My Testimony (By Alora Weaver, wife of Dennis Weaver)
I want to give you a little bit of my testimony. I grew up living at various houses because both my parents were in the entertainment business, traveled a lot and were unable to raise me. My mother was an actress and model. I lived with her in Florida and at the age of six I was in the stage play “The King and I.” Yul Brenner stared in it and when he died, I knew that it wasn’t real, that he was only pretending. My father was a guitarist, guitar teacher and band leader. Although he was really Filipino, he passed as a Hawaiian. He had a guitar studio and I learned how to do the hula. Growing up, I lived in homes with neighbors, with aunts and uncles and a foster home. I tried to commit suicide at 13 because my father was having incest with me. I never told anyone that was the reason I wanted to die. My concept of heaven was that I thought I could sit on a cotton-ball cloud and strum my harp with cute wings, and be a good angel. The judge said I could live with Marty, who became my foster mother. I went to the Lutheran church and was confirmed. I studied about Luther and memorized the Apostles creed. My foster sister lied about me and I was sent back to live with my father.
My father realized I would not be happy living with him, and that he would not be able to keep his hands off of me, so he sent me to live with my aunt and uncle. Their daughter was very jealous of me. One day, I tried to walk in front of a car, but the car skidded away. I was extremely stressed living here so I developed a condition called Herpes Zoster. The doctor put me on antibiotics and the kids at gym thought I had syphilis, because it presented with skin lesions. It took several months for this to go away. I went to a school counselor and talked about my problems throughout my life. I wanted a baby and to get pregnant. I had a boyfriend so decided he would make a good baby because he was very good looking. Because of my unstable home growing up, I desperately wanted someone to love me. My father said I needed to get married. I gave birth to a daughter, Stacie, and she has been a great comfort to me. That marriage ended in divorce.
I went to Chicago to live with my dad. It was then that I met Dennis, my elder brother’s best friend in college. When we were dating, my best friend from childhood, Julie, introduced us to the SDA Church in Chicago, the North Shore Church.
I worked in a hospital and went to night school to become a medical transcriptionist. Spelling was the only subject in school that I was good at. I loved medical terminology because I could build words.
Two years later Dennis and I were married in 1974 and we moved to Southern Illinois. Julie came to visit us and asked the Marion pastor to visit us. Together we decided to attend a Revelation Seminar at the SDA church that night. The first year of our marriage, we were baptized and became Seventh Day Adventists.
Pastor John Martin and Dr. Joe Billock were instrumental in us coming to Christ. Soon Denny helped build our church, school, John and Joe’s house, and then our own home too. I began my own medical transcription business and taught women from the church learn it so they could work at home and home school their children, as I did. I was also into gardening, planting trees (apples, pear and peach), various grapes, berry plants (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry), asparagus, and a huge garden which we canned and froze. I used to do the children’s corners and brought plants for the lessons. Denny worked tirelessly with the other men in the church helping others at church and in the community. We went to ingathering, nursing homes, and community services. I was a leader in pathfinders, Dorcas and Sabbath school. Denny was an elder for many years and became head elder. This was too much for Satan because he threw spears at us at this time. Our faith was seriously challenged because our pastor had an affair with the Sabbath School Superintendent. After many months of dealing with the pastor’s divorce and re-marriage, court appearances for his divorce, him rebuking our eight year old son for his father correcting his actions, he came to our house and harassed me about it, I/we decided to leave our home town and moved to Florida.
We moved from church to church but I never found a church that I could call home. We did not want to become involved like we did back in Illinois. It seemed the churches in Florida were too big.
Seven years ago I had open heart surgery and complications from that. Denny is a nurse, so he took good care of me after that.
Five years ago I had a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized at Florida Hospital for two months in Neuro ICU. I wasn’t aware how serious a condition I was in. I don’t remember much of the beginning of the hospitalization but Denny said the doctors were losing hope and started to tell my family that they would have to make some hard decisions about my care. Denny and our adult children cried for a while then they prayed to the Lord and asked that if I was to die that I would not suffer but also asked if it was His will that I be restored to them. The next morning when they arrived at the hospital they received the first bit of good news. After that I kept improving every day. Praise God, I improved much better than what the doctors thought I would. I am here today because of God’s grace.
Denny and I were going to the Forest Lake Church. I kept seeing the sign for the Filipino SDA Church. Since I’m half Filipino, I wanted to go and see if they had pot luck. I liked the fellowship at the church, after eight weeks I knew this is where I wanted to transfer my membership. This is why I wanted to get baptized and to again proclaim my love for my Saviour.
They asked us for our testimony and we presented it to the church. They did a newsletter with our story on it and people understood what happened to me. I told them it was Denny’s birthday and we planned on going out to eat to celebrate it. When I arrived home, I told Denny that he would have to go out with David, our son, and his girlfriend because I had to lie down. I relayed that I had a headache the last few hours of work and I needed to lie down and rest. The next thing I remember was men’s voice’s asking questions about me, my blood pressure, medications I took and they grabbed the sheet I was on and put me in the ambulance. I didn’t know it, but I was to stay at Florida Hospital for two months at the Neuro ICU Unit. I woke up occasionally but was unable to talk or walk. I remember shaking my head and was upset because my hair was all tangled. I just had a perm and ultimately they shaved my head. I remember a smiling lady, whose name I later learned was Lori and she was very kind to me. Denny, Stacie and David held my hand while I was out of it. My two brothers, sister-in-law and nephews came to visit me. I was told I had lots of complications, brain surgery, a stents in my brain, a shunt on the left side of my head which drained into my stomach.
After that I was brought to a nursing home. I could not walk, talk and wore diapers. I fell out of bed so they put a mattress on the floor for me to sleep on. Denny left signs for me to read to stay in bed and not try to get out of bed. I had to learn how to talk, walk and became bowel and bladder trained. I went to physical therapy every day and learned how to walk with a walker. I do remember one time my son was in the hospital room and he was asking me to spell medical terms. Although I could not read or write, I could spell and I spelled esophogastroduodenoscopy which is 24 letters! Most people even in their right mind would not be able to spell that one. I was in the nursing home for 30 days.
I went to outpatient rehabilitation center and had more therapy for several months with speech, typing, and mental therapies. I learned to drive again.
I wanted to work because I had worked for so many years, so for a few years II began working for a friend/colon therapist taking care of her pets, cleaning her house and making her juice. At the Forest Lake Church I saw a beautiful quilt on the wall and wanted to learn how to quilt. I had a sewing background, found out they did it on Tuesday and Thursday, so I couldn’t go on those days because they were the two days that Denny had off. I found two other places where I did quilting, then went to Forest Lake Church. I found another friend in quilting and we decided to start our own ministry, hers was for Haiti, and mine is for other people that need quilts – those hospitalized, disabled and abused children. .
About six months ago, we started home Bible studies with Michael Delaney and he presented the Father/Son truth to us. I listened to the Identity Wars by Adrian Ebens and we started duplicating them so my friends, children and other people could hear the message or read the books. The message was so plain and simple, which was what I needed because I need to be taught as a child. I feel this is the best way to reach other people also, especially if they are not Adventists. We began skyping with Adrian every Sabbath evening about 6:00 p.m. Adrian would talk to us and it was Sunday morning for him.
We went to Gary and Carolyn Hullquist’s house for several days in Jasper, Georgia and met many other believers in this Father/Son message. It was a joyous time and we keep studying more and more about this. This is the first time since we were baptized many years ago that we have been afire for the Lord and His Son.
Praise the Father and His Son that I am able to give my testimony., who restored me to be able to remember things and write about them. I see disabled people all the time and know that it could be me, that’s why I am grateful and humbled by it. I can think and have correct thought processes. By God’s grace we will meet Him when He comes for us.