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Pastor and filmmaker Derrick Gates grew up in the Midwest but became an international drug dealer who, he says, "trafficked women, weapons and drugs around the world" before Jesus saved him and brought him back to life. But the Lord also saved him from suicide.
On a recent episode of the Unleashed podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network, Gates shares the story of how God gave him the gift of what he calls "supernatural weight loss." At the time, although he was in ministry, he weighed 820 pounds. After his salvation, he says, "I came out of there completely delivered of my drug addiction, which is amazing. However, what I didn't take into account was that my addictive personality would try to find something to fill that void. And that's exactly what happened; I began to fill that with other things like food."
Over time, as he gained weight, depression set in, and food became even more of a crutch. "I would demolish a cheesecake," he says. "So, I found myself at 820 pounds, and extremely depressed and suicidal. By this point, I had come to the understanding in my own mind that I was better off dead." The only time he felt good, he says, was when he was preaching.
Eventually, God told Gates to start making movies. Even though he had rarely left his home after he became morbidly obese, he began to travel in connection with the movies. He went to a meeting with one of the men he interviewed when something unexpected happened. Gates says, "The guy gave me a prophetic word on supernatural weight loss.
"I thought, Well, this is really easy. You're going to pick the fattest guy out of the room ... And you're going to get him a word like that. And then you're going to roll out tomorrow back to California. And nobody's going to be there to hold you accountable over this prophetic word. That's what I thought. I sure wanted to be real, but honestly, I just didn't think it was real," Gates says.
But the very next day, God showed Himself strong. "I got a call from my doctor, and he says, 'Hey, I want to do this weight-loss surgery for you," Gates says. "You'll be the biggest person we've ever done. But I think that we can make it happen.'"
"OK, but how much does that cost?" Gates says he told the doctor, who responded that because of his morbid obesity, they would have to bring in a team of doctors and special cardiologists who would run tests for a month ahead of the surgery, with an estimated cost of $100,000.
Gates told him that wasn't for him. But he says the doctor said, "No; I want do it for you. ... He wanted to pay for it."
To those who question whether can be considered "supernatural" weight loss, Gates has an answer. "Would it be supernatural if somebody called you and said, 'Hey, I want to give you $100,000 for something'? I mean, to me, that's supernatural, no matter how you cut it; it just wasn't in the lens or wasn't the framework of what I thought."
To hear more of Gates' story of God's supernatural provision and how the Lord helped him lose 550 pounds, listen to the entire podcast here.
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