George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 7 - THE CHALLENGE OF AN OPEN DOOR

 CHAPTER 7

THE CHALLENGE OF AN OPEN DOOR

?Behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my Godl?

I Kings 5:5

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hancock opened their home to

George Campbell.

Excerpt from letter to his parents:

?I don?t know how many, but there are a good many saved. I think 60 or 70 anyway... So praise the Lord. Others are troubled and we con­tinue meetings with the chart, the two roads. Keep praying, as the Lord is indeed working. It makes me feel like crying when I think of it all.?

Your son in Christ,

George

MY FIRST CONVERT IN LABRADOR

It was a cold November night when the ?Northern Ranger? anchored in Forteau Bay. I can remember jumping on the top of the mailbags with my suitcase, tracts and Bibles. When we got to the wharf, I could hear voices from the darkness saying as they flashed their lights around, ?I think that?s one of the men who was here in the summer.? As I threw my things up on the wharf, a little man came out of the darkness and said, ?You?re Mr. Campbell??

I answered, ?Yes.?

He picked up my bag and said, ?Come with me, sir.? And so we walked up a little narrow path into a warm kitchen. Mrs. Hancock said, ?You are going to stay with us.? That was my introduction to Uncle Joe and Aunt Willamina Hancock. We got to know each other very quickly. These people didn?t have much as far as this world was concerned, but they were willing to take in a stranger. They showed me to a room and then we came down and chatted awhile.

The next day I was looking for a place to preach. I went to Mary Tay­lor, the nurse in charge of the Grenfell Mission Nursing Station who said that she would see if I could get the pulpit in the United Church. I said, ?I would be happy to if I could get it with no strings attached.? She didn?t think there would be any and made arrangements for me to take a week?s services in the United Church. However, there was opposi­tion and they didn?t receive the message that quickly. There were some who did come. Pressure soon came and their attitude against an open Bible soon showed itself and we had to stop preaching in the church.

Mary let us use the storage room of the Grenfell Mission. Even though there was opposition, she was willing to let us have it for the sake of the gospel. We used for the pulpit a wooden box covered with a white cloth and a lamp on it. The stairs that came up to the room were almost like a ladder and we put a lamp there so people could see their way up. Previ­ously there had been a shipwreck and a lot of lumber had floated ashore. It wasn?t hard to get two-inch by eight-inch boards in the rough to use for benches.

One night after the service, I was at Uncle Joe?s house discussing the way of salvation. I had been speaking particularly to Aunt Willamina when Uncle Joe broke down in tears. I said, ?What?s the matter??

?My sins, my sins, my sins,? he sobbed.

I asked, ?Would you like to be saved??

?Sir,? he answered, ?That?s all I want, to be saved!?

So I turned to Acts 16:30 and read, ?What must I do to be saved?? Is this what you are asking? ?Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!?

Before I had a chance to say another word, he was down on his knees and had received Christ as his Saviour.

THE WORD SPREAD

From then on, people started getting saved - some in the woods, some during the meeting and others in other places.

New Year?s Eve we gathered in the storage room for a special meeting. That night each of the men who had been saved stood at his seat and told how he got saved. Some were half praying, others talking. It was a wonderful night.

People continued to come to Christ and the word spread from place to place to all the communities along that shore. There was a real move­ment of the Spirit. Uncle Joe Hancock and his wife have been life-long friends and the Lord has saved nearly all of their children.

From Forteau we went three miles around the bay and used the house of Stan and Elsie Trimm for meetings. People came and got saved. Then one day, an older man from L?Anse au Loup, Mr. Will Earle, came to see me. He and two of his sons, Spofford and Ralph were saved a year or two earlier under the preaching of Mr. Mitchell. He asked me down to their settlement to preach.

I asked, ?Do you have a place where I could preach??

?Well, yes sir. We do have a little schoolhouse, but we need a few things to get it ready. We need an oil lamp and door latch and a few things like that!?

I gave him $50.00 to get the things that were needed. He could hardly believe it and wondered if I wanted it back. I assured him that I didn?t want it back.

?Well,? he said, ?You?ll get the school house for sure. The last minister we had here, we gave him $17.00 of our hard-earned money so that we could have prayers in the school house. We have never seen the things, the minister, nor the $17.00 since. I am sure you?ll get the school!?

So Uncle Will Earle went off quite excited on his team of dogs to carry the news that the preacher was coming soon to L?Anse au Loup.

There was a lot of respect for older people, teachers, preachers and the nurses in those days in Labrador. It was nice to hear children and young people referring to older people as ?Uncle? or ?Aunt? even if they wer­en?t family. When talking about older ones to others, the younger ones would refer to ?Mrs. Spofford Earle? or ?Mrs. Alice Ann Linstead?, or whatever the name was. The nurse was always called ?Miss Taylor? ?Miss Laird? or ?Miss Skelley!?

EXPECT GOD TO DO THINGS

My first experience of Christianity was in a tremendous Gospel series where approximately fifty professed to be saved. Christians were expect­ing things to happen. Later when I went home, my parents were saved within two weeks. As I witnessed and saw others saved, I learned what God could do.

I went to Newfoundland and had some struggles for a few years, but when I went to Labrador, I went expecting to see assemblies planted.

Some Christian?s children have never seen times of real spiritual bless­ing, only one or two saved and many professions. So they may not really expect God to do more.

Some teenage girls who were saved in L?Anse au Loup came to me and asked if it would be all right for them to meet together and pray. I cer­tainly agreed, and so while the fire was heating up the schoolroom be­fore the meeting, these young sisters prayed together for their unsaved parents, brothers, sisters and for the community.

I had been preaching for a long time that winter, about four or five months, and was getting discouraged because no one was getting saved. Spofford Earle said, ?Don?t quit, Mr. Campbell. God is going to do some­thing yet. You should stand in the porch and hear those young sisters pray!?

Even while we were there, Pearce Linstead sprang in the door, wanting to be saved. He knew his daughter was in that room praying for her mother and her father and dear Pearce couldn?t stand it any longer.

God came in and saved not only Pearce, but a raft of others as well. It was a real movement of God. People were sending for Bibles and every time the mailbag was opened and dumped on the floor, there was a half a dozen Bibles there from Eaton?s or some other mail order place.

OTHER CHRISTIANS WERE INVOLVED IN THE LABRADOR WORK

God had been working on Labrador before I got there. Mary Taylor had come to Forteau as a nurse to work for God and had a real powerful influence for the gospel.

Another lady, Mrs. Suz Fowler from a village down the shore, had been saved years before. When she heard of the meetings I was holding, she brought her family and saw them all saved. She is a real ?mother in Is­rael? and always had an interest in the young women praying together and keeping them stirred up about lost souls.

Each night before the meeting, after the hall was built, the sisters went to Bella Earle?s house to pray in her inside kitchen while the brothers prayed in the back room of the hall. We need to maintain that prayer power!

Things had now started to move, and the momentum under the lead­ing of the Holy Spirit needed to be maintained. Now that we had seen the work started in Forteau, the desire was there to see the whole area evangelized in the shortest possible time.

REACHING FARTHER OUT

I had the compelling urge to go to other places also. So in the summer of 1957, we were ready to go again. We went farther north on the

as far as Goose Bay. We found Square Islands interesting and the people gave us a hearty invitation to return in the winter to Charlottetown where they live during the cold months.

At that time, Bert Joyce disclosed his exercise. He felt he wanted to update his pilot?s license and get a small airplane to get into the isolated places we couldn?t reach by boat in the winter.

So in the early spring of the following year, Bert landed with his small plane at Forteau, Labrador. He said, ?Do you have a place you want to go??

I answered, ?Yes, we?re going to Red Bay!?

We went to Red Bay and a work began there that continues today. Bert Joyce moved his family there and lived in Red Bay for a number of years.

We got back to Charlottetown eventually and found an open door. After being closed in with three days of bad weather and having a meet­ing each night, on our proposed last night of the meetings, I saw this big fellow coming up. Not knowing what he was going to do, I said, ?We will close in prayer!?

I bowed my head and began to pray. While I was praying, there were scuffling sounds around the room. When I opened my eyes, there was a number of people on their knees wanting to know how to be saved.

This is the way the work started there and an assembly is there now gathered to the Lord?s name. The people there thought that by coming and kneeling, this would indicate their sincerity in wanting to know the way of salvation, and in their case, it did. We can never put God in a box. He has his own way of working. Even though these people never came in our orthodox way, they have gone on to prove the reality of their salvation.

The winter after I got married, we lived at Charlottetown. We had a most profitable time. Ernie Dellandrea, affectionately known as Uncle Ernie, had helped me build a small cabin there. It was to this place I took my bride. In the winter, the only way in was by plane. The clergy came in to oppose. All the people went to the schoolhouse to hear him and to give their testimony. I stood alone, looking over at the school, feeling alone and forsaken, but the Lord stood by me. Bert Joyce and Wallace Buckle have followed up the work there with their airplanes, and over the years the work has grown.

Related scriptures: Acts 1:8; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 8:14-17;

Jo/tn 4:29; Mark 11:22-26; Judges 5:7; Luke 18:13-14.