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700 Club

God's Promise is that He Will Show Up

Chet recalls, “The doctor comes in to me and he says, ‘You need to go on a ventilator.’ He said, ‘If you don't go on a ventilator, you're gonna die.’” In August, 2021, Chet Chaffin and his wife, Renae, were having a great time on their 2,000 mile cross country retirement trip - horseback riding, going to the beach, and visiting family and friends. Then they reached Oregon. Renae remembers, “Chet was shaking so bad that he was just shivering and cold and miserable. He was having a hard time breathing and coughing.”

The Chaffin’s cut their trip short and went home. By the time they arrived Chet’s health had worsened. Chet shares, “And I was trying to get my air to my lungs to expand. And it's just like they wouldn't expand. I couldn't get any air in. Oh, it is terrifying.”

Two days later, Chet was admitted to the Clermont Mercy Hospital ICU with COVID pneumonia. Renae says, “And the doctor said to him, ‘Chet, you have two choices. You go on the ventilator or you're gonna die.’ And the doctor left. And he said, ‘Renea, I am scared.’ And I said, ‘I'm scared too.’” Chet says, “It seems like every story that you hear of people being on the ventilator, they don't come off the ventilator. They wind up dying. And I didn't want to die.”

Because of COVID protocols, Renae went home and asked everyone to join her in praying for her husband. Renae shares, “And I sent out over 200 emails and asked for prayer for my husband. I looked up scripture on healing. And the one that stuck in my mind was, 'I will send My word and My word will heal you of all your diseases.' And I would repeat that daily.”

Chet and Renae’s pastor, Daniel Lawson, and church elder, Mike Meyer, came to Chet’s room to pray. Chet recalls, “Before he came into the room to do this, I looked outside the door and I saw the Lord standing outside my door. Not as I see a man, but as I see the love of God, the aura of God, the brightness of His glory, His love is what I saw. At that point, I said, live or die, I belong to the Lord.”

Pastor Daniel Lawson shares, “I told Chet, I said, ‘We're going to anoint your head.’ And Chet said, ‘Anoint my hands and my feet too.’ And we prayed and we rebuked the sickness, the disease, the infirmity in the name of Jesus Christ. I knew Chet was fine no matter what anybody said.”

Renae called everyday so Chet could hear her voice. After 5 days, COVID protocols were lifted and Renae was allowed to visit her husband who was now in a medically induced coma. She took advantage of the 15 minutes she was given. Renae shares, “I started praying. I started rubbing his feet, I started rubbing his hands. I touched his face. I wanted him to know that I was there, because that touch is so important.”

Over the coming weeks Chet endured multiple complications including a hole in his lung and internal bleeding. For two weeks the staff tried several times to wean him from the ventilator but every time they tried Chet would struggle to breathe. They had to sedate him with additional meds to keep him calm. Renae says, “I was scared because I knew that he wasn't getting oxygen. And I said, 'well, I'm worried about brain damage.' And I came in the living room and I shouted. I said, ‘God, I know You're gonna bring him home.’ And he said, in this calm voice, and this peace went over me. And he said, ‘then why are you doubting Me?’ And I said, ’I won't doubt you.’”

The next day, a nurse called. They found Chet’s ventilator tube had been pulled out and he was breathing on his own. As Chet was still in a medically induced coma, no one could explain how it happened. Finally, they brought Chet out of sedation successfully. Tests showed Chet had no brain damage.

Chet recalls, “I know that I woke up because God let me wake up because God healed me and took care of me in that hospital room.” Renae shares, “I was just saying, 'thank you God for that, because You answered another prayer.'”

On October 20th after 27 days in the hospital, Chet was released and sent to a physical therapy facility. There he would have to renew his cognitive abilities and regain his strength and mobility in his arms and legs. He even had to re-learn how to feed himself. They expected his stay to last up to two months. It lasted nine days. Chet says, “God began to heal me. From that point, I began to be able to stand up. I began to strengthen myself. I began to walk around the room.”

At his follow up with his pulmonologist, Chet remembers the doctor’s response. Chet remembers, “He said, ‘You know, this is just amazing. This is just amazing.’ And he said, ‘Chet, you are a miracle.’ And I'm like, ‘amen. I am.’”

Pastor Daniel Lawson shares, “I see Chet as this mighty tool, this wonderful testimony to the truth of what God can do and that God is still alive.”

Chet has defied all of the doctor’s odds and even has regained his long-term memory. He and his family know he is a miracle because of the healing power of Jesus through prayer.

Renae says, “I believe with all my heart that Chet lived because of faithfulness, because of prayer, and because God wants to use him to bring people to Christ.”

Chet says, “There's no limit to what God can't do or can do. He will come in and He will heal. That's God's promise.”

700 Club

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Shares Greatest Hurdle

She’s the world’s fastest 400 Meter hurdler and a two-time Olympic gold-medalist. In 2016, at only sixteen-years old, Sydney Mclaughlin-Levrone became the youngest person in nearly 40 years, to make the women’s Olympic track team.

Will Dawson: "When did you know that you were, not just good, but maybe even great?"

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone: "I started running when I was six, and I think it's kind of hard to tell when you're that young. You know, you're just running for the fun of wanting to run. But I think it wasn't until I got to high school coming into now freshman year, my first race was an indoor 300. And I actually won the race against some seniors. And I think that's when it kind of hit me that, “Wow! Maybe I can actually, you know, hang with these girls!”

She did more than hang with them. Sydney quickly became the best hurdler in the country, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. In spite of all the accolades and success, Sydney was struggling.

Dawson: "From an early age as a runner, anxiety and fear plagued you. Where did that come from?"

McLaughlin-Levrone: "I think anxiety and fear, for me, it kind of just came from my desire to want to be perfect in all things. And the reality is that nobody can do that. And I think for me, that was a constant battle internally of, 'how do I get as close to perfect as possible in a world where you can't control your circumstances or what happens to you all the time?' For me, it constantly left me in a state of fear. And especially on the track, racing against other people who are as good, if not better. That was a constant battle of, 'am I enough? Will I ever be enough, or will I ever measure up to the standard that I have for myself and that other people have for me?'”

Sydney did not medal at the Olympic games in Rio and returned home for her senior year of high school. The reception wasn’t what she expected.

“I remember receiving messages on Instagram and people saying stuff like, ‘You made it all the way to the Olympics not to get a medal,’ but I just knew from that point on I was like, ‘I need to figure out how to deal with this fear because I can't keep living like this.'"

Her next big hurdle was qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. In 2019, she competed in the world championships in Doha, Qatar. For Sydney, anything short of 1st place would be unacceptable. As a perfectionist, her 2nd place finish, was heartbreaking.

“Being able to make it all the way there on the world stage and still come up short, I think was just devastating for me. I still couldn't understand what all the fear was, all the anxiety, how to handle it . . .”

Sydney grew up in a Christian home, though she never fully trusted God. The loss and growing anxiety forced her to cry out to him. “'God, I need you. There’s no way I'm going to heal from all of this unless it's with you.’ And so during COVID, that was when I truly started seeking Him. He was very gracious during that time to reveal Himself to me. And it was reading Colossians 3 that flipped a switch for me in terms of my thinking and just kind of how I saw everything. It just made the whole gospel make sense and I can't tell you what it was about it, but the lens in which I viewed life had truly switched and understanding like that in and of myself. I have nothing to offer God, but it is just the righteousness of Jesus covering my life based upon my faith that is presentable before Him.”

Though Sydney had come up short in the world championships, she had still qualified for the 2020 games in Tokyo. While there, with a new focus on God, she set a new world record, taking home gold in the 4 x 400 relay and the 400 meter hurdles.

Dawson: "When you crossed the finish line, what were the emotions?"

McLaughlin-Levrone: "Relief, praise, thankfulness, excitement, disbelief, all those different things at once. But truly, just like, 'Thank you God, for hearing my prayers and answering them and just being being kind to me.' I think that's the number one thing. Every time I cross the line is like, 'God, you have not failed me. Even when I lose, I still win because I learn and You still prune me and guide me and sustain me.' And yeah, the girl who once used to cross the line and still feel empty inside, I now have joy, even in the midst of any circumstance."

Today Sydney is training for this year’s Olympic games in Paris. Win or lose, she has a new purpose. In her new book, Far Beyond Gold, Sydney discusses her battle with anxiety, fear, and letting go of her striving for perfection, and simply running the race set before her.

“Just knowing that I'm running with that purpose of achieving the goal and the goal is not gold medals like the book says, it's 'far beyond gold.’ It's achieving salvation, which is already mine in Jesus, but obviously running the race of the Christian life well."

And even on the track before races, that's what I'm reminding myself of, is setting my mind on the things above, knowing that the Lord is looking down on my life right now and me wanting to honor Him, and He is glorified in that. And so, it just became a joyful way of experiencing life and living life and it was way better than I was thinking before.”

700 Club

Born with a Tail

15-month-old, Angel, was born with a tethered spinal cord, which can appear as a small tail protruding from his lower back. His mom, Maria, said it can be quite painful. “Whenever he tried to stand up, he screamed in pain,” she said with tears in her eyes. “And he cried when I moved the tail it as I changed his diaper."

Doctors said the prognosis for recovery without surgery was grim. “He told me that my child would not be able to walk as he gets older. He said he would lose movement in his legs and arms and the ability to move around.” 

Angel’s dad, Marvin, feared for the worse for his son. “I imagined him in a wheelchair. I imagined the other children playing and he could not.” But paying for the expensive operation to repair the condition was out of reach for the young family. “I remember at a clinic, they told us it would cost about $5000,” he added. 

“My husband's work is not enough to help my son. We can only afford rent and food. We have no other income,” said Maria.   

Then, thanks to YOU, Operation Blessing paid for surgery to repair Angel’s tethered spinal cord. The operation was successful, and a short time later he was walking and learning to run! “I am very grateful to Operation Blessing and to all the staff who helped our son,” said Marvin. “God bless you!” 

“Thank you to the people who support Operation Blessing," said Maria, now with tears of joy in her eyes. “I can hardly speak because of the emotion I am feeling. Thank you.”   


700 Club

Young Pastor Makes the Ultimate Comeback After Cancer

“It was this really exciting moment in my life,” Jason David Sluyter recalls.

“We were getting this new job, this new church family, this new city. But while this was happening, as I get the new job, my tongue is, like, swelling. There was this thing on my tongue, like it was affecting my speech, it was affecting me being able to eat.”

“They do a biopsy, and that’s when I find out, two weeks into this new job, this new season of life. You have cancer.  And my first response was…’that’s not my story’.  I have friends, and that’s their story.  I have family members, and that was their story. But that’s…this is not how my story goes,” says Jason.

“My body, like, shuts down.  All the sudden, my hip…it feels like my hip is broken, it’s in so much pain,” Jason recalls.  “The next morning, I’m trying to take a shower. And as I get out of the shower, my body just collapsed to the ground, and I’m shaking on the ground, and I just start screaming.  And my wife Alyson runs over to see what’s wrong, and my body is just convulsing, I don’t know how to explain it.”

Doctors discovered that the Stage 3 cancer in Jason’s tongue was secreting a chemical that was poisoning him from the inside out.  His 13-day hospital stay included a trip to the operating room.  

“So, they drill a hole in my hip. Now I’m in a wheelchair, with cancer in my mouth. So then, they do the first surgery, and they open me up from ear to ear, and they begin to remove half of my lymph nodes, and they remove 20% of my tongue, believing that they’ll get all the cancer out,” says Jason.

“It’s over!  Now, now I’m going to come…I’m going to that Promise Land,” Jason recalls saying.  “I’m going to be the pastor God called me to be!”

“All the sudden at the end of June, my tongue… that same thing is on my tongue,” says Jason.  “I remember the doctor, he looks at it, and he says, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but the cancer came back. It came back more aggressive, it’s spreading quicker, it’s already spread into your neck. It didn’t spread this fast last time. This is borderline Stage 4 cancer. We have to operate.’”  

“We’re going to remove most of your tongue. To reconstruct your tongue, we’re going to take a chunk of your arm, and we’re going to form a tongue in your mouth.  Oh, and your leg? We’re going to have to take the skin from your leg, we’re gonna put that on your arm. I’m like, ‘What?’”

“Now I’m a piano player. He, so he’s like you’re not going to be able to use your arm for a while,” Jason recalls.  “I’m a singer and a speaker, and he says you’re not going to talk the same.  He kept talking, and I literally stopped listening. And I just start crying. I felt so unprofessional, I didn’t feel like an adult, like a man, in that moment, cuz I’m just sitting in the chair, weeping as the doctor’s just telling me what’s going to happen. I’m like I ca- can’t do this.”

“He looked just like he had gotten out of warfare, like he was just all bandaged up and everything, and he looked like he had taken a pretty hard hit,” Alyson recalls.

“I’m feeling like I need to throw up, but I can’t throw up, because my tongue is so... swollen,” says Jason.  “I’m lying in the bathroom. I’m lying on the ground, covered in my own waste, and I’m throwing up. I’ve got mucous pouring out of my neck, blood coming out of my mouth, and I am screaming in pain.”

“All I know is simple math. The pain is too much, the only way to end the pain is to die.  I remember typing it in Google: Easy Ways to Die. Easy ways to die…because I’m tired of the pain. So, if I’m going to kill myself, I don’t want it to hurt,” Jason recalls.

“He was just in a persistent pain,” says Alyson.  “Usually he could say, ‘Hi’ or usually he can smile, but, you know, he couldn’t do any of those things.”

“She begins to do something she rarely ever does. She begins to sing.  She begins to sing over me,” says Jason.

“I was fighting, like, the worry. I was fighting the anxiety. I was fighting the fear that the doctors weren’t going to be right again,” says Alyson.  “But I just kept on choosing to just worship God, and knowing that everything was going to be okay.”

“And all the sudden, in that moment, I just felt like a presence enter that room. And it was like - It’s like if peace was a person, he entered that room in that moment, and I just began to drift off to sleep for the first time in three days. I woke up the next day, and I – I started telling myself – I’m not going to give up,” says Jason.

It was Easter Sunday.  Jason’s pastor came to the house beforehand and asked if he was well enough to stand before the church congregation.  

Jason recalls “As soon as I walked onto the stage, and Pastor Jeff hadn’t warned them that I was coming. I remember the whole place stood to their feet, and I felt what it felt like to be a part of a family who will walk with you through any journey in life. A family that will love you, even when you’ve done nothing for them.”

“After many painful surgeries, the cancer came back, I had to do more surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. They said you might not sing again. You might not even speak again.  But I’m here today, I’m standing, I’m walking, I’m jumping. And now I get to sing, and speak, about the goodness of God,” says Jason.

“After two days, it’s got 200,000 views. I’m like, Oh that’s so cool, wow people are being blessed by it,” says Jason. “A week later, it hits a million views. And were kinda just in this feeling of, like, ‘Wait, what’s happening?’”

“All of the sudden, we have people from Korea who fly to California to visit our church to see what is this, what is happening here,” Jason recalls.  “All the sudden, I’ve got people in Sweden, and Australia, and the UK who are messaging us and saying, ‘Hey, I have tongue cancer too.’  Other people saying, ‘I stopped painting because of my illness. I stopped dancing because of my disease. I stopped singing because the first time I heard myself sing in the shower’.  I broke down crying because of the tongue cancer, but when I saw your story, I decided I want my own comeback story.”

“I don’t like the false narrative that you have to look back at your life and be like, oh it’s okay, because it wasn’t okay. What happened to Jesus was not okay. Him being nailed to a cross, being tortured, was not okay”, says Jason.  

“But it’s about Jesus taking the things in your life that are not okay. They represent death, and darkness, and despair, and hopelessness and him saying, ‘Watch the ultimate comeback. I can redeem it, and bring what was dead back to life.’”

“And now I look back, and I see…what a comeback. He did it,” says Jason. “And He gets all the glory. And the only thing I can do is never give up.”

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