Exhortation

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  1. Rev. dr. Paul Jinadu

    Who was converted during the Hebrides revival.

    (We worked in the same Edinburgh-based mission organisation in the 60s)

    I was born and brought up in the Hebrides Islands. If you take the most north-westerly point of Scotland, it is called Cape Wrath. Forty miles into the sea west of that is a string of islands. The topmost island is called the Island of Lewis. Two miles from the lighthouse at the very top of the Island of Lewis, I was born and brought up in a fishing village.

    I want to give you a little bit of background insofar as the church was concerned there. It was the normal thing in every home in the village, as far as I know, to have family worship. That doesn't mean that all the people in the village were Christians, but they had promised (in the church) to bring up their children in the nurture and fear and admonition of the Lord. They felt that this was part and parcel of the fulfilment of that promise that they had made in public.

    So my unconverted parents and other unconverted parents in the village felt it was right to read the Word of God to their families and to pray. The prayer was always the same amongst the unconverted. They probably had learned it from their parents and so on. I wasn't at all attentive to what was happening; it was just part of life. 

  2. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    Someone wrote about that first week. ‘The Spirit of God was resting amazingly and graciously on these two townships (Shader and Barvas) at that time and His resting was glorious. You could feel him in the homes of the people, on the common and on the moor and even as you walked along the road through the two townships.’

    The revival spread but one town in Lewis was not responding to prayer for revival. Arnol is two miles from Barvas and extra prayer was called for, so Duncan Campbell and others went to have an extended prayer meeting in someone’s house. 

    “It was a hard battle as one after another attempted to breakthrough in prayer. Sometime after midnight, Duncan Campbell called upon John Smith (a leading intercessor on the island) to pray. He had not prayed all night. He rose and prayed for some time and then he said, ‘Lord, I do not know how Mr. Campbell or any of these other men stand with you, but if I know my own heart, I know that I am thirsty. You have promised to pour water on him that is thirsty. If You don’t do it, how can I ever believe You again. Your honour is at stake. You are a covenant-keeping God. Fulfil Your covenant engagement.’ It was a prayer of a man who was walking with God. At that moment the house shook.”

    The intercessors on the island were travailers, they pulled heaven down to earth. Someone wrote, ‘they have come to learn the secret of pressing through into the courtroom of heaven and of touching the throne.’ Two unsaved neighbours who were listening were saved that night. The meeting had ended and on leaving the house they saw people carrying chairs to the meeting hall, expectant of a revival meeting. The revival in Arnol had begun.

    Campbell came across a woman praying by the side of a road at 5.00am one morning. He joined her in prayer for two hours when he discovered she was burdened for revival for her village. Fourteen young men were trying to decide how much drink to bring into the village for the weekend. In a little while all fourteen were converted.

    The revival was Bible centred, Campbell used to say, ‘Preach the Word, sing the Word, live the Word.’ Someone said, ‘The presence of God was so powerful that you were constantly living in the expectation that something was about to happen.’ 

  3. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    The minister at Barvas, James Murray MacKay (who sadly died in 1954), invited Duncan Campbell (his second choice) to come over and minister, but he was refused due to Campbell's busy schedule. Now there were two elderly sisters, one blind, who were amazing intercessors, who the minister respected greatly, and they told him that Campbell would come, so they and the church prayed and he arrived in Barvas, Lewis on December 7th 1949. There is a myth across the internet, that came from Campbell’s writings, that the Smith sisters prayed in the revival and were solely responsible for Campbell’s arrival. This story is untrue, the whole Island was praying in the revival and the whole church for Campbell to come. 

    Holy Spirit was not only encouraging people to pray; He also prepared Duncan Campbell. The missioner wrote sometime later. ‘After spending seventeen years in a barren wilderness, baffled and frustrated in Christian work and witness, I suddenly came to realise that God had made provision for clean hands and a pure heart. And on my face in my own study at five o’clock in the morning I came to know the recovering power of the blood of Christ… I know that in some small measure – the revival in Skye and later in Lewis, must be related to the experience of that morning. What was it that led me into this full realisation of glorious deliverance in the Holy Ghost? I answer in one word, a baptism from God. Explain it as you will, it was a baptism from God. That experience was in my case preceded by a spiritual hunger, a longing for God to do something.’ 

  4. Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

    This is probably the most famous revival that has been experienced by the UK, possibly because it is the most recent being from 1949 to 1953.  

    The sad thing is that the revival did not spread to the mainland. There was a good reason for this in that the quickest journey to the mainland was seven hours by boat, which made it difficult to get news of the revival out and difficult for anyone to go and taste it. Accurate accounts of the revival are few; it is a shame that nobody recorded what happened at the time. We are indebted to Mary Peckham, who was at the revival and who grew up on the Island, for her book which was published in 2004.

    Another mistake people make about the Hebrides revival is that it was a one-off on the island. This is far from the truth. There was probably an even bigger revival in 1939 with equally amazing manifestations and fruit, just before the second world war and in my research, I have found that there was a revival going on somewhere on the island for 40 of the 50 years prior to 1949, so the islanders would have been very familiar with the idea of a revival.