Signs & Wonders in everyday life


God used bunions to reconnect me to my mother

I became a Christian on 5 January 1991 when I was 19. I was completely changed, and it was difficult for my family. They didn’t like me talking about Jesus, and thought I was weird and in a cult. My mum thought church was a load of rubbish, and pastors were charlatans, so she would persecute me. I had left home at 16 because I used to fight with my mother, so it was already a difficult relationship. Mum even came to my church and heckled the pastor throughout the sermon. It was so embarrassing, and painful. But everybody in the church loved me and told me not to worry. At the end of the sermon everyone got up to sing and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go and hug my mother. I went over to her, and said: “Mum I love you”, but she pushed me away so hard I stumbled. The rejection was so bad. I cried and asked God to help me. I heard God’s voice audibly echo words from Psalm 27:10, although I didn’t recognise them at that point: “Even though your parents forsake you, I will never forsake you.” I started deep weeping and the rejection left me. It was a healing revelation understanding that God would be both a father and a mother to me. 

As the weeks went by the persecution from my mum got worse. She would even be physically abusive. I just kept on loving her with a supernatural love from God. One day I felt God tell me to stop seeing her as she was so abusive. I didn’t see my mum for nearly a year, but during that time, God led me to pray and fast for her. I used to pray all night for my mum. 

I then got a call from my sister, saying Mum wanted

to see me as she was going in for a bunion operation. The recovery was three months, so she needed someone to look after her, and she wanted me to. I heard the voice of the enemy say: “She is using you, don’t go.” And then I heard the voice of God, which I knew, and he said: “I want you to go.” So I went to her, and when she opened her front door we both burst into tears. I hugged her, and that day was the beginning of the restoration. 

After one month she called me into her room and said: “The love you are showing me is so encouraging; Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to you.” Later that year a friend shared the gospel with my mum, and a few years later she went to church with her brother, responded to an altar call and gave her life to Jesus. 

God has done such a work in her life. I have recently had bunion surgery myself, and very soon Mum, who is now 79, is coming to live with my husband and me. I will always be grateful for God and the bunions bringing my mum and me together!


God removed my smoking neighbour

I was recently reminded of an amazing miracle God did for my husband and I when we were newly married. We were pregnant with our first child. I was about 36 weeks pregnant already, and after months of pavement pounding in Brooklyn to find a bigger apartment, we found what seemed like the perfect place. It was in our desired neighbourhood, one I’d grown up in, and near my ailing father.   

I’d noticed the smell of cigarette smoke when I first viewed the apartment, but the windows were all open as it was being refurbished and I was told the smell was from the workmen and would definitely go away. A week or so later, as soon as I got into the place, I knew something was wrong. The place reeked of cigarette smoke and this time there were no workmen or windows open to the city to blame. I called my husband, away on business, who agreed he’d noticed the smell too and recommended I talk to one of the doormen. Before I could even open my mouth to him, the doorman quipped: “Yeah, your downstairs’ neighbour is a chain smoker. He smokes out the window all day. Everybody knows it; the people who lived there before you knew it. That’s just how it is!” 

I wasn’t only pregnant but a former smoker myself, and the constant awful stench of cigarette smoke was nearly unbearable to me. I tried the nice route, baking cookies and taking them to our new neighbour, in the hopes he had a sweet tooth and might be moved by my pregnant belly and a smile. I was mistaken! Happy enough to chit chat in the hall with me, and receive the cookies, he assured me he’d lived in the apartment for 13 years, he’d always been a smoker, he wasn’t going to stop for his family and he would definitely not be stopping for ours!

In my prayer times, I kept going to God with the issue and asking him to help us out and stop the smoke. I knew he says to come to him with all our problems and he will make a way, and I trusted him. In my Bible time, God gave me a verse from Deuteronomy 20:4: “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”  

There were a lot of difficult moments. We realised our neighbour was purposefully blowing the smoke into our air vents and it started to come directly into our bathroom. He literally just sat around smoking all day! But there were respites. Sometimes he would go on long trips back to his native country for a month or two and we could breathe freely! We also had a meeting with our building manager. He was an older, very serious, unpopular man around the building. We had him over to our apartment where I met him with stacks of paperwork regarding New York’s tenants’ rights and past issues with smokers in other buildings. We wanted him to know that it was a bigger issue than just our family. He offered to let us out of our lease so we could find a new apartment, but we didn’t want a new apartment. We loved our building, neighbours and neighbourhood. 

It was hard to trust the Lord as the months went by, especially with a newborn baby and always being at home. But I continued to make our smoking neighbour and his family cookies and tried my best to be kind and neighbourly. I felt a blessed assurance that we could trust God to work it together for good. Even when other doormen told us that there was no way he would leave. 

Finally, one day, out of nowhere, we found out he was moving! I don’t know how it happened; God had worked a miracle! Everyone said it couldn’t be done, that we should just move and find another place, but God had better plans. He was true to his word and he drove out our enemy! Our new neighbours were lovely – a young mum with little kids who was a non-smoker. It was such a massive faith builder for my husband and I and a great testimony that God hears our prayers. He delights in every detail. He provides for us in the midst of our trials and while we wait on him, loving our enemies and not being overcome by weariness, we can trust he will make a way when there seems there is no way.

Hope Bonarcher


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