The Iron Curtain came down during 1989-1990. Returning then from Romania, as shots were still being fired, killing mourners at burials, we had come through Hungary and were on our way home via Czechoslovakia.
A few of the Czech believers insisted I visit the Old Town Square in Praha, the capital. In all my years, I had never seen it, although I got to know the inside of many a believer’s home there and preached in a good number of churches, one of them just around the corner.
On that occasion, walking quite openly, a BBC reporter approached us with her interpreter to ask what we thought of ‘the revolution’. One of our little group of three had met her previously in London and, as they talked, I turned to the lovely young Czech interpreter, speaking beautiful English.
‘Like a dream’
‘What do you think of your revolution?’ I asked her. She at once replied, ‘It’s like a dream’. In a moment, I had a little Bible out of my pocket, with my finger on Psalm 126:1-3. I let her read God’s Word for herself and, as she did so, the most beautiful light spread over her face.
‘When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad’.
Unashamed, her face beaming, and with laughter in her voice, she literally jumped up and down on the spot. ‘That’s it’, she said, over and over again. ‘That’s it. The Lord has done it’.
I turned to the BBC reporter and asked her two questions. ‘Did you hear that, that God has done this?’ and ‘Will you report this when you get home on BBC, because there are so many in this country who know that God has done this?’
She smiled a wry smile. Was it one of sadness because we both knew the answers to those questions? Was it one of pity that anyone could believe there is a God who works in the affairs of nations? Was it a smile of longing that said, ‘I wish I could believe it myself’?
At that time, that particular BBC reporter appeared to report only on radio. I have since seen her on TV news. Does she ever remember those few minutes and what her report was on the news bulletin afterwards? I do.
I also remember on my first visit, in Easter 1971, meeting a dear elderly brother in Christ who said he was praying for the Lord’s people in the ‘free West’. He told me why: ‘The persecution we are going through is driving us to Christ. The plenty you have is driving you from Christ. I am praying that the Lord will send you persecution soon’.
Let us beseech the Lord for his church and our nation, that the true church of Jesus Christ may know revival and our nation renewal. Will revival come when the Lord’s loved ones discover their helplessness and are driven in despair to their knees? Or will he awaken us gently like a mother’s kiss?
It was obvious when visiting those Communist countries how much those in power wanted control of children’s minds. But, in more than 25 years of such visits, I did not see the blatant grasping after the minds of children that I now see here in the ‘free West’.
We are being told that ‘evil is good and good is evil’; and, ‘If you will not teach that to your children, then we will; and we will make sure that your children are our children’ (see Matthew 2:16-18). The Lord’s hand is heavy upon us, but let it still draw us to him in believing prayer.
Rev. William B. Scott visited Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine between 1971 and 1998, preaching in many different churches. He helped organise the setting up of the Lydia Children’s Home in the Romanian town of Tirgu Mures. His article on Jane Haining featured in ET, March 2017.