About three years ago, after returning from a mission trip to South America, Brother John began losing weight, vigor (up until then, he literally ran everywhere he could or at the least, rode a bike) and started having a good bit of stomach pain. For a time he approached the problem through nutrition and alternative therapy, as it initially appeared to be the result of bacteria or amoeba he probably picked up in his travels.

As he grew weaker, his abdomen became more bloated and painful and in time he went to the hospital. They drew off fluid and did various tests and it was then that he was diagnosed with liver disease (cirrhosis). It is suspected that this may have been caused by the very toxic substances he worked with while laying carpet (chemicals which have since been outlawed because of their harm to human health).

He caught a flu or cold bug that has been going around and his health declined until this past week was spent in vomiting and growing too weak to walk. He has been to the hospital a few brief times in the course of the last few years, but on Saturday, February 20th, he entered the hospital’s emergency room and has been in that facility ever since. This page is intended to keep the information flowing…

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02/22/10
8:07 PM
Bro. John says he is not in pain and is receiving hydration through IV. His condition is very serious and the family is having to make some decisions regarding his care. Please pray earnestly. Remember how Jesus Christ has blessed and helped us through this family. It is our time to carry them.
02/23/10
10:12 AM
What an amazing merciful God we serve! Please continue to remember the Stemen family and our beloved Pastor John. Last night seemed pretty serious, indeed, the family gathered together to say their goodbyes and to let our brother know that it was okay to go home. Now we wait upon Jesus Christ Who does all things well because all things are possible!!! This morning, our Pastor is more alert, is talking and actually joked about running down Padgett. His vitals are all good and you know, Brother John has UNFAILINGLY professed he is healed. Our prophet says that God will make our bodies line up with our confession. He never said it had to line up immediately. Keep praying, keep thanking, keep singing, keep praising because this battle is the Lord's!! Any moment, Brother John could go running out of those hospital doors. Or, he could really pull a good one on the doctors and their human expectations and just steadily get better until he has walked into that well body and indeed DOES go running down Padgett. And, I would like him to hear us running after him when it happens!
02/23/10
10:36 AM
Please do not attempt to call the hospital room, but feel free to call Michelle, Joel, Nick or Bro. Bill if you'd like. Bro. Danny needs to concentrate on what he is doing there with family and Sis. Diana is NOT taking any calls, sorry, she just isn't up to it. Continue to pray for strength for the family. They are not getting much sleep and this is very hard, even though God is glorified. Surely His strength is made perfect in weakness, they just keep getting sweeter and sweeter -surely the Father is much pleased!
02/23/10
2:09 PM
Well, he's joining little Lily today in that he is also on the way for an upper endoscopy where they look in the throat, stomach, etc. to see what's going on. Please pray that Bro. John will do well through this and continue to gain strength and that if God wants to use medicine, they can find whatever they are looking for and resolve it. Depending on what they see or don't see, there may be other exploratory procedures, but let's pray this will be it. Also - Bro. Danny is going to livestream some services, deep calleth unto deep, etc. and Bro. John is very excited about it and wanted his hearing aids etc. Sis. Michelle is buying really good speakers to hook up.
02/23/10
8:05 PM
Well, there is not too much new to report, but I know that our Pastor and his family are greatly on the heart of God's people. Is he still bleeding? I don't know. But, if he is, I believe it will stop soon : ) I leave you tonight with the image of the current scene at the hospital: Bro. John is dozing off and on as he listens to Bro. Branham 'Deep calleth to Deep' playing on Bro. Danny's laptop. He has been smiling and quoting what Bro. Branham is about to say before it is said, etc. So yes, PRAISE THE LORD, he is able to hear what's being played, thank you so much, Lord Jesus, what mercy!! And so, he is ending this day feeding on the unfailing, Body-Word of the Son of Man. What about us?
02/23/10
9:55 PM
Dear Beloved Family, now, together, as One Body we freely fall into the arms of a loving God and wait upon Him! Oh, Lord - give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man (psalm 108). Brother John's blood count has been dropping. It is now at 8.3. If it falls to 8 or below, they want to do a blood transfusion. The family has chosen not to do so. God is more than able to heal the vein, more than able to heal the liver, the kidneys, all things, anything, everything! If it is His wisdom to let our brother go to rest, we will not resist His will. But, that doesn't mean we are giving up, NOT AT ALL - we are believing! All things are possible. Please pray, praise, thank Him, give Him testimonies and professions He is able to move upon and above all, pray according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. No matter what comes of these events, we win, Bro. John wins, Jesus Christ wins!! This is the great victory in the Love Divine.
02/23/10
11:08 PM
A little bit ago, Bro. John said he wanted to go home and the family encouraged him to go on. The children have been taken by Sis. Barbara. Just now I received a text from Sis. Michelle - Bro. John sees the ceiling opening and says it is time to go!!! Blessed by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!! Well done, thou good and faithful servant!!
02/24/10
3:04 AM
Bro. John is ready and waiting to go, should that be the Lord's choice. But, he is with us still. Sis. Diana has told 'the kids' to all go home and get some rest. Bro. Danny is going home also. God grant them all sweet, refreshing rest.
02/24/10
9:22 AM
Beloved Children of the most-high God, This morning, Bro. John is weaker and not speaking although he acknowledges when someone comes into the room. He is hemorrhaging more and more frequently as his body begins to "let go". His blood count is lower and they will see the doctor later on in the day. They have not changed their minds in any way regarding the decisions made to date. If our Pastor is to go, it is the family's desire that he go as quickly and easily as possible. God is good! Rest little Bride, rest for all is well. Remember - Florence Nightengale's grand-daughter came to this point, she too wanted to go and even asked Bro. Branham to pray that God would take her. All things are possible, only believe. Let these circumstances weld us more tightly into One Body, united in asking God's perfect will; no more no less. Please pray for strength for the family. And, let's pray that others who do not know the saving grace of Jesus Christ might be brought into fellowship with Him through these events. You know Bro. John's desire for souls! God grant that even now his life can be instrumental in the Kingdom work he has embraced for so long.
02/24/10
3:17 PM
Bro. John is being transferred into Hospice care and this is good news! If you haven't been involved with them, they are wonderful people who specialize in making patients and their families as comfortable as possible. Once in their care, Bro. John can eat or drink if he wants, whatever he wants!! He has not been allowed to in the current hospital setting. Fear not, little flock - none of this affects the promises of God! It's a good thing and all is well. Please pray he can be transferred into their care quickly - he hasn't been informed because the family doesn't want him to know and then have to wait. He's really going to be happy to get some food and drink! BTW, service tonight, as always! Bro. Danny's preaching. It's gonna be good, good, good eating!!!
02/24/10
10:31 PM
Aren't you glad to serve a mighty God? Don't you rejoice to sit under the ministry of the Holy Ghost? It is joy unspeakable and full of glory!! We are an invincible army, nothing can keep us from sounding forth praise and gladness and rejoicing in Christ Jesus!! Wonderful news! Bro. John is in the same room, same hospital, etc. but is now under hospice care. While we were in service, he was eating peaches : ) You noticed the family left pretty rapidly at the end of service. When they got to the hospital, Bro. John was saying he wants to go home. They all began to sing and he sang along with them, at his own pace and probably his own key, lol - Michelle says he sounded so good!! After a number of his favorite hymns a nurse came in to take his vitals and then gave him morphine. He talked again about going home, told Brother Terry it's time to go home and for him to take him - Bro. Terry told him he would. Bro. John asked for his clothes and shoes and then dozed off from the morphine. Don't you just love him? I can't wait until I am in that gland-free body so I can bear-hug him, finally!!! Also, dear Saints, it is time for the Stemen family to focus and hold onto one another. Let's let them call or text us from here on out until further notice if you can please bear it?
02/25/10
9:23 AM
Good morning! Last night, after receiving morphine Brother John slept well through the night and without hemorrhaging. He looks good this morning and is apparently keeping the family in stitches, laughter abounds! God is so wondrously merciful and our Pastor is certainly one-of-a-kind. I have been reading Masterpiece; even as I behold one on display before us! And, this morning when he woke, he proclaimed, "By His stripes I am healed". I believe! Amen!
02/25/10
10:58 AM
2 Chronicles 20:18-24:   And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tedoah; and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth forver. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the mutlitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. So. If I understand this story that was lived out for our sakes as well as their own, they trusted the Lord, they believed His prophets and when there was a seemingly unconquerable foe, they sent out some singers to praise Him. Then --- the enemy killed themselves. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is Who shall tread down our enemies. Psalm 108:13
02/25/10
11:56 AM
Brother John is extremely weak and is getting very low. He can no longer speak or open his eyes. He has had more bleeding today. God is more than able, may His perfect will be done and may the fragrance of His Presence be about our precious Brother John and the Stemen family. Lord, You are more precious than silver Lord, You are more costly than gold Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds And all that I desire is in You.
02/25/10
3:43 PM
All things are possible. Whatever shall be is going to take place soon, Saints. Brother John is being transported to a hospice facility at 4:30, more information will be given out when available. All the family is called in and they join him, together with a host of angels: Our beloved Pastor and Brother, Written Epistle, God in Flesh! Any moment he may raise up and run out the hospital doors (decently dressed, of course: ) Or. He will slip into another dimension and run the hills there! Wherever you are, gather with them, now! Pray, uphold these precious loved ones of ours, Sing and praise the Lord! He is mighty, He is merciful and He is beautiful to behold in all His Creation!
02/25/10
6:36 PM
Bro. John has been transferred and is settled in at Tidewell Palliative care (Hospice). If you want to come visit, you are welcome. He is currently resting and we all need to be very respectful of the other patients and their families there - no loud fellowshipping, etc., in the family room. The address is 5955 Rand Blvd. Sarasota Fl - Take the Clark road exit from 75 and exit west, go through 2 lights and turn left on Rand Blvd. (Sarasota Memorial Health Care sign) first entrance on left, last building on left. You will need to ring a door bell for access and sign both in and out. God is good! This is so much better for everyone and God is not constrained here or in any other place!
02/25/10
10:38 PM
Dear Saints, I am writing you incognito from the Botero's home. I went to the Tidewell center to visit with Bro. John and the family. The Botero's came along with donuts and coffee pretty much at the same time. I am pleased to report that no one actually ran me over trying to get to the donuts and coffee, but, well, let's just say next time I'm going armed with Starbucks or something with equal drawing power. Just kidding : ) And dear family, I thank God that He gave us humor! As a matter of fact how could we have survived some of Bro. Danny's preaching unless he occasionally gave us quick laugh before he pulled the gospel scalpel back out and let the Lord use him to continue cutting away what didn't belong. Hmmm? While I was there Bro. John rallied for a bit and when I came back into the room from a little detour, they were gathered about him laughing. Then, he was trying to say something and Bro. Nick had drawn near to catch his words and all of a sudden! Bro. John shouted at him to startle him. It was a fine joke and a joy to see him surrounded by his loving, devoted wife and family. I was unable to remain long; not because I was not warmly gathered in, but because this is intensely private. This is war, folks. It isn't pretty although it is poignant. Bro. John is in a terrible battle and wants to be free - he told them earlier that any moment he was going to "bust the prison bars of this body" or something similar. It is equally hard to watch the family. Whereas others breast these waters privately, they continue to minister to the family of Christ and are sharing their precious Bro. John with the rest of us because they know how greatly he is loved. They have no corner to hide in; their pain and their faith is on open display because of the position they have been called to. For 16 years, I have had the privilege of sitting under this ministry and I have always been inspired to press further and higher because of their fine example. But I have never been so humbled and so touched as in the last few years and most particularly, the last week. Bro. John's love for this message is unparalleled; it makes me ashamed of the many times I've neglected to "press play". His tenderness, his patience and his unfailing stand on the Word of God REQUIRE that I check up, tighten up, and look up! Cause I must be ready to go up!! God may soon be opening the gates and welcoming our pastor in. Or, with the tip of His finger, he may change the entire scene in a moment. But whatever comes to pass, I challenge each of you - don't let this great testing time that the Stemen's are passing through leave YOUR life unaffected. Let us each one press this battle to the gate, bringing honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, following the honest example being lived so clearly before us. Lord have mercy! I know you are pleased, displaying your trophies of love and I believe Your promise not to give more than we can bear. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus, Amen!
02/26/10
9:30 AM
Very little to report this morning, only that Bro. John had a difficult night with very little sleep. Most of the time he kept trying to get out of the bed, preaching the entire time!
02/26/10
10:03 AM
Dear Saints, all of us are deeply concerned and anxiously await news. So far today, I have no update to speak of. I long to tell you that Bro. John is walking and leaping, but I haven't heard that. I even long to tell you he has gone on to his reward because I know this is hard on him, his family and his flock. But I haven't heard that either. They know how to contact us - any details I could "report" between those two potential scenes are pointless, unless they call with something specific they wish to share. At this point, it is a matter of Bro. John surrounded by his family and friends and all are seizing every opportunity to express their love to him, what a wonderful father, husband, pastor and friend he is, how much he means to us all. And, he has also taken every opportunity he could to tell each one how special they are to him, he is handing out precious, individually expressed "nuggets" that can be held onto. This is a time of love, as strange as that may sound. Psalm 62:5 - My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
02/26/10
12:12 PM
Bro Michael's grandmother, Lorraine, is working with the family regarding arrangements that may need to be made. She told the family when his morphine dose is at 10, not to leave. He has been at that dose, the highest possible, since last night. All things are possible, we wait on our God. Every physical sign indicates he is at the gates. The family is gathered together and through the hospice resound the songs, worship, and Word from Wednesday night's service. Even now, the sweet voices raised are bringing comfort and setting a beautiful atmosphere. God be praised! Gather with them, wherever you are.
02/27/10
12:54 AM
No specific update from the family - but: Our Pastor is with us still, even though it seemed he was surely right at the door early in the day. We all know He is gentle and we all know He is strong, but I can only say - wow! It becomes more and more clear that no power and no circumstance can remove him from this earth unless / until God so wills. No details to share but his blood count must be very low and his body extremely weakened by all that has passed. He has periods of agitation and is mostly resting, thankfully kept comfortable by morphine. I've heard that at one point this evening he opened his eyes, smiled and was holding Bro. Nick's hand - until he heard Sis. Diana's voice. Then, he immediately turned and took her hand with both of his. Their love for one another and their children flows through the room like a river. And, like the bears and molasses, the rest of us join in that revival - love abounds. Look what the Lord has done! Yes, this is a hard battle and it has been an emotional rollercoaster. But, in the midst of it all, God has his people on display. Quite a few were able to come by and visit today. Each of you is precious, unique, beloved. Some bring food, some bring drinks, some bring one-of-a-kind hugs and handshakes, some bring humor, ALL bring hearts that overflow with love in the Holy Spirit. We are one Body. His Body. And people are seeing, whatever they may chose to do about it. Our precious Brother John continues to live a sermon; we are the yea and amen! God is doing a work. All is well.
02/27/10
8:17 PM
Our beloved pastor was been very active today! He's been hugging different ones (Bro. Alan, I am so jealous!!) and trying to speak to them, wink, raise his brows, etc. But now, he has entered the final stage (according to medicine). The doctor saw him just a little bit ago and says he is peaceful - he is now beyond pain and without medication. He pauses now between breaths. Unless the Lord raises him up, he will simply slip away at some point. It could be any moment, or he could be at this point for several days. God has promised not to give any one of us more than we can bear. Please continue to uphold the family and may the Holy Spirit continue to be palpably present in that room and in His people. There are no specific instructions concerning visitation; be very carefully led of the Lord Jesus Christ.
02/27/10
10:08 PM
Dear Saints, from this time forward, only family are to come - as per the doctor. And yes, we are ALL family, but it's best now to stay where you are and pray.
02/28/10
11:04 PM
Our dear Pastor has a strong heart, we all know it. That is why he is with us still - because of his strong heart and the Hand that holds it : ) The doctor says Brother John is farther along than he was last night. He has entered a deeper state of unconsciousness and is no longer responsive to voice or touch. His breathing is very shallow and the pauses between breaths have grown longer. Michelle mentioned that the doctor says he is seeing different ones now - this may be what Bro. Danny spoke about in service, how Bro. John's lips kept moving earlier and he seemed to be speaking, but without audible sound. God is so perfect, so mighty, so merciful and so tender. Even now all things are possible. Whatever the outcome, this I see: Through Bro. John Stemen's leadership in the Holy Ghost, we, who were not a people are now a people! The bonds of love grow sweeter, stronger; our praise sounds forth more joyfully; our faith is STRENGTHENED. Victory!
03/01/10
10:59 AM
Bro. John's condition remains the same. The pauses between breaths continue to increase in length (he has gone as long as seven seconds). I am sure you can imagine this is a difficult time for the family. And yet. This we know - God surely has a glorious purpose in allowing this situation to linger. We may or may not ever know and understand on this side, but that is where faith comes in! As far as visitation - only family are allowed IN THE ROOM. As a matter of fact, there's so many that only SOME of the family are in at any particular time. But if you would like to go to Tidewell to visit (very quietly!!) in the family area / lobby, that will be fine. If you have children, please monitor them carefully - no running around or being too noisy. I know it is difficult for them, but we need to be respectful and quietly considerate of the other patients and families staying there. God is good, all the time!
03/01/10
11:29 PM
11:11 - it jumped out at me as I sat down to write and I thought, "By faith, Sarah" (Hebrews 11:11). Abraham's wife. She who brought forth the promised son. Saints, I was asked to let you know that there is no update - this is a period of waiting. I can tell you that earlier today Bro. John had no discernable pulse and his breaths were up to 15 seconds apart. And yet. He is with us still. And yet - all things are possible! Bro. John repeatedly has said he is healed. We stand with him, agreeing. We had just finished praying together here as the text message came in. We prayed for Brother John and his family to be released; we dared not ask for any particular way - we simply asked, "Please, please, release them." Our eyes are fixed upon Jesus. All this time, we have been waiting on God. But tonight, we prayed to Him, our Savior and Lord, our Husband! And, we asked Him, "Help us to know if there is something YOU are waiting on, show us plainly if there is something one of us, any of us, all of us need to do, know or speak." God is merciful and He is sovereign. We need not and dare not question why. We just ask, "Please make it plain to us if there is anything You are waiting on from us; be mercifully plain for we are but dumb sheep. Your sheep." We love you, Lord Jesus. We love you with all of our hearts. We love you, Brother John and family. We love you with all of our hearts.
03/03/10
9:37 AM
I have heard it said that the Egyptians have many words for sand and the Eskimos have many words for snow. In light of the Christian life, it seems we should have more words for "waiting", because this is as intrinsic to our lives as snow and sand is to others. And, that is the update, only I have no new words. Brother John is waiting. The family is waiting. We are waiting. Heaven is watching. PSALM 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

 

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