Arteames Mary Fabian's Testimony

I have always been a nice person. I didn't smoke, curse, drink, chase men, etc. I never fought or talked much, as I grew up trying to be a good girl. It wasn't until years later I found out at a Pentecostal church good girls needed to be saved by the blood of Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire.

As a small child I was baptized at a Methodist Church by a black pastor, who sprinkled my sister and I. The first church I attended that I can recall was a Baptist church. Most of my family are Baptist.

After a divorce, my father ended up trying to raise my sister and I. When my grandfather died, I was sent to live with my grandmother. She had had a stroke and needed someone to be in her home. I was baptized at grandmother's Baptist church at the age of 19, because I felt moved by God as a visiting pastor preached on Christ's return riding a white horse and leading the Saints. That day I saw a picture of the white horse that Christ rode, like the Lone Ranger's white horse, Silver. The picture of Christ on the wall behind the pulpit seemed to move, as if Jesus was about to step down. This picture is in a five foot high frame. Christ has his arms open, walking as if he wants you to run into his arms to be hugged and loved. I began to cry, but not understanding why. One of the wise sisters in the church came to my side and said, when the doors of the church are opened by the Pastor, you go to the front. But I was quite bashful so she took me by the arm and helped me walk to the front of the pulpit area. Another girl and a young man who was blind from birth also accepted Christ that morning. I was not able to say much, but I was quizzed and I answered enough of the right questions for them to know I wanted to go back to Heaven with Jesus. I was so bashful I couldn't tell my grandie I had joined church and was to be baptized Easter morning. My auntie had to hear it from the sister who helped me walk to the front. She said, "It's so nice to have your niece joining our baptism for Easter." My aunt, who lived up the street, asked why I hadn't told her that I had joined. I had no answer.

Our baptism pool was in our church basement. We had over a dozen to be baptized that Easter Day. I was 19 years old, still a very nice girl. This was a step in the right direction in my trek to Heaven, to be with Jesus Christ.

It was during this time that I was told I began to change to be not such a nice person. So my auntie, my legal guardian, decided to take me home-back to my natural father's house. My mother, who also lived in the same town, decided she wanted me to live with her. So I moved in. At 22 years old I joined a Pentecostal church, and was baptized again. It was at the Pentecostal church where I was taught to read the true Word of God. The Holy Spirit opened my understanding. I grew in grace.

At the age of 26 I married a Catholic Mexican man. We didn't attend any church. We were divorced.

I later attended a Baptist church, not far from my home. Then I attended and joined a Pentecostal church. I took my daughter there. In 1979 I went to Israel with a Christian group tour, from Michigan. I was baptised in the Jordan river. At the present I attend a church called Living Faith. I know it only takes one baptism, one faith, repenting of evil, to receive Christ, and the calling on Jesus Christ's name to become a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ, and to live the Life each day, with Christ to help me.

I'm now age 64 - living in a Lutheran nursing home. I share the building with 200 some other women and men. Many types of faith and races are here, I am one of the youngest black women in our building. There is a once a week Bible class in our lounge.

I'm trying to make this short, but I haven't told one of the best parts. I was once shot by a stray .38 bullet that came through my front room wall, and found my hard head. I was able to roll off the couch where I was lying and call the police. The police came expecting to find a bleeding or dead lady, but to their surprise I was up and dressed, telling them, "I'm the lady who called to report the shooting." There was a hole the size of a quarter in my living room wall. The police thought the bullet must have passed out the other wall and went outside the house. I said,"No it didn't, it's in my skull." So soon after the police came, the ambulance arrived. They came with the stretcher to carry me out, but I was able to climb into the front seat of the ambulance.

As we drove into the hospital parking lot, a man came out running with a wheel chair saying, "Where is the lady that was shot?" I said, "Here I am." I could have walked in on my own, but because the helper came out with the chair - I sat in it. They wheeled me in and nurses came running to help me, thinking I'd be in much pain. But I was smiling and enjoying the wheelchair ride and the people's comments. They said, "Somebody up there loves you." I said, "Yes, "He" does, and His name is Jesus!" If I'd ever had any doubt about how real Jesus is, I knew then for sure, that "Jesus was alive", and on His job, in my corner.

I felt very little pain. If you've ever been stung by a bee, or rubbed your hand on your eyes when you've had your hands on a red hot chili pepper, you know how it smarts. My husband used to say, "Tina has one hard head". That day I knew he spoke the truth. A doctor came to inquire why was I there. My best girlfriend who met me at the emergency area, said, "Can't you see she has been shot in the head? She needs help now!" He replied, "The reason I'm asking is because there are other people who need to be cared for right away." I said, "Go ahead and do what you have to do, I'm not going anyplace."

In the mean time the doctor asked the nurses to get me ready. So I was asked to strip, get into a hospital gown, and wait on a cot. I had to show the nurses where to shave my head, to prepare my scalp to be X-rayed, because I'm black, born with thick wooly hair. No one believed I had really been shot, not even the police, until they saw the X-ray where the .38 bullet was in my skull.

This was on a Sunday night, so my personal doctor was called at home. He said, "Keep her overnight, I'll see her in the morning". I wasn't even given an aspirin. Monday morning my roommate got her breakfast. I waited for mine. Finally the nurse was told to give me clear soup. My doctor came in and took the bandage from my head. He had to ask me why I was in the hospital. He felt my head where it had been shaved. It had begun to swell and was getting tender, so I grabbed his hand. After seeing my X-ray he decided to remove the bullet. I was wheeled down to an operating room, and was given a shot of Novocaine. Dr. Bass took the bullet out with one pull. When the surgery was over the nurse cleaned my wound with an alcohol wipe and put a non stick bandage on the wound, that had been sewn up with two stitches.

I was returned to my bed. I shared the room with a white Catholic lady. The lady enjoyed telling her priest of how I was shot and I could yet smile and not cry about it. I couldn't cry because I knew my Jesus saved me, and He is yet in the healing business today.

I've heard some Christians say healing and calling out demons was only to be done in the olden times, but I know it's a wrong belief. My God, Jesus Christ, is a live person who meets my need, this very minute if he chooses to do so. The same God that healed blind Bartimaeus, saved the three Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace, and Daniel from the lions is my God of today. I was able to say this to all the workers at the hospital that night.

I was asked, "Aren't you afraid to go back to your home?" I lived in a bad part of town, with shootings, dope, and rape. I said no.

I am 64 years old. My God has never failed me, nor will he ever. Amen. My favorite Bible verses are "Jesus wept," St. John 9:35-38, and Acts 19:2. Have you received the Holy Spirit and fire since you confessed your belief in Christ Jesus?