Every day is a miracle for Geneva Bazille.
The Baton Rouge minister, 64, said two miraculous works in particular keep her thanking and praising God for each day.
The first incident was in 1972 when a major brain surgery spared her life but left her deaf in her right ear. The second incident was when her hearing was restored in 2004.
“I almost didn’t see my 22nd birthday. God has given me 40-something extra years and you think I’m going to be sad? No indeed,” said Bazille, a member of Faith Chapel Church of God. “I have the joy of the Lord in my heart, because I’m grateful.”
So grateful, in fact, that Bazille has made it her mission to share her testimony every chance she gets. Bazille said it’s part of the “miracle assignment” to tell “the entire world how the Lord has blessed me with the gift of hearing again and that God is still on the throne and hears people cry.”
In 2005, Bazille founded Miracle Assignment Ministry Inc., a ministry that allows Bazille to share her testimony and give people hope and encouragement through phone calls, conferences, retreats and even home visits.
“Whatever the Holy Spirit tells me to do, I do it. I serve others. I pray for people,” Bazille said. “My assignment is a divine connection to the world. (God) is the one that created this ministry. He’s the one that created this miracle assignment. There wouldn’t be a miracle if he didn’t do it. … I’m doing this because I’m grateful. God didn’t have to bring me back. God doesn’t owe me anything; I owe him. I thank him everyday for Jesus. I thank him everyday that he heals me.”
Bazille started experiencing headaches in elementary school. It wasn’t until she was in college that doctors found the source of her discomfort — a tumor on her brain stem.
The surgery in 1972 was life-threatening.
“After the surgery, my mother said she couldn’t identify me at all except through my fingernails. I had beautiful fingernails ... They called the priest to give my last sacrament,” she said. “The doctors told my parents if I lived within 24 hours, it would be a miracle.”
If not death, doctors said a deep coma could leave Bazille in a vegetative state.
Bazille was in a coma for nearly three months and recalls having a dream in which she was visited by a man in a white suit.
“He said, ‘You have received favor, mercy and grace with the most high God.’ He said, ‘(God) rebuked the spirit of death over your body and he’s going to pour out his spirit into you, and you’re going to wake up out of that coma without physical, speech or occupational therapy.”
Bazille came through but not without some physical damage. The surgery got out most of the tumor but also removed Bazille’s inner ear, middle ear, eardrum and facial nerves, causing deafness and paralysis on the right side of her face.
“All they did was stick my ear back on my face. … My eyes drooped. My mouth twisted. I was devastated,” she said.
Devastated for all of a few weeks.
“I wanted to live,” she said.
And in spite of the obvious and not-so-obvious scars, Bazille did her best to live life to the fullest. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Southern University in sociology and a master’s in public administration and health care administration.
She gave her life to Christ in 1979. “Ever since then, I realized the best thing that ever happened to me was serving Jesus Christ,” said Bazille, who was ordained as a minister in 2003. “It was just like weight was lifted off me. I had peace. I had joy. It was something where I never wanted to go back into the world. I never wanted to go back into darkness because I knew my future was so bright.”
Bazille’s life became even brighter on Oct. 9, 2004, during a women’s retreat in Mississippi. At a service, she answered a minister’s call for prayer. It wasn’t until after she got back to her seat and starting talking to a friend that she heard another voice.
“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Didn’t you realize she was talking to you on your right side in your right ear?’” she said.
Bazille’s hearing had been restored after 32 years.
“I was just standing there and said, ‘My prayers have been answered. Thank you, Jesus, my prayers have been answered.’ I said I don’t have to be deaf anymore. I don’t have to ask people to stand on my left side anymore. I don’t have to ask people to repeat themselves. I don’t have to read lips. The struggle is over,” she said.
Hearing tests a few days later only confirmed what God had done. Her hearing was back to 70 percent. She had been deaf for 32 years.
“Every time I give my testimony, it was like it had just happened because God had touched me,” she said.
She continues to use her story to touch others.
“All of us have trials and tribulations but we have to learn how to overcome,” she said. “I didn’t hang on for 32 seconds or 32 minutes or 32 days or 32 months but 32 years to get my hearing, and I’m still waiting for the manifestation of my complete healing.”
For information, call Bazille at (225) 766-4150 or go to miracleassignment.com.
‘Rooted’ for church planting
Learn what’s involved in planting churches and reaching the next generation for Christ at the Generate Leadership and Church Planting Conference.
The conference is set for Monday and Tuesday at the Fellowship Church, 14363 La. 73 in Prairieville.
“The goal of the conference is to help church leaders and church planters, guys who are starting churches, to really learn about generating cultures and systems that allow us to be obedient to what Christ has called us to do as a church,” said the Rev. Kirk Jones, Fellowship Church’s pastor and one of the speakers for the event.
Besides learning practical tools, skills and ideas for a healthy church, Jones said the conference is another opportunity of “reminding ourselves that success really is found in the First Commandment, which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind.”
“You got to be rooted in that and then out of that you use these tools,” said the 39-year-old Ruston native, who started Fellowship 14 years ago.
The key speaker for the conference is Shawn Lovejoy, lead pastor of Mountain Lake Church in the Atlanta area. Lovejoy is also the directional leader of ChurchPlanters.com and the author of “The Measure of Our Success, An Impassioned Plea to Pastors.”
Jones and his staff have studied Lovejoy’s book.
“I really like his honesty,” Jones said. “Some of what he shares is learning along the way that sometimes the way he would measure success for himself was not healthy, and he had to kind of be brought back to that. That’s a work that God did in his own life and he’s used that experience to be willing to share that with other church leaders.”
Other speakers will include the Rev. Bill Dye, pastor of North Monroe Baptist Church; the Rev. David Goza, of Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge; and the Rev. Tommy Middleton, executive director of the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge.
The opening session is set for 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday. Lovejoy closes the first day’s main session from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday opens with back-to-back breakout sessions starting at 8 a.m. The conference will culminate with a Church Planting and Compassion Ministry Vision Tour around the greater Baton Rouge area from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost for the conference is $35 with a $5 per person discount for groups of five or more. For information, call the Church Planting Team at (318) 448-3402 or (800) 622-6549, or email Lane Corley, a planting strategist, at Lane.Corley@LouisianaBaptists.org.
Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or by email to trobinson @theadvocate.com.