John Schmid Music


The Power of Prayer

Adam and Amelia

In 1986, our son Adam was in Millersburg hospital. It was just a few days shy of his first birthday, and since he didn’t talk yet, he couldn’t tell us where it hurt or what was wrong. He just writhed in pain and threw up.

He wasn’t sick when he and Lydia came home to the states. I had stayed behind in Costa Rica to help run the annual beach camp-out for the Young Life Club. I would come home when it was over, about ten days later.

When I called home (via ham radio in those days) Lydia said Adam didn’t feel good. The next day, just before I left for the beach, I made one more call and Lydia said Adam was in the hospital and they didn’t know what was wrong. Since he had just come from a tropical country, they thought it might be malaria.

And since it was Adam’s first birthday, I got calls from all over:
“Hey! How’s Adam? Happy birthday!”
“He’s in the hospital in the states and they don’t know what’s wrong.”
“We’ll pray.”

Our friend, Jim Scionka called. He was now a student in Dallas at Christ for the Nations School. He requested prayer in their chapel. Galen Stutzman, fellow language student and a Wycliffe worker in Columbia, alerted the Wycliffe prayer chain. Jon Showalter called. He told Rosedale Bible School. Marv Asfahl told the Young Life Headquarters about Adam. LAM missionaries all over the globe were praying. Our home church, Berlin Mennonite, got the message and Mennonites all over the county and country were praying. I can’t remember who called from Wilmore, Ky., but they heard our plea and Asbury College and Seminary students were praying.

Folks, only eternity will tell, but I wonder if the people praying for our little boy didn’t number in the thousands, in many different states and countries!

About two days into our camp-out on the coast, my boss, Marv Asfahl, came in from San Jose and said, “Adam is going to have exploratory surgery and I got you a ticket to go home. Let’s go.”

The trip home is a story in itself, but I got to Akron/Canton airport and they had lost my luggage. “Sign these papers.” “Keep the luggage!” I yelled, and we ran for the hospital. When I got to Akron Children’s hospital, I learned that Adam was in exploratory surgery with a Dr. Bachman, one of the best surgeons in the US.

Long story short: Adam had Meckle’s diverticulum: a “kinked” intestine. When Dr. Bachman opened him up, he unkinked the hose and the blood started flowing into the pale intestine. If the surgery would have been several hours later, the chance of gangrene would have been high, as well as infection, sickness and…

God heard the prayers of His people. Adam still has a foot-long scar across his stomach as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and the power of prayer. Some of you reading this were among the prayer warriors.

Why do I bring this up now? This April our daughter, Amelia, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Although that’s the most “treatable” kind, it’s still cancer. We trusted God, but we were still a little stressed. It’s 30 years after Adam’s event and now we have Facebook! When Amelia went to surgery on Friday, May 20, I put a prayer request on FB. Within an hour there were over 100 “likes,” meaning at least that many people saw the request. There were over 50 “Comments;” encouraging words and promises to pray. They were from many states and probably a dozen countries: Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Honduras, Guatemala,….

Long story short: God heard your prayers. He “healed” our daughter. Maybe He would have been gracious and merciful and healed Amelia without the prayers of His people, but why not obey Him?: “Is any among you sick? Let him call..for prayer… And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” James 5:15

God answers prayer. He is an awesome God. Would I be this happy if God had chosen not to heal Amelia? (or Adam?) No. Would I still think He is awesome? Yes. Would I still praise Him? “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.” Job 13:15

(Oh, I did go back for my luggage 30 years ago.)

A Redeemed Life

Sometimes, prison may be the best thing for you

Every now and then I hear a story that encourages me to keep going. I plan going to keep going, no matter what, but encouragement always helps. We received this letter recently:

Hello John and Lydia,

When I saw you last week, I really wanted to tell you about my ex-daughter in law. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft of doctor prescription pads and impersonating a doctor.

She became an opiate addict because of health problems she had at age 17. The addiction destroyed her marriage to our son, but God has been so very good to her in prison, and a miraculous new person emerged!! She is now working with our local judge for the past year in a program directed for persons being released from prison. She is leading this group called Half-Way Home,* which the judge is mandating they attend before they get the final release by him.

God has answered so many prayers I prayed. I am in contact with her regularly, even though she is my ex-daughter-in-law.

I stand amazed in the presence of God, how he works in His mysterious ways. I thank you both for the ministry you do.

The Kairos group in the prison is a much needed ministry, and we continue to support them.

God IS in the prisons, but these persons really have to work hard to change their lives and many of them do not have the people like my daughter-in-law had to help them during and after their release. Most of her roommates have been re-admitted to prison due to the difficulty of making it on the outside. Most of them are from families with many problems, and they try to find love and acceptance from all the wrong groups of people.

Thank you again and may God Bless you as you continue you ministry!

Joe and Mary*
*Names have been changed, but the story is real.

After talking with this couple, I remembered that we had visited this ex daughter-in-law in prison. We saw her during a chapel service – she knew who we were and we knew she was there, but we didn’t know her. I hope to meet her now that she is out. It sounds like God did a great work in her life.

Thoughts on Education

Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes (Per contra, Scientia est Potentia).”

Translation: “If you can read this, you have too much education.
(On the other hand, knowledge is power)

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

– Albert Einstein

Education Versus Learning

I’m reminded of the story of the Harvard professor who informed his class that he spoke five languages. “For example,” he said, “the word “horse” in Spanish is ‘caballo;’ in German, it’s ‘Pferd;’ in French, it’s ‘cheval;’ in Italian, it’s ‘cavallo;’… and of course, in English, ‘Horse.’ ” Just then the bell rang and class was over. As the professor walked out into the court yard among his students, a loose horse galloped by. “Oh, my goodness!” cried the professor. “What sort of beast is THAT?!”

Maybe I’m thinking of this because I have coffee in the mornings with very successful businessmen who didn’t go to high school. I live in a community where education is looked on with a degree of suspicion. For instance, my board is made up of very successful businessmen who love the Lord. None of them went to High School. If I would sit here and think, I could name 20 successful businesses in this county started and run by men with only an eight grade education.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of local people are given employment by men who can’t even be labeled “dropouts” because they didn’t go to high school to drop out of! I often ask, “If not for the folks who didn’t go to high school in Holmes Co. who would hire the college graduates?”

Don’t get me wrong. I think education is very important. I’ve got a bunch of it. When we lived in Central America, education was about the only way out of a life of poverty. In the prison system, lack of education, and especially lack of ability to read, is directly proportional to a person’s chances of ending up in prison. “Readers are leaders.” And by inference, non-readers seem to be losers. I always encourage an inmate to study for his GED. An ex-con has two strikes against him. An ex-con with no high school is almost an automatic “out.”

So… is education the answer? I guess it depends what the question is.There is in this country today an educated class who wouldn’t know what common sense was if it came in wearing a name tag. You know the type. They’ve never had a real job. They’ve never lived in the real world. They don’t know the challenges of everyday living that you and I face. But they have a diploma. They are the plumbing inspectors who never really “plumbed.” They are the milk inspectors who never farmed. They are the lawmakers who don’t have to follow their own laws. They are in government and tell us how to live our lives. They teach where our children go to college.

I guess I’m also thinking of education because college debt (school loans) has passed credit cards as the number one debt in America. Young people are graduating with six figure debt and they discover that their degree is not useful in the real world. They are prisoners of debt. That young person who cooked your Big Mac may have a degree in history or English or philosophy and a debt of $90,000. He’s been tricked! So… what are my thoughts on education (learning?) I agree with the farm wisdom I heard at the Moreland Feed Mill when I was a boy: “It’s what you learn after you know everything that counts.” Or Edwards Deming: “Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival!” Or eighth grade graduate, Ray J. Miller: “When you don’t have any education, you have to use your brains.”

So, every morning, I “study to show myself approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15) Now and then I take continuing education classes in the form of seminars, correspondence courses, classes on CD…I want to be the best I can be. But, I am aware that “knowledge puffs up (makes arrogant). Love builds up.” (I Cor. 8:1)

When you quit learning, you’re old, no matter what your age. – Henry Ford