“… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:13)


God@Work in the life of David & Michelle Hoard

“I was lying in bed looking up, and I could see angels! The room was filled with them. I never touched them, and they never spoke.”

First, he had kidney failure. Then open heart surgery. Eight months in the hospital. On a ventilator, then a tracheotomy. He was on a feeding tube and lost 100 pounds. Couldn’t walk. Couldn’t eat. Couldn’t communicate. Told to go home and get hospice care. David Hoard should not be here. But he is!

David Hoard is a Jewish man who has found his Messiah. He says, “Being Jewish is about your culture, your background, who you are. That doesn’t change.
“When I married my wife Michelle 21 years ago, she was a Christian, and I knew that. Every Easter, we would watch movies like The Robe about Jesus and I just started feeling uncomfortable. I mean, I believed them! I believed that Jesus was the Messiah!”

Michelle, a graduate of Liberty University, has maintained a relationship with several of her professors. After her marriage to Dave, she recalls, “We weren’t going to church, and I kind of drifted away from the Lord. We stopped to visit two of those professors on the way home from a trip, and they invited us to church, Thomas Road Baptist Church. Dave really enjoyed the service, and as we were continuing our drive home, Dave looked at me and said, ‘We need to find a church.’ But he told me I had to find it!” she said with a smile.
After visiting three or four other churches, a friend, who had graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, suggested Michelle try the Dallas website to find a church with one of their graduates. That led her to FAC. “When I walked in, I said ‘Hmmm, I think this is the place.’ Dave came with me the next Sunday, and he loved it!”
Dave still felt some conflict about being Jewish and a Believer so he requested a meeting with Pastor Marty. “Marty was great. I told him that I never wanted to say I wasn’t proud of being Jewish now that I am a Believer. He said, ‘Don’t ever not be proud of who you are and your culture.’ He put it all together for me. Marty led me through the “sinner’s prayer,” and I accepted Jesus as my Messiah and my Savior. He gave me a book he had written about Moses, and I read it cover to cover. It was confirmation this was meant to be.”
During a vacation in Hawaii in early 2015, Dave felt ill, but he thought it was the flu and refused to go to see a doctor. When he finally went, they discovered that his kidneys were shutting down. He started dialysis hoping that in three months they would know if it was reversible or permanent kidney failure. Then in September of 2015, Dave couldn’t walk. An ambulance was called and tests showed “something on my aortic valve. I got transferred to Penn and was told I had two choices ― go home with hospice and have about six months to live or have surgery with a 50/50 chance of making it through the surgery and a 75% chance of complications.
“We made our decision to at least try. If I didn’t make it, I just didn’t want to suffer. I asked Michelle to make the decisions. And she was incredible. Just incredible. She did everything for me. She talked to the doctors, and she did the job. She took off from work for eight months. She was there every day. Every day!”
Michelle remembers her prayers being all over the place. Mostly she prayed that Dave would have peace. She wrestled with wanting God’s plan and wanting her husband cured. Dozens of people were praying, dozens of whole churches were praying. But would all these prayers change God’s mind? What if this was God’s plan?

Dave got an answer: “I was lying in bed looking up, and I could see angels! The room was filled with them. I never touched them, and they never spoke. But they were there. They were real. Then a window came down with an old woman in it. She told me that I was going to make it, to have the surgery. Then she was gone. But the angels stayed.”
When Michelle first heard this from Dave, fear grabbed her. “I thought ‘Oh, no. They are coming to take him. Run, Dave, run from the angels!’ But the more I thought about it, the more I was certain they were the answer to prayer because they brought Dave great peace. I had prayed that God would let Dave know He was there. And He sent him angels.”
Dave’s last words to Michelle as he was going into surgery were, “God is with me. I know that He is with me!”
From then on, God miraculously provided all the support and strength they needed. Dave says, “A nurse came in and asked if she could pray for me in pre-op. I thought that was weird. She had put my name sticker on her name tag and wanted to know if it would be okay to pray. I said, ‘Of course!’”
When Michelle first saw Dave after the surgery, he had about 20 tubes hooked up to him. “I was kind of prepared for what I would see, but it was not a good sight. The next morning, he was able to squeeze my hand. That was all I needed. I sat with him, prayed over him, read him Scripture verses, and talked to him. I didn’t know what he could hear or was aware of, but I was there.”
Another nurse “just happened” to come in and told Michelle that his own mother and sister had been in a terrible accident and his mom looked just as bad as Dave. But she pulled through and was fine. Another confirmation.
They took Dave off the ventilator. That lasted about 24 hours and then he went into respiratory failure. So they put him back on it and did a tracheotomy.
The head of cardiology came by and said, “He doesn’t look good. He should be further along.” Michelle was devastated. Within 10 minutes, Dave’s surgeon “just happened” to come by and said, “He looks great. He’s doing better than I anticipated.” Michelle recalls, “The surgeon gave me a little push on the shoulder, just like my Dad used to, to let me know everything was going to be okay.”
And then, in the midst of Michelle’s confusion, another nurse “just happened” to come by and said, “Go with your surgeon’s opinion. He knows the case best.”
Dave was in ICU for five weeks, but God brought all the right people to visit and pray at just the right time. “God arranged all that,” says Michelle. “Pastor Marty had recommended reading The Praying Life, by Paul Miller and something that stuck with me was God answers our prayers by giving us what we would ask for if we could see what He sees.”
“Prayer works. And I believe God just wasn’t ready for me to go yet,” says a smiling Dave.
“I don’t know why God spared me. I would like to say that He’s got something else for me to do but I don’t know what that is ― yet.”
Today Dave is up and about with the aid of a walker and sometimes just a cane. The trach tube that was never to come out is out. He is driving his car. He goes to dialysis three times a week and is gaining some weight back. His goal now is to get strong enough for a kidney transplant. Donors are already lining up.
Dave has learned that God gave him an incredible wife. “My wife is incredible. She made sure I had the right doctors and if they weren’t right, she threw them out! She was with me every single day, even when she was tired and worn out. So the biggest thing I have learned is about the love that she has for me.”
Michelle has learned that “so many times, when things look terrible and hopeless, you can’t just give up hope. You have to trust the Lord and know that He has a plan. When things looked hopeless, the right doctor would come in. Even setbacks turned out to be blessings. I’m getting a lot better at trusting, taking a step back, breathing, and praying. But most of all, I’m getting better at letting go.”
Dave adds, “We can’t control God. It is His plan, not ours. We can plan to have an iced tea, but we can’t plan our lives. God’s in control. If He decides that six months from now I’m to die, then that is the way it will be. It doesn’t matter that we are Jewish or Catholic or Protestant or Muslim or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Jesus is all that matters. It’s not about me. It’s not about Michelle. It’s just about God.
“Michelle never pushed Jesus on me. She wanted me to find Him myself. And I did. I found Him. It’s been incredible. God gets all the glory!”
We are David and Michelle Hoard, and God is at work in our life.