We left Weener Oct. 30. The saints in Bunde gave us $12.00. It cost us just $37.50 from Weener to Orebro, Sweden. We first went to Lubeck, to take a boat from that place. Our trunks had to be sent as excess, as very little baggage is allowed with your tickets in Europe. We had hoped to sail that evening, but our trunks did not get through in time for the boat. So we stopped in a hotel over night. But in this way we had a good night’s rest. I had felt on the way to Lubeck that our trunks were not going to reach us in time, though I had taken special pains to give directions so that they might get through.
After I had had a look at the boat we were supposed to sail on I felt very doubtful whether that was the Lord’s choice for us. It was somewhat of a disappointment for us not to be able to get right on however. The trunks came later in the evening, after the boat had sailed, and I confess I was not sorry, although I was afraid we would have to remain in Lubeck several days waiting for another boat. But to our joy we found another boat, a good one, sailing the very next evening. Then we understood why the trunks were late. God had held them back for this. The boat we would have sailed on had they arrived in time was very dirty, and not really safe for women and children to sail on. The boat we took the next evening I found was the very one I had gone north on myself before. So we thanked God for thus frustrating our own plans and substituting His own in their place. How wonderfully the Lord orders when He has His way!
I also had time to look over the interesting old city of Lubeck before we sailed. The next evening we took the boat and had a beautiful smooth voyage. Reached Copenhagen early in the morning, where we made close connections, by boat again, for Malmo. Just had time to cross the city in a cab with our baggage before our boat sailed for Malmo, Sweden. In fact we only had ten minutes to spare before the sailing. I had half an hour to look around Malmo.
We left Malmo for Orebro at 3 p. m., arriving at Mjolby Junction a little after midnight. Here we had to wait until morning for the next train. We got cots in the station where they provided for night passengers, and laid down to rest until 4 a. m. We then took the train for Orebro, arriving there at 8 a. m., Sunday morning. Bro. Johnson and our landlady, Sister Lindgren, met us at the station. We were soon in our own rooms, in our own little home again. We caught a boy at the Station a little later, with a milk wagon, and hired him to haul our trunks to the house for 20 cents. And so the Lord wonderfully undertook for us all around. Praise His great name!
The Lord had shown me before we moved to Sweden a circle north, and back to Germany again. Then I had been clearly shown at Orebro that we were only to be in Sweden until April 1. That date was given me to move on to Finland. I saw three months in Finland and then back to Germany. All through this winter I could see our way clear as far as September. After that everything was blank. I could get nothing further from God. This was the winter of 1913. We had thought to go on to the Balkans after that, but I felt all the time that there was something ahead the Lord was withholding from me. He also impressed me with the seriousness of being entrusted by Him as an ambassador in foreign lands. I felt I must be faithful. Little did I realize then that He was going to give me a ministry intended to precede and prepare the saints of those countries for the greatest trial and calamity the world had ever experienced. But so it proved. The World War broke out August 1, of the next year, just after we had arrived back in Germany. In September we had started back for America, our work done in Europe (at least for that time). Then I understood the blank I had seen in the Spirit after September.
The first thing I did after our arrival in Orebro was to report the fact to the police. This was required of all new-comers in the country. A few days later I took part in a Conference in a Baptist Church in Orebro. Preached there three times during the conference. The weather was rainy and disagreeable. In fact it rained most of the time during November. The days were getting very short. I had a good time speaking to the students at the Bible School.
I left Orebro for Finland Nov. 18, a trip I had looked forward to for months. Had expected to visit Finland on my trip to the Orebro Conference in September, but when I found we were to move to Sweden I had decided to put it off until I had located my family in Orebro. I first went to Stockholm, where I was met by Pastor Bjork at the station, stopping at Brother Engzell’s over night. The next day Pastor Bjork went with me to the Russian Consul’s, where I got my passport visaed. I took supper with Pastor Lewi Petrus. Sailed on the boat that evening for Abo. We had a rough time. God kept me from sea-sickness, but it was a struggle. The boat bobbed up and down like a cork. I was cooped up in the bow of the boat, without ventilation. It was awfully hot. I had a big Russian in the cabin with me, from Petrograd. This was my first introduction to the Russians. He stunk something awful. It was impossible to sleep. Then the man above me began to vomit. I got through the night somehow, by the help of the Lord. Next morning I went on deck at daylight and the sight was beautiful. It was clear and cold. The fresh air seemed almost like a breeze from heaven after the hot, stinking night below. We were passing through the Channel with bright green pine covered islands on every side. We soon arrived at Abo.
After examining my passport it was returned to me and I was allowed to land. Brother Putula, a returned missionary (Finnish), from China, met me. He spoke English. He took me to Brother Gauffin’s. Edith Gauffin, the daughter, had learned English in England. She was to be my interpreter. I found Abo an interesting old city. It had been the ancient Capital of western Finland. The old Castle still stands, since 1100, A. D. There is a most interesting Museum in it. Two thousand Russian soldiers were stationed at Abo at that time. On the corners the streets were marked in three languages, Finnish, Russian and Swedish.
I found Finland a really beautiful country of lakes and forests. There were three and one half million population. The people were very hardy. They lived natural, bathed often, and married young. We had one of the largest halls in Abo for our Sunday meeting, but could only get it for one service. The rest of the time we had to pack into the little local Pentecostal hall. The people were packed like sardines in a box. It was fearfully hot from the animal heat. They would stand for three or four hours, for lack of sitting room, scarcely shifting their weight from one foot to the other, to listen to the full Gospel. I would come out of these meetings my clothing wet with perspiration and it was cold and very damp outside. The air in the meetings was vile. We had very little ventilation. I prayed for a great many sick people, and had two interpreters who took turns at the job when I preached. I wore them both out. They interpreted me into Finnish.
A number of sick were healed. Some were saved, and revived. In fact the Spirit wrought deeply with many. When I came to leave, the people begged me to come again. We could not get them to go home at nights until we left the building. They were so hungry for the Gospel they would have stayed with us until morning. Finland was largely controlled by the Lutheran Church, and it was as dead as a door nail. Abo was the Bishop’s seat. Our day meetings sometimes lasted for four hours. They gave me 100 Finn Marks when I left ($20.00). This was a very good offering for such a little company, of very poor people.
I next went to Tammerfors. This is called the Manchester of Finland. Here we had our night meetings in a theatre. A Finnish brother who knew English interpreted for me. The meetings were well attended and we had good interest. God greatly helped me in the messages. Brother Winai was a ready interpreter and a good fellow. We held our day meetings in the little Pentecostal hall. A number were healed. Several were saved and baptized with the Spirit. The saints were greatly quickened and encouraged. I had rather a lonesome time here. Nearly every one spoke Finnish. They did not understand even Swedish. They gave me fifty Finn Marks ($10.00).
From here I went to Helsingfors, the present Capital of Finland. It is a very large city. The leader, Brother Gerhardt Smidt, met me at the station with a band of fifty Pentecostal saints. They were singing, “The power, the power, the Pentecostal power,” in Swedish, as the train rolled into the station. I joined in in English and they recognized their man. I had never met Brother Smidt before. Helsingfors had a population of 150,000. There were many thousands of Russian soldiers stationed here also and a strong Russian Navy. The Finns at that time were not allowed to join the Army or Navy. Russia would not trust them.
I was entertained at the home of one of the saints who knew German; and having learned a little German by this time I could make myself understood. At Tammerfors they had spoken only Finnish. To my tired nerves, not being able to understand a word, it sounded like a wagon jolting over stones. I was treated very kindly in Helsingfors. We held our meet meetings in five of the largest public halls in the city, rented for that purpose, for the occasion. Two of our meetings were held in the Society Hall, where all the swell functions were wont to be held. The place was crowded to the doors with people. Even the aisles were full. They would stand in the aisles for two hours, scarcely shifting their weight from one foot to the other. In Finland they do not have seats in the State Church nor in the Greek Catholic. The people stand during the services. They are not accustomed to a comfortable religion.
I was interpreted first into Swedish, then Finnish. Had to have two interpreters. The leader, Brother Smidt, had been some years in America and had learned English. He was a Norwegian, but could speak Swedish. There are many Swedes in Finland. In one of the meetings in Helsingfors I noticed a Russian high officer come in and take his seat in the rear, in company with a younger man, who immediately produced a pencil and tablet and began to take notes of what I was saying. Just for a moment my blood seemed to stop circulating. I am not naturally a fighter. I went cold all over. I recognized that my words were being watched. If they could have “caught me in my words” they would have thrown me into prison. - (Luke 11:54).
It was against the Russian law to speak against the Greek Church or the Government. But God spoke to me and told me it was unnecessary for me to go further, to St. Petersburg itself, under the very nose of the Czar, and where the law (in old Russia) was much more stringent than in Finland, if I was going to get scared here. I was then on my way to St. Petersburg. It was a severe test for a moment, but, the Lord gave victory, and also wisdom, and I went on with my message without fear. It proved a good experience for me in courage.
Our day meetings were held in Helsingfors in the local Pentecostal hall. They usually lasted about four hours. We prayed for hundreds. Many were healed, saved, and filled with the Spirit. The people were so hungry. There were many Russians in our meetings who could understand no other language. They usually sat by themselves and had their own interpreter with them, who interpreted quietly to them. They appreciated the messages hugely. I was generally wet with perspiration and completely exhausted when I got out of the day meetings. But it was wonderful work. The people were so receptive. We had snow on the ground at this time. Here in Helsingfors I saw Finnish women carrying the hod on new buildings being erected.
Brother Smidt had been very sick from overwork. There was such a scarcity of workers. He had heart trouble and had been waking up every morning with his mouth full of blood. One day while with him in my room the Spirit of God came suddenly upon me. I went and laid my hands on him under a mighty anointing. He cried out under the power and was healed instantly. The saints gave me a fine overcoat, costing $25.00, besides a gift of $40.00 in money.
We stopped next at Lahti, for two days. Had good meetings. A number were helped and blessed. It was a small place. Our next stop was at Wiborg on the border of old Russia. This had been the ancient Capital of eastern Finland. There was an ancient Castle and an old Museum there. Wiborg had seen many battles. The old Castle bore the marks of stormy times. We held our night meetings in the basement of the High School building. The day meetings were held in the little Pentecostal hall. These were very precious. Some were healed, a number saved and some baptized with the Spirit. God was with us in much power. I was translated first into Swedish, then Finnish. Many were under the power during these meetings. The people were very hungry for God and He did not disappoint them. The life of the poor people in Finland was a very hard one. Consequently their great hunger for God. He was their only consolation. They gave me forty Finn Marks ($8.00).
Brother Smidt had come on from Helsingfors to Wiborg and we now went on to St. Petersburg together. We left the train at the Finnish station. Here we were met by friends and conducted to a hotel. We were required to surrender our passports at once, which were taken to police headquarters and kept until we made application for them to return home again. This was Russia. Once in, you were fast until they were pleased to release you. We were at their mercy. And worst of all we had gone there deliberately to break their laws, for there was a law at that time in old Russia that no foreigner was allowed to preach the Gospel in the country.
We were questioned closely as to what our business was in the city. But we simply stated that we were there to see the city (which was a part of the truth, and all we naturally dared to divulge to them). We were obliged to be very guarded in our movements. If we were caught preaching it meant a Russian prison. We passed the political prison on the way to our hotel. It was a mean looking place, called St. Peter’s and St Paul’s. I imagine it was almost as bad as some that they had been incarcerated in in their time. A Russian prison is a foul affair. We had a hard battle at first in the meetings. But toward the last we broke through. There was much fear of the authorities on the people. And the power of the Greek Church was mighty.
We had to fear both the authorities and the Greek Church. In fact the Holy Synod practically made the laws and constituted the authority in Russia. I was first translated into Swedish, and then into Estlandish. Most of those who attended the services were Estlanders. We prayed for many. Some were healed and saved, and the saints were generally built up and encouraged. The police did not find us. Even their own subjects were not allowed by law to preach the Gospel to any other congregation but their own. This cut out evangelism altogether. We were in St. Petersburg four days and held five meetings. It was impossible to remain longer without being discovered and imprisoned. This would have also closed the Mission. So it seemed the part of wisdom not to stay too long.
I had a call to Narva and Reval also, but felt I could not leave the family alone in Sweden longer at that time. They were in a strange land, with no knowledge of the language. We looked around St. Petersburg quite a little in the daytime while there, as we could not hold meetings without being discovered. The houses are built in courts, with an iron gate in the front. There are generally a number of establishments in the enclosed square of various kinds. I visited the Czar’s Winter Palace and a number of other Palaces. Went through the Czar’s wonderful Picture Gallery. The large Jewish Bazaar was also very interesting. I visited a number of fine Greek Cathedrals. Bought a Russian fur cap for eleven roubles.
The saints though poor, were very kind to us. They paid our hotel bill, bought our tickets to Helsingfors and gave us $12.00 apiece besides. We got our Passports back all right, and after a night’s run on the train were safe back in Helsingfors. The Lord had gotten us in and out of old Russia safely, right under the Czar’s nose. We had preached the Gospel in defiance of the laws of Holy Russia and of the Greek hierarchy. To God be all the glory!
I spent two days in Helsingfors, where we held two more meetings. We had a good attendance in large halls, rented for the occasion. The saints gave me 100 Finn Marks more. That made $60.00 in all, from Helsingfors, besides my new $25.00 overcoat. Praise the Lord! They saw me off at the depot with a strong representation, singing Pentecostal songs. We waked the old depot Up for God. I went direct to Abo and sailed for Stockholm. My passport had to be shown to get out of Finland also. One could neither get in nor out of Russian territory without a passport. Finland was then still under the iron heel of Russia.
I reached Stockholm safely. Looked around the city for two hours, and then took the train for Orebro. Arriving home safely in the Evening, the children met me at the depot. I had been gone five weeks.
The last year we had had an English Christmas. This year we had a Swedish one. I spent my forty-second birthday in St. Petersburg. The sun rose at 9 A. M. and set at 3 P. M. at this time in Sweden. I received a letter from Libby, Montana, with a five dollar bill in it. There was not a scratch of a pen to tell who it came from. Nothing but the bill in the letter. But God brought it through safely. He will reward the giver. That was true Scriptural giving. Received $12.00 from an old colored lady in New England, sixty-five years old. She had saved twenty-five cents a week from the money she got from selling eggs from her chickens. The money she sent me was her year’s tithing from this income. What a reward such givers will receive from God! The “widow’s mite.” The thermometer stood at 18 degrees below zero at 10 A. M., Jan. 8.
I received a call to attend a Conference at Bremen, Germany, and left Orebro, Jan. 12. Stopped at Gothenberg over night. From there I ran on to Copenhagen, and took the train for Korsor. Went from there by boat to Kiel, and on to Bremen by train. Spent a few hours in Hamburg on the way. I had a good look around Bremen before night. The next two days we had our Conference. Had a blessed time. I preached four or five times. Pastor Voget came from Bunde, Ostfriesland. The first day of the Conference a local brother asked me when we were coming to Bremen to live. I thought it strange for I had said nothing there about returning to Germany though I had been impressed that we would return in July.
The second day a brother and his wife told me they were expecting us to return to Bremen and live in their house with them. I had not said a word to them about coming back to Germany. Now I was satisfied of God’s will in the matter of our returning. The Lord was speaking. “At the mouth of two or three witnesses.” They gave me $30.00 at the Conference.
Pastor Voget and myself went to Hamburg and stopped over night. The next day we ran on to Elmshorn, where the second Conference was held. We had three meetings. I preached at two of them. We had a good time. They gave me $12.00. I went from there to Kiel, taking the boat for Korsor. From there I went by train to Copenhagen, and on to Gothenberg. Here we held some special meetings in the Pentecostal Mission. I preached every night and twice Sunday, for about a week. Bro. Malmcrona was the Pastor. We had a very profitable time. A Major from the Salvation Army interpreted for me. They gave me $15.00. I reached Orebro again safely and found the family well. Received $50.00 from Highway Mission, Philadelphia, Pa., U. S. A.
I preached at two different Baptist churches in Orebro, for Pastor Sathers and Pastor Ongman. God wonderfully helped me. A Sister gave us fifty Kroner ($13.00).
My next trip was to Stockholm, for a series of meetings. Reached there Feb. 9. I preached every night, in the “Philadelphia” Assembly. Pastor Lewi Petrus was in charge. It was a large Pentecostal Church. We had a full attendance and God greatly blessed us. Every day at noon we held a prayer meeting. One day it was at “Philadelphia” Assembly, the next, day at “Elim” Church. The latter was a Baptist Church, where Pastor Bjork was in charge. He had received the Pentecostal baptism. This Church had a membership of 1200.
The Spirit ran very deep in these meetings. Sunday we had a wonderful day. The Church was crowded at “Philadelphia.” It held 600 people. In the after-meetings frequently as many as 200 remained to seek the Lord. Many were healed, saved, and baptized with the Spirit. One night we could not close the meeting until 12:30 A. M. The second week the meetings were powerful. They were divided between the two Churches. The last night at “Elim” the meeting was wonderful. I had for my interpreter the same Salvation Army Major that I had had on my previous visit to Stockholm, Major Sjodin. The Spirit caught me up and for an hour I was like an electric wire, charged with the very dynamite of heaven. My interpreter was fine. God broke things all to pieces. We had a wonderful after-meeting. My interpreter was considered the best in Sweden. Arrangements were made for me to stop for two days when we should pass through for Finland, April 1. They gave me $40.00.
It was an exciting time while I was in Stockholm. Delegations were coming up from all over Sweden on behalf of Nationalism. War with Russia was feared. The Socialists were also marching the streets, many thousands strong, in protest against Nationalism. The King dismissed the Socialist minister, and appointed a Nationalist in his stead. There was a move on to increase the army. In fact patriotism ran high.
God gave me several strong messages against the war spirit. Even the saints were in grave danger of being carried away with the wave of world patriotism and strife. I tried to dodge the issue, but the Lord kept the message on me, much against my own desire and will. I did not understand then what was brewing in Europe. But God knew the Great War that was soon to break out in fiendish violence. He wanted His people prepared, and kept free from the spirit of it. By keeping the war spirit down we were enabled to keep the blessing and anointing of God on the saints.
I understood it all later on. I was evidently there for that purpose.
We must be true to the God-given message, and “obey God rather than men.” When the Lord sent me north He knew just what was coming. Many times I was tempted to think I must have missed the mark, as I was continually warning the people of great trial and tribulation that was to come upon them, though I did not know what. My whole ministry north seemed to be largely with that end in view. That is doubtless why the Lord gave me such a solemn feeling about my commission in this connection, when He first showed me the circle I was to take, before we had moved to Sweden. I remember prophesying of a great war when we passed through Amsterdam on the way to the Continent, from England. I pictured the whole thing out, telling them just what part little Holland would be destined to play in it. She was to stand between the wild beast forces, the nations, a haven of refuge. At that time I was tempted over this message also, and wondered what made me give it. I was afraid they would lose faith in me altogether. But when we came through enroute for home, after the World War had started, all that I had prophesied had come true.
One young man came into our noon meeting in Stockholm, heard one of my messages against Christians going to war, was convicted it was wrong to fight, and forthwith determined he would not even train for a soldier any longer. He wrote the king his convictions. He was imprisoned, but finally set free. Military training was compulsory. He was an earnest, Christian young man.
I returned to Orebro again, to my family. Preached twice for Pastor Sathers, at the Baptist Church. We were now ready to move to Finland. We left Orebro April 1, for Stockholm, where we stopped two days. I preached both nights, at “Philadelphia” Assembly, to large crowds. Major Sjodin interpreted for me again. God wonderfully helped and blessed. The next night we left on the boat for Abo, Finland, where we were to locate. We had a quiet voyage, landing safely in the morning.
Brother Gauffin, whom I had stopped with before, was a man of some means. He had a little two-roomed cottage furnished ready for us. And so we had our own little home again, in Finland, Fabriksgatan, 1, Abo.
I preached about fourteen times in all in the little Pentecostal hall at Abo, before starting out to travel again. We had some blessed meetings. The people were very hungry. They also came to the house during the day to be prayed for and instructed. The attendance was very good throughout. There was much interest. At times the hall was packed almost to suffocation. So many wanted hands laid on them for healing that many times I left the meeting wet through with perspiration, and completely exhausted. A number were healed, some saved, and some filled with the Spirit. The ventilation was very poor in the meetings. Finland is a land surrounded by water, and full of lakes. The beds are always damp when one crawls into then. I contracted much rheumatism and congestion from this. Suffered much from lumbago. Some of the time I had two Finnish interpreters. They would take turns. I wore them both out. A sister gave my wife $5.00. This work was very heavy, and very much needed in Abo. We were so glad to be on the real mission field. After this series of meetings the Assembly gave us 200 Finn Marks ($40.00). It was a great surprise. The people were very poor.
I next went to Helsingfors and Kuopio for meetings. Preached twice at Helsingfors, over Sunday, with much help from God. I laid hands on and prayed for about forty people. Went from here to Kuopio, in the far north. This point was only 200 miles south of the north Arctic circle. It was May 1, but the ice was still on the lakes. I stopped in the home of Pastor Pekka Brofeldt. Here they treated me very kindly. I had five meetings, besides Bible readings every day. The people listened to the messages very intently. Every day they were coming to be prayed for and instructed, and I had little time for rest except when in bed at night. I was suffering much from rheumatism myself, but laid hands on and prayed for about twenty-five people. In nearly every case they realized more or less immediate relief. The people were very hungry for the Gospel. It was a rare treat for them. They were a very simple, humble people. Many were greatly quickened by the Spirit. They gave me 100 Finn Marks ($20.00), besides my expenses. I returned to Abo again.
I spoke twice in the mission at Abo, and prayed for a number of sick. Several were healed. I then started again for Helsingfors. Left Abo May 13, and was gone for three weeks. I had five meetings in Helsingfors. The hall was packed. We had blessed results. But suddenly our Finnish interpreter who was to go with us to Wiborg, decided to go to Abo and visit his parents instead. He was homesick. I went to prayer. So determined was he to go to Abo at once that he had taken his grip to the station and checked it, on his ticket which he had already bought, thinking thus to make sure of going. He did not want to go with us. But while I was praying for victory, in another part of the city, God spoke to him and told him he must go with us. This was just a little before train time. The devil had tried to sidetrack our interpreter.
I had expected to return to my family in Abo again before going to St. Petersburg the second time, but God had arranged with Brother Smidt and myself to go at once. This required a battle on my part. I had to consecrate my little family anew. I might be thrown into prison in St. Petersburg. Then what of my family? They had no separate passport to get out of the country. But I got the victory over this also, and so we went to Wiborg. Wiborg was on the border of old Russia. We had been there before. Here we held two meetings in what was known as the “Devil’s Church.” It was in fact the Liquor Dealers’ Hall. But God blessed many souls there. We held one or two services in the little local Pentecostal mission also. At one of these the Russian people requested a service, and I spoke through three interpreters. I was first interpreted into Swedish, then Finnish, and finally Russian. The poor Russians waited patiently for the “water of life” to reach them, and I had the assurance that the message went through very nearly 100 per cent pure. We soldered the joints of the pipe together with prayer, while they glued their mouths to the Russian end of it. We were in Wiborg four days. I received $25.00 in Helsingfors, and $10.00 in Wiborg.
We then went on to St. Petersburg. Stopped in a hotel and sent in our passports to police headquarters, which was required of all new comers. We had to hide our real object again in visiting the city, as we had done on our former visit. They always ask that question of you. We reached St. Petersburg, May 23, 1914. Held eight meetings in all. Were there six days. God again got us in and out safely, which was a great victory under the circumstances. I have stated before that it was at that time against the law for any foreigner to come into old Russia and preach the Gospel. In Finland the Russian law was not quite so stringent.
We were going, knowingly, right into the lion’s jaws. But God was sending us. We felt as safe as Daniel. The little Pentecostal hall was crowded with people. We were in the same Mission we had been in before. But this time much of our congregation were Russians. This made our work doubly dangerous. Some were still members of the Greek Church. The Greek Orthodox Church practically made all the laws of “Holy Russia” at that time, through the “Holy Synod.” Everything was “holy” in Russia.
But God protected us and kept us hid from the knowledge of the Czar’s agents, the police. I was translated into Russian this time. Many souls were blessed. Some were saved, and healed. The people fairly thronged us for prayer. When we gave the invitation at the end of the service practically the whole congregation passed to the front and knelt. We had to push them back, instead of seeking to drag them forward as in America. We hardly had room to move around among them.
Admission to the meetings was by ticket only. The leaders arranged this plan. They were afraid of spies. They had a brother stationed at the outer gate to the court, and another outside the inner door. The meetings sometimes lasted four hours. The people came in two or three at a time, so as to avoid suspicion, and went out the same way after the meeting. The doors were fast, the windows all closed tight, with curtains drawn, to avoid possibility of discovery by the police. Our meetings were held only a few blocks from the Czar’s Winter Palace, and almost within the shadow of the “Holy Synod” buildings, where the Greek church made all its intolerant, religious laws. One night they hurried us out of the back door into the alley. The iron gate at the street had suddenly been locked by the police, and the brethren thought they were after Brother Smidt and myself. But it turned out they were after some one in the hotel in the front. There were many buildings in the square court in which our mission room was located. The walls themselves were about four feet thick.
We had one remarkable case of real miracle working power in the meetings. A woman, a member of the Greek Church, had been brought by relatives to us to be delivered. She had been demon possessed for seven sears. She herself wanted to be delivered. For some time she had been so prostrated by this evil power that she was bedridden. We challenged the demon, and commanded him to come out in the name of Jesus. But he withstood us, and we had a battle royal. It lasted nearly half an hour. The demon finally yielded ground and left her. She was almost torn to pieces inwardly under the agony of the struggle. But in obedience to our instruction she finally uttered a prayer we gave her, pleading the blood and the name of Jesus, and after a violent retching and spuming at the mouth her face lighted up. Victory had come. She was at peace. Salvation came to her soul as the demon left her body. She was so happy she could not find words to express it. I heard from her a month later, before we left Finland; and she still had the victory. She was saved, healed and happy.
While we were in the city they were holding special service at a Greek Cathedral just across the street from us in honor of their patron saint. If they had known where we were and what we were doing they would have arrested us. But God kept us hid. I looked around town considerable, visited the Czar’s Museum, Peter and Paul’s prison (the political prison), and the new Mohammedan Mosque. This last was one of the most beautiful buildings in St. Petersburg. It was adorned with mosaic and built to hold thousands of worshipers. The Moslems in St. Petersburg were chiefly Tartars. They had tolerance for their Moslem subjects, but none for the Evangelical Gospel.
I visited also a number of Greek Cathedrals. Attended a service where the Czar was in the habit of worshiping, in the Kazan. They had a male choir of wonderful singers here. I also visited a beautiful Cathedral built over the site where one of the Czars was assassinated with a bomb. Saw the Douma, and many other interesting buildings. We were driven across the city at one time by a coachman who was so drunk that he forgot where to take us and drove up at the wrong destination. The moment he stopped he was so sound asleep that we could not even wake him to find out where we were. So we left him asleep there. The wind blowing in his face while the cab was in motion evidently had kept him awake. How we ever managed to cross the crowded streets without all being killed was a miracle. My passport expired May 26, while in St. Petersburg, and I went to the American Consul to have it renewed just before leaving the city. It put me in a delicate position, but God helped me through with it. We returned to Helsingfors, where we held four more meetings. They gave me $20.00.
I reached home again safely, at Abo. Preached four times more in the little mission at Abo. They gave me 50 Finn Marks ($12.00). I prayed for a number of sick people, but was about sick myself. The Lord blessed the needy ones. Their faith was rewarded. I was having a great fight in my body with catarrh, neuralgia of the stomach, and rheumatism. The latitude was about the same here as in the Klondike, Iceland or Central Siberia. Finland is also a country of lakes. The air is very damp there.
I left Abo for Lahti with the family, June 17, 1914, for a two weeks’ Bible conference. Preached ten times during the session there. There were leaders there from all over Finland, Russia and Sweden. We had about 400 delegates in all. Many of these dear people slept on the bare floor, with only a blanket. Meals were on the free-will offering plan. All expenses were met in this way, and there was some to spare. The people gave very liberally from their poverty. God honored the stand of faith. It was Scriptural order.
The Lord now made it clear to us that His time had come for us to leave Finland. We had been there three months. That was the time He had shown me before we left Sweden. We were to return to Bremen, Germany, July 1. All things worked out exactly according to God’s plan. They gave us $50.00 at the Conference. A delegation of about 150 saints saw us off at the train for Helsingfors. We left just before the conference closed.
We were at Lahti the longest day of the year, June 21. The weather is very hot in the short summer in Finland. The sun set at 9:30 p. m. and rose at 2:30 a. m. It did not get dark at all. I found it difficult to sleep. We could read all night without a light, though we were not far enough north to see the sun at midnight. We had had a wonderful time at Lahti. I was sorry to leave the dear, simple Finnish people but I was full of rheumatism and congestion and needed a change from the cold, damp north very much. We would now be going toward the sun, and my whole system cried out for the warmth of its rays.
We stopped at Helsingfors over one night and the next day took the train for Hango, Finland, where we embarked on the boat “Nordstjernan,” for Lubeck, Germany. The harbor of Hango was blown up one month after by the Russians, after war had been declared, through fear of the Germans landing there. After a beautiful, smooth voyage, almost the length of the Baltic, with two nights and a day’s travel, we landed at Lubeck July 3, 1914. Went on to Bremen the same evening. The Pentecostal saints there had prepared a home for us.