A Story From The Revival Of The 1930s In Norway
By Armin Gesswein
How wonderful it would be if someone could announce to his church by the Holy Spirits inspiration: "This year revival will come to this church!" Thats what a humble, praying caretaker announced in the Bethlehem church in downtown Oslo, Norway. What an amazing story! It took place in the early 1930s.
Rev. Thorleif Holm-Glad was the assistant pastor at the Bethlehem church and was also a leading evangelist in Norway. He was walking through the empty sanctuary when the caretaker stopped him with an announcement: "See these empty seats? This year there will be revival in this church!" Holm-Glad was startled. He was well aware of the many empty seats in their church services. But he also knew the caretaker. The caretaker was a humble, soft-spoken man. He was not a platform man or public speaker. He was just a quiet man doing his job well, and he was a man of prayer, an intercessor.
"This year there will be revival in this church!" Holm-Glad was also a musician and a composer. Those words wanted to sing in him. But could they really be true?
Yes! Thats what happened, just as the caretaker had spoken. That very year the revival broke out in the Bethlehem congregation. And what a revival it was! It seemed never to stop. On and on it went, changing the whole congregation, and bringing revival to other churches all around on and on to churches all over Norway. It turned out to be one of the greatest revivals of this century. The meetings went on and on for about nine years, as the heavenly fire kept on burning. In connection with the Bethlehem congregation alone, thousands repented and were converted to Christ. Like the northern lights, the revival lit up the land of Norway.
The next year after the caretaker had spoken those words, in the midst of the ongoing revival, the congregation had a festival, celebrating the outbreak of the awakening. Once again the caretaker came to Holm-Glad. "Do you remember a year ago when I told you there would be revival in this church that year?"
"How could I ever forget it?" Holm-Glad replied.
"Now," said the caretaker, "the Lord allows me to tell you something I was not free to tell you then."
He took Holm-Glad up into the pulpit. As they stood there together, the caretaker said: "If you knew how often [b]while cleaning this church I knelt behind this pulpit and shed many tears, praying God to send the Holy Spirit in revival power to this church!"[/b]
Holm-Glad had a very tender heart, and he wept many tears as he would tell this story in his revival meetings. More than one fire was kindled when he struck that match.
Oh, for more praying caretakers [or for any praying church members], whom the Holy Spirit will enable to announce, "This year there will be revival in this church!"