Charlotte’s story of visit to heaven may go global
Life has been flat-out crazy for Charlotte Holmes since the story of her visit to heaven was published in the Dec. 25 edition of the Ozark County Times and soon after was posted on ozarkcountytimes.com. And now there’s a very good chance things are going to get even crazier soon.
Charlotte has been invited to share her story on two Christian television networks that could potentially carry her story to millions of viewers worldwide.
The amazing response to Charlotte’s story began when the Dec. 25 Times story was posted on ozarkcountytimes.com and linked to the Times’ Facebook page – causing the newspaper’s online provider’s servers to crash.
Those who have read her story have reached out to her through Facebook messages and phone calls. “I can’t even begin to count how many private message I’ve gotten on Facebook,” Charlotte said recently. “And usually there are at least six phone calls a day. Some people have a story that’s similar to mine that they want to share. They tell me about their experience, but they say they haven’t told anybody because they feel people would think they’re crazy,” she said.
“Sometimes they ask me, ‘How did you get the guts to do that?’ I just say I do it simply because God said that’s what he wanted me to do. I have to honor what he asks me to do.”
Also, she says, “People want to be reassured that there’s something out there, that there’s the promise of heaven for those who believe in Jesus.” Many callers want to know that loved ones who died are with God in a better place, she said. “Sometimes their stories are heartbreaking.”
Since her story was published, Charlotte has been invited to share her story at churches and women’s conferences throughout the region – from Utah to Louisiana and from Kansas to Tennessee. And now she and Danny are scheduled to fly to the DayStar Broadcasting Network headquarters in Dallas, where Charlotte will record two episodes of Joni Lamb’s “Joni Table Talk” program for broadcast later. Charlotte will also appear on the “Marcus and Joni” live program from 11 a.m. until noon Central Daylight Time on Monday, April 6. Daystar is on channel 262 or 263 on Dish satellite service and on channel 369 on DirecTV.
The information Daystar shared with Charlotte says its programs are in 109 million homes in the U.S., 10.25 million homes in Canada and that the network has a “footprint” of 106 billion homes in 200 countries.
Charlotte has also been invited to appear on another Christian broadcasting network, but she hasn’t accepted yet. Repeatedly she says she “only goes where God tells me He wants me to go,” adding that sometimes it takes awhile to sense God’s direction.
‘Tell your story … what you’ve seen’
Charlotte’s near-death experience occurred last September while she was hospitalized in Springfield for treatment of high blood pressure. One day while hospital staff members were helping her change hospital gowns after a sponge bath, she fell over onto the bed, unconscious and not breathing.
Charlotte watched from above as an emergency code was called and medical personnel worked for 11 minutes to get her heart restarted and bring her back to life. As she watched, she smelled the most beautiful fragrance she’d ever smelled. And with that, heaven opened before her.
A beautiful scene surrounded her, and she saw and heard angels singing amazing music. She felt the wind on her face as the angels fanned their huge wings. And then she saw her parents who had died years ago, and a cousin who’d had a leg amputated, standing at the golden gate on two good legs. Finally, she saw a little boy. She wondered who the toddler standing with her parents was – and then felt God telling her it was the baby she and her husband, Danny, had lost in a miscarriage nearly 40 years ago.
She wanted to stay there in heaven, but she turned and saw, standing behind her, Danny and their daughter, Chrystal Meek, and Chrystal’s two adult children, Shai and Body. At that point, she said, she felt God giving her a choice. She could stay in heaven. Or she could go back to her earthly life “and tell your story … what you’ve seen.”
Charlotte’s been doing exactly that since her story was published in December. Almost every weekend since then – and sometimes during the week – she has appeared at a church somewhere, telling her story to congregations and Christian women’s groups around the region, some of them numbering in the hundreds.
She’s spoken at several churches in Arkansas and at a women’s gathering in Springfield, as well as congregations in Ava, West Plains, Seymour and other area towns. On Feb. 23, she told her story, sharing God’s message, at First Baptist Church in Gainesville. Saturday, she took some Ozark County friends along to a women’s conference in Bativia, Arkansas, where she was the keynote speaker.
This coming Sunday, March 8, she will speak in a Baptist Church in Salem, Arkansas, and the Sunday after that, March 15, she’ll speak during the Sunday morning service at 11 a.m. at the Thornfield House of Prayer on Highway 95 south 6 miles from Wasola.
She’s booked almost every weekend from now until summer – and beyond – accepting invitations to speak in several states. She and Danny intend to keep going as long as God keeps telling her there are people who need to hear her story. “When he’s accomplished what he wants with me, he’ll let me know, and this experience will be over,” she said, adding, “and I’ll be fine.”
Danny drives them to all the appearances. “And he’s right there to support me in prayer,” she said. Their friends Jane Ann and Kenny Magness often travel with them too. Sometimes a love offering is collected to help with gas money. “I’m thankful for it, but it doesn’t matter. I’m not doing this for money. I’m doing it because God tells me to,” she’s said.
One powerful lesson
Listening to Charlotte describe her experiences since Christmas, it’s clear that she believes she’s seen God working in people’s lives. “We’ve seen miracle beyond miracle,” she said, “and it has nothing to do with Charlotte. Not one thing. God is wanting to show people his miracles and to tell them it’s not long until he’s coming back to get us.”
Each presentation she makes focuses on her same story. “The main story doesn’t change,” she said. “But not a one of those church services has been the same. God changes things to meet the occasion. At altar calls, we’ve seen healing and rededication. We’ve stayed in churches three hours after the service, just praying with people. They have needs, or they want to talk. I don’t ever want to refuse anyone. Danny and I laugh because we’re usually the last ones to leave the church – and people are still stopping us as we’re walking to our car.”
Then they go home and she spends time talking with people on the phone. “I get calls all day long, and that’s fine. I feel blessed that people want to talk to me. And sometimes Danny and I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning,” answering Facebook messages,” she said. “Or sometimes I go into the little prayer closet Danny made for me, and I just pray.”
Many of the people whose lives she touches also tell her they’re praying for her as well. “They pray blessings on me. They’ve prayed for me as much as I’ve prayed for them,” she said.
Many have them have become “the sweetest, dearest friends,” she said.
Charlotte has learned a lot as she shares her story. But this lesson may be the most powerful:
“This is a cruel world, but there is so much love. Jesus just fills you with love and joy,” she said. “I’m very, very humbled to have him use me to bring joy into someone’s life. But here’s one thing you need to know: When you say, ‘Here I am, Father,’ you’d better be ready because God is going to take you on a journey!”