?” It did not occur to Henk thatCod had spared his life by the decision he made. In 1968 when his brother and sister were employedand more self-sufficient, Henk decided to leave home and all the unpleasantmemories to seek a new life in another part of the world. He came to the Milton area of Eastern Ontario wherehe had an uncle living. He met a pretty Dutch girl from Belleville named Mary.They fell in love and a year and a half later were married. During the nextperiod of time they both worked at schools for the deaf and in group homes forneedy children from family court. Henk studied interior design by correspondencefor four and a half years from the Design Institute of Chicago and subsequentlyworked as a consultant for a department store. Over the next several years theirhome was blessed by the birth of four children. But all through this time his memories continued tohaunt him. In 1974 he opened his own interior design studio.They were a typical, well-adjusted family and did all the right things. Theyattended church regularly and sent their children to Christianschools. They prospered for two years but in the fall of1976 Henk started having severe headaches. Doctors at the Belleville GeneralHospital discovered a small tumor on his brain and gave him a series oftreatments. He seemed to find relief. However a few months later the headaches returnedand this time the doctors were unable to find a physical cause. They blamed theheadaches on the pressure of his business. They went for a holiday but the painbecame increasingly worse. In the spring of 1977 the area experienced arecession. The supplier of eighty percent of his inventory went bankrupt andpulled several small businesses down with him including Henk’s. A short timelater, Mary fell and tore all the ligaments in her foot. Their third childcontracted meningitis and was rushed to the hospital in a coma. The bank repossessed their car. The mortgage company ordered them to vacate their homewithin five days. Life seemed to be closing in on them. But that was not all. By this time Henk was takingso many pain-killing drugs that the Canadian Manpower Services and SocialServices evaluated him as being unemployable. Finally they were forced to moveinto the basement of a relative’s home. Even their marriage was starting tocrumble. One day while visiting his daughter in the hospitalHenk met the neuro-specialist there and he arranged for an immediateexamination. Later the specialist said: “Just relax on the examination tableHenk while I make a phone call.” With that the neuro-specialist stepped into hisadjacent office. Through the open door Henk could barely hear the conversationbut he did pick up the concluding remark of the doctor which shattered him. Hesaid: “I’ll have Mr. Frijters there by 9:30 in the morning and you can let meknow but I believe that the brain damage is irreversible.” Henk was in a state of shock. “Irreversible braindamage? This can’t be.” With all of Henk’s other problems he certainly didn’tneed this and he wondered how much more he could take. The next day Henk was sent to Kingston GeneralHospital where another examination yielded the same diagnosis. The question nowbecame how to treat it. After three days of testing he was ordered by thedoctor to go home, put his affairs in order and come back to the hospital. Itlooked as though he was going to be there for a long time. He went first to the home of his wife’s relativeWalter in order to pick up a car someone had left there for them to borrow. Henksat down and began unloading all of his troubles on Walter who was the chiefsocial worker for a major hospital. Henk was sure he would have the answersbecause he knew that Walter had become “very religious.” After their talk Walter said: “Henk there isnothing we can do for you – but we’ll pray.” That rocked Henk. He said: “I nearly panicked. Iwas thirty-two years old and this was the first time anyone had said anythinglike this to me.” As Walter and his wife knelt and began to pray Henkbecame even more unsettled. “Lord, we’re here with Henk,” he said. “He tried tobuild a business and he left you out Lord. He blew it. And Lord, Henk tried tobuild a family but he left you out. He blew it.” As Walter continued praying and presenting Henk’sproblems to God, Henk had to agree. He said: “I have left God out of my life.Sure, I went to church and sent my children to Christian schools but it didn’thave much meaning to me.” Henk continued: ” And the night before I had gone tothe hospital my wife and I had a terrible quarrel. Though I didn’t find this outuntil later, Mary had gone down on her knees and prayed: ‘God, you can have him!I am a Christian and I won’t divorce him but you can keep him in the hospitalbecause I don’t want him anymore.” At this thought Henk said he had a tremendous urgeto cry but he restrained himself because “men don’t cry – especiallyme.” When Walter was through praying he looked over andsaid: “Henk, have you ever asked Jesus to take over In your life? You’ve heardthe message In church so often but have you ever asked Him?” Henk said: “Suddenly I knew what I had to do.lord,’ I groaned, ‘if there is anything left to my life it is yours. Helpme!'” Henk continued: “I cried for more than half an hour- for me years of trying to live my way.” When Henk made that full commitment ofhis life to Christ, he became aware of a great peace that settled down overhim. While Henk was still basking in his newly-foundjoy, Walter said: “Henk, God says that if we lay hands on the sick they will behealed. We want to do that now.” With that Henk was floored. He had never heardanything like this before. Walter assured him that everything would be allright. He and his wife laid their hands on Henk’s head and began to pray. Henksaid: “I felt the pain with which I had lived for more than nine months drainout of my head. I went over to a mirror a little later and was amazed to seethat the lines from pain were smoothed and my eyes and tongue which had beendiscolored from too much medication had returned to their originalcolors.” During the next two years the doctors could findnothing wrong with Henk. They sent him to the Medical Centre at the Universityof Toronto. After six months of out-patient observation the doctors closed hisfile with this comment: This patient claims to be healed by faith. We cannotexplain his healing.” Although for the most part Henk was unemployedduring this time they never lacked anything. Money, food and clothing wereprovided in miraculous ways. Henk said: “Mary and I drew closer to the Lord andto each other. Following a dire medical prediction, our fifth child was bornwithout complications. God was showing us his faithfulness in manyareas.” A short time later Henk and Mary attended aconvention in Toronto where they both experienced the infilling of the HolySpirit as they surrendered their lives completely to Him. In 1979, Henk was sent to do some governmentresearch in home care for developmentally handicapped people at a governmentinstitution . At this institution, Henk observed a twelve year old boy who wasboth blind and deaf. His face was expressionless and he was so severely retardedthat Henk became nauseated at the sight of him. He was covered with saliva andhis arms and legs were pitifully twisted in unnatural positions as he lay on hismattress on the floor. As Henk turned away from the boy he felt the Lord impressing him: “Henk, I want you to love him.” But he hesitated since thispitiful sight had caused him to feel nauseated. Henk felt impressed the secondtime and taking control of himself he knelt by the child and said: “Lord youwill have to love this child through me.” The Lord did just that. Henk said his nauseadisappeared as he took the child on his lap and cleaned him up as best he could.As he looked down on the boy he said: “I felt I was looking into the face ofJesus.” The Lord had said while he was here on earth: “Inasmuch as ye have doneit unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it untome.” Henk continued: “The next moment the love of Godseemed to envelop us completely. As I looked down on the boy who was now completely relaxed and had even untangled his arms and legs I saw him smile atme. I had trouble seeing clearly because my own eyes were filled with tears. Atthat moment of being totally wrapped up in God’s love, the Lord in Hissovereignty gave light to my left eye. From birth I could not see in my left eyeand the Lord put sight in that eye at that moment of total love.” A week later, according to the records of theinstitution, the boy was found dead one morning. As Henk confidently describedthe situation, he was “resting in the arms of my Saviour and Lord.” Since that time Henk has had many opportunities toshare his testimony to churches and to men’s groups throughout Eastern Canada.In 1984, Henk felt God leading him into a larger area of ministry. After preparing himself with theological training he assumed the pastorate of theColborne Pentecostal Church, a home missions-supported congregation which he sawturn around and become totally self-supporting. He also served as the Men’sFellowship Ministries Director for the Eastern Ontario and Quebec District ofThe Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, for over nine years. Henk and Mary, together with their five childrenJan, Sara, Delia, Andra and Joel live every day with the knowledge of what amiracle is. Sound health has no substitute. But the greatest experience of all is the sense offulfillment and daily joy that comes through lives totally committed to Christ. That’s the real miracle!