by Alice Belle Garrigus
Prayer Changes Things
CHAPTER 20. THE WORK SPREADS
The first eleven or twelve years the Pentecostal work in Newfound- land was chiefly confined to Bethesda but, through thousands of tracts and in other ways, seed was sown which reached many outport towns. Then a more aggressive move was made to herald the full gospel over the island.
Clark's Beach was the first to receive the Pentecostal showers.
The old Fishermen's Hall was secured, seats without backs were put ințHeadquarters for the workers was at Bro. Robert Boone'sțand the campaign opened. It was mid-winter, much snow and very cold.
How to get the preacher to the hall, was solved by a couple of boys who brought their sled. Dressed in a fur coat, shawl over head and face, the evangelist took her seat, covered with coats and mats, and held on to the rope-back and GOD for the journey was one of hills and valleys, and far from being a "joy ride". As the motor power was four or five lively boys, it was necessary to have a faithful brother at the rear as a safety brake. How much needed it was, one may judge by the frequent warnings he gave: "Look out there, you are most over the bank!" "Take care, you will have her in the ditch!" and other similar warnings. However with human and Divine help we always arrived safely and found a good audience awaiting us.
The mornings were spent in prayer with full assurance of victory before we went into the service. On the tenth night God gave a sister a beautiful baptism. The tide began to rise till one night, soon after the opening of the service, a slight commotion occurred. A sister fell back in the lap of the one behind. Thinking it was a faint, we had her laid out on the floor, but before this was finished another fell back in like manner, then another, and another, and another, and we were kept busy laying out the dead. Soon the floor of the old hall was strewn with the slain of the Lord. Like Jacob of old, all we could say was: "How dreadful is this place, this is none other than the gate of heaven."
Soon those who had been lying quietly, began the show signs of life. Some were praising the Lord, some speaking in other tongues, while others were prophesying of the Great Tribulation, and reign of the antichrist. Pentecost was repeated.
Of course, this was "noised abroad," and many came to see the wonderful works of God. Extra seats were provided for the Sunday services, and we went to the hall expecting a full house. On arriving, we were told the Spirit had fallen in the barracks, at their "knee drill," and souls were receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as on the day of Pentecost. Of course the crowd went there, and we had seats to spare.
The news reached us that the Spirit was falling all over Clark's Beachțin homes, in the woods, on the street and in the church souls were being filled with the Holy Spirit.
At first, we did not understand why the cloud seemed to have lifted from the Fishermen's Hall, and wondered if we had grieved the Spirit in any way. This led to deep heart searchings. One night a brother came to the meeting and related his experience of the night before. He said, he and his wife were praying, he on one side of the bed, she on the other. At last, she retired but he continued. After a time he had a vision of a mighty river flowing out from under the platform of the Fishermen's Hall. He said it only flowed a little way, then broke in pieces like resin and went everywhere.
Then we understood what God was doing. It was "His Visita- tion" for Clark's Beach, not one particular place. "Days of heaven on earth" is a good description of those revival days.
Sinners sat on the narrow boards in a room where the breath showed in little clouds as we sang, till the key was turned in the door in the small hours of the morning. Then a weary but happy company wended their way across the frozen pond, sometimes getting ears or hands "nipped", but too full of joy to pay much heed to such things.
The special services ended, but a happy company of saints, ready to stand for the full gospel, remained. The old hall gave place to an attractive one with parsonage near by. In spite of many contrary winds, the little gospel ship is still "weighing anchor", and from recent reports, taken on new passengers bound for the port of Heaven. Since those memorable days, Clark's Beach has seemed a sacred place as we can never forget God's special visita- tion.