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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Last year, for Calvary’s 21-day fast, Greg and Romina prayed and fasted for Greg to reconcile with his four children, whom he hadn’t seen or spoken to for seven years. Greg was previously married and lived with his wife in Sweden.
They had four children together. Eventually, they moved to Florida, but after 20 years, Greg’s wife went back to Sweden with the kids. The separation ended in a bad divorce which left Greg unable to see or talk to his children. “She wouldn’t allow it,” he explained. “It was a very difficult time and I went into a deep depression—I wanted to commit suicide. I mean, how can you go through life without your kids?”
Every day since Romina and Greg have been married, Romina could see the pain in her husband’s eyes. She shared, “We tried everything but nothing helped. I saw my husband, a tough, ex-Marine, deputy sheriff, and hostage negotiator, lose control of his life. All hope to see his kids had vanished.”
Each day during their 21-day fast, they were on their knees asking the Lord for a miracle. Early in the morning, they’d join others in a prayer group at church. Later in the day, Greg would spend time alone with God in prayer, where he would read the Bible and meditate on His Word.
And then, something incredible happened. One day while in their prayer group, they were overwhelmed as they saw a myriad of people on their knees crying out to the Lord for their own miracles. “Lord, cure my child of cancer.” “Lord, remove the tumor in my daughter’s head.” In that moment, the Holy Spirit led Greg and Romina to fervently pray for ten other families and barely for themselves.
The fast broke on Easter Sunday. Greg and Romina planned to attend the 1pm service and then enjoy a quiet brunch. At 12:59pm, just one minute before service was about to start, Romina received an e-mail from Greg’s eldest daughter, who asked, “Do you want to Skype?” “I thought I was gonna have a heart attack!” Romina exclaimed. “I wrote back, ‘Sure! When?’ and she replied, ‘How about tomorrow?’”
The next day, Greg’s daughter said her baby was sick so she couldn’t talk. She suggested that they talk the next day. Romina’s heart sunk, as she said to her husband, “Oh, I knew it! It was too good to be true.” But Greg wasn’t moved. He no longer felt anxiety over it or felt depressed about it. He told his wife, “It’s in God’s hands.”
Total surrender—not something that was part of Greg’s creed. But once he realized and confessed, “I’m not surrendering to an enemy; I’m surrendering to my Savior,” he was able to release everything to God. And that’s when God’s miracle happened in their lives.
Greg will never forget the one-and-a-half hour conversation he had with his eldest daughter. There was a lot of tension and emotion in the face-to-face chat, but words of love and forgiveness were exchanged, with the hope for more. That first conversation after seven years of silence quickly led to a two-week trip to Sweden last summer. He and his wife got to see her, along with his two other daughters and all three of his grandchildren! In early December they visited again. Greg says it was an early Christmas present for him to be with most of his daughters again. Meanwhile, he continues to pray that one day he will also be reconciled with his last daughter.
When they were exchanging gifts, one of his daughters opened up to Greg, as she realized what she was keeping back would make things worse. “Mom was wrong in telling us people don’t change—you have,” she said. And with those kind words, father and daughter gained much more than they lost.