Clive and Christine Williams from Barnstaple, along with Trevor Howard, took the opportunity to take the gospel to those attending the Barnstaple and Bridgewater Fairs. Whilst Trevor took up position at the approach to the Fair, along with Christine, Clive visited the whole Fair with tracts and calendars for most of the first two evenings. Once again, the showmen were pleased to see him and receive the calendars. At one meeting at the dodgems, they had twenty-eight children, plus a couple of mums listening. A good number of conversations were held with groups of young people, many of whom were asking some very deep and searching questions.
One lady listened as Clive preached on, ‘Are you good enough for heaven?’, and angrily said, ‘I defy anyone to tell me that I am not good enough for heaven’, stated a very arrogant way. Thankfully, she calmed down as Clive explained that nobody is good enough.
Nicky, a spiritualist, who at first gave Clive a hard time with her New Age ideas, calmed down later and even confessed that her mum is a Christian.
Three young men showed good interest in the message and were pleased to chat with Trevor and take literature regarding creation.
They also conducted open-airs in Exeter and in Barnstaple town centres, which were encouraging.
Alex was a poor man and homeless but he stood up for the preaching, assuring them that he knew the Lord as his Saviour. They gave him details of a church near to the bridge where he lives.
One day there was a party of Dutch people in town enjoying a holiday. Clive had a lovely time speaking with two men from this party. Their English was very good. They took a Gospel of John and a ‘Sure of Heaven’ CD.
John listened to the preaching and Trevor had a good conversation with him. He thought all religions lead to God. Trevor put him right, and John said at the end of the conversation, ‘I can see you truly have something I don’t’, and he took a Gospel of John.
There was similar encouragement at Bridgwater. About thirty children came to the Friday afternoon Fairground Children’s meeting, with a nice number of adults listening as well. Once again, the showmen provided a small tent.
Wednesday was spent in the Fairground Market: many good conversations with religious folk and also Gypsies.
On the Thursday in Wells, at the open air, some very religious folk were offended; one in particular was a lady who said she had a degree in theology, helped in the church and is a church member. She said the preachers were a hindrance to religion! Sadly, the Bishop and his wife disdainfully refused a tract! Trevor had a very long conversation with a young man called Manu who had listened well to the preaching. Clive had an interesting conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness; she even got her Bible out, but had no answer to Clive’s reasoning on John chapter 5!
The eighteenth residential Yorkshire Bible Study Week was held at Sneaton Castle Centre, Whitby, with eighty-five people from all parts of the U.K. in attendance, plus a family of five from Australia. Ian Jackson led Bible Readings on 1 John chapters 3 and 4, and gave ministry on ‘The Ascended Christ’. The sound teaching and warm fellowship was much appreciated.
The assembly at Kirkby-in-Ashfield held its second Evangelism Day for 2013 on Saturday, 5th October. A number of young people from across the East Midlands gathered for a time of prayer before going out with the gospel. Help was also provided by Michael Buckeridge of Grantham.
In the morning they concentrated on an area of the neighbouring town of Sutton-in-Ashfield, covering over 1500 homes. In the afternoon the believers reached out to areas of Kirkby that had not been leafleted before and gave out God’s word to about 1250 homes. A number of contacts were made, including a Muslim couple who were out leafleting themselves for the opening of their new fast-food shop.
The assembly continues to be encouraged by the support of the many young people who come to help and by the response they are seeing to the tracts given out. Although people do not often come regularly, the number of opportunities to tell others of the Saviour seems to be increasing. Please pray for Ron, James, and Bernard that through the power of the Spirit of God the gospel might touch their hearts.
The assembly has commenced a work in the town centres of Sutton and Kirkby on a Tuesday evening. This has provided a number of opportunities to share the gospel. Please pray for Beryl who invited them into her home to find out more about the message.
On the first Friday night in December, the assembly was able to use the annual switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights as an opportunity for outreach. With parts of the centre closed to traffic and a considerable crowd present, over 400 tracts and invitations were given out and a number of contacts made or renewed. The work was followed by a time of prayer that there might be blessing upon the seed sown. Prayer is requested for two young men, Nick and ‘Helmet’.
In Hamilton, High Parks and Low Waters asemblies have enjoyed the privilege of another season of open-air testimony in the town square on two Sundays per month, with the permission of the town council. The weather was excellent for open-air work during the summer and many of the townsfolk heard the gospel. Prayer would be valued that, God willing, this door will remain open for the preaching of the gospel.
The believers at High Parks assembly also commenced a new work in one of the local care homes in the town and they now visit once a month, on a Sunday afternoon, and have a short time of hymn-singing and a brief gospel message. There are usually about twelve residents who attend, along with some of the staff and visitors.
In mid-September 2013, Gordon McCracken completed his second visit of six days during the year, visiting twelve primary schools in the area around the Overtown Gospel Hall. Gordon has been doing this for a number of years and is well received by the teachers and pupils. He spoke at eleven school assemblies and to Primary 6 and 7 classes in eight schools. Over 2200 children and 105 adults heard the message at each visit. Please pray that the seed sown will bear fruit and those school doors will remain open to the gospel.
The weekly Bible club has re- commenced in Riverchapel, County Wexford, and the saints have been delighted to see the return of most of the kids who came along regularly in the Spring term, as well as one or two new starters. Each Tuesday afternoon around twenty children are attending and it is exciting to see the progress in their basic Bible knowledge.
As part of their outreach efforts during the summer, some of the saints visited many homes in Gorey to distribute a free gospel magazine, and many people answered questionnaires on spiritual beliefs, through which the gospel was explained. Matthew, and Anthony (who trusted the Lord a year ago), have now started visiting those areas of the town that were not covered in the summer, and it is amazing to hear Anthony testify to folk of the change the Lord has made in his life. Please pray for good conversations with these people and ultimately for their salvation.
In September they returned to the National Ploughing Championships, this time in County Laois. Matthew’s brother Andrew had his ‘Good News 4 U’ trailer as one of the exhibition stands for the second year, and the Lord truly blessed the three days. Along with many other believers from across Ireland and the UK, they were able to distribute 19,000 John 3. 16 shopping bags, as well as thousands of other materials all containing God’s word and they have already been encouraged by a number of people who have made contact to request Bibles, literature, and CDs.
In December, the assembly at Serowe had the joy of baptizing a couple who have since expressed the desire to come into fellowship – an encouragement to the saints. The previous week they conducted the funeral of a brother who was, with his wife, in assembly fellowship. As normally happens in Botswana, each evening there was a meeting in their yard. Many gathered and, as the word was preached, they were greatly challenged about their spiritual condition. The funeral itself was very big and again many heard the gospel preached. Please pray for blessing upon those who heard.
Mavis, one of the sisters, lives in Shoshong Village. This is the village in which F. S. Arnot lived when he passed through Botswana. She was one of the first to be saved in the early days of Jim and Irene Legge’s work in Serowe. Since then, she has gone on faithfully for the Lord. She conducts a small Sunday school in Shoshong and in another settlement called Ikongwe. What a strong foundation she is laying in the lives of the children whom she instructs! Some of them have trusted the Lord. Some younger brethren, along with Mavis, have recently pitched a tent and are having gospel meetings. Please pray that the Lord will encourage them and that many will trust the Saviour.
The assembly in Suva is actively involved in distributing gospel tracts. The tracts are given out in hospitals, health centres, educational institutions, cultural festivals, homes, and to tourists on cruise ships. The assembly has a community mailbox drop schedule and has sent tracts to assemblies which have been planted in other Pacific Island countries including Nauru, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands.
Colin Clarke (Chairman of Logos Trust) writes: ‘We have recently been able to help needy families from Syria and Egypt who deeply appreciate being able to put their children into a high-quality, English-speaking school. The Lord continues to provide for the payment of salaries and expenses. Due to the financial crisis in Cyprus, more parents than usual are asking for a discount on their fees. The vast majority of these are genuine cases, but we need much wisdom in this matter, and value prayer’.
‘We praise the Lord for the continued commitment of the Logos staff in providing after-school activities for the pupils. These occasions not only allow relationships to be built between staff and pupils, but also provide an opportunity for the study of the scriptures together in discussion groups, or the presenting of a short gospel message. This year a special effort is being made to keep in touch with boys who had reached Year 10 level, and who have now left the school. Do pray that in all these groups the Lord will open hearts and minds to the truth of the gospel and that many of these young people will be saved’.
From Romania, Jonathan Kelso writes: ‘Floarea is still “holding her own" despite the fact that she is terminally ill with cancer. I gave her stronger pain killers recently and she was able to make it down the hill to remember the Lord on Sunday morning. After the meeting, I inquired how she was; she smiled and said, “I am without any pain’. It got me thinking of a day, maybe not too far distant, when Floarea’s pain will be gone forever and she will never shed another tear. Continue to pray for Floarea.
After a shaky start, Alina, Floarea’s daughter has settled well into the Christian High School in Sibiu. Ruth and I spoke to her class teacher and made him aware of her difficult circumstances at home. The staff were now aware that Alina needed some extra encouragement, which is helping. Sile, his wife, and some of his family moved to Orlat from one of the cities one year ago. He had been involved in commerce, but is now retired and has moved to Transylvania for a healthier lifestyle. A few months ago, his wife, who is a professing Christian, went to Spain for work. Sile, who up until now has not believed in the existence of God, began to read a Bible which his wife had left behind and became very interested in spiritual things. He has been attending meetings and during a conversation with him recently, he related to me that he has taken his first step towards a relationship with God. Concentrated prayer for this sincerely interested man would be greatly appreciated.
Petru, the local Orthodox priest is on the ‘war path’ at the moment. Neighbours of ours, Voicu and Ana, who are commended missionaries from an evangelical church in America, teach extra English in the two local schools. Petru has been trying to discredit this Christian couple by telling his congregation that no one should allow their children to be taught by them. He applied pressure on the headmistress not to allow Voicu and Ana to teach in the school. She called both of them to her office and told them she wanted them to stay and teach regardless of what the priest was saying – she then quietly said, “I like repenters”. This lady is a believer, although secretly because of her husband’s strong attachment to Orthodoxy. Prayer would be appreciated for the headmistress that she might have the necessary courage to take a stand against the local priest and his influences. A few days ago Ruth brought some educational toys to the junior classes of the school in Gura Raului. As she walked in with her arms laden, Petru, who happened to be at the school, stared as Ruth walked past. Subsequently, he protested that the school should not receive toys from the ‘repenters’. A school inspector happened to be there that day and welcomed the toys, saying they would be an asset to the school and that the school should be grateful for the very useful gift’.
Adrian and Bonny Grieve write: ‘A very small group of believers, who gather at brother Gabriel’s home each Lord’s Day, recently sought our help. Most of them are Christians from traditional church backgrounds, looking for teaching and seeking the Lord’s guidance for their future gathering. Tentatively, we organized a weekend Bible workshop for the little group and for some of their Christian friends, teaching the very basics of scripture, and a simple interrogatory form of Bible study, much as we have done in Dompla. The teaching was well received and seven came for the whole weekend (others for parts of it) and so we hope to make this a monthly exercise. We would value your prayers: for us, as we seek to encourage this little group to grow in faith, knowledge and love; for the group, that it would grow and become established as a much-needed witness in this dark town; and for the monthly workshop – that it will equip local men to use the scriptures and that the scriptures would bring forth much fruit in their lives. The outreach to the Tupuri people in Akana continues to astound. They want us to come and help them baptize some in the next village who have believed. May the Lord continue to change lives!’
On a recent trip to Malawi, Stephen and Gail Harper were joined by a number of believers from around the UK. This visit was for a time of intensive literature distribution, and other forms of gospel outreach. In the evenings, literature packs were assembled containing a bilingual Romans 5. 8 Seed Sower text, a John’s Gospel, and the latest edition of the gospel leaflet, ‘Exploring God’s Word’ and it proved almost impossible to satisfy the demand for these packs. The times of literature distribution were punctuated by open-air gospel messages, when brother Harold Makawa ably translated for the visiting brethren.
At Kachulu, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Chilwa, the brethren preached from the vantage point of one of the little fishing boats, on account of the assembled crowd – just as our Lord Himself did many years ago. Most commented that they had never expected to have so many opportunities to preach, or to share the gospel on a one-on-one basis. The sisters who accompanied did a marvellous job too, and it was tremendous to see their zeal in leaflet distribution and in befriending the ladies and the many children we encountered – no doubt a powerful testimony to all.