Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Many readers will soon be deciding the details of their holidays this summer. If our destination is that of the Lord's choosing it will without doubt enable us to have fellowship with a company of His people gathered to His Name. But do we ever stop to consider how we can most be a blessing to His people?
So often the main assemblies in seaside resorts are filled to capacity with holiday visitors, and small gatherings in the vicinity, often struggling to maintain a faithful testimony on scriptural lines, would be overjoyed if some visitors were to assist them. We have the opportunity during the summer to give such assemblies the encouragement and stimulus which will enable them the more easily to stand faithful during the rest of the year.
Especially will this be the case if we attend the weeknight gatherings when on holiday, which is our responsibility as much as when at home.
Mid Scotland. During December J. Hay and J. Campbell visited in a massive housing area in Perth. In three weeks they covered some fifteen hundred dwellings, and they were still only a small way through that one estate. How great the need is for the Lord's people to rise up to their responsibilities and make the Gospel known in these great estates that are all around.
The same brethren maintain a weekly meeting in the Town Hall, Coupar Angus. This is well attended and there is a growing appreciation of spiritual truth.
Four weeks of meetings were held in January in the village of Burrelton, a portable hall being used.
Five children's meetings are maintained by the believers at Montrose during the winter months. These have been well attended. In Johnshaven six boys waited behind one night; while all were not ready to trust the Lord, the two older ones had been showing interest over preceding weeks. This is the first evidence of any spiritual movement in the village.
During the two weeks before Christmas, over five thousand tracts were distributed in Montrose and four surrounding places. Over half the assembly helped, including one brother of eighty-two years of age.
Southern Scotland. Three local newspapers in Lanarkshire have provided an opportunity for evangelism. This comprises a text together with comments under the heading "Thought for the Week". Two articles concerning Christmas were also published. These, of course, contained an excellent Gospel content.
Two years ago a woman was led to the Lord in Dalmellington, Ayrshire; in due course she was baptized and received into fellowship. Following this her daughter was saved and baptized, whilst recently her teenage daughter has taken the same steps. How important, therefore, for all believers to seek to reach new families with the Gospel, for once one of them is saved there is no knowing how many other relations will be affected.
A lady, whose husband had deserted her and her five children, was wonderfully saved, and has now had the added joy of seeing her eldest daughter, just entering her teens, saved as well.
The results from the door to door work in Lanarkshire in recent months have been good with definite conversions following.
In Dumfries a number of parents were present at the annual children's night. One mother, who had previous connections with assemblies, has since been coming to the Gospel meeting.
The believers in Newton Stewart arranged an end of year Gospel meeting. The neighbouring assemblies supported well and over two hundred gathered, including a good number of young folk. Six short Gospel messages were given by brethren from six assemblies.
Baptism. The past months have seen a large number of believers, young and old, obeying their Lord in this first step in the Christian pathway. Have all readers brought joy to their Saviour by taking this act of simple obedience?
New Year Conferences. Attendances at the New Year Conferences are reported to have improved. In these days of greatly increased leisure time, there is no reason for attendances at such gatherings to decline; they should rather increase.
Postal Sunday School. The Worcestershire P.S.S. has now over five hundred regular scholars. Recently the workers received a letter from parents expressing their appreciation of all that the P.S.S. means to their children. They went on to tell how the mother of a child whom they had introduced to the P.S.S. had been brought to a knowledge of the Lord as Saviour through helping her daughter with the lessons.
Mobile Units. Once again we would bring to your notice the need for workers in all forms of open air activity. We are in danger of throwing away the liberty we have in this land by not taking advantage of it.
Instead of more workers being available to tract and preach in the large housing areas of our land, numbers decline. Yet in one hour of such work more unsaved are reached than come into an average hall during the course of a whole year. With the summer coming, let us plan to use it to reach out with the Gospel as much as we can.
Northern Ireland. A. Aiken and G. Wallace held six weeks of Gospel meetings in Granagh Orange Hall near Rasharkin. They were encouraged to see good numbers attending including some local folk. Three souls made a profession of conversion.
At Bushmills, on the North Antrim coast, J. Martin and W. Millar had meetings for ten weeks in the village Orange Hall. Attendances were good and included some who were not in the habit of attending meetings. A number professed to have exercised faith in the Lord Jesus.
T. McKelvey and J. G. Hutchinson had large numbers at Lisburn, and many outsiders attended. A married couple and another married woman professed to have been saved as a result.
At Whitesides Corner, about six miles from Ballymena, J. Thompson and S. Ferguson erected a portable hall and preached nightly for over two months. Attendances were encouraging and several stated that they had been saved.
At Scarva, in Co. Armagh, S. McBride and W. Jennings also used a portable hall. This area has always been difficult for Gospel work, and although numbers were reasonably good the results were disappointing.
Quilly is in a rural area a few miles from Cookstown, and the assembly is also small. By self-denial they have erected a nice hall, and the opening meetings were well attended, R. Beattie, J. Lennox and J. G. Hutchinson giving help with the ministry of the Word.
Republic of Ireland. J. G. Hutchinson had a short spell of Gospel meetings with excellent attendances in Cork. An interesting feature was the attendance of Roman Catholics, Mormons and others. God was pleased to give a real interest and also blessing.