The founder of the Apostolic Faith instituted a visitation ministry in the early days of her Christian life when she visited hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Florence Crawford gave untiringly of her strength to this work, singing in hospital corridors and pointing the lost and dying to the Christ who had saved her soul. After establishing the Apostolic Faith headquarters in Portland, that outreach ministry was continued.
Motivated by the love of God, teams of musicians and singers have been carrying the Gospel to the shut-in and afflicted throughout the United States for many decades. Equipped with a portable keyboard or other musical instruments, the workers present the Words of Life in music and song as well as by testimony. Each month they make dozens of visitations to hospitals, convalescent homes, and retirement centers. The programs are graciously received and genuinely appreciated by attendants and superintendents, as well as by the guests.
The visitation workers always distribute papers and tracts to the residents of the homes and hospitals they visit. One time, when an Apostolic Faith paper was handed to a patient, she exclaimed, “Oh, l have been waiting for another one of these papers!” The one she had—a treasured possession, which she had found on a highway—was worn with age.
“No privilege could be greater than to visit the aged people, feeble and sick, sad and lonely. They look forward to our visitations and never tire of hearing the singing,” was the summation of a report given by a former director of the hospital and retirement home visitations. She told of many opportunities to pray with elderly persons who had gone through life neglecting their souls’ salvation, and were about to pass from time into eternity. In their last hours, as they offered God a spent and wasted life, the peace of another world flooded their souls.
The ministerial staff also has the pleasant and rewarding ministry of visiting the elderly and shut-in members of the congregation. These older people look forward with anticipation to the visits, which are a time of blessing to both the shut-ins and the ministers themselves.
Another aspect of the Apostolic Faith visitation ministry is the teams of young people who make monthly visits to elderly folks who are unable to be out to the weekly services. Van loads of high school students go to various facilities and homes, where they sing, read a Scripture, and share their testimonies. Often, the Holy Spirit comes down and blesses hearts in a special way as young and old join together in prayer. These afternoons are greatly anticipated by those visited, and they are a blessing to the participating young people as well.