IT WAS in the early part of 1922 that Wigglesworth made his first visit to Australia.
We quote from a letter (which appeared in the English paper, Confidence) written by Miss Winnie Andrews of Victoria: “Our dear Brother Wigglesworth arrived in Melbourne last Thursday, and he had a meeting that night… and although he made it quite plain and clear to his hearers that he would rather see one sinner saved than ten thousand people healed of bodily ailments, he invited any who were in pain to come forward for prayer… Among those who came forward were several who later declared they had received remarkable and instantaneous healings. One little girl, six years of age, after prayer by the evangelist, was seen walking out of the front door of the building with her mother, who was delightedly exclaiming to all and sundry: ‘Look at her! She has never walked in her life before!’ A man who had not walked for over four years, owing to rheumatoid-arthritis, was instantly healed, and after triumphantly passing his stick and crutch up to the platform, gave an impromptu exhibition of the power that had come into his legs, by jumping and leaping and praising God.
“Since the first night there have been many other wonderful healings. Last night a dear woman who had been unable to walk for six and a half years was brought to be prayed for, and–glory to God! She got out of her chair and walked. Her husband pushed her chair along while she walked behind.
“There have been many conversions–at one meeting alone, forty accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The revival showers are falling and God is working.”
Some may ask the very reasonable question, “Do the healings last?” We have before us a sheaf of testimonies of healings that were prepared fifteen months after our Greatheart’s visit to Australia. In it there are eighteen testimonies of remarkable healings in this first Australian campaign. We have also a copy of the Australian Evangel of February 1, 1927, in which there are thirteen testimonies of people who were healed in this campaign that was held five years before. We have also a copy of the Australian Evangel of March 1, 1927, which contains the story of one who was raised from a living death five years before. The testimony is so remarkable that we will let it speak for itself. It is written by Mrs. W. E. Brickdhill (nee Kathleen Gay) of Victoria.
Woman Reports Remarkable Healing
“At the age of seventeen years, from a life of worldliness and sin, I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour, being truly born again. It was a wonderful morn when I awakened with the consciousness that I had passed from death unto life, from the power of sin and Satan into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
“However, after sixteen months of unmarred semite for the Lord, an unfortunate accident occurred which caused serious injury to my abdomen, and brought on internal complications, necessitating consultation between four surgeons, who advised that an operation was imperative. The operation did not have the desired effect, and, to my sorrow, proved unsuccessful, laying the foundation for nearly fourteen years of continual suffering, the major portion of which time I was confined to bed.
“Later it was discovered that consumption, with all its cruel and devastating ravages, had gripped my entire being. This terrible disease wrought havoc with my constitution, causing sleeplessness for days and nights at a stretch. I got rest only when drugs were administered, and eventually my condition became such that drugs had no effect other than to cause a comatose state.
“All the symptoms of tuberculosis were evident, eating into my internal organs and having the effect of destroying my appetite entirely. The condition of my digestive organs was such that I refused almost all food, and invariably the little food partaken of was vomited immediately. Sometimes it was not possible to retain even a drink.
“Many leading specialists, surgeons, and physicians prescribed, without effect; in fact, many times they vouchsafed the opinion that my end was very near and that there was nothing more to be done.
“The deadly work of this disease was manifested to a very great extent upon my kidneys, which were perforated, and hemorrhage was very frequent. Outward evidences of the disease appeared in my left arm, thigh and hip, all of which presented the usual discharging sores connected with this malady. These parts of the limbs were so severely attacked that they presented an emaciated appearance, being repulsive to the sight, the bone being eaten into, a condition undoubtedly beyond all human aid. Having been reduced nearly to a skeleton, weighing only forty-two pounds, and being told by physicians that six weeks was the extent of my life, I was not fearful of my fate, as it seemed to me that death would relieve me of all my sufferings.
“While lying in this dying condition early in February, 1922, a ray of light entered my soul through word coming to me that an evangelist from England was holding meetings in our city of Melbourne and was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and His power to heal the sick. This evangelist was Smith Wigglesworth, and it was stated that he would pray for the sick. As the news was conveyed to me, I began to receive faith in God and expressed a desire that he should come and pray for me at my home; but learned that there were so many demands upon the evangelist’s time, prayer for me at my home was impossible. The news caused the enemy to discourage me, but, praise the Lord, further faith being received, and being desperately anxious for victory, my parents were consulted… After much pleading to be allowed to be taken into one of the meetings, they reluctantly consented.
“Therefore, on February 16, as a very last resort, in my awful condition, I was assisted into one of the Sunday meetings. As the meeting progressed, my faith began to rise, and truly I realized the nearness of God. It was a hallowed time indeed. At length the evangelist was directed towards me, and on ascertaining that it was a consumptive case, he spoke sincerely to me and said: ‘Sister, I believe the Lord will heal you; fear not, only believe.’ My eyes saw no man save Jesus; I waited for His divine touch. After being anointed and prayed for, the power of God permeated my whole being and I was instantly healed. All the pain, weakness, and disease ceased. Hallelujah! My chains fell off. My soul was free, I arose, and went forth praising God, realizing a mighty work was done.
“Immediately after the Lord met me, my first desire was to hasten home and tell how great things had been accomplished in me. Even on my return journey I bore testimony of the fact by being able to walk unaided. On arrival at home I acquired a ravenous appetite for food, an unheard-of occurrence with me for years. Our household was filled with anxiety for my well-being as they watched me appease my hunger, fearing all the natural consequences from taking food would return; but to their amazement, I thoroughly enjoyed a hearty meal with satisfaction.
“After dinner, with assistance, the bandages were removed from the affected parts of my body. It was found that the Lord had replaced decayed bone and ulcerated flesh with new, beautifully healthy flesh and bone covered with white skin similar to that of a little child. All my senses became quickened, and that night I was able to enjoy a beautiful night’s rest, the first natural sleep since the time I became sick.
“It is now five years since the Lord’s hand so definitely rested upon me, and He has continuously overshadowed me with His presence, and filled me with His Spirit. The Lord provided work for me to do in His vineyard soon after He healed me as a Sister in the slum life of our city where, through His wonderful grace, many souls have been won for Him. Along with me in this work is my husband, whom the Lord gave me in a wonderful way three years ago.
“It is my sincere desire that my evidence of the power of God to heal will be used to help some soul in doubt to believe God and find that He is faithful to His Word that ‘all things are possible to him that believeth (MARK 9:23)’, and ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (HEBREWS 13:8)’.”