The Evan Roberts Story
8 June 1878 – 29 January 1951
How could there be such a reduction in problem drinking? Boxing Day 1903 saw 40,000 people in Wales, mainly miners go to Cardiff for a big celebration and many of them ended up all the worse for their drinking as was quite common.
Boxing Day 1904 saw only about 20,000 go to Cardiff but there were only one or two recorded cases of drunkenness. The incidence of arrests for drunkenness dropped by a massive 60%.
Despite this being a holiday period with the usual accompanying problem behaviours, there were hardly any arrests. Strangely the police had very little if anything to do – no reports of domestic violence, hotels reported they hardly had any customers even on Saturday night.
Crime had almost ceased, and people started paying their outstanding bills. Town magistrates would come to the court only to find there were no cases. The miners put in a better day’s work.
Families were happier, many fathers and mothers were not spending their hard-earned money on alcohol and gambling. Many children for the first time received Christmas presents and some children for the first time experienced regular meals and some decent clothing.
The miners ceased using bad language, so much so that the pit ponies no longer understood them, leading to a slow-down in the mines. Bad language dropped everywhere.
People who had quarrelled for many years and held grudges forgave each other and were reconciled.
Could this, and did this, really happen?
Yes: It really did happen
Evan Roberts was born in 1878 in the small town of Loughor in Glamorgan, 11 kilometres from Swansea in Wales. He left school at 11, worked with his father at the mines until his early 20s. For a short time, he became a blacksmith’s apprentice with his uncle.
Evidence shows that as fifteen-year old teenager, Roberts, who was a strong believer in the things of God and a follower of Jesus, started praying for his town. He cared for these people and he could see that they were destroying themselves, their families and the community with their alcoholism, violence and neglect of their families. He knew God had a better plan for their lives.
He continued to pray regularly that God would visit the nation. Then during the spring of 1904 as Evan was preparing to go to Bible College, he was repeatedly awakened at 1:00am. He met with God in prayer until 5:00am.
God answered his prayer. As Roberts visited and spoke in his own town and most of the towns in Wales, God caused people to become aware of their sinful and rebellious behaviour. Sixty people in the first week it was estimated that some 100,000 to 180,000 responded by ‘inviting Jesus to take control of their lives’ over the next couple of years.
Within two weeks, this great awakening became the Welsh Revival and was national news as reports came in from far and wide. Newspaper reports speak of reduction in crime, decrease in sexual immorality, workers worked harder for their employers and people have a sense of meaning and joy instead of despair.
People who did ‘invite Jesus into their lives’ were completely changed, life was different.
For the full story - http://www.diduno.info/the-great-christmas-awakening/
Graham McDonald is the President of Diduno