Gospel Work and Other Assembly Activities – March-April 1984

“They continued stedfastly”, Acts 2. 42.

In this report it is good to tell of many campaigns and special gospel efforts throughout the country. This reflects exercise on the part of local churches to reach the people in the area. Yet perhaps even more encouraging, are the number of times that we have been able to report that local activities have increased and been strengthened by these efforts. This means that we are not only concerned with campaigns but with continuance. Whipped up enthusiasm often flags early and soon loses ground. Assemblies need consistent, on-going testimony with united prayer and perseverance. This the early church saw. How much we need it today.

Northern Ireland

We have some very interesting items from Jim Graham this time. Jim Allen conducted meetings at NEWTON BREDA, Belfast, with good blessing. Two young women whose parents and grandparents are in fellowship, accepted Christ following a meeting. They were in the same house and unknown to each other made the vital decision. Here is outward evidence of the unseen work of the Holy Spirit in human lives. A man who attended regularly asked for an extension of the meetings. They were extended for an extra week. On the Friday of this week a man trusted Christ for salvation. Strangely, the man who asked for the extension has since been saved in meetings conducted by Jim Hutchinson and Albert Aiken at HOLYWOOD, Co. Down. Others who attended at Newtown Breda have since been converted. Praise God for these evidences of power. At least one man came to Christ in seven weeks gospel meetings held by Sam Ferguson and Norman Turkington in DROMORE. At DRUMNAHARE, Jim Martin and Wilson Jennings had the joy of seeing a number saved during a ten week series of gospel meetings.

At the Plantation assembly, LISBURN, a very encouraging series of meetings for nine weeks was conducted by Albert McShane and Tom Meekin, when about fifteen came to the Lord for salvation. Albert McShane followed with ministry designed to help those who had been born again. At SHANAGHAN, Co. Down, John Thompson and D. Gilliland had ten weeks of gospel meetings, and at least three professed faith in Christ. In the small assembly at TEAGUY, Co. Armagh, Eric Wishart and Robert Eadie had a series of gospel meetings. A good interest in the gospel was seen in meetings held by Sam McBride and David Kane at ERRYROE, Co. Monaghan. A well attended series of meetings was conducted by Jim Brown and Jack Lennox in MONEYMORE, Co. Derry. At TIVACONAVEY, J. Nesbitt and J. Stewart worked, and they were encouraged to see people from the locality attending the meetings which were held in Orange Hall. At PORTSALON, Sam Patterson and Gilbert Stewart preached the gospel and had the joy of seeing a man of 87 years profess faith in the Lord Jesus.

The Annual Bible Readings at Albert-bridge Road, BELFAST, were conducted by S. McBride, N. Turkington and A. McShane. They were good times with the hall packed for each meeting. The BELFAST Christmas Conference was held at Kings Hall, Balmoral. The sessions for Bible Readings and the evening Ministry were fully attended. The Readings on John 17 were conducted with Jim Allen and Albert Leckie. The evening meetings were shared by various brethren. A matter for prayer is mentioned. The assembly at Ormeau Road, BELFAST, hope D.V. to pitch a large tent in the BOTANIC GARDENS during June this year. Jim Hutchinson and Jim Allen will be the evangelists. There are many features of need connected with this proposed outreach, and each has its demand for prayer. From the many items in this report we can rejoice that God is saving souls in spite of the dark conditions in Ireland.

There are several pieces of news from E. Jamieson which tell of the personal contacts made in the work in BELFAST. Especially interesting are some of the needs among Police Force members who have been injured in terrorist attacks. Each of those contacted receives a Salvation Testament with a letter assuring of prayer concern, and giving address and telephone number for further contacts. There is Billy, a police officer who was tragically injured in the explosion at Northern Ireland Polytechnic. He is still unconscious. How much need there is for prayer for his family. Another contact is with an officer injured in the same incident. He is paralysed from the waist downward. A policeman who was involved in a recent terrorist attack reads the New Testament which was given him. He comes from a family that “believes in prayer”. Then there are a number of men recently injured in four different terrorist attacks. They have required support and help during their stay in hospital. The great objective in all these contacts is that Christ will eventually come into the lives of these who suffer so much because of lawlessness and cruelty. Those involved in this work ask earnestly for our prayer support.

Southern Scotland

The work continues in many parts of the South. At GLENROTHES, John Campbell and Jack Hay found the going hard for a good part of their mission there, but eventually saw some blessing. At COWDENBEATH, John Spiers enjoyed a time of great blessing and it was evident that the Lord was working. An important feature of the mission was the well attended early morning prayer meetings. The earnestness of the prayers showed a real burden for souls and believers were keen to influence people to come in. Attendances were good and a number were saved and also some were restored to the Lord. There were some interesting cases of conversion and one is recounted. A lady came in to the meetings whose younger son died at 15. Her husband, addicted to drink, killed her other son while under the influence of alcohol. He in turn was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment, and died in prison. He was broken-hearted with remorse for what he had done. Her daughter’s husband also died. During these happenings a sister was in touch with her, seeking to comfort her and give practical help. The kindness and loving care brought their reward, when during the meetings she came to Christ for salvation. Out of such unbelievable tragedy the Lord was able to bring glory to His Name. A mission was held at KILMARNOCK, in the New Farmloch area, with Robert Revie and it was difficult to get all the people into the portable hall. The response from the children was encouraging. At GLENBURN, Prestwick, Jim Smyth had an encouraging time with some being saved. Peter Brandon enjoyed a time of blessing at High Park Gospel Hall, HAMILTON, with backsliders restored and some coming to know the Lord. In meetings at AIRDRIE, Jim Smyth found the work difficult.

North Scotland

A brief note of work in the North. In the ORKNEYS, Frank Reid had a time of sowing the seed in WESTRAY with fairly good interest shown. At HANAY, during gospel meetings, a girl and a man professed faith in Christ. Door to door work was very encouraging with a good interest being shown in the gospel.

North West England

From Gerald Bourne comes news of gatherings for the ministry of the Word in the MANCHESTER area. The Saturday evening meetings held in various halls in the City have reached the middle of their series. They have been well attended, and a good percentage of young people have shown keenness to come for the teaching of the good Word. This has given encouragement to those responsible for the convening of the meetings. The Greater MANCHESTER New Year’s Day Conference saw the highest attendance for many years. The morning Bible Reading on the Deity of Christ was led by A. Leckie and G. B. Fyfe. This was a good gathering and a profitable reading was enjoyed. The afternoon and evening sessions for ministry were encouraging with over 200 gathering together. Again the greatest encouragement to the elders and convenors of the meetings was the high percentage of young believers that attended. It is hoped that this is indicative of a deepening interest in the truth of the Word of God.

North East England

The assembly at CONSETT, Co. Durham, had a campaign with Stewart McKenzie. Adult meetings were disappointing in numbers but there was encouragement when a middle aged man accepted Christ as Saviour. He expressed his conversion in his own words, saying, “I’m a new man”. The children’s services were well attended and three girls professed faith in Christ. Five others showed great interest. At the Bredalbane assembly, GATESHEAD, there was encouragement when four women were baptised. These included a mother and her two daughters. All were received into the fellowship of the assembly. The assembly is glad, that after 12 years of negotiations with the local council, work has commenced on the building of a new hall. It is hoped that the spring will see the work completed. The 40th Annual N.E. England Missionary Conference weekend was held in TYNE-, TEE-, and WEARSIDE. Reports were given by six different missionaries from the field and the meetings were encouraging.

The North East Assemblies Outreach looks into the future with a burden before the Lord as to what He would have done in regard to witness in the area during 1984. Invitations from local assemblies for help in outreach work have always been awaited before moves have been made. Sadly, none were forthcoming in 1983 and so this has led to consideration as to what action to take. It would be good if we could share this burden with them by remembering them in prayer.

London Area

News from the London Evangelistic Mobile Units indicates the impact that open air work still makes in evangelism. Here are some items from the South West London Unit. At Great Windmill Street some good conversations were enjoyed, notably with four skinheads who gave ear politely and afterwards took some tracts. A visit was made to EAST CROYDON and a mixed reception was given to tracts offered. Two of the workers had conversations with two young men who asked questions and then accepted Christian literature. A man whose attitude was hard at first, went away happy with a Gospel of John. At WEST END an uninterrupted witness was given until late in the day and there were some good messages given to the people. Many personal contacts were made including conversation with three students from Denmark and a person from Sweden. On a lovely evening in HAMMERSMITH, workers were soon engaged in personal work. An hour’s conversation was enjoyed with one man and his interest was good. At LEICESTER SQUARE a good number stopped to listen. A Roman Catholic was contacted and listened as he was told that he could confess his sins to God direct, and know forgiveness. He is being followed up by workers. There was much to challenge as the crowds were confronted with the claims of Christ.

The South East Unit was able to continue its witness although several runs had to be cancelled because of fewness of workers. A new area was visited at SOUTHBOROUGH. Some were suspicious as the children gathered round and listened to stories of the Lord Jesus. Contacts were made. At GROVE PARK there were complaints as the Word was spoken and few were prepared to listen. Believers from the Gospel Hall HILDENBOROUGH gathered with workers to make a visit there a happy occasion. One man said that with his crippled wife, they read the Bible and prayed every day. They did not attend a place of worship. How necessary that light should dawn on such as these to bring them to salvation. At FARNBOROUGH a new housing estate was visited named “Utopia”. All were not happy there. One complained that she did not want to know about the things of Christ which could bring her peace and happiness. Before the Unit had opened up and while the workers were in prayer there was a knock on the window. An enquirer was asking for assistance. He was an Irishman, once a Catholic, who had left the “fold”. He had heard the gospel preached at the London Embankment Mission Hall, Waterloo. His desperate need for Christ was felt by the workers.

South East England

A newsletter from S. Mountsteven tells of profitable times in this area. Ten days were spent in the village of ST. NICHOLAS at WADE and some local believers gave some appreciated help. Parents and friends filled the tent for the final night. The need of the children was obvious. It was sad to see a boy of 8 in a leather jacket on which was written “Hell’s Angel”. He attended but young as he was, it was obvious that there was no interest. Satan is truly at work in these youngsters. At HIGHAM, good numbers attended. It proved a friendly village and many children were brought in by their parents. Some arrived in a local police car and the village policeman attended. About thirty parents and friends came to the prize-giving. At the Gospel Hall, WELLING, good numbers attended over two weeks meetings and recently two girls professed salvation. At WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA, ten days of meetings were profitable with good numbers and interest shown. At Franklyn Gospel Hall, HAYWARDS HEATH, two weeks meetings proved to be a time of great blessing and fellowship. Our brother speaks of a family laid on his heart, of unstable background and with Catholic leanings. Three of the children attended regularly. Because of this burden he asks for special prayer as also for a girl living next door to the gospel hall. Her parents are opposed to the local testimony. Despite this antagonism, the 12 year-old girl regularly attends the meetings. After one meeting she asked for a talk, but was not saved. Parents and friends packed the hall for the Sunday gospel meeting. It was indeed a challenging time for all.

South Wales

From W. Beale we have news of encouragement in Philip St. Gospel Hall, MANSELTON, Swansea. An increase in the number of young people in the fellowship has revived interest in the gospel outreach in a wide residential area. They have become very active in the work among the children, both in the Sunday School and children’s meetings. With the Mobile Unit they have toured the area in Christian Witness. They are looking forward to other activities as the Lord leads. The assembly at Bethany Evangelical Chapel, PENLAN, Swansea, after sowing of the good seed of the Word, are now beginning to reap the blessing. In the past six months six believers have been baptised including a man of 60 years of age. It is a joy to see that God has answered prayer. Several young people have been brought into fellowship, being converted through the faithful witness of the church in the area. A quarterly tea and gospel service arranged for Senior Citizens and also a sisters weekly meeting are well attended.

Paul Young reports on various activities in the valleys. In a small assembly at SKEWEN, near Neath, a week’s children’s mission, with some youth meetings proved useful. Attendances were good and a youth meeting is now maintained here. At LOUGHOR, another small assembly, 2 weeks children’s meetings with youth and film nights and gospel meetings were encouraging. Attendances with children averaged 50 and as a result the Sunday School and Children’s meetings have increased. At

TRIMS ARAN, a small assembly in a small hall was strained to bursting point when 100 children packed into it on several nights of the week. It was good to be able to speak to a number of unsaved ladies who attend the regular “Friends and Neighbours” evening.

South and West England

From this area comes news of a special children’s campaign held with Stephen Gillham at Twynham Chapel, CHRISTCHURCH. Careful preparation was made and every house in the area visited. Two local schools were also visited. Over 200 children came to the mission with a great band of helpers and a happy spirit. The outstanding occasion was the family service, with about 280 present, many parents attending for the first time. Regular activities have benefited since. The work in DORCHESTER prison continues and with PORTLAND give opportunity for visitation. Weekly visits for Bible Study Groups give encouragement as these enable good personal contacts. Possibilities of a regular work at TRICKETTS CROSS, a large housing estate, have opened with Bert and Jean Campbell moving into the district. Regular visitation, children’s meetings and a home Bible Study have commenced. It is hoped to establish a new assembly testimony there. Prayer for this needy Estate would be valued.

Philip Lambert speaks of the source of encouragement that the work in schools proves to be in the TROWBRIDGE area. A girl who had attended several special campaigns, professed faith in Christ at a recent C.U. meeting. She was notorious for bad behaviour but an obvious change has taken place in her life. Praise God for this. There are many openings in this field of service.

Devon

It is good to have news of blessing from High Street Chapel, CREDITON. Several young people trusted Christ during last summer’s camp. In October a week’s children’s meetings with David Iliffe were held. Over 100 children attended each night and at the final family night the chapel was full. Older ones trusted the Saviour and the Sunday School has increased. Five young people requested baptism and were baptised and are now in fellowship. This brought deep thankfulness in the assembly.

From TEIGNMOUTH comes news that a young girl was baptised in December and added to the assembly. Her parents had been in fellowship for several years. From Great Parks Chapel, Kings Ash, PAIGNTON, comes an encouraging item. There are 44 in fellowship with a predominance of young people. Encouraging numbers attended the gospel meetings during 1983. It was also good to know of three young people who came to know the Lord during Summer Youth Camp. A week’s meetings with Stan Ford brought blessing and the following ministry meetings brought a challenge and inspiration to all.

Cornwall

We have an item of news this time concerning each Cornish assembly. These will keep us up to date in our praying. At BODMIN the work is small, with some having moved away, leaving about 27 in the fellowship. Two believers were received into fellowship last year. Regular door to door visitation is carried on. John Hadley works from here and is responsible for the Royal Cornwall Show Witness Tent for 1984. He will be using his own tent and caravan on site obtained. At CARBIS BAY is a small assembly of ageing believers. The “Emergency Post” is distributed regularly in the vicinity of the Memorial Hall. Unsaved gather in the Gospel meeting on Sunday evenings and prayer is asked for blessing. At FALMOUTH the assembly has been depleted by people moving from the area. The numbers are small but the work goes on. Recently hundreds of tracts have been put into nearby homes.

The work at SALTASH is encouraging, especially in children’s and young people’s work. A good number of women attend the weekly “Ladies Hour”. Good numbers attend the gospel meetings and work with the Senior Citizens is encouraging. A weekly open air meeting is held by the riverside. ST. AUSTELL has seen something of the Lord’s hand in blessing. Numbers in Sunday School, Bible Class and “One Way” Club have increased considerably and there is good interest. One lady has been baptised and a young man has asked for baptism. “Life-Line” meetings are proving useful and many good contacts are made. There is a deep concern for people who live in the area of the hall. God’s blessing has been seen at TRURO with several obeying the Lord in baptism and being added to the assembly. Much praise to the Lord comes from this assembly. The small assembly at WHITSTONE has been strengthened and encouraged by the work of Stan Burdett in the area. Our brother has been commended to the work in Cornwall and is engaged in door to door visitation in the villages around. Doors have also been opened into Eventide Homes and contacts are made for Christ. They pray for the increase.

Foreign News

From Michael Browne comes news of visits to POLAND and the ARABIAN GULF. During 1983 two visits were made to Poland, each time with relief goods, mainly medical for a children’s wing of a hospital in the south. All these supplies are distributed through the local assembly, and it has been possible to give spiritual help to the believers there. As a result, certain concessions have been granted to the assembly. Not only have the staff at the hospital accepted Bibles and literature, but also permission was given for a weekly gospel meeting to be held by the assembly among the children, and for Christian literature to be placed regularly in all the children’s wards. In spite of the massive idolatry in Poland, there is great liberty today for the gospel to be fully proclaimed. Many are being saved, baptisms are frequent and assemblies are growing. Fourteen assemblies were visited for ministry of the Word and also several assemblies down in SILESIA. It is pointed out that the great need in Poland among the assemblies today, is for faithful and qualified elders and Bible teachers to be raised up by the Lord.

During November/December 1983, Michael Browne held meetings among the Indian/Malayalam-speaking assemblies in the United Arab Emirates. An excellent assembly witness has been established there by expatriate Indian Christians who work mainly in the oil industry. Eight assemblies were visited from DUBAI and SHARSAH down to ABUDHABI with varying numbers of believers gathering. In spite of severe restrictions imposed by rigid Muslim authorities, it was marvellous to find believers carrying on a vigorous testimony. It was possible to preach in several cottage meetings with sixty or more Asians who gathered, although not possible to witness openly to Arab population. Throughout the whole of the Gulf Region there are companies who are displaying a Banner of Truth in this heartland of darkest error.

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