Note: In the Kindle edition there is an added chapter to bring readers up-to-date with what is going on in my life.
By Ada Brownell
In 1937, people in a little white church had heard our large family was moving there and they began praying for us. Mom, Dad, and my seven siblings were refugees from the Kansas Dust Bowl and Great Depression when they arrived in Fruita, Colo.
God sent Christian friends to my older siblings and one by one my sisters and brothers accepted Jesus as their Savior.
Mama was afraid of the Pentecostals, so when she went to check on what my oldest sister was getting into, she sat on the porch steps and tried to listen to what was going on inside.
Eventually Mom and Dad joined my siblings. I, only a few months old, grew up in a wonderful Christian home. The following is an excerpt of Chapter One of Confessions of a Pentecostal.
I grew up feeling close to God. I enjoyed the warm comforting Presence that descended on us time and again at church, at cottage prayer meetings, and even when we prayed as a family at home.
Often when our church was particularly “on fire” for God, sinners wept when they entered the building; people prayed so much the presence of God continually filled the sanctuary, and even I, as a child, felt my heart bursting with faith.
People believed God for anything in those days, and people had many needs. We weren’t the only family in town living in poverty despite everyone’s willingness to work. But we did not go hungry.
Health insurance was unheard of, and many diseases that can be prevented or cured today were debilitating or fatal. The polio epidemic gripped our nation during my childhood, but our family was untouched.
Now that I look back, I see God’s healing and protection for me. I probably was only a few months old when my two-year-old brother emptied a salt shaker in my eyes. Yet, I never remember having a problem with my vision.
Mama spent lots of time working in the garden to make sure we had food to eat, and when I was a toddler, my sister, only 7 ½ years older than I, gave me a bath. Our kitchen wood stove hadn’t had a fire in it during the hot summer weather, and she set me down on the stove when she took me out of the water. That day the stove was hot and I still have scars on my backside.
I must have been about age 10 when I disobeyed Daddy and went ice skating on the river on a frigid winter day. The river was a long way from our house, and I froze my feet. When I walked in the house, I dunked them in hot water. They turned black and swelled so much I couldn’t keep what I’d done a secret. But praise the Lord, I still have feet!
We feasted on the Word. I grew up knowing God loved me and had a plan for my life. I felt inferior to other children because I wasn’t dressed as nicely as they, and believed my freckles and red hair made me ugly. I had no idea that others probably envied my Shirley Temple curls that stayed in like most girls’ braids because my hair was naturally curly. Despite teasing for being a redhead and a “holy roller” from school classmates, I always felt good inside because Jesus loved me.
Excitement filled me when we went to church. I remember one Sunday night when we came in late, and we weren’t often late, and the congregation already was singing:
“Yes, I know, I surely know,
Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean….”
Although a child, the singing sent chills down my spine. If only the drunks in town knew that! If only the woman who lay across the railroad tracks near our home and committed suicide had known that! If only the whole world could know that Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean!
It’s been years since I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Am I still enthusiastic about Him? Am I as dedicated? Do I still have faith to rely on God? Is there value to serving Him? Or does doubt overshadow everything I thought I believed?
 1 Anna W. Waterman, Copyright 1930 by F. M. Lehman
©Ada Brownell 2011