Gospel Work and other Activities
Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
David and Kay Stevens have used the summer opportunities to preach the gospel many times and are grateful to the Lord for the frequent openings this has provided to speak in depth to people about spiritual things. They also had the opportunity, during the month of November, to give five, onehour lessons providing an overview of the Old Testament, to 11-year-old children, in a local primary school. It is hoped that this first contact will develop a confidence that will enable them to do further studies in the school in the future. They also valued the opportunity to be part of a Missionary Challenge Weekend held in Newtownards, when many were encouraged and provoked to think about the work of the Lord.
DUBLIN. Jim and Kathy Moriarty are involved in a ministry to 'travellers'. These families live in temporary homes and often on land from which they get constantly moved or in local council accommodation. Our brother and sister conduct children's clubs, often in the open, around these various sites. Over the years a number of these people have made confessions of faith, and there is encouragement as they are seen, despite the environment in which they live, to make progress spiritually. Three girls have made professions this summer. The clubs continue into the autumn. At one meeting in Carrickmines, a small boy set our sister's skirt on fire, but mercifully she suffered no hurt, apart from shock. They also provide a video and tape lending library for these people and recently two other girls professed faith after seeing one video called, 'Who is Jesus?' Weekly tract distribution is undertaken on the streets of Bray and Dun Laoghaire. A series of gospel meetings at Drum conducted by Noel McMeekin, attracted good interest among both children and adults. The assembly is seeking to follow up the contacts made. Enniscorthy. The Standfields and the Burts continue to work hard on the Sean Brown Estate amongst the many children and teenagers. Summer literature distribution in the town was useful in keeping the gospel before the people. Those that show interest are encouraged to attend the weekly Bible study classes held for those searching after the truth.
CO. ANTRIM Ballynure near Ballyclare. Eight weeks of gospel tent meetings conducted by S. Ferguson and W. Boyd concluded at the end of September. The good numbers that attended helped the meetings, and although there were no known cases of conversion, many helpful contacts were made. Carrickfergus. The end of October saw the conclusion of a series of six weeks of gospel preaching by J. Martin and his son Wesley in fellowship with the assembly meeting in Sandringham Gospel Hall. This is a comparatively new work and on the outskirts of this rapidly developing town. The population is largely owner-occupier and it proved difficult to interest many in coming to the meetings. However, one middle-aged man professed and this was a cause of much rejoicing. Greenhill. Gospel meetings commenced in a portable hall at Wilson's Farm, some five miles from Ballymena, on October 22nd. R. Pickering and T. Wallace are enjoying real help from the Lord in the preaching of His gospel and many believers are so encouraged that they are bringing along unsaved relatives and friends. Duneane. The portable hall erected between Randalstown and Toome by T. Topley and C. Brown is being filled each night and many unsaved are hearing the gospel preached. Ballymena. Harryville. The assembly held a 'Thanksgiving Meeting' on the 16th September in order to mark the fiftieth year of the planting of the testimony. R. McKeown ministered the word over the week to much profit.
CO. ARMAGH Gospel meetings continue in the area at Lurgan where J. Lennox and B. Currie are preaching and at Erryroe, which is a border area and where meetings in a portable hall are now in their eleventh week.
CO. DOWN Scarva. Tent meetings conducted here by A. McShane and D. Gilliland, not only received sustained interest from many, but the Lord was pleased to save a number and others expressed concern. Kilkeel, Mountain Road. As gospel meetings commenced the assembly was greatly encouraged to see people coming along that had not been seen there before. A man, who had recently come from the mainland to join a local fishing boat crew, made it known that he had been thinking about eternal things for fifteen years and yet had found no answers to his need. W. J. Nesbitt and R. Shannon were able to point him to the only Saviour and he was saved during the first week of the meetings. Dundonald. The assembly appreciated the helpful ministry on 'Discipleship' that was given in a very practical way by D. Gilliland during the first week of October. Also the assembly at Lisburn, Plantation, were helped and challenged by a week's ministry from A. McShane.
CO. FERMANAGH In September, W. J. Nesbitt, his wife, and William Gracey of Dromore, Co. Down, carried out door to door visitation in the untouched towns, villages and hamlets of the county. They covered Pettigo, Kesh, Ederney, Milligans Row, Lack, Lisnarvisk, Derrygonnely, Springhill, Boho, Monea, Churdhill, Bellanalack, Letterbreen, Clabby, Tempo and Irvinestown. They were encouraged to find a welcome for them and the gospel literature they were distributing. The people were friendly and one Catholic woman insisted that they return to her house for refreshments rather than eating their own on the roadside. The assemblies at Ballinamallard and Enniskillen enjoyed a sense of the Lord's help and blessing during their recent conferences and ministry meetings. At Enniskillen, some believers who are not in assembly fellowship attended the four helpful addresses on the High Priest's garments by W. Boyd, and they expressed their appreciation of the truths brought out.
CO. TYRONE Dungannon. A recent sixweek effort in the gospel here was a little disappointing due to the lack of real interest shown by any of the local people. Gospel meetings have commenced at Marty and Omagh, Mountjoy. The ones at Omagh are in a portable hall and in a very needy area. Also the assemblies at Newtownstewart, Donemana, Killycurragh and Lungs have enjoyed profitable times of ministry and fellowship during recent conferences.
BELFAST AND DISTRICT There have been a number of encouraging touches of the Lord's hand in blessing gospel outreach in the area. Two have been saved during seven weeks of meetings at Bloomfield, conducted by M. McKillen and W. Fenton. Other response as far as unsaved people were concerned was poor. At Fortwilliam a girl of eleven was saved during a short spell of gospel work by R. Pickering. Gospel meetings have also commenced at Castlereagh and Laganvale. Meetings continue at Newtownbreda where already two have been saved. One of these was a gentleman who couldn't get to the meetings because of illness, but heard the messages on tape and came to faith in Christ in his home. R. McKeown and B. Graham are the evangelists and there is much to encourage as believers from all around are bringing in their families.
> > > > PRAYER POINTS < < < <
- Continue to remember the many thousands reached over the summer in Eire as literature distribution, open-air witness and camps have been faithfully carried out. This country is enjoying relative prosperity and people are turning to material things. Pray for all follow up work.
- Thank God for those recently saved in the many series of gospel meetings held in the North. Pray for continued help for the workers and the assemblies that now have to care for newly saved people.
- Pray particularly for the country and sparsely populated areas that have recently been visited.
LANARKSHIRE. In Hamilton, an unusual opportunity arose for open air preaching when the local district council invited all the 'churches' in the town to hold services in the New Town Square to let people know what they believed. The assemblies at High Parks and Low Waters joined together to hold meetings on four Lord's Day afternoons. The area was ideal and there were many that stopped to listen as well as receive tracts. High Parks also had the joy of baptizing a young sister and many unsaved were there to witness her confession. In answer to prayer that had been made on his behalf for some time, the assembly at Low Waters rejoices to have seen a mature young man trust the Saviour recently. They have also been encouraged to start a weekly meeting for senior citizens. The assembly at Muirhead preceded a three-week gospel campaign conducted by Ian Robertson with a week of Bible Exhibition. This attracted about four hundred children and a hundred adults from the surrounding area. Five thousand invitations were distributed and this resulted in unsaved people coming into the meetings. Many home visits were made and it was during one of these that a man was helped to trust in the Lord. The assembly members at Plains were thrilled to see good numbers of unsaved people from the area attend their first gospel campaign held in the new hall. John Grant conducted the meetings for the first three weeks and local brethren for a further week. They were also thrilled to see several believers from a variety of backgrounds attending. Much visitation work was also done throughout the village contacting many people with the gospel message. The saints at Uddingston were greatly encouraged when a young man, whose parents are in fellowship, witnessed to his faith by baptism.
EAST SCOTLAND Fife. The assembly at Ballingry erected a gospel tent in the village of CROSSHILL for meetings during August and September. Jack Hay and local brethren shared the preaching. There was a steady interest with good attention being paid to the message from the unsaved people who attended regularly. During the first week a middle-aged man professed to have been saved. The assembly at Kinross used the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition for a week taking the Town Hall as the venue to hold it. Over four hundred children from five local schools were conducted through the exhibits and interest from adults picked up as the week progressed. There were many opportunities for meaningful conversations and it is hoped that George Forbes will be able to do follow-up work in the schools. One lady contacted has since attended the gospel meeting. The Tayport assembly held their annual three-week gospel campaign in October with Roy Marshall and George Meikle as evangelists. There was intense preparation throughout the area, both prior to and during the meetings. This resulted in many unsaved coming in to them. Clear and powerful gospel messages were preached and although none made profession it was felt that there would yet be fruit from such faithful sowing. The assembly at Lockee, Dundee, celebrated its twenty-fifth year in the current hall by setting up an exhibition of the assembly's history and connections with the local community over the years. A gospel campaign was also mounted to run alongside the exhibition both for children and adults. The exhibition attracted quite a few, including new contacts, and personal invitations also helped to draw people in. The children's meetings, including the prize giving, reached many with the gospel. Visitations were made to several schools.
WEST SCOTLAND At the end of August the Linwood assembly held a gospel campaign with Dan Gillies. Such was the interest in the gospel that the meetings continued for three weeks. Unsaved were present each evening and the earlier children's meetings were well attended. Surrounding assemblies were most supportive to the meetings and this added further encouragement.
NORTH EAST SCOTLAND At the end of September, Jack Hay conducted a series of gospel meetings at Holburn Gospel Hall in Aberdeen. There was good interest and some stayed behind after the meetings asking questions and taking literature. A feature of the work was the way the Lord opened up opportunities for witness in sheltered housing complexes, an eventide home and at a school where a large number heard a clear presentation of the gospel. At Inverurie a week's work with the Bible Exhibition drew in daily visits from hundreds of children from schools in the area. Many used the time to ask very pointed questions. Another well-attended event was the three-session seminar over a Friday and Saturday on the subject of 'Creation'. Dr Bert Cargill and Prof. Bill Stevely used their respective scientific backgrounds to highlight flaws in the commonly accepted theory of evolution and to show that true science does not contradict the sound, logical and scriptural record of creation in the book of Genesis. During the course of three weeks of gospel preaching with the Wick assembly, during the first three weeks of October, Dan Gillies and Ainslie Patterson found that there was more interest at the doors than in the meetings. Some excellent conversations were held with individuals and the gospel received a good hearing. The children's meetings, however, proved ever popular and there was a good response to the prize giving.
> > > > PRAYER POINTS < < < <
- Keep praying for the service of the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition as assemblies use it in their gospel outreach. Pray for those that maintain and transport this much-used exhibition.
- Pray now for the many touched by the efforts mentioned in these reports and for the assemblies as they follow up such activity.
- Ask the Lord to continue to give assemblies throughout Scotland a continuing vision for the gospel and that He will raise up yet more to evangelize in fellowship with assemblies.
WEST WALES The small assembly at Bynea enjoyed the encouragement of the Lord at the annual conference meetings despite the difficulties created by the petrol shortage. Malcolm Radcliffe and Joe Chalmers continued until Wednesday, being a great encouragement to the saints. Ian Jackson preached the gospel for two weeks in fellowship with the assembly at Trimsaran during October. Good numbers attended the adult meetings and the week of children's work was also well attended by a good number of youngsters. A school in Llanelli was also visited. There were large numbers of believers at the annual Swansea Ministry Conference when Robert McLuckie and Donald Bees ministered the word with good effect. Deryck Jones of Bulawayo has also visited the area giving reports and preaching the gospel to the benefit of the Lord's people. John Lennox gave a lecture at Swansea University on the 22nd November to about two hundred and seventy people from a wide ranging background entitled, ‘Life: Cosmic accident or created code?’ It was both a thrilling and professional delivery that provoked a large number of questions from the audience. The Scriptures were clearly quoted and the wonder of a God created universe brought clearly into perspective. A Christian student testified to how greatly it had strengthened his faith in the light of current academic views. A lecturer said that he had never heard like it and later made a profession of salvation. There is no doubt that many others were similarly challenged.
SOUTH WALES The saints at Ynysybwl were very encouraged to see so many believers at the annual conference meetings that this year celebrated the 74th anniversary of the opening of the Hall. Alan Linton and Ivan Steeds taking up the characters of Elijah and John the Baptist, gave ministry that both challenged the saints and exalted Christ. Maesteg. The assembly has developed a work by going into two old people's homes and the local hospital on Lord's Day afternoons and using their young people to provide some singing. The youngsters then come on to the gospel meeting that evening. The women's weekly meeting is also attracting quite a few ladies from the area and presently nearly a hundred children attend either the Sunday School or the Monday meeting for children.
CARDIFF AREA During the summer two camps were organized by the Cardiff assemblies entitled Supergang and Teenscene. Ian Wallace was responsible for the messages to the younger children at Supergang and Andrew Goode for those to the teenagers at Teenscene. In all, eighteen made professions of faith. During the weekend 28th September -1st October 2000 the Cardiff Missionary Conference was held. Reports were given of the Lord’s Work in Hungary, Israel, Spain and amongst Iranians throughout the world. Echoes of Service also showed their latest ‘Roadshow’, and reports were also given by a number of the Missionary Service Groups that illustrated how the Lord has laid on the hearts of some to care for missionaries, their children, their families and retired missionaries. All the meetings were well attended and many people said that they were now able to pray more intelligently as a result. The assemblies at Bethesda, Cardiff and Llandaff North both report how the Lord is blessing as they seek to preach the gospel in the community. Llandaff North have recently received their eleventh application for baptism this year. Most of these have been people that have come in as a result of those gifted to work door-to-door, inviting them to come and hear the gospel. Andrew Goode has been visiting many schools in the Cardiff area. He has been using the 'hi tech' Counties Exhibition Trailer that has a Millennium theme. This has been well received wherever it has been taken. Quarterly prayer breakfasts have been held throughout the year. It has been a joy to see and hear brethren from so many assemblies coming together for prayer and it is now believed that the Lord is beginning to bless in the Cardiff area as a result. The assembly at Caerphilly report good numbers attending their Saturday night ministry meetings and increased numbers of children attending Sunday School and, unusually, the parents are insisting on bringing the children to it themselves.
Broadwas and Stourbridge. The Friday focus meetings that have proved to be so encouraging to the saints in this area, have recommenced with the themes of, 'Bridling the whole body – discipline in the Christian life', at Broadwas, and 'Can two walk together, except they be agreed?' at Stourbridge. Despite petrol shortages and floods the Lord's people have turned out faithfully and in good numbers each evening. An encouraging feature of the Stourbridge meetings has been the presence in significant numbers of believers from fellowships other than assemblies. The support and enthusiasm has been a real tonic. The midweek children's meeting has continued to be a great thrill to the small assembly at Stourbridge. The children are showing a real understanding of the Scriptures and parents remain to talk after the meeting as well as responding readily to prize givings and outings. This is an evidence of real progress in a build up of confidence that it is prayed will lead to conversions.
BIRMINGHAM Charlton Road. The assembly, like many others, has been going through a prayerful examination of the way in which it seeks to spread the gospel to those around them. It is always a difficult task in this our generally unreceptive climate, but the assembly has begun to find the way through to some at least. The restructuring of the gospel meeting, the promotion of the monthly family service and the introduction of some bridge making social times have helped greatly. The joy of the Sunday School work has been to have a small but keen Bible Class of seven youngsters between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one. Helping them come to other meetings is currently a great concern. The summer camps this year have proved to be a tremendous opportunity again, not only to reach many young people with the gospel, but also to engage young believers in a challenging service for God. There have been attempts since the summer to get the campers together and strengthen their links with one another. There have been some baptisms, too, since the camps. Another aspect of the Lord's work in the area has been the call of young couples to full time activities for God. One family feels the Lord directing them to work in France, another to help in the Birmingham area with the bridge-building type of evangelistic activity. Dudley. Two sessions, one on a Saturday evening and the other a Sunday afternoon, conducted by Dr Farid Abou-Rahme on the question of Creation or Evolution attracted a good number of believers from the area and caused a great amount of discussion on this issue of our times. It was time well spent. The assembly has also been strengthened by the coming into it of a family of eight. The parents were meeting with Pentecostal believers but looked for a more biblically based company and liked what they experienced as they came to the assembly meetings. They have proved a real blessing.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE Cheltenham. The assembly at Hesters Way has been encouraged of the Lord over their recent conference and ministry meetings. In days when some conferences are attended by few in number it is heartening to hear of numbers being sustained over several meetings and an assembly confirmed in its desire to provide such opportunities for the teaching of the word of God. Jim Dickson and Eddie Donald ministered at the conference and Mr Dickson continued into the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’, on the days following. The coming of a family has also strengthened the assembly. Two years ago, only the mother was saved. The husband is still unsaved but knows his need to be saved. One older son professes to have been restored to the Lord and a grandson never misses a meeting.
OXFORDSHIRE Wallingford. The assembly has been considerably exercised over the effectiveness of its testimony in the gospel. Annually there has been a gospel campaign and this year, in September, Robert Revie conducted the meetings as well as doing a great deal of personal work throughout the town. There was a good response to the meetings and many contacts made in the town. One middle-aged man was believed to be under deep conviction and another, although muddled, was certainly seeking the truth. The assembly continues its door-to-door work and monthly open-air witness.
BERKSHIRE Reading, Slough, Bracknell, Maidenhead, and Windsor. A team of evangelists working with the local assemblies took to the streets and centres of these very densely populated areas for a week in September, with the determination to make Christ known to the people. Thousands were spoken to, many stopped to listen and stayed on to ask questions. Many took the literature that was offered, a few asked for specific help and follow-up contact. Reading proved to be hard and unresponsive. In Slough there were many Moslems, some of whom were angry and argued with the preaching. In Bracknell, the assembly believers were able to get the use of the small bandstand for the preaching and this gave first class access to the students and workers as they passed by. Altogether the week was blessed with many really deep contacts and it was felt that lives were touched for God. Keith Bullock spent time taking young people's meetings in Providence Chapel, Reading, and at Windsor, as well as giving a report of the Lord's work in Maidenhead.
DORSET Bethany Hall, Weymouth. Once again saints have been encouraged on account of more believers making the effort to attend the meetings provided for fellowship and teaching. Added to this, the believers here sense a deeper loving and Christ-like spirit being generated amongst those that come. The assembly has enjoyed real blessing both at the monthly ministry meetings and the missionary conference. Two elderly sisters asked for baptism and obeyed the Lord in this in June. A real answer to prayer was the granting of an excellent site on the beach for the summer mission among children conducted by John Maxwell. Our brother reported better attendance this year than for many previously, and that they all seemed to stay for the Bible story. A couple contacted by John whilst delivering calendars and tracts at the start of the year, are now showing a real spiritual commitment to the assembly and an appreciation of the help and teaching they receive. Despite being an elderly company they rejoice in the grace given to continue to serve and bear fruit for God. Our brother Stephen Gillham had a strenuous Schools' Christmas Tour for the months of November and December, which saw tens of schools visited, some twice, and still more new schools are requesting his help
SOMERSET Coleford. Help given by our brother Sid Mountstevens for a week of ENGLAND children's meetings at the beginning of October was much appreciated. The many children who came have continued to come to other activities and good contacts are being continually made through this means with the adults in the family. It was a joy to have three children from a Mormon family attend the meetings.
CUMBRIA The Gospel Outreach. In many ways the final weeks of the summer outreach were disrupted and weakened as a result of the petrol shortage and the appalling weather. The petrol problems cut off the tourist season very abruptly and it never recovered, meaning that there were no late season visitors as is usual. Time and again the markets were washed out or cancelled due to the weather. No doubt the Lord has His purpose in all of this. There was faithful service rendered however by the evangelists and those who were able to support the work as it took place. Many have heard the gospel who would not have if the testimony had not been there, and believers too have been challenged and encouraged to live for God.
DEVON AND CORNWALL Westhill Assembly, Plymouth. There are encouraging signs that the Lord is now opening up the way for the assembly to purchase the plot of land upon the Efford Estate and to commence building once the land has been offered to them to purchase. They have had a long wait and have had to prove God again and again. Prayer is still needed and the battle is not yet won. One finall council meeting, at the end of January 2001 will hopefully confirm that this is the case. The new converts are remaining faithful and the opening at the school is still well supported giving much to thank the Lord for in all his dealings with them. The Cornwall Assemblies Youth Camp restarted this year after having been in previous years taken away from the influence and leadership of those in fellowship with local assemblies. This is a real testimony to the goodness of God and there is much to praise Him for in the provision both of a venue in which to, hold the camp and workers to fulfil it. Thirty young people heard the gospel ably presented night after night by Stuart Scammell. Several made a profession of faith in Christ and young believers were strengthened in the Lord.
> > > > PRAYER POINTS < < < <
- Praise the Lord for the evidence that He is revitalising the desire of believers to gather at conference and report meetings.
- Praise Him too that believers from outside the assemblies are finding their way into meetings and being attracted to the scriptural truth they are seeing and hearing.
- Praise Him for allowing believers to prove Him through difficult times and ask that they may continue to see His hand in their situations.
- Pray that permission will finally be obtained for the new building on the Efford Estate in Plymouth and the assembly encouraged to move ahead with their plans for the future of the work there.