Healing and Revival
"Come to Berachah for Healing"
Sarah A. Lindenberger was born May 17, 1847 in Louisville, Kentucky to William and Mary Lindenberger. She describes her early years as worldly. Her parents attended church on Sundays because it was considered respectable. They had no actual profession of faith in their lives. Her grandparents were Godly people, but never shared their faith. She describes her early perceptions of Christianity as a religion where people desperately tried to be good in order to get into heaven. Lindenberger's early life was filled with illness. She could not walk any distance or go upstairs without pain. She had dyspepsia (ulcers or acid reflux), eye inflammation, and headaches.
Lindenberger was sent to a home for rest in hopes of improvement in her health. She was staying with a family who were Christian in word and deed. She bought a bible and began reading it. She began to pray. She became converted and she describes her conversion as "clear, definite, and settled forever." She joined an Episcopal Church in Brooklyn and began a new life. Lindenberger visited Ocean Grove, New Jersey. This was a Christian community established by William B. Osborn (the husband of Lucy Drake Osborn who had been healed by Charles Cullis), as a place for Christian Camp meetings. There she heard teachings on the deeper Christian life, including healing. She had a new experience with God. She was not healed but felt full of life and hope.
Lindenberger returned to her home in Kentucky. She struggled with people who argued that the days of healing and miracles were past. She had come into her experience of the understanding of healing based on what others said. Now she was forced to search God's Word and take hold of it for herself. Over several years she prayed and began to really believe God's Word for healing. She was healed of all her illnesses. Having taken hold of this new experience she decided to visit healing homes in Switzerland. In late 1882 or early 1883 she visited Dorothea Trudel's home, now run by Samuel Zeller, and Pastor Otto Stockmayer's Home at Hauptweil. Little did she know that God was opening the door to her future life's work!
In 1884 Lindenberger joined Nellie Griffin working as a Deaconess at A. B. Simpson's Berachah Home. She had known Simpson in Louisville because he had pastored the church her family attended. She worked tirelessly for the next few years. Berachah was a phenomenal success, eventually having rooms holding 100-150 people. She prayed for thousands of people over a thirty year time period. In the early 1890s Lindenberger became so exhausted that she collapsed. She felt that God was calling her to a new sense of intimacy with Him. God began speaking to her out of the scriptures into a place of utter dependence on Him. She felt that it was a literal battle with the enemy. She "walked the floor for hours, putting my foot down on the promises, shaking off the power of the enemy, and taking in life." She describes the time as life changing. She had a new revelation of Jesus as Beloved. She felt a new sense of not just a healing, but a revelation of the Healer living within her.
God began to speak to Lindenberger not just about Divine Healing, but Divine Health. She said "Divine health is simply the life of the Holy Ghost in us, which is the earnest of the Spirit; the very same thing which we will have in its fullness when He comes. Now He that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." II Corinthians 5:5. Lindenberger listed five areas which people needed to take steps in. 1) Consecrate you lives completely to Christ. 2) Accept Christ as your strength and lean on Him. 3) Constantly seek God's Presence and lean on that Presence continually. 4) Watch what you eat, drink, watch, listen to, and say and keep them before God. 5) Eat and drink of Christ, letting the Holy Spirit show you how to do that.
Lindenberger took on many roles in the Alliance. In 1890 the Young Ladies Christian Alliance was formed from the Old Orchard meeting. In 1891 she was listed as the President of the new organization. Lindenberger was the primary contact for Berachah Home over the next several years. When the Alliance moved its headquarters to Nyack she moved with them and continued to lead the Home at the new headquarters. Lindenberger taught at Conventions and traveled with A. B. Simpson and his wife teaching about Divine Healing and giving testimonies to God's healing work at Berachah. She wrote two books. The first "A Cloud of Witness to Divine Healing" published in 1887 was a compilation of healing testimonies. The second "Streams from the Valley of Berachah", published in 1893, gives her personal testimony and some of the teaching she developed in her ministry.
The focus of Berachah
shifted with the Alliance move from New York City to Nyack. The role of
the home shifted from healing. It included a rest home for missionaries
and often housed students from the Training Institute. Lindenberger continued
to run the home until 1917 when she could no longer continue because of
her age. Berachah was closed when she left. Her work was not done however.
She went to Ocean Grove, New Jersey over the summer. She decided to spend
her winters in Miami, Florida but once she moved there she started meetings
in her house to begin a new Alliance ministry! She still spoke at Alliance
Conventions in Philadelphia, New York, and Old Orchard Beach, Maine. She
also worked with the 1922 tent revival healing meetings in Miami with
F. F. Bosworth. She died April 26, 1922 but
her body was returned to Nyack, New York where her funeral was held and
she was buried. Lindenberger had one of the longest healing home ministries
in the country. She continued to minister and pray for the sick until
a few weeks before her death at the age of 72.
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