News Editor Edward E. Plowman recently visited nine countries in Europe on special assignment and in connection with a forthcoming book. While there he covered significant outreach events, talked with pastors, and interviewed hundreds of young Christians and their leaders, including some whose lands he didn’t visit. He filed this report and analysis:
“I hear a rustling in the leaves. God is moving. Things no one expected to happen are happening. Large numbers of young people are coming to Christ.”
That is what Cambridge University grad Stuart McAlpine, 22, told me in recounting the events of the past year at his school. Hundreds now meet weekly in large and small Bible-study groups, and scores carry the Gospel regularly into the surrounding villages. This summer a contingent of them bought an old double-decker bus, painted it with Jesus slogans in various languages, and evangelized all the way to the Olympics at Munich. They had a field day there witnessing to Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and others (see September 29 issue, page 42).
McAlpine’s description applies elsewhere in Europe. Thousands of young people all over the continent have turned to Christ in the last year or two, and in several lands (Northern Ireland, Holland, and Finland) nationwide youth revival may already be under way.
Concurrently, renewal along charismatic lines is seeping into some state-church circles and bringing life to congregations that have been dead—to quote their pastors and members—for generations. And Catholics are showing a remarkable openness to evangelicals, especially in the realm of evangelism.
These observations are admittedly from a narrow perspective of visits to a limited number of cities and villages. But on the basis of many interviews ...1
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