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The impossible happened

Jan Impey
Posted February 11, 2017

Jan Impey, a Salvation Army officer for 35 years, was diagnosed with incurable cancer last year. She prayed for the impossible, and the impossible happened.

Have you ever wondered how the apostle Stephen felt as stones were being propelled at him? That’s a bit like how I felt as I sat in Auckland Hospital last year. Each word the doctor said felt like a rock pounding against my body. Cancer. Inoperable. Incurable. Possibly untreatable. Maybe just months to live.

It all started three months earlier with a cough. But the cough got worse, and I got weaker, to the point where I couldn’t work or even eat properly. I was sent to hospital where I underwent many tests, and eventually fluid was found on my heart and lungs. Straight away a litre of fluid was taken from my heart, which was excruciating.

My days in hospital seemed to be filled with tests, as the doctors tried to determine exactly what was wrong. I have to say that during all of the confusion, I had a real sense of peace.

As I sat in bed one day, I read this Bible verse: ‘Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). I prayed, ‘Lord, whatever happens to me whether I live or die I want you to be glorified.’ Through everything that happened next, I believe this prayer came to pass.

Finally, I got the news. I had a very unusual, aggressive form of ovarian cancer. It had spread up to the left lung, into the lymph glands and across to the right lung. It was inoperable, incurable and potentially untreatable. Without treatment, I was given two to three months to live.

I began chemo immediately, but became very ill and ended up in acute oncology with an infection.

We got as many people to pray as possible, and we’re so grateful for all those prayers, and for the love and support of our Salvation Army family and others. One day my husband and I were invited to lunch with an Ethiopian family. They prayed for me, and I felt in my spirit that I had been healed.

Following the next course of treatment, my cancer reduced by 80 per cent, going from 10 cm to 2 cm. My cancer indicators went from 800 to 24—well within the healthy range.

Since July last year, I have had no trace of cancer. My doctor was a Christian who had been praying for me, but she said, ‘I have never in my 20 years as a doctor known this to happen.’

One family member who was not a professing believer, posted on Facebook: ‘Prayer does work.’ Another relative, who didn’t believe in God, said to me, ‘There is a God.’ I have had the opportunity to share about my healing in Auckland District Court, where I work as a Salvation Army court officer.

I am fully aware that there are many War Cry readers who have prayed the same or similar prayers, and God has not answered the way you hoped or so much wanted. I have no explanation as to why that has happened.

But I do know that I feel compelled to share my story of how God answers prayer and bring glory to him, to whom it belongs. And also to encourage you not to give up praying for what may seem impossible.


by Jan Impey (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 11 February 2017, pp11
You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.