By Cheryl Brown
Winston Ellison walked into 16th Street Seventh Day Adventist Church without his walker and without anyone carrying him last Sabbath. That doesnt seem out of the ordinary for most, but for Winston it was a miracle.
In 1999 Ellison, a Vietnam Vet, was found to have lung cancer stemming from the Agent Orange he was exposed to monthly during his time back and forth on the airplanes he engineered during the war. As a result his lung was removed and he was given 100% disability, chemotherapy and radiation until it was no longer effective.
The last two weeks have been the most trying in his life. With last week being the final stages of the illness. On December 26, he went to the hospital his doctors said for the last time. He was admitted but there was nothing more they could do for him. They gave the family the bad news and when he insisted on going home they said that he needed hospice. The time was about 4:00 p.m.
Now Winston was not an overly religious man, he was baptized earlier this year and was a believer in God but he still had not had a personal experience with God. That is until that night.
When his wife Charlotte called Pastor Anthony Paschal to perform an anointing service at the foot of his bed, Paschal called in his Elders and by 7:30 about 12-15 people, including family members, were there. Devotion took place just before the anointing and Pastor Paschal admonished anyone crossing the threshold of the bedroom that had any doubts about the healing power of God should not go into the room but should absent themselves.
The room was small, very warm and the bodies made it warmer. Winstons breathing was loud and labored his neck was very, very swollen and his voice was weak. First there was a prayer from a woman who had been on her deathbed, then a man who prayed about his experiences with death, then a minister who called on Gods power. When Pastor Paschal prayed and anointed him with oil he said, "now we must leave and let Winston and the Lord speak about his situation. Let the Lords will be done, live or die it is now up to him."
The next day Winston called me, his voice was stronger than ever.
He told me when he saw everyone at his bed that he just laid there thinking well this is it. He wasnt praying he was just listening and as he laid there he felt something move inside of his body. When he awoke his swollen neck had gone down and he was feeling better. He got up out of the bed and was down the hall before he realized he didnt have his walker. It startled him and he almost fell but continued on to the bathroom.
He hadnt eaten anything but Cream of Wheat cereal for months and at times couldnt swallow it. "I woke up hungry, I wanted eggs, sausage and fried potatoes with onion. "I dont know what happened but I know God has given me more time," he said.
Hospice did come to evaluate him but they could not understand why they had been called. That same Friday night, there was a struggle, partly because he wore himself out talking and staying up without rest all day. Winston had made up his mind he was going to go to church the next day to hear his son Wade Forde preach. He wanted to surprise him and be a living testimony and he was. Pastor Paschal warned the congregation they would see something in this service that would show them Gods power.
Winston testified for about 10 minutes about what God had done for him in granting him more time to take care of unfinished business. He stood the entire time and stayed until after the service was over. He told everyone that day the story of the Miracle on Poplar Street.
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