My name is Caroline Manzanares and I cannot begin to acknowledge how Ifeoma (Ify), and the "Prayer Centered Family Battle" ministry has helped me through one of the most trying times in mine and my family's lives.
I am writing this testimony as a mother of a now, 23 year old beautiful and charismatic young woman who struggled with a heroin addiction for five years. If one has never dealt with this personally, I can tell you it is the worst pain imaginable.... beyond the physical pain of child birth, and the closes pain I've experienced, to losing a loved one. The most difficult part of this ordeal was seeing our cherished loved one deteriorating before our eyes, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Every day we dreaded when we did not receive phone calls from our daughter Elizabeth- not knowing if she was safe and alive, yet we also dreaded receiving phone calls from her, because we knew she was either withdrawing and begging for money, or hearing that tone in her voice that indicated she was "high". My husband and I were living the nightmare of the possibility of burying her. He would often say "if she dies, I will not go to her funeral".
My daughter grew up knowing the Lord. She sang often in church with her father who played guitar right along side her. This addiction stole her away from this special gift they had. It also devastated our two teenage boys who themselves suffered greatly.
She incurred some events in her life that were very traumatic at a very young age, and she did not share this with us for years after it happened. The end result? This demon drug grabbed a hold of her and she clung to it, to numb the pain. She tells me many times, she did not even know she was addicted until one of her "addicted friends" told her she would need to continue in order to avoid getting sick.
I want to say that GOD HEARD MY CRY. In Psalm 34:17, it says, "the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles". I prayed and prayed and prayed. I also begged, pleaded, got angry at God, and many times gave up. I put my eyes on this problem that was so big.
God understood my pain. I pleaded with God to PLEASE send me some Christian women of God who were real and true. Who would stand beside me and help hold me up during this difficult time. Women who would actually pray and intercede and not just say they would. That is when I met Ify. A friend saw her and Yvonne talking about the ministry on Channel 11. My friend shared their passion and zeal with me, and I immediately tracked them down. My friend and I got to attend a few bible studies and my husband and I attended a couple of conferences. The real treat came when Ify started praying with me, teaching me about how important it is to fast, and even most important was to WORSHIP and thank God. Many times when we would be talking and I would become negative and distraught, she would start to sing and pray. Not only did my faith grow through her witness, I began to mature spiritually, and had more peace. Ify told me "we will continue until we see breakthrough, and that we did". I know this was not easy for Ify as she fell in love with Elizabeth also, and it was difficult for her to hear how this destructive behavior was taking its toll. But she held steadfast in her intercession and encouragement. "GOD IS IN CONTROL" she often told me.
During the beginning of this ordeal, God gave me the scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:7, "Walk by Faith; not by sight". I held onto that scripture and many times had to remind myself about its meaning and how powerful those words were.
Today, Elizabeth has been off of heroin for a year. She has a beautiful 17 month daughter who has changed her life. She is on medication, and is actively getting herself down with the hopes of getting off soon. She is free and God made the way out of temptation as he promised. Was it easy? No. I will not lie. But I had something to hold onto.
Ify and Prayer Centered Family Battle were an integral part of carrying me and my family through this battle. My sons know of her, my husband appreciates her and the ministry, and most importantly, Elizabeth knows there was someone who interceded for her consistently and persistently, during the time she was lost. Someone who did not give up on her or God's promises to deliver her. We are all forever grateful to Ify and the ministry and know that through ongoing support and the favor of God, this ministry will continue to grow ABUNDANTLY in Jesus name.
So blessed to know Him, Caroline and Elizabeth, and the Manzanares Family