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A Shocking Solution – Hope in Dark Times | terimccarthyblahblahblog

A Shocking Solution – Hope in Dark Times

Posted by admin in March 28th, 2018
Published in faith, prayer, Revival

What does it mean for those of us who are Christians, as one author put it, to “live a truthful, meaningful, and responsible life” in a world filled with turmoil and uncertainty? Let me answer this in a roundabout way…

Back in 2002, Daryl and I went to Scotland to meet with Christians who had experienced the Great Hebrides Revival of 1949. Donald Smith, a teen during the great outpouring, had invited us to stay with him and his family. Donald wanted to tell us his story and we wanted to hear it. The Great Hebrides Revival was a miraculous time when Duncan Campbell preached for three years and the Spirit of God moved powerfully on the tiny Isle of Lewis and throughout the Hebrides.

What on earth does revival in the Hebrides have to do with all the problems we face here in the US? Fair question, but please read on. I think the answer might be interesting.

In the 1940s, the Isle of Lewis, part of the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, was suffering from the highest rate of alcoholism in Scotland. There was high unemployment and the youth of that time were described as “careless and worldly.” Crime too was at an all-time high. Jails were filled to capacity, especially after payday when men brawled in the streets and spent their hard-earned wages on drinking and gambling leaving their families penniless. Church attendance on Lewis was down to only a few elderly congregants on Sunday mornings. Alcoholism, crime, domestic violence, and a lagging economy held the Hebrides in darkness and bondage. Many would say, “without hope.”

But on the small Isle of Lewis there lived two old maid sisters. The Smith sisters, Peggy, 84, who was totally blind, and Christine, 82, who was crippled with arthritis, were faithful women of God who believed in God’s Word and believed in prayer. They were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their country. Because of this burden, they boldly asked God to heal their small island and to send His Spirit to revive the Church and to use the revival to spread the Gospel across Scotland and the world.

And God did.

By November of 1949, after seven years of intense intercession by the sisters, and others who had joined them, the Spirit of God fell on the small village of Barvas where the Smith sisters lived.

This revival, often called the Hebrides Revival, lasted from 1949-1953. God moved on the hearts of men and women and children under the preaching of evangelist Duncan Campbell. The Spirit of God was so mighty on the small village of Barvas that sailors claimed they could see fire coming from the village while they were at sea. During the time of the revival, ewes lost no lambs while giving birth. The jails emptied. Drinking and alcoholism ceased. Marriages were saved. Domestic violence stopped. People were healed and filled with love for God and love for each other. Local dance halls and drinking establishments closed due to no patronage. In one night, over 100 young people gave their lives to Christ just traveling in a bus toward the village! The revival spread throughout the Hebrides and even to the mainland. People came from all over to see God’s Hand move on this small island community.

The Smith sisters held tightly to a verse the Lord had given them, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground,” (Isa. 44:3). They were so burdened for their community that they both decided to spend several hours in prayer twice a week. Every Tuesday and Friday they got on their knees in prayer at 10 o’clock in the evening and remained on their knees until 3 or 4 o’clock the next morning. Two old women, one blind and one bent over with arthritis, in a very humble cottage in a small village on the Isle of Lewis touched the heart of God. And as a result, the world would never be the same.

And just as Isaiah 44:3 promises, the whole region was saturated with God. Wherever people were – in the workplace, homes, in the fields, or on the roads, they were overwhelmed by the presence of God. Water indeed soaked the dry ground as the Holy Spirit’s conviction was poured out in those days. A stream of blessing flowed that brought thousands to Christ. The revival spread from Lewis to all of the islands. There was real fruit and fruit that lasted. Missionaries that experienced this Great Revival of Lewis were sent out to all the world–just as the Smith sisters had prayed.

Daryl and I were overwhelmed by Donald Smith’s telling of the Great Outpouring on the Isle. He wept as he told of lives being changed by the presence of God. We were privileged to meet several folks who had experienced the 1949 revival. We were asked to speak at the church in Barvas. They hosted a reception for us after. Church members were eager to tell their stories of God moving on their families and their lives. Each one had a miracle to tell. Their eyes filled with tears as they recalled the daily meetings during the revival – each day followers met for prayer, singing, and Bible reading. The village was filled with joy and love for one another. The small Isle of Lewis began to flourish. Lives were forever changed. To this day, the Isle of Lewis doesn’t experience the same social and economic problems as the rest of Scotland.

Here’s what I have learned from the Smith sisters of Barvas:

Political systems will fail us. Men and women will fail us. Promises are not always kept, but the lessons I learned from the Hebrides Revival are powerful –

1. God moves through intense and earnest prayers.
2. God uses the weak and feeble things of this world to do His will.
3. No situation is hopeless – no country, no people group, no spouse, no child! With God ALL things are possible.

Can this type of revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit happen in our nation today? I’d like to think so. Is there an answer to all the divisiveness, violence, immorality, and disobedience we find in our nation these days? Is there hope? YES! Prayer changed Peggy and Christine Smith’s village and eventually their nation. Prayer can change our nation as well. It is hard work and it takes sincere and earnest prayer, but it is possible.


Peggy and Christine Smith are the great aunts of President Donald Trump – the 45th president of the United States. President Trump’s mother, who took 3-year-old Donald to visit his aunts in 1949, must have experienced the revival. At her death, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump left her son her Bible from Scotland and he keeps it in the Oval Office. He was sworn into office with his hand on that Bible. Makes me think God has a plan. Makes me hit my knees. Will you join me? Peace.


Peggy and Christine Smith with Evangelist Duncan Campbell

Donald Trump visits mother’s birthplace, 2008

7 users Responded In This Post

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36509. CR said,
March 29th, 2018 at 7:13 am

WOW! Great post! I will join you in prayer.

36513. Jennie said,
March 29th, 2018 at 9:28 am

Mic drop!! Thank you for continuing to write and share! I know God will use this to draw people back to him.

36514. Anna Jane said,
March 29th, 2018 at 9:28 am

This is incredible!! He does indeed have a great plan, and thank you for the challenge to spend more time on my knees.

36516. Greg said,
March 29th, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Wow, I am humbled,challenged, and troubled by my prayer life and habits. This has been an eye opener, thank u Terri.

36756. TSue said,
April 18th, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Oh my…I really needed this today. Keep on keeping on!

38579. John Lotzgesell said,
August 7th, 2018 at 9:39 am

We have been praying and will continue. I replaced talk radio in my automobile with the Bible on CD seven years ago. I have listened to Isaiah 40-66 dozens of times and it is so precious. It predicts the future blessings that will be brought by Jesus the Messiah and in which the Smith sisters participated.

54220. Jamie said,
April 18th, 2020 at 9:22 am

T, I loved this. I needed to hear that Political systems may fail us, But God will not fail us. With all the division among all the people, it’s easy to try to make God political. But, He is not. He is Holy. He does have a plan. But His ways are not our ways. This is such a good reminder for me. Thank You! No situation is hopeless and he uses the weak things to accomplish His will. I loved the story of the two sisters! What devotedness! Such faithfulness is unknown and unheard of in our generation. It is my hope as well that during this time of suffering hope will emerge and bring forth hero’s of the faith offering deliverance!

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