Recently an old childhood friend Steve Klippert wrote me an email, recounting to me an amazing story of healing of cancer and diabetes. Somehow I was involved in this healing—but certainly not through any prayers I am consciously aware of praying over him. I had long forgotten this friend from grade school, and hadn’t had any contact for some 40 years. I have been praying quite regularly in the spirit throughout the day and at night for the past year. I have felt compelled to do this as an act of pure faith. I have also been asking God for breakthroughs with diabetes, as many of our immigrant workers here suffer from this. I am very encouraged to see that God is at work and has linked me back together with a friend who is involved in similar work. Here is his amazing testimony of healing and renewal of friendship and a call to pray for Jose’s healing too.
My name is Steve Klippert. Shortly after moving hundreds of miles from my home where we’d lived for decades, I became very ill. The original diagnosis was a terminal condition called retroperitoneal sarcoma, a very aggressive cancer, with a death rate within five years. This “mass” abutted my kidney and pancreas. After many tests and procedures, specialists surrendered that they had never seen such a thing and that surgery was necessary. The prognosis was not hopeful and my family and I were given five scenarios: 1. mass too involved with other organs and there was nothing they could do; 2, removal of the pancreas; 3. complete bowel resection; 4. removal of mass and hope for the best; and, 5. systemic metastasis (spreading of malignancy) with hospice to be considered. As the surgeons were mystified at this mass, my wife was on standby in case of complications or need to consent to life changing procedures once the operation began. This operation was scheduled for eight hours, but expected to go longer. As we just moved, we had developed only casual friendships and were still looking for a church that was Christ-driven. We were alone and I was mad. Mad at God for sending me away, scaring me and my family, and I told Him so.
On August 20, 2008, as I was being prepped for surgery, I prayed and I was told to “find Bob”. This made little sense to me as I did not know any Bob’s, not even any of the surgical team nor their support staff went by this name. My family and I were alone, as we had only made casual friendships in the area and were still looking for a church that was Christ-driven. After surgery I awoke to amazed faces, my wife in tears and my doctors proclaiming that not only did they not find any cancer, but the mass (the size of a lemon) was successfully removed. Furthermore, I was not confined to intensive care.
I immediately got out of bed, a remarkable feat when considering the surgery, the ng (nasal gastric) tube, carotid artery port, catheter, and various machines I was attached, to find “Bob.” This was my mission, my quest that had to have an end, a meaning more than just a mere message. I only returned to my bed under the threat of physical restraint. It was that night that I felt the warmth, security and essence of God who told me softly, but firmly that I must find an old school pal that I had not seen or heard from in forty years named Bob Ekblad. This mystified me as I did not know where he was or even if he was alive. Once released, I would try to “find Bob”.
On August 25, after several days in hospital I was given solid food and the nurse brought me a regular meal: pancakes with syrup, toast with jelly and a cinnamon roll. I was astonished to see this as I was a diabetic and these sugary delights were forbidden. I ate with the finesse of a toddler, scooping the sappy grape jelly from its plastic hold when a nurse came in screaming: “The doctor forgot to order a special diet. Stop eating, it could kill you!” My blood sugar was taken…normal. They again took my blood sugar…normal. An endocrinologist was summoned and stated my diabetes was cured; he called it a “medical anomaly”, I call it God’s grace.
Once home, I googled Bob Ekblad, half expecting to find nothing or discover him selling insurance in Omaha. I read about Bob, his work with convicts and how his ministry was similar to mine as I also work with felony offenders.
I currently work for the New York State Department of Corrections in Albany, New York. I am responsible for policy management, implementation of alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs for several State prisons, the most notable is Attica Correctional Facility. Before these administrative efforts, I supervised a staff of 16 counselors and previously was a ‘front-line’ counselor working with violent felony offenders, many with life terms. I have witnessed the grace of God in many of their lives and I am especially grateful for your [Tierra Nueva’s] community reintegration efforts with those society considers to be the least, last and lost.
I realize how God through his children intercedes in miracles. If you are troubled, “find your Bob” you will not have to look that far.
In response to my question: “why do you think God wanted you to find me?” Steve wrote:
“My thinking is that you provided the answer during our phone call when you stated that you have been praying intensely and anonymously. Perhaps God wants to remind us of the power of intercession and that His will comes to those we do not know or have forgotten; that as flawed and frail humans all of us need some encouragement with something tangible and concrete and that the power of healing is not a myth or parlor game.
My first feelings were denial in “finding Bob”. I initially thought it was a result of medication or that I heard somebody looking for “Bob”. However, this message was not an echo or aberration; it was set deep within and the more I tried to ignore it, the more life it had. I became frustrated at the lack of clarity… “find Bob”. Bob who? How many Bobs did I know? Maybe I thought it was a coded message, but no matter what Bob spelled backwards was still “Bob”. Discovering the essence of this meaning became somewhat of an adventure. Every time somebody came into my room I espied their name tags, listened for nicknames or maybe I would be referred to a specialist named “Bob”.
For me in my work and continuing relationship with God, I see despair, humans who live life backwards, killing time; the keeper vs. the kept. I dwelt in this environment, adversarial without end, merit or rationale. Faith is not only tested, it is questioned. Christ knows this and He is a pretty funny guy. Here He knows I am lost, feeling abandoned and sets me off on an adventure. Not just an ordinary adventure, but an adventure to “find Bob”. Darn slick. Through you which was through Him I am healed, WOW! Not only have I been restored, but my guess is so have you. Could ANYBODY think of a more incredible scenario.. who would have ‘thunk’? Imagine me barely able to sit, plucking away at the computer and finding your ministry! It all makes sense.
Here’s a challenge- call someone, maybe your parents or a friend, tell them this story. Not that credibility is an issue, but I have all the supporting documentation for those who ask. I feel your hand upon my scar and with that an image of a man sitting on a padded surface (bed or futon like contraption) bent over engulfed in prayer. This will not leave me. I do not debate this, analyze its existence or disguise it in hyperbole. It is a core construct, that which transcends and transmutes all I have known before. I am truly blessed in the spirit and so are you. God touched you to touch me…Bob Ekblad from Bellevue Christian School, the kid who used to keep his ten speed bike in his bedroom. Is NOT Christ the coolest or what!! You know Christ and His father are high fiving over this..what a perfect plan!
He told me: “Steve and Bob, my precious children, I am not done with you yet. You must carry this living gift to all you see, through your healing others will follow. This is my design and now your duty and obligation. I spin stars upon my fingers and cure disease. You are the proof of my everlasting love and mercy”.
Praying for Jose
Three weeks ago, Stuart, a friend who owns the little grocery store by our house asked me to visit his Mexican friend Jose. Jose has stomach cancer and diabetes. The doctors have said he won’t live till Christmas. He wants to be sure his wife and children will have his social security benefits once he dies. I visited him and his family, prayed for his healing and anointed the hands of his wife and children with oil to continue praying. At that time Jose couldn’t eat but was fed through a feeding tube that went directly into his stomach. He could hardly get up from his hospice-provided hospital bed in their apartment. Gracie and I just visited them tonight and were startled by the change. Jose was up and eating at table with his family.
“I feel much better. The doctors think I’m eating just a little, but I’m eating a lot,” he said, smiling. His wife said that they have been praying together every night and feel God’s peace.
“Before we never prayed, but all of this is bringing us close to God,” she said. I told them the story of how God healed Steve of cancer in his stomach and diabetes and they were delighted. We were moved by Jose’s visible faith. We gathered around him and together with his wife Maria and three children we prayed for his complete healing.
Please pray for Jose with us—that God would completely heal him and bring others to faith through his testimony.