People are growing increasingly skeptical about the possibility that miracles can happen and do happen today.
What is a miracle? It can probably be described as "an event that takes place which transcends the laws of nature and cannot be explained by any scientific or rational means."
Do miracles happen today? Why don't you ask Henk Frijters? He would have quickly told you that he didn't believe in miracles. He was much too practical for that. Besides, he would have said "these are only things that you read about as having happened somewhere far away to people given to neurotic tendencies who only imagined that something miraculous happened."
But let me tell you about Henk.
Henk Frijters was born in Tilburg, Holland in 1945. His father was self-employed and sought to give the very best to his family. That included taking them to church regularly but it meant very little to Henk.
When Henk was thirteen the family moved to Belgium where he attended high school and planned to become a drama teacher. He served for a time in the Belgian army.
But in 1965 something happened which drastically changed his life. One night the local chief of police confronted him on the street and told him that his parents had been involved in a serious car accident. It was a grinding crash which resulted in his father's leg having to be amputated and his death two weeks later. His mother was in a coma for the next eleven weeks and died without regaining consciousness.
Henk spent the next few years at home taking care of a younger brother and sister. During this time he suffered from constant nightmares and feelings of guilt. On the night of his parents' accident Henk's indecision as to whether or not he wanted to go along delayed them. He did go but had gotten out of the car a mile before the place where the accident occurred.
His thoughts haunted him. "What if I had made up my mind quicker? Or had even taken a little longer?" It did not occur to Henk that Cod had spared his life by the decision he made.
In 1968 when his brother and sister were employed and more self-sufficient, Henk decided to leave home and all the unpleasant memories to seek a new life in another part of the world.
He came to the Milton area of Eastern Ontario where he had an uncle living. He met a pretty Dutch girl from Belleville named Mary. They fell in love and a year and a half later were married. During the next period of time they both worked at schools for the deaf and in group homes for needy children from family court. Henk studied interior design by correspondence for four and a half years from the Design Institute of Chicago and subsequently worked as a consultant for a department store. Over the next several years their home was blessed by the birth of four children.
But all through this time his memories continued to haunt him.
In 1974 he opened his own interior design studio. They were a typical, well-adjusted family and did all the right things. They attended church regularly and sent their children to Christian schools.
They prospered for two years but in the fall of 1976 Henk started having severe headaches. Doctors at the Belleville General Hospital discovered a small tumor on his brain and gave him a series of treatments. He seemed to find relief.
However a few months later the headaches returned and this time the doctors were unable to find a physical cause. They blamed the headaches on the pressure of his business. They went for a holiday but the pain became increasingly worse.
In the spring of 1977 the area experienced a recession. The supplier of eighty percent of his inventory went bankrupt and pulled several small businesses down with him including Henk's. A short time later, Mary fell and tore all the ligaments in her foot. Their third child contracted meningitis and was rushed to the hospital in a coma. The bank repossessed their car. The mortgage company ordered them to vacate their home within five days. Life seemed to be closing in on them.
But that was not all. By this time Henk was taking so many pain-killing drugs that the Canadian Manpower Services and Social Services evaluated him as being unemployable. Finally they were forced to move into the basement of a relative's home. Even their marriage was starting to crumble.
One day while visiting his daughter in the hospital Henk met the neuro-specialist there and he arranged for an immediate examination. Later the specialist said: "Just relax on the examination table Henk while I make a phone call." With that the neuro-specialist stepped into his adjacent office. Through the open door Henk could barely hear the conversation but he did pick up the concluding remark of the doctor which shattered him. He said: "I'll have Mr. Frijters there by 9:30 in the morning and you can let me know but I believe that the brain damage is irreversible."
Henk was in a state of shock. "Irreversible brain damage? This can't be." With all of Henk's other problems he certainly didn't need this and he wondered how much more he could take.
The next day Henk was sent to Kingston General Hospital where another examination yielded the same diagnosis. The question now became how to treat it.
After three days of testing he was ordered by the doctor to go home, put his affairs in order and come back to the hospital. It looked as though he was going to be there for a long time.
He went first to the home of his wife's relative Walter in order to pick up a car someone had left there for them to borrow. Henk sat down and began unloading all of his troubles on Walter who was the chief social worker for a major hospital. Henk was sure he would have the answers because he knew that Walter had become "very religious."
After their talk Walter said: "Henk there is nothing we can do for you - but we'll pray."
That rocked Henk. He said: "I nearly panicked. I was thirty-two years old and this was the first time anyone had said anything like this to me."
As Walter and his wife knelt and began to pray Henk became even more unsettled.
"Lord, we're here with Henk," he said. "He tried to build a business and he left you out Lord. He blew it. And Lord, Henk tried to build a family but he left you out. He blew it."
As Walter continued praying and presenting Henk's problems to God, Henk had to agree. He said: "I have left God out of my life. Sure, I went to church and sent my children to Christian schools but it didn't have much meaning to me." Henk continued: " And the night before I had gone to the hospital my wife and I had a terrible quarrel. Though I didn't find this out until later, Mary had gone down on her knees and prayed: 'God, you can have him! I am a Christian and I won't divorce him but you can keep him in the hospital because I don't want him anymore."
At this thought Henk said he had a tremendous urge to cry but he restrained himself because "men don't cry - especially me."
When Walter was through praying he looked over and said: "Henk, have you ever asked Jesus to take over In your life? You've heard the message In church so often but have you ever asked Him?"
Henk said: "Suddenly I knew what I had to do. lord,' I groaned, 'if there is anything left to my life it is yours. Help me!'"
Henk continued: "I cried for more than half an hour - for me years of trying to live my way." When Henk made that full commitment of his life to Christ, he became aware of a great peace that settled down over him.
While Henk was still basking in his newly-found joy, Walter said: "Henk, God says that if we lay hands on the sick they will be healed. We want to do that now." With that Henk was floored. He had never heard anything like this before. Walter assured him that everything would be all right. He and his wife laid their hands on Henk's head and began to pray. Henk said: "I felt the pain with which I had lived for more than nine months drain out of my head. I went over to a mirror a little later and was amazed to see that the lines from pain were smoothed and my eyes and tongue which had been discolored from too much medication had returned to their original colors."
During the next two years the doctors could find nothing wrong with Henk. They sent him to the Medical Centre at the University of Toronto. After six months of out-patient observation the doctors closed his file with this comment: This patient claims to be healed by faith. We cannot explain his healing."
Although for the most part Henk was unemployed during this time they never lacked anything. Money, food and clothing were provided in miraculous ways. Henk said: "Mary and I drew closer to the Lord and to each other. Following a dire medical prediction, our fifth child was born without complications. God was showing us his faithfulness in many areas."
A short time later Henk and Mary attended a convention in Toronto where they both experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit as they surrendered their lives completely to Him.
In 1979, Henk was sent to do some government research in home care for developmentally handicapped people at a government institution . At this institution, Henk observed a twelve year old boy who was both blind and deaf. His face was expressionless and he was so severely retarded that Henk became nauseated at the sight of him. He was covered with saliva and his arms and legs were pitifully twisted in unnatural positions as he lay on his mattress on the floor. As Henk turned away from the boy he felt the Lord impressing him: "Henk, I want you to love him." But he hesitated since this pitiful sight had caused him to feel nauseated. Henk felt impressed the second time and taking control of himself he knelt by the child and said: "Lord you will have to love this child through me."
The Lord did just that. Henk said his nausea disappeared as he took the child on his lap and cleaned him up as best he could. As he looked down on the boy he said: "I felt I was looking into the face of Jesus." The Lord had said while he was here on earth: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Henk continued: "The next moment the love of God seemed to envelop us completely. As I looked down on the boy who was now completely relaxed and had even untangled his arms and legs I saw him smile at me. I had trouble seeing clearly because my own eyes were filled with tears. At that moment of being totally wrapped up in God's love, the Lord in His sovereignty gave light to my left eye. From birth I could not see in my left eye and the Lord put sight in that eye at that moment of total love."
A week later, according to the records of the institution, the boy was found dead one morning. As Henk confidently described the situation, he was "resting in the arms of my Saviour and Lord."
Since that time Henk has had many opportunities to share his testimony to churches and to men's groups throughout Eastern Canada. In 1984, Henk felt God leading him into a larger area of ministry. After preparing himself with theological training he assumed the pastorate of the Colborne Pentecostal Church, a home missions-supported congregation which he saw turn around and become totally self-supporting. He also served as the Men's Fellowship Ministries Director for the Eastern Ontario and Quebec District of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, for over nine years.
Henk and Mary, together with their five children Jan, Sara, Delia, Andra and Joel live every day with the knowledge of what a miracle is. Sound health has no substitute. 
But the greatest experience of all is the sense of fulfillment and daily joy that comes through lives totally committed to Christ.
That's the real miracle!
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