The 1953 revival in the Belgian Congo


The 1953 revival in the Belgian Congo


On the last Friday evening of July 1953, about 100 believers of a Bible School at Ibambi in the old Belgian Congo (today the DRC), came together for their weekly fellowship meeting. Jack Scholes, the leader of a team of fifty missionaries working across the province, shared what he had witnessed during the previous two weeks of revival in the southern part of the mission area.

Suddenly, all heard the fearful roar of an approaching hurricane. The building seemed to rock, as though a rumbling earthquake was beginning to erupt. A noise as of a mighty rushing wind filled the place. Everywhere in the hall, people were down on the ground, crying to God for mercy. Others were shaking violently, apparently uncontrollably. Here and there, a few were on their feet, their hands upraised, their faces radiant, praising God! Jack Scholes stood still, watching, praying, and then moving forward among them, speaking quietly to some of the leading elders, pastors and missionaries, “Just pray! Ask God to keep control, allow the Holy Spirit freedom to act as He sees fit.” All over in the hall, a shattering conviction of sin was gripping hearts. Sin was suddenly seen as desperately sinful. There were no distinctions, big or small – sin was sin, and separated one from God. People were moved to tears and almost forced by the Spirit of God to confess – confess to petty thieving, jealousies, anger, coldness of heart and spiritual pretence. And then, as people brought sin out into the open and laid it at the foot of the cross, cleansed by the precious blood of the Saviour, they were flooded with amazing joy!

Singing started, in waves, and words being made up as they sang; each song praising God for the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus.

Many of the people were still there at 2:00 am, and others stayed all night and also Saturday night. By Sunday, the news of the Spirit’s gracious visitation at Ibambi had spread. Christians from the surrounding villages came to see. Many broke down under conviction of sin and were then led to a new realisation of cleansing and forgiveness. By the afternoon, the crowd experienced joy and extraordinary power and wonder of the working of God. People walked around with radiant faces.

The revival swept on through the countryside, through villages and cities. Churches were filled, and souls were brought into the kingdom as the mighty flow surged on and on.

Many other mission stations experienced revival. This included Lubutu, Bomili, Opienge and Wamba.

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About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert