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Discussion Forum : General Topics : 1921 was a time of economic disaster

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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 1921 was a time of economic disaster

I am posting this article for the reason of encouragement. Instead of filling or cupboards with food and worrying about what is going to happen. Lets look at how this fisheremn dealt with economic disaster in there time and how it brought revival to the area of the world that I live in.

The year 1921 was a time of economic disaster for the fishing communities of north-east Scotland. But the despair of the fisher folk led them to turn to God

The early years of this century had been a boom time for the fishing industry of north-east Scotland. Almost 90 per cent of the working population earned their living landing and processing herring. But it was all soon to change. The 1914-18 war robbed the herring fleets of their European customers. The government could only underwrite the losses for two years beyond that. Fishermen could not get a living wage and many faced bankruptcy. Fishermen tied up their boats and went on strike, but without any effect.

Despairing of any human help, the fishing community turned to prayer. Being of staunch calvinist stock, they saw the severe problems as a sign of God's anger at their complacency. They began to repent of their sins.

God caused two very different streams to flow together and create the torrent of revival. One was a mission to local villages by an itinerant missionary, Fred clark. It was traditional preaching of the gospel. The other was a wave of renewal centred on East Anglia where a converted barrel-maker, Jack Troup, was preaching powerfully.

Clark's preaching reached the women and childen of the area while the fishing fleet was away. The men were convicted by Troup's sermons when they landed in East Anglia. After the fleet finally returned to Fraserburgh and Peterhead in the autumn, awakened husbands and sons were reunited with awakened wives and daughters.

Jack Troup was guided in a dream to travel up to that part of Scotland and people flocked in their hundreds from this thinly populated region to hear him. A newspaper reporter from Aberdeen noted: "Without saying a word he raised his right arm and everyone in the hall, even those in the street, knelt down and prayed. Within a minute sounds of sobbing came from every part of the hall, and a woman's voice cried, "0 Lord, forgive and forget!".

Then Troup preached. He had, said the journalist, the noisiest voice he had ever heard and did not need a microphone! Some cried out under conviction, others shouted hallelujahs, and many streamed forward to commit their lives to the Lord. "Then," said the reporter, "came a perfect tornado of unsuppressed prayer, the voices so mingled that only here and there could the voices be distinguished.

"After the meeting I saw seventeen boys and girls kneeling in prayer in the street, and 200 fishermen down by their boats on the shore, listening as parables were read and explained to them. After each explanation the men knelt down together on the shore and engaged silently in prayer, wringing their hands, their bodies swaying to and fro."

Local churches of every denomination were mobilised to 'pull in the nets'. All along the Moray Firth congregations swelled. The Salvation Army alone claimed 600 new converts that year. It was estimated at the time that throughout the region some ten thousand souls were saved through the 'fishermen's revival'.

Some converts told of coming under such conviction of sin that they fell to the ground, but the majority came to the Saviour with quiet joy. A few conversions made the headlines: noted drunkards, a gang of local Peter-head thugs, even some who had initially opposed and mocked the revival.

What is perhaps most striking is the background of the converts. "They are," says the reporter, "predominantly young men aged 15-25; some of them had previously been notorious characters, but the majority had simply been indifferent to religion."

Source: The Fishermen's Revival, J.LDuthie (History Today, vol 33, 1983).

Colin Murray

 2009/3/9 19:23Profile

 Re: 1921 was a time of economic disaster

I heard one of our local preachers here say that during "testifying time" at their church service last week an elderly man who lived throught the Great Depression said (I'm paraphrasing) "As bad as the Depression was, if thats what it will take for America to get back on her knees and pray in a revival... then I'm willing to go thru it all over again".

Hard words to chew on...


 2009/3/10 7:39

Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320

 Re: 1921 was a time of economic disaster

Printed and read this last night. Cool story. Thanks for sharing.

Mike Jones

 2009/3/10 20:04Profile

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