Healing and Revival
"Apostle of Healing"
John G. Lake called Dorothea Trudel an apostle of healing in his sermons. He likened her to Luther in the changes that came, to the church, because of her ministry. That's an astounding statement and would have certainly surprised Dorothea, whose humility was inherent in every part of her work.
Dorothea was born on October 27, 1813. She was brought up in a very poor family in Männedorf, Switzerland. She was one of 11 children. Her father was an angry man who drank, and could not support his family financially. At one point he sold one of their two cows, a source of income, and then disappeared for several years. The sad thing about this, is that Dorothea indicates that these were the happy years of her childhood. Dorothea had a very Godly mother who prayed continually. They could not afford doctors so normally when they were sick they relied on God and prayer. Dorothea saw many amazing answers to those prayers, which set a foundation of faith, in the goodness of God, in her heart.
Dorothea earned her living by working with flowers. She was a hard worker and eventually came to have several people working under her. When she was thirty-seven, four or five of her workers became sick. She nursed them but the disease grew worse and the situation seemed hopeless. She had heard stories of God moving to bring healing and deliverance, probably of Johann Christoph Blumhardt in Germany. She prayed for her workers and searched the scriptures. While doing this she says "that, like a sudden light, she says, the well-known passage from the Epistle of James 5:14-15, flashed upon her." Although her childhood had been filled with the necessity for prayer, it now dawned on her that this was something God wanted her to do. She went to her workers, brought anointing oil and prayed for them. They recovered. Her initial experiment became a settled conviction. God heals through prayer! A wave of sickness broke out in her village. In her free time she nursed, prayed, and taught about God's ability to heal using prayer. Many people in the village recovered due to her prayers. Soon people from all around her area began to come to her, and all her spare time was spent praying for the sick.
Trudel was not
physically a strong person. Otto Stockmayer
reported that she had a curvature of the spine. There was pressure on
her to leave her flower work. She was hesitant to do this, as she felt
that God had provided for her through it. She was also a normally shy
woman who did not like public attention. So many people were showing up
at her door, however, that finally she began to take some of them in.
When her home filled up she bought another, and then another. Her time
was now spent in supervising the homes and praying for the sick. Hundreds
of people were healed through prayer. The stories quickly spread and people
came from all over Europe to receive prayer, including France, Germany,
and Great Britain. There were so many people coming that her homes were
considered a hospital.
A physician in the area became concerned that so many people were coming and there was no medical oversight. He went to the Town council of Zurich, and an order was issued for Dorothea to stop her work. She did not know what to do. Her homes were filled with the sick. She decided to continue her work and appeal the ruling. The appeal was defeated, and she was told that it was illegal to heal without the help of a physician. She continued to appeal to higher courts. In November 1861, a higher court ruling reversed all lower courts decisions and she was allowed to continue to pray for the sick.
Typhus fever broke out in Männedorf in the fall of 1862. Dorothea was in the thick of the nursing work. She wore herself out caring for the sick, and she herself became ill. She felt that she would not recover. She continued to pray with faith in the goodness of God, and passed away at 7:30 in the evening on September 6, 1862. She is buried in the church yard in Männedorf.
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