BLOG 53 September 4, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE! Robert Wise explores the world of Divine intervention from an objective point of view. Can 21st Century people believe that the hand of God touches people in today’s world? Read and you’ll find new insights.
I not only knew Agnes Sanford, but taught in her School of Pastoral Care. During that time, I became acquainted with Dr. Harry Goldsmith whose healing and emotional restoration laid the foundation for the healing of the memories ministry that had a worldwide impact. Harry experienced the reality of Agnes’s prayers both physically and emotionally. My time with Agnes opened similar doors that lead to my own emotional healing.
While Agnes has been gone from this world for three and a half decades, her quest for the miraculous remains highly instructive. She has much to tell us about we can access the miraculous realm. While her personal orientation was unusual, her devotion to discovering the pathway to prayers for healing remains anyone can follow.
When Agnes began struggling to understand how healing can occur, she was virtually alone in her search. On the West Coast, Dr. Robert Bell and Dr. John Gaynor had begun healing ministries with important results. At one time the Emmanuel Movement in Boston had been involved in prayer work, but that past was gone. Agnes worked against the tide with many churches remaining negative about her ideas. Agnes refused to step back from her experiments with prayer and its impact.
Agnes Mary White Sanford came out of a world that is now gone. Her father Hugh Watt White and mother Augusta were Presbyterian ministers and missionaries in Hsuchoufu, China back in the days when the Western Church world saw that far off land as a place of mystery and romantic intrigue. The Chinese were considered primitive and ripe for the Christian message. Missionaries lived in compounds and worked to share a simple gospel story. Agnes’s early life absorbed the Chinese culture and she thought she would always live in China. Agnes taught English in the Wu dialect as well as Mandarin that she grew up speaking.
When she married Ted (Edgar L.) Sanford in the Episcopal Church Mission in Changshu, she assumed they would remain in China, but such was not to be. The Communist revolution swept away the world of American missionaries. Still, what she experienced in those earliest years shaped a unique perspective when she came to America.
The Sanford’s accepted a call to Moorestown, New Jersey where Ted became the village priest. The relocation brought a considerable adjustment for Agnes, but she kept struggling with one idea. Her missionary parents accepted the dispensational idea that healing ministry ended with the apostles and Agnes had seen so much suffering in China that she set out to explore if that was actually true. She wanted to learn how to pray for the sick and bring recovery as was described in the Bible. Her conclusion was that the Holy Spirit had never stopped caring about the painful struggles of God’s people. Agnes became a healer.