Rosenhof: Remembering a Revival Felt 60 Years Later

by Marvin T. Allan

ROSENHOF, Sask.: Aug. 11, 2018, was an incredibly hot day in Rosenhof, Sask., with the temperature over 37C.

It was a pleasant surprise that a large crowd gathered at the Quonset at the Cornelius Wieler farm where the original revival meetings were held sixty years ago. In 1957 preacher Ben D. Reimer with the EM Church (later Conference) from Steinbach, Man., was coming to Swift Current, Sask., to hold evangelistic meetings with the General Conference pastor Hans Dyck.

Henry Toews came along with Ben Reimer in order to visit relatives in the Mennonite villages south of Swift Current. Mr. Toews was originally a rancher from Paraguay, South America.

Mr. Toews was able to get permission from the Sommerfeld bishop to preach only once in each of the five Sommerfeld churches in the area. His preaching began a movement of the Holy Spirit with the Low German-speaking Mennonite people. Meetings were held in the Quonset at the Corny Wieler farm every night, often lasting as late as 11 p.m.

Three Sommerfeld preachers were brave enough to lead their people into the new EMC fellowship. David Froese, Peter Schlamp, and Abram Leiding experienced a great deal of opposition as they stepped forward in faith to lead this revival.

Cornie and Bernie Plett were called by Ben D. Reimer to come to the Wymark area to help in the new church movement. They began a youth choir and taught them to sing in four-part harmony. The Pletts taught Vacation Bible School at various locations in the district.

Both Cornie and Bernie were able to attend the reunion on Aug. 11, 2018. Both of them spoke and Bernie sang a solo. The entire event was planned and hosted by the grandchildren of Corny Wieler. David and Ron Wieler, Lorraine Funk, Roseanne Poffenroth, Audrey Schlamp and Lois Martens all worked on this project.

The Wieler family have built a stone monument (denkjmol) in their farmyard (see Joshua 4: 21-24) to remember the events that took place here 60 years ago.

Archie Neufeld from the Wymark EMC led the congregational singing, with three other groups singing in Low German and in English.

Several people gave wonderful testimonies of how the revival of 1957/58 changed their lives and the lives of their families. The meeting ended with a light supper (faspa) provided by the Wielers.

The people left refreshed and rejoicing for they remembered what God hath done for them (Joshua 4:24).

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