Jean Neil, now a grandmother was born in Jersey before the outbreak of World War Two. As youngest of a family of thirteen children, her life was turned upside down when her mother took a massive stroke leaving an alcoholic father with no alternative but to put his children into an orphanage. The hard regime there made childhood a disturbing experience for Jean, and the advent of Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands can't have helped towards anything like a normal adolescence, but produced a teenager whose outgoing 'life and soul of the party' personality covered emotional pain, a sense of rejection and a lack of selfworth that only started to go away when she was converted to faith in Jesus Christ at the age of nineteen in a Gospel Hall in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Her twenties brought her into contact with John, whom she married and moved to England with. As the years passed and her own children came along, Jean settled into the routine of bringing up the family. It was during this period of her life that she joined a local Pentecostal Church.
When she was just a few years married Jean experienced a fall which was to change her whole lifestyle. She had damaged her spine and in the twenty five years that followed would need repeated surgery and periods of hospitalisation. Over those years, she had three heart-attacks, sixteen operations, a hiates hernia, bronchial asthma, nerve-transplants in her arms due to her spinal damage and even went blind for about 6 months as a side effect of medication she was on.
All through that time difficult as it was, she never lost her faith in God and kept as actively involved in churchlife as her circumstances would allow. One day while teaching her Sundayschool class, one little three year old lad, who had been looking intently at the bodycast she was wearing, jumped to his feet, put his hands on her and said: "O God, please make my auntie Jean well again." Jean describes him as a 'little scallywag', but his childlike prayer was later to be answered.
On March, 12th, 1988, German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke of 'Christ for All Nations' was holding an youth evangelistic rally at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. As he neard the end of his meeting, many people had responded to his appeal to come forward to the front of the hall - some to dedicate their life to Christ and others, like Jean, seeking divine healing. Miraculously, when he prayed for her, she got out of her weelchair and ran round the inside of the hall the rally was being held in. At the front of the hall the videocamera was still running and recorded the whole incident, she was wonderfully healed. The healing was later verified by her own GP and the consultant, who treated her while she was in hospital. In the months that followed, she began to realise that her other medical complaints had gone as well and to her surprise, her optometrist informed her after a routine eyetest that her eyesight had actually improved to the point that she needed weaker, not stronger glasses.
Today, Jean and her husband John are members of the Elim Pentecostal Church in Rugby, Warwickshire. Their children are now adults, and she spends most of her time going round the British Isles and beyond, sharing her testimony, showing the video of her healing and not surprisingly, praying for the sick. She says that her main desire in life is to see people coming to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour and seeing their needs met through his mighty power working in their lives.
Teun & Tessa de Ruiter, 27 november 1997, 3 April 2005, The Netherlands
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