George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 2 - A WELL OF LIVING WATER

 

  CHAPTER 2

A WELL OF LIVING WATER

?I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgive­ness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

The Acts 26: 17b-18

I had another season at the resorts, and it was then that my buddy said to me, ?How would you like to go to India??

I replied, ?Can?t think of a better thing to do.?

We set out for Portland, Oregon to meet the ship. We missed the ship in Portland, and I went on to Vancouver.

Now here I was, sitting on the side of the bed in my religious uncle?s home, pondering the question of eternity. What would I do with Jesus? I didn?t know how to be saved. I thought to myself, ?If I take Jesus as my Saviour, people will laugh at me. What will my friends think? What about the parties? What about my girl friend? Okay, what about it? If there is such a thing as being saved, I want to be saved. If there is noth­ing to it, I am not going to worry about it. But, if it is real, I want it?

I didn?t know anything about praying. I was about to pray a prayer of reality, the prayer of a burdened soul, trying to find out if God was there. ?Is that really You, God? Are You really true?? I got down on my knees and recalled the gospel message, ?Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.? Others were coming to the Saviour. God was working and some were being saved; now what about me? I knew that Christ died for my sins, and I knew He rose from the dead. It seemed as though He was passing by, and I was like blind Bartimaeus.

I prayed, ?Lord, don?t pass me by; I trust you as my Saviour.? The bur­den was lifted. There were no lights, no big feelings, just an assurance that my sins were gone.

?If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved? (Romans 10:9). It all seemed clear and fresh to me.

I lifted my voice to God and said, ?Lord, I confess You as my Saviour?? Not only had I peace, but joy came into my soul. I never had anything like this before. I went to bed and slept well. The next morning when I got up, the peace and joy were still there. I walked into the kitchen and told my aunt, ?You know, last night I got saved.?

?You did!? she exclaimed, hardly knowing what to say.

Before long she called the preachers, and I told them my story. They were very happy.

Yes, I was saved, and everything began to be new. The spirit of God was moving, and the Christians were praying. Each night after the Gospel meeting there were people who stayed behind, and wanted to be shown from the scriptures how they could know Christ as their Saviour.

As the soul winners began their work of opening the scriptures and showing sinners the way of salvation, the prayer warriors filed back into the building, and up to the balcony where they knelt to pray. I joined those prayer meetings after the services, and with other brethren we prayed, sometimes until twelve o?clock, sometimes until one and two in the morning. I remember the first public prayer that I made. It was for a young man?s salvation. It seemed to come right from my heart, although it wasn?t very much.

I said, ?0 God, erase the devil and pour a little grace on him. Amen.? Then everybody else said, ?Amen? and I knew if God hadn?t accepted it, they certainly had. Henry did get saved that night.

The Holy Spirit must work when conditions are met. Unity depends on confession and a renewal of love and fellowship. Saints will not find it hard to pray, but will want to. The fruit will be lasting. As a result of those meetings, many were saved and gathered with Christians in New Testament churches throughout the city. Several went out into full-time service for the Lord. I was one of them.

My heart was warm and I was born again, and in a warm environment of Christians in the fellowship of the church. Before long, I went to the meeting where Christians, in a very simple way, broke the bread and drank the wine in remembrance of the Lord?s death. Right away my heart was there. It was what I wanted to do. As I read the Bible, I began to see that people who were saved were to be baptized.

One day, I said to my uncle, ?I would like to be baptized.?

He asked, ?Where did you see that??

?In the Bible, and I have never been baptized.?

I remember those Bible studies when we went through the Word of God to discover the truth of believer?s baptism. They opened the Bible and explained that not only are we saved, but we are to show publicly through our baptism the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. I was glad when the day came, and I was baptized along with a number of others.

I found work in Woodward?s Department Store, where I met another Christian, Hugh Steven, who was a help to me in my Christian life. As we worked and enjoyed fellowship together, I didn?t think I would ever sin or do anything bad again, until one day I dropped something on my foot. It hurt and right away I took God?s name in vain. I was shocked and stunned; how could I do such a thing!

My uncle looked at me when I came home and said, ?What happened? You don?t look so happy tonight.?

?Oh, nothing; it?s all right? I replied unhappily.

He took me into his den and shut the door. ?Have a little trouble on the job today??

It seemed like he knew all about it. I told him what happened. He read to me those beautiful verses I had never seen before, ?If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we con­fess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.? He said, ?We still have an old nature that can sin. Keep short accounts with God. I?m going to leave and shut the door. Confess it and realize that God is faithful and is forgiving. You didn?t lose your salvation; you just lost the joy of it, and God will bring it back.?

So as I knelt, tears ran down my cheeks as I told Jesus I was sorry for what I had done. The joy of the Lord filled my soul. He was real all right.

I also learned the pattern of the New Testament church in the scrip­tures and saw it carried out in a practical way. I was convinced that the Lord meant this to continue until He came. Local churches were to be planted everywhere for His glory. However, I soon found out that many Christians had a small vision and a small map! Yet the vision that Jesus had was to see New Testament churches gathered to His Name right out to the uttermost parts of the earth. I was happier still the first time I gathered with believers to remember my wonderful Saviour and Lord. Those were happy days.

Little did I realize then that the Lord was to send me to one of the uttermost parts of the earth-Newfoundland and Labrador.

Related scriptures: I John 1:7; Matthew 27:22; Romans 5:6, 8; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 10:13; Ronwtns 10:9; II Corinthians 3:17; Romans 6:3-6.