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Encounter Testimony
Kathy Hibbard

My husband and I attended yet another SOZO training in April of 2021. We love going each year we can because each time we learn and experience so much more. Yet this time was different for me and such an important part of my healing. Let me explain: Our eldest son died 5 months previous to this SOZO training of respiratory complications after Covid and our hearts were still broken and disappointments still so great. 


The second day of the SOZO training, Randy invited us to “soak” in God’s Presence. SOZO is about restoring/enhancing our personal relationship with God The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Randy played a CD and asked us to invite Jesus to come and join us. I sensed Jesus was joining me and then I envisioned the place where He wanted to join me. It was a familiar hike in NJ that we took as a family when the boys were young. It was also the painful trail we had taken 5 months earlier with our son’s ashes. I felt I did not want to go there and proceeded to tell Jesus just that. Jesus gently put out His Hand saying, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you”. I had remembered walking that same trail the day I went into labor for our son so many years before. Randy then asked us to invite Holy Spirit to join us. The journey down that trail became lighter with Holy Spirit’s Presence. many joyful memories of our sons running and laughing going back to the stream where we had claimed a beech tree as our own “family tree”. Carving each of our names into its grey, smooth much “life”. The journey was sad but with so much beauty and happiness that seemed to overshadow the pain.



This walk continued for a half mile until we came to the little bridge over the stream and approached our “Family tree”.


We then invited the Father  to join us. Just as  I had knelt down next to the tree 5 months earlier, The Father... My Father asked me to dig the hole and instead of putting my son’s ashes in it I was to put the ashes of mourning inside it. He was giving me “joy” in place of my  deep mourning. Isa. 61:3 “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning”


This all  seemed so simple and non-religious. Just a simple act of love and My Loving Father graciously provided this time in this SOZO training to bring healing. Thank you, Randy Hill for your sensitivity to Holy Spirit and bringing us such wise and helpful tools for ourselves and a grieving, broken world.


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