Amazing happenings in northern Italy

   We are tonight in Turin, staying with Rev. Bruno Vettorazo, his wife Anna and their little boy Davide, at their home in the countryside some way from the city. Bruno and a happy crowd of church members met us at Casselle Airport earlier this evening.

   Noel drove us to Elmdon this morning; we boarded the 8am Viscount flight to London, flying at 7,000 feet and landing at Heathrow at 8.35. Our flight to Milan took off at 10.45am, the BEA Comet 4B Jet G-ARJK flying at 33,000 feet, and we landed 90 minutes later at 1.15pm local time. Brother de Santo was there to meet us, and we were able to discuss arrangements for the Milan meetings next month.

   We went for a walk and I took a photograph [Slide 00801], then we bought some postcards and 40-lire stamps. Freda wrote to her mother:—

   Milan Airport. 21-3-63

Arrived here at 1.10pm (12.10 GMT) after a very good flight from London in the Comet. We had a salad lunch on board, with Pear Condo and cheese and biscuits and coffee to follow. Someone from the church in Milan was here to meet us and we were able to make plans with him for meetings in this city. We are now waiting for the ’plane to Turin in about 2 hrs time. We have just had a little walk out into the fresh air. It is quite warm here in Italy but the trees are in much the same state as at home Will write in greater detail later. Much love Freda & Brian xxxxxx

   We flew on to Turin at 6 pm and were met at Caselle Airport by Bruno and a happy crowd of Church members who were waving to us as we stepped off the plane. The Crusade starts tomorrow; we are expecting the Lord to do great things.


   We went shopping in Turin this morning.

   We conducted our first meeting tonight at 8.30pm. The church was filled, with people occupying every available space, even sitting on the window-sills. I preached on Mass Healing from Matthew 8:16–17, Bruno interpreting, and the Lord gave us great liberty in the Holy Ghost. Some in the congregation were moved to tears, and many were blessed by the Word. There were not less than a dozen decisions for Christ, and the sick were healed as we prayed for them. There was not enough room to call people to the front. I had to squeeze my way through to pray for them.


   I have been ill in bed today but wrote a letter to Mary in the office. There was a house meeting tonight.


   I spent the morning in bed, only getting up to go to the meeting. As we had no organist today we somehow contrived to pack more people into the hall than on Friday. The service was timed for 4.30 pm, but the hall was jam-packed full half-an-hour beforehand, so we just went straight into the service.

   I preached on Five Reasons to Believe for Healing. People were sitting all around the pulpit and on the window-sills. A press reporter was present. Afterwards we went to a sister’s house for tea.


   We spent much of the day walking in the countryside. The Lord gave us another great meeting tonight. I spoke on The Baptism in the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1–4).


   We have spent the day at Biorvanni Stonelli [spelling] and had a service there tonight. I spoke on The Church of God (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22–23, Colossians 1:18). There was a great anointing upon the service: souls were saved and many healed.

   Freda wrote to her mother today.


   Bruno & Anna took us shopping in Torino this morning. On our return I ’phoned Bro. de Santo in Milan and told him of the Lord’s blessing on the meetings here.

   During the afternoon I wrote to Pat Welch to tell him about the meetings and thank him for his prayers.

   Tonight I spoke again on The Church of God, its work and ministry.


   I spent the morning dealing with correspondence. We visited a Baptist sister this afternoon.

   The meeting was packed again tonight. I spoke on Led by the Spirit (John 1:12, Romans 8:14). It is impossible to describe all the wonderful things the Lord has been doing. Many souls have been saved, many are testifying to receiving healing of arthritis, heart trouble, nerves etc.

   Before we came here we had been told it was impossible to hold meetings every night as people in Italy work up to 13 hours a day, but our first week here has proved this is quite wrong — people still come where the gospel is preached in the power of the Spirit.

   We understand that the reporter wrote very favourably about Sunday’s meeting, but the local Roman Catholic Bishop has intervened and prevented publication. There has been no advertising or publicity for the meetings whatever, except a notice in the window. I have no doubt that if there had been freedom to make the Crusade known, and a large enough building to accommodate the people, the attendance would soon be in the thousands each night.


   Bruno & Anna took us to Ceresole d’Alba this afternoon to see a villa that is for sale.

   We had a wonderfully anointed service tonight. I preached on Ye Must Be Born Again (John 3:1–21).


   I spent the morning dealing with correspondence Freda had a letter from her mother and wrote back. Later we also went for a walk

   We all went to Ceresole d’Alba again this afternoon. The car broke down on the way back [Slide 00809].

   There was no meeting tonight.


   Our last day here in Torino; we had the final service at 4.30pm this afternoon, a fine meeting. I spoke on Three Things You Must Know. As usual, the hall was filled to capacity; again many souls were saved. I am sure many were healed too. One of the most notable cases I prayed for was a man paralysed all down one side. He recovered full use of his leg and could partially use his arm; he was saved too in the service.

   Bruno showed us a film of southern Italy this evening.


   We had a letter from Mary this morning. It was April Fools’ Day, and Bruno caught me out by saying there was a ’phone call for me!

   After prayer together he & Anna and Davide took us to the station. We were sorry to leave them: the Lord has blessed us here so much. Bruno told me that Sister Martha had seen something about me, but would not tell me more.

   We left Torino by the 11.50am train, arriving here in Milan at 2.10pm. The fare was 1,320 lire each. This is another great industrial centre, Italy’s second city, and we shall be conducting meetings in this area for the next ten days, God willing.

   We are praying that the Lord shall mightily undertake; there are many obstacles to ministry in this Catholic country, and we need much prayer as we engage the enemy on his own ground. We are to have a meeting at Giussano tomorrow night, a new Church.


   I spent the morning dealing with correspondence. Freda wrote to her mother and to Mary This afternoon we went for a walk, bought stamps for the letters, and went to Upim supermercado.

   Tonight I spoke at a meeting at Guissano on Jesus Christ the Same (Hebrews 13:8).


   We spent the morning dealing with correspondence, with letters to write to Stanley Betterton, Dick Lovett, Len Carter, Arthur Adams, Cecil Gilbert, Mrs. Everitt, Pastor Tweed, Frank H. Smith, Mrs. E.M. Smith, Stanley Robbins and Marti & Ernie Britton.

   The meeting tonight in the Methodist Church hall was packed, every seat taken and probably another 30 people standing down the side and at the back. This gives some idea of the spiritual hunger of the people. I preached for only 15 minutes — including the interpretation — on Mass Healing and then gave the altar-call. At least a dozen souls were saved and many came forward for prayer. Praise the Lord!


   We had rain today, but another fine meeting at Giussano tonight. There were no unsaved present; I spoke on The Church of God (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 5:25), and then prayed for the sick. Two received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues when I laid hands on them.


   We had rain again today. There was a letter from Mary this morning.

   We had a wonderful service tonight, about 80–90 present in the Methodist Church. I spoke on Three Things You Must Know; four or five souls were saved and many were wonderfully healed by the Lord. The healing line filled all the front of the Church.

   I had no sooner begun to pray for the people than a woman began to be horribly torn by a demon which had possessed her for many years. The woman’s tongue stuck out, and the devil had such a hold on her that she was spitting blood all over the floor. When I commanded the devil to hold his peace and come out of her, the woman instantly became still and was soon delivered.

   Another wonderful incident was when the Holy Ghost revealed that a woman was bound by the smoking habit; she too was miraculously delivered.


   I spent the morning doing correspondence. Freda wrote to Mary. We went to Upim this afternoon; it was raining again.

   Tonight we went to visit Pastor Guiliani, minister of Milan Assemblies of God Church — he ’phoned earlier.


   Freda posted a letter to her mother this morning. We had a blessed service at Giussano.

   The Lord continues to bless us here in a greater way than ever. How shall we ever forget this afternoon’s service with Milan AoG? The large cathedral-like building was packed with 200–300 people, every seat taken and people standing at the back.

   It was a tremendous service. I spoke on Five Reasons to Believe for Healing then gave the altar-call. Fully a score of people were saved. After the raising of hands to make a decision for Christ, I asked these folk to stand to their feet and then to come forward and kneel at the front (not often done in Italy), and they filled the whole front of the Church. Glory to God!


   We spent the morning dealing with correspondence, then walked round the shops. Pastor Cole ’phoned.

   After lunch we went to see the Cathedral and La Scala Opera House [Slides 00815–23]. There we met Tedd Lane and had coffee together. Unfortunately Freda hurt her right leg when a motorcyclist ran into her as we were crossing the road at a junction.


   It rained again today. Freda posted Easter cards to her mother, then we had a letter from her this evening, and one from Mary.

   We went to Giussano again this evening. I preached on Ye Must be Born Again (John 3:1–21).


   We had our last meeting in Milano at 8.30 tonight but it was 10pm before I was called upon to preach. I spoke again on Ye Must be Born Again.

   We went for a walk this afternoon. Tomorrow we leave for Udine, D.V.


   We left Milano by the 9.10am train via Venezia, arriving here at Udine at 8pm. The fare was 3,500 lire each. We have come a day earlier than planned, but it has proved to be the definite leading of the Lord as it seems I was required here tonight to assist in the case of a Sister Bonati, who required special counselling.

   Unfortunately, as Phillip and Peggy [Wiles] were not quite prepared for us, I am having to sleep in a different room from Freda. Except for that snowy week in Leek when Freda couldn’t come, it is the first time we have not slept together.

   The Crusade starts tomorrow with a believers’ meeting and Holy Communion service.

FRIDAY 12th APRIL (Good Friday)

   We have had an extraordinary start to the Udine Crusade. I do not usually preach at Communion but as I was praying about the service before going to bed last night, the Lord said I must speak on Washing the Saints’ Feet (John 13:1–17)!

   I have long believed we should wash the saints’ feet but have never preached on it in a Crusade service, and I did so tonight in great fear and trembling. The people no doubt expected a stirring message on faith, or an exhortation to pray and believe. Why should the Lord want me to preach this to a congregation I had not met before, a subject I have never spoken on before, and through an interpreter who might be reluctant to translate all I might say, bearing in mind that he [Phillip Wiles, who interpreted for me in Rome in December 1960] is also the pastor?

   I said that if we wanted revival we must be prepared to humble ourselves (2 Chronicles 7:14). Whether or not we are right in believing in the literal application of feet-washing, nevertheless if the Lord asked us to do it, would we be humble enough to obey Him? If we objected, it would be because pride and self were not fully eliminated. And if we were willing, would there be anyone whose feet we should not like to wash, or a person whom we should not like to wash our feet? If all the Church members were willing to wash each other’s feet they would never fight among themselves.

   The response to the message was amazing — Phillip accepted the truth, and most of the Church too! It was a marvellous service, and when we came back to the house Phillip said that it lacked only one thing — a practical demonstration of what I had preached. How wonderful the Lord is!


   We went to Cavé del Predil today, close to the border with Yugoslavia, driving north to Chiusaforte and then east. It is a small mining community in the mountains, and very picturesque. Giuseppe came with us and we had a picnic lunch. I took several photographs [Slides 00825–30].

   We left about 10pm, arriving back at midnight.

SUNDAY 14th APRIL (Easter Day)

   It was the prayer meeting at 10 am, but the Lord brought strangers in, so I was called upon to preach. I spoke on The Gospel with Evidence (Mark 16:15–20), which the Lord greatly blessed. I said that we must have a return to New Testament ministry and doctrine, fellowship and witness, if we are to evangelize the heathen and see mighty signs and wonders.

   This afternoon there was a meeting at 4pm and I spoke on Five Reasons to Believe for Healing, in preparation for tonight’s service at 8pm.

   The evening service was difficult at first, but the Lord anointed the message and it was climaxed by a glorious healing-line. People were instantly healed and there were some great testimonies. Phillip said it was the most wonderful and spontaneous demonstration of the Lord’s power he had ever seen. Praise the Lord!


   We had a tremendous service tonight. I preached on The Church of God expounding Matthew 16:18. The Lord showed m there would be someone in the service who had no intention of coming into the Church but whom the Lord would bring in so as to show forth His power. This was perfectly fulfilled even as the Lord had shown me. One man wandered into the meeting after I had begun preaching, and I knew it was he. When I gave the invitation to be saved, his hand was immediately raised, together with those of the only other unsaved folk in the service, just two or three.

   The power of God in the healing line was wonderful. The man [I have] referred to requested prayer for long-standing tuberculosis. I noticed that Phillip had to speak in the man’s right ear as though the left ear was deaf, so I asked the man if he would like the Lord to restore his hearing. He was most amused and said “Impossibile, impossibile.” Apparently he had been stone-deaf in that ear for 20 years. (I believe the ear-drum had been destroyed when he was a soldier in the war). I simply placed my hand on his ear and commanded him to hear. The result was electrifying. He could immediately hear the slightest whisper and repeat everything spoken to him. It was a glorious miracle by the Lord. At first the man was dazed and unable to believe what had happened, then he turned his face into the corner and just wept

   Freda wrote to Ro & Mick and to Mary this morning.


   We went to Sauris di Sotto this afternoon but. I was taken ill on the way. I spoke on Three Things You Must Know.


   We stayed at Sauris di Sotto last night, returning to Udine this morning We went to Giuseppe & Nella’s for lunch. After a rest I felt better and the Lord raised me up so that I could speak on The Gifts of the Holy Ghost tonight, in particular the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:7–11).

   Freda had a letter from her mother today and wrote back. It was Ro & Mick’s wedding anniversary.


   I worked on correspondence this morning, and Freda wrote to Mary. T his afternoon we went to Gorizia to book the Methodist Church for some meetings there, D.V.


   Freda wrote to Jimmy Howard this morning. We had the prayer-meeting tonight. A young man came in whom no one knew, and it seems he was from Catholic Action and had come to spy on us!


   We have seen amazing events this last week, the power of God manifested tremendously, followed by counter-attacks of the enemy, the like of which Phillip has not seen before.

   After the great meetings of last weekend, there has been much dissension amongst the church members due to idle gossip on the part of one young man. The trouble did not look as though it would be resolved, so Phillip asked him to leave the Church. This caused even more heartache and sorrow — the members evidently cared more for each other than their behaviour seemed to indicate!

   Tonight Phillip decided the situation must be put right. He armed himself with a bowl and towel, went round to Guiseppe’s house, and there washed his feet! Only the Lord knows what glory came into the house, we were not there. But then Giuseppe washed Phillip’s feet, and then they went together to the home of Giovanni, the other brother who had been involved, and the ceremony was repeated. Then they all came round to the house where we are staying [Sister Amelia’s] to put things right with a sister.

   What we witnessed was one of the most glorious things it has ever been my privilege to behold. Everyone took part in turn having their feet washed or washing somebody else’s. Words fail me at this point. The place was filled with an indescribable joy and glory. Everyone wept and laughed — there was glorious reconciliation.

   Phillip said to me afterwards that he knew it had been a message from God on the opening night. Were it not for that message there would scarcely be any Church left. There was not another thing in the world that would have united the people and brought reconciliation as this did. Afterwards, something had happened to us and we had come to a practical realisation of the unity of the Body of Christ.

   How infinitely good it is to obey the Lord even when He asks us to do apparently unreasonable things!


   After the events of last night we approached today’s services with much expectancy. We had an open-air meeting at the Piazza di Venezia at 3pm, then at the 4pm service in the Church I preached on The Great Commission [Mark 16:15–20]. There was a tremendous anointing upon the Word.

   Then in the prayer-line one of the Church members had brought her 10-year old daughter to be prayed for. She had had a TB hip which was markedly deformed; her left leg was an inch or two shorter than the other, so she had to wear a special “lift” in her shoe. When I prayed for the girl, her leg shot out to its proper length. She took her shoes off and walked backwards and forwards quite normally. Glory to God!

   I forgot to mention another great miracle yesterday afternoon. A sister who had been struck down with a mysterious condition, so that she could scarcely move her right leg and could only drag herself around with the greatest difficulty, was instantly delivered.

   We had a prayer meeting at 9pm.


   Tonight we have had our first meeting at Gorizia [where Phillip is hoping to start a church]; part of the town is in Yugoslavia. Freda stayed at home to look after the children.

   The mother of the girl healed last night produced a medical certificate declaring the exact clinical details of the case and that nothing could be done. The mother said that the girl was always late getting up, but this morning she (the mother) heard some activity in the house at 6am and got up to find her daughter staring into a long mirror and gazing at her now normal legs!

   We had a fine meeting tonight, and some were definitely convicted of sin whom we shall find have been saved. Several came forward for prayer. A young woman requested the laying-on of hands for the healing by proxy of her mother suffering with serious heart trouble and asthma.

   Three letters came from Mary today.


   We spent most of this morning dealing with correspondence, then went shopping at Upim Freda also did some ironing

   This evening I went out with Phillip to see if we could find the deaf man who was healed on Easter Monday. We see him occasionally in the street, but he has never been to another meeting, and Phillip is quite concerned about him.

   We are going to Pordenone on Thursday to baptise some of the Church members. As Phillip has asked me to officiate I had to tell him that I always baptise “in the Name of Jesus”, but he wants me to use the Triadic formula, which is unscriptural.

   We sat in the car talking about it. I explained that “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” are only titles, and showed Phillip that every baptism in the New Testament is “in the Name of Jesus”, and that whatsoever we do, in word or deed — therefore including baptism — is to be in His Name (Colossians 3:17). But he is terrified of being in “error” [which is why I was so nervous about preaching on feet-washing].


   We had a prayer meeting tonight at 7.30pm in preparation for tomorrow’s baptismal service.


   Today we accompanied the whole Church by “Pullman” (coach) to Pordenone, west from here on the road to Treviso and Venice. The service was at 11.30am in the local Baptist Church I spoke on The Call of God (Romans 8:28), and then baptised six of the folk.

   It was a truly wonderful service, despite the difficulty I had in immersing the candidates. A concrete wall has been erected dividing the baptistery in two, with the minister on one side [keeping dry], and the candidate on the other — a “middle wall of partition” which not only felt quite wrong spiritually, but was also very awkward! As a compromise I baptised each one “in the Name of JESUS, which is the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

   We stopped twice on the way back to relax and enjoy the scenery.


   Late last evening Phillip and I felt greatly burdened and had much liberty in prayer. Today we had a prayer meeting at midday. Later this afternoon we went to Gorizia for the meeting at 8pm. I spoke on Naaman the Leper (2 Kings 5). Freda and I came back on the train. Freda wrote to her mother today.


   We have had two prayer meetings today, from 10.30am to 12.45pm in the Church, and again tonight at 8pm. We had letters from Freda’s mother, Mam & Dad and Mary today.


   I spoke on Space Travel (Genesis 11:1–9) at this afternoon’s service. We had the prayer meeting at 8pm. We took Giovanni and Maria to the hospital.


   We had a letter from Mary today, and I spent nearly all morning and afternoon dealing with correspondence.

   We went to Giovanni’s for supper. Afterwards there was a prayer meeting at 8pm.


   Phillip and I spent much of the morning in prayer. This afternoon we went shopping with the family [Phillip and Peggy, Andrew, Valerie, and the twins Peter & Sylvia]. There was a prayer meeting tonight.


   After we returned from Pordenone last Thursday night, Philip and I both felt a great compulsion to pray, with the result that ever since, we have been spending many hours in prayer together at all times of day, seeking the face of the Lord {2 Chronicles 7:14). The spirit seems to have caught on, and the people are meeting every night for prayer; something very wonderful seems to be happening.

   This morning Phillip and I spent time in prayer together, then called on Umberto. His wife confirmed that his hearing is completely restored, and Phillip said it is wonderful what Jesus can do, but she attributed his healing to St. Anthony or St. Theresa!

   This afternoon we visited a home in San Michele al Tagliamento, south from here, where I spoke on God’s Free Pardon (Isaiah 55:7), and an old lady was gloriously saved. We had a great service again tonight; no one opened the service officially, the Spirit led throughout. There was much praise and joyous singing in the Spirit.

   Andrew Wiles went back to school at Monkton Combe near Bath today


   We spent time in prayer again this morning. Later we went to Umberto’s for lunch with Phillip and Giuseppe. After lunch we discussed Election and Predestination. We had torrential rain this afternoon. We went to see Sister Arda.

   [Freda will learn that Auntie Gee died today aged 77; she and Hazel came to our wedding, Uncle Gee was unwell.]


   Phillip and I have spent much time in prayer again today, from 9.30 to 1.45pm with a break of half-an-hour, and tonight from 8 till 10pm. Aldo and Giovanni washed each other’s feet.

   We had heavy rain overnight. There were letters today from Freda’s mother and Mary.


   We prayed as usual this morning; Freda did some washing. It was raining again. This afternoon I dealt with the correspondence. Freda wrote to Mam & Dad and Mary, and posted Ro’s birthday card. We have been to the prayer meeting as usual tonight.


   We had lunch at Sorella Salmetti’s home at 1pm. I spoke on Signs and Wonders (Acts 4:29–30) at this afternoon’s service. Tonight we have been to the prayer meeting. Phillip and I spoke about some of the great revivals of the past.


   We went to Gorizia again today for the third of our pioneering meetings. Four souls were saved tonight, including two who were under such great conviction on April 22nd. The mother for whom prayer was requested by proxy began to get better from the very evening we laid hands on her daughter, and is now completely healed!

   Freda did some washing this morning.


   Freda had a letter from her mother today, and wrote back.

   We visited a home at Cividale today where we ministered to a sister, who was filled with the Spirit.

   Tonight I spoke on Wilt Thou not Revive us Again? (Psalm 85:6). Freda stayed in to look after the children.


   Phillip and I prayed together from 9.15 this morning. Freda finished the ironing. A letter came from Mary.

   We had a wonderful service again tonight with many present. I spoke on The Divine Key to Financial Prosperity (Malachi 3:10). Our ministry here seems to have been especially for the building of the Church. Phillip never takes up an offering in his Church. He has to rely on money being sent him from England to support him and Peggy and the children, and I have given him nearly all the money we received in Turin and Milan. Many of the people in the Church are poor — it is difficult for non-Catholics to get jobs paying a decent wage — so they need to know about tithing.


   Phillip and I had a time of prayer together at 9.30pm. We had dinner with Giuseppe and Nella at 1pm.

   This afternoon we went to Gorizia for pastoral visitation, and had a walk up to the castle there.

   At tonight’s prayer meeting I spoke on Three Things You Must Know.


   I felt ill this morning and spent half the day in bed. We had supper with Giuseppe and Nella tonight.

   Rosemary was 25 today.


   I spent the morning writing letters then had a bath at midday. Freda did some washing.

   This afternoon we travelled 100 miles south-west to the American Forces Camp at Vicenza, where we had a meeting at the home of Sgt. Stratton. I took a photograph [Slide 00904]. I spoke on The Significance of the Divine Healing Ministry. We are staying here tonight.


   We made an early start and got back to Udine at 9.45am, the road from Vicenza taking us through Cittadella, Treviso, Conegliano, and the outskirts of Pordenone.

   We had a tremendous meeting at 4pm. I spoke on Sons of God from John 1:12 and Romans 8:14, showing that while we are sons of God by virtue of redemption, it is only as are led by the Spirit that we really fulfil our calling. I showed how Simeon and Anna were led by the Spirit straight to Jesus (Luke 2).There were messages in tongues and interpretation during the service. Afterwards we had supper at Giuseppe and Nella’s

   Tonight at 8.30 Phillip spoke on the Return of Christ.

   It was Jimmy Marlowe’s 40th birthday today.


   We had two letters from Mary today, and we also heard from Freda’s mother and my parents. We replied to each this afternoon and also wrote to Tedd Lane.

   Later we went to Gorizia where we had another great meeting. I spoke on Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? (Acts 19:2). The Methodist minister was present, and some of his congregation.



   I am in bed at Sauris di Sotto where we came last evening after I was taken ill. We walked into Udine yesterday. A circus had come to town and I took some photographs of horses and elephants, the Big Top, etc. and of the Piazza Primo Maggio with its clock tower but I had great difficulty breathing and was scarcely able to walk.

   After we got back Peggy took my pulse and found it to be 108, so it seems I have some kind of heart trouble, and Phillip arranged for us to come here. We caught the 5.45pm ’bus via Ampezzo, and I went to bed immediately. We are in the mountains, deep snow all about us; it was unbelievably cold as we sank into the feather bed, and the silence enwrapped us.

   It is raining now. I have written a letter to Mam and Dad. [The photos I took yesterday are Slides 00906–13. Comparison with a photograph in Countries of the World, ed. J.A. Hammerton, Fourth volume, n.d., page 2339, shows that this main square of Udine used to be called the Piazza Emanuele Vittorio and was adorned by a bronze equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, since removed]


   I got up this morning and we went for a walk up the hillside. The sun was shining, brilliantly reflecting from the mountain peaks, and I took some photos. There were showers of rain all day.

   We spent the afternoon indoors, then at 5pm we went for a short walk in the direction of Sauris di Sopra.


   Luca came to visit us this morning. We walked to Sauris di Sopra, enjoying the wonderful mountain scenery. It rained quite a lot but was sunny this afternoon and we went for another walk. I took some more photographs [Slides 00914–20 were taken yesterday and today].


   I am feeling very much better, grateful to the Lord for the enforced rest, the beauty of this place, and these kind people looking after us [Slides 00921–22: I omitted to record their names]. I am able to breathe more easily, and feel sure the problem is lack of iron in the blood as we have eaten so little during recent weeks

   It has rained on and off all day but we went for a walk this morning.


   We returned to Udine today. We left Sauris at 6am and Bro. Petris drove us to Ampezzo to catch the ’bus. I took a photo there. [Slide 00923 shows the time to have been [[typing mistake]] .46am.] We passed through Tolmezzo and Carnia on the way back. There were letters awaiting us from Freda’s mother and Mary and Barclays Bank.

   Tonight I preached on the four leprous men who made their March of Deliverance (2 Kings 7), a wonderful meeting. Our ten days’ visit to Udine has now lasted five-and-a-half-weeks, and still we feel we cannot move. The meetings continue every night, and the Lord is blessing in a tremendous way as we seek His face for revival.

   Another outstanding miracle has come to light. Ten days ago we prayed for a man with an asthmatic condition who, at one o’clock every morning, would be almost choked to death for two to three hours. He had suffered like this for years, but has been completely delivered since we cast out the evil spirit. Praise God!

   I feel I have been quite seriously ill this last week, but the Lord has gloriously raised me up again!


   We had letters from Mary today. Freda had a bath and did some washing. We went to Cividale this afternoon, but the sister we went to see was out. We spent this evening with the Wiles. Freda wrote to Anne Jesson and to her mother.


   We spent the morning dealing with correspondence, then went to San Michele al Tagliamento this afternoon. We had a prayer meeting as usual tonight; Freda stayed in with the children and did some ironing.


   We took Umberto to hospital this morning then walked round the town. Freda did some ironing this afternoon.

   I spoke on Church Discipline at tonight’s meeting. We brought the children home early.


   Today was a holiday (saint’s day).We spent the morning dealing with correspondence. This afternoon we went to Castelmonte, taking a picnic tea with us [Slides 00924–25]. We had a prayer meeting as usual tonight.


   We are staying at Ferrara tonight with the Baptist pastor and his English wife — Phillip preached at the Baptist Church here earlier this evening.

   We had letters this morning from Mam & Dad and Mary as usual, then drove to Ferrara this afternoon.


   We visited Venice on our way back from Ferrara. We visited St. Mark’s Square, saw the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs etc. [Slides 00926–29], and hoped to see the Basilica. As Freda’s arms were not completely covered I lent her my jacket, whereupon the attendant grabbed hold of me and sent me crashing down the steps. It was a miracle that I did not break an arm or a leg. Some people picked me up and Phillip wanted to call the police, but I refused.

   Freda had a letter from her mother when we got back. We had a prayer meeting tonight.


   We dealt with correspondence this morning, then went to posted letters to Freda’s mother, Mary and Bruno at the station.

   I preached on Suffering Job and Bible Deliverance (Job 1:1–22, 42:1–17) at this afternoon’s meeting. There was a great anointing on the message. I prayed for several people afterwards, and one man was saved.

   There was no meeting tonight. We went for a walk after supper. Some soldiers came to see us.


   I spent the morning dealing with correspondence while Freda did some washing. We visited Renato’s mother this afternoon.

   There was no meeting tonight. It was Valerie’s 11th birthday so we all went out to have an ice-cream.


   We spent the morning dealing with correspondence. Later we went out to post the letters, including one to Mary, also a birthday card to Barbara and wedding card to the Sherringtons.

   We went visiting with Phillip this afternoon but no one was in. We had a prayer meeting this evening.

The meetings still continue every night


   We received letters from Mary and Bruno this morning. Later we walked up to the castle. Freda did some ironing this afternoon.

   I spoke on Life’s Fiery Furnaces (Daniel 3) at tonight’s meeting.


   I spent the morning dealing with correspondence.

   This afternoon Phillip and I felt led to go to Cavé di Predil, and at 3.15pm we held a very fine open-air meeting with about 100–150 present. I spoke on The Glory of the Cross (Galatians 6:14), and a number of folk approached us afterwards. I am certain that some will have been converted. Heavy rain fell directly we finished the meeting!


   I dealt with the correspondence this morning and also wrote a newsletter. We had a prayer meeting at midday. Freda did some washing, had a bath and washed her hair.

   This afternoon I wrote more letters, then we walked to Upim. We had another prayer meeting at 8pm. Freda stayed in with the children and did some ironing.


   Ron Sherrington and Dorothy Mann were getting married today at Chelmsford.

   Freda replied to a letter from her mother. We had a thunderstorm this afternoon. We had a meeting tonight.

SUNDAY 2nd JUNE 1963

   I had a bath this morning. Freda fetched Peter and Sylvia from Giuseppe & Nella’s. Later we did the packing.

   We had a wonderful service again tonight. I spoke on Jesus’ words to the man at the Pool of Bethesda — Wilt thou be made whole? (John 5:1–16). One man was gloriously saved and there was great power in the healing-line. Afterwards we had the Communion service to finish the Crusade. Sister Gente from Cavé was there.

   So we concluded the Crusade at Udine after 7½ weeks instead of ten days, and still the meetings will continue each night after we have left. Only the Lord knows what He will do — the work of the Spirit in the meetings during these recent weeks has been too precious even to write about. How greatly the Lord has blessed us during all these weeks.

   Tonight we said a tearful Goodbye to Peggy and the children. Tomorrow, God willing, we return by train to Turin.

MONDAY 3rd JUNE (Whit Monday}

   We bought our tickets {4,800 lire) to Venezia and left Udine at 7.31am, Giuseppe accompanying us. We arrived at Venezia at 9.30am. There we had 35 minutes’ wait before the train left again, just time to buy a few souvenirs and take photographs of the Grand Canal [Slides 00931–33] before rejoining the train.

   We arrived at Bruno’s house at about 6pm. There were letters waiting for us from Mary and Mam & Dad.


Death of Pope John XXIII

   We heard this morning that the Pope died last night. Bruno thinks that the new Pope will be the Archbishop of Milan (Montini).

   I worked all day on Focus No. 24–25. It will include the newsletter we wrote the other day, my tract Healing for the Incurable and The Italian Crusade Diary.

   Freda went for a walk with Anna & Davide this evening while I wrote a letter to my parents.


   We had a violent thunderstorm last night. Freda went shopping with Anna to the market in the morning, I continued working on Focus No. 24–25 and was able to post the copy off to Mr. Taylor.

   Bruno arrived home at about 8.30pm


   Bruno and I went out together this morning. It was raining heavily again. Freda had a letter from her mother.

   This afternoon we all went to see a large villa which Bruno is interested in buying. Four visitors arrived from Switzerland this evening, including Otto Buess, whom Marti Britton often tells us about.


   This morning we went again to see the villa we looked at yesterday, Bro. and Sister Buess and the other two accompanying us.

   The proofs of Healing from Christ came from Mr Taylor, and I spent time checking them while Freda wrote to her mother. Bruno took us to Central station and then returned by train.

   We had an extraordinary meeting tonight. We began the Italian Crusade with a sermon I didn’t want to preach, and finished tonight with a sermon I was forced to preach. I spoke on Giving and Receiving, expounding Philippians 4. “For even in [Turin] ye sent once and again unto my necessity. [Therefore] my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The Lord wonderfully blessed the message. Many came forward for prayer, and Bruno took up an offering for us afterwards.


   We went again on the train to Central station this morning, took last night’s offering to the bank and exchanged the coins for banknotes, then went to the BEA agency to enquire about flights to Birmingham from Paris. Freda wrote to my parents.

   Bruno & Anna were out for most of the day. We went for a walk in the afternoon. Bruno was inspired by last night’s message and I wrote some letters for him this evening.


   We went for a walk this morning, then rested in the afternoon.

   Tonight we have conducted the final service in Italy. I spoke on You Can be Healed. Again the Church was full; there was a wonderful response to the altar-call and many were instantly healed in the prayer-line

   Scores have been converted during the last twelve weeks in some of the greatest meetings the Lord has given us in any country. Many Catholics have been converted and homes have been changed by the power of God.

   After the service we went to have coffee with one of the church members. We still haven’t enough money to get home but he is lending us 20,000 lire.


   With the money so kindly lent us we have today been able to purchase rail tickets to get us to Paris, and air fares to Elmdon1 The train leaves Torino at 10.05pm and arrives in Paris at 8.40 tomorrow morning, then we are booked on the 4.10pm flight from Le Bourget, arriving Elmdon at 5.35pm.

   There was a thunderstorm and heavy rain this afternoon. Tonight we are beginning the journey home


   Home again! We have been away since 21st March — nearly 12 weeks. This morning we were in Paris, France, having travelled overnight by rail from Italy Air France were very kind and said they would send a message for my parents to meet us at Elmdon.

   Paris was shrouded in fog and we were shivering with cold. We sat in the gardens of the Champs Elysees to eat the last bit of our food. All we had to drink was the bottle of cold mint tea, but we couldn’t stomach any more of it, so I left it under a shrub where someone may discover it in years to come. I took photographs of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe and the River Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background [Slides.00934–36].

   Billy Graham has just completed a Crusade in Paris — I pray the Lord shall lead us there one day to preach the Gospel with signs following.

   We flew from Le Bourget direct to Birmingham, arriving at Elmdon at 5.45pm, and the family was there to meet us as the plane taxied in. They brought us home — everything seemed so strange — and later Uncle Les & Auntie Doris brought Freda’s mother to my parents’ and they all came here.

   It is wonderful to be home again! [but everyone is shocked by our haggard appearance, Freda’s mother especially].We went out into the garden and I finished off the film with a photo of the family. [Slide 00937, taken in fading light, shows Noel and Rebecca, Freda & Mum, Mam & Dad, Julia & Clarice.]



President Kennedy is assassinated

   I hardly know how to record today’s events. The most dreadful, appalling thing has happened and no one will ever forget this day. We had the Ministers’ Breakfast at 8.00am as usual, then Mattsson Boze from Chicago, Illinois, was the speaker at 10.00am. I went but Freda stayed behind. Later, about 1.00pm, we went to get something to eat at the little snack bar down West Lafayette Avenue. We had a double-decker sandwich and glass of water and had not quite finished when a man rushed in and said to the man sitting next to us, “The President’s been shot.”

   We hastily finished our meal, all appetite gone, and hurried back to the [Pickfort-Shelby] Hotel in a kind of daze. On the way here I said to Freda that we must hope it wasn’t true, but I reminded her of what I said at my parents’ after watching the programme about him just before we came here, that President Kennedy was going to die. We put T.V. on and they were showing President and Mrs Kennedy arriving at Dallas Airport, and her being presented with a bouquet of roses, and then the motorcade setting off to Forth Worth where the President was to address a breakfast at the Trade Mart. The announcer kept emphasising that, so far as they knew, President Kennedy was still alive.

   The shooting took place at 12.20pm (1.20pm here). The President was sitting in the back of the car with Mrs. Kennedy to his left, when he was shot in the head. The Governor of Texas, John Connally, was also wounded — he and his wife were sitting opposite them. The car shot off to the Hospital and we were told that the President had been lifted out and put on a stretcher. The commentator said that there was blood over Mrs. Kennedy’s clothes, but there was as yet no further news from the hospital. But then came the announcement that the President was indeed dead and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson would be sworn in as the new President later today. This took place at 2.38pm (3.38pm here) in Air Force 1.

   Seeing Mrs. Kennedy walking alongside the coffin with the body of her dead husband was almost more than we could bear — we simply wept, as I am sure the whole nation did. It was utterly incomprehensible that only a few hours earlier they had received such a tumultuous welcome, and now everything had been changed in a moment. I remember a lot of people in Evangelical and Pentecostal circles saying that the Lord would never allow Kennedy to be elected because he was a Roman Catholic. But He did allow it, and has allowed him to be assassinated, and even warned us beforehand that it would happen. “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:6–7). “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17). I have known for a long time that judgment must come upon Britain and America, and now it has happened in this nation, which has banned prayers and Bible-reading in schools.

   President Kennedy was 46. They have two children, John, who will be 3 next Monday, and Caroline, who will be 6 on Wednesday. They have lost three other children. President Kennedy’s father Joseph Kennedy was the American Ambassador to Britain before the War. I fully expected President Kennedy to die but never dreamed we would be here at the time. Since 1840 every President elected in a 20th year has died in office, often tragically. I have known this for two or three years since reading an article by Gordon Lindsay in The Voice of Healing [October 1960]. Harrison was the first, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected in 1940, was the sixth. I remember Raymond Richards telling us as we filed into the classroom in March 1945, “Roosevelt’s dead,” and the shock I felt at the time. John F. Kennedy is therefore the seventh and last, completing the cycle.

   We sat glued to the T.V. all afternoon, and didn’t go to the meeting; Hymie Rubinstein from South Africa was the speaker but we half-expected it to be cancelled. Everyone was stunned. Nothing felt real. I was glad I was not the preacher. But tonight Cobo Hall was absolutely packed, with 2–300 people standing round the wall [jpg], all excited at the prospect of hearing LeRoy Jenkins from Tampa, Florida — people have been talking about him all week. Jerry Barnard, who has so blessed us with his anointed singing, opened the meeting with a wonderful prayer and later sang.

   LeRoy gave his testimony of how for years he kept hearing the voice of God telling him he was to be a preacher, but resisted it, even to the point of trying to take his own life. One day he was trying to remove a huge plate-glass window weighing 250lb when it fell on him, severing his right arm so that it hung by a sliver of flesh. They rushed him to hospital, the blood pouring out of him — how strange to hear this today of all days — and were going to amputate his arm but he wouldn’t let them. The arm was dead but he said he would rather die than lose the arm, so they sewed it up, put a plaster cast on it and discharged him. He was then taken to the A.A. Allen tent crusade in Atlanta; he saw the people singing, rejoicing in the Spirit and speaking in tongues, and said “Lord, I want the Holy Ghost more than I want my arm.” Brother Allen prayed for him and he was slain by the Spirit. When he came to, he found himself singing and dancing and speaking in tongues, and his arm was healed. They took the cast and bandage off and all the swelling and discolouration were gone, feeling had returned and he could use his fingers — his arm was perfect in every way. Next day LeRoy went to show the doctor what the Lord had done, and the doctor was astonished because he had spent five hours tying off all the blood vessels — the arm was dead! It is one of the greatest miracles I have ever come across, and I remember reading about it in Brother Allen’s Miracle Magazine — I must look it up when we return home. [It is on the cover of the July 1960 issue, which contains a 3–page report and 8 photographs. The marvellous thing is that eleven days earlier, in the same Atlanta Crusade, Brother Allen had a supernatural vision of the miracle and reported it to the huge congregation eleven days before it happened.]

   It was a wonderful service tonight, full of joy and blessing, and the perfect antidote to the horror of the assassination. A man named Lee H. Oswald has been arrested, but a policeman was killed in the process.

  • Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy in 1960. • Lincoln was shot on a Friday, Kennedy on a Friday. • Lincoln was shot in the head from behind; Kennedy was shot in the head from behind. • Mrs. Lincoln was with her husband when he died, Mrs. Kennedy was with her husband when he died. • Mrs Lincoln lost a son while her husband was in office, Mrs Kennedy lost a son while her husband was in office. • Lincoln was succeeded in office by a President Johnson, Kennedy has been succeeded by a President Johnson. • The President Johnson who succeeded Lincoln was born in 1808. President Lyndon B. Johnson who has succeeded Kennedy was born in 1908. • John Wilkes Booth who killed Lincoln was born in 1839, Lee Harvey Oswald who killed Kennedy was born in 1939. • Booth was shot dead before he could be brought to trial, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot dead before he could be brought to trial. • Lincoln contains 7 letters, Kennedy contains 7 letters. • John Wilkes Booth contains 15 letters, Lee Harvey Oswald contains 15 letters. • Booth shot Lincoln m a theatre and ran to a warehouse, Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and ran to a theatre. • Lincoln was shot in Ford’s theatre, Kennedy was shot in a Ford car. • Lincoln’s secretary, who was named Kennedy, advised him not to go to the theatre, Kennedy’s secretary, who was named Lincoln, advised him not to go to Texas.

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30