Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
A. C. Hinton, Uxbridge
The Master refreshed. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters. Prov. 25. 13.
The servant honoured. He that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. Prov. 27. 18.
The visit of L. H. Tranter to Tonypandy for three weeks’ meetings was appreciated, believers coming from neighbouring assemblies to hear the Word. Our brother then went to Trethomas for a fortnight and was greatly encouraged by the way the saints were able to bring strangers along to the meetings.
R. S. Jones erected his tent at Gowerton, a district where there is no assembly testimony. Although encouraged by the reception at the doors he found very few responded by attending the meetings. The children’s side of the work was a little more encouraging.
The tent meetings at Pyle continued for a little over 11 weeks, the children particularly showing interest throughout. Visits of believers by special bus from Swansea and Cardiff on three occasions during the summer were a testimony to the people of the district. Meetings for ministry of the Word held in the tent on August Bank Holiday were well attended and proved a time of spiritual profit and encouragement. The band of workers on Saturday afternoons have found happy fellowship in visiting the homes of the people again and again with sound gospel literature. Three young men came from Ireland to spend their holidays at this work. Open-air work on Saturday evenings has also given cheer. This was followed by the meeting in the tent. A young believer who became exercised about baptism during the meetings has since taken this step at Porthcawl. (H. T.)
For a long time the meetings for the breaking of bread at Tondu, Glam., had been attended by one brother and two sisters only, with the help of a brother each week from Bridgend. The Sunday School had been maintained but no other gospel testimony. Recently others have joined with them in assembly fellowship with a view to re-commencing the gospel witness. Seven now meet to break bread, the Sunday School has increased to about 50, and it is hoped to resume the Lord’s-day-evening gospel testimony towards the end of September, commencing with a ten-day mission conducted by Edgar Jackman.
The Birmingham assemblies’ Sunday-Schools again held their Summer Camp at Poole, for a period of two weeks. What a thrill and joy it is to see 120 boys and girls, ages 11 to 15, sitting under the ministry of God’s Word night and morning. And what an opportunity and responsibility for those privileged to serve their Lord in this way. For many of the leaders it means giving up one or two weeks of a much-needed vacation, but all rejoice in this time of harvesting; faithful teachers and Bible Class leaders have diligently sown the seed, after preparing the ground over many years, and the Camp has again proved the time when the boys and girls come to a decision during 7 or 14 days in a Christian atmosphere. (P. P. C.)
The assembly at Thornley, Co. Durham, had a very profitable and fruitful three-weeks visit from David Hyslop during the month of July. The gospel was preached in the tent and in the open air, and much interest was seen. Souls have been reached and some have confessed faith in Christ. Children’s meetings were very well attended, the average being about 100 nightly throughout the whole period of the campaign. The believers have been uplifted and encouraged. The Durham and Northumberland Gospel Mobile Unit continues to give a good account of itself, as it moves about from place to place. There has been real encouragement and the Word has been faithfully sounded forth in many places in the open air in the two counties. (J. H. H.)
So far as adults were concerned the Tent Mission at Blackfield, Fawley (J. A. Thompson, Evangelist) was not a success, but the attendance of children was very encouraging. In order to follow up the children’s work arrangements have been made for the hire of a Club Building in the vicinity, thus enabling a regular weekly children’s meeting to be carried on. (A. C. P.)
During the summer John James (Tipton) pitched his tent in the villages of Halberton and Poughill. There is no assembly in either place but friends from Puddington, Tiverton and The Lamb gave good support. The response from the locality was good and some were led to Christ. On Sundays the tent was packed and people had to stand outside and listen.
The assembly was cheered by the visit DEVON of some 50 boys and workers encamped once more at the Secondary School. The workers in charge devoted all their time and energies to the enjoyment and well-being of the boys. The excellent school playing-field and Saunton Sands, about two miles away, provided splendid facilities for games and sports. Each day there were morning prayers, Bible half-hour and testimonies, resulting in ten or so boys being saved. On the two Sunday mornings the campers went to the morning meeting and on the second Sunday evening they gave a very good account of themselves as singers and afterwards in the open air. (G. H. M.)
NEWTON ABBOT, DEVON
In the latter half of the 17th century the incumbent of the parish church was ejected on account of his stand for Truth and Freedom of Worship. Two centuries later the Lord saved and “gathered out” a company to His Name meeting in the Queen Street Gospel Hall. The work now continues in the fine, modern Prospect Hall where 200 children meet in the Sunday School, some being brought by bus from a new housing estate. A good link is maintained with the elder scholars by a fortnightly “Youth Centre” for teen-agers, with an average attendance of 35, where handicrafts, a gospel message and refreshments are had. God has owned this, and souls have been saved, baptized and received into fellowship. The monthly Saturday-night Young People’s Rallies too are helpful, encouraging and well supported. Children’s and Women’s meetings of 30 and 20 years’ standing, respectively, increase in interest and give much encouragement. Gospel meetings leave a little to be desired in numbers, but interest is shown. All the assembly owe a greater debt than they are aware of to the prayers of aged saints, several of whom (two in particular aged 90) are not with us in person, but do “lay hold on God.” (G. H. M.)
Since the fearful deluge of August, 1952, DEVON the assembly has continued to meet in the Parish Hall. A small number of children are gathered together in the Sunday School and “Emergency Post,” rather appropriately, goes out regularly to those around. E. Barker gave helpful ministry during a recent visit, and ministry from other visiting brethren has been enjoyed during the holiday season. (G. H. M.)
N. and N.E. SCOTLAND
G. H. German spent five weeks in the tent at Forres, Morayshire. The opening conference was well attended. Every night, strangers came to hear the gospel, with definite results. Good numbers of children attended the young people’s meetings, twice a week. During August and the early part of September, the tent was pitched at Garthdee, a populous housing estate in Aberdeen. Interest was keen, especially among young folks, about 250 of whom attended children’s services. Some children and two women have confessed Christ. Friday was reserved for a ministry meeting, which was well supported. Consequent upon this work, the nearby school hall has been secured by Holburn Hall assembly for a Sunday School and Bible Class and a week-night children’s meeting.
A tent campaign was conducted in Brora, Sutherlandshire, by Harry Burness, evangelist, and C. Laurenson, a young Shetlander. Numbers gradually diminished, so efforts were focussed on open-air work and tract distribution. The reverse was found in the next pitch at Inver, Ross-shire, where many listened eagerly to the preaching and there are tokens of blessing.
On Thursday evenings, an average of 50 young believers have visited the villages of Aberdeenshire. Tracts were distributed among the houses and an open-air meeting followed in the square or some central part. A bus was hired on many occasions for conveyance.
At the open-air meetings at Hadden Street, Aberdeen, on Saturday evenings, large companies have again rallied. Thousands of tracts have been given away and opportunities have arisen for conversation with individuals who have shown interest and concern. (C. R. T.)
Over 20 years ago David Kirk left the city of Belfast to labour for the Lord in Nova Scotia. Subsequently he moved to Canada. During his recent furlough in Northern Ireland many of the saints have been refreshed and edified by his ministry. Special series of meetings, each of them lasting a week, were held in the following halls in Belfast:—Ballyhackamore, Ebenezer Hall, Matchett Street, Joseph Street, Dundonald and Fortwilliam. Every hall was filled to capacity and the Lord’s presence and blessing were felt in a very marked way. Special mention must be made of the meetings held in Holborn and Central Halls in Bangor. Mr Kirk gave very helpful and illuminating addresses on “The Seven Churches in Asia,” illustrated by a chart.
In the course of his furlough Mr. Kirk visited assemblies in Eire, England and the north of Scotland. He has now returned to Canada, and the saints in many parts of Britain will have cause to thank the Lord for his ministry and to pray for continued blessing on his service in North America. (J. F.)
It is hoped to include in our next issue a report of a Gospel Mission conducted by George McDonald, (home on furlough from Belgian Congo), in the new Sydney Hall which has just been completed in Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
F. L. Pontin, from London, who resides in Cork and is carrying on colportage work, is inaugurating a new Bible Study Correspondence Course for circulating amongst people of this country. He is also having a gospel paper printed and circulated. It is hoped to post copies of this paper to a large number of people in Southern Ireland and to offer Scriptures to those applying for them. (T. E. J. A.)
In addition to the regular street meetings, the assembly at East Finchley have been given permission on six Sunday afternoons during the past two summers to hold open-air meetings in a local park. As a result of complaints, the use of the amplifier was forbidden by the authorities after the first meeting this year and, in answer to this challenge particular attention was given by the workers to the singing. When the weather was fine, over 100 persons were interested to hear it and to listen to the message of the gospel. No conversions are known as a result but there has been evidence of real attention to the Word preached.
J. H. Bathgate commenced tent meetings in Knaphill, near Woking, in early June on the edge of Bisley Common. Interest and attendances were very encouraging at both adults’ and children’s meetings, so the work continued for a number of weeks. The tent was then moved on to Lower Knaphill, where again there was evidence of deep interest, and further blessing resulted during several weeks’ work. Finally, the tent was taken to St. John’s, about two miles from Woking, where considerable interest was shown even on the chilly evenings.
As a result of the summer’s work at least seven souls were definitely born again and two backsliders restored. The interest shown by local believers, including some not in assembly fellowship, has led to happy fellowship and a few of the brethren thought fit to take the initial step of commencing worship and the breaking of bread in one of their houses. In all, 17 shared in this first time of remembering the Lord. One of the most encouraging features has been the interest shown by the children, the great majority of whom do not, as yet, attend any Sunday School. At the time of writing, permission has just been received for the use of the local Civilian Youth Y.M.C.A., where it is hoped to hold Sunday School and other meetings as the Lord directs and to reach both the children and their parents with the truth of God’s Word. Our brethren have been very grateful for the whole-hearted support of several local assemblies and of one in particular, nine miles away. (S. H. S.)
GOSPEL CARAVAN WORK
H. E. Bentall (Winchester) reports that the past summer has, in the main, been spent with the Gospel Caravan in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, and Cumberland. Work amongst children has given much cause for praise. Souls have been reached and saved amongst adults and children. The crowds on The Slipway at St. Ives, night after night, have been greater than in previous years, causing traffic congestion and leading to a Police veto—to the effect that on only one night per week might open-air meetings be held. Villagers in isolated villages in Cumberland stated that no-one had visited them with the gospel for over 30 years.