During the bout with pneumonia (late September/early October), doctors told the family that they expected Dr. Renfro to live about 30 more days. It would be true in fact, that it was a miracle that he lived to be healed! Many times he could have died along the way (such as August 24, 1997).
On Sunday, November 23, Dr. Renfro attended his last church service before his miracle. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving and he entered the sanctuary as he had several other times during that fall. Due to his lack of endurance, Dr. Renfro would come to church late, about 11:00 a.m. That's right, 11:00 a.m.! Remember it was 11:00 a.m. when the first 100 hours of prayer ended. In fact, it was at 11:00 a.m. that all of the 40 hours and 100 hours of prayer sessions had ended. Another "God Point!" God had known the strength and encouragement it would give everyone to see Dr. Renfro's weekly triumph of returning to church at 11:00 a.m.
Gasping for breath, totally bedridden, and apparently dying, Dr. Renfro called for his lawyer to come to his house Thanksgiving weekend. For months God had dealt with him to complete his will but he was convinced he'd be signing his own death warrant. To him it seemed too much like giving up. However, God was asking Dr. Renfro to trust him.
After signing the appropriate papers on Sunday, November 30, God directed him to do one more thing. Again, the critical element would involve trust. On Monday morning the family loaded him up in his van to make an unusual trip to the doctor. It had been over six weeks since he had done that. As the van pulled out of the driveway, Dr. Renfro's thoughts were, "This is the last time I'll see this place." Immediately he cast down that evil thought and said, "I will be back!"
His arrival at the cancer center was very unsettling for the medical staff. They hadn't seen him in months and they were unaware of the massive tumors that had accumulated since his last visit. The tumor growth rate had so accelerated his body metabolism that for weeks he had laid in a 60 degree Fahrenheit room with at least two fans blowing on him at all times. The people who had visited him had to wrap up in coats and electric blankets! The picture at the top righthand side of the page was taken in October, seven weeks before this trip to the cancer center.
It was immediately determined by the medical staff at the cancer center to send Dr. Renfro to Holston Valley Medical Center, a hospital about one hour away. The concern was that he wouldn't make it alive. The staff actually called three times to see if he had made it alive.
Two of the three doctors that saw Dr. Renfro at Holson Valley Medical Center thought he was as good as dead and medically speaking he was! As a last ditched effort one of them decided to try chemotherapy. The hope was to knock the tumor mass back a little bit to bring a measure of comfort. Dr. Renfro had never wanted to go this way because he figured since it was known to be a temporary fix he would just have to travel the road to increasing devastation again. But God was asking Dr. Renfro to trust him.
After doing CAT Scans on Monday and drawing a little fluid off of his lungs on Tuesday they scheduled the chemotherapy for Wednesday, December 3, 1997. Dr. Renfro equates it to the rock David threw at Goliath. Within himself, David wasn't capable of killing the giant. Within itself, the rock wasn't capable of killing Goliath. But David's willingness to trust God, knowing the battle was the Lord's, brought the unexpected as the giant fell to the ground!
It was interesting that the message Dr. Renfro heard in his last church service on November 23 was from Pastor Sturgill. The title of the message was "One Little Boy." Pastor Sturgill spoke of what David had accomplished in spite of being a little boy. In the message he encouraged Dr. Renfro to "be a little boy." Pastor recognized the level of trust little boys have in their fathers. He knew that was the kind of trust that Dr. Renfro would have to have in God to receive his healing.
Just as Goliath had fallen to David's "insufficient" rock so the cancer that had consumed Dr. Renfro's body fell to the "inadequate" chemotherapy. The tumors melted like wax! They were literally disappearing before everyone's eyes. The concern then became that the dissolving tumor mass would overwhelm Dr. Renfro's already compromised organs as it was being filtered out of his system. But God hadn't brought him this far to let him die. Ten days later Dr. Renfro walked out of the hospital and came back to church on Sunday, December 14, 1997.