Gospel Work and other Activities

Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England

EIRE

The annual Postal Bible School holiday week, conducted by Noel and Liza McMeekin, and held in Avoca, was attended by one hundred and two of the students, two of whom professed faith in the Lord Jesus. Colin Sheldon is now recommencing teaching the Bible Explorer programme to pupils in some Dublin primary schools. He has recently been in discussion with the principals of some new schools, to which he is hoping to gain access in the near future.

NORTHERN IRELAND

CO ANTRIM Clough. Sadly, there was little consistent interest from local people during the six and a half weeks of faithful labour in the gospel by S. Ferguson and W. Boyd. The assembly at Kells erected a portable hall two miles from Woodgreen village and have been reaching out to the area by visitation and preaching. There has been an average attendance of sixty, some of whom were unsaved and saying that they had never before heard that they needed to be saved. Local brethren were responsible for the preaching. A. Aiken has been holding open air meetings both at Kells and Broughshane. Neighbouring assemblies have given faithful support to this ministry. Carnlough. It was good to notice the evident attention of people in the boats as the gospel was preached during the two week Annual Open Air testimony on the harbour front. Maghaberry. Tent meetings were held here during July conducted largely by W. Fenton, with the fellowship of local brethren and the assembly at Broomhedge.

CO. DOWN Killinchy. Despite faithful preaching and much visitation the local response to five weeks of tent meetings was disappointing. Newry. The assembly has been greatly blessed and encouraged as twelve weeks of gospel preaching by A. Aitken and J. Rogers finally concluded at the end of July. It has been a time of reaping as well as sowing; nine having made it known that they have trusted Christ for salvation. Many others have expressed concern and the harvest may not yet be over. Praise be to God. Believers have appreciated the practical and challenging ministry given at Carryduff by J. G. Hutchinson, added to which they have had the recent joy of baptizing three young people and an older man. Also, the annual meetings at Drumlough and Ballymagarrick were powerful times when it was felt the Lord had a word for His people. At the latter place the believers filled the large tent erected for the occasion and enjoyed the annual Sunday School Prize Giving and gospel presentation as well. Bangor. (Central Avenue). I. Jackson preached with power during the annual two weeks of open air work on the seafront, with two meetings each day. Good numbers listened and many tracts were distributed by the many believers supporting the work. Newcastle. Northfield Tent. Once again the 1000 seater tent was filled to capacity and overflowing during the annual two weeks of ministry and gospel testimony. Morning Bible studies focused on the book of Ruth and gospel meetings were held each evening. Both were touched with power as J. Reese and John Spiers faithfully ministered the word of God. There was also open air witness on the promenade. A feature of these meetings over the years has been the many of all ages and religious backgrounds that come to them with great enthusiasm for what is set out. Good numbers have professed to be saved and are going on with the Lord. At the same time as the meetings in the tent GLO teams have meetings for young people in the mornings and for younger children at several caravan parks, with very good response.

CO. LONDONDERRY S. Patterson and G. Stewart have completed a seven week gospel effort in Killygordon. They have been encouraged by what they feel to be the best attendance they have ever had from this area, and feel that several were under such conviction that they should be saved. The one week of children’s meetings held at Moneymore by D. Donaghy and L. Craig was also well attended.

CO. FERMANAGH W. J. Nesbitt has now completed an intense series of meetings and wide visitation programme in the gospel, in and around Ballindarragh. The visitation included Derrylin, reaching to the Darryadd, Gealgum and Derryvore Quays and the Teemore area. There was a good reception for the visit to Rosslea Village. On the final evening at the Union Hall, Lisnaskea, a testimony evening attracted so many that there were people seated around the platform and some in the porch entrance. Our brother was able also to visit the most westerly assembly in the province at Currien and then went on to Drumloan. The saints have been encouraged that at least one woman has professed salvation during these activities.

CO. TYRONE The assembly at Kingsmills was thrilled as the Lord blessed nine weeks of service in the gospel by saving souls. The evangelists W. Fenton and M. McKillen were overjoyed to see at least nine trust the Saviour. The hall had been filled night after night and there was much rejoicing. The annual conference was also blessed of God as His word was ministered to a large company of saints. The ministry conferences at Sion Mills and Martry also enjoyed excellent support by believers and ministry to profit all. A series of gospel meetings during June were held by local brethren in the difficult area of Plumbridge. Good numbers were enjoyed but there was no evidence of consistent interest from the local population.

SCOTLAND

AYRSHIRE Howwood. This village was evangelized for two weeks as part of the Ayrshire Outreach held in May. Jack Hay and Stephen Grant worked through the area with tracts and text distribution as well as holding open air testimonies and meetings in the village hall. It was a joy to know that a few did respond and came to hear the gospel. Robert Revie then served with three assemblies in gospel work in the town of Stevenston. The emphasis was upon children and young people. Many tracts and invitations were issued before the meetings began and as a result good numbers of young people heard the gospel. Open air testimonies were also well responded to and parents were present on several occasions.

LANARKSHIRE The main thrust of the summer’s county evangelism was based on the two campaigns at Carluke and Newmains. During the six weeks of this effort many unsaved folk listened to the gospel being faithfully told out by John Grant. Other assemblies joined to give open air witness before the meetings each evening and it was good to see so many listening at their open doorways. On five successive Saturdays there were open air rallies at Newmains, Greengairs, Chapelhall and Low Waters, Hamilton. During this period Roy Marshall visited a number of villages, working with local assemblies, doing door to door visitation in the afternoons followed by open air witness in the evenings. As a result of these activities it is a joy to report that a new children’s work has begun at Newmains, and at Carluke some of those who came to the meetings and others contacted at that time, are now regular attendees at the gospel meeting. During July and August the believers from Hebron Hall, Airdrie, went round the suburbs of the town distributing tracts and holding open air meetings. They were en-couraged by the interest shown. The little hall at Greengairs was packed to overflowing for the baptism of a teenage girl. Her father did the baptizing, and it proved to be a very happy occasion for the whole family and the assembly. In a separate venture, several brethren exercised about greater outreach have been distributing gospel literature via stalls set up at ‘Fair Days’ in the towns of Coatbridge and Airdrie. They also visited Eyemouth on the east coast in July holding open air meetings and using the stall, having previously distributed around 4000 Seed Sowers texts in the area.

GLASGOW During June Stephen Grant held meetings for children and adults in the Easthall area of the Easterhouse housing estate. The support from neighbouring assemblies was much appreciated and the interest shown by locals was most encouraging.

PERTH For two weeks in June the assembly used the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition as a focal point for witness by placing it in the Public Library. Large numbers of school children came and also adults. Ian Campbell gave three lectures during the second week entitled ‘Creation or Evolution’ and these attracted good interest among audiences of between 50 to 80 people, many of whom were unsaved. The gospel was clearly presented. The local schools were open to visits and assemblies were taken. Some from the area are now attending the gospel meetings at the Hall.

FIFE The July week of outreach at St Andrews seemed busier than ever with the increased numbers of visitors attracted by the golf. A team of older and younger believers worked with Jack Hay to hold children’s meetings on the beach in the afternoons and gospel meetings in the hall during the evenings. Both were well supported and many heard the gospel as a result. Weekends of Bible teaching and gospel activities were held at Kennaway, Kinross and Ladybank. At Ladybank two teenagers were baptized and it was a real encouragement to see unsaved people present to witness their testimony. Dunfermline. A marquee in the grounds of the High School was used by the assembly at Abbott Hall to conduct their children’s and youth outreach. Seventy-two children attended. The tent was used in the evenings for youth work and a senior citizens’ lunch for about a hundred, and the Saturday barbecue. On the Lord’s day a large number of parents and others came into the marquee for the prize giving and family service. Faskally House. The house and grounds have been constantly used over the summer months for camps of young people where they hear the word of God carefully explained and taught. Praise God for some who clearly wanted to be saved and others who went home determined to be baptized. Camps from Ayrshire saw blessing also, as they used Hamilton College as a base. A good week with youngsters from the Ladybank, Fife, area was had at a camp on the Welsh Borders.

NORTH EAST SCOTLAND For three weeks in June, Ian Jackson held gospel meetings in Portessie. Enjoying the good fellowship of other assemblies and hearing the gospel preached with clarity and power, were of great encouragement to the believers there. Thankfully, unsaved people were at the meetings and the result has been a great strengthening of faith. Summer outreach in the district around Cullen was conducted by open air meetings and tract distribution. There are no assemblies in these coastal and country villages. At St. Monans a week’s ‘Holiday Club’ for children attracted about forty boys and girls. On the last day about the same number of parents and friends joined them for lunch and heard the gospel told simply and plainly.

NORTH WEST SCOTLAND Ainsley Patterson and Bobby Souter, whilst doing visitation work in the Torridon, Shieldaig and Lochcarron areas, have been encouraged by a positive response to the gospel in Lochcarron. They intend to visit more villages from Kyle to the extreme north before trying some gospel meetings. Ainsley has been using a portable market stall at Forres, Nairn, Helmsdale and Wick, resulting in large quantities of tracts and texts being distributed.

WALES

WEST WALES The annual Swansea United Missionary Conference in June was encouragingly attended by many believers, who heard Peter Ferry report on Thailand and Malcolm Steer on work amongst Iranians. Using a Bible Exhibition, three assemblies in the Llanelli area based an outreach to the schools and general population from Evangelistic Hall. Over 1000 people visited, 750 of these were children from fourteen local schools. Follow-up included prize givings and morning assemblies. Further visits to schools are planned in response to invitations. John Baker and Brian Nurse were a tremendous help in this work for the Lord. The assembly at Trimsaran recently baptized two young believers and were thrilled to see a large number of unsaved people present to witness this confession of Christ. Hengoed This little assembly in the Rhymney Valley has during the past months been quite active in the neighbourhood, visiting many homes with gospel literature and invitations to the Sunday evening service. The efforts have proved fruitful. One instance in particular was of great encouragement: one Sunday evening a young lady from South Korea, studying in this country, was visiting some friends in the area and responded to the invitation and attended the gospel service. She showed interest and stayed after the meeting for conversation with the believers over a cup of tea and refreshments.

Maesteg – A few brief items from the assembly at Maesteg:
i A camp for sixty children, aged 8-14 years, was held in Warwickshire. Half the children came from Maesteg and the rest were from various parts of South Wales. There were some good conversations and a number made professions of faith.
ii A ‘sleep-over’ was held at the assembly hall for nine of the older young people. Teaching on faith and baptism was given and some asked to be baptized.
iii Increased number of adults are attending the gospel service and a number of young people also come to all the meetings.
Treorchy. The Annual Conference held on the 26th of August was an encouragement to the local assembly. Ministry, which was Christ exalting and challenging, was given by E. Parmenter, F. Beevers, T. Blackman and M. Rudge. Interest shown by saints from near and far was much appreciated, and significantly larger numbers than in recent years attended. Saints from neighbouring assemblies gave practical fellowship. Tredegar. The assembly has been much encouraged in the Sunday school work. During the first six months of this year the numbers of children attending grew. Many of the older children were able to attend the Cardiff Camps. Ten went to the Supergang Camp and four attended the Teenscene Camp. God spoke to many at the camps and the believers were delighted when six of their young people professed faith in the Lord Jesus. Prayer is being made that they may grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Another of their young ladies has asked to be baptized.

ENGLAND

GREATER MANCHESTER Gorton. An April outreach in the gospel has strengthened and encouraged the assembly which has found it difficult to get a response to the gospel over recent years. Joe Baxter and David Raggett did intensive visitation which brought in a number from the area. Saints also brought their contacts and it was a joy to see around twenty-five unsaved people hearing the gospel. Some came a second time.

YORKSHIRE Harrogate. Peter and Elaine Smith, together with their family, have now relocated to Canada, in the service of the Lord. They have experienced the Lord’s overruling for them in many circumstances, including a long stay permit to work, and temporary accommodation. They need prayer support for the Postal Bible School for Canada and the many organizational structures that need to be in place. They both face driving tests and the sale and purchase of their houses in U.K. and Canada are not yet finalized. These are still early days but as a family they are beginning to feel much more at home. Doncaster, Skellow Evangelical Church. Encouragingly, and setting an example for us all, the very small assembly meeting in Skellow took up the invitation to have a tent in the local Gala in July. Robert Plant filled it with an exhibition depicting the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and a very useful day was spent speaking to all that came in and passing on gospel literature. Earlier in the year a children’s mission for five nights was attended by over seventy different children. During the month of August they have been busy around the several housing estates in the area preaching the gospel using P.A. equipment. They have had texts placed outside the local Asda Store and are reaching many hundreds day by day with the word of God.

ESSEX West Mersea. The beach mission, which runs each year, was blessed both with reasonable weather and good numbers of up to two hundred children, mums and tots each day. Eric Parmenter took the theme of ‘The Man behind the Millennium’ using material from Matthew’s gospel. Two girls professed Christ as a result of the work.

HAMPSHIRE Ash Vale. The assembly rejoiced in the Lord’s goodness to them in setting up a Holiday Bible Club for children. David and Marion Tinkler led the work using Luke’s Gospel as their theme. The children responded well and about thirty came consistently over the week, many of whom had not been before. The Friday Prize Giving drew in parents who also heard the gospel. The desire is to pick up these youngsters again for the weekly children’s work of the assembly. Our brother David has a wide visitation ministry to schools in his own area, but has felt the encouragement of the Lord as he has been able to conduct Holiday Bible Clubs in Stowmarket and Cheshunt, also speaking at the Leicester Boys Camp and Bible study weeks at Sheringham and at Feldon Lodge where a group of sixty young men were helped in studies of John’s gospel.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Hartwell. Since 1991 a tent has been set up each summer on the recreation field of this village and as a result many of the young people and quite a few adults have heard the gospel. This year again, Sid Mountstevens and David Richards raised the tent for gospel work. In answer to many prayers there were no problems with vandalism. Thankfully, the children came again, about thirty-five of them, but no adults. One youth arrived nightly to chat and generally challenge the scriptural truths being set out. Fellowship by local believers was much appreciated and it is requested of God that He might do a work here as the potential is great. Northampton Balloon Festival. This year there were new arrangements for the tent and the displays, all of which went well. An estimated five thousand people passed through the tent and received the gospel in some form or another. Amongst the displays to catch interest and afford opportunities for conversations were the Postal Bible School stall and a large supply of SGM material in a range of foreign languages. There is no doubt that the tent had a very different atmosphere to it than the others in the show. Many quite outstanding and fruitful conversations were held and every visitor was given a ‘Thank You’ pack of literature with response cards in it, as they left.

SOMERSET Kingfisher Postal Bible School and Camp. The Postal Bible School currently has 280 students on roll aged from 3 to 17 yrs. Some of the students are from overseas and use the lessons also to improve their language skills in English. Some of these are baptized believers. Lessons are provided for local assemblies to use in their own Sunday school classes. Recently a father trusted the Lord as a result of helping his children do their lessons. The annual camp, which this year moved for the first time to school premises, had one hundred campers attending on each of the two weeks, and fifty per cent of these are present or past members of the Postal Bible School. Camp provided good recruitment opportunities as well, both to start and restart the lessons. One student trusted the Lord this year and two requested to be baptized. The Kingfisher work also provides a ‘get away together’ Bible study weekend and week during the year for young people.

DEVON Appledore. In August, a very active Bible Holiday Club week of gospel work led by Eric Parmenter, saw a small but interested group of children meet daily. These children also attend the weekly ‘One Way Club’, run by the assembly. One parent expressed interest in further Bible study for herself. Generally there is very little interest despite the hard work of the small assembly here. Plymouth, Westhill. The assembly had the joy of baptizing four believers in the sea at Bigbury Beach on a Saturday in September. A crowd of about one hundred gathered to witness this and the opportunity was taken to preach the gospel to bystanders. Three of the candidates were in their midteens and the other was a woman in her thirties. The assembly has also had the thrill of seeing others from the Efford Estate, where they have an outreach work, trusting the Saviour. At the last family service in the school an eighty-five-yearold woman and two children trusted the Lord. The longstanding difficulties over securing land on the estate for a building seem to have taken a step forward with two out of the three local councillors supporting the assembly in its most recent application to secure the plot they have been after for the last two years.

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