Gospel Work and other Activities
Stephen Baker, Manchester
Midlands and South
The assembly at Eastbourne held a one-day seminar for young people in November 2005 addressing the subjects of witnessing, prayer and Bible study. J. B.Nicholson from Michigan, U.S.A, assisted and the believers were greatly encouraged to host about fifty young folk between the ages of 15 and 30 approximately. As it is likely that future assembly witness (D.V.) will be in the hands of these believers the local saints were thrilled to see their enthusiasm and to hear of the positive results of the meetings. They hope to build on this start and are considering the possibility of a two- or three-day conference to accommodate larger numbers in the future.
The Wallingford Christian Assembly recently engaged Blair Martin for a week of gospel meetings. The meetings commenced with a baptism, when the hall was full, with a good number of unsaved present. These included some adults who had never been to the Gospel Hall before and several unsaved relatives of the young man being baptized. Although the believers were disappointed that there were no professions of faith, they were pleased that there were several unbelievers present on all but one of the nights. The assembly used a new exhibition that they have designed and built for the first time (The “Finding the Way Exhibition”) at the same time as the meetings. The exhibition sets out the plain truths of the gospel in an attractive and eyecatching way. The believers were pleased to see that some of their regular contacts made an effort to come and see the exhibition but they were disappointed that no newcomers came along. Anyone from the Midlands or South of England who wishes to make use of the exhibition should contact Gwyn Cummins on 01491 641026; as the believers would be glad to make it available.
The assembly at Guildford recently ran a Christianity Explored course. They have requested prayer for the following people:
- K & L (both Christians – K goes regularly to an evangelical Church of England, L is fairly young in the faith, but keen to know more).
- S (who is a well established Christian, but wants to refocus on the basics).
- Q Y (she is sympathetic to the gospel).
- J (is in her eighties and disillusioned with church and life in general – she responded to an advertisement in the local newspaper).
- J P and his wife (they are in their twenties).
- L L, S Z and C (three friends of one of the newly-saved believers – these men are in their twenties and are studying for Masters Degrees at Surrey University).
- A-M S (in her twenties, her husband is very anti-Christianity, her father is a keen member of the local Church of England. A-M made a profession of faith at a holiday bible club some years ago and she is keen to learn more).
The believers who gather at Lattimore Road, St Albans, are engaged in work with disadvantaged people. The assembly gospel meeting is arranged around their needs in terms of time (the meeting is at 4.30 p.m. so that they can come, listen, be fed and still have time to book into a hostel for the night); and in character (a short message is given, there are few hymns and food is provided). Some of the believers also do personal work with the same group of people, visiting them, providing hospitality and temporary accommodation in their own homes. As a result there are between four and sixteen unsaved in the gospel meeting each Lord’s Day. There has been some blessing, with at least three being saved and a number baptized.
Cheltenham The assembly at Bethany Hall, Hester’s Way, Cheltenham, have had a very busy month of October starting with special prayer meetings. Then their Annual Conference was followed by special gospel meetings with John Grant, a children’s Holiday Bible Club with Ian Campbell and three Special Creation Presentations at Dean Close School. There was quite an interest shown by various people from around the town and Gloucester. Some opposition came from an evolutionist which was well dealt with by Ian Campbell after the talks. A number of contacts were established which are being followed up by the saints. Unsaved people attended each night of the gospel meetings. The believers are still following up the outreach with prayer and visits to encourage people to come along to the regular Sunday gospel meetings.
Spencer Bridge Road, Northampton A Holiday Bible Club was held during the half-term holiday in October again this year. The believers found it to be an extremely rewarding experience. They were thrilled with the opportunity to share the good news of the Saviour with both children and parents.
Approximately fifty children attended throughout the week. On the Friday evening, parents were invited to an open evening. They were given the opportunity to see what the children had been learning and to hear the gospel.
As a result of Sunday school numbers declining, the assembly at Killamarsh arranged a week of gospel meetings for children and young adults in September. The meetings were based upon the theme of ‘The Rock’ to emphasize the stability which faith in the Lord Jesus brings to otherwise aimless lives. A lot of preparation and prayer led up to the week of meetings. The younger members of the assembly were wholehearted in their commitment to this outreach, and were themselves largely responsible for organising and conducting the work each evening. The response was truly encouraging! Numbers exceeded expectations throughout the week with forty+ on several evenings with ages ranging from three to twenty-three! Behaviour was excellent and participation was enthusiastic. Several former Sunday School pupils attended and the gospel was presented in clear, concise and challenging terms. As a result, it was decided to continue the work each Wednesday evening, and up until writing the numbers have remained consistently between thirty-five and fortyfive. A number of parents attend regularly and several teenage girls are now coming to the gospel meeting on Lord’s Day.
- Wallingford Pray for two men who had not been inside the hall for quite some time, one in particular is very burdened about his sin.
- Pray for several teenagers, including one from a difficult home, who has professed before but is probably not yet saved.
- Pray for an alcoholic man who claims to have been converted as a boy.
- Remember also two other older men who hear the gospel very regularly, but seem to be impervious to the message.
- Cheltenham Prayer is requested for a middle-aged lady who got saved before the gospel meetings started, that the Lord will help her with her many problems and that the Lord will save her husband.
- Northampton Please continue to pray that seed sown in the Holiday Bible Club will continue to grow, and that souls will be saved.
- Killamarsh Please pray particularly for ‘G’, a bank manager who brings his daughter along to the weekly children’s meeting. He is showing interest and asking questions which are evidence of more than just curiosity.
Larkhill Gospel Hall, Liverpool, held a week of children’s meetings. The meetings included teaching about the wonder of creation to counteract other views presented in schools. The focal point of the meetings were gospel messages from various miracles in John’s Gospel. Following the meetings the children engaged in a craft activity which was linked to the relevant day of creation. A web site (www.summerspecial.co.uk) has been used, which the children have been encouraged to access to remind them of the messages.
Whilst attendance was not as strong as previous years, it was felt that the children listened very well and a quality time was enjoyed allowing the believers to get to know the children on a one-to-one basis. The believers were very grateful for help and support provided from other assemblies in Liverpool, Swinton and Bromborough.
The believers at Larkhill took the young people’s group away to Knock Christian Centre, Cumbria, for four days at the end of August – See picture above. Jim McMaster presented a series of gospel messages and the young people were very attentive; their interest was shown in various conversations.
- Larkhill, Liverpool Please pray that new contacts will be maintained and that children will continue to attend the Sunday school and children’s meeting.
- Please pray that young people will see the need to be saved and that those who profess salvation will go on to obey and serve the Lord.
- Pray for wisdom as the believers recommence Bible Studies for the young people after the summer break.
At the start of the new school year the weekly Toddler Time resumed. Numbers have remained consistently in the high teens which has been encouraging. Some of the ‘original’ toddlers have now started at the nursery in the local school but their places have been taken up with new mums bringing their children.
Another series of Friday Night Focus meetings commenced in October and this season the subjects are based on ‘future events’. The attendance has been excellent as has been the ministry and the Q & A sessions that follow the ministry.
The fellowship at Treboeth, Swansea, has enjoyed a very encouraging period over the past six months. The assembly has tried some new methods of evangelistic outreach such as a Family Barbeque in the summer and a Harvest Lunch in October. Children and parents from the Sunday school and youth work attended these events and as a result of these times of ‘bridge-building’ a father in his early forties was later saved. An older lady who has attended the family gospel service for many, many years has also made a profession of faith. The fellowship is pleased to see a good number still attending the Sunday School and youth work and recently three unsaved families have started attending the Family Gospel Service.
About five years ago, a monthly Youth Rally was established at the Gospel Hall in Neath to provide a platform for basic teaching for young teenagers in the area. Since that time, the ministry has developed and the Rally now meets in several participating assemblies in the area stretching from Swansea through to Bridgend with up to sixty or seventy present at each event. At a recent rally, a young girl in her teens was saved which was a great encouragement to everyone present. Please pray for these rallies that they may be used to spur on and equip the rising generation.
Swansea and District Assemblies Camp which is now in its 50th year met again in the summer down in the Gower. The Camp which runs for two weeks – one week for girls, one week for boys – proved to be a time of blessing yet again with many making professions of faith. Please pray for this work.
The assembly at Pantyffynnon was pleased to baptize three young people in November. Please pray for this encouragement and that these young people will grow in their faith.
- Treboeth, Swansea Pray and praise the Lord for their recent times of encouragement that the Lord will continue to bless.
Lanarkshire Gospel Work
Ian Jackson was the evangelist at Greengairs and Kirkmuirhill where the summer efforts were concentrated. The meetings were preceded by much prayer and widespread tract distribution. Greengairs is a former mining village, where the believers have had an active testimony for many years. Over the three weeks as many as forty-three unsaved folks came to hear the gospel. One woman attended on seven different nights, and others came more than once. As far as the believers know there were no conversions, but one woman was restored and is now back in fellowship. Later in the year, a teenage girl was baptized. The meetings then moved to Kirkmuirhill and Blackwood, where the believers also have a good testimony. More young teenagers were present here, but not so many unsaved adults until the last few nights. Some who had attended on past occasions simply said they were not coming to hear the gospel. However, unsaved people were present each evening. The believers are not aware of anyone coming to faith in Christ, but the Lord knows the hearts of all. During the six weeks, a time of prayer, then open-air witness, preceded the gospel meetings each night. A number of assemblies gave help and support, taking the responsibility for street preaching. Tract distribution and door to door work in Coatbridge, Uddingston and Chapelhall over the six weeks was conducted by Roy Marshall with other brethren giving much appreciated help. The contacts that were made will be followed up.
Fife and Tayside
The assembly at Kennoway had a special outreach weekend in June, with open-air meetings on the two afternoons. Bert Cargill of St. Monans gave talks on Creation/Evolution on three evenings. The subjects were entitled ‘Time to look at the Evidence’, ’Time to consider the Alter-natives’ and ‘Time to choose for yourself’. All the messages contained a serious gospel emphasis, and the assembly was en-couraged by the very good attendance each evening. Many folk from the district came to listen, including some unsaved. Free literature was provided (and taken), and opportunities were given for questions. Some personal discussions took place during refreshments at the end of each session. A similar pattern was followed in another weekend in August when Robert Muir was the preacher. Mr. Muir also reported on the Lord’s work in Zambia.
Over the holiday period, several assemblies reached out with the gospel at local fairs and gala days. At St. Monans good contacts were made at the harbour on ‘Sea Queen Day’ where about one thousand people passed the bookstall and read the large texts. At Arbroath at the ‘Sea Food Festival’, a large crowd was out in good weather and many heard a presentation of the gospel and received a copy of a specially prepared tract. At the Perth Show, a bookstall was manned over the three days and a good interest was shown by many.
Some children’s Holiday Clubs were held during a week of the school holidays. Good numbers attended at Lochee, Dundee, Abbott Hall, Dunfermline, and St. Monans, with many parents attending the final meetings in most cases. The week of outreach in early August at St. Andrews with Jim McMaster was well supported and a lot of work was done to sow the seed in the busy town among young and old, with meetings in the open air and in the Gospel Hall. Tracts were distributed widely including many of the coastal and inland towns south of St. Andrews where gospel witness is scarce. Later in the year the assembly at Tayport had four weeks gospel meetings. Stephen Grant and Blair Martin preached God’s word in a simple and powerful way. Meetings for children were well attended and some good contacts were made. The attendance by adults at the meetings did not match the promises made, but a few unsaved people did come in and were challenged by the messages given.
Aberdeenshire and the North East
For four weeks during July and August, the evangelist, Dan Gillies had his tent in Newmachar and then Blackburn, near Aberdeen. A good number of children, and a few parents, came to the children’s meetings. Others were brought to the later gospel meetings mainly from Aberdeen. Brethren from the Fountain Hall assembly shared in the meetings - Graeme Smith with the children at Newmachar, where he has since commenced a weekly children’s meeting, and Eddie Lamont with the children in Blackburn, where he conducts a weekly children’s meeting in the local school. In Blackburn, Iain Lewis and Paul McLarty shared the adult gospel meetings with Dan Gillies on alternative evenings. At Newmachar, the tent ridgepole snapped in high winds. In the mercy of God this happened in the afternoon, and no one was injured. The pole was repaired and the tent was ready in time for the gospel meeting. A woman in her twenties, who in the past suffered from drug addiction, professed salvation after one of the Blackburn meetings at which Alex McLean from Peterhead had given his testimony.
Although, generally speaking, this year’s northern summer weather was not very good, the brethren from Cullen are very thankful to report that their yearly district open-air and tract work was completed, very unusually, without missing a night. The Forres assembly was also able to complete their annual tracting of seventeen towns and villages in Moray, and a large part of the town of Forres. Sam Matthews reports that letters of thanks and appreciation are still coming in from those who have received the Words of Comfort booklets. One lady has asked for some Strength for the Day leaflets to use in her work among the sick and bereaved.
George Forbes spent the last week in October with the assembly in Cullen. In a well attended monthly meeting in Portknockie on Lord’s Day evening he told how he came to know the Saviour, advertised as How John 3.16 Changed My Life. Children’s meetings were held each evening from Monday to Thursday. A lad brought much joy to all by trusting the Lord Jesus after the second meeting. A visit to the local school was arranged, something that the assembly had not tried before, but will certainly be repeating, Lord willing, as brother George was so well received.
- Lanarkshire Gospel Work. Pray that there will be blessing on the seed sown.
- In general Pray that the work of the gospel over the summer will know the blessing of the Lord.
The assembly at Lurgan convened its annual Conference and Bible Readings from October the 8th to the 13th. The meetings consisted of ministry of the word, Bible readings, missionary reports and gospel messages. The ministry was varied and the Bible readings covered 1st John. There was a good attendance with the hall being consistently filled and up to 600 present on some occasions. The saints were edified, encouraged and instructed.
Kilkenny and Waterford
David Wilson reports on his gratefulness to God for the opportunities he has had over the past couple of months. He was able to get into a local school in Kilkenny for the first time and conduct a five-week Bible Explorer program (Walk through the Bible), to three separate classes consisting of nearly one hundred children. The value of school’s work was really impressed on him as he was given the authority and respect of a teacher. The children listened and participated well, and were full of questions. The opportunity for him to mix with teachers in the break room was an added benefit also. He states that ‘the outreach in Waterford continues to be an encouragement. Every week we have good opportunities to speak to people door to door, and trust that God will bless the seed that is being sown for the salvation of souls. We have completed our study of Acts and have now begun the book of Romans, and are greatly encouraged by the numbers coming out. Some are from other evangelical churches, but are hungry for the word and we are glad to be a help to them’.
‘We have designed our own calendar this year for distribution in both Kilkenny and Waterford. All of the pictures are scenes of Ireland, and we have two gospel messages included on the inside covers. The back cover has an offer for free literature and we have also included on every page the web address of a new gospel web site that we are working on. The plan is to have a new gospel message listed there every three weeks, and to also display the web address on all the literature we distribute. The internet allows people the anonymity of investigating who we are, and we pray that God will use it to touch hearts.
The assembly in Aughrim, Londonderry, have been holding open-air gospel meetings and distributing gospel tracts during the summer. Children’s meetings were well attended as were ministry meetings by Mr Peter Brandon on ‘The Person and work of the Holy Spirit’. The believers were really encouraged when in September nine saints were baptized. Six of these have since been received into the fellowship of the assembly. In October a series of gospel meetings were held. The preacher was Joe Baxter of Scotland. Many good contacts were made and a good foundation was laid for future blessing. The assembly in Aughrim has over eighty saints in fellowship and would appreciate prayer for their preservation and blessing.
- Kilkenny. Please pray that David Wilson will be able to get into additional schools in the Kilkenny area in the future.
- Pray that the website will be a fruitful tool for the gospel.
- Aughrim. Pray for the protection and blessing of the believers in the assembly.
SNIPPETS OF NEWS AND INFORMATION
- Two weeks of gospel meetings were held in Basingstoke. The preacher was Jack Hay. Some unsaved were present each night.
- One week of children’s meetings and schools visits were held at Bicester. Stephen Grant was the preacher.
- Al Christopherson and Murray Pratt (of Canada) had five weeks of gospel meetings in Ambrosden, near Bicester, during September. Over one hundred different outsiders attended and there was blessing in salvation.
- There were three baptisms in Bicester during November. Two of these were adult Muslims who have been saved through the gospel meetings here.
- A young lady who was counting the cost after a Christianity Explored course which was held at Osborne Road, Northampton, has accepted the Lord as her Saviour and is keen to obey Him in everything. She has asked to be baptized and to come into fellowship. It is refreshing and encouraging for the believers when you see the real work of the Spirit of God in people’s lives.
- The 10th annual Yorkshire Bible Study Week was held at Sneaton Castle Centre, Whitby, with Jim Baker of Hamilton, Scotland, as the speaker. Over seventy believers enjoyed the helpful teaching and fellowship.