About This Video
In the fall of 1999, Santhosh and Susan Matthews were pregnant with their first child.
“It was just a time of wonder and excitement,” Susan said, “just the future and the dreams that you have as new parents.”
But at their 5-month ultrasound, the couple received troubling news.
“The doctor came in and said, ‘We’d like to see perfect pictures, but there are some problems with your baby,” Santhosh said. “He said, they baby has a clef lip, he has a clef pallet, and he said, when you look from the top to the bottom, there seems to be something wrong with the right side of his face. He said that there is a hole in the baby’s heart and he said, you know what, all that is okay…but I don’t see a baby stomach.”
The doctor told Susan and Santhosh that, without a stomach, their baby would die immediately after birth.
I just remember it being very surreal, like this is not really happening to me,” Susan said. “This is not happening to my baby– this is not my child they are talking about.”
“He continued and he said, the best advice I can give you is to abort this baby,” Santhosh said.
The couple immediately refused the doctor’s advice. Instead of an abortion, the continued the pregnancy and started to pray.
“We came home and we started to cry and just pray and seek God,” Santhosh said. “And our pastor came home and he knelt down with us on the floor and he started to pray with us. Pastor asked me to pick up the Bible and said, ‘now God has given me a word for you. He asked me to go to Jeremiah chapter 18.’”
“Jeremiah goes to the house of the potter and the potter is making a pot out of clay and it’s a beautiful ornate vessel,” Santhosh said. “and for some reason that pot gets messed up. The beauty of that passage is that the Bible goes on to say that the potter does not throw that vessel away but he takes the same clay and fashions it into a new vessel. Pastor told us, if you believe, you will see the power of God. You will see the glory of God. This baby will be born alive.”
That same month, Susan and Santhosh also attended a prayer revival.
“Our pastor just said, let’s all gather around them and let’s pray,” Susan said. “Santhosh put his hands on my stomach. I just remember such a power in the church.
“I placed it there and we started to pray and all of the sudden I felt like a shock,” Santhosh said, “and electricity flowing through my hand. I felt something so strong, so powerful…
“I knew there was a change,” Susan said. “I knew there was a transformation taking place, there had to be.”
The couple returned to the doctor for a second scan at 6 months.
“He was sitting in the chair and started shaking his head, like he couldn’t believe what he saw or something,” Susan said. “he was like, and he pointed out the stomach and he said, that was not there before. In the last scan, I told you that I couldn’t find a stomach and this was the life-threatening issues. I see the stomach, it is in the place it should be–he told us, all the life-threatening issues are resolved. But, your baby now has a chance to live.
On July 27th, 2000 Philip Matthews was born.
“They finally brought him, and I couldn’t hold him, but they let me look at him and I called him first, I said ‘Philip, Philip,’” Susan said. “and he wasn’t crying, he was looking at us. (EDIT) He was saying thank you mommy. Thank you for giving me life.”
“I fell in love with my baby,” Santhosh said. “Most people would have aborted him I felt like he was saying thank you for giving me life. That connection with him at that moment was profound.”
But even after a successful delivery, Philip still had major obstacles to overcome. While his facial development was addressed with cosmetic surgery-doctors were most concerned about his heart and brain.
Cardiologists found multipled holes in his heart and planned for major surgeries. But after years of prayer, they saw dramatic results.
“He scanned for a few minutes and he turned around and looked at us with complete astonishment,” Santhosh said. “and said, you know…they machine tells me that there is not a single hole in his heart.”
Philip was also missing a part of his brain known as the corpus callosum—the section which connects the left and right brain.
“She said your baby may never be able to walk or talk, he may not speak,” Santhosh said. “He may not do things like the other children. You are looking at a life where he may be a vegetable for the rest of his life.”
“We had to remember that God’s report is different,” Susan said. “God’s report says you are healed and you are free and delivered. Whatever the reports are, that people and the doctors, professionals say about him, there is a greater report that God has about him.”
Today, Philip is in high school.
“Doctors said I wouldn’t be able to walk or talk or study,” Philip said. “I am walking, talking studying, I play guitar, I play piano. I’m in one of the top 50 schools in the United States.
Philip and his parents say all of the credit for his healing, belongs to God.
“He means a whole lot,” Philip said. “He is the one reason why I am alive today. If it were not for him, had he not spoken to mom and dad through our pastor. I would not be alive. I seriously would not.”
“I feel, my personal experience is that when you trust in the Lord, and don’t lean on your own understanding,” Santhosh said. “There is no doubt God will come through for you. Believe in the Word, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ- there is no doubt that when God says he can heal, he can heal.”
“The promise of God is what held us together, I believe,” Susan said. “His Word is alive it is not dead and God is alive today, he is not dead. This is the God that we serve. He answers prayers, he is a healer and he works miracles today.”
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!