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Oiler's McAmmond healed by God

Edmonton Oiler Dean McAmmond's faith gets refreshed by healing touch of God.

by Jeff Caporale

Dean McAmmond     What was seemingly an errant skate, severing the Achilles tendon of Edmonton Oilers forward Dean McAmmond, was in fact no accident. According to McAmmond, it was instead a sort of, "wake up call from God."

    The injury meant Dean would play only seven games in an already shortened 1995 NHL season. It also meant undergoing surgery to repair the tendon, followed by several months of strenuous rehabilitation.

    While attending a Billy Smith healing service, God touched Dean again, this time miraculously healing his tendon. The service took place at Evangel Pentecostal Assembly in Edmonton, the church which Dean has attended since coming to the Oilers two seasons ago.

    Billy Smith, an evangelist from Texas, happened to be preaching in the Sunday morning service which Dean attended. What Dean saw intrigued him enough to come back for the evening healing service. Although he says he was " brought up in the church," he was "just amazed " at what he saw.

    "I' ve never seen anything like that," said McAmmond. "just a simple standing on the Word type of preaching - if it (the Bible) said you shall be healed, you will be healed."

    At each of Smith's services, he informs the congregation that the healings take place according to the leading of the Lord and to only come forward if he calls for your specific area of need.

    While various injuries and illnesses were apparently healed to some degree on Sunday night, McAmmond was not called forward.

    On Monday evening, Dean returned to the service and although many healings took place, the hockey player was once again, not call forward.

    Undaunted, Dean went to the service the following night (Tuesday) and saw more healings take place but was once more, not called forward.

    After service that night, while driven to the coliseum to see his team-mates play the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dean Thought to him self how great it would be if me got the opportunity to be prayed for.

    On the following evening (Wednesday), Dean returned to the service after a variety of people were healed, God granted him the opportunity he had hope for. It was near the very end of the service, when according to McAmmond, Billy Smith said," There is someone out there that has a problem with there left achilles tendon..."

    Dean figured he must be referring to him, so he apprehensively went forward. "I was really nervous," said McAmmond. Pastor Smith says it was only the second time that he had called someone up concerning their achilles heel.

    "I've never experienced anything like that before. I went down, I had my cowboy boots on and Billy looked at me and said, ' You didn't have these boots on when this happened to you, 'I kind of took a look and said, 'no, I didn't,' and I wasn't about to say what I had on or what I was doing."

    "He put me in the chair... then he took my heel in his hands, this was the part that was really incredible, and he just held it there. He just claimed it like he was preaching, where it says in the Bible that we shall lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed."

    "So he prayed for me and for all the swelling to go down, and for the tendon to be strong and refreshed - I'm not sure what the words were that he used. He just said it simply and then he took my foot, he put one hand on my heel and one hand on my toes, and he wrenched my foot-back and forth." This was a little more then shocking for Dean to witness. As McAmmond puts it, "my eyes got big like saucers!" In order to test the tendon out, Pastor Smith ask the hockey player to do something on it which he was previously unable to do. Dean said that since the injury he's been unable to stand on his tip-toes. Amazingly, however,he says, "I just stood on my forefoot".

    He said, "I just felt great - it felt so good. It was like I had jumped about three months ahead." The next day during his workout, Dean really put the tendon to test. To this disappointment, he had made it sore again. "I didn't know what to think after that, "he said, so Dean decided to attend another of Smith's services that evening.

    "Billy Started into his sermon and started talking about how people get healed 30,40,50 percent. He said, just because you walk away with less than a 100 percent healing, doesn't mean that you are not healed."

    Dean said that these comments really 'hit home' and eased his doubts about the healing of his tendon.

    The next day Dean headed off to spend three weeks his family. During that time he had a chance to rest and reflect on what had happened.

    He said, "The physical healing is only a part of it. The biggest difference is how it has affected me personally in my own life and how it has change my outlook on a bunch of things. Everyone has their own different experiences of what makes them change the most. This is something I experienced. There is a lot more strength in God's Word than I ever gave it credit for."

    McAmmond summed up his experience like this, "The night Billy prayed for me I felt a touch from God. He showed me what he could do with my tendon by healing me and developing my faith be strong ."

    "So often we are given gifts. Our problems are solved just like that and we forget about them, but we haven't really learned anything from it (the experience)." According to Dean, he's been reminded of our Father in Heaven who loves us and seeks to know us through His Son Jesus Christ and has helped him to evaluate what his life is really all about.

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