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A Death Sentence Revoked by God

Diagnosed with deadly pancreatic cancer, Pete Forras' doctors could do nothing to help him, but then the Great Physician paid him a visit.

He’s crazy! That’s what 72-year-old Nancy Forras thought when she saw her 77-year-old husband, Pete, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, come running across the grocery store parking lot toward her.

“I thought for sure he was going to get to me and collapse!” Nancy says. But he didn’t. For unknown to her or Pete at the time, God had healed him earlier that morning!

The Forrases have been attending Tullahoma (Tennessee) First Assembly of God for the past 13 years, having attended an AG church in Renton, Washington, for many years prior to that.

Always active and on the go, Pete was an “energized” personality. But early in 2017, Pete began to struggle. Fatigue and pain became a constant companion.

“He had no energy whatsoever,” Nancy confirms. “If he did anything, he was totally worn out. We typically travel to see our children in Washington, but we couldn’t even do that,” then adding with a small laugh: “I knew that he was really sick when he asked me to drive — he doesn't like my driving.”

When he had trouble urinating, finally Pete headed to the doctor where they did a prostate exam. The exam revealed that the arteries to his kidneys had either shrunk or were obstructed. It also revealed something far more serious — three tumors ranging in size from 8 to 14 millimeters on his pancreas. A biopsy confirmed that he had pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is a killer that plays no favorites — radiation and chemotherapy are ineffective against it and no amount of money or current medical knowledge offer a “magical cure.” People of fame and fortune have succumbed to the disease, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, actor Patrick Swayze, actor Alan Rickman, opera star Luciano Pavarotti, musician Henry Mancini, and countless others. “It’s the worst kind you can get,” Pete says. “When you are diagnosed with it, typically it means you’re doomed.”

For some, surgery could have been done in attempt to extend life. But for Pete, who also has a heart condition, that option wasn’t viable. Doctors told him that he wouldn’t survive the 8- to 10-hour operation.  

The Forrases turned to prayer. Nancy spread the word through social media and the couple contacted friends in Tullahoma, Renton, and across the country for prayer.

“We told everybody we’d ever known and every church we had gone to — a lot of people were praying,” Pete says. “At Tullahoma Assembly of God, people prayed until they hurt . . . when people pray like that, the Lord listens.”

Despite the prayers, Pete’s health continued to decline. “I was so bad off I couldn’t even pray anymore,” he admits. “All I could say was, ‘Praise the Lord, bless me Lord.’” But God still confirmed His presence. “The whole time I could hear Christian songs in my head. They were so pronounced that I thought the radio was on in the next room — only it wasn’t. I believe that was the Lord letting me know He was with me.”

“Pete loves to travel, when he became sick, they quit their travels and he wasn’t at church quite as often,” says Ron Forrester, who has been pastor of Tullahoma First Assembly of God for 18 years. “They were getting ready for him to die — family and friends were visiting and they were taking inventory of stuff at his house.”

But God wasn’t ready to “inventory” Pete. Toward the end of October, Pete had to go to the ER for another issue and an X-ray was taken.

Following the test, Nancy had to stop at the grocery store. She left Pete in the car, knowing he was too weak to walk far.

“As she walked across the parking lot, suddenly I had the thought, Gosh, I’m not sitting here,” Pete recalls. “So I got out of the car and ran across the parking lot to her . . . and then I walked all around the store with her — I felt like a million bucks!”

When Nancy questioned him, Pete responded. “I can’t believe it, but I feel good!”

Energy had returned to his body and a spring was in his step.

A week later, the test results came back. The tumors had apparently vanished.

At first Nancy was hesitant to believe Pete was healed as she had prayed for others with cancer who were not healed this side of heaven. “It seemed too good to be true,” she says.

A trip to his oncologist followed, which included an enhanced X-ray. Tests confirmed the initial finding — no tumors, no pancreatic cancer, and the arteries were now fully functional!

Shortly afterward, Pete went in to see his doctor. He had all the paperwork, tests, and scans. “He looked at me and said, ‘Pete, we did nothing for you; the Lord healed you.’”

Forrester echoes the doctor’s belief: “It is a complete miracle,” he says. “This has to be a God thing because there’s no medical reason for him to be well.”

Since that time, Pete has told everyone who would listen — and even some who wouldn’t — about how God healed him. “I almost had the doctor who ran the test through my stomach to diagnosis the cancer to admit to a miracle, but he just said, ‘these things happen sometimes.’ I looked at him and said ‘Oh, you know they don’t’ and he just looked at me and grinned.”

Pete says that through social media his testimony has spread, and he believes he is, at the very least, placing a kernel of faith in people’s lives, stating, “There’ no denying what God’s done in my life!”

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.