On December 25, 1766 a son was born to an impoverished Welsh shoemaker and his wife. They considered naming him Vasover, but chose instead to name him for the day of his birth. When Christmas Evans was nine his father died in his cobbler stall, awl in hand. His mother farmed out the children, and Christmas went to live with am alcoholic uncle. The boy ran with rough gangs, fighting and drinking and endangering his life. He was unable to read a word.
But then Christmas heard a Welsh evangelist David Davies. He soon gave his life to Christ, and Davies began teaching him by candlelight in a barn at Penyralltfawr. Within a month Christmas was able to read from his Bible, and expressed a desire to preach, and preach he did. Wherever he went—churches, coal minds, open fields—crowds gathered and a spirit of revival swept over the listeners. Unable to afford a horse, he started across Wales by foot, preaching in towns and villages with great effect.
But Christmas Evans eventually lost the joy ministry. His health broke, and he seemed to have used up his spiritual zeal. On April 10, 1802 he climbed into the Welsh mountains, determined to wrestle with God until his passion returned. The struggle lasted for hours, but finally tears began to flow, and Christmas felt the joy of his salvation returning. He made a covenant with God that day, writing down 13 times, initializing each one. The fourth said, “Grant that I may not be left to any foolish act that may occasion my gifts to wither…” And the eighth said, “Grant that I may experience the power of thy word before I deliver it.”
The burly, one-eyed preacher left the mountaintop that day with power that shook Wales and the neighboring island of Anglesea until his death 36 years later. He is called the “Bunyan of Wales.”
Create pure thoughts in me
And make me fruitful again.
Make me as happy as you did when you saved me.
Then I will shout and sing about your power to save. – Psalm 51:10,12a,14b
* Robert J. Morgan is the pastor of Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee and the author of the best selling Then Sings My Soul, From This Verse, On This Day, and Red Sea Rules. He conducts Bible conferences, parenting and marriage retreats, and leadership seminars across the country. This article is from the April 10 entry in On This Day, Nashvill, Nelson,1998.
*Other Significant Events on April 10th in Church History:
428: Nestorius was consecrated as the bishop of Constantinople.
1512: The Fifth Lateran Council began, running to March 1517, and declared that the soul is immortal. It also invalidated anti-papal decrees formulated at the Pisa council.
1829: William Booth was born. A Methodist, Booth founded the Salvation Army to reach out to those who were missed by the churches. He worked in the slums, offering breakfasts and other assistance for the needy, often accompanied by brass bands. The Salvation Army observes this day as Founder’s Day.
1868: Brahms’ A German Requiem was first performed. It has been described as music not for the dead but for the living. It is not certain whether Brahms’ was a Christ follower or not – but his music was inspired via his reading of the Scriptures.
1952: Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian, was arrested. He was well-known in the West for his writings such as Sit, Walk, Stand and The Normal Christian LIfe.
*Adapted from This Day In Christian History, edited by A Kenneth Curtis and Daniel Graves, Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications.