Transformed—Body and Spirit
One evening, pointing to the local TV news announcement of a free medical service in town, Lori said, “Honey, I think we should go to this.” Lee, who sat on the other side of the living room, looked at her and said, “We really need that!”
At the appointed day, Lee and Lori arrived at daybreak and walked into an auditorium packed with people and many health screening booths. They had no idea what they were walking into and how their lives would be drastically changed after this.
Lee and Lori were married in 2009 and became a blended family. Deeply in love with one another, they hoped for a life “happily ever after.” Unfortunately, life was packaged with problems.
At that time, Lee was overweight at 465 pounds. He was keenly aware for years that unless something changed, he was on the path of multiple health problems such as diabetes and heart issues. His feet were having tingling sensations. He barely had any energy level. Walking was a hard thing to do. Then, sleep apnea accompanied him at night. In addition, depression shackled Lee to another level. Watching TV and sleeping a lot were his regular activities. Potato chips became his comfort food. Desperate for solutions, Lee had attempted many different promised remedies that were not necessarily good for any human being.
Lori was not much different. She was also overweight at 299 pounds. Her whole body was crippled with arthritic pain. Her blood pressure skyrocketed to the 160’s over 90’s at times. Depression was also her lot, though it was mild.
Spiritually, they both were dry. Though professed to be Christian, they were longing for a better spiritual life and seeking for a church family.
They were desperate and knew it. For many years, they prayed for help. Little did they know, the help came in a form of a TV advertisement of a free medical service called “Your Best Pathway to Health.”
On a nice summer day in August 2015 in Spokane, Washington, Lee and Lori came to the event because they had medical needs that were not covered by their insurance. Lee received a dental exam on his tooth that had been broken for years. Lori had an eye exam. They came back the next day for more medical needs and had no idea that they were in for some more blessings.
A hospitality team member, Chris, saw Lee standing waiting for Lori’s dental appointment and started talking to him. Interestingly, they had similar backgrounds. They both had worked in the same missile field in the air force. They attended the same non-denominational megachurch in the past. To make things even closer, they lived about 2 blocks away from each other! They connected instantly and became good friends. Chris started a Bible study with Lee and Lori once a week. He also invited them to come to church, and they felt at home at the North View Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Over the next few months, Lee and Lori experienced dramatic positive changes in their lives. They attended the follow-up health lectures one after the other. They were learning a lot about the body, how food could affect the body and poor choice of food could lead to many health problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and diabetes—the exact problems Lee and Lori were facing. They were taken aback by what they learned. It was hard for them to believe that at their age, they had never been taught this life-saving information. They knew they had to make changes!
They attended the cooking classes they offered. They learned not only how to cook with fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and beans, but also how to make them taste good. They were very impressed.
As they were implementing these new changes, they met new friends who became a good support that they had been looking for. A couple of them were their instructors—Fran and Arlan. Lee and Lori received answers to the many questions they had.
One of their major needs was also met through a Depression Recovery Program by Dr. Nedley that was held by one of the churches. The program taught them practical tools how to relieve depression. After the program, even though it is an ongoing process today, their depression was improved tremendously.
On October 1, 2015, Lee and Lori decided to switch to a plant-based diet with no added oils. Within two weeks of this change, Lori did not need her blood pressure medication anymore and lost 10 pounds. Lee also regained some of his energy back.
Lee and Lori attended “Dinner with a Doctor,” a community outreach hosted by North View Church. There they met another blessing—Mary, who became their health coach. She was really helpful for them in setting goals and in keeping them in the right path on their health journey. She also suggested for them to check their vitamin D levels, which they found out were dangerously low. They soon took actions to correct that.
The blessing did not stop there. Lee and Lori joined the prophecy studies that Pastor Wayne Kablanow was conducting. They never heard about prophecy before and became very interested. The group started small and dwindled down to just the two of them, which gave them an opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with the pastor. At the end of the studies, Lee and Lori decided to be baptized. By this time, they were already attending church every Sabbath and wanted to seal their commitment by baptism and join the church.
Lee and Lori were baptized in April 2, 2016 and joined North View SDA Church. At the time this article was written (2016), Lee had lost 90 pounds and Lori had lost 44 pounds. They not only regained their health back, but also a new, higher spiritual life. They are very thankful for this 8-month journey and how God providentially put people in their path.
Lee and Lori’s transformation is a little foretaste of what we hope to see in many more lives touched by Total Health Spokane, using the same method—Christ’s method—on a larger scale.