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Does God really hear our prayers?
Pastor Mike Dillman and Phil Waterford

By Phil Waterford & Margarita Soto

    On this planet there are more than 6 billion people enduring environmental, political, and economical problems on a global scale. Can one person’s problems really matter to him?

    I am convinced that our creator is never too busy for any of his children. Often, when we pray, we expect our prayers to be answered immediately. However, what I have found is God does answer prayers. It’s not always immediately or in the way that we expect, but he’s always on time.

    I have had many “supernatural” experiences that most people would consider a series of random coincidences. As a matter of fact, some might call it luck or a twist of fate. I have learned to recognize and appreciate them as reassurances from our creator.

    For instance, Memorial Day Weekend 2009, Pastor Mike Dillman who is the Event Organizer for “Not Forgotten”, invited me to be a part of the largest Memorial Day Celebration of it’s kind on the west coast. Initially, I resisted him with every fiber of my body, seriously! When I saw him coming, I went the other way, and ignored all of his phone calls. This guy was so persistent! Finally I gave him an opportunity as he educated and enlightened me of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have made sacrifices for the freedoms that we enjoy every day in this country.

    It became a true honor as I was asked to provide narration for the “Not Forgotten” Ceremony that year. I was introduced to the only living survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, the Japanese American Warriors from the 442nd Military Battalion, Navajo Code Talkers, many Vietnam Veterans and war heroes along with a man who saved the lives of an entire transport and won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    I immediately realized that we are losing a “National Treasure” every day.  Most of these men and women have returned from duty to an ungrateful nation and have never been given a proper welcome home. Pastor Mike Dillman, who is a proud Vietnam Veteran, has dedicated his life to ensure that ALL of our veterans are welcomed home in the most dignified way possible.

    In 2009, when I got home from the Memorial Day events I just couldn’t’ sleep. All I kept thinking about were the stories of the soldiers who have overcome great adversity.

    I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. God would not let me rest. I experienced an epiphany. God made it very clear to me that I was to bless three of the wounded warriors with checks and a brand new car. When God puts something on your heart, you don’t question it. In the end, we do not answer to our spouse, significant others, our families or friends, we answer to God.

    Morning came, I quickly called my financial advisors and accountant and shared with them my plans. They both replied “Phil, you’re crazy! This is the worst economic time we’ve ever experienced. Besides, you can’t afford to do this.” My response was “You just don’t understand, I can’t afford NOT to do this!” I wasn’t asking for permission, I was informing them of God’s will. I contacted my oldest son Phil Jr. who works with me at the dealership and informed him to get our only 2010 Ford Fusion cleaned up and ready for immediate delivery, and that we were giving the car away today. His response was “what do you mean GIVING the car away?” I replied “just as I said, we’re GIVING the car away.” He said “Dad, we can’t GIVE the car away. We can give someone a good deal, but we can’t give the car AWAY.” I said “look son, get the car ready and by the way, don’t forget to fill it with gas.”