“In Due Season We Shall Reap, If We Faint Not.”
The year was 1950, when a local church pastor, named Daniel Breen, became burdened for an area in northern Minnesota. He knew of an evangelist who traveled extensively preaching the gospel and asked him if he would be willing to come and hold tent meetings in a town called Pengilly near Swan Lake. The evangelist agreed to come and the pastor decided to support the meeting in its entirety.
Believers were made aware of the crusade, a group of prayer warriors was organized, flyers were printed and distributed, a tent was set up, the gospel musicians came to sing, and the preacher began to preach. All of this energy was put forth with the hope and prayer that lives would be touched with the power of the gospel.
Art Smith, a resident of Pengilly, stopped by the little country store of his town on his way home from work and noticed a flyer announcing these meetings. Something peaked his interest and he came home, told his wife, Helen and his two sons, Don and Dave, to get ready and brought them to the first night of the meeting. They enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. The gospel songs were appealing, and the plain, Bible preaching was unlike any they had ever heard before. So, they returned each night of the meeting. Art and his family were members at an area church but it was liberal, and the leadership had turned their backs on the Bible long ago. In fact, this area-wide tent meeting was the first place they had ever heard God’s way to heaven.
The last night came and went and neither Art nor his family had trusted Christ. However, the Spirit of God had begun to work, and He wasn’t finished yet. Later, the youngest son, David, went to a summer Christian camp and was saved. Then, through the clear witness of a children’s Evangelist, the oldest son, Don, believed the gospel. Then Mrs. Helen Smith was born again. All of these obvious conversions brought deep conviction to Art, and finally, He trusted Christ in the furnace room of their tiny basement.
Later, Art and Helen’s boys trained for the ministry in an area Bible-Institute. They both married Christian ladies and became preachers of the gospel. Art had eight grandchildren, all of whom have placed their faith in Jesus for salvation. Each of the grandchildren married Christian spouses and are teaching and training their families in the things of God. One of Art’s granddaughters married a preacher, and one of Art’s grandsons became an evangelist. Art & Helen and their youngest son are in Heaven now with a clearer view of all of these blessings! Art has several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren most of whom are in church and learning about Jesus, about how to get to heaven and about how to live for eternity. In short, two and three generations from Art Smith, folks are still getting saved and called to preach in the Smith family!
How did it all begin, someone obeyed God and came to Pengilly, MN with the gospel, someone interceded, someone invested money, someone pitched a gospel tent, someone sang, someone preached, someone put up a flyer, someone brought a friend, and someone believed God. Maybe someone wondered if it was worth it. I, for one, can say it was. Art Smith was my grandfather. Don Smith is my dad. I am the grandson who answered God’s call to be an evangelist. Someday, in Heaven, I’m going to look up the someones who invested into that area-wide meeting and tell them it was worth every sacrifice they made! “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).