The following is PART 2 of the amazing testimony of Helga and also her husband, George. The first part was mainly about Helga’s early years, fleeing from the Russians. The second part is mainly about her life when she moved to Northern Ireland and of George's and Helga's conversion.
To read Part 1 CLICK HERE
George and Helga were missionaries in the Ivory Coast for 11 years (with the New Tribes Mission). They are now in semi-retirement and do an independent work in Lithuania with the few Christians there. George tells me that because the "Communists" indoctrinated the people’s minds so much, that they are just not interested in God. They were taught for years that there was no God. Today, for example, there are only around 520 Baptists in a population of around 3½ million. Remember to pray for George and Helga as this work is very dear to them.
Helga continues here, with Part 2 of their story.
PART TWO......."NORTHERN IRELAND"
It was in 1956 that I met my husband, George Campbell. He was in the British Army, and played the bagpipes in the military band. We went over to Northern Ireland and got married.
Then , when our first baby, Marina was born, his regiment set sail for Libya, North Africa, and I was left alone. (When we were married, I couldn’t speak a word of English.) I became terribly homesick for Germany. I was in such a state that I became physically sick, even with fever, from time to time. I was put in a hospital, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. George came home, but got sick as soon as he came home. He had malaria from Africa, and nearly died. But he pulled through. From then on, my homesickness disappeared.
"He Was Drinking The Money He Earned"
From the time George had been 15, he had been a social drinker. When he was through with the army, and had to settle down to civilian life, he began drinking heavily. He could not seem to make the adjustment. I had been drinking with him also until the children came along, but now his drinking caused friction between us.
Doing the "best I could", I sent the kids along to Sunday School, went to Church myself, and we even prayed the Lord’s Prayer at home. But George’s drinking was going from bad to worse. He was drinking the money he earned. So I was forced to go out and work while the kids were at school. The Post Office wanted George to have his own car, so I worked for two years to get a car for him. Not long after we had the car, he took it out to get a drink and wrecked it……drunken driving !
Attempted Suicide - But God Has A Purpose For Helga's Life
Finally, George’s drinking really had me depressed. The only way out that I could see was to take my own life. So I took a lot of George’s sleeping tablets – enough to take me out into Eternity – but somehow, I did not die. I did not see it at the time, but God had allowed me once more to escape from death. He had a purpose for my life.
The next day, a friend came over to try and help. She talked about Jesus, prayed for me, and invited me to go with her to a house Bible Study where there were other Germans and people in trouble, just like me. One night there was a woman from England who spoke of her work as a missionary to children. She said something about being "prepared" for the Lord’s Coming. I couldn’t understand, but that word, "prepared" followed me everywhere. I reasoned that I was alright. I was confirmed, baptised, and I went to Church. I believed in God and prayed. No, that "preparing" wasn’t for me. It was just for bad people who murdered and stole, so I put the word out of my mind.
"Nobody Had Ever Given Me Such A Gift"
All this time, I never knew Who Jesus was. I never had a Bible of my own to read. My friend kept coming to see me, and brought along a second German friend who had been saved longer than she. One day, this second friend came with a Bible for me to keep. That day she never spoke about Jesus. She just showed me what to read, and walked out. I was excited. Nobody had ever given me such a gift. I started to read it the moment she left. From that time on, God began dealing with me. It seemed I had the peace of God already in my heart. When George came home drunk, I was friendly with him – whereas normally I would not have spoken to him.
"She Could See I Was Under Conviction"
I went to my work, in a carpet factory. One woman there seemed different to me. I asked her questions about Jesus. I told her about the Bible I had been given, how much it meant to me, but that I didn’t understand it.
"I’m saved,” she told me.
"Who saved you ?” I asked her ! "Did the minister save you ? Or what do you mean by being saved?”
"You just call on the Lord, and the Lord saves you,” she said.
I still couldn’t understand. I was like Nicodemus.
"Did God come down and tell you that you were saved ? ”
I was insisting on knowing , and she could see I was under conviction. I was searching for something.
Saved In a Cloakroom !
"Will you go down to the cloakroom to pray with me ?” she asked.
" Surely !” I told her, but I had no idea what I was going to do there !
She said, "Helga, go over to your machine for a little while, we’ll go down at 7 o’clock.”
I guess she wanted to pray first. I can still see the clock marking 7.00 !! We went down to the restroom. Usually at that hour there were people coming for a five-minute break to have a smoke. At that particular time there was no-one there ! The Lord had prepared the way ! I had no idea what to pray. I had never prayed like that in my life. So she told me what to pray. I said,
" Lord, forgive me for my sins. Thankyou Lord, for saving my soul.”
"I Meant It. I Know I Was Saved."
And i meant it. I know I was saved. Then she told me I should go and tell others. As soon as we finished praying, the women came into the restroom to smoke. I went upstairs to witness to the girl who worked on the machine with me. This is where my eyes were opened. I suddenly knew what "being prepared" meant.
"I got saved downstairs, ” I told the girl.
"Did you ?”
"Are you saved ?” I asked her.
"Do you know that you need to be prepared ” I said.
"Yes, but I don’t want to now.”
"You Can't Get Saved In A Carpet Factory ! " (Yes You Can !)
On the way out I told somebody else I was saved.
"You can’t get saved in a carpet factory ! ” she told me. "You have to go to a minister.”
She was "righteous" ( in her own eyes) and said she had never told lies in her life. When I told George that night, he answered that he was saved as an infant when he was baptised.
Every night I used to have a smoke in bed. That night, I tried to tell the Lord I needed a smoke. He seemed to say,
"Helga, you don’t need a smoke. You just take My Bible and read My Word. I’ll let you go to sleep.”
I never smoked since that day I was saved, though I had been a heavy smoker.
"Our Church Did Not Preach Salvation...I Found One That Did !"
Our son, Richard was the next one in the family to be saved. He began asking me questions.( He had a Sunday School teacher who told him lots about Heaven and Hell, but she never explained how he could get to Heaven. SO he decided every time he was bad he would bite himself !! This way he would punish himself and not have to go to Hell !!) When I was saved, I could answer his questions, and he trusted Christ too. Our Church did not preach salvation, so I looked till I found one that did. Our daughter Marina, and our son, George, were saved two months later.
George Went From Bad To Worse
My husband George, though, went from bad to worse. Sometimes he stayed away day and night. I kept bringing him before the Lord. At one time, I fasted for him, three days and nights. The Church was also praying for him also, especially in one all-night prayer time.
Seven years passed. Our daughter Marina got married to a fine Christian, and the two of them wanted to give their lives full-time for the Lord. They went into training for the New Tribes Mission.
George Gets Saved
In the meantime, George had to be the pipe major in a big parade. He told God that he would never drink or sin again if God gave him the best military band he had ever taken on parade ! And for three days he didn’t drink a drop ! The day came, and God answered his prayer. Every time that band struck up it was like switching the radio on !! No mistakes !!
But George didn’t keep his promise. After his big success, he went to a drinking club to celebrate. Two bottles of whiskey and one of champagne. Quite drunk, he fell on the concrete steps on his way down and broke five ribs and hurt his spleen and kidneys. A rib pushed his heart slightly aside, or else the rib would have gone right through his heart. They took him to hospital. He knew he had very severe injuries, and the next day, he called on the Lord. As soon as he did that, he was saved.
"He Witnessed To His Drinking Buddy"
His family didn’t know that he had been listening to tapes and studying about how to be saved all the time that he was outwardly running away from God. The drinking habit was taken away from him immediately. As soon as he was better, started witnessing for the Lord. First, he witnessed to his drinking buddy, and took him to Church, where he was saved that night ! Then he went visiting the "down-and-outs" and witnessing to them wherever he could.
"You Are The Answer To That Prayer ! "
Three times we visited Marina and Paul in England (who were training to be missionaries). Each time George remarked on the peace that surrounded him when he was there. But he felt he was too old for missionary work and couldn’t do much. Then, one day George was reading the Bible and the Lord spoke to him through the verse,
"Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” (John 15:16)
George called the New Tribes Mission in England and asked for an application form for the mission. Mr Hinds told him,
"We have just finished praying that the Lord would prompt someone to send in an application form, and you are the answer to that prayer !”
So we felt God put his seal on our decision.
God Can Use Anyone
We are grateful, so grateful for God’s Faithfulness to both of us. We know that He can use anyone in His Service.
".. always abounding in the work of the Lord..." 1Cor15:58