‘A place where Jesus turns up’
The skies look dark and foreboding and rain is on the way, but inside the healing tent at the Golden Grove Lutheran Church Community Fete there is an atmosphere of hope and expectancy. Despite the weather, fete visitors are plentiful. Rain patters on the roof as the volunteer team at the tent begin their work, with prayers and declarations of health and healing in the name of Jesus available for anyone who seeks it.
The congregation holds prayer healing services monthly, as well as weekly smaller gatherings where people can learn the biblical principles of healing and receive ministry for whatever their need, whether physical, spiritual, mental or something else. The healing tent at the fete is an extension of this, orchestrated and run by Golden Grove member John Schiller.
‘We initiated our prayer healing Sundays because we started to have people ask for prayer at our worship services,’ says Golden Grove Pastor Greg Fowler (pictured above). ‘On a number of occasions, the prayer would last longer than church service itself and we saw that there was a real need.’
Pastor Greg says that, like him, the members at Golden Grove are very accepting of the idea of healing through faith in Jesus.
‘I think our community is very open to seeing what God wants to do. I believe that God continues to heal today.’
The Golden Grove church website and YouTube channel are filled with testimonies of people describing their personal experiences of healing through the ministry. The accounts of infirmities healed range from back pain to broken bones, cancer and more.
‘We’re not saying that people shouldn’t see a doctor,’ Pastor Greg is quick to point out. ‘We believe very much that God heals via medicine, but we also know that God calls us to lay hands on the sick, so that’s what we do as well.’
Prophecy plays an important role in the ministry, with team members often receiving words of knowledge that shed light on a situation.
‘There have been a number of occasions where somebody’s come in with an issue that we couldn’t possibly have known anything about and one of the people in our team will say “God’s asking me to pray for this, does that make sense?” and the person will say “a hundred percent, that’s what’s really burdening me” and we’ll pray into that,’ says Pastor Greg.
Giving the public the opportunity to encounter the ministry was the reason that the healing tent at the fete was set up.
‘It was one of the first things we decided to include, because we couldn’t imagine having a fete without giving people the opportunity to be prayed for,’ says Pastor Greg.
‘That’s been a real blessing, seeing people come past and being prayed for off the street. And people know that Jesus is here – this is a place where Jesus turns up.’
Setting people free
Paul Napier has been in leadership at Golden Grove Lutheran Church for many years. Along with his wife, Nadia, Paul runs small group Bible study sessions that teach people how to use the power of the Gospel to heal. An experience the couple had around 13 years ago served as the catalyst that introduced the Golden Grove congregation to the concept of healing ministry.
Seeking a cure for the severe and debilitating migraines their daughter, Jess, was suffering, Paul and Nadia were running out of hope. When even specialists couldn’t offer a solution, they weren’t sure where to turn.
‘Jess would be shut in her room for up to a week at a time, screaming in total agony, and we couldn’t do a thing about it,’ says Paul. ‘She had to stop her university studies in teaching because the migraines were so frequent she was falling behind, and as parents we were incredibly concerned because we couldn’t see how she would ever hold down a job.
‘Then I was reading God’s word and kept seeing ‘Jesus heals’. I realised through everything he did, Jesus was constantly healing somebody. At this point I thought well I have two choices here. Either I believe his word, that he heals everybody, or I don’t believe and I think no, he doesn’t heal. And I said to him “I choose to believe that your word is absolute, and you do heal, and you still heal. Can you please show me how?”’.
Shortly after this, Paul and Nadia attended a healing seminar run by Dr Roger Sapp.
‘During the seminar we were asked to come up and practise our healing ministry and I was the first one up,’ says Paul.
Thinking he was going to pray for a stranger, Paul was unexpectedly asked to minister to Nadia, who had been suffering from a painful ongoing back condition for decades.
‘While were praying, another person in our group had a word of knowledge that Nadia had an unspoken fear of being in a wheelchair for the rest of her life because of her back,’ Paul recounts. ‘Once this fear was broken off and rebuked in the name of Jesus she was completely set free. She even felt the bones in her lower back shifting as she was healed.’
Paul excitedly relayed this to his church pastor at the time, Leon Rosenberg, who also began to learn about healing, and the ministry began to accelerate through the congregation. The regular Sunday healing services started soon after, including a focus on teaching the biblical principles of healing.
Paul says the number of healings that he and the church team have witnessed over the years has been immense.
‘We’ve seen thousands, literally thousands, of healings. I’ve lost count now, it’s just huge.’
Paul and Nadia’s daughter, Jess, numbers among them – she isn’t affected by migraines anymore, was able to finish her studies, and now works full-time as a teacher in Melbourne.
The ministry has something of a flow-on effect, as many who have received healing have then gone on to minister to others who need it.
Dan the miracle man
Photos (L-R): The wreckage of Daniel’s car; Daniel in a critical condition in hospital; Daniel and his sister Ashlee today.
The world seemed to stop for Russell Herrmann and his family after an early morning phone call from the Woodside police on June 7, 2013. Russell’s 17-year-old son, Daniel, had been critically injured in a car accident in the Adelaide Hills, trapped in the vehicle after it plowed into a tree.
Daniel was airlifted to The Royal Adelaide Hospital with severe head injuries, where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. The family raced to the hospital to be by his side but were devastated when doctors told them Daniel might not pull through.
‘I threw myself down on my knees and pleaded with God to heal my son,’ says Russell.
Daniel underwent decompressive craniectomy surgery, where part of the skull is removed to relieve pressure on the brain. The family was told that if Daniel survived, he would never be the same and would likely be institutionalised for the rest of his life.
Despite this, Russell and the Herrmann family stayed steadfast in their belief that Daniel would be healed. They called on family, friends and their church community at Golden Grove Lutheran Church for prayer and used social media to send the call far and wide.
Paul Napier remembers visiting the hospital to minister to Daniel.
‘After we prayed, Russell and I went downstairs and I said to him “Russell, your son is going to walk out of this place.” That was a prophecy that just came out of my mouth. It wasn’t premeditated, it was the Holy Spirit.’
Russell says that he made the choice to believe for Daniel’s healing, despite many saying it was impossible.
‘I stood by God, believing in a miracle,’ Russell recounts. He told his two daughters that Daniel would recover and vowed he would one day publicly testify to it, ‘with thanks to God.’ He even shouted a round of drinks in celebration of Daniel’s future recovery.
Waking from a coma after surgery, Daniel experienced post-traumatic amnesia and his weight plummeted to just 42kg. But the family kept on believing for his healing, with a newly discovered detail about a bystander who stopped to help Daniel after his accident also revealing God’s hand over the situation.
Sue Kendle was driving to Adelaide from her home when she witnessed Daniel’s car accident and stopped to help. Having just taken a first aid course, she was able to perform crucial CPR that medics say saved Daniel’s life. The Herrmann family discovered that when Sue had left her home that morning, she had forgotten her bag and had to head back for it. Had she not done so, she wouldn’t have seen the accident at all.
‘We call her our angel from heaven,’ says Russell.
On June 17, just ten days after the accident, medical staff reported a marked change in Daniel. His breathing was improving, his lungs and chest were healing. Soon after he began to speak a few words and remembered the PIN to his phone. Steady improvements over the next few weeks had the medical team stunned. Many confirmed that it was indeed ‘a miracle’.
After three weeks in intensive care, Daniel was moved to a ward and was transferred to a rehabilitation centre just a few weeks later. After nine months of rehab, Daniel was able to go home – fully recovered aside from some hearing loss.
Russell says it was faith in Jesus that brought Daniel back.
‘I do believe the key to facing these sorts of situations is to grasp your faith with sincerity and believe that if you ask God in his name, no matter how big the mountain is – and that mountain was huge with Daniel’s condition – to adhere to that faith and start testifying in advance of what you will receive.’
For more information on the Golden Grove Lutheran Church healing ministry visit their website.
This feature first appeared in the March 2023 edition of Together magazine.
Photo credits: ‘Dan the miracle man’ images courtesy Russell Hermann. ‘Setting people free’ image courtesy Paul Napier. All others supplied.