Stand Your Ground!

Joe Weiss looked out at the stunning vistas of Vancouver, British Columbia. A coastal city, Vancouver sat snuggled under sapphire blue skies that reflected the water from English Bay and the Burrard Inlet. It was June 2009, and in the two years he’d been here, everything had happened so fast that some days it all seemed like a dream.

In 2003, Joe was hired in engineering by Hyatt Hotels Corporation in San Diego, despite not having an engineering degree. Back home in Minnesota, his dad owned a construction company, where Joe learned to read blueprints. While in San Diego, Joe had met and married Jessica, who also worked for Hyatt. He had tried to advance his career by applying for a position in Denver. That didn’t happen.

In 2007, a position at a Hyatt in Vancouver came open. Though it seemed the job would be more like a demotion than a promotion, Joe applied and was hired. His first challenge—get the hotel ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Two months after his arrival, Joe’s boss quit. Two days later, Joe was made director of engineering. “Corporate doesn’t know it yet,” the general manager told Joe. “They want someone more seasoned. I want you to do this for a couple of months. If you keep the ship afloat, then it’s yours.”

At 26, Joe had become the youngest director of engineering in Hyatt history.

Suddenly, Joe was in a good place. He loved his job. He loved Vancouver. And he loved his family, which by now included Jessica, daughter Joslyn and a new baby on the way. He didn’t know how life could be any better.

Jessica and Joe Weiss

“My dream is to make a positive impact on people’s lives the way it was made on ours. I want other people to experience their miracles.”

—Joe Weiss, Executive Director of KCM Canada

A Knock-Out Punch

Joe’s phone rang.

“Honey, the strangest thing happened,” Joe heard Jessica say. “I think I had an accident in bed and wet myself. I don’t think it’s any big deal.”

Joe insisted Jessica see her doctor to be sure.

“Your membranes have ruptured,” the doctor told her. “You’ll go into labor within the next 24 hours. The baby can’t survive. You’re only 19 weeks along. Viability for an infant is 24 weeks. If you don’t go into labor, you’ll develop an infection within 72 hours.”

Then, she delivered the most staggering blow.

“We’ll have to deliver the baby to save your life,” the doctor said. “Your baby won’t survive.”

“Those were very dark days,” Joe recalls. “We’d never faced anything like it.”

The only good news was that 24 hours passed, and Jessica didn’t go into labor. After 72 hours, there was no sign of infection.

“Her doctor sent her for a consultation at the British Columbia Women’s Hospital,” Joe recalled.

“Their Maternal Fetal Medicine Department handles all the high-risk pregnancies for Western Canada. After an additional ultrasound, we met with two doctors. One who had just become a doctor and was still in training, seemed to radiate light.

When she heard the baby’s heartbeat she said, ‘What a beautiful, healthy baby!’ ”

Then the other, a more experienced doctor, told them: “The ultrasound shows that you have only 2.5% of your amniotic fluid. At this facility we don’t recommend continuing a pregnancy unless there is at least 10%. You have a condition called placenta previa. That means your placenta is attached in the wrong place. It covers your cervix. If you go into labor, you run the risk of bleeding to death.

“Thirty percent of the placenta is already detached,” the doctor explained. “It’s sheering off, and there is a large blood clot behind it. Your son is receiving 30% less nutrients and oxygen than he needs. If he was born full term, which he won’t be, he would only have a 15% chance of survival. He would only have a 3% chance of being healthy and normal. He could have club feet, facial deformities, be born blind, deaf, and be confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a lifetime supply of oxygen. His lungs can’t grow, and he could suffocate without oxygen.”

Then came the most heart-wrenching words: “We recommend a medical termination,” the doctor said. “Do you have family you could call?”

Surprised, and in disbelief, Joe responded: “We don’t have any family in Canada, but we have a church family.”

“We have a termination team on standby,” the doctor said. “Do you need 15 minutes alone?”

“No,” Joe replied, “we need to go home and pray.

At home, Joe and Jessica prayed for direction.

After speaking with both their families, they called and scheduled termination for the following week.

Caleb in NICU
Caleb in NICU.

Life and Death

Neither Joe nor Jessica had ever heard of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. But a co-worker of Joe’s, who was a strong believer, was a Partner with KCM. When she heard about their situation, the Lord gave her scriptures to share with the couple, one of which was Jeremiah 1:5: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (New Living Translation).

When the co-worker called to tell them, Joe politely told the woman, “Thank you, but we’ve scheduled a termination.”

The woman hung up in tears, and the Lord gave her two more instructions. First, He told her to encourage them to attend an upcoming healing seminar at their church. Then, He told her to give Joe and Jessica a tape series by Gloria Copeland called God Can Turn It Around.

Three days before the scheduled termination, Jessica was on strict bedrest. While she tried to keep still, the baby did not. He kept moving around, making his presence known.

Joe had never experienced anything so bleak. That was his son. What would he have been like? he wondered.

The phone rang. It was some members of their church Life Group.

“Can we come over?” the caller asked.

“Sure,” Joe answered.

“Buzz us up. We’re downstairs.”


Taking a Stand

“We’ve just come from the first day of the two-day healing service at church,” one of the visitors explained. “It was all about miscarriages and pregnancies. When it was over, we felt led to come here. We think you should be there tomorrow night.”

Despite being on bedrest, Jessica and Joe decided to attend the healing service the following evening. On the way, Jessica told Joe:

“I feel like we have a card in our back pocket.”

“What do you mean?”

“Regardless of what we hear, see or feel tonight, we need to trust that we have received our miracle and cancel the termination.” Right then, the two came into agreement, prayed and told the Lord they would not terminate the pregnancy.

During the healing service, a woman touched Jessica’s back and said, “I don’t know you, but I sense the enemy has an attack on you. Do you know Psalm 91?”


That was all the woman said.

The message preached that night confirmed their resolve.

Later, Jessica was called up front, where ministers anointed her with oil and prayed over her.

“We knew we’d received our miracle,” Jessica says. “On Monday, we went to the hospital for an ultrasound. We expected the ultrasound to show amniotic fluid in my womb. It would document our miracle.”

Instead, things were worse. The amount of amniotic fluid wasn’t even measurable.

“We don’t recommend proceeding with the pregnancy,” the doctor explained once again.

“We’ve decided to continue on with the pregnancy,” Joe responded.

“I need to know why,” the doctor asked.

“You’ve already told us there’s nothing you can do,” Joe answered.

“There’s nothing we can do, so we’re going to put our faith in God.”

“Regardless of your faith, you can’t change the fact that your wife’s water broke at week 19,” the doctor retorted. “We weren’t going to tell you this because you were going to terminate. But now, we must let you know that your son has the markers for Down syndrome.”

In the car on the way home, Jessica collapsed into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. She wanted to speak to no one but their pastor.

“Our pastor came to visit, and we told him everything,” Joe said.

“He told us: ‘Make no mistake, you’re in a spiritual battle. We’ll be fighting with you. But I can tell you that when I’m with God, I really believe I’m in that 3%.’”

Jessica remained on strict bedrest, with orders to call 911 at the first sign of bleeding.

“I started reading and confessing Psalm 91 morning and night,” she recalled. “I also started listening to God Can Turn It Around. Through that, I learned the power of standing on God’s Word as final authority.”

Viability for the baby occurred at Week 24.

Jessica smothered a sigh when she woke up the morning of Week 23, Day 6, thanking the Lord for another day! That evening, however, she passed a large blood clot. Fear tried to grip Jessica as she dialed 911. As she was being loaded into the ambulance, Psalm 91 began to minister to her: “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Supernatural peace and joy began to well up in her.

The next morning, Jessica woke up knowing that the baby was now viable. Still, she prayed for more time. Every day, the doctors would come in, surprised she was still there, and remind her that she wouldn’t be taking a baby home. Prompted by a scripture given to her by her pastor, Jessica began to journal and write down a new verse to stand on each day. After 2. weeks, she went home—her pregnancy still intact.


A Praise Fest

At home, nurses came by every day to check on her and every Monday she went for an ultrasound.

Still, the day came when the reality of Jessica’s situation caught up with her.

Exhausted and overwhelmed, she stepped into the shower planning a pity party. Instead, praise music began playing in her mind.

Surrendering to it, she lifted her arms and entered in to praise.

Crawling back into bed, she picked up a book from her nightstand by Stormie Omartian titled The Power of a Praying Parent. On the dedication page she read for the first time, Lamentations 2:19: “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children” (New King James Version). That had not been her plan, Jessica thought, but that was just what she’d done.

Each week Jessica saw the doctor, and each week nothing changed. Each week she was told, “Chances are you won’t be bringing your baby home from the hospital.”

While their families at first didn’t agree with their decision, in time they came around. Joe’s mother even paid for a full-time nanny for Joslyn so Jessica could stay in bed.

Joe and Jessica had no idea their Life Group had been fasting concerning their situation. Nor did they know the group had enlisted help from the church to provide meals while Jessica was on bed rest. One day, when Joe went downstairs to pick up a meal that was being delivered, he looked in shock at the woman making the delivery. It was the doctor they had met from the British Columbia Women’s Hospital— the one who radiated light!

“You’re that doctor!” Joe said.

“You’re that couple!” the woman responded. “I’ve always wondered what happened to you. I’ve had my Life Group praying for you!”

Neither had known they were each members of the same church.

Caleb in NICU and at 6 months old

Caleb in NICU and at 6 months old.

Having Done All…Stand

Two weeks later, Jessica was back in the hospital due to bleeding and was preparing to be released to go home. A friend had come to visit. Leaning over to give Jessica a hug, she gasped.

“You’re bleeding!”

Without thinking, Jessica jumped out of bed.

When she stood, it felt like water balloons filled with blood were dropping from her body. She jumped back into bed as her friend called for help.

Jessica was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section. Three separate teams were working on her and the baby when Joe arrived.

Outside the operating room, realizing he could lose one or both of them, Joe dropped to his knees and prayed for God’s glory to fill the room.

Then, dressed in hospital scrubs, he went inside the operating room.

Caleb Jeremiah Weiss was 30% larger than his gestational age when he was born. He weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces. He was also born dead.

No one except Joe and Jessica had expected him to be alive. Hospital staff moved Caleb’s lifeless body out of the way while they worked on Jessica.

Then, something happened.

God started Caleb’s heart and the baby showed signs of life! Despite the odds, Joe and Jessica’s son was alive!

Just then, a nurse pointed to the security camera.

“Do you have family here?” she asked.

Looking up at the camera, Joe and Jessica saw that their Life Group members had gathered in the hallway.

“One of my prayers had been that the head doctor of the NICU would be there when Caleb was born,” Jessica recalls. “He had told us, ‘I know you’re in a negative situation, but if you get your baby into my hands, I’ll be aggressive.’ He wasn’t there when I went into labor, but while I was in recovery, he showed up and said, ‘Sign this. I just gave your baby a blood transfusion without your approval.’”

Caleb was the sickest baby in the NICU.

While most nurses cared for four babies. Caleb’s condition was so critical that he had one nurse assigned only to him. He was medically paralyzed for two days so he wouldn’t fight the machines that were keeping him alive.


Against All Odds

“When I was discharged, we knew we couldn’t always control what was said over him,” Jessica remembers. “So, we posted the Word of God over him on his whiteboard: ‘The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him’ (Luke 2:40, New International Version).

“​Once we got him home, Caleb continued to grow strong.

Not only was he physically strong, but testing showed that his cognitive ability was superior.”


Weiss Family - Christmas 2018

Weiss family during Christmas 2018.

“Every day, I met with the doctor and asked, ‘What are your concerns today?’ One day, he said he was concerned about his heart, another day it was his brain, another day his kidneys. Everyone in our Life Group prayed for each concern as it arose and without fail, the following day that was resolved. On day six, the doctor reported, ‘I have no more concerns. Today we’re removing his breathing tube. Now, he just needs to grow, then he can go home.’”

Ten days before his actual due date, Joe and Jessica brought little Caleb home—a healthy, normal 7-pound baby.

“Once we got him home, Caleb continued to grow strong,” said Jessica. “Not only was he physically strong, but testing showed that his cognitive ability was superior. Everything the doctors said would happen to him, never happened. They were all amazed. One of them even offered to be in a documentary our church made.”

Since Caleb’s birth, Jessica and Joe have had two more children: Levi, now 7; and Zoe, age 4.

Today, at age 10, Caleb is a downhill ski racer.

“I taught him to ski the bunny slopes,” Joe explains. “When we signed him up for skiing lessons, the coach said, ‘I’ve been a coach for 10 years, and today has been my best day. What Caleb is doing, he shouldn’t be able to do at his age.’ We enrolled Caleb in a ski club when he was 6. Then Joslyn and Levi joined. At 10 and 7, Caleb and Levi are both ski racers. They love speed. Caleb won the Abby Award, which is given to one child out of 180.”

After seeing God move in such a powerful way for them, Joe and Jessica determined to learn more about faith by attending KCM meetings and sitting under the teaching of Brother Copeland. Not long after, Joe resigned his position with Hyatt to start his own business.

Meanwhile, he couldn’t ignore the tug he was feeling to become involved in ministry and help spread the gospel.

In the spring of this year, Joe’s pastor told him about a director’s position that had come open at KCM’s office in Canada. After a series of interviews, Joe was flown to Fort Worth to meet with Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. Soon after that, he was given the position.

“I enjoy being a Partner with KCM,” Joe says.

“I know we are prayed for daily, and I love being linked to their anointing. Now, as director of KCM Canada, my dream is to make a positive impact on people’s lives the way it was made on ours. I want other people to experience their miracles.”