Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

NORTHERN IRELAND  

CO ANTRIM Teenies. D. Gilliland and J. Fleck had eight weeks of gospel meetings and were encouraged by a full tent each night. A good number of unsaved attended and one young man recently saved, brought along another who professed salvation. Several assemblies in Antrim had a special week of meetings for children. The scriptures were taught and the gospel made known in a clear and simple way.

Millbrook-Larne. Meetings by R. McKeown and W. Fenton ended with several having professed faith in Christ.

CO LONDONDERRY Quilly. J. Martin and W. Martin completed ten weeks of gospel meetings in the gospel hall. The district was well visited and quite a number from the locality came into the hall for the first time. The Christians have been encouraged by a number professing to be saved.

Portstewart. H. S. Paisley and W. Fenton had four weeks of gospel meetings in a large portable hall pitched between Portstewart and Portrush. All of the neighbouring assemblies were involved in helping in a variety of ways. Very good numbers attended, including quite a number not accustomed to hearing the preaching of the gospel. The meetings resulted in a number professing to be saved.

CO DOWN Growle. H. Milligan and E. Johnston have completed four weeks of gospel meetings. The assembly here is very small and there have been no gospel meetings in the hall on the Lord’s Day for some years. The interest has been good and God has been pleased to bless in the salvation of one young lady. Others are showing a definite interest.

Banbridge. D. Gilliland and J. Fleck concluded six weeks in the gospel. One boy professed to be saved.

Dundonald. M. Radcliffe and B. Martin (Scotland) had four weeks of gospel meetings. Good numbers attended, with unsaved every evening, and on some occasions up to twenty unsaved were present. The preaching was with power and the gospel was clearly presented nightly. The assembly was greatly encouraged and blessed.

Maze. S. Ferguson and W. Boyd had a series of gospel meetings in a portable hall in association with the Broomhedge assembly. The local interest was disappointing but the word was faithfully preached.

BELFAST AND DISTRICT Cloughfern. I. Jackson concluded four weeks of gospel meetings. A number of unsaved, including many strangers were present. One woman and man professed faith in Christ, neither of these have previous assembly connections. The assembly has had good support from other assemblies and rejoice in souls being saved.

Parkgate Ave. J. Baxter (Scotland) has had the joy of seeing one woman and one man saved during some weeks of meetings. The saints have been encouraged by seeing some present who do not normally attend meetings and one person commented that they have never heard the plain gospel before. Brother Baxter had a very warm reception in the area, with access into many homes.

The assembly at Lower Castlereagh enjoyed a week’s ministry on Romans from brother Randy Amos of Rochester, New York.

CO ARMAGH Drumsollen. H. Wilson and J. Rodgers held gospel meetings in a local brother’s home. The meetings were extremely well attended, with many neighbours from the area attending.

SCOTLAND

DUNFERMLINE Abbot Hall. The August Children’s Holiday Club Programme reported in our last issue was part of the Mission 2000 Outreach undertaken by the assembly – a week’s intensive programme held for the third consecutive year in the Wellwood area of the town. As well as the Children’s Holiday Club, each evening a Youth Programme was held which included games and an audio-visual formatted epilogue to present the gospel to the teenagers. It was a challenge to control and manage some of the extremely difficult youngsters intent on causing disruption; but some listened well and we know of those who were very near to trusting the Lord for whom, in particular, prayer continues. On the Wednesday afternoon, a Senior Citizens’ programme, including afternoon tea, was arranged, many were transported from various homes and residencies. It was a memorable occasion and an opportunity to present the gospel. The week concluded with the final Sunday’s Family Service and Award Ceremony for the Children’s Club. A capacity crowd of children, parents, grandparents and families gathered with the assembly folks in the Community Centre. In November, a Saturday morning reunion was held for the children who attended during the summer; over thirty of the children attending.

FIFE Kennoway. For the last ten years the assembly has convened two outreach weekends each year, with the help of some believers from the surrounding areas. These opportunities to witness in the open air have been very encouraging. During 2002, A. Pollard and R. Marshall helped out on these occasions. It is possible that such opportunities may be restricted by legislation in the future.

During the last six months, the town and surrounding villages have been tracted. In addition, some young Christian friends helped with the distribution of tracts in Cupar, a medium sized town with no assembly witness. The response has been interesting. Rather than the usual apathy, a few wrote in to the local paper to criticise the gospel message contained in the tracts. This gave opportunity to respond to their comments and meant that all readers could again be reminded of the good news of salvation. Pray that this will stimulate an interest in the hearts of many. Further encouragement came in the form of the recent attendance of a number of local people at various meetings of the assembly. We trust that these and further links with the community will bear fruit.

Aberdour. G. Meikle and R. Marshall held gospel meetings in the village of Aberdour on Monday evenings during October, November and December. These were the first such meetings to be held in the area. Saints from nearby assemblies supported the gospel effort and brought some unsaved relatives. At the very first meeting two women from the village attended. Each home in the area was visited, although the response at the doors was generally poor.

ENGLAND

MIDLANDS Solihull. The assembly in Solihull held a Holiday Bible Club and invited I. Cooper to speak to the children. He spoke on various subjects relating to the Lord Jesus and a good number of quality contacts were made. Almost half of the children who came were new to the meetings and many good con-versations were had with parents who were given coffee when they collected their children. In addition to this, the assembly convened a family service on the Lord’s Day morning after the breaking of bread meeting and have been most encouraged by the number of unsaved attending.

BERKSHIRE Reading. Keith Bullock reports: The open-air meetings were most encouraging and the response in Reading was particularly thrilling this year. In the past, we have found this to be a very hard place, but this time we saw far more receptive hearts and many willing to listen. One of the highlights of the week was the support we had from a number of believers. One brother travelled all the way from Wiltshire to stand with us and do personal work. Others joined us during their lunch breaks and on the Saturday. We were amazed when a large number of folk joined with us from assemblies in Ash Vale, Bracknell, Chobham and Reading itself. In all, there must have been about twenty-five believers one afternoon who stood and witnessed openly to the saving grace of our Saviour. We were there for about four hours as large numbers of people went about their shopping in the main street. It was tremendous to see these dear Christians (many of them young people) sharing their faith with passers by, or with those who had stopped to listen to the preaching. Dozens of meaningful conversations took place with a wide variety of people throughout that afternoon and the week, many of whom we even got to know by name!

Oh that our assemblies would look back to their roots and discover that many of our forefathers did this kind of work almost as naturally as breathing. Many say it’s not for our time and generation it’s too old fashioned. They say it’s not politically correct or honouring to the gospel. I believe that all these arguments, and many more, are the lies of Satan that much of the church has swallowed. If every town and city in our nation had a regular open-air witness going on, then people would take note that God is still very much alive and the gospel is still relevant.

SOMERSET Bristol. Brother Keith Keyser of Pennsylvania, USA, spent a week in the south west with much appreciated ministry in Coleford, Pensford, Bath, Bristol and Cheltenham and in the north east at North Shields.

Bath. Since the beginning of the new school term, the believers at Manvers Hall, Bath have been greatly encouraged by the interest shown in the children’s and young people’s work. Numbers have been extremely good in the Sunday School, the Tuesday Club and the Bible Class. Many of the children are showing a great interest in learning memory verses and listening to the word of God. At the end of August, several thousand leaflets were delivered to local homes and to contacts from the Easter Holiday Club. In addition, the young people’s workers visited the homes of many of the families. This proved to be an invaluable time, with the believers being invited into most of the homes and many good conversations were had. Pray that what was said might remain with people and that these contacts might be further developed. Other regular activities continue within the assembly, including outreaches among the over sixties, fortnightly services in the hospital, a parent and toddler group and weekly visits to the many homeless living in the city. In all of this, there are many who are being contacted and the saints are praying that many of these would be saved

GLOUCESTER Cheltenham. The young people of the assembly conducted a six week Children’s Special on a Wednesday evening in an effort to reach the wider circle of this age group in the Hesters Way Estate. On some of the Lord’s day afternoons a Family Service outreach will be held in an attempt to get unsaved under the sound of the gospel. The assembly are encouraged by the good number of unsaved attending the gospel meeting each Sunday and are praying for the breakthrough of the Holy Spirit in salvation.

DEVON Plymouth. After nine years of negotiations the assembly meeting at West Hill finally exchanged contracts for a piece of land where a new hall will be built to replace the present building at West Hill. In the will of the Lord, building will commence during the first half of 2003. In recent months, several young people and some children have professed faith in Christ and three others have been baptized.

CORNWALL St. Austell. After the sudden homecall of his much loved and esteemed wife Gwen on May 18th 2002, our brother Peter Brandon recommenced his public service at the end of September and the beginning of October. He gave ministry over a weekend in Wales, followed by gospel work in St. Austell in Cornwall. The ministry was warmly received and was characterized by spontaneous prayer as the brethren were moved by what had been presented to them. The two weeks of gospel preaching were spent working alongside the small assembly in their weekly activities. All were thrilled to hear the confession of three teenage girls during the week and the desire of a fifteen-year-old lad to be baptized. On the first Saturday, an older lady from the town of Fowey was baptized, a large number of her family being present to witness her confession of Christ. Some of these were backslidden believers. The sister has since come into fellowship giving great joy to the assembly. Con-versations were had with a number and one woman in particular was spoken to on three occasions being deeply convicted but still, as yet unsaved. Peter helped out with the first outreach meeting to be held in the now closed assembly hall in the town of Falmouth. After distribution of over a thousand leaflets, it was a real answer to prayer to see forty listening to a word on the Lord’s return at the meeting on the Saturday evening. Much time was spent in prayer sessions and the assembly has been greatly strengthened by the visit and encouraged to sense God at work again in their midst. Mr Brandon now faces four months of service in ministry and gospel in the Republic of South Africa. He commences in January and continues until the end of April, in the will of God. Not having Gwen alongside him as he travels many miles and visits many assemblies will be a great handicap. The first time he was there was in 1976. God provided revival experiences that saw many hundreds saved. Many of these folk now pray that it will happen again on this visit. The assemblies are much weaker and the country’s economy is failing. Earnest prayer is requested both for our brother and for the assemblies that he will visit.

WALES

BRECON Panyffynnon assembly held their annual conference on Bank Holiday Monday with speakers Malcolm Radcliffe and Colin Lacey. Malcolm Radcliffe continued in ministry for a further two nights.

SWANSEA An interesting report from the Swansea mobile unit tells of an open-air meeting with the Porthcawl assembly. Held in the main street of the seaside town on a sunny Saturday afternoon a good crowd heard the gospel message. Some interesting contacts were made, among them a widowed Jewess who was a backsliding believer. She was in tears as she heard the message preached and was spoken to by a sister. She said she had been thinking of coming back to the Lord and the message had been a real blessing to her. Pray that she makes that step.

Treboeth Assembly had four nights of ministry with our brother Peter Brandon. Many from other assemblies also attended and were greatly challenged regarding the power of witness today.

THE VALLEYS The assembly at Nantgarw tell of three girls from their Sunday School being saved at the Summer Camps - they give God thanks as much prayer has been made for them. They all come from non-Christian families. The assembly at Caerphilly reports that they have had good numbers at their Friday Night Focus meetings and Saturday Night Ministry Meetings. The assembly continues to feel that God is blessing them especially when they look back to the opportunity taken of having a stall at the Caerphilly Big Cheese Event - 70000 people attend - 2000 Seed Sowers were given out, 3000 gospel leaflets that include a potted history of the town and many brochures that give details of Postal Bible School lessons.

CARDIFF The Cardiff Assembly Camps have reported that many children professed faith at the summer camps - they continue to follow up the children and their prayer is that they will continue to follow the Lord

The Cardiff Assemblies Rallies - now known as Blaze report that good numbers of young people are attending each Saturday - they desire that these young people will grow in the things of the Lord and that they will be the future of the assemblies in this area

The Cardiff Missionary Conference held during November was very well attended with reports being given by Peter Ferry, Ronnie Skene and Andrew Turkanik a report was also given by the Editors of Echoes.

The assembly at Llandaff North tell of a man who was saved as receiving a gospel tract in Cardiff city centre from an unknown source. As a result he was saved and is now attending the assembly at Llandaff North and has desired to be baptized. He is on fire for the Lord bringing friends and family to the meetings.

The assembly at Treforest reports that a student from the University of Glamorgan who has been attending the gospel meeting was recently saved. They give God thanks for her clear statement of faith.

Farid Abou–Rahme – ‘and God said’. I still remember when this book was first published, we were praying that the Lord will guide and help for five translations in five years! The Lord has more than doubled the figures we had anticipated: He is a great God; praise His Name. In Texas, the book is being used as a text book in one of the schools; in Hong Kong, copies of the book in classical Chinese have been distributed to all students graduating from some high schools as prizes; in Jordan at the moment the Arabic book is being given to every student at one of the schools; in Romania, the second printing of 4000 copies sold out within months of publication; Polish, Hungarian and Bulgarian are printing now; the Ukrainian translation has started aiming at young students in Ukraine who do not speak Russian; both Chinese translations are nearly sold out and the English is in its sixth printing as I write.

My wife’s new job involves managing staff from other religions. There is so much thirst for the real Christian faith and the Lord has opened many doors for witnessing. One of the questions that come up is ‘creation or evolution’ and one staff member from another religion is now reading the book and asking many questions about salvation. Please pray for this delicate but wonderful situation.

During the past year, the Lord opened many doors and I was able to give twenty-five Creation/Science/Flood talks always with a clear gospel message at the end. More than 2500 people attended and many were students at University or A Level colleges. Some, including people from other religions, have never heard evidence for creation and many have never heard the way of salvation. Many buy copies of the book after such lectures to read or give to unsaved friends.

At the end of the University lectures, I gave out my email address. This has opened a new door with many opportunities to correspond with people and answer queries about creation and, more importantly, about salvation.

Please pray that more opportunities will unfold, especially amongst students and that the Lord’s name will be glorified as believers are encouraged to take the Bible seriously; and souls accept the Creator as their personal Saviour. Evolution is a stronghold of Satan, and can only be brought down through the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Although this work keeps me very busy alongside my secular work, it is wonderful to see the how the Lord is blessing.