It was about ten o’clock in the morning that day in Tamazunchale, Mexico, when Brother Juan knocked on my door. He had walked two hours down the mountain from his remote village of Coatzontitla, where he pastored a church of about seventy-five people. On this day he had not come to talk about the church but about his one-week-old daughter. Soon after the baby had been born, she had contracted a skin infection that the village people called “granos.” Granos are small pus-filled pimples that are very painful. Juan said the baby was covered with the infectious bumps. They were even in her ears and mouth, and she would not eat. The church had prayed but the baby still was not healed.
I suggested to Pastor Juan that we talk with the pharmacist about some medicine for the child. When we described the baby’s condition to the pharmacist, he was alarmed, and told us if we did not take the baby to the doctor immediately the child might die. Juan and I left the pharmacy and began to walk back to my house. I knew he was afraid and he was thinking he could not afford to pay for a doctor’s appointment. Just as I was about to cross the street, I sensed a very soft voice: Pray over a handkerchief. Tell Juan to take the handkerchief back to the village and lay it on the baby, and the baby will be healed.
I told Juan what the Holy Spirit had said, and asked him, “Do you want to take the baby to the doctor or do you want us to pray over the handkerchief?” Juan said, “Yo quiero confiar en Dios.” That’s Spanish for, “I want to trust in God.”
Brother Juan and I went back to my house, and I read him the Scripture:
God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled (Acts 19:11–12 NLT).
Juan and I prayed over the handkerchief and he took it back to the village. Later Juan told me that they had laid the handkerchief over the baby and prayed for her. The next morning the baby still had some pimples on her skin, but there was no pus; the pimples were dry. A couple of days later the bumps were gone and the baby’s skin was just as soft as that of any other newborn baby! It was a great testimony to the power of God. They told everybody in the village and many people were saved when they heard about the healing.
As awesome as that miracle was, I have never prayed over another handkerchief to heal the sick. Maybe I should, but I have never heard the Lord tell me to do it again. It’s important that we have a word from the Lord, because faith comes into our hearts when we hear God speak to us (Rom 10:17). If we know God has spoken to us, we can be sure He will be faithful to do what He said He would do (I John 5:14–15).