SPRING 1920 SWITZERLAND
Announcement published in Confidence, p. 12 January-March 1920
Brother Smith Wigglesworth, (of 70, Victor Road, Bradford) is proceeding to Switzerland. He holds meetings for ten days (From January 31st) at Berne. His address will be - care of Anton B. Reuss, Chalet Rambolz, Goldiwil ob. Thun, Switzerland. Then more meetings at Thun.
* * *
Report published in Confidence, p. 19-21 April-June 1920
Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s Visit. Graphic Letter from Mr. Anton Reuss.
My very dear Mr. and Mrs. Boddy,
It is some little time since I last had the pleasure of writing you. I first wrote Bro. Smith Wigglesworth at your address, for I had forgotten his. Thank you for sending on my letter.
Before I begin to let you know how the Lord blessed our brother here in Bern and Thun, let me thank you for having always encouraged Bro. Smith Wigglesworth to come to us as he told me, for the enemy tried all ways and means to prevent him coming to us. Some one who ought to have known better told Bro. Smith Wigglesworth that “If you go to Switzerland now you will not get enough to eat!” We did our best to feed him up with our best, so that he exclaimed “You are determined that before I leave I shall have to go out of the door sideways in order to be able to get out at all!” Another well-meaning friend said “If you go to Switzerland now you will suffer from cold!” Well, we have not had a cold day since he has been here, and if we had we could have found ways and means to have heated the rooms and halls, etc. The enemy tried and failed to keep our brother in England.
I met Bro. Smith Wigglesworth at Neuchâtel Station on Saturday, the 31st January, and we had a slow but comfortable journey to Bern, where he stayed with me and my wife at the house of a sister, who is one of the mainsprings of our work, Sister Wüthrich.
Castle at Neuchâtel
I had taken the hall in the Casino, Bern, for our first Sunday meetings, as I rather expected a crowd of friends, but the crowd did not turn up until Sunday, February 8th, when afternoon and evening the hall was crowded. The meetings, as you know, began in Bern on the 1st and continued until the 10th February. As fast as our brother became known (and the healings too, for we had many healings) the people began to come in crowds. Every morning from 10 till 12 o’clock we had prayer meetings - entrance only by card, as we wanted to keep the curious and opposers to the speaking in tongues out - and we had many blessed meetings. It was not an uncommon sight to see several people laying full length stretched out on the floor perfectly unconscious to anything and everything around them as our brother continued his preaching, for the Holy Ghost had begun to fall upon them, and they were there, the slain, so to speak, of the Lord. Several definitely received, but there were so many seekers that we had to have special waiting meetings every afternoon, where our friends were packed in like herrings in their anxiety to receive blessing.
Healings continued the whole ten days, and often from 10 o’clock till 11.30 p.m. at night our brother was anointing and dealing with the sick, who had to come up in rotation, having first stated in German the nature of the ailments, which I interpreted to him in English. We had two excellent interpreters, a Bro. Steiner from St. Gallen, and a Sister Kummer from Zürich, whom I think you met in Labilliere’s time. Scores, I can faithfully say, were healed, the unsaved saved, and Christians stirred, sanctified, and several baptised. We had ministers and preachers come both from German and French Switzerland. So many calls came to our brother to come and visit the sick in Bern, which, of course, was impossible, that at last, as these dear people implored me to bring him to them to see a son, a father, etc., I said “Pay my taxi, and I will bring him.” This was the beginning of events, for after that, for two whole afternoons, Bro. Smith Wigglesworth and I hurried all over Bern in a taxi visiting the sick, whom he could not possibly have visited otherwise.
It may interest you to know that dear Mme. Gaullieur, who received her baptism in Sunderland on the same day as I, August 22nd, 1908, but who had only once since spoken in tongues, again spoke and continues to speak. Her maid also received the Baptism and spoke in tongues. To God be the glory!
The meetings lasted ten days in Bern, and on the last evening, Tuesday, we had a missionary meeting, the proceeds to go to the P.M.U., London, and the Congo Mission, in which Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s daughter is interested. Well, the Lord gave our brother the word, and the friends in Bern had been so blessed and interested that they raised the fine sum of frs. 2,100, which amount was subsequently raised to frs. 2,800, more than £100.
If you ask me what the people thought of Bro. Smith Wigglesworth and his methods, I will only say that my friends who are in a position to judge say that Bern has never seen anything like it. It was completely stirred, and the enquiries were so many, also the requests that Bro. Smith Wigglesworth should again come to Bern, that I feel sure the biggest hall in Bern will not be too big for him, should the Lord graciously send him to us again in the near future.
But what of Bro. Smith Wigglesworth? Well, we are all agreed that he is one who has been very specially blessed of God. Before he came I told my people that I rather believed Bro. Smith Wigglesworth to be an apostle who had apostolic power, and we can say that what we experienced was in a very marked measure apostolic, in spite of the times in which we are living of indifference and unbelief. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s language, which had a delightful Yorkshire touch when he is in the natural, is not always good English, but when he is under the power of the Spirit his tongues are glorious! The interpretation of the same majestic!! and the English perfect!!! We have never seen anything to equal it in Pentecostal circles in Switzerland.
Swiss street scene
Many of our brethren in Switzerland and Germany are greatly taken up with visions and prophecies, but Bro. Smith Wigglesworth brought us the Word of God, which the Holy Ghost especially emphasised by these powerful utterances in tongues and interpretation. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth is very humble, and the naive way in which he told us that he could not read before he was 23 years old, and that his wife taught him, moved many, and led us to magnify the Lord, who chose fishermen and other working people to be His representatives when He left the earth. When he is in the natural, which is not often, one sees the humble origin, the imperfect education, the man of the people; but when in the Spirit one is conscious of the presence of Someone else who is altogether lovely. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s great strength is his humility and his love for Jesus, and longing that He alone should have all the glory.
We began at Thun on Wednesday, the 11th, and continued for six days, the meetings being larger every night. We had morning meetings of waiting upon God in my chalet, of which I enclose you a postcard. I need not say how it would delight us to see you and dear Mrs. Boddy out here for your holiday. It would do her a lot of good. Well, the meetings increased so through the many healings, that I was forced to take the largest place in the town in the Hotel Fresenhof. It holds, they tell me, 800 people. Well, we had quite 600 on Sunday afternoon, and again on Monday evening, our last night. Scores and scores were healed, I can faithfully say, and, what is astounding to us and our opposers, so many unsaved were healed.
A preacher came to Sister Wüthrich and said, “Can you help me to understand why in Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s meetings so many unsaved were healed? I myself brought a very dear young child of God to his meetings in the hope of her being healed. Many unsaved were healed, but not she. How do you explain it?” She quietly replied, “The unbelief of God’s people.”
We had about 30 visitors from Lausanne, French Switzerland, and from all over Switzerland people wrote and came to the meetings. If they had only continued longer in Thun I verily believe we should have had a revival, and this is the feeling of many to whom I have spoken in Thun. Naturally the enemy was not going to take it lying down, so he set his satellites to work, who accused me of making money out of these healings. It is true that in many cases my wife and I were offered money by the grateful sufferers who had been healed, but we always naturally refused. Some would receive no refusal, and these left us 28 francs all told for the poor, which we shall gratefully distribute. But on the Saturday morning when Bro. Smith Wigglesworth left I wanted to accompany him to Liyem, when we were to meet my brother-in-law, R. Ruff, of Zürich, I had to go before the Police Inspector in Thun to give an account of my doings in respect of taking money from the healed. I went with another brother-in-law, J. Nievergelt, an engineer in Schaffhausen, and after I had denied the charges my brother-in-law gave the inspector to understand in his own vernacular that this was a put-up job. The inspector was very nice as soon as he saw there was no truth in the charge.
Bro. Smith Wigglesworth left here to preach in Zürich, where I went to support him, and also in St. Gallen. He returns via Basel n the 2nd inst., but he tells me he is invited to Chèxbres (Vaud), French Switzerland, for the 16th March, for a week’s convention. He returns from Bradford for this week. If he were to return again I believe the Lord would use him to move Switzerland, for, as I say, we have not seen anything like this in Switzerland since the Latter Rain began to fail in 1906 and 1907.
I feel I have written you a long enough letter to enable you to judge by the details that our Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s visit to us here has been signally blessed of God. I verily believe that many pastors and preachers, far more highly educated than our brother, have been forced to ask themselves how it is that this dear brother has so much more power and acceptance with the people than they have, for signs and wonders do so naturally follow his ministry.
His coming brought us a little bit of old England and of Sunderland, as I heard Bro. Smith Wigglesworth preach at Sunderland, which has always had a very warm place in my heart, and should the Lord open the way for me to come to England this year, I will certainly take the opportunity of coming to see you and dear Mrs. Boddy, for I never forget it was at Sunderland God began first to really bless me at a time in my life when I needed His blessing. Good-bye, dear Mr. and Mrs. Boddy. By the time you receive this Bro. Smith Wigglesworth will be with you and be able relate more of his experiences to you.
With Christian love
Yours affectionately in Him
ANTON B. REUSS
* * *
Goidiwil, ob. Thun,
28th Feb., 1920
Bro. Wigglesworth (70, Victor Road. Bradford, Yorks.) writes that he received for Foreign Missions whilst in Switzerland £303. The amounts devoted to P.M.U. are recorded in our list at the end of this paper. The balance was given to the Congo work as represented by Bro. Salter.
* * *
Report published in Redemption Tidings, p. 3 February 24, 1939
PENTECOST IN SWITZERLAND
Report of a visit by Smith Wigglesworth to Switzerland in 1920 found in a pen sketch of Pentecostal history in Switzerland by Lester Sumrall.
The year 1920 marked another memorial page in the Swiss book of Pentecost. Our beloved Brother Wigglesworth came to them with Apostolic blessing. As he moved from city to city, mighty miracles were witnessed by the power of Jesus’
Great crowds gathered to hear the unique messenger and see the wonders of God made manifest in our generation. The fruit of our brother’s ministry is seen in the nine Assemblies still remaining, brought into being by his visits. Also, there are still men and women in the respective Assemblies who received and have retained healing under his anointed ministry.
This season of revival gave
NEW IMPETUS TO THE WORK.
Inspiration and faith increased in the hearts of those who heard him, and resulted in a general benediction upon the entire Movement.
* * *
Report published in Pentecostal Evangel, p. 15 April 17, 1920
GOD BLESSING IN SWITZERLAND
Bro. Wigglesworth was at Sion College on Friday night, and told of his recent trip to Switzerland. He reported that the Spirit worked in a wonderful way upon the multitudes. He said he was at a disadvantage in not knowing the German language that is mostly spoken there, but he could watch the Spirit of God brooding over the people as he spoke through an-interpreter. He went to several towns, one of which was Zurich.
Official building at Zurich
On one occasion a woman with a cancer on her nose and upper part of her face came forward to be prayed with and he got her to stand right in front of the people and said to them, “Look at her. She will be here tomorrow night and you will see what God has done for her.” He prayed and she left the meeting. The next night she attended the meeting and it was seen that the cancer had gone and there was a new skin on her face. There was another case of a young woman whose face was in a terrible condition through some disease she had contracted. She was prayed for and the next day appeared with a perfectly clean face and the new skin had a brilliant appearance.
A young man came to the meetings to ridicule, but he appeared to be struck dumb, for he could not speak. The brother commanded the demon to come out of him and his tongue was loosed. At another meeting three insane people were sent and put in the front row with a view to creating a tumult, but the brother had discernment, and in the name of Jesus commanded the demons to keep quiet and there was no further trouble. Souls were saved and bodies healed at every meeting and in many instances baptized in the Holy Ghost, with a bursting out in other tongues.
Of course the devil was very angry at the success and the medical men in one town applied to the Magistrates for the brother’s arrest, but God frustrated them and the devil was checkmated.
A child was brought to one meeting very ill. The doctors said the sickness had to do with the head. Bro. W. was shown by the Spirit it was the stomach, and as he laid hands on the stomach and prayed, a worm, sixteen inches long, came out of the child’s mouth.
Large building in Zurich
He told the people of Switzerland about the Pentecostal work amongst the heathen, and when collections were made, he was able to bring back to England three hundred pounds. Many offered themselves.
Pray for our brother that he may be kept faithful. One brother prays for him three hours a day and sometimes five. Therein lies the secret.
A. H. Badger,