When the Saints Come Marching In
There is a song that rings throughout the city of New Orleans that everyone in the city associates with the professional football team here. However, I want to share with you a story from a different team. A team of real Saints came marching into the city of New Orleans on December 8th and 9th, 2006. The goal of this team was simple. We wanted to show the love of Christ through mercy and compassion with healing in our hands. Healing Hands ministry out of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA teamed up with PRC Compassion who networked us with churches and ministries in New Orleans for an all out assault into one of the hardest areas of the city, Midtown New Orleans.
This story is one of mercy as only Christ can show. On Saturday morning after setup, we opened to a crowd of about 40 or 50 men. I noticed one man who came in and was talking to one of our team and he looked discouraged. I wasn’t sure why, but I was soon to find out. A homeless man wandered into our camp cold, hungry and in desperate need of medical attention.
I was in our medical triage tent when one of our team members, Lori, said, “Joe, we need to get this man into the tent to a nurse because he is violently shaking”. Pastor Mike Davis from PRC Compassion, and I ran out to pick him up off the sidewalk and we carried him into the tent. We’ll call him Ralph. We immediately started to pray for him and warm him up as his body was very cold from sleeping out on the street all night. As we warmed him, Angie checked his blood sugar and it was over 300.
Ralph’s diabetic condition was serious and without a healing touch could have died. We brought Ralph into Ele to see Dr. Cheri, and after a brief evaluation she came out and told Pastor Mike and I that if he didn’t sober up and come clean then the medicine she could give him would only kill him.
Pastor and I took Ralph into the sanctuary where a battle ensued for the very soul of this man. I had my arm around Ralph’s shoulder the entire time we loved on him. I knew in my heart that the only reason Ralph was alive and in our presence was because Jesus wanted to perform a miracle. And a miracle is exactly what was needed.
There was nothing we could do for this man physically. For about an hour we poured the Word of God into him. All the Saints on the team knew Ralph was in the sanctuary and they were praying as well. With peace and joy in our hearts, Ralph made a profession of faith, and you could tell it was a heart change. Praise God!
His body stopped shaking and he walked out of the sanctuary under his own power. As he stood outside of the sanctuary ready to see the doctor, he looked at me and said words I will never forget, “Brother, I feel like I was in a fight and got whooped.” I looked at him and said, “You were…a fight for your very soul.”
The story doesn’t end there. We led Ralph in to see the doctor and Pastor Mike along with other Saints arranged for a home and a bed for him to sleep in. Jesus’ Miracle Power Ministry has taken him in and will place him in a program that will be focused on Christ with mentoring and teaching for one full year! To God Be the Glory!
A church van came to pick up Ralph and bring him home but not before he got a hair cut provided by the church. All the SAINTS were cheering as Ralph left transformed by the blood of Jesus! God still performs miracles and the greatest miracle of all is salvation.
Under His Grace,
Joseph LeBlanc, Jr.