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Sometimes God Heals in Stages

Sometimes God Heals in Stages

Gerald Henry DeVoe II was baptized October 16, 2021, at Hood View Seventh-day Adventist Church, with his wife Melissa, by Pastor Brian Simmons. Jerry compares his spiritual journey to the stages of Jesus healing the blind man. Mark 8:22-26 tells how Jesus touched the blind man three times. He first took him by the hand and led him out of town. He touched his eyes with spit, not once, but twice and the blind man was blind no longer.

Jerry was born in Everett, Washington. His parents divorced early in his life. He was minimally exposed to Christianity but was baptized at about age six as was the custom in the church his family attended. His childhood was filled with chaos. He describes a subtle yearning for God despite the poor choices and destructive behavior that consumed his life for many years. The Holy Spirit did not give up on Jerry. He kept fanning Jerry’s desire to have God in his life, even as he went in and out of prison and the years ticked by. Just as Jesus healed the blind man’s eyes in stages, he began to heal Jerry’s tortured existence.

Jerry describes three district times, in different prisons, where he began to focus on God’s word, and in so doing, grow in his knowledge and love for God. He tells of people God put in his life, like the infirmary worker who told him one day that she had dreamed of him in the night. Neither Jerry, nor the lady, held much significance to the dream at the time. She had described a curtain and as it was pulled back Jerry was standing behind it. Later in Jerry’s journey he found out she was an Adventist and he wondered if her dream was a sign of his spiritual journey as the curtain of understanding was pulled back and he began to better experience God’s love for him.

In another prison, he became acquainted with Lupe, a man who was studying Bible lessons. Lupe shared his lessons with Jerry and a book called The Great Controversy. In time the lady who brought the lessons to Lupe, brought Jerry his own set of lessons. As Jerry read the material, he was convinced that it was not true at all, as it was contrary to what he had learned growing up. Finally, after putting the material down another time, he prayed “Lord, if it’s true lead me back to it with a hunger I can’t resist.” The next morning, he picked up the lessons and the book and could not put them down! He says that he left that prison, not only a convicted felon, but a convicted Seventh-day Adventist believer, too.

In 2015 he returned to Oregon, met and married his wife Melissa, and began attending the Gladstone Adventist Church. The devil was determined not to let go of Jerry. In 2017 after a near fatal motorcycle accident, Jerry lost his job, his house and, it seemed, even his wife as he and Melissa separated. He slipped back into the lifestyle of the past that never failed to land him back in prison.

God did not abandon Jerry, however, as the prison doors clanged shut yet again. Despite the discouragement of failure, Jerry kept seeking a deeper relationship with the God he had grown to love. For the third distinct time, God put people in his path to nurture and guide him. In this prison he met Henry and Patty Geppert, and Don Hays. He began attending the church service they faithfully held in the prison each week and in time he was transferred to Oregon State Prison where he joined another Bible study led by Bob and Karen Tait. In each of these places Jerry’s faith deepened. Upon release, he and Melissa began attending Hood View Seventh-day Adventist Church. There he found a loving church family that eagerly welcomed him home. Soon he and Melissa were baptized. Today, Jerry is a devoted follower of Jesus, the One who give second chances… and more.

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