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Orley and Yvonne - Their Story!
by Orley and Yvonne Campbell
Orley was born and raised on a farm near Westlock, Alberta and along with his nine brothers and sisters attended a country church two miles from their farm.
Although the Gospel was rarely preached at Orley’s church, God was already at work in his life. Through a casual affiliation with another nearby church, Orley first heard the Gospel as a young teenager at an old-fashioned tent meeting.
“I was touched by the message and the singing that night,” says Orley. “I knew I should give my life to Christ, but I didn’t. I resisted and said no. It’s amazing the Lord ever picked me up again.”
After that Orley began to follow more and more in the footsteps of his older brothers and this only led him further away from tug of the Holy Spirit. Soon he developed a serious drinking problem.
At the age of 23 Orley moved north to the rugged Peace River country of Alberta to begin a welding and blacksmith business. It was there that he met a young schoolteacher named Yvonne – the woman he would one day marry.
Missionary Introduces Yvonne to Christ
Yvonne recalls that, as a young girl, a visiting missionary came through town and held a meeting at one of the few local churches. Yvonne attended at the invitation of a friend and even made a casual commitment to Christ that night.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing,” says Yvonne. “I responded because I believed what she said even though I didn't understand it all at the time. And then afterwards my family made fun of me and that only made matters worse.”
That experience put an end to Yvonne’s church attendance until, oddly enough, she met and married Orley Campbell.
Orley describes themselves in those early years of their marriage as “churchy people who still didn’t understand a thing about who the Lord was.” He adds, “I was doing a lot of drinking then and this was putting a lot of stress on Yvonne and our marriage.”
Yvonne is quick to agree. “After we got married I started going to church quite regularly, but Orley didn’t go with me that much. Often the Holy Spirit moved me to the point of tears. But I didn’t realize what was happening to me and no one ever asked why I was crying. Orley would sometimes talk about heaven, but for some reason I still couldn’t relate to that.”
Family Moves to British Columbia
The Campbell children were soon invited to a pancake breakfast at the Baptist church and through that first invitation on of them began attending the Youth group there.
"I went to church quite regularily at that time and the Holy Spirit continued to move me,” Yvonne recalls. “I kept wishing Orley was there too, but I really needed it as much as he did.” She was right. She did need to be there and one Sunday night, a few months later, she spoke with the pastor and he prayed with her to accept Jesus into her heart.
Yvonne explains about that evening: “I didn’t understand it all at the time, but when I went to bed that night I asked Jesus if He was real, then to show Himself to me. When I awoke the next morning I really did feel like a new creation. I was so happy, the sky looked bluer, the flowers were a deeper hue and I loved everybody I met. I just knew I was a new creation and I knew Jesus was alive!”
They Both Yield Their Lives to Jesus Christ
But Orley admits he still struggled with God and stubbornly held on to his bad habits. “Finances were often very tough for us, and I was always drinking,” he confesses. “I felt terribly guilty about these things, but I never once asked the Lord to help me.”
Almost a year later Orley finally came to his senses. “I was sitting in a bar one Saturday night and it finally hit me that I couldn’t go on this way even a day longer.”
A man in the bar drove Orley to the minister’s home and despite the late hour he welcomed Orley into his home and prayed with him to accept Christ into his heart. The next day in church Orley publicly confessed his new faith and soon after that he and his youngest son were baptized together. His new life had begun.
Bad Habits Fell Away
That was 31 years ago and Orley and Yvonne’s lives have never been the same. They are still actively serving God in their local church and with mission agencies around the world.
“We would’ve lost our marriage if we had kept on the path we were going,” recalls Yvonne. “I’m so thankful I turned my life over to Christ when I did.”
And the man who kept saying no to God? “The Lord got me by the seat of the back of my pants,” says Orley. I don’t have to struggle knowing God is here. I know He is here because I finally have His peace.”
How about you? Have you come to the place where, like Orley and Yvonne, where yielding the control of your life is something you want to do right now. If so, you can say this prayer and Jesus Christ will come into your heart.
If you prayed this prayer, we would love to hear from you and send you some helpful resources.