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Are You Ready for a Fresh Outpouring?

Lilian de Fin, great-granddaughter of Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), speaks with about Smith Wigglesworth’s ministry and legacy, the re-opening of Bowland Street Mission, her own ministry, and the coming revival. Are you ready for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Your great-grandfather, Smith Wigglesworth, was a well-known Pentecostal minister. From a family perspective, what can you tell us about him?

Lilian de Fin: Smith and Polly Wigglesworth were blessed with five beautiful children. The eldest son, Seth, was my grandfather. My mother was Seth’s eldest daughter; she was named Alice after my auntie Alice, who was the only daughter of Smith and Polly Wigglesworth. In our home, Smith Wigglesworth was always referred to as “Grandpa” because he was my mother’s grandfather. So we all call him Grandpa.

My mother, Alice, went to Africa as a missionary. She married my dad, Joseph Harold Berry, who was also a missionary in the Congo, Central Africa. That makes me a fourth-generation preacher’s kid. I was born and brought up in Africa. Grandpa was promoted to heaven just three months after I was born, so I never met him. I like to believe that he prayed for me when he heard that another great granddaughter was born on the mission field in Congo. All the stories that I can tell you are stories that I heard from my parents.

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth was a faithful father, fruitful, fascinating, and full of the Spirit of God. He was bold and courageous, yet full of compassion, a man who shared his faith wherever he went. He loved nature and would go for walks on the Yorkshire moors for recreation. I am told that when the pond iced over in Bradford, he and grandma Polly would skate on the ice together and the crowds would gather around to watch them.

My mother told me how Grandpa would love to take young ministers shopping. She related seeing him standing in a store with tears of joy streaming down his face as he watched some young men choosing a new suit and shoes. He himself had made a deal with God when he entered the ministry fulltime. He told the Lord that he expected to always have a good suit and good shoes otherwise he would return to his plumbing business.

When mom was growing up, she would attend a Bible study on a Wednesday night at Grandpa’s house. It was a time when Grandpa would meet with his family and teach them the word of God and recount some of his experiences concerning his healing ministry abroad. Mom tells how she would take the quiet road home through the park in order to have time alone and enjoy the presence of God that was upon her after spending time with Grandpa.

My dad would tell us how he would go to visit Grandpa Wigglesworth.

Smith Wigglesworth is known as the Apostle of Faith. He will be remembered for the thousands of healings and miracles that were seen in his meetings.

This is how the conversation would go. “Sit down young man.” Grandpa would then take his New Testament out of his pocket and begin to read. After a few minutes he would say, “Do you feel a little closer to Jesus?” My dad would nod his head and they continued reading. “Do you feel a little closer to Jesus?” Dad would nod his head. This continued for about twenty minutes then Grandpa would say, “You can go now young man.” Dad would leave the house saturated with the presence of God.

I always felt that I belonged to a very generous family.

My Grandpa Seth bought a house just around the corner from the plumber’s shop where he and Grandma lived. It was made available for us and other missionaries to live in while they were on furlough. It was such a blessing to have a provision like that. My auntie Alice together with her husband Jim Salter would come out to Africa to visit the missionaries. They would go out of their way to visit us at the boarding school that we attended. When they said goodbye, auntie Alice would always slip a little bit of money into our hands. It meant the world to us just to have some family around.

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2018

About the Author: Lilian de Fin is the great-granddaughter of Smith Wigglesworth, known as the Apostle of Faith, renowned for his total trust in God and His divine healing. Born in the Belgian Congo to missionary parents, Lil and her husband Abe pastored Acts Christian Church in Johannesburg, South Africa for twenty years before retirement. Pastor Lil continues to exhort her listeners under a strong prophetic anointing with clear and accurate insight. Abe and Lil have three sons and nine grandchildren.

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