The Johnsons: God's Amazing Grace
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: December 23, 2010
“We couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift. That was the greatest gift God could have ever given us.”
Dawn Johnson’s Christmas miracle really began with a promise she made as a 19-year-old girl. During a mission trip to Haiti, she visited a small, third world hospital.
She tells The 700 Club, "I remember going to this hospital with this gentleman, and I had asked that gentleman, 'What is in that room?' I remember him opening the door, and there were rows and rows of babies. I was horrified when he said, 'This is our dying room.'
"I locked eyes with one infant. I remember my eyes and my heart speaking back to that child, saying, 'One day, one day I promise I will make a difference for children like you.'"
As she grew older, Dawn never forgot her promise. She started her family with her husband Tom and had four biological children. They began to foster and eventually adopted Hailey in 1996. In 2004, they felt led to adopt again, this time a baby named Grace from Ethiopia.
"We knew immediately, just at how God has spoken, that this was the little girl we were supposed to have."
In May of 2005, Tom and Dawn traveled to Ethiopia to pick up their daughter.
"We walked into this room. It was lined up with these little cradles, and I remember passing one by one. Little Gracie’s eyes were wide open and instant connection. She looked at me and I looked at her, and it was such a beautiful connection because the last time I had stared into the eyes of an infant like that was in the devastation of Haiti. All of the sudden, this grin that took up her whole face exploded."
The next day, Dawn and Tom learned the hard truth about Gracie’s background.
"I remember the instructor sharing with us that our little girl had been found. She had been abandoned in a field underneath a little nook in a bush with a rope placed around her neck. She had been left naked, no food, no water, for two days. They couldn’t even get her birth date exactly on. They had to make a guess."
A group of villagers accidentally stumbled upon Gracie and contacted a police officer.
"He said the rope was so tight around her neck that he couldn’t even get his fingers in there to get it off. It was there for the purpose of death. The field that she was found in, the town where she is from, is called Hosanna. It literally means, 'Lord, save us'. As I looked down at her sleeping in my arms, I thought, how could she survive such a thing? But little did I know that God’s grace was so with her. He was revealing more and more what Grace is and how it works."
On May 23, 2005, Gracie came home to the States to her new brothers and sisters. But the Johnsons had more hard news waiting for them. When they took Gracie in for routine blood work, their doctor called with a sobering report.
Dr. Liebert says, "She did have an active Hep B infection that she probably ended up getting at the time of birth. For children that are chronic Hep B carriers, there is not a lot of treatment available and these children can go on to have cerosis when they are older. That can go on to have cancer."
Dawn says, "I didn’t know at that point how devastating Hep B can be, but I knew that she could be a very, very sick little girl. So after hearing the news, immediately we went in our bedroom and we prayed. We took our little girl and we prayed over her."
Just days later, the Johnsons felt God leading them to attend a healing crusade.
"At the healing crusade, I remember the pastor saying, 'People, pray, ask God anything and just believe. I remember placing her hand on her head, closing my eyes and just praying, 'Lord, just heal her. That is all I ask of You.' A beautiful vision came before me. I saw the side of Jesus had walked up in front of me and I just saw from His shoulder down.
He was taking her disease, which He died on the cross to do. He was giving her His purity, His life, His healing through this circular blood flow.
It was the most powerful thing I have ever witnessed, and I said, 'Father God, You are healing her. I claim this for her.'"
In December, the Johnsons took Gracie back in to have her blood retested.
"My cell phone rang, and it happened to be our doctor. He said, “Dawn, I have great news for you. I have a special gift for you.' It was just before Christmas, and Gracie’s blood came back clean and pure and Hep B negative."
Dr. Liebert confirms, "Her liver enzymes were back to normal. All evidence of the Hep B virus within her blood completely disappeared. She is the first one I’ve seen that has actual been able to completely clear the Hep B."
"What a beautiful time to give us for Christmas," Dawn says. "That Christmas was the most special Christmas we will ever celebrate. [It] is the gift that He gave us of her and her healing and all that she has been since!"
Today, Gracie is five years old and healthier than ever. She even has a little brother, Joseph, from the same orphanage in Ethiopia. Dawn says, "Everyday is such a miracle day. I am reminded everyday when I see her and the joy she has in her heart and in her spirit of God’s grace and love. God is no respecter of persons. All the love and favor He gave to that little girl is what He wants His people to know. He hears our cry and He wants to save us just as He saved that little girl. He is waiting for you."
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