by Alice Belle Garrigus
CHAPTER 19. "BETHESDA"ūTHE PLACE OF HEALINGS
During the past twenty eight years, (written, 1938) many have met the great Physician in this place and been healed of divers diseases. Space will only permit us to mention a few.
One afternoon, a man appeared from the outports who was certainly marked for the grave. His appendix had burst, and there was no earthly hope for his life. He prayed earnestly God would strengthen him to get to Bethesda and give him money for his passage. Both requests were granted, and he arrived, more dead than alive, judging from his looks. It almost seemed as though he would die on our hands before the evening service. They gathered around him and prayed. God graciously answered prayer. He knew he was healed, went home and shortly after was working in the woods.
He had a daughter dying with consumption, whom the doctors gave but three weeks to live. The same night he was prayed for. the daughter was also brought to the Lord in prayer for healing. When he reached home, she was up and well.
This same night a stranger dropped into the meeting with a leaky value of the heart. She was very sick and miserable, expecting she might drop dead any moment. She was warned not to lift even the tea kettle or shape a mat. On her way to have her medicine renewed, she felt too weak to go further, so dropped into the mission.
When we went to pray for the man with appendicitis, she said to herself: "They are going to pray for him; why can't I pray for myself?" She did so, and was soon conscious of what seemed to be fingers touching her heart, and she knew she was healed. She went home to her work, even the washing with no ill effects. Shortly after she carried a quarter of a ton of coal up two flights of stairs. That was at least twenty years ago, and she has had no trouble with the heart since.
One day the bell rang and two little girls stood at the door. The older, about ten, was leading her little sister by the hand, and at once made known the reason of their coming. She said: "This is my little sister, she is blind and we have come that she may be healed."
Here was a challenge to faith and you may be sure, satan was busy trying to make me think my prayer would not avail. However, leading the way to the sitting room, we soon got down to pray. I believe I felt the smallest of the three. When we arose from our knees, they left, apparently the same as they came.
Sometime afterwards, I was speaking to two little girls in a meeting. The older one spoke up and said: "You don't know me, I am the little girl that brought my blind sister to be healed, and look!" she added "here she is, and she can see as well as I."
An afternoon prayer service was being held at Bethesda: a stranger came in on crutches. During the service she told her sad story. For eleven years she had been in a plaster cast, but was getting worse instead of better. The cast was removed and she came to St. John's to have both legs amputated. While waiting for a bed at the hospital, she had a boarding house near Bethesda, and so dropped in.
Our hearts were moved with sympathy, and we brought her to Jesus; and not in vain. Suddenly she was on her feet, and running around the room, arms uplifted, saying: "I'm healed, I'm healed!" After many years, her testimony is, that the healing was perfect.
At a Friday night prayer service, two sisters came forward for prayer. One had a bad side, the other had come to St. John's to have her knee broken and reset. The latter said to me: "You will have to excuse me from kneeling, as I have not been able to do so for years."
I gave her a chair and began to ask her about her spiritual condition. She said she was not where she should be, so I told her to confess her sins to the Lord, and she began to pray. Suddenly she was on her knees, then on her feet, running around the plat- form, praising the Lord. The other sister joined her, and they rejoiced together, saying; "They can keep their old beds (hospi- tal), we have found something better.
Cancers, consumption, eczema, rheumatism, goitre, flu and many other ailments have had to disappear before Him who in the days of His flesh "went about doing good, and healing all who were op- pressed by the devil."
Born in Rockville, Conn., U.S.A. Mother dying when she was yet a little girl, she goes to live with her grandmother at Providence, R.I. She teaches rural school.
Attends Mount Holyoke Seminary. Teaches school at Thomaston, Conn., when she meets a future companion in the Lord's Work, Gertrude Wheeler. Together they visit Europe and return to teach at Bridgeport. Contacts the Christian & Missionary Alliance. Gets light on `perfect love', healing and baptism.
They give up teaching and open a home for friendless women and girls on `faith lines'. Gertrude goes to Africa and lays down her life: she opens up a mission in the lowest section of the city.
Contacts the First-Fruit Harvesters of Rumney, N.H., and becomes an evangelist with success. Hears of the stirring revival of Wales and later of `latter rain' falling at Los Angeles. Finally with a number of other sistersūsoon to be scattered to the four winds in missionary endeavourūshe `receives' in a barn. Stirring Pentecostal scenes in Grafton, Jefferson, Bridgeport; and, October, 1908, the call to Newfoundland, then an unknown country to her.
Accompanied by Bro. and Sister Fowler, she arrived in St. John's December 1, 1910, and opens `Bethesda' the following Easter Sunday afternoon. Many tokens of God's approval and presence. Bethesda becomes indeed `the place of healings'.