Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Open air work still provides one way in which large numbers of folk can be reached with the Gospel. If banners or placards with texts of Scripture are used the passer-by is bound to read them. Why then is so little done in this way nowadays? Those among us from abroad, who will not enter places of worship, are often prepared to listen in the open air.
A young French Roman Catholic teacher, in this country for one year, had been conscious of a spiritual need and thirsted for the truth. She listened to a group of believers in the open air and spoke to one of the sisters. Never having had a Bible or heard the Gospel it was all strange to her, but she came to the assembly Gospel meeting and within two days was saved.
How many others are there who, never having heard of the Saviour, are around our towns and longing to hear that which alone can satisfy their spiritual need? Are we shutting our eyes to our responsibility to them?
It is very sad that various mobile units are not used as much as they could be because of the lack of workers. The need for devoted young people, particularly brethren, is the cry on every hand.
Northern Ireland. Despite the fact that a number of people have lost their lives due to the shootings and bombings in Lurgan since the present troubles began, J. Brown and J. Lennox conducted a good spell of Gospel meetings in the Gospel Hall recently. These were well attended and the interest shown was such that the evangelists continued for ten weeks. During this time a number confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.
E. Wishart and S. Thompson also were encouraged by good numbers during several weeks of meetings at Ballymacashen, Co. Down. All concerned were encouraged to know that some professed to have been saved as a result.
J. Thompson and S. Ferguson preached for nine weeks in the Gospel Hall at Ballykeel. They followed with seven weeks in an Orange Hall at Carginey in the same district. Attendances were fairly good and some professed salvation.
In recent years the assembly meeting in Albertbridge Road Hall in Belfast has decreased in numbers considerably. Moreover being close to one of the troubled areas getting to and from the hall has at times being difficult. After Easter S. Patterson and A. Aicken had a Gospel effort in this hall which was quite well attended. The believers were encouraged as some spoke of being saved as a result of the meetings.
W. Graham and D. Kane had Gospel meetings in a portable hall at Magheragh near the border town of Strabane. This town has been the scene of much trouble and the assembly has found it difficult to continue their witness. The meetings in the portable hall were quite well attended and there were some interesting cases of conversion.
For several weeks J. Noble and A. Aiken preached in the village of Ahoghill. Although these meetings were not large some young folk professed to have trusted the Saviour.
The assembly at Ballinaloob in Co. Antrim has for many years been a real witness in the district and have maintained a Gospel witness in their hall. This was a wooden structure which had stood for more than fifty years. Recently a fine new hall was erected and J. Martin and W. Halliday held a Gospel effort when several professed to have repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.
W. Nesbitt held Gospel meetings in Omagh, where he lives, and in Newtonbreda on the outskirts of Belfast. The weather was rough and this affected the attendances in Omagh but the assembly was encouraged as a number professed to have been saved.
Mid-Scotland. During four weeks in March the assembly in the new town of Glenrothes held a Gospel campaign conducted by J. Smyth. A good interest was maintained throughout, unsaved being present at every meeting. A number made professions of salvation, including children, teenagers and adults. A young man who attended several times without making a decision has since professed to have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. The believers have been greatly encouraged by this evidence of God's blessing among them. The same evangelist commenced another series of Gospel meetings in Inverkeithing at the end of April. An open-air rally was held on the first Saturday afternoon to draw the attention of all to their need of the Gospel. Here again numbers were good and our God was pleased to bless in the salvation of souls.
Southern Scotland. A group of young believers in Lanarkshire have been spending their Saturdays in personal visitation especially on large housing estates. Their object is the sale of copies of the Scriptures and the distribution of Gospel literature, and this has brought many opportunities to speak concerning their Lord.
During February the town of Helensburgh had the benefit of a visit from P. Brandon. The first week was devoted to ministry of the Word for the edification of the believers, and the following two weeks to the preaching of the Gospel. Good numbers attended the coffee mornings arranged in various homes. There were large attendances'at the local academy where some youths were anxious about spiritual matters. There were no seats available at the Saturday evening meetings, the result of much visiting supported by consistent prayer. At least three persons professed to have been saved whilst three were added to the number in fellowship in the local assembly.
Buckinghamshire. The very small assembly at Chalfont St. Peter was very encouraged by the baptism of two believers. It proved a real time of witness as a good company of strangers came in to see this act of obedience to the wishes of the Lord.
Southern Ireland. S. Bargewell and J. Gillett spent a week during May visiting convent schools in the south-east encouraging the teaching nuns to introduce Bible courses during the coming school year. Many doors were opened and a number of good contacts made.