"People moved out of the crowd and formed a line. When they stepped up to him, he had a conversation with them, telling them all sorts of things. Some of those conversations we could hear.
He told folks about where they lived, or how they'd traveled to get to the meeting, or how many children they had and if they were boys or girls.
"He told them about what had been worrying them, or what troubles they'd experienced and what illnesses they suffered from.
"My wife and I were there, and we saw him do it, several times.
"He knew things about people. He said God showed him what he saw and that an angel joined him in the services and ministered with healing the people that gathered there. That was at a tent meeting, down in Kentucky, some time way back in the late 1950s." B.K. (Paraphrased)
The man whom I've quoted lives in Southern Indiana. The activity he described -- the man who was reading people's mail was Rev. William Marrion Branham, a world-famous 20th century Christian minister who exercised the gifts of prophecy and healing.
It is reported that Rev. Branham's prayers didn't heal hundreds, but thousands upon thousands of people, sometimes en-mass during one service and many healings happened simultaneously.
My mother was taken to one of Rev. Branham's services when she was a child of about three-years-old, during the mid-1940s. When she arrived at the service, she suffered from rickets. When Rev. Branham prayed for her, she was healed immediately and never had a symptom of rickets again.
In the book, William Branham, A Prophet Visits South Africa, by Julius Stadsklev, the author stated his book " ... has a threefold purpose." One was to follow David's teaching in Psalm 105 to "make known his deeds among the people." (KJV)
Newspapers during the South African campaign covered the Branham party's tour from start to finish. Thousands packed out stadiums, tents and fields, night after night to hear the ministry speak, join in worship and receive healings.
Many traveled for days, sometimes on foot and camping along their way, to attend the meetings. Many were Christians but lots of them weren't.
Sometimes they came out of curiosity. Sometimes they came to cause trouble, but mostly they arrived in droves and sometimes waiting in terrible weather, for many hours to receive healing.
Before he toured South Africa, Rev. Branham was contacted by the King of England to travel there and pray for him.
Through his book, Stadsklev covers many of the marvelous incidents of Rev Branham's ministry, as he leads his readers along as well for the Branham party's entire South African tour. The story is captivating from start to finish, if there is such a thing.
Throughout are photos and copies of news articles and multiple pages are devoted to copies of testimonies and correspondence, often accompanied by photos and sent from people around the globe, telling of their receipt of divine healing.
Among the photos are two of Florence Nightingale of Durban, South Africa, who was a distant relative of the Florence Nightingale who founded the Red Cross. When the first photo was taken she was suffering from cancer in her stomach, couldn't eat or drink, and weighed about 55 pounds. The second photo shows her after her healing and subsequent weight gain to 155 pounds.
I've heard stories of the miraculous happenings in Rev. Branham's services since I was a child, and was surprised and pleased to have met someone here in the village who had attended one of Rev. Branham's services. The man I spoke with is in his 80s, and as he told me of the services, he seemed to be amazed and thankful for what he witnessed so many years ago, all over again.
I inherited my copy of this book. It was a part of my great-grandmother's ministerial library. It is another in the collection of being one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. In vivid detail it outlines Rev. Branham's life, from his birth to a poverty stricken family on a farm near Berksville, Kentucky, to the tragedies he suffered while growing into his calling and ministry.
Regardless of your religion, or lack of one, or your personal belief of whether or not God exists, this book is well worth reading, for young-adults and up.
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See you again for the Thursday edition of femme's Desk -- 'til then, God bless you, thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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