Last month, we learned about the message of faith and hope which spread through Latvia, Estonia, Eastern Poland, and Czechoslovakia from 1934 to 1936. If you missed that post and would like to read it, here’s the link: A Pre-WWII Great Awakening in Eastern Europe.
Today we continue the story in Czechoslovakia in late 1937.
Map of Czechoslovakia and northern Austria, 1928-1938. Created by PANONIAN [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.
Prior to WWII, Czechoslovakia consisted of four regions – Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, and Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia. Evangelist James Stewart held meetings in Bohemia and Moravia and was backed by the Czech Brethren.
|Prague - Matthewsjs007 at Creative Commons|
|Prague at Sunset - Miroslov Petrasko at Creative Commons|
Stewart was invited to hold meetings in a large rented hall in the city of Brno, Moravia. Members of a Brno church were greatly concerned for the state of their congregation. The church was dying as a result of differences of opinion, hard feelings among the members, and a generation gap. Stewart challenged the believers to trust God for revival, for the salvation of their own children, and for the salvation of hundreds more.
Before the meetings began . . .
Round the clock prayer meetings were organized – each volunteer prayed for an hour.
Believers made things right with each other.
And the results . . .
God worked and the church experienced:
Love among the believers
A warm atmosphere
Life among the young people
Many souls won to Christ
A prodigal son in the church gave his heart to Christ, his behavior completely changed, he became the leader of the young people, and they willingly followed him.
|Brno - Miroslov Petrasko at Creative Commons|
From 1936-1939, Stewart held nine campaigns in large halls in Brno for two to three weeks at a time. He was only 26-years-old, preached simple messages, was of plain appearance and dress, but was joyful, earnest, enthusiastic, and spent hours in prayer each day.
In March of 1938, Hitler annexed Bohemia and Moravia and sent thousands of German soldiers and government workers to set up and maintain the new order. Despite the fact that every fifth person in and around Brno was German,
the young people who were reached through the revival campaigns . . .
Held gospel services in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons
Held gospel meetings and Bible studies in the nearby villages where many accepted Christ
Forty years later, Ruth Stewart, widowed wife of James Stewart, traveled to Czechoslovakia and visited with some of these former young people, then in their 50’s and 60’s. They had survived the war and their faith was strong in spite of having lived under communism for many years. Over and over again the former young people told her, ”’God knew what was coming to us of sorrow and suffering and He brought revival into our midst to prepare us for standing strong in the faith in those difficult times.’”
And the story continues . . .
Come back on October 1st to learn about the great blessings of the revival which spread to Hungary!
Source: James Stewart Missionary, A Biography by Ruth Stewart (Revival Literature, 1977)
Cindy Stewart, a high school social studies teacher, church pianist, and inspirational historical romance author, writes stories of hope and love. Her first manuscript was a 2020 finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award of Excellence, placed second in the North Texas Romance Writers Great Expectations contest, semi-finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest, and won ACFW’s First Impressions contest in the historical category. Cindy is passionate about revealing God’s handiwork in history. She resides in North Georgia with her college sweetheart and husband of forty years. Their married daughter, son-in-law, and four adorable grandchildren live only an hour away. Cindy’s currently writing two fiction series set in WWII Europe.