Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
The summer months are a time of fairs, agricultural shows and the like which appear to be increasing in number. All provide an opportunity for the spread of the knowledge of salvation. Are we taking advantage of these gatherings of large numbers of unsaved folk?
During May a team of seven believers from the assembly at Enfield Highway, Middlesex, visited the Pinner Fair in conjunction with the N.W. London Mobile Unit. A witness was maintained over the amplifying equipment and hundreds of tracts were given out.
For a "Pop" Festival at Bath up to twenty thousand young folk are expected. The believers have arranged a coffee bar and large quantities of suitable literature.
Lancashire. The needs of the various small assemblies in this and other counties should never be forgotten.
The believers at Blackley, Manchester, were encouraged recently by the baptism of a young lady whose parents were in fellowship.
After a long period of difficulty the small assembly at Ashton-under-Lyne has been encouraged by additions to the number who have greatly strengthened the testimony. The continued help of N. Mellish during the past year has made a big difference. In addition to holding a Gospel campaign and engaging in door to door visitation, this evangelist helped to establish the Gospel service on a regular basis. A weeknight children's meeting has proved a blessing to many younger ones in the neighbourhood.
At Middleton the weekly Gospel meeting has to be suspended for a period because of illness, although it was possible to maintain other gatherings with help from other assemblies. Happily the Gospel work has now been recommenced, and the believers are praying that the Lord will bring others into new property now being erected nearby.
Perthshire. J. Campbell experienced a prolonged trying period at Luncarty, but for the closing meeting the hall was well filled with local people and at the close nine different folk waited behind, including a woman in her seventies. A regular meeting has now been established at the request of the local folk in one of their homes. During May the believers had the joy of hearing a woman in her sixties tell of trusting the Lord as Saviour.
The Lord's Day evening work at Methven which has been reported in previous issues had to cease through the lack of help from the caretaker. The Thursday meeting is continuing however, and during May the mother of a lad converted a few months ago confessed her faith in the Saviour.
At Stormontfield on a spring Lord's Day afternoon every child in the village from five to fifteen years of age gathered in the home of a believer. This was the best attendance yet, and the parents are now evidencing real interest in spiritual things as well.
Ayrshire. Among the activities arranged by the leaders of the youth work in some six assemblies in this shire is a spring week-end at Largs. This April the speaker was D. Hinchcliffe and such impressions were left on the young folk that in subsequent weeks seven were baptized in three different assemblies and other baptisms are pending.
The assembly at Irvine, long noted for its children's work, maintains four meetings for the young in the town and its environs. D. McMaster held a fortnight's campaign for the children in two of these outreaches in the spring.
The believers meeting in Victoria Hall, Ayr, have just completed a new hall for Gospel work in the Belmont district of the town. Opening meetings for various sections of the population were well attended.
Two young brethren have been trying Gospel meetings on Wednesdays with the little assembly at Patna. This follows a winter of children's meetings and weeknight Bible classes in nearby Dalrymple during which three teenage girls accepted the Saviour.
Skelmorlie is considered to be a hard village where the Gospel is concerned. There are those with connections with the established church and others who have no interest for divine things. Meetings taken by J. Clunas were well supported by believers from Brisbane Hall, Largs, but local folk proved hard to get in. However some came on Saturday evenings when there was a cup of tea provided. The parents were ready to bring their children by car for the youngsters meeting but were not prepared to come themselves. However the children's meetings were such a success that it has been decided to continue a weekly meeting. Two boys and one girl, all in their teens, professed to have trusted in the Saviour. It is the hope of the believers at Largs that eventually an assembly will be established in this village.
Lanarkshire. J. Clunas returned to Forth for a week as follow-up to the meeting last November. The attendance of unsaved folk was remarkable, nearly two hundred being present over the six nights. Further cases of conversion caused rejoicing, and good numbers of unsaved were also seen at special meetings dealing with missionary work.
A meeting for hospital workers was held in Wishaw for all interested in taking the news of the Saviour to such institutions. Some four hundred were present and heard reports of the work in various areas. News was given of one hospital where permission had been given for the first time allowing workers to mix freely with inmates and to speak of the Saviour. The brother responsible for this work has now been given a "spiritual page" in the hospital magazine.
In spite of the fact that the Gospel campaign conducted by H. Murphy in Union Hall, Uddington, during March coincided with a bus strike, the hall was filled every evening. Many local folk who had been personally visited and invited were encouraged to come when they saw the large numbers, mostly believers, who were attending. Four people made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
R. McPheat was at Bellshill for the month of March, the first week being devoted to ministry of the Word. Much door to door work was carried out by the believers, but the best results were obtained by those who brought neighbours or workmates. In this way there was a goodly sprinkling of unsaved present. Two weeks of special children's meetings were taken by J. McEwan of Carluke, up to sixty youngsters attending, two of whom trusted in the Saviour.
Somerset. With a view to encouraging the younger generation in Bible study a whole day conference was arranged by D. Wilcox at Compton Dundon in January. This was so well attended that another was arranged in May when over fifty young believers were present.
Northern Ireland. God was pleased to bless the Word preached by J. Lyttle and A. Hawthorne at meetings in Coleraine Gospel Hall, Co. Derry. The hall was well filled and a number professed conversion, including some who had not been in any way connected with the hall.
J. Brown and two local brethren held meetings in a portable hall erected near the village of Castledawson in the same county. They were encouraged by good attendances and by some who accepted the Saviour.
In Co. Down, two young Belfast businessmen, S. Maze and S. Wells, held Gospel meetings for several weeks at Katesbridge. These were well attended and they were encouraged to know of one married woman who professed faith in the Lord Jesus.
After considerable exercise by a number of believers, a special effort was made during the month of May to reach the people of the city of Belfast with the Gospel. The Ulster Hall, in the city centre, was booked for four weeks, and the Gospel was proclaimed nightly by J. G. Hutchinson. In the audience each night there was a good number of unsaved folk not in the habit of attending Gospel meetings. Help was given in the preaching of the Word and all concerned were encouraged as a goodly number told of their exercise of faith in the Saviour.
In another part of the city J. Walmsley and S. Ferguson preached to good numbers each night in a Y.M.C.A. hall. Believers gave good support and a fair number of outsiders attended.
Republic of Ireland. Despite intensive distribution of Gospel literature during the past summers, there are still large areas of this country where little evangelical work has been done. Thousands of people in Ireland are still almost totally ignorant of God's way of Salvation. This year again there is a wide variety of opportunity for young believers over seventeen years of age, from assemblies, to help commended workers in the distribution of literature, in the preaching of the Gospel in. the open-air and in engaging in personal evangelism. If you would like further information write to Mr. D. Gilpin, 116 Princetown Road, Bangor, Co. Down.