Part 6 1950’s Belgian Congo revival

Then the building shook …

(This is a series of articles, it’s probably best to take them in the correct order.
See: Toronto Blessing review: laughing shrieking shaking falling over)

The Belgian Congo revival in the 1950′s

The Belgian Congo jungle. 1950's Belgian Congo revival.
The Belgian Congo jungle.

Please observe some of the outcomes from the Holy Spirit meeting his people:

It was seven o’clock on a Friday night.
Jack Scholes, our field leader, had just come back from a trip in the south and he had seen revival down there.
He stood up to speak about the revival and started to read from scriptures.
Suddenly we heard a hurricane storm. It was frightening! …
Then the building shook and the storm lanterns down the centre of the building moved around.
There was a terrific noise and a sense of external power around. We were all frightened…
Jack stood at the front and said to us …
‘This is of God, just pray … don’t fear and don’t interfere.’
It was as if a force came in and we were shaking.
There was no way you could control it and some were thrown to the ground off the benches as if someone had hurled them down!
But no one was hurt …
People began to confess publicly what you might call ‘big sin’ (and these were all Christians).
They spoke of adultery, cheating, stealing, deceit …
We didn’t leave the hall that whole weekend!
Most of the time God was dealing with our sins.
Some needed help from the pastors who moved around with much wisdom and encouragement.
Then joy struck the repentant sinners and the pastors moved on…
There were amazing visions from people which were often based on Old Testament scriptures … even though they didn’t have the Old Testament! …
There were also amazing visions of hell and people would break down weeping because of unsaved relatives.
They carried exhausting prayer burdens.
What started off as a ten minute prayer meeting lasted three hours.
We didn’t discuss anything, we spoke with God.
There were waves of out-poured prayer.
Some went off at 4am on one occasion and walked twelve miles to a village, compelled by the Holy Spirit, to share the gospel. Many were saved as a result …
The revival was wonderful: I hope that I still live in the joy of it and that it burns for ever in me.
It’s true that the manifestations were there, even that they shocked us and changed us.
But the lasting effect of revival was not to make us seek for more manifestations, but, rather, a deep desire for a holy life.”

An interview with Dr. Helen Roseveare, an English medical missionary to the Congo from 1953-1973. [i]
Helen Roseveare. 1950's Belgian Congo revival.
Helen Roseveare [ii]

Would you say the manifestations were godly?
Yes I would say that was God moving, but how do we decide whether this is of God or not?
The answer lies in asking a question:

What is the ‘fruit’ of the Belgian Congo revival?

I would say that the list below is the fruit:

  • A spotlight was being turned on so that people saw their sin.
  • A fear for people who were not right with God.
  • An urgency to go out and tell the Good News of Jesus.
  • Revitalised prayer times.
  • A fresh desire to live a holy life.
  • No desire to seek the manifestations.
Flames above people. 1950's Belgian Congo revival.
Flames above people.

I would say that this account has the glory of God in it and there appears to be good fruit coming from it.

It’s not wrong to check for fruit – the Bible encourages us to do that.

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognised by its fruit.”

Matthew 12:33

Obviously if we recognise bad fruit in something we need to tread carefully and be on our guard.
If we do this we will save ourselves from the pain of being led up false alleyways.

May there be more true outpourings of the Holy Spirit.

[i] For more see: Spring of Water Blog.
[ii] Photo Hela Pingsten.

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4 responses to “Part 6 1950’s Belgian Congo revival”

  1. Hi Paul
    It’s good to hear your story.
    Does that mean you’ve got some stories to tell about the Congo or some old photos that could go onto another post?
    Thanks for your comment.

  2. My mum and dad took me in as an orphan later they took missionaries into their home as they itinerated across the Uk. I used to listen to them talk about the Congo. I myself never did get to go there, but there again, God may open up the door in the future.

    Many thanks for the blog post and your ministry

  3. I am Jack’s grandson. I am really encouraged to find this account on the internet. A few years ago I spent some time with Dr Helen Roseveare who was there at the time. An amazing outpouring of God’s spirit.