"Honey, I think I'm going to faint!'
Feeling a sudden, alarming sensation in her head, Pearl Raatz stumbled over to a church pew and sat down. It was February 15, 1997. Pearl and her husband Dale, pastors of a church in Wausaukee, Wisconsin, had just arrived at a church in Iron Mountain, Michigan, ready to enjoy a music concert with some fellow pastors. But when Pearl blurted out those words, their plans changed abruptly.
Dale ran over to his wife, laid hands on her and began to pray. Pearl continued to moan, "Oh, my head, my head!" Then she screamed, "My head just blew off!" and went into convulsions. After the convulsions subsided a few minutes later, Pearl lay in a coma, motionless.
Dales natural mind was in a state of shock as he tried to grasp this sudden life-and-death crisis. But Dale had stored too much Word in his heart over the years to react out of his limited natural reasoning to this unexpected emergency.
Dale and Pearl had known each other all their lives before they were married in 1962. Raised in the same Pentecostal church, both were saved and Spirit-filled as children. They answered the call to the ministry together and assumed the pastorate of their fist church in 1971.
Then in the mid-'70s the Raatzes read three of Brother Hagins books: What Faith Is, The Real Faith, and The Authority of the Believer. The simple truths in those books literally transformed the couples lives, teaching them how to stand in faith on their covenant with God and receive their rightful inheritance in Christ. In Pearl's words, "Brother Hagin's teaching brought us out of religion and into a true reality in the Lord." Over the years they witnessed miracle after miracle, not only in their lives, but also in the lives of those they had ministered to. And now, as Pearl lay in a coma, they needed another one.
As Dale gazed at his wife lying unconscious on the church pew, a righteous indignation rose up in his spirit, and he declared with boldness: "I apply the blood of Jesus all over you, Pearl. You shall live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord [Ps. 118:17]! Death angel, you must leave in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!"
When Dale spoke God's Word over Pearl, nothing changed outwardly in her condition. But an irreversible stance of faith was established in Dales heart at that moment regarding his wife's healing: His wife would live and not die. Dale's stance would be sorely tested in the days to come, but he would never waver.
Pearl remained in a deep coma as the medical crew rushed her to the hospital. As the doctors examined her, Dale and the pastor who had accompanied the Raatzes to the hospital went into the adjoining waiting room. Then the two men began to worship the Lord while declaring the promises of God's Word concerning Pearl's healing.
"As we prayed and worshiped the Lord," Dale related, "I was so grateful for the teaching I had received from Brother Hagin regarding faith and the believer's authority. Scripture after scripture just rolled out of my mouth as I spoke to this 'mountain' of physical destruction according to Mark 11:23 and by faith commanded it to be removed from my wife's body.
After examining Pearl, the doctor in charge solemnly explained her diagnosis to Dale. An aneurysm (a sac form by the stretching of an artery wall) had ruptured in the center of Pearl's brain, causing severe cerebral hemorrhaging. The blood had seeped into both sides of her brain, triggering a massive stroke that left Pearl's right side totally paralyzed.
The doctor gave Dale almost no hope that Pearl would survive. If against all odds she did live, the doctor said, the amount of damage done to her brain would leave her completely incapacitated.
At Dale's request, Pearl was transferred to a more advanced medical facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Green Bay doctor gave Dale the same prognosis of Pearl's condition: "There is no hope, Sir. No hope." But Dale instantly overrode the negative report in his mind with the promise of a God that had been quickened in his heart: "She will live and not die!"
The normal medical procedure after a ruptured aneurysm is to surgically repaired the damaged artery and drain the blood that had escaped. In Pearl's case, however, the doctors believed surgery would be futile because the aneurysm and was so deeply embedded hence so much blood had already spilled into her brain so they waited helplessly for Pearl to die.
But twenty-one hours later, Pearl had defied all natural expectations - she was still alive! Surgery was finally performed, but once again the doctors' natural report produced no hope. "We can try to drain as much blood as possible off your wife's brain," they told him. "But even if she physically survives the surgery, so much blood has been on her brain for so long, your wife will never have her right mind again. Even if she ever comes out of the coma, she'll never remember anything. She'll never walk again. She will be nothing more than a vegetable."
No! Dale thought. That's not the way it has to be! The Bible says everything that has a name has to bow to the Name of Jesus [Phil. 2:9,10] It also says that I am able to call those things that be not as though they were [Rom. 4:17]. Pearl's brain is a name - and by faith I can call its normal!
Pearl did survive the surgery, just as Dale expected, but she remained in a deep coma. So Dale went into the ICU room where Pearl lay and began to speak to the "mountain" - Pearls injured brain. "Brain, " he declared, "according to the Word of God, you are a name, and you must bow to the name of Jesus. By faith I call you completely restored and whole according to Romans 4: 17!"
"I stayed with Pearl day and night," Dale related, "declaring her brain to be restored and made whole. For days I saw no evidence of any change in Pearl's condition - but neither did I change my confession of faith! The Lord instructed me in my spirit during this time, saying, "Don't look at what you can see with your eyes. Just the persistent in believing My Word. Hold fast to your confidence that My Promise to you will come to pass."
On the tenth day following Pearl's ruptured aneurysm, the doctor came to Dale with nightmarish news. "Sir," he said grimly, "it looks like we're going to lose your wife today. Her body is closing down."
Immediately Dale heard the Lord say in his spirit, "Hold fast your confidence. Don't accept that report." So as the doctor walked out of the room, Dale prayed, "Lord, I need someone with my kind of faith to rejoice with me today. I believe You're going to send someone who can stand with me for Pearl's life and complete restoration."
That evening, the phone-in Pearl is hospital room rang. It was the pastor of a Church in Green Bay whom Dale had never heard of before. "I've heard about your wife's condition," the pastor said. "May I come and meet you?"
Dale knew by an inner witness that he had found the man he was believing for. So he told the pastor, "Yes, Sir! Come right on over!" When the Pastor arrived, Dale asked him some questions to locate him spiritually. And the pastor began to declare the same faith principles Dale had learned years earlier from Brother Hagins books! Dale exclaimed, "Brother, you're the man I want today."
Dale and the pastor all went into Pearl's room and asked the nurse to let them have some time alone with her. For forty-five minutes straight, the two men just sang songs of praise and worship to the Lord together, thanking him that Pearl would live and not die. Then they simultaneously stop singing, and Dale looked at the pastor, smiled, and said, "Brother, the battle is over. I know the battle is over." The two men walked out of Pearl's room rejoicing, and the pastor left to go home.
A short time later, Dale's son and daughter went into the room to visit their mother. Within a few seconds they came out running, shouting, "Dad! Dad! Mom's awake!"
When he heard their report, Dale exclaimed, "Praise God, I expected that!" and hurried to see his wife, who, though awakened from the coma, was still unaware of her surroundings. Then he called the pastor, who had just arrived home. "Brother," Dale told him, "Pearl just woke up!"
In recalling the excitement of the moment, Dale said, "That was the best news that good man had ever heard! That day we both saw God's Word verified before our very eyes!"
An important battle had been won in this life-and-death fight of faith. But the loss of Pearl's mental faculties through "permanent" brain damage still had to be miraculously restored. Her right side also remained completely paralyzed as a result of the stroke; and her paralyzed throat made it impossible for her to swallow.
Dale continued to apply the truths he had learned from reading Brother Hagins books as he spoke God's Word to be Pearl's brain, proclaiming it whole and completely restored. But now he also began to focus his faith on her paralyzed right side, constantly speaking life over his wife's body. "Stroke, you're a name," he would say. "Paralyzed body, you're a name. And every name must bow to the name of Jesus! The anointed, creative Word of God undoes this damage and quickens life into these dead muscles and limbs!"
A week passed - then another, and Dale saw little change in Pearls condition. She wasn't responding mentally to outside stimuli and her right side remained lifeless and immobile. But Dale never once changed his confession of faith. He faithfully remained by her bedside day in and day out, filling his hours with praise and worship and the confession of God's promises over his wife.
Those were difficult days for Dale, even though he believed in his heart that God's word would be ultimately prevail. Three different times he was awakened from a deep sleep by the devil's insistent, tormenting thoughts: Let Pearl die. She will just be a burden to you. Let her die in peace! And three different times Dale resisted those thoughts in the name of Jesus until he was able to peacefully sleep through the night.
Dale finally saw concrete evidence of answered prayers during Pearl's fourth week in hospital when her mental faculties miraculously started to return to normal. Then one day during that week, Dale saw the right side of his wife's throat suddenly begin to move as he sat by her bed worshipping the Lord.
Immediately Dale called in the nurse and told there, "I believe Pearl can swallow now."
"Oh, no, she's paralyzed!" The nurse protested.
"I know that's been her condition," Dale responded, "but the Name of Jesus is greater than paralysis! Please tell the doctor that I want us to try to give her a bite to eat."
While the nurse located the doctor, Dale to talk to Pearl. "Honey, in the name of Jesus you going to swallow, aren't you?" he asked. Pearl nodded her head yes.
When the nurse returned with the doctor and several medical staff members, they transported Pearl to another room. Then they tied Pearl to a table, using its support to stand her up right to reduce any risk of choking on the food.
The nurse tried one more time to talk some "sense" into Dale. "You know," she said, "there is absolutely no moisture in your wife's mouth. She hasn't had a drop of water in her throat for four weeks! There isn't any saliva in her mouth to help her swallow. She could choke and die!"
"I understand what you're saying," Dale calmly answered, "but Pearl agreed with me that she would swallow in Jesus' Name - and she will by the power in God's Word! I believe that the moment food is put into her mouth, her saliva glands will begin to function normally." A special camera was set up to monitor what a place in Pearls mouth when she was given a bite of food. Dale and the medical staff watched the display carefully. As if on cue, Pearl's saliva glands activated as she chewed the morsel of food. Then her formerly paralyzed throat swallowed the food with no problem!
The staff members just turned and stared at Dale, who happily explained, "Praise You, Jesus!"
That day marked the beginning of the end of the Raatzes' ordeal. And every day after that, Pearl took another miraculous step toward her complete healing. Most rapid of all was the restoration of her mental processes. This woman who was supposedly do to remain virtually brain dead for the rest of her life was swiftly regaining total use of her mind.
Now that Pearl was able to eat food once again, Dale insisted on being the one to feed her. He used mealtimes as opportunities to speak the word of over his wife as she ate and it wasn't long before he saw the results of his efforts.
"I was sitting there feeding Pearl," Dale recalls, "when I saw two fingers of Pearl's right hand come alive then begin to move! When that happened, I immediately placed the spoon between those two fingers and helped her to begin to feed herself. By the end of that day, Pearl's entire right hand was no longer be paralyzed. And by the next morning the next morning, her right arm and shoulder had also come to life. The principles of faith and the Authority of the believer we had learned years ago was working effectively in our lives!
"Pearl greatly enjoyed being able to feed herself once again. But her right leg was still as lifeless a bowl of Jell-O. So I prayed, "Lord what's wrong? Why has Pearls arm come alive but her leg is still paralyzed?"
"The Lord spoke to my spirit, saying, 'You haven't spoken to their specific they "mountain" yet'. Then impressed me to look up 11: 25, which says, a "... I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
"So I sat next to be Pearls hospital bed with an open Bible in hand and began to declare, "Leg, you may be dead - but you're going to live! The life of God is flowing into you!" I sat there for four hours without moving, speaking the Word to that leg."
Then all of the sudden, Pearl said to her husband, "Honey, get my shoes." Dale looked at her legs and realized that Pearl was wiggling her toes! He could even see the nerves and muscles in her leg begin to jump and move as they came to life.
Dale joyfully looked for a nurse. When he found her, he asked, "Where's Pearl's shoes? She needs them, because she's going to walk!" The nurse's response of skepticism was predictable as she followed Dale back to Pearl's room. But when she witnessed the movement in Pearls leg and toes, within moments, Pearl had her shoes!
Dale once again applied the simple faith principles he had learned from Brother Hagen's books. "I knew faith had to have corresponding action," he explained. "So I helped Pearl put her shoes on. Then I supported her with my own body as I helped her stand upright and take a few steps. She didn't walk very well that first time - but she did walk!"
All Pearl needed now was therapy and exercise to help strengthen the leg that had just come back to life. To everyone's amazement, she was walking up and down the hospital hallways using a Walker within two days. And less than two weeks later, she walked out of the hospital and her own accord!
Those in the medical field who are familiar with Pearl's case are astounded her miraculous healing. They know the enormous odds that were against her surviving the ruptured brain aneurysm and massive stroke, much less being completely restored! But that is exactly what happened. Pearl now enjoys full use of her motor skills and leads an active, healthy life as a wife, mother, grandmother, and minister of the Gospel.
When asked about her brain - which, according to medical science, was never to be normal again - Pearl said, "My mind is probably better than it was before I had the ruptured aneurysm and stroke! For instance, I've noticed that I'm able to solve math problems in my head that I could never have solved before without writing them down. And except for those first four weeks of my stay in the hospital, my memory has been completely restored. In fact, you wouldn't know to look at me that I ever went through a life-threatening ordeal such a short time ago!"
Today, Pearl minister's right alongside her husband as they travel in evangelistic work around the country. The central message they proclaim wherever they go is "How To Live an Not Die."
As Dale applied the principles of mountain-moving faith that Brother Hagen taught them, Pearl's "mountain of death was moved out of their lives. And now the Raatze's teach others the timeless truths of God's Word so they can also receive God's best through believing faith!
Remember to send it to your friends for encouragement!
Copyright The Word of Faith - Kenneth Hagin Ministries