Pauline Martin (far right) and other ladies preparing desserts for a church event.

Over Nine Decades of Blessings

October 01, 2016

A pioneer woman tells of experiencing divine intervention many times through her life.

By Pauline Martin

G

od has been so good to me. Truly I love Him with all my soul and with all that is within me. He has healed me so many times. I wish I could tell it the way I believe and know it.

I was born in Arkansas in 1910 to parents who were Christians. When there was a problem, they would pray, and God answered their prayers. When I was about three years old, I contracted rheumatic fever, and it seemed as if I was in bed forever. Mom had a big family and a lot of work to do, so she just prayed for me as she did her chores. I would call to my mother to pray, and she would say, “Mother is praying.” Then all of a sudden one day, I sat up in bed and said, “Take these old night clothes off me and dress me.” I got up, and even though I hadn’t walked for weeks, I ran to my mother, and she dressed me. That was the first of many healings in our family. Another wonderful example took place when I was about four years old—I was instantly healed of malaria.

Crossing paths with the Apostolic Faith

When I was only five, this Gospel came our way in the form of an Apostolic Faith paper. I do not know how the paper got to us, but God saw to it that we received it, and that meant so much to us. More papers came, and we were always glad to get them. With each new one, we would gather about mother’s knees and listen to her read about the church services and testimonies in Portland. We thought the news was so wonderful! It was like light from Heaven. Many times as a young girl I looked toward Portland thinking it was the brightest spot on earth.

When we were sick, we laid the church papers on our bodies and prayed, and God healed us. We praised God for those papers.

Mother would always put some Gospel literature in the grocery boxes she packed. There are many people in Heaven today who received the light of the Gospel through those papers in Colorado.

In 1919, we moved to Denver, Colorado, and set up a homestead. Then we opened a grocery store. We continued to receive Apostolic Faith papers, and Mother would always put some Gospel literature in the grocery boxes she packed. There are many people in Heaven today who received the light of the Gospel through those papers in Colorado.

When I was eleven years old, my family was traveling in Oklahoma, and our car broke down. My daddy always looked up church locations in advance when we traveled, and he had on this occasion as well. We went to one nearby, and I was saved in that little church. I was so happy, I was singing the next day, “There’s a new name written down in glory, and it’s mine.” Oh, God has been so good to me down through the years!

Heading west to Portland, Oregon

From the time my mother received that first Apostolic Faith paper, she wanted to move to Portland. We thought this was impossible, but in 1925, the Lord made a way. The Model-T Ford truck that we used in the grocery business provided the transportation. I had met and married a young man who worked for my father in the grocery business, and he did the driving.

We covered the sides of the truck with canvas and screens, and put a wall-to-wall bed in the back to sleep about ten of us. There was very little pavement between Denver and Portland (only through the towns), so on some days we would travel only about twelve to fourteen miles. If it was raining or snowing, it was nearly impossible to travel at all. We cooked our meals by the side of the road, and camped in the truck—it was our first trailer house. After a month, we arrived in Portland.

The trip had been harsh, but every mile was well worth it to get to Portland and to be among the saints of God.

At this time, I was expecting a baby. The trip had been harsh, but every mile was well worth it to get to Portland and to be among the saints of God. We had looked forward to being in Portland for so many years that it was almost like getting to Heaven.

We arrived on Memorial Day and headed right to Sixth and Burnside on the east side of the Willamette River, but when we got there, we didn’t see any church. We inquired at a restaurant owned by a man who happened to attend the Apostolic Faith Church, and another brother was called to come meet us. He welcomed us to Portland and said the church was at Sixth and Burnside on the west side of the river. So we received our initial greeting from Brother Peter and Brother Bob. Our first church meeting was that very night, and I testified during it. I can’t explain the joy that we felt in getting to the church. We were home at last!

Answered prayers at our first camp meeting

A few weeks later, the annual camp meeting began. I was invited to stay nearby at the home of one of the church ladies. My parents stayed on the campground, taking a tent in the 500s section. They cooked their meals in the kitchenette, and I went over quite often to be with them.

That first camp meeting, my husband prayed through to salvation and also was healed of appendicitis. He was water baptized, but because of the pregnancy, I waited until the following year. We rode the streetcar from Fifty-second and Woodstock out to the Columbia River, and there we were baptized—he in 1925 and I in 1926.

Taking our family needs to the Lord

Our daughter was born in August of that first year in Portland, and was seemingly healthy. However, when she was three weeks old, we discovered she had a tumor between her stomach and lower bowels. As time went on, she wasn’t expected to live. Her doctor told us she needed an operation, but was too small to come through it. He said, “Your God or an operation, but I have no faith in either one.”

Sister Florence Crawford, the founder of our church, was very precious to us. She prayed all night long. Then she sent Sister Samuels to us the next day. When Sister Samuels arrived and found us at peace, she commented, “This was supposed to be a crisis?” My husband responded that he never did think our daughter was going to die. To that, Sister Samuels said, “Amen. Faith is the victory.” Our daughter was healed of that tumor; it passed out through her bowels. She had weighed nine pounds at birth, and at three months was only seven pounds, but God instantly healed that baby. She is a strong healthy seventy-two-year-old woman today.

In about 1932, after having received sanctification, I prayed and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Until then, whenever I prayed, my thoughts turned to my children and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. That year, a good friend of mine at camp meeting told me not to think about the children. She said she would look after them. That is when I prayed through and God baptized me.

God has done so many beautiful things for me and my family that I could never tell of it all. He has been our Healer throughout the years. In the winter of 1936, my husband became very ill. One morning, he lay in the jaws of death listening to the church broadcast over the radio. When the congregation sang, “Keep holding on,” God instantly healed him; from that point forward, he gained strength.

I have been healed of so many incurable diseases. I have had cancer, rheumatic fever, malaria, and one heart attack after another, but God has healed me of all of them.

A few years ago, I was so sick that I couldn’t do anything. God has restored my health, and now, in my old age, I am healthier than I was when I was younger. I have been healed of so many incurable diseases. I have had cancer, rheumatic fever, malaria, and one heart attack after another, but God has healed me of all of them. I have never known Him to fail.

Through the years I have had the privilege of helping with the Sunday school children, and I spent twenty-five happy years helping with the tents and cabins on the campground, assigning cabins, and supervising the laundry area. I also sold kerosene, gave out trailer tags, and distributed keys. I’ve always loved to help people. My mother said, “Pauline, you’ll never get anything in this world,” because I loved to give, but I never went without. God has always supplied my every need, and most of my wants. I have always trusted God for everything.

I praise God that He ever brought me into this wonderful Gospel. I am so grateful to Him for what He has done in my heart and in my life.

About the author

Pauline Martin had a giving spirit and could always be found engaged in the work of the Lord. In addition to overseeing the assignment of cabins during camp meeting, she ran the supply cabin, and also a benevolent fund, which provided clothing to many in need.

As an accomplished seamstress, she sewed many of the quilts used in the cabins on the campground, and was responsible for making the awning over the patio of the Fellowship Lodge.