More in Our Work
This is Praise Harvest
Our Work Video
May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

Back Healed in Allendale

Marty Mertz (Photo credit: Abby Olson)

When 17-year-old Marty Mertz (Colorado Springs), volunteered to spend last summer as a counselor at the Allendale summer camp, she knew that back pain might make for some challenging days. She didn’t expect God to take her pain away.

Marty, who grew up in Servant Branch, was diagnosed with a mild case of scoliosis (curvature of the spine) at age 7, but pain became a regular part of her life after a back strain she suffered at Servant Camp in 2010. After that, she had difficulty sitting down and doing some physical activities: “I couldn’t help my friends in Action with the cleaning jobs we do to raise money,” she says.

Marty’s doctor told her that her spine was getting worse, slowly twisting into a C shape. The pain might be with her for the rest of her life.

For her first two weeks in Allendale, Marty played it safe--supervising camp activities rather than participating in them. But when the team gathered in small groups to pray for one another’s needs, she asked them to pray for her back. “I just wish I could touch my toes,” she told them.

Nathan Barrett (Allendale) asked her to bend over and show the others how far she could reach. “Her fingertips came six or eight inches short of her toes,” he says.

After they laid hands on her and prayed, Marty tried again and stretched her hands a few inches farther than before.

The group prayed a second time, then Marty bent over again. “When she reached down, her fingers reached to her toes and she pressed them flat against the floor,” says Nathan.

“It was exciting. We were laughing and cheering and praising God,” adds Sheila Timler (South Bend).

“The Lord did more than I asked,” Marty says. “Not long after, I found myself able to sit in an office chair three hours at a time. I’ve had temporary muscle soreness due to my body adjusting to standing and walking properly, but that’s all.”

Marty shared the story at a Shreveport branch meeting, and afterward Bill Parker, a pediatrician, offered to examine her back. After a quick exam, he told her, “Your back is straight. I can’t find any evidence of scoliosis—and that’s not the kind of thing that just disappears on its own.”

Marty lives with Eric and Mary Faith Hall (Colorado Springs) and works taking care of their children. “Between the Halls, Hrbaceks and the Brophys, there are 14 community kids on the block—so it’s a very physical job, but now I’m able to enjoy activities like that,” she says.


  1. eileen horan says:

    I know Marty and am always blessed by her cheerful disposition and can-do attitude. Hooray - I am so glad she was healed. God is so good! What an amazing story.

  2. Carol & Phil Ehemann says:

    Marty, we are so glad you are here in Colorado Springs with us. Glory to God for healing you and providing all you need to be an important part of our life and the lives of the children here.

  3. Nancy Grams says:

    God is good!!! What a wonderful testament to perseverance in prayer and trust that the Lord loves to heal us. Thank you, Marty, reminding us all to ask the Father for what we need, especially to better serve his people.

  4. Ruthanne Seitz says:

    I'm so happy for you, Marty. I enjoyed reliving your healing through this sharing. God loves you very much and wants what you serve him with a body that works!

  5. Fred Smith says:

    Marty, Sue & I were blessed to be on the June Action-in-Allendale team with you and brother Sam. We praise & proclaim our marvelous,merciful,&loving God for your Healing. Gof Bless You & the Springs Brethren !
    Fred & Sue smith

  6. Cynthia Hagens says:

    Praise the Lord!! Marty, this is so exciting...This healing, you will always be able tell other of what the Lord can do and has done for you! I am so blessed by hearing about your healing.

  7. Frank Bassett says:

    Marty's healing once again gives testimony of the marvelous work being done by the Lord in our present day. His love knows no bounds! The Holy Spirit is very much alive & active in our midst, wherever we are and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. He truly has empowered us to continue the saving & healing work of Christ in the world around us. PTL!

  8. Cynthia Moody says:

    Wow, Marty! What a great testimony! Thanks for sharing. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! I'm excited to know that God has so much more for you to do with your back now whole!!! Please keep us updated. I know you'll have much more to share in the future. . . Love from Tampa, FL. Psalm 150

  9. Louise Schwab says:

    Marty, what great news! What a mercy! God has demonstrated His love for you once again thru the brothers and sisters. God bless your work in the Springs branch!
    Louise, Servant Branch

  10. Carol Rowe says:

    All I can say, is Praise God. Will be praying for you

    Kingston Branch

  11. Mark Elio says:

    Marty, My own personal welcome to our Branch here in Colorado Springs in the shadow of the majestic Rocky Mountains. As an individual who in his younger years had suffered with excruciating and debilitating back pain which resulted in both a short-lived, promising Army career and two subsequent spinal surgeries, your healing testimony certainly resonates with me. Praise God for his miracle in your life which has opened the door for you to serve the Halls. His timing was perfect!

  12. Pat Flynn says:

    Our God is loving and compassionate. It is great how He healed Marty and continues demonstrating His power and might in us.

  13. Carmen Fraga says:

    We're so happy to hear the good news about Marty! What a confirmation that our God is moving through us: healing, bringing peace, releasing the captives...what a powerful reminder. Let us celebrte!

  14. Miriam Pena says:


    Praise God! What a pleasure to hear the Lord's has moved in a powerful way in your life regarding this healing... We look forward to seeing you sometime when your back visiting at Servant Branch and celebrating with you.

    Love Miriam
    Varevice Household

  15. Kim Doffing says:

    Upon reading of this healing my mind and heart give honor and glory to God for all he has done for our dear Sister Marty! Thank you, Thank you, Lord!

  16. Bruce Wansart says:

    Gods timing we must be at peace with. Focus Focus on Him.

    Thanks, Marty, for your willingnes to share and may your

    days be brighter.

  17. Paul Putzier says:

    Wonderful story of God's love - and such an inspiration on a Monday.

  18. Joan Hiel (Bittner) says:

    Praising God for your healing. My girls remember you made playdough for them one of my visits to see your mom. They and I were so impressed with your friendliness to strangers. God has great plans for you. Thanks for serving Him so faithfully. Joan Hiel-Oahu

  19. Mary Kay Gleason says:

    What a dramatic story! Marty was healed right before their very eyes... inch by inch! I was so happy to read about that! God bless you, Marty, and all of our dear missionaries! We love you all! Mary Kay

  20. Mary Lynn Gaffney says:

    Hey Marty! Praise God for His great love and healing for you. I'm very happy for you to be made whole!

  21. Elizabeth Kaiser says:

    I'm praising Jesus for your awesome healing. I sure do miss you-will you join us for Christmas goodie baking? Hope so.

    Elizabeth Kaiser
    Servant Branch

Leave a Response