A Powerful Testimony of the Executive Director of ICEJ
Jehu Chan - Aug 31 2016
“I am the Lord who heals you”
A powerful testimony of healing – Revelation 19:10
What the LORD has done for Dr Jurgen Buhler, HE can do for you.
Receive your healing today!
By Dr. Jürgen Bühler
In late November, I found myself at Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for what I thought were routine tests. A few days later, the doctor gave my wife, Vesna, and me the results: The diagnosis was advanced kidney cancer. According to the doctor the tumor was growing out from the kidney into the main vein and winding “like a snake” towards my heart. “The good news is,” he said, “that it is operable.” However, he immediately advised us to seek a hospital abroad, as very few Israeli doctors had the experience to treat such a rare and severe case.
My survival rate, in his estimation, was fifty percent, and even lower for a successful removal of the cancerous growth, as it had spread inside my abdomen. The serious expression on his face showed he did not have much hope for me.
For my family and I, that November morning changed everything. We had just celebrated a blessed and successful Feast of Tabernacles, and I was busy preparing for a symposium at the European Parliament in December. As a family, we anticipated welcoming home our son, David, at Christmas, during a break from his studies in Germany. In January, Vesna and I were scheduled to attend the Global Prayer Quake in Nigeria, and later that month, we anticipated that over 150 Pastors would join us at Envision, the ICEJ Pastors and Leaders Conference in Jerusalem.
In one single moment, everything stopped. All these plans came crashing down and the fervent pace of our lives was brought to a painful and grinding halt. In the hospital, Vesna and I cried together, and arriving home a few days later, I felt completely devastated. I clearly recall sitting on our sofa that first night, watching our children, and thinking: “This could be the last few months with my family.”
I knew my only hope was for Jesus to heal me. Still in hospital I asked Juha Ketola, my friend and ICEJ International Director, to mobilize our prayer network. Since doctors repeatedly referred to this cancerous “snake” in my body, both Vesna and I understood it was a spiritual problem, requiring a spiritual solution.
On my first morning home from the hospital, something supernatural happened: When I got up that morning I felt a change in my spirit, but it wasn’t just me. To my surprise, each member of our family felt a lifting of their spirit as well. It felt like God had flicked a switch, supernatural faith and peace came flooding into our hearts. This peace surpassed our understanding and was in total contradiction to my medical circumstances. Today we know this was the impact of prayers from our brothers and sisters around the world who carried us.
That morning, I suggested to Vesna that, for the next two weeks, we should open our home and invite our friends to share communion, pray with us, and trust God that “this snake” would leave my body. Vesna immediately agreed and for the next few weeks we hosted the most amazing prayer gatherings. The presence of Jesus was very tangible in those meetings and everybody who entered our home testified to it.
Both Messianic and Arab pastors from all over Israel visited us and were of great encouragement to us. Also the ICEJ staff were praying and fasting with us and joinied us for the evening prayer and communion. It was truly humbling to find out that congregations in Israel and numerous believers around the world carried us in their prayers. Some of our ICEJ branches even initiated 24/7 prayer chains for this cause. Many letters and calls that reached us throughout that difficult time were a great source of strength.
Something that amazed me in this process was to see how other people who joined our evening meetings experienced healing themselves! Yet nothing seemed to be changing in my own body. We felt overcome by God’s supernatural peace, but my physical state remained unchanged. The follow-up scans only confirmed the initial, hopeless diagnosis.
In the midst of it, I learned to thank the Lord daily for the amazing wife He has given me. Time and time again Vesna proved to be a rock that stood firm in this stormy situation. Like a general, she was full of unwavering hope for victory, and encouraged the entire family.
Additionally, our children were blessed to be a part of the believing community in Jerusalem, that gave them much strength. The messianic school that our two youngest children attend prayed daily for our family with the entire student body. Some teachers fasted for us and visited with us for prayer as well. Our sons, Nethanel and Simon, attended a weekly prayer watch at Succat Hallel, a local prayer house. Many times they would return home having received affirmation from the Lord that their daddy would be healed. Our oldest son, David, had similar experiences at his Bible school in Bad Gandersheim, Germany.
Another great blessing to us was our congregation that we attend as a family. Our Pastors Oded and Sandy Shoshani with the entire community covered us in prayer, love and support. In addition we were blessed by the prayers and visits of many of our Jewish friends. Some even shared special prayer meetings in their synagogues.
This difficult season, for me personally, became a time of reviewing my life. Since the doctors felt my chances for survival were very limited, I began to look at my family, ministry and my own life with new eyes. God challenged me to look at it all from a new perspective. Although I wouldn’t have chosen this trial for myself, today I am very thankful to God for this time. I became more thankful and appreciative of the Body of Christ, both here in Israel and around the world, as I got to experience first-hand how much we need each other.
In late December, we found the right surgeon to perform my operation in Germany. Good friends from the German region of Saxony recommended a doctor in Dresden, a world expert in his field. To our relief, he agreed to perform the operation. The date was set for the end of January, and in the meantime we continued to pray and to gather in our home.
Upon our arrival in Dresden, Germany, we requested one final ultrasound – still believing for a miracle. The results however were very sobering. “We cant recognize much,” said the doctor. “Everything is full of cancer.” The next morning, I was brought to the operating room. The surgery took much longer than planned. Vesna called again and again to talk to the doctor, only to receive the same response: “They are still operating…” Finally, she was asked to come and was referred to the ICU where the doctor welcomed her and asked her to sit down in his office. “There were complications,” he informed her. “Your husband lost a lot of blood, so we had to put him in an induced coma, which could last several days.” Vesna learned I received 25 units of blood and the specialist told her it was one of the most complex operations he had done. Nevertheless, to everyone’s surprise, I woke up the very next morning, though still in a life-threatening condition.
One of the great lessons I took away from that particular time was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the great power of salvation. After two months of facing almost certain death and being in critical condition for 24 hours after surgery, I didn’t know whether my body would recover. Today I can say with all confidence that throughout this experience I didn’t fear death. I knew with absolute certainty that Heaven was waiting to welcome me. I pleaded with the Lord for healing, because I knew my family needed me and I wanted another opportunity to serve the Lord more fully. But there was no fear of death.
I appreciated this peace even more in the hospital where I shared the recovery room with an elderly man who, also having undergone a serious surgery, cried for help for fear of death. During the night he called for his WWII comrades to help him, even for the “Sondereinsatzkommando,” a notorious Nazi-unit, to get him out. I realized that it is on the deathbed where our philosophies and beliefs are tested. I came to personally appreciate more than ever that there is only one Name given to men which can take away the sting of death and that name is Jesus.
The day after I woke up, a remarkable restoration started to take place. Ten days after the operation I was permitted to leave the hospital and just over two weeks later, my family and I were on the airplane back to Israel. In March, I went back to my doctor in Jerusalem, who had first diagnosed me in November. I will never forget his face when he saw me: His mouth dropped open, and a few seconds later a big smile followed. “Jürgen, you are here!” he shouted. I realized he did not expect me to come back. Another doctor told me: “You have been walking for months with an angel of death under your arm. But I know that you are people of faith.”
God did a miracle! After the first blood test I took in Israel, the doctor said to me: “Jürgen, you have the blood of an eighteen year old.” In April, I resumed my work at the ICEJ and my latest check-up showed no signs of cancer! According to the doctors diagnosis this was highly improbable. But God is good! He is our healer. Isaiah 53:4-5 declares that He “bore our sicknesses” and that “by His stripes we are healed.” In Exodus 15:26 God declares “I am the Lord who heals you.” Literally, it says “I am the Lord your physician.”
During my battle with this sickness we made a decision as a family. We said to Jesus, “You are our family doctor.” This means whatever is happening, we will first seek Him in prayer and consult with His expertise. In my case, God referred me to an expert doctor in Germany. Others who joined our prayer gatherings in Jerusalem were healed instantly. We are blessed today to have better medical care then ever and I am extremely thankful for the medical staff both in Germany and in Israel. But the word of God encourages us to seek him first since our lives are in His hands.
Whatever your situation is, I want to encourage you to hold fast to God’s promises. He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. Somebody told me recently, “Jürgen, I do not have as many intercessors as you did.” The truth is, it takes just a touch of the hem of Jesus’ garment to make the difference. One single prayer can make a difference. If you want us to pray with you, I invite you to send us your prayer request and we will intercede for you at our staff prayer meetings here in Jerusalem.
I finally want to thank everyone who prayed and stood with us. It was truly humbling to see the outpouring of love and support that we received from so many places around the world. God is a prayer-answering God, and He hears the cry of His children. Thank you for standing with us. I want to extend great thanks to Juha Ketola – who never lost faith – and the entire ICEJ family, who stood with us in fasting and prayer. I am blessed to work with each one of you in Jerusalem.
Please continue to pray for us: For continued health and for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all He has called us to do here in Israel and in the nations.
With a thankful heart,
together with Vesna and children David, Nethanel, Simon and Yael