Katie Shaw Ficker
I moved to Guatemala in 2006 right after graduating from nursing school where I met and married my husband Aaron and started our family. In 2013, we handed in the final draft of a proposal for a nursing school that would provide a career path and job opportunities for the people of our remote valley as well as staff for the hospital that our ministry a couple short years from opening. God took that small seed planted the day we turned in that proposal and grew it even bigger as we moved into the most miraculous and most difficult years of our lives.
Over the next year, this small school plan grew into a larger educational project with various components involved. By the middle of 2015, we were still in awe of all that God had done in such a short time, but also very aware of how full our lives were; it was right in the middle of this time that I became pregnant with twins. The pregnancy was complicated from the start with one of our twins passing on to Heaven early on. The other twin held on and fought hard - and we did too - but one night at around 15 weeks, I required immediate attention, and the hospital we knew well was a 7 hour drive or a 25 minute flight. We knew the risks in taking the time to drive in, but we also were aware of the risks of flying at night in our mountainous region. On top of all this, it was also raining, and the airport we needed to land at was closed in by clouds.
As we prayed for wisdom, the rains stopped, the clouds cleared, and we were given a small window of time to fly into the airport and get to the hospital - the first of many miracles we would witness during this pregnancy. They were able to get things under control that night, but the complications continued. At around 19 weeks, I was admitted as an in-patient, but after a 6 week stay in the hospital with several blood transfusions and daily care, our little son also passed into the arms of Jesus at 26 weeks of life, and I went into the ICU after an emergency c-section. As I was wheeled out of the operating room, the doctor told Aaron and our extended family to pray that I would make it through the next 12 hours. Later I would learn that hundreds of people were praying for my life that night, a testament to the beauty of the body of Christ and the power of prayer.
On the fifth day of my ICU stay, the doctors informed us that my lungs were getting worse, and that if they didn’t improve in the next couple of days, they would need to sedate me and put me on a ventilator for a week or more to give my lungs some time to heal without having to work so hard. A few hours later, a lady from a local church that we had friends at knocked on the door and asked if she could come in and pray with us and share a word that God had given her. She said that God told her to tell us that “it is finished,” and then we moved into a powerful time of prayer as this woman of God prayed for the people of the valley we worked in, seeing hundreds of people fall on their faces in surrender to the Lord. Revival. After prayer, we took communion right there in that little ICU room, and thanked Jesus for the gift of salvation that He brought for everyone through His death and resurrection. The next morning, a technician came in to take the daily x-ray of my lungs. About an hour later, one of the doctors burst into the room in shock. In his hands were two of my x-rays: the one from a couple of days earlier was covered in fluid, and the one from that morning was completely clear! “I thought we had a new patient!” he said in disbelief. “This is not possible!” God had worked a complete miracle. A little over 48 hours later, I was out of the hospital and on my way home – an obvious and extreme contrast to the discussion only a couple of days earlier of sedation and ventilation for several days or weeks.
The next months were a blur of gratefulness for more time on earth with my family and also grief and questions. But God came right down into all of the angst, and He never left us – not one time. Over the following years, no matter what I brought His way – tears of sorrow, questions, anger, confusion – He was always there when I turned and called to Him. He didn’t always give me answers to my questions, but I learned that when I didn’t understand, I could still trust His goodness and His love. People gave us their support, and I continued to pray for God to bring revival to our valley.During that time, I often wondered where this revival was, but what I slowly came to learn is that God was already bringing revival to my own heart, my family, and our group of friends and neighbors, even though it didn’t look like massive crowds of people falling on their knees. Instead, it was happening through what looked like small ways to me: conversations with students who walked away understanding God in a new and personal way, sitting and praying with neighbors as their father passed away, caring for and praying with the sick patients in our clinic, and every time we moved forward in faith and courage.
In January of 2020, Adam came down to Guatemala for a visit and started to share what God had been doing in and through Him with the writing of songs. He asked me if he could show me the songs, and as he started to play the song, It Is Finished, the power of the words resonated with something deep inside of me. I felt that there were aspects of the song that I could relate to, but as we sang it through together, the Holy Spirit filled the room, and it was obvious that this was something much greater than Adam or I. As Adam shared more of the heart of the songs and how they came to be, and as the words “it is finished” kept pounding in my head, I heard myself telling Adam that “these are songs of revival.”
These songs tell the story of the gospel: the incomparable life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the only True Savior and King, and He alone is worthy of all of our praise. God tells us in His word that He inhabits the praises of His people, and I believe that as He is worshipped and His story is sung out through these songs, the Holy Spirit will continue to move in the hearts of the people who hear them, drawing them into a real relationship with the Trinity: Father God, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit Himself. Revival. Oh, God, let revival come.