Stories of Revival

I suppose you can call it revival, but it was a move of the Spirit anyway. It wasn’t really any historic revival. But as we think of, you know, where cities were swept into the Kingdom overnight, that type of thing. One of the most outstanding things in my mind was up there with Keith McCloud for 8 months I believe it was, and we made it a practice to meet for open-ended prayer every day if not twice a day. And there was about four of us. And so it was just sort of a log cabin Bible school type of thing. It was just a matter of meeting every day for preaching and prayer, that’s all it was. So, in the middle of that time, Keith had accepted an invitation to hold meetings at a big evangelical Mennonite church. And so we began to pray regularly for those meetings that were coming up. I suppose we prayed for maybe four months every day. And the meetings began in Wymark, Saskatchewan. God came in power in the very first meeting. I mean, the very first meeting God was there in power. People were weeping, people were coming to the front. He never gave any altar call; he didn’t believe in an altar call, but people, they couldn’t take it, and they could not keep their seats, they got up and they went to the front, and they were confessing their sins. And every night, as I recall, there was probably 20, 30, 40 people up front there doing business with God. Every night the meetings lasted till 1 or 2 or 3 o’clock with people asking for help. They were in distress of soul. I remember one young girl, she was about 12 years old. It was ten minutes before she could even talk. She was under such deep conviction. And so we got to bed at like 4 o’clock every night. And sometimes people couldn’t even wait until the sermon was over. They were crying out under conviction of sin and he would have to stop preaching and ask the pastor to take them to the basement. I remember one fellow, he was under such conviction of sin, it was like he was just screaming, and as the pastor took him to the basement, you could hear him crying down there like an animal going to the slaughter. And so it was a very powerful time. People were starting to come from many miles away. The report was spreading. I know Keith McCloud said if he had any regrets at the end of that time, it was that he didn’t continue the meetings longer. And so at the end of the time, it was estimated that half of the church; there were probably three or four hundred people attending; half of the church either had a fresh or a new meeting with God. Brother McCloud said that every night it was like he could hardly wait to get into the pulpit. He was full of unvented wine. God just gave him such authority, such clarity, such utterance, such an ability to magnify Christ. It was like when he was done with his sermon, every tree in the forest was chopped down except one. Just one was left standing. He just cleaned the slate. Knocked down every idol. Routed every sin. Christ alone was left standing. I remember one time, one woman, right in the middle of the sermon, she was under such conviction she just stood up and called out across the aisle and asked somebody else for forgiveness in the middle of the sermon. It was holy chaos. One time, another remarkable thing, about a half a year after I was converted, and I was converted when I was a member of a fraternity at Iowa State. So about a half a year after I was converted, this company that I was working for, they were going to have a regional meeting back in the town where I had gone to college. So I thought maybe this would be an opportunity to organize a Gospel meeting for my fraternity brothers. This fellow who was friendly with me, he set up this meeting for a Gospel meeting after the supper in the living room. And probably about 40 guys gathered in there. And another older Christian by the name of Vader Zudtke from Northeast Iowa, he came down, and also my brother was there and another fellow. So anyway, here Vader was sharing the Gospel with these fraternity brothers, and God began to settle in. And what was designed to be a 40 minute meeting in that living room floor guys sitting around, it turned out to be, as I recall, about 7 hours before we were done that night. One fellow sitting there just came under conviction and began to weep and cry out in front of all of these fraternity brothers calling on the Lord. There was conversations going on up in the rooms. People would leave – some had to go leave for wrestling practice at 8:00 type of thing, and here when they got done with wrestling practice, they came back in and sat down again. Couldn’t get away. One fellow came in and heard what was going on, and he was pretty huffy, you know what’s going on in there? And he came in blowing smoke, and it wasn’t about two minutes before Vader had had his Bible open and this guy was just eating out of his hand. Another guy came in, a former roommate of mine, I said, “Hey Wayne, come on in the living room here, we’re having a Gospel meeting.” And he mocked and said I don’t need that such and such. And you know what, it was about a year later, and I heard that this guy had committed suicide. His girlfriend left him, and he put the shotgun to the roof of his mouth. Maybe a couple years after I was converted, I began to see the narrowness of the narrow way, and I began to wonder, Am I really in or not? And I was sharing this with an older Christian and he began to share some Bible verses with me whereby I could evaluate myself, and I remember God just deeply whispering to my soul: That’s enough. That’s enough, Bob. Don’t question it anymore. You are Mine. And it was not long after that, where I was in a meeting one night, and a missionary was back from Italy, and he was sharing about the Fatherhood of God. God’s Fatherhood, His tender care as a Father. And God settled in. I don’t know if anybody else felt it like I did. But it was, for me, special. And I was just being melted, melted, melted, as he was talking. And after the meeting, probably three fourths of the church congregation had left, there were just a few of us hanging around talking about the things of God, and this older saint, he came up to me, and shared a truth with me. And my heart – I just was flooded with the love of God right there. This fellow, he says, men, let’s gather for prayer. We had a time of prayer in the back of that church building. And I don’t remember anything ever like it before or since, where all I could say was Abba, Father. At the top of my voice. It was just the most special time for me that I’ve ever had. I think that’s the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children.