Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Our son, Tanner, is attending the Foundations school while we are here at the University of the Nations. This is a school set up for kids aged 3-18 who are attending because their parents are taking the Discipleship Training School. While we aren't in DTS, Tanner was allowed to participate. The school is somewhat of a kids' version of the DTS, designed to focus on the child's relationship with God and teaching academics as a part of that process. For example, one way they learn reading and writing is through studying God's word and journaling about what they are learning. They also actively participate in outreaches in the community (doing service projects at the local home for the retired, for example) and will write about those as well. We are very excited for him.

Two nights ago we had the parent-teacher meeting for the school. We were introduced to the school's leaders, Thor and Magrete Stensby, originally of Norway. Magrete shared her testimony and I knew I wanted to write about it here. I know I will forget aspects of it, but I hope you can catch a small glimpse of the miraculous story of their coming to the U of N.

She described their family as the "typical" Christian European family. They had no understanding of a relationship with God and went to church on occasion. But, she had had an illness that prevented her from being able to walk without crutches for twelve years and often ambulated in a wheelchair. She also generally couldn't travel because she had to be near a hospital.

One night she had a dream with the word and picture of Hawaii. Being from Norway, they really didn't know what or where Hawaii was. But, she had the dream again, and again, for an entire week. She finally said to Thor, I think we should go to Hawaii. As a result, they researched and discovered the University of the Nations and decided to come, even though everything about traveling and her situation made it seem ridiculous.

When they arrived, with their two children, they immediately thought of leaving. The people were, from their perspective at the time, crazy. They talked of a relationship with God, hearing from God, living a life for God, and so on. It was very odd and somewhat frightening to them, but they stuck it out.

When the leaders of their school asked them to pray for their individual theme for the quarter, she basically thought about it and decided (without much prayer because she had no expectation of God speaking to her personally) that "Step by step into 2000" sounded nice. Interestingly enough, her daughter, in Foundations school, also drew a picture of a woman standing in front of the sun with both arms raised to the sky and crutches at her feet on the ground.

She remembers well the day God told her she was going to walk again. And walk she did. Without praying for healing, without any realization that God was going to heal her, she heard that word from God and she not only walked that day, she ran 2 miles. Today, some 6 years later, she and Thor are active exercise enthusiasts who run and cycle long distances. God healed her physically and touched their lives in a way that has never changed. They were awakened spiritually and entered into a relationship with the real and living God.

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5

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