Life Changing Power: The Ministry of Morden's Ryan Hiebert
By: Rachael Hildebrand, Grade 12, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB
Is prayer still relevant in the 21st century? According to Morden's Ryan Hiebert, it still is and it can be a very vital part of everyday life. He has seen and experienced the power of prayer in his personal life, as well as in the lives of others.
Ryan was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, but because of his dad's job as a banker, there were relocations to Stonewall, Winnipeg, and Winkler. While living in Stonewall Ryan's parents became Christians, but he was not interested in Christianity. "I got mixed up with the wrong people or maybe I was the wrong people and other people got mixed up with me. Most days when I was in high school I was whacked out of my mind and I didn't really know what was going on. I had super long hair and looked like a freak of nature."
His mother started praying that Ryan would meet Jesus and no matter how hard he tried to avoid it, there were greater forces at work than even he could deny. Most nights Ryan was out late drinking and partying, but Mrs. Hiebert would not go to bed before he got home every night. He would always see the silhouette his mother in the picture window with her head slightly bowed and he knew she was praying for him.
There were times when Ryan's dad would pick him up from jail; times when Ryan was mad; and times he expected his parents to get mad at him, but they never did. They never said anything negative to him; what they did was to love him and to give him every home remedy for a hangover suggested in "A Doctor's Book of Home Remedies."
Ryan now holds his parents in high regard. "She's my hero," Ryan says of his mother. "If it weren't for her and my dad, I probably wouldn't be here today; I'd probably be dead." The prayers of his parents changed him and one night, while in his room, Ryan had his first real experience with Jesus Christ. "Sometimes people don't believe me," he says. "That's okay, because they weren't there. I was. I know what happened. I wasn't drunk or high or anything like that." He had a vision of Jesus hanging on the cross, dying for the sins of the world, and he saw himself, living an immoral life for the Devil. This mental picture blew him away. Ryan says, "It gave me a small sneak peak into the mind of Christ." He was awestruck at the fact that Jesus would hang on a cross and die for him regardless of the lifestyle he was in. This encounter touched his heart and God delivered him from drinking, drugs and smoking. He had no desire for these things anymore; his new desire to serve had been put there by Jesus Himself.
After he surrendered his life and gave it over to Jesus, he found out that with God all things are possible. "It doesn't matter what you're going through," Ryan states. "I've seen countless numbers of miracles and I know that God isn't only able to. He wants to and He will. God doesn't want people bound by addictions, but to have happy and joyous lives serving Him." Ryan paraphrased Romans 10:13 to say that is does not matter what background or religion a person is, or where they are from; if a person calls on God, He will save and deliver them.
After giving his life to God, Ryan began to experience miracles in his own life and in the lives of others. He went on a mission trip to India, where he had an exciting learning experience. "It's something, because you can speak out of your little black book that you call the Bible, and then the Muslims speak out of their little black book they call the Koran, and you just come to a stalemate. They're not going to persuade me, I'm not going to persuade them. It seems that when people see miracles, miracles will settle the issue."
While in India, Ryan prayed for a young girl who was deaf and mute and God healed her. The first words to come out of her mouth were, "Thank-you Jesus!" Ryan states that it had nothing to do with him; it was God's power working through him. Another incident of answered prayer came in May of 2002 when Ryan was in Thailand on a mission trip. He saw a man who had been in a total coma for over a year healed by prayer and the power of Jesus.
Ryan and his wife Gloria recently returned from a mission trip to Ecuador with Campus Crusade for Christ. Working alongside other team members from various regions of the world, their primary focus was evangelism through showing the "Jesus Film," and personal testimonies. Ryan led a youth crusade where fifty-five of the seventy that attended received Christ. He told the teens to place their hand on the spot where they needed healing. Even before he prayed, he knew that God was healing people. "It has nothing to do with me or my prayers," he says, "it's just God."
In his personal life, miracles have also occurred. A few years ago, doctors told his mother that she had cancer; there were three tumours in her stomach. An appointment was set up a few days after the diagnosis in order to determine how advanced the cancer was. Ryan prayed, and when his mother went for her appointment, the doctor said that he could see were the tumours had been; but they were gone.
Their unique life experiences have led Ryan and Gloria to become voluntary youth pastors at Faith Christian Fellowship church in Morden for the last three years. As of January 1, 2003, however, they stepped down from their position. God has given both Ryan and Gloria a burden for the nations of the world and they are now preparing to take youth on mission trips to many different countries.
"Jesus loves you and he has a plan for your life," says Ryan. "People saw me as a loser, but Jesus does not think that of anybody. It does not matter what you look like or where you are from, Jesus loves you. Romans 10:9 says that there are no ifs, ands or buts, if Jesus saves you, you are saved; it's simple, nothing too complicated. Doing good things will not get you to heaven. The only thing that will is making Jesus the Lord of your life."
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