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'God seemed to be everywhere' on island Trump's mother called home

Rev Gareth Burke, Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Belfast

By Rev Gareth Burke

Yesterday, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. Many will be aware of Mr Trump's Scottish connections.

His mother, Mary Ann MacLeod her maiden name, was born on the Isle of Lewis.

At 17 years of age, Mary emigrated to the USA and in due time met and married Fred Trump, Donald's father.

Over the years some readers will probably have visited the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Western Isles, and will undoubtedly have been impressed by the ruggedness of the island and its impressive beaches.

Another interesting feature of Lewis is the extent to which the church continues to exercise a significant influence in its society, despite the rapid secularisation of the UK as a whole. The Western Isles are something of a 'world apart' from the rest of Britain.

Many who live on the island would attribute this difference to a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit which occurred throughout the island in a three-year period from 1949-1952.

This revival movement is often referred to as the "Lewis Awakening". During these years a large number of people cried out to God for mercy and trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation.

One minister writing about these days stated: "You met God on meadow and moorland. You met Him in the homes of the people. God seemed to be everywhere".

This kind of experience is something that most of us have never experienced.

It's not something organised, but it is rather a spontaneous outpouring of God's Holy Spirit upon a community so that men and women are deeply convicted of their sin and will not rest until they make their peace with God.

Rev Duncan Campbell was the man whom God principally used in this revival and his account of events very much agrees with that of our previous eyewitness:

"God was everywhere, and because of this awareness of God the churches were crowded. Crowded through the day, right on through the night, until five o' clock and six o clock in the morning"

Wouldn't this be something to experience?

A land, a community, saturated with a sense of God's presence, with men and women crying to God for mercy and salvation. For this we should pray.

'Revive your work, O Lord,

Your mighty arm make bare.'

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