Gospel Work and other Activities
Stephen Baker, Manchester
ENGLAND: MIDLANDS AND SOUTH
An outreach in Towcester (Northamptonshire) was well supported by local assemblies. Dozens of unsaved were present to hear Ian Jackson of Eastbourne speak on ‘Can an Intelligent Person still believe in the Existence of God?’. This was a follow-up to a Seed Sowers event in the town last year arranged by the Bicester assembly.
Two weeks of tent meetings took place in Newbury starting on the 29th of May 2006. Ian Jackson and Dan Gillies were the preachers.
Joe Baxter concluded two weeks of gospel meetings in Park North, Swindon, in early May. He then went on to have gospel meetings in The Grove, Ealing, during the first three weeks in June.
Nitish Patel had two weeks of gospel meetings in Belmont Hall, Harrow, in the latter part of April. A few outsiders were present.
A Seed Sowers effort in Buckingham organized by the Bicester assembly brought together thirty-five young people over Easter. There were eleven replies out of about five thousand texts distributed. These have all been followed up with literature.
'PROCLAMATION' - ROYAL BATH AND WEST SHOW - 31st May - 3rd June 2006
In early June the annual outreach was undertaken at the Royal Bath and West Agriculture Show. This work has continued for many years, and brethren and sisters from the local area of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset joined together to invite people into a huge marquee for refreshments and an opportunity to rest.
This year the display was on John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which proved a good starting point for numerous conversations that took place around the tables in the marquee. Good weather this year was a real blessing, making it possible to give out over 5,000 gospel tracts to the passers-by. The children’s area was filled for a greater portion of the time as children took part in a quiz and there were colouring-in activities for the younger ones. The marquee was frequently full and hundreds of cups of free tea, coffee and squash were dispensed along with sweets for the children. A bookstall also meant that Bibles and other Christian literature were available to be purchased.
One of the features of the work over the years has been the good contacts made with the traders. These were renewed and some even sought out the location of the marquee and made themselves known again. This gave the opportunity for practical witness and assistance. Many conversations were held with backsliding believers, others who had been brought up in Christian homes but had never believed, and many who have never trusted Christ. We leave before the Lord all the conversations and tracts distributed and seek His continued blessing on the furtherance of the gospel and its effectiveness.
^^^ PRAYER POINTS ^^^
- Please pray with the believers in Northampton that the experience will really challenge them to be bolder and more effective in their witness for the Lord.
- Pray for those who heard the gospel in Northampton that God will save them.
- Pray that the Lord will bless the outreach which took place at the Royal Bath and West Show.
pencer Bridge Road, Northampton
On Saturday May 27th 2006 the assembly at Spencer Bridge Road, Northampton, held a workshop on the subject of evangelism. It was entitled ‘Evangelise!!! - who, me?’ and was led by Jim McMaster. The event commenced at 10.00 and the morning consisted of sessions on ‘The Real Motive for Evangelism’, ‘The Important Message’ and ’Some Effective Methods of Personal Evangelism’.
After lunch there was a practical session entitled ‘Let’s do it!!!’, followed by tracting, open-airs and other outreach activities. This was followed by tea and an informal feedback session. There were over seventy present and in the afternoon three groups were arranged. One group went into the town centre for open-air preaching, sketchboard evangelism, a ‘Good Test’ competition, surveys, tracting and conversations. A great time was enjoyed with a large crowd gathering at times. Ten other believers door-knocked over two hundred houses near the Hall, while the third group distributed two thousand tracts with an invitation to a gospel PowerPoint presentation. This was advertised as, ‘The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth’. The aim was to compare the truth of the gospel with the half truths of the Da Vinci Code book and film.
Jim McMaster ministered the word on Saturday evening and on the Lord’s Day afternoon and presented the gospel in the evening. One young man came into the meeting as a result of the door knocking. A couple were brought in off the street and promised to come again. Another couple came for the third time. In addition to this a member of the justice system (who has now been attending meetings for some weeks) came into the meeting as well. These contacts had been made by our brother Howard Hughes, who was recently commended by the assembly to fulltime service in the locality. Lengthy conversations were held with all of these people and all promised to come again. Some other regulars also attended.
All present were conscious of the Lord’s presence and felt deeply challenged about the responsibility of sharing the gospel effectively. Some participated in an evangelical activity for the first time and this encouraged them in personal work. Hundreds were challenged with the gospel. A number listened to the preaching of the gospel in the Hall. The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified and eternity will reveal the effectiveness of the day’s exercise. It was a weekend to be remembered!
The Lancashire Gospel Tent
The Lancashire Gospel Tent (LGT) has been taken back this year to two locations where the Lord has previously blessed the preaching of the word. The first was during the month of June at Platt Fields Park, Manchester, which is situated close to many of the University campuses. This was the fourth time the tent had been erected in this park. Four weeks of meetings were arranged to reach the general public with the gospel. Norman Mellish from Stoke-on- Trent preached the gospel for the first week; the following three weeks’ meetings were taken by Ian Jackson from Eastbourne with help from Paul McCauley of Belfast. On specific evenings each week special subjects were addressed, for example Ian Jackson preached on the following subjects: ‘What is Man? - Our Origin’; ‘What is Man? - Our Purpose’; ‘What is Man? - Our Destiny’. Children’s meetings were held in the middle two weeks of the campaign. These were the responsibility of David Raggett from Wythenshawe.
The assembly at Bromborough, on the Wirral, invited the LGT to return to their village for the month of July. Robin McKeown of Ballymoney had the responsibility for the adult meetings. Two weeks of children’s meeting were held. Ian Campbell of South Shields was the evangelist for these meetings.
The City of Liverpool
Please pray for outreach activities in Liverpool planned in the will of the Lord:
- The believers at Larkhill Gospel Hall are held a week of children’s meetings from 24th until 28th July.
- David Street Gospel Hall held a week of children’s meetings from 7th until 11th August.
- The assembly meeting at Bethany, Huyton, are planning a week of children’s meetings from 21st until 25th August.
- Larkhill Gospel Hall is also planning a holiday for their young people’s group at Bassenfell Christian Centre, Cumbria from 28th until 31st August. Stephen Baker has been invited to deliver a series of gospel messages to the young people over the course of the holiday.
- Pray for the Lord’s help in the practical arrangements and for those who have the responsibility of presenting the word of God to the children and young people. Pray that the Lord will bless in the saving of precious souls.
(Many of these meetings had not finished when this report was written. We look forward to reporting on the Lord’s blessing in the meetings).
For two weeks in March, Stephen Grant of Bridge of Weir held gospel meetings of a slightly different kind at the Gospel Hall, Mill Hill, Blackburn. For ten nights a thirty-five minute PowerPoint presentation on different subjects was given. The following subjects were amongst those that were taken up: ‘Jesus Christ – fact or fiction?’; ‘Who can you trust?’; ‘Death: will I survive?’
The meetings were well advertised and leaflets detailing the subjects were distributed in the area. The first night was a Sunday, and a lady from the locality came and from then on, apart from one evening, she never missed a meeting. She even brought her grandchildren each evening to the special children’s meetings and on one occasion she brought her son to the meeting later in the evening. Pray for ‘C’ – she has been to one gospel meeting since and she is still showing some interest.
On the second evening nine complete strangers came to listen to the subject ‘God – Who is He?’ these included a mother and daughter, the latter was seeking help with her GCSE R.E. studies. She felt that the subject might be helpful as while she was taught a lot about other religions she was given sparse information about Christianity! Sadly, they never came back. Numbers continued well throughout the campaign with unsaved being present every evening.
Children’s meetings were also held for two weeks and between fifteen and twenty were present each evening. Quite a number of boys and girls came who had neither been to the Sunday School nor the weekly winter evening meetings. Since the end of the campaign at least six new children have been added to the Sunday School and they are very regular in their attendance.
The campaign was a great encouragement to the assembly, the gospel was soundly presented each evening and the saints at Blackburn continue to pray that some blessing in the salvation of souls will result.
^^^ PRAYER POINTS ^^^
- Pray for the two campaigns that have been held this year in Platt Fields, Manchester, and Bromborough, Wirral, that the Lord will save souls and that they will be added to local assemblies.
- Pray that the seed sown in Blackburn will bear fruit in many hearts.
The work among the children in Lossiemouth continues to encourage the believers with an average of thirty-five children attending the Sunday Club and a good number of girls at the monthly girls’ class. In addition to this the Scripture Union class at the local primary school has about fourteen pupils attending. Two of the pupils recently confessed that they had trusted the Lord which was a big encouragement to the sisters who do this work in the school and to the whole assembly. The local believers are finding it hard to encourage the townspeople to come to the gospel meeting but the gospel magazine (The Lossie Light) which they distribute three times a year continues to be well accepted, and people often tell them how they have benefited by reading it.
Ian Affleck and Ainslie Patterson had the opportunity to present a report entitled ‘Tsunami’ in the local town hall at Lossiemouth. Although not many fishermen were present the believers were pleased to welcome sixteen of the townspeople into the meeting. They also had opportunity to go to the fishing village of Avoch for the second time. This time there were about thirty local people present. The saints at Avoch would value your prayers with regards to a gospel campaign which they plan to have later in the year.
Dunbar, East Lothian
A portable Gospel Hall has been located in the town of Dunbar again this year. Gospel meetings were held from Saturday 24th June each night for two weeks. Children’s meetings were also held from Monday to Fridays during this period. Stephen Grant and Jim Paterson, Jnr., were responsible for the preaching with Graeme Paterson sharing in the children’s work. Local residents attended well during the meetings last year with some interest shown, and a series of Friday night meetings were held during the winter. Prayer is requested following these meetings for this area which has little evangelistic effort, and is some way from the nearest local assembly.
Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway
Gospel meetings are planned DV in the Gospel Hall from Lord’s Day 3rd September 2006. Robert Miller and Jim Paterson, Jnr., will be responsible for the preaching. There are a number of unsaved attending the weekly Lord’s Day evening meeting and prayer is requested for them and other contacts in the area.
In addition to the weekly gospel meeting, children’s work, senior citizen’s work, open-air witness and tracting, there is also an ongoing work in the schools in this area. Graeme Paterson is responsible for work in the local schools with ‘Bible Clubs’ and assemblies in the Plains village school and in schools in the local town of Airdrie. He is also involved with the local High School with assemblies and other work in preaching the gospel and the distribution of literature. During the year a series of children’s meetings are held in some of these schools and other schools in the area with many children hearing the gospel. There is freedom to present Christ to these children which is a great opportunity, but also a responsibility. There is also the opportunity to distribute literature in the village Roman Catholic School which is unusual in the West of Scotland. This is a demanding work, as many of these children know nothing of the word of God nor have any ‘religious’ background. Prayer is requested for this work.
The school assembly work in Perth has been a great encouragement over the past few years. In May, Robert Plant spent just over a week with the Perth assembly taking twenty school assemblies in fifteen local primary schools. The Head Teachers have been very supportive, and the messages were well received by both teaching staff and pupils. A children’s club held in the evenings was also encouraging.
In Peterhead there are many Eastern European workers who feel they need to learn to speak better English. The assembly has taken the opportunity to help with this by meeting every Tuesday evening with around twenty Latvian and Lithuanian folks to help them with basic English and introduce them to the scriptures and the gospel. The enthusiasm of these foreign friends to come to the hall and learn English, hear the gospel message, and enjoy some hospitality and friendship is most encouraging. The whole assembly is supportive of this work, with some twenty brethren and sisters actively involved, all finding it both enjoyable and rewarding.
The assembly at Forres had two weeks of gospel meetings with Ainslie Paterson and Martin Hunter in April. A number of contacts were made at the doors, but the local adult response to the meetings was poor. A man who is a believer received an invitation, came to some of the meetings, and has continued to attend the other meetings since. A few young people came to some of the meetings and although the behaviour was bad, they heard gospel truths which we pray will touch their hearts.
In Kinross Gospel Hall during the school Easter holidays, a children's Holiday Club was held every morning for a week, and attendance figures reached over fifty. Good attention was given to the messages from the Bible, backed up by suitable activities and crafts. The local believers worked hard and felt their efforts worthwhile.
Please remember in prayer the many camps planned for this summer when many children and teenagers will hear the word of God taught to them on a daily basis for a week at a time. Faskally House, Pitlochry, will be the venue for five different camps from Ayrshire, mid Scotland and Tayside, and the North East. The Fife camp will travel to Suffolk, and others will be in rented schools in central Scotland. Pray that many young people will trust Christ for salvation, and that those who do profess salvation may be challenged to take further steps of faith and obedience to Christ in their teenage years. Much sowing has been done in Sunday Schools, Bible Classes, and Children's meetings in many localities over many years. May the Lord grant a time of reaping to encourage all who labour among the young, that they may be saved and preserved from a godless and evil world. Pray too that camp organisers and leaders may know divine wisdom to deal with problems which often arise, and that all may be kept in safety all of the time.
Prayer is requested for the gospel campaign held in the needy town of Fort William where there is a very small assembly seeking to continue for God. Dan Gillies pitched his tent there and commenced meetings on 8th July.
^^^ PRAYER POINTS ^^^
- Please pray that the gospel which is presented to the people of Lossiemouth through The Lossie Light gospel magazine will be blessed in salvation.
- Please pray for the work that is going on in the schools and among children in Plains and Airdrie.
- Please pray for the work that has been carried on in Perth that the blessing of God would be upon His word.
The assembly at Kingsbridge, Belfast, has finished four weeks of gospel meetings with Terry Topley and Donald Armstrong. The assembly is very small and during the course of the meetings one of the local brethren passed away bringing the number in fellowship down to nine. Despite the obvious disappointment the believers were very encouraged by the number of unbelievers attending and the help that the Lord gave in the preaching of the gospel. This assembly really needs prayer that there would be fruit in salvation.
Meetings commenced in Cardy at the beginning of June. Terry Topley, Clifford Law and Gary Davidson have been preaching at these meetings. This assembly has seen a lot of blessing in recent years. They get a good number of unbelievers in their gospel meetings and are looking to the Lord for more to be saved.
The assembly at Ebenezer Gospel Hall, Portavogie, has been very encouraged by a number of baptisms recently. Some young men have been saved, baptized and added to the assembly and are really putting a lot of effort into the work of the assembly.
Open-airs commenced again at the sea front in Bangor on the 1st of July. There were two sessions every day for a fortnight. This was a great opportunity and many hundreds heard the gospel as a result.
The annual Northfield Tent meetings were held for two weeks in July in Newcastle, Co. Down. The morning ministry was given by John McQuoid and the evening gospel preached by Peter Brandon. The usual large numbers attended and some evenings saw over 1000 present.
^^^ PRAYER POINTS ^^^
- Pray for the assembly in Kingsbridge that they will see souls saved and brought into fellowship.
- Pray that the young men who have been saved recently in Portavogie will be preserved and that the blessing that the assembly has experienced recently will continue.
- Pray for the meetings in Cardy that the Lord would continue to bless the area with salvation.
- Pray that the people who heard the gospel on the sea front in Bangor and in the tent at Newcastle would be saved.
- Pray for those who heard the gospel in meetings that have recently finished in James St., Newtownards, that they would be saved.
The assembly at Treboeth, Swansea, were very encouraged in March when they had a visit from Open Air Mission evangelists Clive Williams and Matthew Edwards with the Bible Exhibition ‘The Amazing Acts’. They were able to go into four junior schools in the five days, and over 500 children went through the exhibition. Both staff and children gave their utmost attention just proving that a story well told and illustrated will still hold the interest of all ages. Some members of the assembly took on the character parts and were thrilled to think that for many of the children it was the first time they had listened to the gospel. The assembly has a regular opportunity to visit one of the schools. They have been invited to visit the others whenever they have another exhibition available.
Jack Hay preached the gospel for three weeks in Nantgarw. Attendance of unsaved people was less than previous years. Prayer is requested for a lady who attended each meeting and the mother of a young sister from Nantgarw, who is now living in Belfast, as it was felt that perhaps she was wrestling with having to make a decision. The support of the saints from other assemblies was appreciated.
The believers in Maesteg have been encouraged in the past few years with up to twenty-five unsaved adults attending regularly and two men having made professions of faith.
The assembly at Dinas Powys did some gospel outreach over the Easter weekend. On the Friday and Saturday evening the meetings were held at the local Parish Hall. The first part of the meeting focused on singing and praise. This was followed by a gospel message by a visiting evangelist. Each night at the Parish Hall there were approximately one hundred in attendance many of whom were not believers. Various people were challenged by the messages given, requesting literature and having long conversations with the speaker after the meetings. The Spirit of God was evidently present at these meetings and we continue to pray that those spoken to will trust the Saviour.
Cambodia Canaan School
A new school venture in Cambodia is being launched. The believers have asked us to mention in the magazine that they are looking for a schoolmaster and teachers to serve in Cambodia Canaan School. Anyone who is interested should email brother Kian Tan at email@example.com
Good progress is being made by the brethren at Bethesda assembly, Colombo, with rehousing many of those who lost their homes in the tsunami.
SNIPETS OF NEWS AND INFORMATION
Seed Sowers in Wales
Brethren local to the valleys have recently received 20,000 packs of Seed Sower materials with a view to distributing them in valley towns where there are assemblies, all of which are small.
The Cardiff camps are coming up in August. They are from the 12th to 19th August 2006. The speaker is Steve Crosthwaite, a Counties worker from the Birmingham area. The second week is from the 19th to 24th August 2006.
DENIS C. HINTON
We note that our brother was called home to glory, after a short illness, on 28th April 2006, aged 84 years.
He was saved in his teens and consecrated his life to the Lord’s service. A devout student of the word and a diligent servant of Christ his godliness and counsel were widely recognized. He was for some years a trustee of Precious Seed and for a time he was editor of the Reports Section of the magazine.
He was much involved in gospel work and was Sunday School superintendant for 32 years. His oral and written ministry were always practical and profitable and he excelled in Bible Readings. Essentially a local assembly man he was a faithful elder for over 40 years in the Uxbridge assembly. He is greatly missed. We remember his widow, Mary, his three children and their families in prayer.
Roy Hill, Chairman of Precious Seed Trust