I Prayed have prayed
Creator of life, we praise You that you answer prayers in such astonishing ways, even bringing the dead back to life by the same power that brought You dancing out of the grave! We pray for more signs and wonders as the greatest Awakening and Revival in human history rolls forward!
Reading Time: 4 minutes

This article is reprinted by permission from www.Blog.RichDrama.com, the blog of Rich Swingle, a contributing writer to IFA.

Before you read the original article, I have to tell you that my mother recently reminded me that my grandmother, described below, would often mention Derek Prince, one of IFA’s original founders, and his books when she was at prayer meetings. So to have this story shared on www.HeadlinePrayer.org is very special for me.

 In 1942 my grandfather, Jimmy Ostema, the first husband of my grandma, Hilda Triezenberg, had taken a trip to Chicago, which was almost 200 miles away from their home in Charleston, Illinois, to show off his newborn baby, my mom, Judy, to friends and relatives. On that trip he got sick, and his temperature rose to 108 degrees.

Their daughter Jeri, who was 17 months old, was singing to her father, but she and Judy, 9 weeks old, were both pulled away from him for fear that they contract spinal meningitis, the source of his illness. Hilda begged the Lord to keep her 26-year-old husband alive to help her raise their two daughters. Hilda asked the Lord how they could ever crawl out of $600 of debt, which would have been almost $10,000 in 2020, if Jimmy didn’t get better. But he got worse. On October 29 his heart stopped beating, and he was declared dead. Hilda was sobbing and sobbing and still praying when he came back to life! He said, “Hilda, I’ll miss you and the girls, but it’s so wonderful there! I’ve seen the Lord. It’s far better to be with Him. He will give you another husband who will be a father to our daughters. Let me go.” He lived another week, but Hilda eventually told the Lord she trusted Him to take Jimmy home.

At the funeral many expressed their grief for the family by slipping Hilda money. Every year on October 29 Hilda would sit her girls down and tell them about their father. In the same way the people of Israel celebrated passover every year so that each generation would remember the Lord’s protection and deliverance long after they begged Him to stop talking to them directly, Hilda told the girls about their father’s love for them, about how he would play his trumpet to draw people to their Bible Center so they could understand their Heavenly Father’s love for them. She told them about his glimpse of heaven, about how they counted up the gifts from Jimmy’s funeral on their bed, and about it all adding up to $600. It was exactly what they needed to escape debt!

When my brother Bob and I came along, Grandma would tell us those stories, too. There were many times that she would tell us how the Lord would guide her by providing an exact amount needed for a ministry endeavor to which she felt called, and that intimate language she shared with the Lord was first spoken and understood at her husband’s funeral.

When she was only three years old, Jeri shared these amazing truths on Moody Bible Institute’s radio program. Hilda and Jimmy had met while students at Moody. Cliff Miller had attended the school at the same time, but they hadn’t known each other well. The station received numerous calls from people who had given their lives to the Lord because of the young evangelist.

Jimmy’s father, a retired minister, was invited to shepherd the small congregation of the Bible Center in his son’s absence, but on his first Sunday he told them that he knew of a young Moody Bible Institute graduate who was working on his masters degree: He recommended Cliff Miller to fill the pulpit as an interim preacher.

Meanwhile Hilda and the girls went to live with their widowed grandfather. A little over three years later he remarried, and Hilda thought it wise to re-empty her father’s nest. She found a place back in Charleston. She was told about the young man now preaching at the Bible Center.

Here’s Cliff’s description of how they met from his memoirs:

I was speaking… one Sunday morning early in 1946 when a young woman with two little girls came through the front door. After the service I went to the door to greet people. One of the little girls (Geraldine) grabbed my leg and announced to her embarrassed widowed mother that she wanted a daddy, too! Well Geri* probably started something…” 

So on September 28, 1946, Cliff married the family, fulfilling the promise the Lord had made to Jimmy.

On September 4, 2021, I was working on the sitcom What’s a Girl to Do, and we got word that a three-year-old had been found in a pool and declared dead. We were four hours and twenty minutes behind schedule, but we prayed for forty minutes. During that time I shared this story about my grandfather coming back from the dead. At a certain point the show runner, Janet Porter, architect of the Heartbeat Bill, pointed to me and said, “Rich, pray this family will celebrate September 4 as the day their boy came back from the dead!” I prayed into that, and moments later someone on the team sensed it was time to start praising, which we did. Moments later a cast member came running down the hall yelling, “He’s ALIVE!” A few days later I got a text saying, “He’s 100%!” There were no complications! Praise the Lord!

You can hear me telling that story days after it happened at www.RichDrama.com/AliveAgain.

*Aunt Jeri changed the spelling of her name to be closer to Njeri, who helped raise her and Mom.

Did you need reminding that we serve a God who raises the dead?

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Rich Swingle
October 28, 2023

My website was hacked, and honestly after watching Police State I’m wondering if the hacker worked for a government agency! At any rate, the link I put in the article no longer works, but this one does: http://www.RichDrama.com/blog/post/AliveAgainAgain

Ann Bashara
October 30, 2021

As I was reading your story of resurrection life in your article, the Lord impressed upon me to prayer Life into America and Americans! So I began to Declare …that All Christians be brought back to life in their spirits from the crushing and disappointments we have been experiencing in our nation. That our faith will wake up – our convictions of Truth will grow in strength – we will get our sound and logical voices back and we will not be silenced! That our prayers will break through the lies and deceit and The True Light of the Lord will shine, expose evil and be defeated! That America will be saved and stand on its constitutional heritage and righteous judgements will prevail! Revival will overtake broken hearts, hopes and dreams and ungodly mandates and rulings will be overturned. Godly wisdom and Truth will set us free and the Lord Jesus will be exalted! He is our Victory. Amen! Bless you for sharing with us you blessings!

October 29, 2021

Wow- is the first thought that comes to mind,-it should be PRAISE GOD IN HEAVEN!!!.. This is the first time I’ve…ever- encountered a story of a miracle set in a format that I understand to actually be real-(so many supposed accounts of various things of a miraculous nature are casually tossed around ..in this hyper- media world we live in- of over sensationalized claims- )especially a return from death.. ..it is a definite first for me-
Praise God in Heaven!!

It must be an incredibly comforting and grounding sense of peace to harken from a family of such intimate encounters with The Lord.

Lord,we thank you for intervening in the swingle family’s life and legacy, I am greatly encouraged to have this opportunity to learn of this event,..
especially in light of this past 18 months refining process, causing,- at least ,myself ,to have been brought to a noticeable level of awareness of the increase of your presence in my awareness, of Your moving- in ..Any way,in my life..sensing that your voice IS there,..at times, and what I pray has some sense of mattering, in my hope of being a disciple that is able to achieve obedience in effecting healing or goodness as a conduit of your work,love,and ministry in this life of evil flesh and Godlessness. Thank you so much to Rich and the Swingle Family and legacy.

In The Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen

    Rich Swingle
    January 30, 2022

    Praise the Lord! You should check out the book and movie both titled Breakthrough. It’s about a boy who fell through the ice and was pronounced dead. I spoke to the pastor who’s represented in the film. He was in the hospital room when the boy came back to life, though it doesn’t show that in the film. The pastor said the room got warmer, and a nurse gave her life to the Lord on the spot! http://www.RichDrama.com/Breakthrough

      Herb Johnston
      January 30, 2022

      Ok I will..thanks Rich.!!!😊
      It is great to get e mail alerts from y’all..its good to know we count somewhere.
      The book, Breakthrough..I will write it down.
      I still use pen and paper..non- electric…😉
      Happy New year.

Lori Meed
October 29, 2021

Rich, I heard you tell this wonderful testimony live on a Tuesday webcast but this detailed account is do full of His glory! Ps.78:5-7 says, ‘he established a testimony and Jacob and set up a law in Israel which he commanded to our fathers to teach to their children so that a future generation – children yet to be born hyphen might know. They were to rise until their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works but keep his commands commands.” Testimonies stir up generational faith and hope! Thank you for this megadose of HOPE!

Colleen Back
October 29, 2021

Thank you, I needed the reminder! My eyes are open and watching for signs and wonders in these last days as the next Great Awakening sweeps across our globe!

Rich Swingle
October 29, 2021

It’s been many years since this story has been told to or by me intentionally on the anniversary of Grandpa’s resurrection. I’m so thrilled to restart that tradition in a big way with IFA!

Glory to God! The greatest Awakening and Revival in history is underway!!! Bring more signs and wonders, Lord!


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