National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Miracle brings life

April 2016

by Roger Ashcroft

God’s many wonders assured his people of his presence in the Old Testament and Jesus’ life-changing miracles are well-documented in the New Testament. We read, too, of the signs worked through the apostles of the early church.

There are testimonies from around the world that miracles still happen in Jesus’ name – but do we really believe that God would choose to exhibit such power among us today? For one Northern Territory family recently he did just that.

I became a teacher because I believed that was what God wanted me to do.

Now, as principal of Yirara College, I believe that God does this job with me and without that, I couldn’t do it. So I trust in God. I think it’s the same for many people – how would you take the stresses without knowing God is on the journey with you?

Last December, almost 16 years after I became a teacher, God worked a miracle in a family I barely knew which reinforced my decision to serve in this role. It also reinforced my belief in the awesome power of prayer.

It wasn’t long before Christmas that I was told a brother of a student at the college had tried to commit suicide about 300 kilometres west of Alice Springs.

He was found at seven o’clock in the morning and was not breathing, so he was resuscitated and was airlifted to hospital.

That night I was told that he was brain dead and was on a life-support system. I decided to visit the hospital and to offer support to his brother who was a student at the college.

My wife Jann came along, too, which I appreciated. We drove to Alice Springs hospital and, as we started to walk through the carpark, we were stopped by a security guard who asked who we were there to see. I told him and he said there were a lot of people wanting to see the same young man but that I could go through.

I went up to the first level, to the Intensive Care Unit, and walked down the hallway. There was a large group of people at the end of the hallway and then there were double doors to the right. I was almost pushed through by hospital staff.

As I was walking down the hallway, which was about 100 metres long, to where the young man’s bed was, I felt uneasy: I didn’t even know him; I didn’t even know the family; I only knew the brother and he would be the only person I’d know there.

When I got down to the end of the hallway I saw the young man lying in bed, quite thin, with plastic around his legs to push oxygen up into his organs. He was clinically brain dead, lying there with no movement, nothing, with his family around him.

Taking in this tragic scene I thought, ‘What can I do? Why am I here?’

I touched everyone and told them I was really sorry. Most just nodded but the father looked
at me and said, ‘So you’re the principal, that’s what you look like’. We shook hands but I was still asking silently, ‘What can I do?’

It seemed the family was almost looking to me for some sort of answer, so I said, ‘The only thing we can do is pray for a miracle’. So I found a little bit of uncovered skin on the young man’s leg and I put my hand on that.

And we prayed for a miracle. Afterwards I said to the family, ‘Every time you wake tonight, make sure you pray for him; make sure you continue to pray for this miracle’.