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GARY COMES FROM PORTAGE LA PRAIRE MB..  HE IS MARRIED TO A LADY FROM MISSISSAUGA ONTARIO NAMED BETTY JANE. GARY RETIRED FROM THE WORKFORCE LAST YEAR AND BETTY STILL WORKS IN A SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR DISABLED CHILDREN AS A NURSE.  THEY BOTH HAVE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.  BETTY HAS BEEN A PRAISE AND WORSHIP LEADER IN THE CHURCH AND GARY HAS BEEN PURSUING HIS TRAINING IN MINISTRY AND IS NOW NEAR COMPLETION.

HE HAS A VARIED BACKROUND FROM FLYING TO NURSING TO TEACHING TO BEING AN ADMINISTRATOR IN A HEALTH CARE PROFESSION.


CHECK OUT HIS TESTIMONY:

 
Life-changing experience

A plane crash victim who says he died and was brought back to life by the grace of God spoke about his experiences at the Great Falls community hall recently.

Gary Medwechuk, who hails from Portage, was involved in a plane crash in the late 1980s.  At the time of the crash, which took place at Brandon's McGill Airfield, Medwechuk -- then 35 -- served an an ultralight aircraft flying instructor.

He was giving a lesson in late June of 1989 when something went wrong with the plane. 

"The engine just died, and the propeller quit," he said. "I knew both of us would not survive, so I prayed to the Lord to take me, and not my student."

The plane hit the ground with such force that the plane ended up an unrecognizable mass of twisted metal, as the community newspaper would show the next day.

In the photo, Medwechuk -- who is covered in blood -- can be seen sitting upright and speaking with paramedics.

He was taken to hospital while his student was pronounced dead. That about sums up media coverage on the dramatic event, but according to Medwechuk himself, there's a lot more to the story than what got reported.

 Experience with death

Medwechuk says he died when the plane hit the ground, and had an experience that would have a profound effect on the rest of his life.

"I was able to see my broken body, and I could see a man with the most marvelous wisdom about him," Medwechuk said.  "He said 'you have to go back for your son.' I believe this man was Jesus."

When Medwechuk awoke, he was sitting next to the plane, as the dramatic photo depicts.

"I believe my body was spiritually moved," he said. "I told the paramedics 'I don't need any help, just go and help my student,'" he said.

From then on, Medwechuk says, his life would take a new direction. He underwent numerous surgeries to repair his injuries, all the while feeling the presence of God at his side.

"I had numerous experiences coming near death after that," he said.

He survived several major surgeries, and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002 and given less than two years to live.

 "One thing after another began happening after that, just little miraculous things," he said.

"There are no limits to God's power," Medwechuk added. "Jesus told me, 'Keep the faith and have no doubt.'"