Winston Churchill, an Angel and a Pimp: How these three beings influenced my life.

Sir Winston Churchill

The day was June 20, 1967 and I was on a train heading west, from Winnipeg, with the intention of reaching Vancouver. In reality the final destination didn’t really matter. I was running away, away to a new life and a new beginning. I had just left my husband; I had given him everything; I wanted to be free to start over.

I was feeling pretty optimistic, yet sad and scared as the train pulled out of the Winnipeg station. It was strange, how I knew that I would not miss my home there. At the same time, I knew that I would miss my mom and sister; I hoped one day that they would understand.

Conflicting emotions ran through me as I leaned my head against the window and watched the fields go by. I felt anxiety, joy, fear and excitement, and then self-pity and doubt.

Very early the next morning, I went up to the dome car to watch the scenery flashing by and to let my feelings surface, so that I could deal with them. I silently prayed that the car would be empty; it was and I said a small prayer of thanks.

As I walked down the aisle I noticed a magazine that had been shoved down into the corner of one seat. “Well, at least I can read awhile” I said to myself. I did not (and still do not) believe in coincidence, so intuitively I knew that the magazine held a message for me.

It was a Time magazine. As I flipped through it I knew that something perfect and meaningful would jump out at me, and it did! A reporter had written an article on Winston Churchill; it focused on the powerful speeches he had given during his lifetime. I eagerly read it.

Near the end of the article, the author stated that he felt Mr. Churchill’s most powerful (and shortest) speech was the one that he had given to a graduating class of students.
The next words were the ones that Churchill had spoken to those students; they were: “Never, Never Give Up!” That was the entire speech!

I started to cry because I knew that message had been for me. I clung to the article and felt the influence of his words to the core of my soul. Those words have influenced me to this day.

I sat alone in the dome car and I allowed my thoughts and feelings to flow. I said a prayer of gratitude for the solitude and privacy of the empty car. As I sat there, I came to the grim realization that I had run out of money; I knew that I would not make it to Vancouver and that I would have to get off at the next station.

I had no idea whether I was in Saskatchewan or Alberta, so I waited for the next stop. The train pulled into Edmonton and I got off; the date was June 21, 1967.

I sat in the Edmonton train station for a long time and tried to think of a plan. I decided to start walking and trust that I would be guided in the right direction. I found some lockers and shoved in my boxes and suitcases. As I did so, I asked for God’s guidance.

I started walking and found myself on Jasper Avenue (the main street in downtown Edmonton). Suddenly, I saw a sign in a restaurant that said: “Tea Cup Readers Wanted”. “Wow!” I thought. Even though I had never seriously done tea cup readings, I knew that my skills as a card reader and clairvoyant would enable me to “wing it”. I got the job; it was at the Silk Hat Restaurant.

One of the restaurant’s waitresses invited me to rent a couple of rooms in her house on 100th Avenue and 113 Street. She let me pay her on a daily basis, so that I could have some cash flow.

The tea leaf readings were easy for me. However, I must have been too eager, too intense or too frightening because after only eight weeks the owners fired me! It seemed that my readings were too accurate. I was not the “light and fun entertainment” that their customers wanted.

The experience was an eye opener for me. It was also a confirmation that my readings would never be entertainment. I knew that some day my readings would make serious differences in the lives of other people.

The Angel

I was let go on Friday, July 7th. As I walked back to my rooms, I again wondered what I would do. On the way home, I walked passed St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Early that evening I felt compelled to go into the church; it was a beautiful building.

No one was around; I sat in a front pew and stared at the floor. I thought of my experience in the dome car; I had been alone that day too. It had been peaceful and quiet, just like the church was at that moment.

I spent some time praying for guidance and support; I was exhausted. Suddenly, I realized that someone was sitting beside me; I looked up and saw a young priest. He had the most beautiful blue eyes and such a kind face. He started to talk to me and before long I had poured out the story of my life. I told him about my life long journey to develop my intuition and how I had been raised to read cards.

“Is that really a sin”? I asked him. His answer came in the form of a question: “If you committed fraud in any profession, such as accounting, would you be working with God’s teachings?” “Of course not.” I replied.

Then he said: “it does not matter what you chose to do in life, as long as your intentions are based on a Christ consciousness of love and how you can serve humanity. Each of us is given a path to walk on earth, and that path is to use our gifts in ways that help and serve the greater good of all. You were meant to use your intuition in greater ways than others; how you use it is all that counts. “

He spoke for a long time about intentions, using our gifts and serving others. I was spell bound by his melodic voice and soon felt much better – calm and encouraged. He told me that soon I would face more struggles and he reminded me that the power of choice would always be with me. I wasn’t happy to hear about the upcoming struggles; nevertheless, his words comforted me to the depth of my soul.

It was very late when I hugged him goodbye; I told him that I would return on Sunday to see him. He smiled at me and I walked away feeling more peaceful than I had in years.

On Sunday I eagerly went back to St. Joseph’s, looking forward to seeing him again. The church was full and an older priest was conducting the mass. I did not see the young priest anywhere, so I waited while the congregation had left.

Finally I was alone, except for the old priest who had been out on the church steps, saying goodbye to the parishioners. “Father” I asked, “where is the young priest who I spoke to on Friday?“ He asked me to describe the young priest and as I was doing so he shook his head. “Our church is a destination for many priests in and around Edmonton; I have known all of them over the years and I do not recognize the one whom you describe.”

I said “I spent the entire evening with him, Father; he was so comforting and he gave me hope and strength”. The old priest looked at me in a strange way and then he smiled. “I am pretty sure no one was here on Friday evening; I locked the doors at nine o’clock and the church was empty at that time.”

I was stunned and perplexed by what he said. “But,” I insisted, “I was here with him at that time and we sat in the front pew!” The old priest smiled again and said: “there have been many stories about a young priest who, late at night, talks to people in this church. I have never seen him; I think the reason is that your priest is one of God’s angels. You were blessed to have seen him and to have heard his words. Let what he said comfort you all your life, for indeed, you have been blessed.”

I sat and cried while the old priest puttered at the front of the church. My tears were a mixture of sadness, for not seeing the young priest, and joy for what the old priest had said. I think I, all along, I had known that the young priest was not real. When we spoke, I had sensed that there was something different about him. And, I had seen a beautiful aura of soft yellow, gold and turquoise around him. Also, I had felt so privileged to have had the experience with him.

Another amazing thing about this whole thing is the fact that the old priest had not seen me in the church that evening. I know that I hadn’t left until after eleven o’clock; he said that he had locked the doors two hours before that! I had spent the whole evening there. I know, with absolute certainty, that on that Friday evening, I was touched by an angel.

The Pimp

Soon after my experience in the church, I hit the streets looking for work. I quickly learned that most employers were leery about hiring a young woman from Manitoba. It seemed they thought that I would go back to Winnipeg the minute I got my first paycheck.

I diligently looked for work, with no success. One reason was the state of my hands. I had suffered with psoriasis for many years; the stress and worry of my situation caused a flare up of the condition. I had huge scabs on my hands. I couldn’t even get a job as a waitress because my hands looked so awful.

My situation got worse. Because I was once again nearly out of money, I had no choice but to give up my two-rooms and put my possessions in storage. That day I became one of the homeless people, in the city that I now called home.

Every day I went to the welfare office and begged them to help me get the medical assistance (tar baths) that I needed to treat my psoriasis, so that I could find work. Every day they refused. They kept saying that I was too young for welfare. I always responded that it wasn’t welfare I needed; rather, it was medical assistance. (There was no government-sponsored health care at that time.) My pleas fell on deaf ears.

My dream of a new life had been shattered. I had been reduced to a “street person”, sleeping in shelters. I was in desperate need of inspiration and help to find work. Nevertheless, I hadn’t forgotten Winston Churchill’s words – the ones that I had read while on the train. I would not give up!

I kept praying for guidance. I knew, deep inside of myself, that something would happen to change my circumstances for the better. I did not see that something coming from a pimp!

One morning, I was sitting in a cheap café, somewhere near Jasper Avenue. I had about $ 25.00 in my pocket and things were looking very bleak. As I sat there, nursing a cold cup of coffee, I remembered the words that my mother often spoke. She would say: “something wonderful will happen today.” Those words cheered and encouraged me, just like they always had. I smiled to myself and murmured the words out loud.

As I spoke the words, a man stood looking down at me and said: “hey girlie, I’m your something wonderful today, so let’s talk.” Uninvited, he plunked himself down on the chair across from me.

I had seen him around and knew that he was a pimp. I shuddered inside and then went numb as he told me how I could make big money and enjoy the good things in life.
Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. I jumped up and ran all the way to the welfare office. I knew that this time I had to convince them to help me.

I saw a familiar worker and told her what had just happened. I begged her to save me from becoming a prostitute. “Please”, I pleaded, “I will pay back every cent of the treatments, as soon as I get a job.” Tears welled up in her eyes; she told me to wait and excused herself.

I desperately hoped that she was going to fight for me. While I waited, I remembered what the young priest had said about my struggles and power of choice. My choice was to find a way out. I continued to hope and prayed while I waited.

Finally, the woman came out and handed me some money. She told me that she had made arrangements for me at the University Hospital. She told me to go there the next morning. I hugged her and cried.

I felt so relieved when I left her office; in a few hours I would get the medical help that I so desperately needed. I knew that once I had the treatments, I would get a job and be okay.

I went back to the coffee shop. I was excited and focused on my hopes, so initially I didn’t notice when the pimp sat down at my table. He smirked and asked me if I had given consideration to his generous offer. I smiled at him and very calmly told him I would not now or ever become a hooker. I added that I was leaving the streets tomorrow and I would never be back.

He laughed and then stared at me. Suddenly, it dawned upon him that I meant every word. He asked me what had happened. I told him how he had influenced me to fight to get help; I thanked him for that. I also told him that I knew that now I would be fine.

He looked at me intently and suddenly seemed to age in front of my eyes. He got up and stared down at me and he said: “I honestly wish you success; you are a nice lady and I like you. I hope that I never see you back here. I also hope that your spirit stays strong and that you never, never give up!” Those words again! Peace filled my soul.

I spent five days at the hospital, each day I had tar baths. While there, I met a very nice lady named Diane who was also getting treatments. We hit it off and she invited me to stay with her and her brother until I was back on my feet. I was so grateful for the offer and readily accepted it.

A few days after leaving the hospital, I got a job as a waitress at the Smitty’s Pancake House on Jasper Avenue. Diane knew that I wanted to pay back Social Services, so she refused to take any rent money until I had paid that debt. I cleared it with my third pay cheque. I remained a paying tenant at Diane’s for five months. By then, I had been promoted to manager at the restaurant and was able to rent an apartment of my own.

I never went back to the streets, except to help at the missions. My time on the streets gave me the opportunity to experience being saved by angels of a different kind. For that, I’m grateful. I have never forgotten the special messages and messengers from that period of my life. Those memories and the lessons, burn like candles in my heart and soul.

What did I learn during those difficult months? I learned that I am never alone and that if I watch for signs, I’ll be shown the way. I learned that I have the power to choose my actions. I learned that I am able to change my life when I believe that I can. And, I learned to never, never give up!


The experiences that I had on the train and during those first months in Edmonton were critical ones on my spiritual journey. I firmly believe that those experiences helped me to further develop my innate clairvoyant abilities and skills as a medium. They also allowed me to develop the love and compassion that now helps me help others in deep and meaningful ways.

I am profoundly grateful for my mother’s loving guidance and spiritual wisdom, when I was a child and teen. She helped to prepare me for those challenges and others that followed.

Author's Bio: 

Irene Martina is a clairvoyant, medium, author and speaker. My autobiography, which is in the draft stage, will describe other challenging and life changing experiences.