Wednesday 17 April 2024

Dr Jerry Savelle (1946 - 2024)

A persuasion in pain

My Christian faith has led me on many journeys, in the search of purpose, knowledge, and insight on the issues of life along with looking to understand why we exist and what kind of legacy we might leave, to hope that in the annals of time, our footsteps show sure paths and our deeds are impactful in the lives of others.

In early September 2009, I was in excruciating pain and literally dying from cancer tumours that had consumed most of the area of my left sole and the underneath two of my toes. The only way I could walk on that foot was to bandage it tightly and wear a pair of monk shoes. I had not convinced myself of what remedy for this suffering might be.

Maybe a miracle today

My days and nights were preoccupied with listening to sermons on divine healing as I am also of a Pentecostal inclination; I have followed many leaders of that persuasion in the teachings and revelations they have shared for decades. Skimming through some of the websites of these preachers, I happened upon the itinerary of Jerry Savelle and instinctively, I booked a flight from Amsterdam to London with the view to attend every venue he would be appearing at.

In visiting, I informed some friends who met up for either of the two sessions that I attended, it was also a time of reckoning for me because until then, much as I would have wanted a miracle of healing to deal with this problem, a sense of irresponsibility of allowing my condition to deteriorate to the state I was in quickly dawned on me, because I then found the courage to admit to the seriousness of the disease I had until then kept mainly to myself.

An impartation of sense

Dr Jerry Savelle ministered in two different churches where the fawning of the overseers did not help the setting. The man of God then offered to lay hands on the whole congregation, but I was more like the thronging crowd than the woman with the issue of blood. If I received any virtue, it was commonsense. I did not regret my journey; it just gave me context to tackle an existential threat.

I returned home and booked an urgent appointment with my medical doctor and what followed was a referral, chemotherapy, and a survival which at prognosis if I did not tolerate the therapy left me with just 5 weeks to live.

God is good, always

Dr Jerry Savelle was a raconteur, a man who told wonderfully interesting stories about his Christian walk, he preached and taught about faith, favour, grace, the goodness of God, his motorbike and vintage car collection, his aeroplanes, and the many missions he had in Africa and all over the world. He encouraged and enthused, the titles of his sermons of which I have many just made you want to listen to what he had to say.

In Hard Times God Will Rescue You (YouTube playlist) is one set of 3 sermons he preached in 2022 that I have listened to many times in the last year to find great encouragement during my own personal hard times. Whenever I have needed the lifting up of my spirit and a reassurance of God’s love, I would seek out a message by Jerry Savelle either from my large MP3 archive of messages going back 25 years or a recent online impartation to the body of Christ on his itinerary in recent times.

An exemplary man of God

He represented a man of integrity, principle, purpose, faith, and good humour. He had been mentored by and been friends with many of the great men of faith who have either passed on or are well into their 80s. While I am saddened at his passing, he was a sure example of how to live the Christian life and be an exemplar of the eternal life that now is unto the life to come.

He always spoke fondly of Carolyn, his wife of almost 60 years, his two daughters and his grandchildren, he lived a full, exciting, and wonderful life. I think one quite important thing I learnt from his teachings was God is also interested in the things that bring us joy, be they pursuits or hobbies, as long as they do not distract you from eternal purpose.

He will be missed, but with the body of work in books, sermons, teachings, and stories he left for us, we can be thankful there was someone who showed that the person and character of God is for us to really find out, know of, and revel in the joy of living, knowing Jesus Christ and God the Father.

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