revival in the congo (1953-1955)


Large parts of Africa experienced revival during 1953-1955. There was a significant revival among the Ovambo people in 1953. The influence of that revival was still visible amongst the Ovambo of Namibia in the 1980s. Some other countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon also experienced periods of revival during this time. In 1953 revival broke out in the Belgian Congo (today the DRC). It was the field first entered in 1914 by C. T. Studd and A. B. Buxton, who founded what was originally called The Heart of Africa Mission, which later developed into the larger society, The Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.

The information for this chapter comes from two primary sources. The first source is a book by Norman Grubb, The Spirit of Revival. The second source is an article from the Worldwide magazine. Charlie Searle had been an eyewitness, and the chapter is a stenographic report of his speech. It is, however, recorded in the book titled How They Prayed (Volume 3 – Missionaries and Revival) by Edwin and Lilian Harvey.

Part 1: The Spirit of Revival by Norman Grubb

Norman Grubb reported on the revival in the book The Spirit of Revival. The story of this revival is simultaneously terrifying and disturbing. It is, however, also wonderful and awesome to see God’s grace and mercy in setting people free. 

The well-known Helen Roseveare, who was a missionary in the Congo during the revival, wrote the following in a new edition of The Spirit of Revival by Norman Grubb.

“That last Friday evening in July 1953 – I remember it as though it was yesterday! It was 7:00 pm: one hundred of us gathered for the weekly fellowship meeting in the Bible School hall at Ibambi, in the northeastern province of what was then the Belgian Congo, later Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. Jack Scholes, leader of the team of 50 missionaries working across the province, had stood to lead in prayer. We sang a hymn, and Jack began to share what he had witnessed of revival in the southern part of the mission area, where he had been visiting the previous two weeks.

Suddenly, all present heard the fearful roar of an approaching hurricane. Stewards moved around the hall, taking down the wooden shutters to prevent accidents that could occur should they be blown in.

I glanced out into the night, expecting to see dark scudding clouds, palm trees bending low to the ground, dust spirals rushing towards us – it simply was not there! The clear sky, upright palm trees silhouetted in the moonlight, all was still, utterly still. Yet the storm lanterns, suspended from the central beam the length of the hall, were shaking wildly! The very building seemed to rock, as though a rumbling earthquake was beginning to erupt. A noise as of a rushing, mighty wind filled the place.

People were down on the ground all over the hall, crying out 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.

What on earth was happening? Was this the work of the Holy Spirit, visiting us in revival blessing, or was it a demonic spirit seeking to disrupt the fellowship? Was it for real, or was it a great deception?

Jack Scholes stood still, watching, praying, and then moving forward amongst us, speaking quietly to one and another 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 the hall, a shattering conviction of sin was gripping hearts. Sin was suddenly seen as desperately sinful. There were no gradations, 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 to petty thieving, jealousies, anger, coldness of heart, and spiritual pretence. And then, as sin was brought out and laid at the foot of the Cross, cleansed by the precious blood of the Saviour, an amazing joy flooded in! Singing started – in great waves – words being made up as they sang, each song praising God for the Blood.

“Fura’a, Fura’a, Fura’a, Kwa damu ya Yesu!”

“Joy, joy, joy for the Blood of Jesus!”

The 7:00 pm evening meeting would always be finished by 9:00 pm. Many of us were still there at 2:00 am! Some stayed all night. And all through Saturday. And Saturday night. By Sunday, the news had spread of the Spirit is gracious visitation to the ‘big church’ at Ibambi, and Christians began arriving from the surrounding villages. Throughout the day, the Holy Spirit continued His extraordinary work.

Many were broken down under the conviction of sin, which led to a new realisation of cleansing and forgiveness. By afternoon, joy – the joy of extraordinary power and wonder, filled the vast crowd. The singing, the radiant faces, and the arms were upraised at every mention of the Name of Jesus – what a day!

And the revival swept on, village by village, over the whole region through the ensuing months and years. The church doubled its numbers – and then trebled. Twelve years later, when civil war tore our country apart, the revived church had been prepared by God to withstand the onslaught of unbelievable horror and evil.

The fact that the revival is mainly reported as God working in the hearts and lives of African nationals does not mean that He was not equally working in the missionaries! And the prevailing interest was in what God was doing in the midst of us, not really in what He was also doing among the missionaries.

I can never thank God enough for His gracious patience with me. For four years, I resisted the convicting work of the Spirit, too proud to break and publicly confess to spiritual dryness and failure. But He did not let me go! In 1957, through the prayers of the revived people in Africa and the ministry of Pastor Ndugu, I too was released from the bondage of my pride and brought, by God’s gracious Spirit, into the full flow of the blessing – through confession of sins, cleansing by the Blood, infilling with joy, and an overwhelming realisation of new power for witness and for teaching the Word. 

Dear Pastor Ndugu died at the close of 1999, probably about one hundred years old. He never lost the joy of his salvation. The work of God in his heart and life was clearly evident to the end of his long life. But the experience of those amazing weeks and months in 1953 had brought him into an even fuller experience of God’s love and grace and most particularly, into a deep understanding of God’s word. He had become a dynamic preacher of Biblical truth and a tender-hearted pastor in the care of his flock.

There are others like him who, to this day, have never looked back on their Christian walk since their baptism in the Holy Spirit in those amazing days of revival.

May we, as we re-read this account of an outpouring of the Spirit on the Church in Congo, allow the Spirit to stir our hearts afresh and challenge us deeply about the reality of our own spiritual experience today. May we not quibble over language (references to the Holy Ghost, rather than the Spirit; to lepers, rather than to men and women suffering from the disease of leprosy; and other such terms) but rather be constrained to seek a fresh anointing on our own lives, with an equipping power for the ministry to which God calls each one of us in these days of unparalleled opportunity for witness and service.”

Part 2: A perspective on the Revival in the Congo – as described in the Worldwide Magazine

An account of a revival scene in the Congo that appeared in Worldwide magazine is the most interesting and touching. Charlie Searle had been an eyewitness, and the article is a stenographic report of his speech.

What a shock it was when news of the Belgian Government’s edict reached us! It looked as though we would not only have to close some of our existing stations but also be unable to reach the totally un-evangelized areas that were so heavy on our hearts. Twelve stations operated by whites were to be limit permitted to any mission society and were already over that quota.

After much prayer and consideration, the mission decided to move workers from two stations. One was in the Mubudu tribe at Imbai, where Jack Roberts and his two sisters, Lily and Ivy were working, and one in the Malika tribe, for which my wife and I were responsible.

Jack Roberts was asked to pioneer in a new area, five days’ march through dense forest, while his sisters were to stay six months in Imabi to make final preparations for leaving. Faced with the tremendous responsibility of preparing the local Christians to be left alone, the sisters decided to cancel all station activity and spend time waiting upon God for guidance. Sometimes, they prayed together, while at other times, they met the Lord separately, but they spent the whole of the three days with Him.

At the end of this time, Lily said to her younger sister, “I feel that God has spoken to me. I prayed, Lord, if Thou wouldst only send a revival, a second Pentecost, we would not need to fear that these babes in Christ would go back into heathenism. They would be established in Thee.’ To this, He replied, ‘You have asked a hard thing; nevertheless, if you can pay the price, you may have what you asked.” Her response was, “Lord, my life for Revival.”

Then God began to prepare them for the blessing He was going to send. He showed them many things in their lives that were not pleasing to Him: criticism, impatience, careless gossip, and unkind things they said and thought about people. He had them write letters of confession, humbling letters, asking forgiveness of thoughts or words that were not worthy of the Lord. Remember, these were devoted, consecrated women, but they were seeking a mighty outpouring of God’s Spirit. They started regular meetings with those Christians who were prepared to go all the way with God and to walk in all the light that He would give. Those who were not willing to accept these conditions in waiting upon God for the outpouring of His Spirit were asked to stay away.

It was unusual for sisters to rise at five-thirty each morning to meet the Lord, but as time went on and the burden increased, He got them up earlier and earlier until they were rising at two forty-five. They would read the Word and pray together and then separately and individually wait upon God until six-thirty. At that time, they would meet with the Christians and share what had been revealed to them through the Word earlier.

One morning it was laid on Lily’s heart to give up their schools and to spend all of the time in prayer. (One was in charge of the girls’ school, and the other the boys’.) However, she did not feel that they could send the children back to their unsaved homes and the sinful influences there. But just then, the two assistant principals came and said that God had spoken to each individually but with the same word, that they should take full responsibility for the schools and release the sisters to pray.

Now, I must mention how I came into contact with all this: Our station was only 26 miles from Imbai, and my wife and I were very close friends of the Roberts. As we were the nearest workers to the post office, all mail for the area was cleared through us. I first noticed that something unusual was happening at Imbai when the mail began to dwindle until just once every two weeks, a letter went to their mother; that was all.

One day, a runner came from Imbai for the mail, and I greeted him with the question,

“What is the news, Batabombi? He looked at me rather peculiarly, I thought, and replied,

“Bwana, it is the news of prayer.”

“News of prayer? What is that?”

“I mean we pray in a new way at our station.”

“Well, Bwana, if you visited our station when the sun was beginning to rise, you would see all people outside their huts, reading the Word of God and praying. When the sun comes there (pointing to 6:30), the drum sounds and the people pour into the church. And there they remain until the sun is there (noon), or there (six pm), or there (midnight).”

“What! You stay all day in the church praying and sometimes until midnight?”

“That is so.”

“Oh,” I thought, “this man is dreaming. He is talking through the back of his head. It can’t be true. We would have heard something about it.”

I spoke to other missionaries on the station, and they said, “Just the way that people exaggerate.” So, although we thought about it, we said very little. A few days later, the rumour came from a different source, so I mentioned it when I was at our head station. It was suggested that I call in at Imbai on my way home because it was only ten miles farther around. A fellow missionary, Herman Meyer, from America, offered to drive me in his car; so, we decided to visit.

When we arrived at Imbai, we made our way to the house and began firing questions. They smiled a little wearily, I thought, and said, “We will try to tell you what we can.” Very quietly, Lily told us of God’s dealing with them and with the locals in much more detail than I have given. The Lord appeared to her in a vision, she told us. It seemed as though Heaven opened, and she saw Him looking down at her. Opposite her was the wife of the Leading Christian in the village, but between them was a barrier. Pointing to the woman, the Lord said, “This woman is as precious to Me as you are. She is redeemed and cleansed by My Blood, the same as you. But you look upon her as just a local woman, while you are a missionary/white lady. This is hidden pride, which I have not been able to show you until now. This stands between you and Revival.”

When speaking of this, Lily was absolutely overawed, and her voice dropped to a whisper. The Lord’s rebuke had smitten her down, and she wept for hours before Him. Then there came such a consciousness of His presence that as she walked from room to room, she felt that He was literally walking by her side.

Each Wednesday, the Christians from the area around about came to the station to join in seeking the Lord. The day of the vision was Wednesday, and she did not know how to face the Christians when they came for the meeting. When it was time to start, she went to the platform without looking at the people. She announced no hymn, she prayed no prayer, but she confessed to them the hidden pride which the Lord had shown her: how she felt that she was better than they, even though they were souls for whom Jesus had died. In the group of perhaps one hundred before her were men who had been cannibals and women who had been Jezebels since their conversion. But as she looked down, she saw they were all melted to tears.

Then things began to happen! One man stood up and confessed to robbing another man’s trap ten years before. He said that he was going to confess to the man’s trap and pay for the gazelle he had stolen. People began confessing all kinds of sins, from grosser ones to criticism, lack of reading the Word and prayer, coldness, hard thoughts, and gossip. They went to one another to ask for forgiveness and put things right. Finally, they became like one person, cemented together by absolute love – nothing between them. As on the day of Pentecost, ” They were all with one accord” (Acts. 2:1). Two days later, the Spirit came down upon these people in a mighty Baptism. That is why the man said to me, “We pray in a new way at our station.”

A great burden of prayer came upon them also, so that sometimes, after praying all day, they would go out into the forest and pray all night. If you could hear the roaring of the leopard and the howling of the hyenas and jackals in the forest, you would not be too keen to spend the night there. But when the Power of God came upon the people, fear fled to the wind!

When our story was finished, Lily asked, “With your permission, gentlemen, I would like to invite some of the locals to join us in prayer. Do you mind?” (This was one time in the day when missionaries and locals had separate prayer meetings.) Of course, we did not mind. Turning to one of her boys, she said, “Go down to the village and tell Lapuno to invite twenty or twenty-five – not more than twenty-five – to join us in prayer here. Mind, not more than that.”

I have not usually found people falling over themselves to get to a prayer meeting. You seldom have to lock the door to keep them out. But here they had to keep quiet as the room would be crowded with twenty-five. That prayer meeting will always live in my memory. I had never heard praying quite like that before. It seemed as if a mighty rushing wind had come into our midst. I was mystified, trying to understand, “What is it? What is it? I felt as if my Christian experience had suddenly become nothing, and my heart had turned to stone. I was in the midst of people who were in the presence of God!”

Herman managed to stop the prayer meeting at midnight. I do not think I would ever have been able to stop it. The people with beaming faces shook our hands and left. I was very quiet and sober, almost in a dream. Lily turned to me and said, “We are starting an evangelistic meeting tomorrow morning at nine o’clock. When I saw you get out of the car, I thanked the Lord for sending the first speaker.”

“Oh, excuse me.” I said, “I must get back to my station. I will have to get away early. I must get back.” I thought, “I am going to preach to these folks? They should be preaching to me.” She replied, “I am very disappointed. You see, we are very tired. We felt that God had been gracious in sending someone to help us.”

I felt so mean that I consented to stay. In the morning, there was a knock at the door and a voice said, ” The food is ready and the hour is past.” I looked at my watch; it was eight-thirty. Breakfast was at eight and the meeting was at nine. So, I picked up my Bible and went into the house. Just Ivy was there, so I asked, ” Where is Lily?” “Oh, she has been meeting with the locals for three hours. They are having a prayer meeting,” she replied.

At five to nine, I went into the church, and there was Lily kneeling on the mud floor, translating from the English Bible some of the promises she received early that morning. She had been up as usual at 2:45 am, praying. At nine in the morning, the drum was beating, and the people poured into the church until it was crowded with over a thousand. It was a huge place. We sang a few hymns. Then I began to preach. When I had finished, I started to sit down. But Lily said. “Do not sit down. Make an invitation to accept Christ.”

I looked at her in amazement. “Make an invitation after a message like that!” I walked to the edge of the platform and began to make an invitation, but before I was through, a man sprang to his feet. His face was set, his eyes closed; and he just flung his hands up and cried, “I must get right with God today!”

The effect was electric. All over the church people stood up, not one here and there, but in groups – literally in groups. There were hundreds of people standing, with tears flowing down their faces. Not only men and women, but also boys and girls. They all wanted to get right with God! I stood there, not knowing what to do. “What has happened! What has happened!”

Then God spoke to me: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Zeck.4:6). 4:6). He showed me that this was not the result of my poor preaching but that the price of this harvest had been paid before I arrived. From that day until they had to leave the station, those two missionaries spent all of their time leading souls to the Saviour and building them up in the Word. They did not need to preach.

The Christians went everywhere in that area testifying to the mighty power of God, and every road led to Imbai! Not only the unsaved came, but the backsliders who had grown cold and no longer had any desire for the things of the Lord.

The cost of revival in Belgian Congo: Lily Roberts said, “Lord, my life for Revival.” That is what happened. It cost her, her life. A little later, Lily went to her reward. I know this, my dear friends, there was an abundant entrance into the Presence of God.

Part 3: First-hand accounts of the Congo Revival of the 1950s

The paragraphs in this section are a first-hand account of the Congo Revival of the 1950s. Taken from a free internet copy of the book The Spirit of Revival by Norman Grubb (

These few paragraphs give some insight into the power of this revival and how it changed the lives of Christians and the effect it had on unbelievers. The information in these paragraphs is not in chronological order. They are simply extracts from the book The Spirit of Revival.

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

David and Anne Davies were missionaries. David tells how he was the leading missionary at one of the mission stations, with 130 churches in his area. For months, the missionaries came together once a month to pray. They set things right with one another, confessed their sins and cried out to God because of their coldness of heart. But there was no revival.

Then revival broke out 500 miles from their mission station in Lubutu in January 1953. Soon, letters began arriving about what was happening at the Lubutu mission station. By July, the revival reached the Wamba mission station where David and Anne Davies worked. An evangelist from Wamba went to Lubutu and came into contact with the revival. When he came back to Wamba, he preached on the first Sunday that he was back. It was a powerful sermon, but nothing happened. He asked people to stay behind if they wanted help.

After the service, a woman suddenly started screaming, “What shall I do? What shall I do? I am going to hell!” People came running back into the church. She was known as a good Christian but had been convicted of cheating a shopkeeper. A young man sat in the front row of the church, sobbing uncontrollably. He was guilty of jealousy for many a little thing, but when the light of God fell on it, he was terrified. Then Davies’ wife sent a message from home and asked him to come quickly. When he reached his home, it was crowded with people. The leader, a good Christian, was lying on the floor, twisting and turning in agony, crying, “What shall I do? What shall I do?” Then, he started to confess numerous sins, and peace came.

A man named Biboko attended one of the revival meetings at another station but felt it was too wild and disorderly for his taste and decided to leave. He turned around and walked away, but after taking about five steps, his legs suddenly stiffened and he could not walk any further. A voice in his heart told him that he would be a lost soul if he left the church without making things right with God. He stood there fighting it out and then confessed openly – from the heart, painfully distressed; and he was gloriously set free. He staggered around like a drunken man, laughing and singing, full of joy.

Also, one of the workers at one of the mission stations suddenly began to tremble and shake so badly that it took four men to hold him down. He cried out in sheer agony of spirit, “Woe is me. I am undone!” Still he did not seem to get to the bottom of his sin. He tried to get one word out but did not seem able to. At last, he got it out and shouted at the top of his voice, “Lust!” When he cried that one word over and over, the powerful joy of the Lord seized him and he leapt up suddenly, praising Him with dancing and wonderful singing as he was set free.

Without any previous warning, the first news reached us in a letter from the missionary in charge of Lubutu, dated February 9, 1953. Lubutu is an eighteen-year-old mission centre at the southern extremity of our field, deep in the forest, where there are now small congregations of believers in numerous surrounding villages.

“We share this good news with you,” he wrote. “This past week we have been holding our workers’ conference, and all the local evangelists are with us – some seventy-odd, including wives. We had prepared messages on the Holy Spirit, each speaker dealing with one particular aspect. After the first message, the local evangelists expressed among themselves a desire for God to meet with them. The church business lasted all that day without anything startling happening. In the evening, however, as missionaries we were holding our usual prayer meeting in our house, while the locals were meeting for theirs in the school. Suddenly we heard strange loud cries coming from the building. Going along to see, we found people shaking all over the place. Many were entirely overcome with a violent shaking, quite uncontrollable. After a time we sought to close the meeting, but it went on for hours. Many were standing with their hands raised, worshipping the Saviour. Some were bringing out hidden secrets, confessing them not to us but to some unseen Person. My colleague was awakened about midnight by his boy, still shaking, coming to confess stealing things in his house, and so it went on.

“We hardly knew what to say. We had been praying for a long time for revival but were not expecting anything of this kind and wondered if it was a fake movement. Praise God, we found it to be a touch of revival. The evangelists had met for prayer and to discuss the possibility of receiving a new anointing of the Holy Spirit. Some who held complaints one against the other got right. Then they arrived at the point of asking, ‘What shall we do now? Let us go and ask the missionaries to lay hands on us.’ They had read this for themselves in the New Testament. Others had doubts about this and while they puzzled it out, the Holy Ghost Himself fell upon them. Many said they felt their hearts just burn with joy. It would appear that the spiritual experience was so great that many were quite overcome. Not all had this overpowering experience, but all had the joy of the Lord. To use their own expression, ‘The Holy Spirit came as the dew, none was left out.’ Our own hearts have been stirred and revived, and we are expecting this revival to spread. Instead of heaviness, our people are now on the leash to get out in the district to preach and testify. They are not going away with a new determination this time but with a new power. It was wonderful to hear the testimonies on Sunday afternoon. The Lord has suddenly come to His temple, in this case, the African Church.”

“As I said, we were out on a trek when a letter reached us, telling us of these happenings. After I had read it, I got a vision from the Lord of what was going to happen. I saw the meetings with the people shouting, shaking, and making confessions – all the manifestations we have now seen. The vision shook me, and I got a fear of the whole thing. My own inability brought a fear, as I knew the people would crowd to me for help, and a great longing came to run away from it all; but I prayed to the Lord to help me, and I came through willing to be used. It is one thing to pray for revival, quite another to be willing for it.

“The next day, Friday, was a day of humbling to us missionaries. We had to hear confession after confession of the things the people had held against us as they came to ask for forgiveness for murmuring and grumbling against us. It was then that I was first led to test the Spirit and prove the blessing. I must confess that even up to that time there were still questions in my heart. So I challenged those who had confessed to stealing to make restitution, and I praise the Lord that there was a ready response. During the next week, I put the following tests:

  • Is there a love for the truth, and are you sensitive to it?
  • What is your attitude to a lie? Is it hateful to you?
  • Are you willing, as far as possible, to put a wrong right by making restitution or asking forgiveness of the person wronged?
  • Are you willing to make a public confession of the Lord Jesus?
  • Does the praise go to the Lord?

These tests have been fully met over and over again. People have gone long distances to clear up misunderstandings. Folks cried as if breaking their hearts because they had misrepresented something and pleaded for forgiveness. When challenged to make restitution, some have dashed off to fetch money to pay back a bad debt. Our boy was a case in point. When the Spirit came upon him, he got up and made a full confession of all the things he had stolen from us and brought back money to pay for them. He had also stolen paraffin from a trader but was afraid to repay for fear of prison, but when challenged by the Spirit through a message on Zacchaeus, he went and made it right. The same trader has been amazed at the number of people who have come to confess stealing. As for testimony and praise, there has not been time enough for all who wanted to testify, and there has never been such praise to the Lord in these parts. The Holy Spirit causes these souls to praise the Lord Jesus from hearts full of joy, a beautiful thing to behold. ‘Out of the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast perfected praise’ has been fulfilled here.

“During the Sunday it was difficult to deliver a message. We began to realize that the Lord was working in two different ways. At first, the people would say that one who was thrown to the ground or was under the influence of the Spirit was filled by the Spirit. But the realization came that this was not so. The mighty filling of the Holy Spirit of those who were ready to receive Him was beautiful to behold, and their joy knew no bounds. But the others, shaking under a terrible conviction of sin, were a different sight altogether. There were many who, after asking for forgiveness, had no joy, and we saw the danger of many believing that they had now got all, and there was nothing else because they had had an experience of shaking. We showed them the possibility of a clean, decorated house being empty and the danger of that man’s latter state being worse than the first if he did not claim the filling of the Holy Spirit, as in Luke 11:13.

“I felt the need to ask that room be made in the meetings for teaching from the Word. In accounts of the Lord’s visitations in other places, it is often said that ministers do not carry on with the preaching and teaching, the meetings being given over to testimony, prayer, singing, etc. But I found that continually bringing the Word to the people has meant that many have seen truths from the Scriptures that went unnoticed before. The quoting of Scripture by the people has also been an outstanding feature of all testimonies, as well as utterances in prayer.

“The people were amazed at how sensitive the Holy Spirit made them to what they called small sins. The breaking of the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments they understood, but heart sins like murmuring, evil thoughts, and criticism they had thought the Holy Spirit would not be so particular about. But when they came under terrible conviction over such sins, then they saw them as God sees them. Tunziako, for instance, had spoken a lot against a certain missionary. For days the Spirit strove with her. She would tremble terribly and get up to confess a certain wrong, but still, there would be no freedom or joy. Later she would tremble again and cry piteously, asking that a certain hymn be sung, but still no freedom, until one day I was asked to go and see her, as she could not walk. My colleague and I went. She was sitting on a low stool and could not move her legs. I tried to help her rise, but it was impossible – her legs seemed fixed or stuck to the ground. We sat down near her, and all the time she was crying pitifully. Then she began to bring out with great sorrow of heart her sin of speaking against the missionary. As soon as she had finished, she was filled with joy; her knees straightened, and she stood and walked. There have been other cases where the limbs were fixed. One who never comes to any meetings was on his way to his wine palm to drink when he was arrested by a deep conviction of sin. Both his hands came together at the wrists with a sense of heat, and he could not part them.

Then his legs came together in the same manner, and he fell into a sitting position on the road. He then confessed his sins. The Spirit then told him, ‘I will release your legs so that you can walk back to your village and tell them all, but your hands will remain fixed until you have obeyed.’ He did so, much to the astonishment of his wife and others, and as soon as he had obeyed, his hands were released. An elder went out to visit him and teach him more fully the way of the Lord. He and his wife then accepted the Saviour.

From Lubutu the blessing next spread to our largest centre, Wamba, some seventy miles to the north. “The first manifestations of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit began with the return to Wamba of an evangelist and his wife who had spent two years in the Lubutu area. They had seen the start of the revival there and told the people here what they had witnessed.

“On Sunday, July 19, 1953, the morning service was taken by this evangelist and his wife. There was nothing unusual. When most of the people had left the building, one young schoolteacher turned back and came to sit on the front form. He looked a bit frightened and began to tremble. A girl with paralysed legs sat on the front form of the women’s side. We took no notice of her, as she normally sat on until folk had dispersed. But no sooner had Yoane, the teacher, begun to speak than the girl, Biboko, began to cry. Her cry rose to a wail, then to a loud howl. I do not know what else to call it.

About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert