Archives for October2010

A Mother’s Day Memoir, AWESOME Kids Come from Awesome Parents

Please enjoy this article that was written around the time of Mother’s Day, this last year 2010. Children are AWESOME, especially when they come from awesome mom’s and dad’s like you! – Jessica

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching here in the U.S.. It is a day when children and husbands, daughters and sons, take the time to honor their mothers and show them respect. As I was writing this morning on mothers I thought that I should look into the holiday and how it began. Interestingly enough, all nations celebrate some form of it, and of course it has its ‘Pagan’ influences (i.e. mother worship), but the true fact is that honoring your mother is rooted in the Bible and is in fact the first commandment with a promise.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

“”Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–” Eph. 6:2

“For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'” Matt. 15:4


A few years back, I heard a true story of wild elephants that were destroying land and houses terrorizing a section of Africa. As it turns out they had originally been a part of a program was a set up to rescue baby elephants that had been left without mothers. When they we teens, they were freed. The infant elephants had grown together all on their own and then freed in their ‘teen’ years. It was not long before they began terrorizing the land, mostly valuable farmland, destroying crops or anything that stood in their way. Granted, elephants aren’t exactly the subtlest creatures, these elephants were extraordinarily unruly and angry, and had no control whatsoever. The people had a big problem!

Thankfully, someone in the village had an idea, “What would happen if we brought in a matured elephant?” As soon as the older fully matured elephant was brought into the group, the behavior of the teen elephants stopped, and they ended up learning all the skills that they so desperately needed in order to function and to become completed elephants, capable of taking care of themselves without hurting, or being hurt.


I find it interesting that God does not call us to honor our ‘parents’ but rather, to honor our father and mother. ‘Honor’ in the original Hebrew means to ‘take heavy, or with weight’. While it is true that we can function and be raised well with either a father or a mother, we wouldn’t be here without both. Honoring them is a commandment with a promise, one for long life! The way the scripture is stated to me however, is as if God cares so much for us that He knew in advance that not all of us would grow up with both. So He made sure to explain to us, that we would need to honor the men and the women that have helped to frame us, not merely just the pair.

Sometimes unfortunately, we are like those little lost elephants and have no birth mother or fathers that we know. This is when our surrogate mother’s and father’s come into our lives, and it is fantastic that we can have them. Every person needs a mentor to look to for support, if you do not feel that you have someone such as this, I pray you will find yours today.

Tomorrow, in America, we will honor our mothers for all of the amazing things that they do. The most amazing thing perhaps, is the fact that through their examples, they shape the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow. Without people who take responsibility to shape the young, we would all be lost little elephants. Praise God today, if your mother was a righteous one. As a mother, I also pray that the Lord would quicken my spirit to remember the great impact I have on my own children, as well as the children of others.

Happy Mother’s Day*,
God Bless you, your mothers and those whom you mother-


*It is in my deepest condolences to those of you who have had your mothers pass. They were like the stars in the night sky, lighting the path for weary travelers. I pray today that you would be able to find peace in their passing and understand that the torch has now been passed on to you, I pray that you would be able to have the strength necessary to begin lighting the way for others. I am thinking of you today in and your losses. May the Lord be with you.

It’s Parenting Week!

It’s Parenting Week here at WHM!

We here at Wholehearted Ministries believe that with the Word of God every parent has what they need in order to be the best parents possible! In Psalms 127 the Message Version, scripture says:

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Families are forces. As you and your family work in harmony with each other, as one unit not only do you show the world a family that can conquer all odds, you are showing the world what a functioning Body of Christ should look like! Consider that with a father, a mother, and children the family has all the components that the Church should be equipped to have. One could even comprehend that our families are our local churches!

But not all “families” are the same. Some are made up of Aunts, Uncles, Single mom’s, Single dad’s… by adoption or association. Families are forces, regardless of relationship. Parenting is left then in the hands of the adult responsible party. This week Jessica as a mother of five children all in various ages this week is going to focus on sharing some of her tips and quips she has learned in the last 15 years with you.

Children are AWESOME!

I am so excited about this weeks series! This week I will be writing about raising each of my five children, how I handle them and what I have learned about being a parent and motherhood. Five days, five tips each day and an ongoing message that CHILDREN ARE AWESOME!”- Jessica

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Raising Madeline, Girls are Different than Boys

“Sugar and spice and everything nice…”

Children are AWESOME!

I will never forget the first moment I looked at our baby girl, she was ALL girl. Everything about her was different, she sounded different than her two older brothers, she looked different, and her cries were even more “boo-hoo” than “WAAAAAAHHH”. She would take her little baby arm and wipe her forehead with her chubby hand, as if intentionally imitate Scarlet O’Hara. She melted our hearts.

1. “Girls are emotional”

Stating that girls are emotional is probably pretty obvious. I, being raised an only child and never having been around babies growing up didn’t know exactly how different boys and girls were, until I had my daughter. When the boys would get reprimanded, they would immediately say “OK, yes, mam”. When Madeline would get reprimanded (which was hardly ever) she would act dramatic and cry out in GIANT sobs. I was interested to think… why is this? Why is there so much emotion involved in a little disciplinary action?

The boys would (speaking in terms of their toddler /preschool years) error often, and when “caught” or in “admitting” the error, they would take a stiff upper lip and immediately change behavior. Madeline however, would work double time to NOT error and in so doing, if she ever “made a mistake” it would be all we could do to get her to calm down so we could talk to her. In this, I have come to the understanding that women, as a whole, are extremely spiritual persons.

I have come to this conclusion by scripture, observation and the whole package of seeing a little person work so hard to do everything right, and then become so devastated when they do something wrong! It is almost as if women have been in a constant state of trying to repay the error of Eve so many years ago. However when Eve refused to take responsibility, todays girl, assumes all responsibility to the point of pure emotional exhaustion.

If you have a dramatic and emotional daughter, I would encourage you to instead of dealing with the offense only, look at all of the sequence of events leading up to the offense. Has she been working so diligently to be “perfect” that she has made one error out of many successes? When we discipline Madeline, talking to her and gaining her trust is the best way that I have found we can do it. I have found out that she (or any girl for that matter) will choose to lie in disappointment, in order to prevent from feeling like a “failure”. Disciplining a girl has to be sandwiched between lots of praise. Being emotional isn’t always negative. Emotionality when steered in the right way can become compassion.

2. “Girls are intuitive”

I find it really funny that whenever the boys are in trouble, or are about to get into trouble Madeline totally disappears! She knows that the boys are in trouble, and it hurts her too much to even witness that they are  being punished. I have seen how she can be observant to the point of saying, “If you do that you are going to get in trouble!”

I believe this intuition is a strength which helps girls who desire to please from doing things that could get them into trouble in the future. As parents of daughters, we need to all learn about how they operate. Intuitiveness is a strength, not meant to be used just to “avoid potential pit-falls” but instead intuition should be used to guide young ladies towards potential successes. When you look at a few of the most successful women in Biblical history; Sarah, Ruth, Esther, and even Mary – all were able to use their intuition to see “where things were going”.

3. “Girls come complete with a strong desire”

When a girl wants something… you better watch out! I have noticed that out of all of our children, when Madeline wants something she has this ability to say, “*SIGH*, Oh… how I WISH someday… maybe… I might be able to get that doll…..” Wow! Who can say “no” to that?! On the flip side, when she doesn’t want something, she will say “no, thanks”. I can remember walking through the toy store one day and looking at coloring books. I asked her if she wanted one, she said, “No, that’s ok. I don’t need one.” HA! The boys would have said “yes”, merely because of the suggestion!

4. “Children are creators”

Whether your child likes to build with bricks, design with fabric, color, or cook, children are creators. They have this imaginative design in them to be more like God than any staunch adult. Half the joy for me of being a parent is for me to provide them with all the tools (craft building supplies) and just let them go-to-town. (I think God is very much this SAME way) I have talked before about the 8′ x 12′ wall that I painted with chalkboard paint in the living room, it took them about an hour before it was all covered!

I believe the key to embracing and encouraging creativity is not to enforce our children to “stay with in the lines” or “build it like this”. I am convinced that as we encourage creativity in youth, our children will grow to think in new and exciting ways, in a world filled with the “ordinary”.

5. “Children are lovers.”

Regardless of what it is, I am sure you have seen your child’s desire to hug and be touched. I have seen my children hug animals, couches, pillows, dolls, people, and even lamp posts. Children are lovers, and are born with a need to be loved in return. Psalm 127 in the Message Version says,

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

If you have children, they are a blessing from God. As you grow in a family, your family will become a force. It is up to you as a parent to decide; will that force be a force of righteousness and legacy intent on living for the Lord, or will that force become divided and wither and die? I like to look at it as if we are an army, and we are marching forward toward righteousness and global impact. As a parent, it is up to me to recognize when we are marching “out of sync” and pray and find out whatever it that our army needs to do in order to encourage the restoration of harmony. We are in a battle, it is just not meant to be with each other!!!

God Bless you friends,


Momma Jessica

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Raising Washington, Two Years Old

“Washington General Heilman”

aka Osh

Children are AWESOME!

This last week I have been in serious prayer over what I should talk about in regards to parenting and motherhood. I really felt led that this week should be about life as a parent and a mother, I just wasn’t sure how God desired for me to approach it. So, I stopped writing until I received His Word (which really is all one can do) and waited. Finally, last night the revelation occurred to me that I have five kids, so how about a five day series on how I raise each of them as individuals? Ah ha! Awesome, this I KNOW I can do!

Firstly, I would like to talk about our little Osh Kosh, or “Koshie” as only momma calls him. I will illustrate through each day five things I have learned from parenting each of our five different children.

“Washington General as a name, came to me in my sleep.”

Yes, Washington is a rather unique first name and when you pair it with “General” your name now probably sounds more like a Soap Opera title than that of a name an individual should be called. I was in bed one night, and I heard a voice from God informing me that his name should be “Washington General”, which was quite a name to have to convince my family of.

I am a strong believer in meanings behind names, (consider Abraham, Jacob and Israel) for as long and as far back in History that we know men and women have been given names with “meanings”, and have lived up to those name meanings. Jesus literally means Savior. So with each of my children (except Osh, whose name came to me), I have looked for characteristics that I desired my infants to grow into (but really I believe that God was guiding me to the appropriate names in which HE wanted them to be called). Washington General means, “Leader of the towns people” and Heilman means “Town doctor”. So when you put them together, Washington General Heilman means, “Leader and healer (restorer) of the towns people”. So far Washington, has been a great comforter, and has always filled with peace- he is living up greatly to his name.

1. “Never underestimate children”

We have a routine in this house, and it is that typically around 2 am one of our two toddlers end up coming in and crawling into bed with mom and dad. Last Sunday, Osh had crawled into bed with us and slept until the morning. We as a family have been attending an early church service online (that starts live at 7am) and I, being tired from staying up late the night before reached over to my nightstand which had the laptop on it. Osh was awake by now, and he was still in bed cooing and snuggling. The morning light had not yet come.

I put my laptop on my stomach in bed, and opened up all the necessary links to church. Jeff, Osh and I were all very close laying down together and began to listen to the service. As I was nodding off (having trouble keeping my eyes open to watch AND listen) I began to feel Osh who is two years old, start stroking my arm. He was in bed, watching service and petting my arm over and over again. He probably did this for about 5-10 minutes. Never underestimate your children. No matter what age, they listen and can be sensitive and understanding- just like we can.

2. “Children are unique individuals”

Andrew, or fourth son is so different than his younger brother it is like night and day! Where Osh is sweet and sensitive, Andrew is tough and definitive. Where Osh wants to be held and kissed, Andrew wants to run and explore. Children are completely unique individuals!

Treating children as if they are the same, is not beneficial to them. This is my number one reason as to not having our children in our current school system. As I understand it in countries like Japan and mostly all over Europe, the school systems are set up like trade schools. At an early age it is decided based on your particular strengths the areas of study that you should be directed to. An early love of science? You will be reared toward the sciences. Any early love for art? You will be reared towards artisanship. Baking? Sewing? Math? You get the picture.

Here in America however, children are all put into large groups in which they are all instructed in the same generalized direction. They are ridiculed even when they fail in a subject that is not their strength. So a child who could be a gifted pianist ends up having to spend all of their time learning algebra, valuable time spent away from the piano. This is where our school system, in my opinion, has failed us. Washington General is not called to be anything but what God has designed him to be, and as he gets older this will be revealed to us, his parents, who are watching him closely.

3. “Children do not need to over-eat”

Washington is a great eater. He always has been. He eats pretty much any type of food I put in front of him . I learned after my first son, to quit feeding babies “baby food”, and instead make our dinner food their food by pureeing it, or making it smaller. As a result, Osh eats all kinds of good food. I have learned as a parent however, that children do not need to “clean their plates” or eat every scrap. This type of forcing kids to finish eating is the leading cause of guilty eating that leads to overeating as adults. Kids have no problem eating a bite and saying, “ok I’m done”. This should be encouraged, children do not need to over-eat. It is in my experience that we teach children to become overeaters by force. Even if mommy has a love for chocolate, when a kid has had enough cake they will stop eating… unless by some bizarre occurrence mom makes him feel guilty for NOT eating every crumb. Osh is real good at feeding the dog whatever it is that he doesn’t want to eat!

4. “Children CAN be trusted.”

Sometimes this revelation never comes to parents, simply because they never try it! They don’t ever create in life situations in which children can be trusted. They don’t put cookies out on the table, say “no eating” and then walk away. Instead, they just leave the cookies in the cupboard and avoid disciplinary actions all together, expecting that their child will fail- no matter what. I have learned to totally trust my children (and vice versa) by not safe guarding everything, but instead teaching them that they can be trusted.

I always wondered what life was like before Rubbermaid came on the scene and everything turned plastic. I can immediately point out new parents as they walk through safety isles and are buying bumpers and pads and outlet covers. Granted safety IS a concern for my family, but it is not THE concern for our family.

Our children need to be taught discipline, and that “no means no”, primarily so that they can be trusted to go to other peoples houses and show their neighbor the respect that they deserve. You should not ever be put in the position that you can not take your child to someone else’s house because it is not safety proofed (providing your child is healthy). We can begin disciplining our children by creating opportunities to gain mutual trust and communication.

5. “Children are all ears.”

I think this one is pretty self explanatory, children ARE all ears. Everything you say, they hear and receive. Everything you say WILL be repeated- if not out loud, it will be repeated in their psyche. Andrew took forever to learn how to talk, Osh is talking already. What does he say? Only whatever he has heard!

Call your child names, or belittle them and they will call others names and belittle themselves. For some parents this is extremely hard not to do, because this is what their parents did to them. Before they know it however, little Johnny is like a parrot.

Just last month we were at dinner and a little boy Oshies age was shouting out a “bad” word. He thought it was funny and was doing it over and over again. Evidently his mother (who apologized for the son), said that he had just been hearing that word in the car on the way over to the restaurant.

All I could do was smile, even though I was saddened, because what this mother might have seen as “cute”, to me was a prophetic display of the hell that child is going to have to put up with on this earth in his future. What a sad, sad state when a child’s future is already etched out for them before their second birthday… just from the words their parents speak!

I am really looking forward to keeping up this week of parenting tips, and quips. In the last fifteen years I have learned a ton of different things from trial-by-error, and from reading many books. I hope that you will be able to learn something new, and be encouraged that parenting is the best thing in this world and children are AWESOME!

God bless you my friends!

Love Always,


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Jessica’s Testimony of First Time Motherhood

“Our 13 year old Jeffrey, yet another miracle of God’s”

Dear Friends!

Praise the Lord! I have heard such great responses from this last week of testimonies! Everyone really enjoyed the prophecies of redemption, freedom, and revelation. I thought that it would be fitting for me to end this week on a personal testimony, and given my eldest son Jeffrey’s 13th birthday we just celebrated, I thought that it would be good to share my story of becoming a mom for the first time. It really was a miracle.

As many of you may of may not know, Jeff and I met and were married very quickly. After just 3 months of knowing each other, we had our honeymoon, and that was a wonderful time for both of us. We had decided to wait to sleep together until our honeymoon and I can still recall the awesome feeling of waking up as a newly married couple, there was such peace and tranquility. No shame, no regret. We were married and it was awesome! I had just spent the last three months planing a very QUICK wedding was exhausted, so we pretty much slept our entire honeymoon and watched a Tears for Fears marathon on the VHI music channel (oh how romantic).

“I can still remember coming home and saying “Honey I am not going to work any more, I know somehow you will figure everything out.””

Right before I was married, when I was living with my parents and covered by their insurance, I was on a birth-control shot that lasted only three months into our marriage. You can imagine what happened as soon as it wore off… I became pregnant with our first son. I was working retail at the time, in a fancy department store standing on my feet and knew that this could not last. Jeff and I had talked about me staying home and raising our children and how someday we would be able to do it. I can still remember at the three month of being pregnant mark, coming home and saying “Honey I am not going to work any more, I know somehow you will figure everything out.” You know what, he did! We discussed our options, and what it came down to was moving, selling things, and doing without luxuries. It also involved Jeff stepping out in faith and starting a cleaning business, I am glad he did.

This period of moving from an expensive apartment to a modest duplex, and learning how to cook potatoes a thousand ways, was one of the most character building times of my life. Even though we didn’t have much, I had freedom and time. I could nest, and decorate and sleep… oh the sleep!!! (I always encourage first time pregnant women to sleep sleep sleep!) What a luxurious humbled life I led! In the last trimester; I slept until 11 am, woke up to eat, went and took a nap until 5… then woke up to cook dinner, ate again… and went back to bed! (As you can imagine I gained quite a few pounds with my first baby!)

“7pm, October 19, 1997 in Tualatin, Oregon my life forever changed.”

I was a nervous wreck when delivery started, it was as if I had forgotten everything I had learned in class designed to “prepare” me for delivery. I had received so many different kinds of advice that now when push came to shove (pardon the pun) everything had flown in one ear and out the other! Thirteen years ago I had to wait to be 8cm dilated for an epidural, and thankfully I was able to endure. All that I can remember from that delivery was that I had a great view, a Rocky marathon was on TBS, Jeff was asleep on the couch, and my mom was there to see him born that’s about it!

The miracle really happened next… Yes, the birthing process was cool. Yes, it was great being able to get pregnant so fast. Yes, it was even remarkable being able to stay home. But none of this compared to the revelation miracle that I received on the 7th day after his birth.

“I had also heard my grandmother who had her own four kids tell me, “Jessica don’t buy into this postpartum nonsense.””

You probably won’t be surprised when I inform you that I don’t subscribe to the postpartum diagnosis. I know that you have known me long enough to tell you that “all sickness is satanic oppression” and if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, than I am going to have no part in it. Mothers get exhausted, primarily from a lack of understanding how things work. The Word of God says that we have not been given a spirit of fear, and that the devil is a destroyer NOT God. I knew enough of this after my baby was born that I wasn’t going to excuse any form of depression. As this depression was not excusable to me, I never let myself go there. I had also heard my grandmother who had her own four kids tell me, “Jessica don’t buy into this postpartum nonsense.” Her frankness on this issue was all I needed to hear.

“I was exhausted from having tried to do everything in that darn “What to Expect Book”!”

I could recognize however that I was exhausted and too proud to admit it. I was exhausted from having tried to do everything in that darn “What to Expect Book”! (which should be thrown out if you have one) I remember trying to wake my baby up at all kinds of hours to eat, stripping him naked and then washing him down. (This does not make them hungry this makes them MAD!)

I remember changing him every hour, burping him wrong, feeding him wrong. He had thrush in his mouth, and I had engorgement in places that I did know could get “engorged”. I was getting NO sleep at all trying to get this baby to eat, and trying to be the perfect wife and mother! To add to things, we had a “family bed”… so the baby slept right in between Jeff and I… I have since learned, BIG mistake!

“Physiologically, I had gotten in the unfortunate habit of watching the clock at 7pm EVERYDAY and saying to myself, “He is another day older…””

Physiologically, I had gotten in the unfortunate habit of watching the clock at 7pm EVERYDAY and saying to myself, “He is another day older…” I was torturing myself! EVERYDAY I thought on a 24 hour schedule of how old he was getting and “growing up before my eyes”. Things were going from bad to worse. I needed comfort, I needed sleep, and I needed peace most of all.

Finally on the eve of the eighth day, a dam burst in my heart and I could take it no longer. I was bawling as I held my sleeping baby in my arms, and at 2 am, Jeff woke up to hear me sobbing and asked me if I was “ok”. Being a wife married to a sole bread winner, I reassured him that I was fine and then I told him to go back to bed. I never asked him to do anything, no diaper changing, no feedings, nothing. Why? Because I knew how hard he was working. The mental and physical strain, and I really did not want to burden him with baby duties too. He did his part, by never criticizing the house and just stepping over all the clothes on the floor and practiced not observing the general filthiness of the house while I figured out everything to do with mothering.

“It felt to me like motherhood and nursing, were the most un-natural things in the world!”

There I lay, bawling, with this amazing bundle of baby. (I can’t say joy, because ashamedly to say that at that point having a baby WASN”T joy.. it was WORK) So here laid this baby, in my arms, so precious and sweet, sleeping sound and calm. Not a care in this world. I had done everything I could to be there for him to be the “perfect” mother. Everyday was quickly going by, and I still felt like we (the baby and I) were wrong sides of velco strip. Rubbing at each other and not sticking to each other. It felt to me like motherhood and nursing, were the most un-natural things in the world! Then, in my darkest hour, wondering if I would ever be me again the Lord spoke to me,

“Jessica. You know he isn’t yours right?”

“What God?”

“Yes, you know he isn’t yours right. He’s mine, all mine.”

“Overnight, I had been set free.”

What sweet words for the Lord to speak to me! My tears dried up, instead of kept pouring, and I began to see that I was just the womb that was entrusted to carry another life for God. Jeffrey, this little precious boy (whose name means peacemaker) was put on this earth for greatness, for a purpose, for a design. Not just for me to raise or feel attached to. Jeffrey wasn’t, and couldn’t be my identity. Jeffrey was here for God, and I was here for them both. Suddenly, I became overwhelmed with peace. Overnight, I had been set free. I started sleeping whenever he slept, and I began to treasure him as the Lord’s treasure.

I threw away all of my books on raising kids, and I stopped watching the clock. I began a process of praying for God’s children (not mine) and enjoying everyday that we had together like it was the only day that mattered. Around this same time, some acquaintances of ours, that we had really respected had a son who died in his sleep at 30. His mother said to us all, “He was not my son, he never was. He was merely a temporary visitor in our house and we were blessed to be honored to have been chosen to raise him.”

That was all I needed to hear. Praise God for children, they are like arrows in a quiver! The Bible says and “blessed be the man whose quiver is full of them.”

We, who are parents, are blessed to be able to have the opportunity to raise God’s children. Everyday since that first week, I have manage to maintain a due diligence to living life moment by moment. To really soak up each day from beginning to end. I am not in fear of missing something, I just want to see everything. Have these last 13 years gone by fast? NO, they have been as slow as molasses on a hot summers day!

I haven’t been rushing to do anything with God’ children. I have been watching each minute of the day unfold a new revelation of the character of these five amazing persons of God. Each day is a memory in the making, and I am in the midst of this memory, and each day that the Lord has these children in my care, I am a washed with thanksgiving! Praise the Lord! I was set FREE! Free to be the mother the Lord always intended for me to be!

God Bless you friends,

Love Always-


A note from Jessica,

I am so glad that you have enjoyed testimony week! This next week, were are going for a week of blogs on parenting and motherhood. Thank you for following testimony week. If after reading my testimony, you feel led to share your personal story of God’s goodness, please do so! Your testimony according to Rev 19:10 IS the spirit of prophecy! It is through our testimony of Christ, that others are strengthened and encouraged that THEY TOO can win in life! Your testimony is prophetic!

You can send your testimony to: We give all our potential testifiers an option for anonymity, as well as the initial rights to proof what is printed.

You can also read more real-life testimonies @