The Christian Broadcasting Network


Flames of Revival: New Hebrides Awakening

By Scott Ross
The 700 Club - - With the allies' victory over Germany, post war Europe sought to recapture its pre-war glory. During this time many Europeans abandoned the church as they tried to rebuild homes and families wrecked by war. Scott Ross continues his series on revival with a look at the New Hebrides Awakening.

Scott Ross: On the Hebrides Islands, off the coast of Scotland, not a single young person attended Sunday services. The islands, which had seen many revivals in the past, were now becoming a spiritual wasteland.

Dr. Elmer Towns: Peggy Smith, was an eighty-four year old blind prayer warrior. Her sister, Christine, suffered from severe arthritis. Yet they were not willing to see the enemy claim victory on their island. They prayed fervently for revival. God answered by giving Peggy a vision of Duncan Campbell, a famed Scottish evangelist, preaching on their island. She saw the churches filled with young people.

She could see Duncan Campbell. She had heard him when he had had power, and she said, 'Oh, I believe that Duncan Campbell should come and have a revival meeting.' So she called her pastor and said, 'I believe that Duncan Campbell ought to come.' The pastor said, 'Oh my wife feels the same thing, this must be of God.' So at the mouth of two witnesses, he invited Duncan Campbell to come.

Duncan Campbell turned him down because he said, 'I have another invitation of great importance.'

Scott Ross: Peggy and Christine were not swayed by Campbell's response. Instead they continued to pray for revival. They knew that Duncan Campbell would come just as God had shown them.

Dr. Elmer Towns: The little lady said, 'I won't accept that.' She began to pray. She said, 'He will come. God will make him come. He will come.' And she began to pray, and she said to the pastor, 'Print the invitations and put them in all the roads.'

Scott Ross: Duncan Campbell questioned his decision not to go to the Hebrides, but he was speaking at an important conference in England.

Prior to receiving the letter from Mackay, Campbell's grand daughter had asked him why God didn't work the same way as in the sermons that he preached. This sent Duncan to his knees to offer God his willingness to go anywhere for revival. It wasn't long before God began to move.

Dr. Elmer Towns: And Duncan Campbell was sitting on the front row of the Keswick Convention, which is the deeper life center of all of England, and he was the next speaker up. The spirit of God came upon him and he felt conviction and he turn to the moderator and said, 'You will have to excuse me, God has another appointment for me.' He got up and walked away.

Scott Ross: Duncan Campbell got on a boat and made the journey to the Hebrides. He knew that God was calling him there. It was in this little church, that God broke through the hearts of people on these islands.

Dr. Elmer Towns: He got off the boat at four o'clock in the afternoon. Now there was a mailman waiting for him. And he said, 'We knew you would come. You have just enough time for high tea before the meeting.' He said, 'What meeting?' He answered, 'The announcements are all up. It starts tonight. Talk about God.'

He went to high tea, and then he went and preached. The church was full. It was a nice meeting, except during the invitation a young man stood up and said, 'I feel it up there -- God is right up there and he wants to come down.' But that's all that happened.

He went to the back door to shake hands as the parsons do. He looked out and the yard was full of people. The Spirit of God had pulled them there and they came in. A few people left but most stayed -- they stayed until four in the morning -- and the Spirit of God came down. People began to get saved and to get right with God.

Scott Ross: What was the ongoing fruit of the revival?

Dr. Elmer Towns: Well most of the bars were put out of existence. The churches were filled with young people. The church enrollment exploded. People came back to God. There was just tremendous healing of the land. Sin was being done away with. People were coming back to God. That revival went on for the next 30 years, for that whole land was prospered by God.

Scott Ross: God heard the fervent prayers of two housebound believers who were praying for revival. He transformed their island from a wasteland to a spiritual paradise. God still hears our prayers today. If we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

Order Dr. Town's book: The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever

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