There is a little bit of heaven on earth every Tuesday night, according to one Ahwatukee Foothills couple.
The Ahwatukee Healing Rooms has been healing believers for more than a year and the couple in charge is hoping for more growth and success as they carry on God's work.
Bob and Janet Severdia operate their healing rooms under direction from the International Association of Healing Rooms. They believe we all have the power to be like Jesus and heal like he did, but over the years we've forgotten that this power was given to us. The local couple's job is to bring people in and show them that they are loved by God and that they can be healed.
The healing rooms are not a church, but a ministry. The Severdias believe in a unity of all denominations of Christianity and welcome all religions to visit and be healed.
The ministry follows the teachings of Christ from the Bible and the procedure of John G. Lakes, founder of the healing rooms.
When people first enter the building Janet Severdia said the room resembles a doctor's office. People are asked to sign in as a quiet video plays. They fill out a small sheet detailing what they would like healed. A folder is created for each person, but left confidential to volunteers at first. As the participant waits the folder is taken into a room with two or three trained volunteers. They keep the folder closed as they lay their hands on it and pray over it. Each volunteer writes down words or scriptures that come to mind.
After praying, volunteers open the folder and learn what the participant wants healed. The person is then called into the room with them.
Each volunteer ministers to the person what they received. With permission, they anoint the participant with oil, to invite the Holy Spirit in, and then pray for healing.
The Severdias were contractors looking for advice on where to find work next when they first encountered a healing room in Mesa. When they learned that the Mesa Healing Room was closing down they felt God telling them to start their own.
The couple prayed and decided not to go back to work. They were ordained by the IAHR and began their work in Ahwatukee with the Assembly of God Church. Now they work full time taking care of 16 healing rooms across the state as state advisors for IAHR.
"He knew that that had been our desire but we didn't know if we were ready to take on that responsibility," Janet said. "God puts it in your heart to do something and then you step out in faith to do it and he blesses our life. We never know what we're supposed to do, we're just regular people."
Each healing room keeps its own binder of testimonies from those who have been healed.
Glenda Vaughn from Chandler wrote: "I have accepted and believe in my complete healing. My follow-up after surgery showed no residual melanoma and when I went for the surgery the surgeon couldn't even see where the spot was."
Mary Valenzuela said she needed a stent because of blockage in her arteries. A week later she wrote that no stent was needed and her faith was strengthened.
The Ahwatukee Healing Rooms, 11832 S. Warner-Elliot Loop, is open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday night. No appointment is necessary and the prayers are free. The healing rooms are a donation-based ministry.
Allison Hurtado is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.