We are the Barnard family. I never thought I’d say that we have had the privilege to live through a miracle. This is a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness, He prepared both our family as well as our church congregation as His warriors for this miracle happening.
We have three children, Mieke is 9 years old, Anja is 6 and our son, Jean-Luc is 22 months old. On 11 November 2018 we visited a resort close to our hometown, with friends. By the end of the day we were packing up, rushing to leave by six. Riaan and I quickly went to the ablution block one last time, taking Jean-Luc with us. On our way back I noticed that Anja took one final swim in the pool. Letting go of Jean-Luc’s hand, I stopped to help Anja out of the pool and to get dressed, by the side of the pool. That was the last time I saw Jean-Luc. Meanwhile Riaan went ahead to finish loading the car. Walking towards the car with a second load of our things, he suddenly felt a sense of unease and urgency. He came running towards me, asking where Jean-Luc was! Ice cold with fear I said that I didn’t know!
I started calling out, running around looking for him. Riaan rushed towards the pool and as he stood on the rocks by the side of the pool, he saw the little body of our son, floating face down at the bottom of the pool. He stumbled into the water to bring him to the surface. Jean-Luc’s body was lifeless, blue and swollen beyond recognition. Our child was dead! A sight that I will remember for the rest of my life… Riaan tried to force his clenched jaws open to enable CPR. As we started CPR on Jean-Luc, Riaan kept calling out to Jesus… JESUS…JESUS…JESUS!
As I started resuscitation a woman appeared next to me, completely calm, saying to me: “I’m a doctor, step aside and let me help your child.” She took over the resuscitation and kept going. I phoned my best friend, Annelle, saying: “Jean-Luc drowned, he is dead, pray, now!” The chain reaction of prayer started – Annelle phoned her husband, Riaan, our minister, at Bible School. They got everyone they could think of to pray in that moment, to plead with God, our Father, for the life of our child, to bring him back to life!
Meanwhile the doctor kept going with CPR. All along I prayed, calling out the prophecies pronounced over his life, even before birth. God promised us this blond little boy, four times it was prophesied, and even before I knew that I was pregnant. At times even the doctor got flustered, praying, saying:” Jesus, this does not look good…” I took her hands saying that God placed her here for His purpose, confirming that her hands and life was an anointed blessing for this purpose specifically, encouraging her to please keep going, not to give up.
Riaan placed his hands on Jean-Luc’s head, saying: “Live, in the Name of Jesus!” At that moment Jean-Luc sat up and started vomiting. The doctor said that she had a pulse! Annelle phoned to ask where we were. I said we had a pulse, asking that they must continue to pray and not to phone again. Everyone continued to pray.
The ambulance reached us in a record time, everyone so helpful and professional, knowing exactly what to do. Jean-Luc was given oxygen, still unconscious but having a pulse and breathing on his own. On the way to the hospital we kept calling out to God, to save our son’s life. At the hospital everyone was quick, efficient, tremendously helpful and empathic towards our needs. The first hospital did not have a paediatric ICU available. Upon our arrival a friend, who is a doctor too, was waiting. He made a few phone calls and we could move Jean-Luc to a hospital in our hometown where a paediatric specialist was waiting. Again, everyone was very helpful and ready to do whatever was needed. At that time, Jean-Luc was still unconscious.
We slept at the hospital. The next morning, at half past four, I heard a cry and I knew – that was my child, he was calling out to me! As we entered Jean-Luc was sitting up in the bed, eating Jelly Tots (sweets). He greeted us with a friendly:” Hallo Mamma, look at my ’eina’,” referring to the drip in his arm. Our child was fine, perfect, healed and saved! Praise God!
Every single person that phoned or visited, when I looked into their eyes, I saw my own distress, I was looking at someone who lost a child. Our faith family loves us so deeply that they all felt our pain first hand, as if it was their own child who died and was raised again. I am grateful for every single prayer offered up on our behalf.
Riaan, our pastor, phoned soon after, asking if we heard about Merite? We said no, we haven’t. He explained that God has been tormenting her for more than two years, with the number 11. She remained alarmed about the number 11, not knowing the meaning of this nervous feeling. Andre, her husband, asked for prayer and that these feeling could let up. On Saturday, 10 November, Merite had a vision from God, showing her that a child will fall into water. The next day being the 11th of the 11th month, she knew that they had to pray for a child, for protection against drowning. She interceded on behalf of this unknown child, she remained fearful and anxious, to such an extent that she made her own children sleep in her room that knight, keeping close watch over them. That night she woke up and God gave her the following verses:
Hebrews 11: 1-2: “Now faith is the substance of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” (KJV)
This was our disposition – my eyes confirmed that Jean-Luc was dead but my heart testified that God would not take him away from us. God promised him to us and that was how it would be. We prayed all the prophecies we received about his life, everyone agreed with us in joint prayer and petition to God. God knew that this potential tragedy was coming but He prepared the way, refusing that the devil take our child away from us. I was so grateful towards Merite and we praised God for her obedience and faithfulness to intercede on behalf of our son.
Next I phoned the doctor who assisted us by the pool, expressing our eternal gratefulness towards her for being there for us in our need. She saved Jean-Luc’s life, she was an instrument in the hand of God, part of His eternal plan for us. I thanked her for her servant’s heart, that she was prepared and so brave when we needed it most, in a moment of total chaos. I looked at the Biblical meaning of the number 11, it being “chaos”. The devil had chaos in mind for that fateful 11th day of the 11th month but did not succeed. This doctor is a wonderful child of God, filled with His Spirit, ever grateful for the opportunity to be used by Him. I shared our insights about the significance of 11 with her, only to hear that her own child, 10 years ago, drowned on the exact same premises. He died in her arms, she could not save him. Ever since that day she had been praying that God will provide an opportunity for her to assist someone in a similar situation. On that day her story was completed, some good came out of her misery and she was immensely grateful, more so than us! In the end she said that her son drowned on the 11th of February, ten years ago. The devil really wanted to create chaos but did not succeed at all!
We thank God for His faithfulness and for our Faith family who stood by us and who joined us in faith and prayer, we could never have survived this on our own.
Watch the YouTube video of Dominique sharing her testimony:
Following this testimony, this Biblical Insight helps to understand why situations with similar circumstances may have different outcomes: