George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 13 - THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE

 CHAPTER 13

THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE

?Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak

Colossians 4:2-4

?We here in Fogo have lost one whom we looked forward to visiting us. For most of us he was our father in the faith both him and Bryan. They both spent a lot of time here. It was always wonderful to have Mr. Campbell come back for a visit. We always knew he had a real interest and concern for the assembly here. We?ll never be able to stop thanking God that he sent Mr. Campbell and Bryan here for that series of Gospel Meetings in November 1972. We thank God that they took such an in­terest in Calvin and I to visit us and to explain to us the way of Salva­tion. More than once they went home 2 o?clock in the morning after discussing the scriptures for several hours. Thank God they never gone up until our darkened souls finally saw the light!?

AN IMPORTANT DECISION

In the Fall of 1956,1 went to Labrador with one suitcase, a box of tracts, Bibles and the confidence that God wanted me there. Then thirteen years later, we had four children and we needed to find a larger home.

We had picked out a lot and made plans to build a house. We had the money and Arnold Belbin and Stanford Fowler were ready to build it. Then circumstances began to change and I began to wonder if the Lord had something different in store for us. We found water underground when we dug for the basement and the only way we could drain it was to dig a ditch to the beach about 200 yards away. Then Stanford Fowler, who was going to head the project, was taken away to the hospital, sick. He never fully recovered and suffered for years. He is now with the Lord. So there we were with four children, crowded into the basement apart­ment of the English Point Gospel Hall. I was recovering from a serious siege with hepatitis. We had a difficult time putting up the boat in Labrador the fall before. All in all, Mona and I knew it was a crisis time.

We prayed that we could have a good base for our children during their school days, and as we prayed about all of these issues, scriptures, cir­cumstances and a sense of inner rest assured us we should move.

A WHOLE AREA OF NEW WORK

There was a workers? meeting in Corner Brook around that time, and while I was there a real estate man took me right to a house that suited our needs.

We also found a dry dock in Lewisporre that would put up the ?North­ern Light? for $75.00 a year. As these pieces all fit together, we knew that the Lord was saying no to staying in Labrador and ?yes? to mov­ing to Corner Brook.

This brought me into a whole new area of work in central Newfound­land that I hadn?t been involved in before. The very next summer the work in Fogo opened up. If I had remained in Labrador, I would have become a pastor. A man?s working of an area should be accomplished in 12 years. We need to have our work perpetuating as in the New Testa­ment pattern.

AN INTEREST ON FOGO ISLAND

Four of us were sitting in the deckhouse of the boat, ?Northern Light?. We were disappointed because we had scouted out an area where we want­ed to preach the gospel, but nothing seemed to open up.

Suddenly, someone said, ?What about Fogo Island? A Christian doc­tor lives there who comes to the meetings in the Gospel Hall when he comes into St. John?s!?

The doctor had said, ?Fogo Island, where I live, is a needy place, and it would be good if a visit could be made there when one of the boats is free!?

Rather than sail all that distance, we decided we would go by car and take the ferry across to Fogo Island to visit the doctor. As soon as we landed on the Island, we all sensed that God was leading us there. After our visit with the doctor and his wife, we were convinced that Fogo Is­land was where we should go.

We went back to Lewisporte and took the ?Northern Light? into the harbour of Fogo. We tied up at a wharf and began to preach the gospel. People started to come and listen to the hymns and the messages preached from the deck of the boat.

After a few nights, there was opposition. A local minister gave direct instructions to the merchant who owned the wharf that he insist we leave. In fact, the minister came down to make sure that we left. He demanded to know what reason or what right we had in coming there. We weren?t long in telling him that we had a commission from Jesus Christ to come there and preach the gospel. This man, whom we had known from other villages, falsely told throughout the community that we were there to break up homes and cause trouble. Instead of leaving, we tied up at the government wharf not too far away. After all, he couldn?t put us off there!

OPEN HEARTS IN SPITE OF OPPOSITON

There was a stir in the place. In the calm evenings, we would sail out to the middle of the harbour, drop anchor and preach. One dear man said it was the sweetest thing he had ever heard and he hoped we would stay there forever. Then a young man let us use his land for a gospel tent. He said he didn?t really know if there was a God or not, but he was willing to let us use his land anyway. God later saved both him and his wife. People came to the tent meetings and we were convinced that God was working.

When the weather got too cold for tent work, Mrs. Keefe, who had been away all summer and hadn?t attended any meetings, told us that she had an empty store that we could use. We weren?t long getting it ready for use and we continued the meetings.

Bryan Funston was with us and was quite interested in Fogo Island. He felt very much drawn to the people. The Spirit of God was giving him real help to preach when he took the children?s meetings and helped us in the night services. Some adults were so interested that they came out to the children?s meetings. He fell in love with the people and longed for their salvation.

A decision had to be made as to what we were going to do. Would we sail away and try to get back when we could? Was one of the crew willing and able to stay? I wasn?t able to stay at that time, as I had just moved my family into Corner Brook, but this young man was willing to remain there and things began to open up for him. We were able to get an old trailer for him to live in and a piece of land to put it on. From time to time we had meetings together. God blessed on that Island. Not as many were saved as we would have liked, but there are souls there who will thank God for all eternity for the men that brought the gospel their way.

People were saved, baptized and gathered in a local assembly. It is still there. The believers have had trials and difficulties and some of them have been severely tested by Satan. They have stood the test. They are rugged Island people who are willing to walk back and forth many miles to carry out their responsibilities to the assembly by remembering the Lord in the breaking of bread, teaching the Sunday School classes and preaching the gospel. We thank God for the people of Fogo Island and pray that in time to come, many more souls will find Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Related scriptures: Luke 11:9-10; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15; I Thessaloni­ans 1:5-10; Acts 16:9-10.