The story of Desmond OomenMail Annet en Adrie Oomen direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Adrie and I were married in 1987 and we were grateful when I became pregnant in February 1988. We thought nothing could take our joy away. When I was 5 months pregnant I developed appendicitis and had to have surgery.
After that the problems only grew. I had a pyelites, a cystitis and I started going into labour. This was bad news for the hospital staff and they put me on medication. I stayed in the hospital for a few weeks, taking medication until the day of birth.
But thank God, after nine months we had a beautiful son. We named him Desmond.
I can still remember the gynaecologist saying: “I’m amazed that this child is born normal....”. This sounded rather strange because this man had reassured me during my pregnancy that there was nothing wrong; even though I took medication. After Desmond’s birth he admitted that it was a miracle that everything had gone well. He had actually been afraid that I would lose the baby.
The first year was one of total exhaustion, Desmond was always crying. Because this was my first child and I was inexperienced, I thought things would get better after a while. But it didn’t.
When he was about 3 or 4 years old, the problems started. He started to ignore us and didn’t respond as a normal child would. Everyone gave us the reassurance that things would get better after he would go to school. That moment arrived when he was 4 years old. It was a disaster!
The first signs
His behaviour became terribly abnormal; at home we lost all contact with Desmond. He was screaming all day and was constantly having outbursts of rage. He hated school, and most of the times I had a (real) fight with my 4 year old just to get him on his bicycle to go to school. I was living in a nightmare. He didn’t have contact with the other children at school, and didn’t understand anything about the world around about him. He was a total stranger living in his own world.
At the time he was sleeping only 5 hours a night en was over-energetic during the daytime. We were now always treated as outsiders, not involved in Desmond’s world in anything. He retreated even further into his own world. He refused to eat regularly; this resulted in a few physical breakdowns.
He didn’t make any friends; this did not bother him at all. When he was 4 he hadn’t played outside for 18 months. We sought help and went to a specialist. After he tested him he sent us to different experts. The results were shocking.
They said: “We are sorry, but your son has a severe form of autism, combined with a severe form of behavioural disturbance”- a severe disturbance, which is known as a form of autism where he could not develop any form of social contact. They said: “We don’t know where it comes from or how anyone gets it, but we are sure of one thing, it can’t be healed; maybe, when he is an adult, he can live with more autistic people, but only under special care in a home for the handicapped.”
We lost all hope for his future. All the doctors agreed on this same conclusion: no healing was possible.
His I.Q. was tested at 126 but he could not put it to use. He was obsessed by insects and sharks, and knew everything about them, but if we asked him what you can buy at a bakery, he couldn’t tell us. He was a total stranger in the world and had created his own world in which nobody could enter.
He didn’t answer us when we asked him a question, and was very unpredictable. For example: he would suddenly start running around the table, screaming so loud that it would hurt our ears.
Only when we forced him to stop, would he stop. When we punished him he would show no emotion at all. It seemed that there was nothing that could enter his world. He never made eye contact, except when we forced him; but even then, his eyes showed no emotion, empty.
Things were getting worse
When he was 5 years old he was enrolled at a special school for autistic children. This school had a long waiting list but because of his bad condition, he was immediately placed.
His behaviour worsened; he was now living totally in his own world. Sometimes he attacked us in a rage and I had to physically strike him down. He would hurt himself, hit himself, bang his head to the ground and do the same movements over and over again. He had his own world, nobody could enter. The reason why I say this more than once is because as a parent, it is frustrating when you are not allowed into the life of your child. You experience a constant rejection. I thought that I was a bad parent, a total failure.
He kept repeating the same lines over and over again: “I am Desmond, I am Desmond”, sometimes he would continue for hours.
When Desmond was 4 years old, our second child was born, a girl. We named her Yara. He loved her, but was not able to express his emotions. Sometimes he gave her a kiss or a caress, but always without any emotion. His pain limit was so abnormally high, that he never cried or flinched when he was in pain; at one instance all his fingers were caught between the door of our car as it closed. Without any emotion he said: “My fingers are caught between the door”, this was after we had driven for a few minutes.
When he was 6 years old he couldn’t catch a ball or keep his balance. He couldn’t ride a bicycle till he was about 8 or 9 years old. We tried putting on the extra side wheels, but even then he couldn’t keep his balance and would fall off.
His muscular movements were erratic. His breathing was very irregular especially when he had to concentrate. When he slept, there were moments I was scared that he would stop breathing altogether; he would be so irregular. It was frightening.
As a family we were pushed in total isolation, because of Desmond’s bad behaviour. We were no longer welcome in the homes of family and friends because he would break the place down. He would often spoil our dinnertime. We couldn’t eat as a normal family because of his unpredictable behaviour. It was nearly impossible to get to know him; we couldn’t even tell what his favourite food was.
As a family we were emotionally broken down, we didn’t enjoy life and didn’t enjoy our son. I began hating him. His sister began imitating him and our relation worsened.
I lost my faith
O yes, I believed in God, and went to church. I had been going to church for 10 years. The people there were very kind, but they could do nothing concrete to help me in my predicament.
I prayed for my children, but it seemed as if God didn’t hear me. My husband didn’t believe in God nor did my family. They all felt very sorry for me. When I would go to church every week, they thought that I believed God would do a miracle. It seemed a hopeless situation without a solution.
Here I was, no answers in de midst of my problems, I had lost hope and my faith. I stopped going to church. Our third child was born, a son; and we named him Jafeth, but our joy was gone. We were living, totally ruled by our circumstances. Everything that I tried failed, it seemed nothing could help us and our situation was only getting worse.
A new beginning!!
In 1996 a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to accompany her to a new church which had just started in our town. I had serious doubts, and did not think too much of it. They didn’t have a church building, and were only having their little services in a living room. There were only a few people, but I didn’t want to disappoint my friend, so I went anyway.
In preparation, I smoked a few cigarettes, and told my husband that I was going to another church. He said: “sure honey, if you think it will help you, have a nice evening”. I went to a church called Jubilee.
The first meeting
The first time that I entered that living room, it totally changed my life. I met pastor Hans and Herma Oudhoff, and they were talking about miracles like it was the most normal thing in the world. Of course I had seen Benny Hinn on TV. It was so exciting to watch the miracles. I saw God really working – in Benny Hinn’s meetings ....
I never realized this was also for me. Suddenly it came very close as never before – healing ? – here? – for real – me?
The pastors told me, they believed that Desmond could get healed. When they told me this I became very angry and confused. They had no idea what I had been through. They didn’t know the struggle I had come through just to survive, and they wiped away all my hard work surviving my circumstances, with just one sentence.
Was I a Christian?
I was in shock and confused, but I had come to the point that I wanted to face the truth. It dawned on me that my view of God was wrong. This was one of the most difficult things for me to do. Because I was the only one in my family who had always gone to church, I thought that I was the Christian. I thought that I was the one who knew God.
I quickly found out that I didn’t know God at all. What had I been doing in church all those years? I came to the point that I made a very definite decision. During the next year I would do everything that God would tell me to do through the pastors or through His word; and I would do it, no matter what. I would resign myself to God in all areas. I began to obey His word and I did what my pastors advised me.
The big change
I stopped smoking, and doing all the other things which I thought would give me rest. I stopped watching television for hours; talking on the phone for hours; eating too much; and I stopped thinking about myself as the victim and thus feeling very sorry for myself. I started bringing my tithes, so God could open the windows of heaven. At that time I was so desperate, that I would have been very grateful at only a little relief of pressure in my life.
What I didn’t know in that time was that I had made a golden decision in following God. During the next 2 years, I found out that this God was a God who heals, makes whole again and loves you. He is a God who does what He has promised to do in His word. God’s level of giving is far above anything I could have ever have imagined at the time. It wasn’t always easy; some people around me were not standing in the same measure of faith as I was, but eventually it became worth all the time and energy.
The change continues
I had nothing to loose because I had lost everything. That’s why it was always a win-win situation. Now God was on my side!
I started to follow bible studies and my life began to change for the better. I bought an English bible, the amplified (my favourite), the Spirit filled New King James and they became my new best friends.
I stopped smoking and blaming my husband of everything. I started to speak faith. I found out that Satan had done a good job in destroying the relation between me and my husband, me and my children and everyone else I loved. Satan hates relationships based on the word of God.
Gloria Copeland the Healing School
The biggest change came when my pastors told me that they had cassettes by Gloria Copeland. On these 6 cassettes Gloria Copeland gave healing school. I listened tape after tape, day in day out, faith came by hearing the word of God.
My pastors started teaching this healing school every week. I loved it; it had all the answers that I was so desperately looking for.
We translated it into Dutch and I found back something which I thought was lost. Hope started growing for my son, and I started to speak faith. Faith grew.
What else did I change?
One of the first things I learned through healing school was that I was able to change my situation by changing the way that I spoke. I found out that there was great power in the words I spoke. It would give me life or it would give me death.
I choose life, I started to speak life. I refused to rehearse what the doctor’s reports had said and instead began to speak the word of God about Desmond’s life.
This was strange to me, because I spoke things that I didn’t yet see at that time.
I decided to change my circle of acquaintances; I had a need to find people who would support me in my faith for the healing of Desmond.
My whole family was convinced that I was caught up in some religious mania, especially when I told them that I did not want to hear anything or discuss anything about Desmond and the subject of autism. I told them that I believed that he would become a healthy, normal child. My family was now certain I needed professional help and they seriously began to worry about me, because of my religious choices.
They didn’t understand what I was doing, but they soon would.
I started realizing that I had a covenant with this mighty God. This was something I wasn’t aware of until then. I learned that God can and will heal every sickness.
I thank God for my pastors. They encouraged me to go on when I needed it. They gave me hope and spoke faith when I needed it. Biblical hope never disappoints you especially when you put faith into the equation.
My family also saw a change come over me after I had gone to church for a while.
They started to realize that I also had the answer for their need. They were all sick.
My husband also saw the change, and he stopped saying that he didn’t need God.
My son started to change. I stopped to do the ‘please God, if you are willing’ prayer ritual. NO! I prayed and thanked God for the covenant we have with Him, and thanked Him for the healing of Desmond. If you have a covenant with God, there is no way that you can loose, unless you don’t know or if you are not aware what God has for you in His covenant.
Who is the enemy
I found out that this so called autism is one of the meanest things that the devil has. It does not only bring the child, but also the whole family in total isolation. This is what Satan wants, total separation from God. Healing school became part of my life. Desmond went to a special school for 5 years.
At the end of 1998 Desmond came from school and said: ”Mom, there are some very strange children at my school. Why do they act so strange?’’
Suddenly I realized that the miracle harvest had arrived. After 2 years of speaking faith, grasping His word with both hands, holding on to His healing promises, I had reached harvest time.
The quality decision to do and believe every word of God had been rewarded.
Hebrews 11:6 became real to me: But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must (necessarily) believe that God exist and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him (out). – Amplified bible.
This had become real to me.
I believed in God, but I had not spoken faith like this before. Yes, I knew He could do miracles, but I didn’t know how to get a miracle in my life. I spoke the word, but I didn’t believe it. I used to mix my faith confessions with the rehearsal of the doctors reports. I believed the doctors just as much as I believed God. That had to change.
You are what you say
I started to understand Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses). – Amplified bible.
I had hope, yes I had enough hope, but it became a reality when I started to speak faith. I was capable to move this mountain of which Jesus speaks in Mark 11: 23, 24.
I had a big mountain, of which I thought could not be moved. I refused to doubt any longer and believed in the healing of Desmond. The mountain moved. I was sure Desmond was healed and asked the school to test him again. The first test was above their expectation and they decided to do a second test. It was even better than the first.
Now, back to normal
We decided to take a big step in faith. We had him taken out of his special school. This step had great consequences - this school had long waiting list and if Desmond was out of this school there was no way he could return. So they gave us a paper to sign that confirmed that we were the ones who took the decision and that they didn’t agree with us on medical grounds.
Desmond went to a regular elementary school. From the first day that he went, everything went better than we could have imagined.
He achieved high grades, formed normal social contacts and he became very good in all sports.
His teacher told us that she could only praise Desmond for the way he was. In all ways he was behaving and achieving above any expectation.
In the last grade of elementary school he was tested and went to gymnasium. We praise and thank Jesus every day, and will not stop telling of God’s goodness to other people. He has done so much for us.
Desmond is now a healthy, cheerful boy, our relation is completely restored. The relation with my daughter is also completely restored.
God has made our family whole, God is very good."