Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
With the coming of another summer season with its opportunities for witness in the open-air, we do well to consider what use we plan to make of it in our own locality. Children can be reached who never attend Sunday School; older ones can be reminded visually and audibly of Scriptures they have learnt in their younger days. Once again we remind readers of the openings at agricultural shows for displays of the Word of God.
In all our service prayer is an essential ingredient. It is fervent prayer, and that of a believer in communion with God, that avails much. Prayer that is importunate, because it is in line with the will of God.
Let us speak with conviction and authority when we proclaim the Gospel. God commands men to repent, and we are His mouthpieces. We are not to lower the standard of the Gospel by giving the impression that men are doing God a favour by accepting His salvation. Men are called to obey that which we preach concerning the Saviour.
Northern Ireland. E. Fairfield and T. McKelvey had five weeks of well attended Gospel meetings in the town of Dromore, Co. Down. The assembly has experienced much blessing over the years and again God moved among them and three people made a profession of conversion. One of these was a man of nearly seventy, whose father was a leader in the assembly in its early days. Thus our God honours the persistent prayers of His people.
The assembly in the village of Drumaness, in the same count}-, although small in number, keeps active in Gospel work among young and old. A. Aicken and J. Graham held several weeks of meetings in the hail, when a married couple professed to have been restored to the Lord. They have since been received into the fellowship of the assembly. A Roman Catholic lady professed to have accepted the Saviour.
In Co. Tyrone J. Brown and J. Lennox were encouraged after two months of Gospel preaching in the small town of Fintona. The meetings had been brought to a close, but it was felt after some days that they should continue a little longer. This was done and God gave blessing. Among those who professed were two young women who were from the Police Training Centre some miles away. They had been brought with some others by two Christian policemen. Neither had previously heard die Gospel setting forth the way of salvation.
The assembly at Lungs is small, but the area around is large and spiritually needy. R. Beattie and J. G. Hutchinson held meetings where, although numbers were not really large, the local folk came along fairly well. Two of the unsaved professed to have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their own Saviour.
Craigavon is a new city which is rapidly growing, but it is difficult to get the folk into Gospel meetings. S. Curran and T. Matthews preached in an Orange hall and a few attended and heard the incorruptible Seed, that good Seed which alone can result in new life.
In Limavady, Co. Derry, the brothers D. Ussher and S. Ussher held a series of Gospel meetings and attendances were reasonably good. God encouraged all in the salvation of two souls.
A portable hall was used by J. Martin and W. Halliday on a new housing estate in the Harryville end of Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Although it was difficult to bring folk in a number confessed to have personally accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, believing that by His death upon the cross He had answered to a Holy God for [heir sins. Some of these had previous connections with the assembly, but one was a young woman who lived about ten miles away. She was brought regularly by R sister who contacted her at work.
Monaghan is a border town where the assembly is small yet carries on with the testimony among the many problems that arise in that situation. A. McShane and N. Turkington held Gospel meetings but there were no known cases of conversion although the believers profited much.
All believers need to be grounded in the teaching of Romans, so as to know what the Gospel is and the results expected to be seen in their lives. We also need to study Genesis, where the Divine plan is presented to us in skeleton form. A. McShane held ministry meetings to deal with the first book at Kingsmills and the second at Newtonbreda. These were well attended and proved helpful.
Southern Scotland. A responsibility rests upon elders to see that spiritual fond is available for the people of God on days of public holiday. The New Year's Day conference at Dumfries was wed attended and the Lord's help was evident as His servants ministered His Word.
The last night of the Gospel effort at Forth, Lanarkshire, with J. Clunas was one to be remembered. After the meeting, which was attended by many unsaved folk, the evangelist was invited to a home to speak to two men. He had to leave them to attend the nightly prayer meeting at 10.15 p.m., the men having promised to come to the hall so that their discussion might continue after the believers had left. They arrived just after 11 p.m., saying "we have come to be saved". The saints continued in prayer in one of their homes until the Lord's servant came. He brought the news that the men had been saved, but. that he was on his way to one of their homes where die wife wanted to be saved. Later that night she trusted in the Saviour for her eternal salvation, and the meeting that started with prayer finished with praise soon after midnight.
This time of prayer was a highlight of the effort. Not only did all those in fellowship join together, but a number from other assemblies showed their true fellowship by assembling with them. One sister of over seventy years of age did not miss one meeting during the six weeks.
East Anglia. Recalling incidents in last summer's work, G. Fenn tells of children who had no idea where the words "The Lord is my Shepherd" came from, or what pardon meant. This was in a village where there was once an assembly witness which ceased in the mid-thirties. How responsible we are to support those testimonies that are weak so that young and old may be taught the Word of God.
In one village an elderly man said that there had been nothing like the visit of the evangelist since he was a boy. What have we been doing if this is the case? What is the position of villages in your area?
The cottage meeting at Banham has now lasted for seven winters, with about a dozen attending every Friday evening. At least three have been brought into the light of salvation as a result, whilst others have been fed and uplifted.
Mobile Units. The large estates that are still growing around the towns of this country are often only reached with the Gospel by open-air workers. In most areas such work is hampered by lack of workers. Many areas that should be covered are never touched; people grow up without hearing of the Way of Salvation.
The South East London Mobile Unit team has been so reduced by faithful brethren moving away from the area that it is likely that some runs scheduled for 1973 will have to be cancelled. If you have a concern and can help please contact D. F. Blackmore, 35 Sclborne Road, Sidcup, Kent.
Republic of Ireland. Readers who wish to devote part of their vacation to Gospel literature distribution may like to consider the South of Ireland. Further information can be obtained from either A. Gray, Irishtown, Mountmellick, Co. Laois, or D. Gilpin, 116 Princetown Road, Bangor, Northern Ireland.