Story From Revival In Norway (1930’s)
By Armin Gesswein
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone could announce to his church: "This year Revival will come to this church"? That’s what a humble praying caretaker announced in the Betlehem Church in downtown Oslo, Norway.
What an amazing story! It took place in the early 1930’s. One day Rev. Thorleif Holm-Glad, assistant pastor at Betlehem, and also a leading evangelist in Norway, 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. He was a very humble, soft-spoken man. He was not a platform man or public speaker. He was just a quiet man, doing his job well, but 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! that’s what happened, just as the caretaker had spoken. That very year the revival broke out in the Betlehem 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 the century. On and on the meetings went as the Fire kept on burning--for about nine years. In connection with the Betlehem congregation alone thousands repented and were converted to Christ. Like 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 in 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. Standing there together he said, "If you knew how often, 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!"
Holm-Glad had a very tender heart, and wept many tears as he would tell this story in his revival meetings. More than one fire was kindled when he struck that match.
Will this be the year when the Holy Spirit will enable some praying "caretaker" to announce: "This year there will be revival in this church"?