Out of Every Kindred, and Tongue, and People, and Nation: Newfoundland

My story begins in the small village of Seal Cove, on the south coast of the island of Newfoundland. Traditionally it had been a fishing village, but in 1909 a paper mill opened in the town of Grand Falls and men in Seal Cove found better employment as loggers. I was fifteen years old when I joined these workers. We would travel by coastal steamer for almost a week to Port Aux Basques, where we could take a train that traveled across the island. The men would get off at different points and go into the many logging camps. I did this for about fifteen years.

In the summer of 1966 I came home for a summer break to find rather strange news for our area. The “Missionary Gospel Messenger,” a small gospel boat, was docked at Hermitage, our neighboring town, and the crew had erected a tent for gospel meetings. Our only road was the nine miles between the two communities. My wife, along with her mother and several others, would ride over each night in the back of a rented truck to attend these meetings. She was saved and she immediately wanted me to go, but I wasn’t particularly interested. However, I agreed to go along for one meeting. It was the final meeting for the tent. The next day, the boat left Hermitage and sailed around the peninsula and came to Seal Cove.

At Sea l Cove they preached from the gospel boat using a public address system, and people would walk to the wharf and listen. I went along with my wife and others. I believed that the things we were hearing were right. I knew that before God I was a sinner, yet I had no anxiety about being saved. Shortly after, the boat left again, but out in the bay it sprang a leak and water ran into the vessel. The MGM returned to Seal Cove, where we heard that their food and belongings were soaked. My wife asked me to take some food down to the crew, which I agreed to do. Riding an old pedal bike, I went along to the wharf with the parcel. Mr. Herb Harris met me and offered to show me around the boat. I went inside the cabin and he stood in the doorway and began to speak to me. He asked if he might pray, and I realized why he had invited me in. Shortly after I went on my way and later the boat left Seal Cove for another town.

I had listened to the preaching and I had listened to the preacher, but the Lord had a further thing for me. Later at home my seven-year-old daughter called me into the bedroom to talk to me. As I listened she said, “Mom and I are going to heaven and you can’t come.” I would have had an answer for an older person, but I had no answer for a little seven-year-old girl. I was speechless. I tried for some time to shake this off, but the words kept coming back. I realized the truth. Knowing that I was a sinner, I became really troubled and wanted to be saved. It was early evening on March 16, 1968, when as a lost sinner I knelt by my bed and trusted Christ as Savior. I knew then and there that I was ready for heaven.

For nearly forty years I have had the peace of sins forgiven and the assurance of heaven as my eternal home. My trust is in the finished work of Calvary and my confidence is in the unfailing Word of God.