I doubt I would have discovered this book about the exciting ministry of Ernie Allen in Ireland, except that a new friend in Europe sent it to me. I have been impressed, challenged, and inspired to exert greater faith myself, and not to be afraid to step out and give and give and give in Jesus' name.
As fast as we can give away what we have, God will see to it that we have more withall to give! I've always loved stories like this, and especially about the way God can use printed words to slip quietly into the hearts and minds of so many people in so many ways, and to accomplish such marvelous miracles. I tell you, I lapped this book up!
Victor Maxwell, a pastor in Ireland, brings us the story of a quiet, unassuming man, named Ernie Allen, who had a passion to win souls to Christ, and who started by preparing little leaflets with some articles on revival by Charles G. Finney and Reuben A. Torrey. He advertised in newspapers, and offered to send a booklet, "Pardon for Sin and Assurance of Peace with God," to those who requested it. Such requests began to flood in, and Ernie and his wife, Kathleen, kept printing them in their living room, and mailing them out.They called it the Revival Movement.
When Ernie heard of Every Home Crusade, (a plan by Jack McAlister from here in my home province of Saskatchewan!) he lined up volunteers to take the tracts to every door, neighbourhood by neighbouhood in Ireland's cities and rural communities. As the work outgrew their home, they moved progressively to a larger house, an old church building, and eventually had a great big literature factory built in Belfast. This book details the steps of their growth, and tells many wonderful stories of the responses around the world.
You see, as people in other countries heard that they could get large quantities of tracts and gospel booklets from Ernie Allen, they began to request them. Without ever charging them a penny, he produced and shipped all they asked for. The Lord saw to it that supporters continued to send in donations to cover these costs. He never ever went into debt, he just hired helpers to run their own presses as they got to needing them, and they kept rolling out literature to meet the demands.
I'm tempted to start telling you some of these exciting stories, but then I'd be quoting large sections of the book. I would really urge you to get a copy and read the whole thing yourself. If you are at all like me, you'll be doing yourself and your faith a great big favour!
Some of these stories are about how God brought just the right people into the ministry to help. Young men like Samuel Adams, who is now in charge, but who has been a right-hand man to Ernie for many decades.
Stories of how God brought Ernie and Kathleen's twin sons, Paul and Clive in to help full-time, and gifted their daughter Heather with the ability to translate into a number of languages. This helped towards sending literature to other countries in forms they could use.
There are many stories of how people in Africa and India, for instance, clamour and almost trample one another in an effort to get literature! Every piece is treasured there, and has great impact on the readers and those they touch. This even after the Allens sent container-loads of literature! The thirst for the printed word is astonishing.
Near the beginning of this ministry Ernie Allen heard Dr. Oswald J. Smith of Toronto, Canada, speaking at a large conference in Kiladeas, Ireland. Dr. Smith said, "Do you know that you owe everything you are as a Christian to the printed page? Had it not been for the Word of God, you would not have been a Christian. The Bible says, ' faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.' What was it that gave us the Reformation? You may think it was Martin Luther's teaching; I do not believe it was. Martin Luther translated the New Testament and later the Old Testament into the German language, and through the reading of the Scriptures and the preaching of the Gospel the glorious Reformation took place. I know of no other way by which we can carry out or Lord's command, apart from the printed page. The Bible says the gospel must first be published among all nations. Well then, let us publish it. Let us put out simple gospel messages filled with Scripture, and let us circulate them far and wide."
Ernie Allen, deceased December 2002, resolved to do just that, and as a result millions of people around the world have received the gospel, and many thousands upon thousands have been saved! Hallelujah, praise God!
By faith this company hired staff to print, and ship gospel tracts, leaflets, and booklets in many languages. By now they have several huge Heidleburg presses from Germany that can roll out thousands of pieces of printed literature in an hour. They fill containers the size of railroad cars packed full of literature and ship to where ever the requests come from.
The ministry continues, but I believe in my heart there is room to do more of this kind of work. We must work at this, for the tribulation period, will make it much harder to carry on. I find my heart stirred and willing! Your's should be too, if you'll read this book. Let's start joining hands and DO this!