Renee LaZarrus Healing

Renée LaZarrus headed to work on Saturday, October 10, 1998, unaware that her life would change that afternoon. At a nursing home across town in Rochester, Indiana, the petite twenty-one-year-old with dark hair and glasses worked as a nurse’s aide in a ward of residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Renée enjoyed her job. In fact, she enjoyed her life. She and her husband, Jeffrey, sixteen years her senior, had a delightful baby daughter, Kaylynn. They attended Faith Outreach Center, a Foursquare church in Rochester, and took part in various outreach activities, including prison ministry, street preaching, and itinerant evangelism. Jeff’s factory work paid the bills, but they both knew he had a calling to minister full time. Renée, also gifted in evangelism, served right alongside him.
She arrived at the nursing home for her 2:00 p.m . shift and began her usual routine of checking residents, making sure everyone took a turn in the bathroom, and getting them ready for the evening meal.
One resident had soiled his pants, not unusual for Alzheimer’s patients. Renée helped John into the bathroom, set him down on the toilet, and explained that she was going to change his clothes. As she bent over to remove his pants, without warning he punched her squarely in the back. The blow, landing near the top of Renée’s spine, knocked her to the floor and left her immobile. She felt something pop and an immediate rush of excruciating pain.
Renée cried out for help, but the bathroom door, which swung outward, was pulled nearly closed, and no one heard her. Above the injured young woman John now stood poised with clenched fist, ready to strike again.
She realized her only option was to talk him out of it. “John, you hurt me!” she scolded him. “Don’t be a bad boy! I can’t believe you did that, when you’re usually a good boy. Why would you act like that?” Something inspired Renée to begin singing an old hymn, “Jesus Loves Me.”
In a moment John sat down on the toilet and started to weep. Although her back muscles felt like gelatin, Renée knew she had to take this opportunity to get out. Somehow she crawled to the door, pushed it open, and rose to her knees before a nurse spied her and came to her assistance.
Renée never recovered. When she saw her doctor, he diagnosed severe damage to her muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The blow had pushed her spine out of alignment. Spasms in her horribly swollen back, neck, and shoulders caused aching knots.
The doctor took X rays and prescribed pain medication, but could offer few recommendations other than bed rest and regular monitoring.
Moreover, the doctor surprised Renée after she told him how the injury had happened. John, it turned out, was also a patient of his. “Did you know in his younger years he was an accomplished martial arts instructor?” The doctor speculated that John’s punch, had it come at a different angle, could have caused even more harm.
Renée now lived in constant agony, with limited mobility in her upper body. Jeff took over her duties at home and cared for his wife with wonderful patience, but their lives changed. Renée could no longer lift their baby girl to hold her; Jeff had to place Kaylynn into her mother’s lap. Beyond this heartache, Renée grieved most that her injury kept her from raising her hands in worship to God.
A series of medical specialists suggested different treatments: physical therapy, massage therapy, cortisone shots, various narcotics, a TENS unit (used to mask pain), insertion of needles into her head and back. Nothing brought more than limited, temporary relief. Furthermore, the doctors told her frankly that none of these treatments would cure the problem.
One doctor eventually suggested a radical operation to inject a compound into her spine to replace Renée’s ligaments and tendons artificially. Yet even this procedure would merely lessen the pain somewhat. Renée and Jeff declined, and concentrated on seeking the Lord for divine healing while learning to deal with Renée’s disability in the meantime.
Friends at church and in the community continued to pray for them. Renée found that if she fought off hopelessness and maintained an attitude of trust in God to strengthen her, she could function better. In public she worked hard to keep her misery out of her countenance, so people who did not know her might not perceive the pain that lay beneath her stooped posture.
Because of complications caused by her powerful narcotics, Renée miscarried a baby in 1999. The next year, when she learned she was pregnant again, she had to stop taking all drugs and try to get by on massage therapy, hot baths, and prescription-strength lotion. Morphine helped her survive labor, and she delivered another beautiful girl, Rebekah Grace, on January 20, 2001.
Three months later their pastor at Faith Outreach Center, Dan Mundt, told Jeff and Renée he sensed a strong leading from the Lord that they should attend a Church Planter’s Intensive training conference. “The church will pay for it,” Pastor Dan said. “We really want you to go.”
The four-day “boot camp” training in Illinois, led by Pastor Glenn Bleakney, confirmed God’s calling on Jeff and Renée to full-time ministry. Jeff stepped out on faith and resigned from his job. The two prayed for God’s direction as they pursued advice from Pastor Glenn and other church planters, although Renée had not felt open to tell him about her disability.
Pastor Glenn invited the LaZarruses to visit his church in Aurora, Illinois, to observe a church plant in progress. Solid Rock Church had already acquired a building, now under renovation for the group of core members Glenn was gathering.
Jeff and Renée and their two girls joined the twenty-five or thirty people at Solid Rock for their service on Sunday morning, August 26. A worship team led in praise, followed by Pastor Glenn’s sermon. After his message, Glenn invited anyone wanting prayer to come forward.
Several people went up. Jeff made his way to the altar to seek God’s direction in ministry, while Renée stayed in the pew with Kaylynn and Graci. Yet as Pastor Glenn and his wife, Lynn, began to pray for people, Renée felt a strong urge to go to the front with her husband. After making sure another woman nearby could keep an eye on the girls, Renée stood and started down the center aisle.
Just then Glenn finished praying for the man next to Jeff. He turned to Jeff, saw Renée coming forward, and pointed to her. “The Lord is going to heal your back,” he declared. “The Lord is going to heal you this day.” As if to confirm the supernaturally discerned word of knowledge, he repeated to Jeff, “The Lord is going to heal her back today.”
Renée began to weep. When she reached the front, Jeff held her and they wept together as Pastor Glenn laid his hands on them and prayed against the affliction in Jesus’ name.
Renée knew this was the divine moment they had waited for, although at first she felt no change in her intense pain. Still, she began to praise God for his healing power. After a few minutes she needed to return to the pew where the woman had been sitting with Kaylynn and Graci. There Renée stood and continued weeping, praising God, and thanking him for what he was about to do. Soon a warmth poured over her, and her body began to move. She felt her spine rearranging and coming into alignment. Her shoulders shifted back from their rounded slump, and her back muscles strengthened to receive the shoulders. In a moment she realized her pain had completely disappeared.
The others in the congregation had fixed their eyes on Renée as soon as Pastor Glenn had spoken the word of healing. They cried and rejoiced with her when they observed the changes in her body. While the worship team resumed the music, Jeff returned to the pew. He took his wife into his arms and asked, “Is it done?” “It’s done!” Renée confirmed. “We’re healed!” Again they wept together.
Renée heard God tell her clearly, Now praise me! She joined in singing, and raised her hands in worship for the first time in nearly three years.
By the end of that service Renée could do everything her pain and injury had kept her from doing. She picked up her daughters, tossed them into the air, played with them, and held them for hours. She has been pain-free ever since.
Renée now tells everyone about God’s restoration of her health, family life, and vigor for ministry. Through her testimony, unbelievers have come to faith in Christ, wanderers have rededicated their lives to him, and believers have received encouragement to pursue deeper relationship with the Lord.

1 thought on “Renee LaZarrus Healing”

  1. Thank God for His good and mercy toward them who believe. He has undone the work of the adversay in this ministry couples lives and He has apparently blessed them with two more children. God does indeed redeem the time. Praise His Holy Name!

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