NEW BOOK: Chapter Nine
Neva Mirasty’s Salvation
Neva & Frank Mirasty ministering at the House of Prayer
on Hiway 623, east of #21 and south of New Sarepta, AB, 2014
NOTE: This is the unedited version of Chapter Nine of the Frank & Neva Mirasty's book which will be printed in April, 2015. The author is Linda Crosby. I have written the foreword for this dynamic book.- Rev. Max Solbrekken
Foreword for Mirasty Book
It is a great joy for me to write the foreword for a book that highlights the extra - ordinary lives of two people who have brought the Gospel to bear upon and positively affected a host people in the last forty years!
During these many years Frank and Neva Mirasty have built churches, held Gospel Tent Crusades and proclaimed the Good News of Christ's atoning blood with much success! Hundreds have been converted to our Lord and thousands touched by His hand of love through their ministry!
I have known Frank and Neva Mirasty on a ministerial level as well as on a personal basis since the early 1970's and have found them to be sincere, Christ – centred and caring to their church members as well as visitors! Over the years, I have ministered with them and a bond of friendship and love has always existed, and their belief in Christ as Saviour, Healer and Deliverer has never wavered!
During a time of illness in 1972, Neva Mirasty was led by the Holy Spirit to the Edmonton Revival Centre where she was miraculously healed by Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire. Even though Frank was totally opposed to her new faith in Jesus Christ and her fervent spiritual experience, she refused to give in to his taunts and threats, but pressed in more deeply in Bible reading, prayer and fellowship.
Again, the Holy Spirit moved supernaturally upon Frank and he was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Together they forged a union in God that changed their family, relatives and the Flying Dust Reservation. They have actually given their lives in the Ministry of Jesus Christ.
When Frank and Neva's son Ron passed away, I was asked to officiate at his funeral. The stature of the Mirasty family in the Meadow Lake area was evident as nearly half the population of Meadow Lake and Flying Dust Reservation were present.
Chief Frank Mirasty said, “Pastor Max, Give them the Gospel.” My text was from Job 14:14: “If a man die will he live again?” After the funeral many asked Frank, “Why can't we hear that kind of preaching in our churches?”
The Bible states: “Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost,and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord.” (Acts 11: 24).
Barnabas' name means *'the son of consolation'*. His life mirrored his name. He was in the midst of revival. He searched for Saul and brought him into fellowship. And, “Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostle's feet.” (Acts 4: 36,37)
Thinking about Frank Mirasty, I saw a close parallel to Barnabas. Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Frank and Neva Mirasty in a 60 minute Video. I hope someone reading this book will decide to make a Movie about one of Canada's most respected First Nation Couples!
- Max Solbrekken, D.D.
The year was 1970 when Neva had been dealing with sickness all year long. There was a sharp pain that traveled from her side to her heart and then to her head. It was unbearably excruciating. She was in and out of the hospital and she had a cupboard full of pills that were not giving her any relief despite the doctor’s attempts at a diagnosis. She decided to look to the Indian ways of healing with a medicine man, but her health continued on a downward slope without any improvement.
She finally called a Catholic priest to come and pray for her, but when he arrived he did the sign of the cross and he didn't even pray! She had trusted in the Catholic Church half her life and the priest couldn’t even help her on her death bed! She had heard of heaven and hell. She has heard of God and the Devil. But she was scared to die because she thought she would end up in hell.
Neva’s pain and suffering was too much for her to handle and she finally gave up and asked God to take her out of her suffering. God’s tender heart heard Neva’s cry for help. He heard her weeping and her calling on Him. As she cried out, “Jesus, take me!” a warm wonderful feeling came over her and she felt a peacefulness that she had never experienced in her life!
That night she dreamt of a Bible with its pages turning, from the beginning to the end of the book. Neva had never read the Bible in her life, but God was revealing himself to her through her dream and His Word. Neva got down on her knees for the first time and prayed in her own way. She didn't know what to say, but cried out, “God, help me! Show me what to do!” Little did she know she was following Scripture.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
The following week, the July 1st. long weekend, Neva was scheduled to have an exploratory operation at the hospital to see if the doctors could determine what was causing her pain and suffering. As only God can orchestrate, while Neva was waiting for the surgery, a Christian woman came into her room and gave her a magazine to read to help pass the time. Neva devoured the Christian magazine that told of an evangelist named Max Solbrekken who was conducting healing services in Edmonton, Alberta. God was giving her His answer! Neva was so encouraged and she knew if she simply could get to Edmonton, she would be healed!
Neva immediately told the nurse, “I'm going home. I'm getting out of here!”
“No, you’re not,” replied the nurse emphatically, “you’re having an operation tomorrow!”
Neva was not to be put off and argued with the nurse, “I don’t care if you don’t want to give me my clothes. I phoned my husband and he will bring me clothes. That’s all there is to it!”
Not surprisingly, this did not go over well with the hospital staff. The doctor overseeing Neva’s case let her know that he would not be held responsible if anything happened to her because she was not following his orders. Neva didn't care. She had an assurance in her heart that her healing would come from God if she could get to Edmonton.
Frank came and picked up his wife but he refused to drive her to Edmonton. That was a 430 kilometer drive and at that point, Frank was thinking Neva was going crazy. She wasn't following the doctor’s orders. She had just discharged herself from the hospital. And then she wanted to go see a man in Edmonton who she read about in a magazine that she found at the hospital! This wasn't the first time he seriously thought about taking her to the mental institution.
As only God would plan, Elmer, a nephew of Neva’s was visiting Flying Dust from Edmonton that weekend. Neva spoke with him and he agreed to take her home with him so she could attend the revival and prayer meeting that Evangelist Solbrekken was conducting.
This was Neva’s first time experiencing the power of God in prayer meetings. She had never seen anything like it and she was terrified! The well-dressed man leading the meeting had called people to the front who wanted to be prayed for. As he prayed for them they were falling to the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit, but Neva assumed they were all dropping dead. She couldn't handle seeing these people dying and closed her eyes tightly and prayed to God that He would spare her from being the next body to hit the floor.
There are several places in scripture where the power of God came upon people and they fall to the ground awestruck at God’s presence.
John 18:6 When Jesus said, "I am he," [the soldiers] drew back and fell to the ground.
Acts 9:3b-5 Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around [Saul]. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
Evangelist Solbrekken came near where Neva was standing and began to intercede and pray for her. While he was praying she felt a ball of light and electricity come down from heaven upon her. As she was basking in the wonderful feeling, she was thankful that she hadn’t fallen down. As the Holy Spirit filled her she began laughing and speaking in another language. It was a tongue unknown to her, a miraculous filling of the Holy Spirit with the gift of speaking in tongues as taught in the Bible.
Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.
The Lord healed Neva that day and she has never been the same. She came away from that meeting in Edmonton praising God, full of love, happiness and true joy. It was the first time in her life she experienced peace and a sound mind. Jesus did great and mighty things in her life and she couldn't wait to tell others about the love and healing available from God.
Max Solbrekken had instructed Neva to start reading the Bible beginning with the Gospels, the first four books in the New Testament. Neva did as he had suggested and it was the first time in her life she could understand the words written in the Bible. Praise God, she had a love letter from God himself that she could read over and over again.
Neva’s mother had taught her not to read the Bible at all! “People go crazy when they read the Bible,” she would warn. But Neva didn't listen to her mother’s advice. She poured over the Gospels and learned of God’s love and sacrifice for all.
One Sunday shortly after Neva found the Lord, Frank insisted that she go to confession at the Catholic Church. Instead of refusing to go, Neva went enthusiastically and told the priest in the confessional, “God gave me a wonderful life! A brand new life! A happy life! I am saved!” Neva had no need to go through a priest to ask for forgiveness or get a penance anymore. Her sins had been forgiven by the blood of Jesus on the cross. She could talk directly with her Heavenly Father anytime.
Unfortunately for Frank, Neva was very enthusiastic about her new found salvation through Jesus Christ. He was very critical of the peace in her life and treated her cruelly, trying to get her to abandon Christ. As chief at that time, politicians would come to visit Frank and Neva at Flying Dust and Neva would welcome them with a burst of joy, “Jesus saved me and healed me!”
Frank would scold her, “You’re going crazy! I'm going to take you to the hospital for crazy people!” When he knew visitors were coming by the house, he would tell her, “Go into the bedroom and don’t come out!” This didn't deter Neva from sharing her life changing story. She would come out of the bedroom after a while and excitedly tell the people about Jesus and all that He had done for her.
Romans 1:16a I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
There was an elderly native woman named Mary Desjarlais, and her daughter Jenny, who were native Christians at Flying Dust. Neva teamed up with these fellow believers and began praying every Wednesday for their families and husbands to get saved. They had a real burden for the Indian people. They couldn't contain their excitement and love for the Lord so they went knocking on doors on the reserve. Neva would inform the people, “You know what happened? I was sick and I got healed. Jesus healed me. You should have Jesus in your life!” Some laughed at the three ladies. Some slammed the door in their faces. Frank didn't know what to make of them and started mocking them by calling them the Three Stooges.
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
These three devoted Christian women prayed and fasted for a whole year, and finally God poured out his Spirit and a revival started. The ladies were so encouraged they went to the hospital and prayed for the sick. They started holding services in Flying Dust. Jenny played the guitar for their worship and they were praying for musicians to join her.
There was a singer playing in the bars in Meadow Lake at that time named Bob Norman, who got saved during the camp meeting and started using his musical talent for the Lord. He helped Jenny with worship for the revival meetings. A favorite song he performed was “I Saw the Light.” Bob and his wife Clara, who were both vocalists, started a radio ministry that lasted for years, spreading the Gospel message all over Canada.
News traveled to Flying Dust about a Cherokee man named Charles Enlow who held meetings among the Indian people. Neva invited him to come and have a rally with the Flying Dust people. Belligerently, Frank refused to allow Brother Charles to have the meetings at the band hall. “We got our own religion. Get out!” Frank firmly confronted Charles. Knowing that Neva was praying for Frank’s salvation and Frank was running hard from God, Charles pointed at Frank and blasted, “Someday you will need God and I will be around to see it!” Nothing could have made Frank more furious and determined to keep out the religious nuts!
Even though Neva’s life had completely turned around since the Lord healed and saved her, Frank was not going to fall for that religious nonsense. It was fine for his wife, if she didn't embarrass him, but it was certainly not something the chief of a First Nation should get mixed up in. Frank would often go down to the bar and have some drinks and smoke his evening away. Neva prayed earnestly for her husband’s salvation and was very frustrated when he would escape to the bar.
One night Frank had been gone for quite a while so Neva decided to go look for Frank and bring him home. After searching all through the bars in town, but not finding her husband, she returned to the house to pray some more. Ironically, Neva never found Frank because he anticipated her attempt at dragging him home and he had worn a disguise to the bar. Decked out in a big coat, dark sun glasses and a hat, Frank sat and watched in amusement as his wife came into the bar, looked right at him and didn't recognize him.
The change in Neva was remarkable. There was true joy in her life. She was happy. All the day while she worked she would sing praises to God. Not understanding her new-found joy, Frank would yell at her, “Quit singing!” And he would leave the house after slamming the door in disgust.
Every Sunday Neva would prepare herself for church and get all the kids fed and ready to go. Half would go with her to the Pentecostal Church and half would go with Frank to the Catholic Church. This made Frank so upset that his wife had changed her religion and was splitting up the family. It grieved Neva that her husband wasn't coming to the Lord and she would cry and pray in her bedroom for his salvation. This became common place for the children to hear her wailing to the Lord in earnestness for her family. Often she would continue her prayers through meal times and the family would sit down to eat without her. Her actions angered Frank and in bitterness he told the children, “Your mother is too religious to eat with us now!”
Frank’s rejection of Jesus did not dampen Neva's desire to pray or read the Word of God. She knew that if she continued to bring her requests before the Lord, He would hear her heart’s desires and save her family.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.