Gospel Work And Other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

ENGLAND

WINSHILL Winshill Gospel Hall, Burton-on Trent, conducted a meeting considering the issues of drugs and asking: ARE CHRISTIANS PREPARED FOR THE REALITY? The purpose of the meeting was to promote awareness among the people of God as to the dangers and also the reality of drugs on our streets. Graham Barton (Warrington), and Ian Robertson (Scotland) were the speakers. Graham, as a practising doctor for twenty years, gave the medical side of drugs, giving graphic information as to the drugs that are being taken, the health risks and the massive effect drugs have on our bodies. This was followed by Ian Robertson giving a report of the work in Scotland that he is involved in, the café they run and the contacts that are made with the drug addicts. The 130 people who gathered were greatly challenged by what was said. An opportunity was taken by Ian to preach the gospel as there were many unsaved present. The meeting closed with a message from Graham to parents as to how to approach our own children as believers if sadly they are found to be taking drugs. A short question time was held at the end of the meeting.

BICESTER Tom Bentley (Malaysia) was with the saints for two weeks’ ministry during October. He brought his scale model of the tabernacle and various charts. A good number attended each night and there was a good interest among the young. Ian Campbell came for a week of children’s meetings in November. Good numbers attended nightly with two mothers coming regularly. Ian also took five School assemblies, two of which were in schools to which access had not previously been gained. The assembly has just finished tracting the town’s 12,000 homes. During 2004 it hopes to tract about forty villages within a ten mile radius of the town. A recent door to door effort in the nearby village of Ambrosden has led to a number of new children attending the Sunday school, some with their parents.

REDDITCH Some years ago, the Christians who meet in the Gospel Hall formed ‘The Gospel Hall Link Team’. Over the years a number of schools have been visited with fourteen schools now being visited on a regular basis with opportunity to speak to 1200 children. Celia Platt (a retired teacher) was invited to speak to the children on ‘What the Bible means to me’, and ‘My life as a Christian’. Pray for this good work among children that young lives might be challenged by the gospel.

NORTHAMPTON The assembly at Spencer Bridge Road held a holiday club when a large number of children attended. The topic for the week was ‘People who did the impossible’. The behaviour of the children and the attentive listening were a great encouragement to the believers. John Grant spoke with clarity and simplicity. A prize-giving was held on the last evening when parents attended.

HOLBURY The assembly which meets in the Gospel Hall has been encouraged by the growth in youth work and have held some weekend camps during school holiday times during which the word of God has been taught. Two of the teenagers have been baptized and received into the assembly fellowship.

CHELTENHAM The assembly meeting at Bethany Hall has been encouraged by the ministry given over the autumn period. J. B. Nicholson gave some soul-searching ministry which was followed by a missionary report from Ken Jones who told of the work of the Lord in Spanish speaking countries. The annual conference was conducted by Eric Parmenter and Colin Lacey and the ministry given was most profitable. The ‘Echoes Day’ was held at Dean Close School where the large congregations were encouraged and challenged with varied reports from around Europe and other areas.

DERBY Alan Barber held a week of childrens’ meetings in Curzon Street Hall which were well attended with over forty children present. Pray that the seed sown will reap much fruit.

DATCHET The Bible distribution work continues with Steve and Judi Buckeridge who place adverts in various places offering a free Bible. Anyone wishing further information of this work can reach Steve and Judi by phoning 01753 542481. Please pray that this good work will continue and that many might be saved through the power of the word of God.

SCOTLAND

KENNOWAY At Arnot Gospel Hall, a special afternoon was arranged at the end of November to mark the first birthday of little Rebecca Currie. She had been born fifteen weeks prematurely, weighing only 1lb 6oz, and spent her first seven months in hospital. Many believers prayed for the little one as she battled through a number of different crises in her development. It was fitting therefore to give God thanks for His goodness throughout this time in answering prayer. A significant proportion of the large number gathered were unsaved friends, neighbours, colleagues and medical staff. Many were attending the Hall for the first time and from subsequent conversations impressions were made on quite a few. A short and suitable gospel message was given by John Grant.

CASTLE DOUGLAS The portable hall was located in the town of Castle Douglas for four weeks. Stephen Grant preached for the whole time sharing with two other brethren – Jim Paterson, jnr., for the first two weeks and Robert Miller for the second two weeks. The preaching was supported by door to door work, with George Meikle helping for some of the time. The meetings were well attended with unsaved from the town being present most nights. Some came throughout the four weeks and it is particularly encouraging to see them still attending the Sunday night gospel meeting in the Gospel Hall. Other believers also attended regularly. Pray for the area and the contacts that have been made.

EYEMOUTH Stephen Grant and Jim Paterson, jnr., had two weeks of gospel meetings in the borders town of Eyemouth which has no assembly. This is now the fourth consecutive year that the portable hall has been located in this town. It is encouraging to see that the interest from the people of the town has developed each year. The meetings were well attended with unsaved in the hall each evening. In particular, two families came regularly, one of which had three generations present at some of the meetings. There were also children’s meetings which were shared by Stephen Grant and Graeme Paterson and these were also well attended. Some believers travelled a considerable distance to support the meetings and this fellowship was most helpful. Prayer is requested for on-going contacts in the community and that the seed sown might bring forth fruit in the salvation of souls.

WALES

TYCROES The assembly at Tycroes has recently had tremendous opportunities to share the gospel and get involved with the community. Since visiting the local primary school on a monthly basis, an excellent relationship has ensued resulting in the Headmistress desiring to have the school Harvest Service at the Gospel Hall. This was a memorable occasion with around 150 pupils and over fifty parents attending, most of whom would have been visiting the building for the first time, and almost certainly hearing the gospel message for the first time too. In addition to this, the local Senior Citizens Group also requested to have their Harvest Celebration at the Hall, which provided yet another opportunity to share the gospel with the elderly of the village. The assembly is thrilled at these opportunities but are desperately praying for these many contacts to become converts.

NEATH Joe Baxter was the speaker at a fortnight of gospel meetings. A good number were present at all the meetings, with a number of unsaved attending. Please pray for the contacts made and all those who heard the message.

BRIDGEND Taking the idea from the work of Paul Bramsen in the USA, Annie Spencer (ex Trinidad) has commenced a correspondence ministry among local Muslims. Annie identifies likely Muslims from the local telephone directory and sends to each an attractive flyer, advertising a book specially written for an audience with an Islamic background. A copy of the book All that the Prophets have Spoken – available in English, Arabic or French – is sent free on request. The work began only recently and Annie has already had fourteen requests for the book. If others are interested in doing a similar work in their area, Annie can be contacted at P.O.Box 134, Bridgend, CF35 5RH.

CO. ANTRIM Antrim J. Allen gave challenging ministry for one week relating to the believers’ lives and the Judgement Seat of Christ. Kells J. Grant paid a visit to the assembly, and gave several nights of ministry from the Acts of the Apostles.

CO. ARMACH Glenanne The small assembly has been much encouraged by support from nine other assemblies during ministry meetings by W. J. Nesbitt based on the Epistle to the Ephesians.

CO. CAVAN Stonewall T. Topley and H. Milligan have just concluded a gospel effort in this small assembly. There were three who professed salvation which is a great encouragement.

CO. FERMANAGH Lisbellaw R. McKeown has concluded an encouraging series of gospel meetings in the local Gospel Hall. The saints were delighted to see for the first time local people responding to the invitations to attend. They rejoice too in the fact that the good seed bore fruit when several came to know the Saviour.

CO. SLIGO Sligo The small assembly in this county had an all day Conference on 20th September, held in a local school. It was a most encouraging time for the local believers to see between 250-300 people gathered with a hunger for the word.The speakers were D. Gilliland and S. Grant.

CO DOWN Carryduff Annual Conference held 6th September. The hall was well filled, when timely ministry was given by N. Mellish and J.Allen. Mr Allen continued the following week with prophetic ministry, using a large chart. The ministry was very challenging, emphasizing the imminence of the Lord’s return, to the spiritual profit of many.

CO. LONDONDERRY Castledawson A. Colgan and L. Craig have completed eight weeks of tent meetings. The district was faithfully visited resulting in good numbers attending. While no one professed to be saved it was felt that the gospel was faithfully preached. Garvagh D. Gilliland and D. Flack completed five weeks of tent meetings. Numbers increased towards the end of the series and there was encouragement in that an elderly lady professed faith in Christ. This lady lives locally in sheltered accommodation. It was a Christian who lives in similar circumstances who invited her to the meetings.

DEVON

Efford Christian Fellowship, Efford, Plymouth, Devon. New building commencing February 2004 DV.

Some years ago the assembly meeting in Westhill Gospel Hall in Plymouth felt that the Lord would have them start evangelising the massive council estate called Efford. As a result of their efforts and the use of the local Primary School as a meeting place, the Lord began saving souls and drawing large numbers of youngsters to the meetings set up for them. There have been some baptised and added to the assembly in the past months and now about one hundred youngsters attend the activities in the school on a Friday evening. The premises in Westhill where the assembly had been for many years, were very inadequate and needing extensive repairs to keep them in use. After much heart searching it was decided to approach the City Council for permission to build on the estate to house the growing work. After many twists and turns in the following three years, the building in Westhill has been sold and the believers are at last seeing their prayers answered for, God willing, in February the builders are to start on a purpose built hall from which the assembly will be able to continue their witness to this very large council estate. They have to call in the police sometimes to clear awkward teenagers away and the social problems represented are many and varied. However they feel called of the Lord to do this work and they would value prayer for the way ahead as the building progresses.

CORNWALL

Report on the efforts to re-commence an assembly testimony in Falmouth Cornwall using the Gospel Hall in Trevethan Road.

Many believers have expressed interest in the efforts of the small assemblies in Cornwall to keep an active testimony going out from the now closed assembly work in Falmouth. The Trustees of the building in Trevethan Road, kindly encouraged local brethren to be responsible for a monthly out reach using the Hall and to seek the Lord’s mind in raising up assembly testimony again in the Town. For the last eighteen months several thousands of leaflets have been distributed in the area and contacts built up with local Christians. This has resulted in monthly meetings that have numbered around 35 to 45 people on each occasion. Initially some from the area came in and a few still maintain an interest and attend the meetings regularly. It was decided to alter the approach to the work for the first three meetings of the New Year by trying to reach the families around the Hall, holding a Family Service on the afternoon of the third Lord’s Day in January, February and March. Previously meetings had been held on a Saturday evening. This new approach was for two reasons, firstly it was felt that a Sunday meeting was most likely to be more natural for the people around to come to, and, secondly because contacts with children would hopefully open up greater access to adults in the area. The great weakness in the endeavour has been, and still is, that of not having any Christians in Falmouth, as far as we are aware, that are as convinced as we are to see a New Testament based assembly reestablished in the Town. At present none of those involved in doing this work live in Falmouth. If a viable work amongst the young, even though happening just once a month could be established, it would be a great help to anyone moving into the area to carry on and build upon. In faith, the local school has been contacted with a view to taking regular morning assemblies for them and so contacting the children in the area in a very direct way. Please pray that the Lord will open this door. Should this new approach open up a greater contact with the locals there will be an even greater need for the support and encouragement of the local believers to sustain the demands of this kind of meeting than previously. Towards the end of last year, a young family from Northern Ireland that used to live in Helston and fellowshipped with the then existing assembly witness in Falmouth, indicated their continuing concern about being involved in the possible development of the work in the will of the Lord. Prayer would be valued as they consider to what extent the Lord would see them as part of what He is doing in Falmouth.