By Jon Roberts – Casper, Wyoming … “I’m sorry you will have to listen to me breathe,” commented Shayne Vincent, at the beginning of his November 6 sermon. The church responded with a very loud “Amen!” The reason for the comment was due to Vincent still being on supplemental oxygen.
For the Casper church, listening to Vincent breathe is proof of the miracle God performed. Vincent returned to the church pulpit two months after COVID visited the church. In September, the church experienced an outbreak where 30 individuals contracted the deadly disease. Most recovered; unfortunately, one passed away, and Vincent was also on the doorstep of death for many days on a CPAP ventilator in ICU.
Vincent returned to church to share his testimony and to tell how the experience has humbled him and given him a renewed mission of ministry. Church members, community friends, and visitors came to hear and physically see the miracle God had provided for the Casper church to celebrate.
Addressing the congregation prior to Vincent telling about his walk over the last few months, Rajmund Dabrowski, RMC communication director, said, “It was important that I came to touch, figuratively speaking, something that I perceived to mean – a life change happened here, in your church.”
He added, “I expected to see a banner across the building with a message: A Miracle Happened Here. I did not encounter it. I guess I thought far too much as miracles, all too often, happen in silence.”
Members were excited to have their pastor back, even for part-time as he rebuilds his strength. Remarking on the day’s events and seeing Vincent at church, Arnie Sybrant, head elder at Casper church, said, “It was great. I knew he was going to be doing the testimony at church today. He was excited about coming, and I think the whole church was excited to see him again. You could tell everyone was happy he was there. In a card I sent him, I told [Vincent] that I didn’t envy his health situation but envied his new experience with God.
Sharing his experience, Vincent said, “We [he and Gabriela, his wife] are so grateful to God for saving my life. I was truly on the fence between life and death. I am thankful for all the prayer and support friends, family, conference co-workers, and strangers provided.”
During his testimony, Vincent shared that while he was in ICU, God came to him and explained he would be healed, but he wouldn’t heal him overnight. Vincent said about this experience. “’I’m not going pull the punch at all. You’re going to drink every last drop of this cup.’ I didn’t really understand why, but at that point, I was at peace that God was in charge of my destiny, not me. I said, “Okay, whatever your will is, Lord”.
He added that the experience has made him more intentional about daily conversations with Jesus. He said instead of “praying on the go,” he now takes time to have a conversation with God and thank Him every day for saving his life. “I now have been very intentional about my time with Him. It’s made all the difference in His presence. I even broke with my cliché prayers like ‘Lord, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior today.’ I now pray, ‘Let’s talk, Lord. I’m choosing to let you be the Lord of life today. Let’s talk.’ I want to be with Him because He is so beautiful. He is the Living Water. Every time I open His Word, it is a firehose, not a tap.”
Vincent plans to share his testimony in the next issue of the Mountain Views, including when an angel visited him in the middle of the night when he felt the presence of the angel opening his lungs.
–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Rajmund Dabrowski