‘A very practical religion’

For as far back as I can remember, I have always felt God’s presence. As a little girl, I loved to go to Sunday School. My mother took my brother and me to a Protestant church that happened to be right next door to our house. We loved going to that Sunday School, so even after we moved to another city when I was in the first grade, my mom would drive us back every Sunday so we could attend. I cherished the Bible stories I learned about, and I always felt God’s arms around me, so to speak.

When I was in seventh grade, I suddenly became extremely ill. My family had never been one that went to doctors on a regular basis, but my father was very concerned that I was in danger. We went to the county hospital, where I was diagnosed with encephalitis. My parents were told that there was no medical treatment or remedy and that it was time to pray.

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