Gospel Work and other Activities
Stephen Baker, Manchester
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB AT GUILDFORD REPORT
The assembly at Guildford organized a ‘Pyramid Rock’ Holiday Bible Club during the February Half-Term Holiday, for children aged aged from five to eleven years. A core team of four did a marvellous job with the preplanning and organizing of the event and four local schools kindly gave out invitations to their pupils. Children who had attended a similar event last year were sent a personal invitation and many of these came again. There were about fourteen local believers helping with the work each day, with a couple of fellow Christians joining the local believers from the Woodford Green area, and half-a-dozen young people. Ray Tate from the Greater Manchester area worked with the assembly and, he shared God’s word with the youngsters for a one- hour session each day.
The theme of the Pyramid Rock material (supplied by the Scripture Union) is the life of Joseph. The children were reminded of God’s interest in every detail of ther lives, as they were shown how God was with Joseph through all the adverse circumstances of his life, as well as when he was promoted to be Pharaoh’s First Minister. Ray told Joseph’s life-story in such an enthralling way that you could have heard a pin drop throughout the two talks each morning. Fifty-two different children attended during the three days with an average of forty-four children each day.
This year there was a lunch-time meeting for parents and this was well supported with about a dozen mums coming in. All of them were most appreciative of the good time that had been enjoyed by their children.
Fourteen young people attended a session on the Thursday evening and sixteen came for a meal on the Friday evening. The ‘Dilemma’ questions set by Ray on the Thursday raised many issues and a ‘Panel’ on the Friday dealt with nearly forty really thoughtful questions, which had been written down by the young people.
One question which may have had an immediate effect was, ‘When should a Christian be baptized?’ On both evenings the young people were challenged very clearly about their relationship with God and the need for saved people to live holy lives.
Please pray for blessing in the lives of all those who attended, both in the mornings and the evenings. Please also pray that the assembly will be able to maintain contact with the children and their parents through other regular activities.
ENGLAND: MIDLANDS AND SOUTH
Manvers Hall, Bath
The baptistry at Manvers Hall has been opened and used several times over the last few years. The latest baptism was held on March 1st when a young woman called Emma was baptized. She had been coming to the meetings for only a few months but was saved after a Bible study in one of the believers’ homes. The Hall was full and there were about twenty- one visitors and family members who came to see her baptized. Several family members, one of whom was a backslider, were touched by the word and the witness. Do pray for Emma as she turns away from the ‘friends‘ who led her astray and for her family in the days that lie ahead.
Each year, Bath city centre comes to a stand-still on a Sunday morning when the city stages a half-marathon race. Thousands of competitors and their families and supporters descend on the city for several hours. The assembly meeting in Manvers Hall felt it would be good to use this occasion as an outreach. So last year, and again this year, instead of expecting people to come into their 12.00 o’clock Family Service, the believers went out to them. Two thousand tracts were ordered and, after the morning meeting, believers split up into small groups and went into the streets of Bath to distribute them. The tracts were themed to a race and, judging by the few that were discarded after the event, seemed to be well accepted by race-goers. Believers’ children, who remained in the Hall, listened to a Sunday School story, giving any visitor the opportunity to listen to thed word too. It seemed to be a good thing to ‘redeem the time’ in this way and to make use of an ideal opportunity for the distribution of the word to thousands around.
Wainscott Gospel Hall
Two young men both aged fourteen were baptized at Wainscott Gospel Hall at the end of January. The hall was packed with family and friends, both young and old, to witness the baptisms. A clear explanation of baptism was given and a gospel message preached by Graham Cole of the Welling assembly. Both of the young men gave a testimony of how they were saved and why they were obeying the Lord in the waters of baptism before being baptized. What a thrill to see the baptistry open again and these two young men being baptized. It is our earnest prayer that others who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus will also desire to be baptized.
Treasure Seekers, The Grove, Ealing, London
The children’s meetings at the Grove Hall, Ealing, during the October halfterm were very encouraging with seventy-eight different children coming to hear the gospel. Around seventeen parents came to the prizegiving night to listen to the gospel, including a Moslem family whose children have come on previous years. The children were from nearly every corner of the globe and the local saints were reminded of the harvest field that they have on their door step in London.
Wembley Assembly Outreach, London
A Hindu man, Kirit, continues to come to the Monday Gujarati Bible study in Wembley. Once he brought four friends along, two nominal Christians, a Hindu and a Moslem. It was the first time the assembly had so many Gujarati unsaved sitting around the table reading the Bible and learning the truth of the gospel. Sadly, they did not return after hearing the gospel and Kirit told the believers that he was surprised that people do not want to learn more about Jesus. He was in total darkness when he first came thinking that Jesus Christ was an Englishman because Christianity was an English religion. He had never before realized that the Lord was a Jew and that the gospel had spread out from Israel. He has learnt a lot since then and sometimes the saints feel he is so close to being saved, but they wait for the Lord to do the work that only He can do in a sinner’s heart.
The monthly Hindi gospel meeting continues to see good support from various believers and every month unsaved are present including Nitish Patel’s father who now comes regularly. Once again, many tracts were given out for the annual Hindu Diwali parade that goes past the hall in Wembley. Some twenty thousand people line up on Ealing Road to watch the parade which provides an excellent opportunity for sowing God’s word.
Clifton Hall, London
The saints in Clifton are encouraged by the numbers they see attending the hall over the Christmas season. Many parents like to come to watch their children take part in various ways and the local saints are able to seize such an opportunity to preach the gospel. Every year good numbers come to the Watchnight Service. This year around eight outsiders were present including two children. Many Africans in the area are superstitious and believe they must get God’s blessing before a New Year begins so they walk around looking for churches that are open. The local believers find this an excellent opportunity to preach the gospel at midnight like Paul and Silas did in Acts chapter 16.
Street Meetings in Liverpool
There have been regular lunch-time street meetings held in the city for the last eighteen months, with meetings held both at the university campus (during term time) and in the city centre. Since September last year, a further monthly effort has been held on a Saturday to give believers the opportunity to support the work. This has been well attended and the Lord has given help in the presentation of the gospel, personal conversations and the distribution of tracts. There have been those that have opposed the message of the gospel; pray for one man in particular who decided he should stop one street meeting and was very angry at the message being preached. Please pray also for all those that have listened to the gospel and received tracts.
Larkhill Gospel Hall, Liverpool
The believers continue to give thanks to the Lord for a continued interest amongst a group of young people. The group meets every Friday for a gospel message in the hall, which is followed by an activity. The young people, who range in age from fourteen to nineteen years old, give good attention to the gospel; most have been coming for a good number of years. There are a number of young people who have shown a definite interest in the matter of salvation and one has recently made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus; this has been a cause for rejoicing in the assembly.
Also, over the last eighteen months, on a Tuesday, approximately ten boys, most of which come on a Friday as well, meet for a game of football, followed by about an hour of Bible study. Most of the boys are not saved, but seem to enjoy the time. Generally, respect for the word of God has been good, although recently, some of the boys have not given full attention and as such the believers are looking to the Lord to give help and that the boys won’t become hardened to the gospel.
Please pray for the perseverance of the work, but most of all for blessing in salvation of young people who will go on and be added to the assembly for the glory of the Lord Jesus.
Football Outreach at Crete Hall, Anfield, Liverpool
For some time now the saints in Crete Hall have wanted to witness to the supporters who pass by the gates of the hall in Donaldson Street. A group of believers from other assemblies in Liverpool offered to help get this work started. It was decided to offer tea and coffee to fans on their way to the match and to allow them to use the facilities if need be. Over two thousand five hundred leaflets have been given out. There has been a good response both in terms of help and support and from the people that we have been able to talk to as they pass by. Local police know now that we are giving out tea and coffee and so they call when they have a break. Sometimes it can be a bit intimidating mixing with the crowd to give out gospel tracts, so the prayers of the saints would be appreciated.
The assembly at Plains have just finished a week with the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition. During the week there were three hundred and sixty school pupils who attended from schools in the area including primary and secondary children. In addition one of the local High Schools sent their full higher class of sixteen- and seventeen-year-old pupils. The local schools are always impressed with the exhibition. The exhibition complements the school work carried out from the assembly, in the main by Graeme Paterson. He is involved in bringing the gospel to Primary schools in New Monkland and Dunrobin (Airdrie), Glengowan (Caldercruix), Plains, Easthall (Easterhouse), Chapelhall, Mossend (Bellshill), and Caldervale High School (Airdrie), in addition to the weekly meeting in the Elim Gospel Hall. Prayer is requested for this work and also for work planned, DV, in, Salsburgh Gospel Hall which starts soon, and in Plains, Caldercruix, Dunrobin and Salsburgh during the summer holiday period.
The assembly in Kennoway arranges a ‘Friday Focus’ meeting at the end of each month, designed to attract unsaved people to hear the gospel. The one in January was well attended to hear Dr. Teifion Jones of Dundee gave an excellent Power Point present-ation on ‘Darwin – was he right?’. Using as background the much ex-ploited 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. Sound scientific evidence was presented from several disciplines to show that actually he was not right. But evolution theory has become a major ideology promoted and spread for reasons other than scientific, which the speaker showed, fits in with the conclusions of Romans chapter 1 verses 19-25.
Ahoghill, Co Antrim
As a means of outreach, the new local community centre at Ahoghill has been hired to hold some public talks.
These talks have been on topical issues such as Creation/Evolution, the ’59 Revival, etc., and are geared to attract the public from the local village. A number of contacts have been made as a result of these talks. The Community Centre, in addition to the Gospel Hall, has also been used for work among the teenagers of the area and, as well as some activities; then there is a time for Bible instruction.This work is primarily an extension of the established children’s work in the village and it is hoped to maintain and strengthen thie contact with the young teenagers.
Opportunities have opened up in a number of local primary schools for morning assembly and these are wonderful occasions to have the gospel presented to children from four to eleven years of age. By using wisdom and discretion, the stories of the Bible are explained to the children, some of whom would not regularly attend a place of worship.
The second visit of the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition is coming to the Gospel Hall in Ahoghill for a second visit during the second week of May, DV.
Ballymena (Cambridge Avenue)
The assembly was privileged to host the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition in February. Almost six hundred children accompanied by teachers and helpers from eleven local schools visited the exhibition and discovered many wonderful things about the Bible and its message. The quiz after each visit was amazing and showed how much the children had learned about the word of God. Many from the assembly helped over the five days as adults also visited during the afternoon and evening sessions. Local brethren have been able to visit the schools, following the exhibition, to present the prizes and and to participate in school assemblies which has been appreciated.
The Glens of Antrim
A number of brethren from Cambridge Avenue, Gospel Hall, Ballymena, go on a monthly visit to two Nursing Homes in Cushendall and Cushendun, two small villages on the North-East coast of Northern Ireland. They sing hymns and choruses with the residents followed by a gospel message. The staff and residents in these homes are predominately Roman Catholic! The brethren are always made most welcome. This work was started by our late brother Leonard Mullan (Japan).
A number of brethren from the Ballymena area distribute hundreds of Gospel Calendars each year to homes and businesses in the Glenariff Glens and in the seaside village of Waterfoot and other villages.
The Carnlough assembly which was small in numbers for many years has had their prayers answered by five being added in during 2007. As a result of this extra help they were pleased to be able to arrange four weeks of gospel meetings conducted by W. Fleck and A. Colgan and to their delight they had the joy and encouragement of having quite a number of local people from the village come to the meetings and one young boy professed to be saved.
An outreach work is carried on in an outlying area called Creavery. This work started many years ago as a result of house meetings in a believer’s home. A hall was built at Creavery in 1951, but before that in 1942 a Sunday school commenced and still continues to-day. Last year the old building was demolished and a new hall erected in its place which seats over one hundred people. There were six weeks of gospel meetings held in this hall at the commencement of this year and proved to be very fruitful when a good number professed faith in Christ. The Speakers were Willie Fenton and Clifford Law.
Kells Assembly, Co Antrim
Kells and Connor are joint villages situated about four miles south east of the town of Ballymena in County Antrim. The Gospel Hall is situated in the village of Kells.
The assembly was formed very soon after the 1859 revival which started in the village when four men met together in an old schoolhouse to pray, having a deep exercise before God regarding the salvation of their fellow countrymen and praying that God would move in grace and save souls. Their fervent prayers were answered and as a result thousands were saved in County Antrim and further afield both in England, Scotland and the USA. Having studied the word of God they saw the scriptural pattern for all believers as instructed in the Acts of the Apostles, and elsewhere in the New Testament, regarding believers’ baptism and breaking of bread, and although having to bear much verbal and physical persecution continued faithfully as a scriptural assembly.
The first meeting took place on 23rd of September 1860. There were seven believers who sat down to remember the Lord.
On 23rd of February 1875 the assembly moved to a property outside the village known as Ballymacvea and continued there for over eighty years. The older brethren recall a special time of blessing in the area in the 1940s when the late David Craig and William McVeigh erected a tent and commenced preaching the gospel. A good number were saved at that time and added to the assembly.
In 1963 they recognized the need for a larger building and decided to relocate to the village of Kells where a new hall was erected and still serves the needs of the assembly today. At present there are about eighty in fellowship and the assembly is privileged to have not only mature brethren and sisters but a good number of younger members who are exercised to see the work continue and grow.
The assembly carries on a number of activities to try to reach the unsaved. As well as a weekly gospel meeting each Lord’s day there are open-air meetings in the villages during the summer season. Children’s meetings commenced soon after the opening of the new hall and still continue during the winter seasons. These have proved to be an excellent way to reach both adults and children. There are at present about 120 who come on a regular basis to the meeting on a Friday night. There is also a midweek meeting for secondary school pupils aimed at guiding them in these difficult years of life and also at keeping them under the influence of the gospel.
This report is written for the encouragement of other believers and in the hope that they too will experience much blessing from the hand of God in their service for Him.
MISCELLANEOUS ULTIMATE ADVENTURE EXHIBITION
There is a marvellous opportunity in the U.K. to bring the message of the gospel to schoolchildren. With the objective of producing a colourful, child-friendly, gospel-centred exhibition that would that faithfully tell the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation a small group of Christians, from the North- East of Scotland, has designed and manufactured a Bible Exhibition that can be used by local assemblies to present the message of the Bible to reach young people in the P5 – P7 age group. They have achieved this through a series of seventy to eighty panels that are colourful, attractive and simple to understand with interactive points around the display.
Since 2005 the exhibition has been used in the North-East of Scotland, and beyond, by local assemblies. As the exhibition, or as it is now known ‘The Ultimate Adventure’, covers 90% of the 5-14 guidelines for Christianity set by school boards so many local schools are delighted to able to accept invitations to visit the exhibition.
As one of the objectives is for the local assembly to make contacts within the local schools it is highly desirable for the assembly members to be involved and to be seen by the school children and teachers. The organizers of the Exhibition provide training to the members of the local assembly who are hosting the Exhibition. Hosting the Exhibition is a great opportunity for members of an assembly to unite together in gospel outreach.
The normal routine is for the Exhibition to be set up in a hall for a period of five days. Prior to this the local assembly will have invited schools and arranged a timetable for them to visit. Upon arrival at the Exhibition the children are divided into four or five small groups and are directed to a guide who will take them through the exhibition for about an hour. During the tour the children complete activity sheets as they are told the message of the Bible. Following this tour a review quiz will take place. As the children leave the building they are always given a gift pack of suitable gospel literature. A typical week will see over four hundred school children visit the exhibition. They will be given a gospel-focused tour through the Bible and will leave with some good literature and lasting memories. Assemblies use the exhibition to make contacts with local schools with a view to being invited into them to take assemblies and to make the children aware of clubs that are run for their benefit at the Gospel Halls.
We can thank the Lord that there is an open door in the U.K. for this type of work and we should look to use the opportunities for the furtherance of the gospel. If you would like to know more about ‘The Ultimate Adventure’ please contact Paul Coxall on firstname.lastname@example.org or Murray Lawrie on email@example.com
‘Thank You’, Ken
Ken Rudge has decided to retire from the Articles Editorship of Precious Seed International and from the Precious Seed Committee, effective from the publication of this issue of the magazine. This is because of increasing demands on his time caused by the necessity to oversee the demolition of the existing Gospel Hall in St. Austell and the building of a new hall on the same site. It is likely this will take a lot of work over a period of time and we wish him well in this project.
Ken joined the committee of Precious Seed in about 1998 and quickly became involved in the work taking on the editing of the Reports Section before taking over as articles editor from Arthur Shearman in 2002 and giving himself to the onerous task of editorship. Being responsible for the editorship of a major part of the magazine is not an easy task. There is regular contact with authors, committee members and the readership in general; and on occasions differences of judgement or opinion with all of these groups do arise; Ken has handled these with skill and diplomacy. He was also determined that the quality of the articles should be high and I believe he has achieved that objective and has had a major influence on the direction of the magazine over these past eight years. He leaves the magazine in excellent shape and will be a hard act to follow! During this time he has had the support of his wife Della and we thank her for the sacrifices she has made to enable Ken to do this work so well.
While we will miss Ken’s input at committee and in particular to the magazine, I am pleased that he has agreed to stay available in an advisory role. Later in the year a few other of our long-serving committee members will retire and also join the new advisory group. We shall replace them during this year and next and I will make the announcements at the appropriate time.
The articles section of the magazine will be my responsibility until the end of this year and from January 2010 the new articles editor will be John Bennett. But more of that later.
On behalf of the Precious Seed Committee
Roy Hill - CHAIRMAN