George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 15 - THE CHALLENGE OF REVIVAL

 CHAPTER 15

THE CHALLENGE OF REVIVAL

?If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land!?

II         Chronicles 7:14

The following are excerpts from letters Mr. Campbell received during his illness.

A. From Stornoway, Scotland..

B. From California

C. From Vancouver

A.        From Stornoway, Scotland...

I still kept coming back until that wonderful night I surrendered to the saving work of Christ precious blood, but I will always be thank­ing our God that he sent you with the message so plain for us to grasp.

B. From California...

You were the vessel the Lord used to bring the gospel of grace to me. I never cease to marvel and wonder, of God?s mercy to me a sinner, that He would ever think about me.

C. From Vancouver... Dear Brother George,

I would like to express my eternal thanks for the manner in which

you touched my life and brought me ever closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

STORNOWAY, ISLE OF LEWIS, SCOTLAND

My roots are in the Island of Lewis. My father was born at Culregrein and my grandfather was born at the Port of Ness. My grandfather came to Canada and a little later my grandmother followed with her two sons, Angus and Norman. They settled in Vancouver and were never to see the Island of their birth again. Another son, George, was born in Canada.

A young man in Lewis, Mr. Morrison, was obedient to his Lord?s com­mission, ?Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every crea­ture!? His heart was burdened for the souls of those from his native Lewis who had gone to the new land across the sea. The Lord guided him to Vancouver. There he met Norman and Agnes Campbell, my grandpar­ents, and had the joy of pointing my grandmother to Christ. My grand­father, who also got saved, never lived to see his son Norman (my father), nor me, nor my children saved, but his prayers were answered after he went home to be with his Lord.

Mr. Morrison gathered with the New Testament church that met at the Cedar Cottage Gospel Hall. After three years, he returned to his na­tive Lewis and put into practice there in Stornoway the pattern from the New Testament that he had seen in Cedar Cottage. After my father went home to heaven, my brother took a trip to Lewis to see where his dad was born. When he stopped for gas, Mr. Morrison?s son, John, served him and they got talking about family connections. John knew about my grand- parents in Canada and knew our relatives in Stornoway.

As a result of this conversation with my brother, John Morrison, who was in the small assembly in Stornoway, wrote to me and invited me to come for meetings. I had received a sum of money from my grand­mother?s estate around this time and had planned to use it in some liter­ature projects in Newfoundland. When John?s invitation came, Mona and I decided, what better way to use the money than to go to Stornoway and take the gospel to my relatives. While we were there, the Lord used

His word mightily and many, many people were saved. What a joy to be able to take the good news of salvation back to the place of my roots.

PRAYERS, TEARS, REPENTANCE ACCOMPANY REVIVAL

More people were saved after I left. What a joy it was to go back a year later and see these new believers going on for the Lord. We had more meetings, and the numbers kept increasing.

The entire topic of conversation was the gospel. There was a real in­terest in prophetic subjects. One night I spoke on the rapture of the church and then gave a brief overview of events that will follow ending with the Battle of Armageddon. The people sat in their seats after the meet­ing not wanting to go home.

Brother Morrison got up and spoke of his trip to the Holy Land and how he saw the sign at Meggido saying that this is where the battle of Armageddon will take place. It was very impressive. I hadn?t seen bless­ing like we saw in Stornoway since the early days in Labrador. New peo­ple came out nightly and much help was given by the Lord to preach. Without the Lord, it would have been as flat as a pancake. I?d been pray­ing and longing for that touch from God and when it was obviously there, I felt humbled and so thankful.

People asked me if I would move there. Time after time I was asked if I would come back.

One day I visited an old sister thirty miles away who had been praying much for us. I also visited with a Church of Scotland minister?s wife who said she was praying for the meetings. She had a nice touch with God. Another woman told me she spent six hours a day in prayer.

How refreshing and humbling to know that God is working and one is able to be a part of such a mighty work. I believe there are souls to be saved there yet if someone had the burden and vision to go there. My time spent in Stornoway is one of the high spots of my service.

RESTORATION ACCOMPANIES REVIVAL

I had just started meetings in Gander Bay, and could sense that the Spirit of God was there and moving, xvhen we received a call from Labrador. A dear sister died of a heart attack. We had led her to Christ many years ago as a teenager. Now I had to make a decision. I wanted to stay in Gander Bay where the interest was so keen, but felt torn to go back to the place where a work had been started so many years ago.

I didn?t want to go just for the sake of conducting the funeral, but also because the work there was at a low ebb. It seemed the devil had been raging in many ways, and this was another blow. After traveling to For­teau, I conducted the funeral with Alex Dryburgh.

After the funeral, we started some Gospel meetings. The first meeting seemed to be good and people came out, but then we found out that there was an undercurrent and disunity among the Christians. There was sin in the camp. We concentrated on that. The meetings lasted for seven weeks without anyone saved, but there were cases of restoration and we could see that God was dealing. One of the principles of revival is restoration. That is where it starts.

REVIVAL STIRS SAINTS AND THEN SINNERS

The next year, two preachers from Nova Scotia went to Forteau. They went first and preached at the conference in the fall. Souls were moved, so these same men went back in the Winter for a series of meetings. Chris­tians wept as they preached with tenderness and power. God used them and there was blessing.

One unusual case was of a man whose wife was saved in the very early days of the work. After many, many years, he had heard so much of the gospel and was still not saved. One day, alone in his house, he was listening to a tape of one of the preachers, and he was struck by how many years he had rejected Christ. He turned off the tape, fell on his knees and received Christ as his Saviour. It has been a great joy seeing him go on for the Lord.

I was away from home at the time, so my wife phoned me just as I was preparing for a meeting in the little trailer next to the Gospel Hall. She told me of this man?s conversion and the story of how he got saved. When I hung up the phone I was so overcome with emotion, I fell on my knees and thanked God for what He had done in this man?s life. Had he failed to receive Christ as his Saviour after hearing so much of the gospel, what a hell would have been his! What a tragedy of all tragedies!

Thank God he is saved, baptized, and going on well for the? Lord. Others were saved at that time, too. It was a time of warmth and restoration among the Christians.

REVIVAL FIRE CAN HAVE LONG-LASTING EFFECTS

The third year, Brother Bert Joyce and Brother Bill Bingham were en­gaged in a Gospel series in L?Anse au Loup. The warmth and enthusiasm of the Christians was good. The prayer meetings were well attended, and the Spirit of God was working. There were some that got saved and after a number of weeks of preaching, it was felt maybe that the meetings were over. Brother Joyce returned again to his home in Corner Brook.

However, Brother Bingham wanted to carry on for a few more nights. There was one woman that he thought was troubled and he wanted to see her saved. So he, with some local brethren, began another series of meetings and a few nights later she did get saved. As he continued on, to his amazement there was one here and another there responding. The phone kept ringing with news of others who had received Jesus Christ as Saviour. In a short time, a large number had come to Christ. Bert Joyce returned to finish the meetings with Brother Bingham. It was a great series, and a great time of blessing, for many had found Christ as their Saviour. Some men who had never given their testimony for years had joined Brother Bingham to tell how God had saved them. It stirred up quite an interest in the local people. Some of those who were saved have come into the assembly, many of them young people.

Special Gospel meetings need to be followed up immediately with fur­ther work. Evangelists have, I believe, that responsibility, and where follow-up work is done, converts have a better opportunity to go on. Some­times when meetings are over, the work is left to elders. That is not just the same as the evangelist and sometimes they may not be able to lead them on through the early stages of Christian life. Follow-up meetings with young converts are very important, and should be done by the evan­gelists who had the Gospel meetings. I believe this is part of his responsi­bility. It is not only to preach and to baptize, but to make disciples by his influence early in the lives of those young converts. He is able to teach truths in a way that no one else can, because they are warm to him. So revival depends upon a clean house, a warm heart and then the overflow of blessing to others. That situation in Labrador took place over a period of three years. The first phase is the hardest; seeking to get to the bottom of problems and dealing with them according to the word of God, and in the fear of God. The second phase: beautiful, warm tears with saints and sinners warmed, spoken to and convicted. The third phase: blessing. This comes with the Holy Spirit moving in, blessing and reach­ing souls for whom Christ died.

Related scriptures: Colossians 2:6-7; II Timothy 4:1-4; Romans 9:1-5; Psalm 85:6; Psalm 138:7; Habakkuk 3:2.