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Pam Hart was born with messed-up teeth.

By age seven, she was a dental case. By age 27, they had to break her jaw and re-set it forward so that some of the lower teeth would align with the uppers.

By last year, she was in pain and had to sleep on her back with big pillows under her knees to keep her from rolling onto her side, which would dislocate her jaw and cause intense pain.

It hurt to sing or even talk. And if she ate meat or a few peanuts, her jaw would ache for days. Sometimes her jaw would lock open!

She couldn’t turn her head very much. And last fall when she was assigned a day of payroll work in her job as a security specialist in Colorado Springs, she hurt for five days from moving her head up and down. Finally, she had to buy a special pair of glasses that would enable her to read without looking down.

X-rays last November showed the extent of the problem: Her jawbone was crumbling away, slowly vanishing. The ball-and-socket apparatus of her jaw hinge (TMJ) was only a pair of pointy bones on either side. No ball on the left or right. Situation: hopeless.

God intervenes

Enter Frank Gray, 70, a quiet, semi-retired friend of mine who has been praying for a breakthrough move of God for 30 years.

By 2006, he was praying for sick and injured people with increasing success.

His M.O.: He carried a tiny vial of olive oil, and he would use a dab of it to anoint people for healing as he prayed. Nothing fancy, no yelling or theatrics. But often he would sense that some kind of demonic entity had taken up residence in a person’s lungs or joints or other point of illness, so he would quietly order it to leave in order to clear the way for the healing.

One night last May, the vial ran empty, and when Frank went to bed, he placed it on top of his chest of drawers as a reminder to refill it in the morning. But when he awoke, it was full. Very puzzled, he asked his wife Linda, “Did you fill this up last night?”

He knew the answer because there was no more oil in the apartment. And Linda replied, “I didn’t even touch it!”

In January of 2007, Lois Maybee, a mutual friend of Frank and Pam, got the two of them together. When she called to tell Pam about Frank, Pam asked, “Could I invite my brother-in-law Tim, too? He’s got prostate cancer.”

That was fine with Frank. (I haven’t seen him turn down anybody yet.) So on January seventh, Pam and Tim sat down side by side on Pam’s sofa and explained their problems as Frank and others listened.

Frank started with Tim. As he prayed, Pam watched, utterly astonished to see, in her words, “ten to fifteen years melting off Tim’s face in one minute.”

After the prayer, Tim excused himself for a moment to make a trip to the bathroom. When he came back, he whispered to Pam, “I just went a gallon!” (Sorry, Tim. That detail is just too phenomenal for me to leave out. When urine flow is highly restricted, as yours was, that sort of thing just doesn’t happen. And it was a tremendous verification of the hidden healing that had registered so visibly on your face a few moments before.)

Next it was Pam’s turn. As Frank often does, he first asked her, “If the Lord heals you right now, how are you going to know it?”

Pam removed the plastic retainer she had to wear full time and answered, “Well, right now I have two teeth that touch, so I guess if there were more, that would prove something.”

Frank first had to get rid of several “illness demons” that were behind Pam’s problems. As they left, Pam definitely felt them go. (As a true Christian, she did not harbor any demons in her spirit, and never will; but that didn’t stop a few of them from taking up unlawful residence in her jaw.)

In the space of about ten minutes, the bone of the jaw quickly grew back in. There was an odd sound of bones stretching and growing, somewhat like cracking your knuckles. Pam insists that it didn’t hurt at all, but she nonetheless let out a screech that scared the family cat, which took off like a shot.

The pain disappeared, the bone grew back, and every tooth in her lower jaw lined up perfectly with its mate. Jesus had healed her.

Now she eats anything she wants, though if it’s a big, tough steak, her still-recovering jaw muscles will feel tired for awhile. She sleeps on her side or stomach any way she wants. She turns her head like any forty-something and reads normally. But she tells me that after a lifetime of sleeping with her retainer in, it still feels funny to go to bed without it.

The moral of the story

Ten days ago I videotaped Pam at my house. She drove up all excited because she had just picked up the “after” X-rays of her jaw from her dentist. Even though I have no training in reading before-and-after film, I could easily see that some dark, blank areas had been replaced with new bone.

This is not remotely explainable by any psychosomatic, power-of-suggestion mumbo-jumbo. This is the real thing, verified by dental technology. If you want to see Pam or watch the whole 15-minute interview, click on my myspace.com page.

One more thing. My desk is awash in reports of miracles. (You’ll read more of them from time to time in this column.) But what makes this one so encouraging is the venue. Both Frank Gray and I are big boosters of the house church (or open/organic/simple/campus/office church, whatever), where each member is expected to participate freely and exercise his/her own giftings – healing or otherwise. So both of us are dedicated to empowering ordinary Christian folks to do what Frank and our tiny team are just beginning to do.

Of course, there’s a lot more to a strong, growing network of home churches than a steady stream of healings. But healings can be the missing stick of dynamite that can break up the logjam holding back the church in North America. We still have our training wheels on, but you’re welcome to join us and grow along with us. You might start with “Megashift.”

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