An amazing modern-day miracle occurred in Romania about 30 years ago. The pastor whose prayers preceded the miracle, Dr. Pavel Goia, has sermons on YouTube and is still active in his church. He is very well educated, although at the time of the miracle he was a young pastor and had only his baccalaureate degree in engineering--having graduated at the top of his class. Much of his life story, which included many miracles of which the following is but one, is recorded in the book "One Miracle After Another," by Greg Budd.
. . . With the economy really struggling, many of the church members were
all too familiar with hunger. There just wasn't enough of anything to
go around. Each day was a new test of faith and trust in God. The
shortages included gas for their cars. Long lines around gas stations
had become a way of life. Those who wanted to drive would have to
wait in line as long as it took. There was no escaping it. Sometimes
it meant sleeping in the car for a day or two in line. Once a car
finally reached the pump, 10 gallons was all that could be purchased
for the entire month. Gas was so precious that drivers advanced their
cars in the waiting line by pushing them rather than wasting the fuel
to start them.
With an appointment the following day, Pavel knew he would have to
make a trip to the gas station just outside of Oțelu Roșu. He could
only hope the line wouldn't be more than a day long. Just as he
passed the city limit sign he came to a long line of creeping cars. A
horse pulling a wagon loaded with firewood plodded along, setting the
pace. The winding, two-lane country road had precious few places
straight enough for passing, and the line of cars continued to
lengthen behind the horse.
As the horse and wagon slowly rounded a bend, a straight stretch of
road opened up, providing the weary drivers a long-awaited opportunity
to pass. When Pavel reached the wagon, he edged to the center of the
road in order to get a clear view of oncoming traffic. Two cars and a
large truck loaded with construction materials were approaching, but
they were still far enough away to ensure safe passing. Taking
advantage of the opening, he quickly passed the wagon, accelerating
back to normal speed. He was still gaining speed when he met oncoming
traffic. The two cars passed without incident.
However, when the back bumper of the large truck was even with Pavel's
car, a teenage boy, who had apparently been waiting to cross the road,
ran out in front of him. With his foot still moving to the brake
pedal, Pavel watched in horror as the left side of his car struck the
boy's hip and leg. He stared out the windshield in disbelief as the
impact threw the boy into the air directly into the path of his car.
Desperately trying to avoid hitting the boy for a second time, Pavel
slammed on the brakes and jerked the steering wheel to the left. His
screeching tires skidded to the center of the road. Each second felt
like an eternity. The sick feeling in his stomach intensified as he
watched the boy's limp body drop in front of the passenger side of his
car. It was impossible to avoid him. With a loud thud, the right
side of his car impacted the boy's head and shoulder, causing him to
fly into the air a second time. In anguish he watched as the limp
form came down, bouncing along the shoulder of the road. If only this
were a nightmare.
Skidding to a stop, Pavel jumped from his car and raced back to the
motionless body at the side of the road. He feared the worst as he
bent over the crumpled form with blood running from his ears, nose,
eyes, and mouth. It was quite clear he was unconscious, but at least
he was still breathing. Maybe--just maybe--there was a chance he
would live. Pavel felt himself go numb from shock as he looked on in
helplessness at the dying boy.
The teenager was known as Mene Mene, so nicknamed because of his
severe stuttering problem. Disabled and mentally delayed, he was well
known by everyone in the area. He traveled all over town, hobbling up
and down and sideways all at the same time. He had almost no control
of his arms, causing them to flail randomly. He had never been able
to play with other kids, and now, though he was 19, it was impossible
for him to work. Unable to do anything else, he went around begging,
hoping for enough money to buy food. This was not his first time to
dart into traffic. He had escaped his previous accidents with minor
injuries, but this time his battered body hadn't fared so well.
Another motorist observing the accident stopped to see if he could
help. One quick glance said it all. The boy's only chance of
survival was an immediate trip to the hospital. With the help of
others who had stopped to help, Mene Mene was loaded into the back
seat of a nearby vehicle. Thankfully, the hospital in Oțelu Roșu was
only a short distance away, and within a few minutes the driver
transported him to the emergency room. After a brief examination he
was transported by ambulance to a larger hospital in Caransebeș better
equipped for trauma patients.
Seeing his condition, hospital staff flew into action, administering
oxygen and an IV. Then he was rushed to the X-ray department.
Several doctors and nurses gathered as the X-rays were attached to the
view box for reading. His injuries were so extensive that there
wasn't anything that could be done. His brain was hemorrhaging
profusely, his spine was fractured in two places, he had a broken hip,
arm, and leg, and one lung was severely punctured, explaining the
gurgling sounds coming from his mouth. Without warning, the pulsing
beeps of the heart monitor abruptly changed to a haunting, steady
tone. With no blood pressure, his life had ended. Resuscitation was
not attempted; he was covered with a sheet until he could be
transferred to the morgue.
One by one the doctors and nurses filed from the room. They had done
all they could--it just wasn't enough. Pavel remained alone in the
room with the motionless figure under the sheet. Kneeling by the side
of the bed, he began to pray. "God, what are the people in Oțelu Roșu
going to say when they hear that I killed a young man just beginning
his life? They know I'm a pastor. What will they think? If need be,
I am willing to exchange my life for his. I know You are able to
bring him back to life if You choose. I'm asking You--please bring
him back. Please, God, please!"
As Pavel was pleading with God, one of the doctors came back into the
room. Seeing Pavel kneeling beside the bed, he said, "Pastor, he's
dead. Can't you see it's too late for you to pray now? You should
have thought of praying while he was still alive. Just go home.
We're taking him down to the morgue."
"Do you think I'm praying to someone with human limitations? I'm
talking to God. He is the God of miracles. Nothing is impossible for
Him. In the Bible He raised several people from the dead," Pavel
reminded the doctor.
"I know about those stories. But that was back then. Times have
changed. I'm afraid I have bad news for you, Pastor. Since neither
of us has seen any dead people walking around lately, you might as
well go home. It wasn't your fault, and there was nothing you could
have done to avoid it. Just face it--it's over." Ending his
consolation, the doctor turned and walked away with Pavel still
kneeling beside the bed. After the doctor left the room, Pavel got up
from his knees and made his way to the door. Silently praying, he
glanced one last time at the lifeless form of the boy under the sheet.
At home it was impossible for him to sleep. Every time he closed his
eyes the accident flashed before him. With eyes red and swollen, he
and Dana cried to God hour after hour for strength. They were
exhausted, but sleep would not come. As they prayed, they realized
thankfully that they were not suffering alone. They could feel God's
presence as the comforter as He whispered:
"My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB).
Just that morning they had read the words of that verse. They
certainly needed His grace at that moment. All night he and Dana
continued their tear-stained prayers. Together they pleaded, "Dear
God, we aren't trying to tell You what You should do, but we know
You're able to restore life. You are the one who created it in the
beginning. And Lord, if there is any way You can use restoring this
young man's life for Your honor and glory, please do it. If You
choose not to restore him, we will learn to live with it, even though
it won't be easy. Whatever You see best, we will accept it." As hard
as it was, they prayed, "Thy will be done."
The next morning Pavel returned to the hospital hoping to speak to
Mene Mene's family. Opening the door to the young victim's room, he
found him sitting up in bed, eating! As Pavel's shock turned to pure
joy, he saw that he was not the only one to be surprised. A host of
doctors, nurses, specialists, and hospital administrators were crowded
into Mene Mene's room, comparing two sets of X-rays. On the left were
X-rays from the day before; on the right was a new set.
Standing behind the medical staff, Pavel listened to their baffled
observations: "The X-ray from yesterday clearly shows massive brain
hemorrhaging, but the one from today shows absolutely none. It is
easy to see on this first X-ray that the spine is broken in two
places, but look at this one--his spine is absolutely perfect!"
"And look at the lungs. We all heard him struggling to breathe, with
his lungs full of blood. Now look at them," the doctor said, pointing
to the X-rays. "They're normal and healthy. And look at his shoulder
and hip over here. They're not just greenstick fractures--they're
completely shattered. But once again, they're in perfect condition in
this new set of X-rays. The only X-rays comparable are for his arm
and leg. They appear to be the same in both. We'll have to put them
in casts, but other than that, he appears to be in perfect health."
Over and over they stared at the two sets of X-rays, unable to find a
reasonable explanation. None of them had ever seen anything like it.
They just couldn't believe their eyes. Unless their X-ray machine was
seriously defective, they just couldn't explain a patient being
clearly dead the day before and being very much alive and eating his
breakfast right beside them at that very moment! With every
scientific explanation exhausted, a miracle prompted by the prayers of
a pastor was the only option left. Silently the doctor who had
scoffed the day before pondered the reality that a dead person would
soon be walking the streets.
Pavel smiled as he tried to imagine the mortician arriving for work
that morning. He probably had opened the door as he did every day,
expecting to begin the normal routine. Perhaps he pinched himself to
see if he was dreaming when he saw Mene Mene sitting up on the table.
Never before had he been greeted by a cadaver! The previous night he
distinctly remembered leaving him wrapped on a table. Now here he
was, asking for breakfast!
With eyes needing to be reinserted into their sockets, he had
stammered into the phone for someone to come down to the morgue and
take Mene Mene back upstairs. He no longer qualified as an occupant
for one of his stainless-steel tables; he was breathing! Quite
possibly he was considering a change in occupations at that very
As the medical specialists turned from looking at the X-rays and began
to examine the patient himself, they were confounded by another
discovery: Mene Mene now spoke perfectly. Not a hint of stuttering
could be detected in his speech. He was without a doubt their most
The doctors put Mene Mene's two remaining broken bones in casts and
released him from the hospital. In a few weeks he was ready for his
casts to be taken off. When he was able to walk without his crutches,
another unexplainable phenomenon became apparent. He had a total
transformation in his posture and now had perfect limb control. From
that moment on he walked as normally as anyone else.
"If they knew God, they wouldn't be surprised," Pavel thought to
himself. "Why would He restore him back to life with his previous
limitations? His life would have been miserable all over again. Did
they think it was harder for God to restore his limbs than to give him
back his life?"
Shortly after Mene Mene's accident, Pavel went to the grocery store
hoping to buy a bottle of cooking oil. He wasn't really surprised
when he found the shelves empty. Locating a clerk, he asked her if
she knew when they would be receiving another shipment of cooking oil.
Studying him for a minute, she called to the back of the store,
"Sandy! The Adventist pastor is here. Do we have any cooking oil
back there? If we do, you better give him a bottle. You never know;
he might pray for your family!" People who had never given God a
thought were now beginning to have second thoughts.
Word of Mene Mene's miracle had spread to everyone in the small town.
When the evangelistic meetings started a couple of weeks later, the
church was packed. Many of the visitors stayed after the meetings,
asking for prayer. The response from the meetings was like none any
of the members had seen before. When the series ended, the church
doubled its membership by those joining through baptism. Together the
church members praised God for turning a real tragedy into transformed
lives. It wasn't only Mene Mene who had been given another chance to
live. Those experiencing new spiritual lives felt incredibly blessed
In the Gospel of John the "Resurrection and the Life" called Lazarus
from his dusty tomb with a simple command, and from that day on he
walked the streets of Bethany as a living testimony. In very much the
same way, Mene Mene's restored life declared the Life-giver's power to
the people in the small town of Oțelu Roșu. The spring in his step
and his perfect stride were irrefutable evidences that His power is
still the same today.