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“My lungs were full of blood clots,” Al Babicek recalled.
Eight years ago, he had a serious medical condition. Many people were praying for him. That included his pastor, his church, and those he prayed with in ministry.
“The pulmonary doctor came in and said there’s no reason for me to be alive,” he said.
Babicek attributes his healing to a divine answer.
“I believe in prayer. I do believe in my whole heart that God hears us. God answers us. Maybe not the way we want. But he answers us and we can be assured of that.”
Babicek has been sharing prayer two days a week as a lay volunteer with the Broome County Council of Churches Hospital Chaplaincy program since 2009.
Babicek remembered receiving some good advice on visiting patients on his first day at Wilson Hospital from then-chaplain Betty Pomeroy: Quality over quantity.
“She was telling me that if someone wants to talk, if they need to have someone with them, if that’s the only person I visit with that day … that’s what I need to do because that’s what God would have me to do.”
“I believe that when you pray with people, God doesn’t necessarily say he’s going to heal everybody. But he does give us peace in the situation we’re in.
If I can in a little way kind of make someone’s worry a little better, I like doing that,” he said.
Raised Catholic at St. Cyril’s in Binghamton’s First Ward, Babicek attended the parish school. A member of New Life Church for many years now, prayer is part of his life there at least 3 times a week.
Babicek also prays with inmates as part of the chaplaincy program at a state penitentiary in Waymart, Pennsylvania. And he’s assisted with a similar program at the Broome County Jail. If he sees a county jail inmate at Wilson, he asks the guard if it’s OK to pray with the prisoner.
During his hospital visits, Babicek stops in rooms to see Protestants, Catholics — anyone who needs an ear. He said he lets the Spirit lead him and tries to make a connection with the patient or sometimes their families.
“The other day I was praying with some folks and the lady stood up and put her arms around me and started praying for me,” he said. “It’s a blessing. You meet a lot of good people.”
“People have interesting lives,” Babicek added.” Especially the older folks … they like to talk.”
“Having grown up as a Catholic, Al has many insights into people he visits,” said Chaplain Rev. John Koopman, Coordinator of Hospital Chaplaincy for the Council of Churches.
Koopman calls Babicek a “very devoted, spiritual man,” who recruits other volunteers and assists wherever needed.
“Patients and families are blessed because of Al and all the other volunteers,” Koopman said.
“I just love doing it. This is a blessing.” Babicek said. “I just enjoy praying with them and just sharing my faith.”
For more information on the hospital chaplaincy program, call Chaplain Rev. John Koopman, Wilson Chaplain Office, 763-6003.
To see the complete article, go to: http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/2017/12/25/binghamton-man-says-god-hears-answers-us/980903001/