George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 12 - THE CHALLENGE OF NEW TERRITORY

 CHAPTER 12

THE CHALLENGE OF NEW TERRITORY

?But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus? sake!?

II Corinthians 4:3-5

STARTING FROM SCRATCH AT PARSONS POND

In 1960, I went to join the ?M.G.M.? at a place called Daniel?s Har­bour. There was a lot of opposition raised by the clergyman about the gospel being preached there and we were ordered to leave. Some men who lived in that place stood up for the gospel even though they were not believers.

An invitation came to us to go to Parsons Pond, so Gaius Goff and I were designated to find a place to preach there. We were able to get the use of a poolroom and we used the pool table as a pulpit. People filled the place each night. From August 1960 to the end of May the next year, the gospel was preached in that area nightly. Souls were saved in various villages in that vicinity, and they all came together to meet in Parsons Pond on Sundays.

Mona and I had just been married in April 1961, and were planning to take a honeymoon out west when we received a telegram from Mr. Harris, who was at Parsons Pond with Gaius Goff. The telegram read:

?HAVE YOU ANNOUNCED FOR MEETING TONIGHT STOP GOOD INTEREST LOVE HERB?

A HONEYMOON TO BE REMEMBERED

I said to Mona, ?No way are we going there. We?re on our honeymoon!? But she answered, ?If souls are there to be saved and the Lord wants you there to preach the gospel, that?s where we should go!?

So the upshot of that was that we spent our honeymoon in a little two-room apartment with a bachelor just down the hallway and preach­ing every night. The kitchen had no cupboards so the canned goods were under the bed. The sugar and flour were in bags under one side of the table along with the oatmeal and other dry foods. It was not the ideal place to take a new bride.

The good side of it is that the Lord blessed His word and saved souls, for which we gave Him all the glory. An assembly was planted there and quickly grew. The first man saved in that place, Carl Payne, has since been commended to the work of the Lord as a full-time worker.

The year following, the boat visited both Port au Choix and Rocky Harbour. Souls were saved in these towns, too.

I believe it is important not only for preachers, but also for assemblies to consider the areas around us as our responsibility. It may be the next town or settlement, or it may be our neighbourhood, but we need to be ready and willing to meet their needs as well as our own. If we look inward all the time, before long we only see our faults or the faults of others and also lose sight of the Lord. If we look outward and around, our vision is enlarged, and instead of problems we see opportunities; in­stead of people with whom we may disagree, we see people for whom Christ had love and for whom He died.

RESULTS FROM SEED SOWN IN FLOWERS COVE

The Family Bible Hour broadcast originally began as the Newfound­land Gospel Hour in St. John?s under the direction of Donald Moffatt. Alex Morrison made tapes of his singing of the old-time gospel hymns and this program quickly became a favorite with thousands of Newfoundlanders shortly after World War II.

When we began using the boat for carrying the gospel, we used the same hymns sung by Alex Morrison and many people in the villages of Newfoundland and Labrador recognized his voice.  He sang ?Throw out the Life Line?, ?Will Your Anchor Hold?, and many other old favorites as we came into port.

Several people that we know of found Christ through hearing the gospel over the air. One was Mr. Dempster of Flowers Cove. We had gone there preaching from the boat, but were quickly opposed by the local clergy­man and had to move off from the wharf with our boat. Mr. Dempster invited us to tie up to this wharf over in Nameless Cove, where he lived. The Dempsters got a lot of opposition, but were steadfast and opened their home for us to preach in their kitchen. He would make rounds out­side to see that no one damaged anything while we were inside telling out the gospel story.

Mrs. Dempster had been saved a number of years before and now he was deeply interested. One Sunday morning, he was standing by the ra­dio listening to the Family Bible Hour and as the word of God came home to his heart, he received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Tears of joy were running down his cheeks as he made it known. He went on to make a sure mark and was a respected elder in the assembly there in flowers Cove.

My wife and I lived there for almost a year. We used the upstairs of the house we lived in as the meeting place for the Christians whom God saved. An assembly was formed and broke bread for the first time in that upper room.

TESTING TIME CAN BE TOUGH

A year or two later, Wallace Buckle, born and raised in Labrador, and his family moved to flowers Cove. One very stormy winter, Wallace and Gaius Goff had a series of Gospel meetings in which quite a number of people were saved. A man, who had been the mayor, and his wife as well as two daughters came to Christ that winter He had a store and for quite a few months, many people refused to do business with him because he had gotten saved. However, because of his honesty and fair prices, people eventually came back and he was able to make a living. He had passed test number one.

A few years later, his wife took sick and had a lot of hospitalization, but through it all they were able to maintain a smile and accept God?s will. They passed test number two.

One day his wife noticed a lump on his neck and then found a few more, so she persuaded her husband to go to the doctor. The doctor found cancer in all of his glands. After many painful tests and several years of treatment, it was a wonderful day when the doctor said, ?You are all cleared up!? Test number three was passed with flying colours. Not long after that test, his two married daughters, his wife and a son-in-law were in a terrible automobile accident on a snowy road. The daugh­ters were both killed and his wife seriously injured. After the funeral, which was held in the high school gym to accommodate the nearly 1,000 people who came, this beloved brother said, ?The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!? Test number four.

CHARACTER IS BUILT IN TRIALS

Often Christians have to go through bitter experiences and we some­times cry out from our hearts, ?God where are You? Don?t You know what is going on? Can?t You see what is happening??

Oh, dear suffering saint, remember character is built in times of trou­ble, not in the smooth times. The trials of our faith are more precious to God than gold. We don?t think of gold as something that can perish, but God considers the lasting benefits of our trials to be of more value and longer lasting than that which is of highest value to men and lasts the longest in our estimation.

Please do not despair, my dear fellow-sufferer. Our God lives and our God cares.

Related scriptures: I Corinthians 9:18-23; Romans 12:17; II Corinthians 8:21, I Corinthians 10:13; 1 Peter 1:7.