The following testimony of Kelly Shoaff aired 11/20/17, on Fruit of Medjugorje. It is episode #291 on Marytv.tv.
My name is Kelly Shoaff, from Spring, Texas. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. In 1983, I saw a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune of Our Lady of Medjugorje, and from that moment I was hooked. I planned to get here [Medjugorje] – it took me some time though. I arrived here in November of 1996, and by that time, I had two questions for Our Lady. One was: "Could I please have a baby?" And the other was my question about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. Although I'd been raised Catholic my whole life (cradle Catholic), I suddenly needed to understand that better.
A friend of mine, Nancy, invited me to come along with them to Medjugorje with Wayne Weible's tour group. I had the last seat. I was so excited to get here! And so we got here, and I was here for three days, and during these three days, I heard about all these miracles – the miracle of the sun, the miracle of the cross spinning. Some people said they saw Our Lady on the mountain. Other people said they saw a big glowing triangle. And in those first three days I saw nothing. Frankly, I was just a little bit disappointed, and suddenly it occurred to me – I've got to go to Confession. I've got to do the things that Our Lady has asked us to do – the "five stones," one of them being Confession. So I sought out a Franciscan priest by the name of Fr. Ivan, and I made a wonderful Confession. He helped me so much. By the time my Confession was over, I felt so free!
I went into the Adoration Chapel to say my penance and to pray to Jesus, and there was the Eucharist – the Blessed Sacrament right there before me. I was praying to Him and talking to Him, and suddenly the Eucharist changed from the color it normally is… to deep red. And I looked at it and I said, "Lord, how do I explain this?" And I never heard Him speak to me audibly, but it was a thought in my head. He said, "When you tell people about this, explain it the way ketchup runs out of a bottle." And I burst out laughing. That was the first time I ever knew what a great sense of humor Jesus has. Later, when I explained that to my cousin, who is a physician (a surgeon), she said that's the way blood separates, the same way.
I left the chapel and I was walking toward the tents. (At the time there were tents. There weren't all these buildings.) Fr. Slavko was giving a talk. I looked up at the cross on Krizevac, and I said, "Lord, I love You so much. I know it's not going to change. My faith isn't going to change, but would You just give it a spin one time for me? And right when I prayed and I asked Him, the cross raised up in the air and it slowly, slowly spun around one time and then it lowered back into its base. And right then I knew that God hears our prayers right when we pray them... He did it one time. That just cracked me up.
I walked into the tent and Fr. Slavko was giving a talk. His whole talk was about taking personal responsibility for yourself. It's not always Satan; it's not always somebody else's fault. We have to learn to take personal responsibility for the things that we do. It was wonderful. After that experience, I saw the miracle of the sun, which is incredible.
The last night that I was here, I had received Holy Communion, and I felt the Eucharist from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It was electric. I became so overwhelmed with emotion and I felt so deeply how much God loves me, I cried and cried and cried. When we left to go back home, I felt like Our Lady said to me, "Don't you want to go home to John (who is my husband)?" I said, "No, I want to stay here with you." I got to the bus and we went on our way.
Those moments prove to me how real Jesus is in the Eucharist – the Eucharist changing into that blood-red color, that He showed me how His blood separated as He was dying. And then when I felt Him and I received Communion, I felt it. I felt the power of God and I felt how much He loved me. And the thing is – what I know is – even though we don't always feel that (and it's the only time it's ever happened to me), it's actually happening to us every single time we receive Communion. Jesus Christ is real and present in the Eucharist and we can never forget that!
I also asked Him, "Could I please have a baby?" One day as I was walking toward the tent and I was looking at the cross, I just said, "Lord, You know this. I've been married for 10 years and we can't seem to have a baby." Now, I come from a big Irish Catholic family in Chicago (there's nine of us). So I figured something had to be wrong. So when I got home – it was June 24 – I discovered I was pregnant!!! And that's, of course, the first day Our Lady appeared to the visionaries. When I went to the doctor's, the doctor told me my due date was St. Patrick's Day. Now that's a huge holiday in my family, and I knew that was a confirmation that this was an answer to my prayers!
I went to the doctor, like we do, and had the tests, like we are supposed to, and they came back and they said, "Kelly, it's really bad news. Your baby has Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida." Then she rattled off a litany of other diseases that I can't even remember now. I was so terrified at those first two things I couldn't even breathe… The doctor said, "We encourage you really to terminate this pregnancy. It's not a good idea to go forward." I said, "I can't. I can't do that. This was my gift from Medjugorje. This is my gift from God. And I'm Catholic. We can't end a life of another human being." The doctor was so angry with me for not cooperating, she actually called my husband at his office and told him that I was not cooperating. Of course, he told her never to call him again, I'm a grown woman, and I can make up my own mind.
Long story, long, I changed doctors. We went on with the pregnancy and my little girl was born – of course, she was a week late, like her mother. She was born on March 24, and when the doctor looked up, she said to me, "Kelly, your baby is perfect and she's normal and she's healthy." Everybody in the delivery room just burst into tears. I had held my breath for nine months and I prayed and prayed and prayed to Our Lady to help me accept this, if this was God's will for me, that I would raise this little baby who obviously would need me. But my little girl was born. Come here, Em [beckoning to her daughter]. I want you to see the perfect beautiful baby that I had on March 24, 1998. This is my Emily Rose. She's perfect and she's beautiful and she's completely normal. And the doctors and all the tests said it wasn't true. I just think it's so important to remember that. Remember that those tests aren't always true. We have to value life, value our children because they matter. And this is my baby [hugging her]. There she is.
Kelly and Emily Rose
Something else I just want to say, too. It was years later I heard about Mary TV and this is the most wonderful gift that we have – to be able to spread Our Lady's messages, to be able to spread the news that Jesus and God want us to come back, come back to the Father. And we have to not only do that, but we have to share this with our friends… This is important that this succeeds…