Canada is very likely an Iroquois word meaning “Community.” It could even mean “Covenant Community.” My parents are Canadian, and though born in Arkansas, I received the majority of my schooling in Canada, and served during World War II in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Seaman-bandsman. I did not see Canada until I was 4 years old, but I have had an interest and a burden for my country ever since. Through one of those flukes of history, I hold dual citizenship, and treasure both of them. However, as my friends point out, I probably regard my citizenship in heaven as the greatest of them all.
My father is direct descendant of James Watt the inventor, and was himself a chief engineer both on land and at sea. During World War I he worked in Greenwich, Scotland making torpedoes, in the same town in which his famous forebear developed the perfection of the steam engine. He was in Crossett, Arkansas at the time of my birth, constructing a powerhouse for a lumber mill.
My mother was a Mauser, Moser or Mosher – take your pick. The Moshers fled Germany to Alsace-Lorraine to escape persecution. They were Huguenots. The Alfred Dreyfus family fled during that same time to the same place, and was the cause of Theodore Hertzl forming Zionism, and planning for the State of Israel in 1948. It was in 1898 that he held the first meeting for Zionism. One third of the Mosers and Moshers in Halifax are Jewish – so who knows?
Scottish, Irish, English, German-Dutch-French-Jewish – with a dash of North American Indian through the Micmacs – perhaps quite typical of many North Americans – all of this paints a racial background from which I have come.
My first year of school was in a one-room schoolhouse composed of grades 1-8 in Port Mellon, British Columbia. We were there because my father was chief engineer of the local lumber mill. I found myself in grade 2 in Seattle, Washington, as my father took a construction job for the powerhouse of the University of Washington. The Great Depression hit in 1929, and as in musical chairs, none of the resident engineers would leave their jobs, so we ended up on a farm in Murrayville, East of Langley in B.C. Just before that I had Grade 3 and part of Grade 4 in Kerrisdale, a suburb of Vancouver.
We were in Murrayville until I finished Grade 8. It was now 1937, and as the Depression was beginning to lift, my father was offered a job as Chief Engineer in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. However, during the 4 years on the farm, God began to deal with me, and a deep hunger and thirsting came into me to know God, the living God, if there was one. My church was very liberal, and had lost its faith in the Bible, in God, in Jesus as the Son of God, in the Trinity, in heaven, in hell, in angels, in the resurrection, in miracles – there was no salvation necessary. We each had the spark of the divine in us – all we needed was for someone to fan it, and we would come to life. But my step-grandfather, G. R. Gordon was one of the Vancouver pioneers who went through the great fire that destroyed the city. But he was one of those Methodists who knew God, maintained family devotions, and in his own way shared his faith. He did this latter by leaving little 32 page booklets called “The Lily Series” each month as he visited us on “Sunnybrook Farm” in Murrayville. 48 of these appeared one per month, which I found after his visit. I read each one of them. Invariably a story of how a person in England found God to be real thru salvation was told. I thought, “When I am older, I will go to England, and maybe I too can find the God who became real to all these others.” I had met none in my church that seemed to have the experiences I read about in these little books. Then he one month left along with the regular gift, a larger beautifully illustrated hardback book called “Intra Muros” by Rebecca Reuter Springer. This book very powerfully touched me. It means “Within the Walls,” and is a story of how Rebecca in severe illness went into a coma, and seemed to be in heaven for a time. We will know one another over there, and our two lives are one – were the main themes of this book. It has since been reprinted and is now called “Within Heaven’s Gates.” By all means get it. You can find it on <amazon.com>.
When I was in my second year of High School, I became an early morning paperboy for the Vancouver Province. (One month I delivered papers for 30 consecutive days in the rain!) One of my customers was Mrs. Mary Bertha Allquist, a convert to Judaism through adoption, and after her Christian conversion, a missionary to the Jews. She had 20 cats. I am sure that she prayed for a full conversion for me, and that I would follow her footsteps in her commitment to God’s heart for the Jews as Paul outlined in Romans 11. Later when I became a true convert to Jesus, on my first leave from the Navy I made a point to visit her and ask questions about the Bible for which I could find no answer. She had literally memorized the entire Bible, much of it in Hebrew, and had entirely worn out 4 complete Bibles in the process.
One of my questions had to do with the Urim and Thummim contained in the breastplate of judgment of the High Priest of Israel. She immediately had me turn to Proverbs 6:20-22 and read to her. As I read, she quoted by memory along with me. This fully answered my question. Later she told me that the Lord wanted her to share with me the Feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23. During the 1948 Revival in North Battleford, I taught this to some 90 students in the Sharon Bible College. George Warnock audited the class, and already knew that Jesus had fulfilled Passover at His first coming, and that the Holy Spirit fulfilled Pentecost (Shavuot) 50 days later. And he also knew that the Feast of Tabernacles would not be fulfilled until Jesus the Messiah returned as Lord of lords and King of kings the second time. The Holy Spirit would not give him rest until in 1951 he wrote his book, The Feast of Tabernacles.
The point is this: God sovereignly put Mrs. Allquist into my life 5 years before my conversion, and used her to strongly ground me in Biblical truth. She was one of my mentors. I thoroughly understand from Romans 9-11 and the rest of the Bible that God has not disinherited His people the Jews. They are still the apple of His eye, and with the remnant of non-Jewish believers who are grafted into the root of Israel, will become with them the ONE NEW MAN set forth by Paul in Ephesians.
No wonder Canada’s treatment of the Jews during Holocaust days, and that of the United States, requires deep and sincere repentance.
I graduated from High School in Port Alberni, and found myself in the same class as Marie Candide Gaudet, now Marie Watt. We were the last two unmarried classmates, so God led us to solve the problem! For our wedding on December 27, 1948, we asked Mrs. Mary Bertha Allquist to sing. God gave her words from the Scriptures, and wove them together in a prophetic chant. We asked her to write out for us what the Lord had given her on our behalf, and still to this day we treasure this gift. For Marie and myself, 1948 has vital significance. It was the year that God fulfilled the prophecy of Theodore Hertzl and birthed Israel as a nation. It was the year that God called Marie into His Kingdom. And it was the year that He led both of us by separate words into marriage.
I worked for one year in a lumber mill in Port Alberni, and then took one year at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. During that time, a Seminary Professor from my denomination preached a series of 6 sermons at St. Andrew’s Wesley, and in the final lecture gave a challenge: Every young man present here tonight should consider the ministry as his profession. I laughed to myself. Fat chance he’ll ever get me into the ministry. I respect my ministers as men and friends – but none of them know God anymore than I do. I did not wish to become a hypocrite and become a minister, and preach about a God I did not know personally.
But God used that message. I could not sleep that night, and because I had an important Economics exam coming up the next day, I became concerned. In desperation I finally said, “God, if You are a God, and if You are keeping me awake because of that sermon, -- please let me sleep so I don’t flunk the exam tomorrow, and I’ll go into the ministry.” That was the last I remembered that night, and the first thing I remembered in the morning! After the exam (which I passed) and the rest of the day’s lectures, I returned to my boarding house, and wrote a letter to the preacher of the night before, Dr. Gerald B. Switzer. I told him that I was offering myself as a candidate for the ministry of my denomination to fulfill a promise I had made to God. He immediately responded and wanted to switch me from the College of Commerce to Union College, the seminary of my denomination on campus. I told him, No way! I want to know God before I go into the ministry. His reply – Seminary is just the place to find God. I knew he was wrong. Besides that I had just read in Psalm 107 that they that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters – they shall see the wonders of the Lord. I informed him that I must first join the Navy, find God, and then I would return and fulfill my vow to God. He reluctantly accepted my decision. However, to help me on my pilgrimage, as he expressed it, he gave me four books. One was “The Man Nobody Knows” by Bruce Barton, and two were by Harry Emerson Fosdick. I sincerely doubt that one could find God by any of these, but I faithfully read them, plus 96 more books in the next 9 months as a sailor in the Navy.
Then through “Magnificent Obsession” by Lloyd C. Douglas – and the “Prince of the House of India” by Lew Wallace (author of Ben Hur), I received faith that God would reveal himself to me. I turned to the Bible, and in the book of Romans, knew that to know God He demanded a full submission of my will to His Lordship, and confession of this commitment to Him to others. I felt the cost was very high. I accused God of “playing marbles for keeps.” If I played with Him, and lost, he would keep all my marbles. I was right, and He did! For the first time I prayed from my heart with all my heart – God – If you will reveal Yourself to me, I will serve You according to the Bible. Because I had never truly prayed before in my life, I repeated it twice more. On the third time, I knewthat He had heard me. It was awesome. But a month later, He had still not revealed Himself to me. In desperation I called unto Him to fulfill His promise. Like a shot He responded – Go tell your old Communist friend Vern McMahon that you can no longer study Communism with him. You now have a mandate from Me to preach My Gospel.
I complained to Him – But God – You know that my denomination teaches that one’s personal beliefs are private – they are like your toothbrush – that are notto be shared. He didn’t change His mind, so with great trepidation I went to see Vern who was very ill. I had great difficulty sharing with him my new mandate from God. But lest Vern see me shaking, I blurted out my new status, and was immediately born again. I had fulfilled Romans 10:9, believed in my heart the salvation and resurrection that Jesus had provided, and confessed Him as Lord of my life. I had turned my spiritual light switch on without realizing it! I was saved! I was a new creation! I was born again!
Very soon afterward somebody placed a book in my hands – Times of Refreshing by J. Edwin Orr, Irish Revivalist. He stated that Britain and America both had several national revivals, but Canada had not. Yes, she has had a number of regional awakenings – but a national revival to unite the French-speaking, and the English-speaking Canadians – that has not ever taken place. The year was 1944. From that year, one of my priority prayers has been – O God – please send national revival to Canada, and unite our land.
In the 1960’s I met Pastor Bob Birch of St. Margaret’s in Vancouver – the Apostle of Love of Canada, and a true Intercessor like Rees Howells. He formed an organization called Watchmen for the Nations. As he is now over 90, he turned the leadership over to David Mohsen Demian, an Egyptian medical doctor. God has shown David that the chief hindrance to national revival in Canada is the way she treated the Jews during World War II. When the St. Louis with nearly 1000 Jews escaping Hitler came to her shores, she was turned away. She was forced to return to Europe, and 2/3 of all aboard went to the gas chambers. One of the Prime Minister’s cabinet members said, One (Jew) is too many. God has not overlooked the hard-heartedness of the government, both Federally and in Quebec, and the apathy of the churches that did not raise their voice in protest. Jesus said that the way individuals and nations treat His people (and nationally He is a Jew), will be the way He will treat them as to whether they be a goat or a sheep nation. This is a blot on this great nation that I love. Through the years I have sung from my heart, O Canada, my home and native land – and yet there is a great hurt in my heart. When Canada, both politically and church-wise, repents and asks God for forgiveness, and seeks reconciliation with Israel and the people she turned away when she could have helped -- then there will be healing. 1000 orphan Jewish children were offered to Canada at that time – while those in authority hemmed and hawed, they were all taken to gas chambers!
Yes – I believe God wants to bring revival – great revival in both Canada and the United States before the return of the Lord. Yes, I agree with David Demian, that nationally Canada has an obligation to make amends for the tragedy of the extent of the Holocaust – some part of which could have been avoided had hearts been softer and not so hard. Yes, I believe that the United States is guilty also concerning the St. Louis. At the order of FDR, the St. Louis was turned away from our shores also, and gunboats tracked her so that she could not get close enough to shore to unload her unfortunate refugees.
But – on the bright side! When the present Pope visited Canada for the first time, he was amazed at the 60 distinct cultural groups, the majority of whom have maintained their language, culture and customs. When revival hits Canada, within 3 months representatives of these 60 groups can fan out and reach 90% of the world’s population without the need of missionaries or intermediaries! What a challenge!
In 1975 in Kelowna, B.C.; in 1979 in Toronto, Ontario; and in 1984 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. David Yonggi Cho from the large church in Seoul, South Korea, prophesied that God would use Canada in the last days to spearhead evangelism and missions to the ends of the earth. Canada is small (less than 30 million) and not feared by the other nations. They look upon her as a peace-making people, and call upon her to arbitrate when conflicts arise between nations. Her people will have open doors to travel in an unfettered way to the ends of the earth in a short period of time once revival hits that nation on a national level. We in the U.S. can give hands across the border to help where we can go with them – and pray and give in the places where we would not be welcome.
WILL YOU SHARE WITH ME MY BURDEN FOR CANADA?
PS. Since the writing of this burden, both Canada (In November of 2000) and the US (In June of 2001 have had reconciliation with Israel in the light of the St. Louis. I am resending this report at the suggestion of a friend from a European country. May it serve to raise prayer for both Canada and the United States at this date of November 20, 2001. JW.