You may note that this issue of the magazine has only one page of Reports. This is part of a planned review being undertaken in response to a decreasing number of contributions being submitted from local assemblies and the way in which digital and new media are making news much more accessible in a quicker timeframe than we can do with a quarterly magazine.
I would also like to point out that in our August issue the report of the Lord’s work in Nepal was wrongly attributed to our brother Charles Davidson. Although it was kindly submitted by Charles, it was written by a local brother, Jiwan Rai. We are thankful for and encouraged by all those who faithfully serve their local fellow saints and are able to share something of the Lord’s work in which they are involved.
Joe Baxter and Martin Hunter held gospel meetings in Musselburgh for three weeks. There are around twelve saints in fellowship in the assembly. They faithfully preach the gospel each Sunday and always have unsaved present at these meetings. A minibus brings a number of souls from a local care home at Carberry. During the three weeks of meetings held by Joe and Martin, around twenty-seven people attended and there was a real sense of the Lord’s help and presence. Charlie was an elderly man who was contacted through door-to-door work. He attended on eight occasions and with whom very good conversations were had. Madeline was brought by a young sister on six occasions and spent hours discussing spiritual matters with her afterwards. Alex came along on four evenings with his mother-in-law. He trusted the Saviour the night after the meetings finished. Mike was brought by saints from another assembly and put his faith in Christ the Saturday after the meetings finished.
Support from saints in Mayfield and Port Seaton was an encouragement too.
In October, the assembly at Bannockburn held two weeks of gospel meetings with Joe Baxter and Martin Hunter and the response was encouraging. Six souls came to listen to the gospel, including one Jehovah’s Witness.
Please pray for Jim, a contact from door-to-door work, with whom Joe has been corresponding for around a year. He came along on the first Sunday evening. A Christadelphian gentleman came on one evening and did not return. The Jehovah’s Witness was a lady from Bridge of Allan and brought by her son – he was saved three years ago during meetings being held at Harley Street Gospel Hall and is now in fellowship with the assembly at Linwood. On one wet day, Joe and Martin went into a newly opened coffee shop in the town and had a good conversation with the owner. It transpired that the man knew one of the believers from another assembly in Lanarkshire who had worked with his father in Cardowan Colliery and described him as a ‘real Christian man’. As a result he promised to come along to the meetings and did. It was also an encouragement to see Senga come along too. This lady has been coming along to the meetings since contact was made with her last year through door-to-door work.
In September, the outreach work at the National Ploughing Championships, Ireland, took place and, this year, as well as having a stall with literature the saints also included some open-air preaching with John Stanfield using a sketch board. 28,000 ‘John 3:16’ bags were handed out and a large number of excellent conversations were held with individuals. Frank was one of those individuals who received one of the bags. He asked, ‘Can you tell me how I can be born again?’ He had heard a preacher some time before talking about the need to be born again and knew that this was what he needed in order to be sure of eternal life. Twenty postal or email enquiries have been received from people who received shopping bags, requesting some of the gospel literature advertised on the reply card.
Toros and Virginia Pilibosian write from Armenia: ‘We praise the Lord for enabling us to conduct the summer children’s outreach. As in other years we had three different age groups with us for ten days. Most children who came had never heard the gospel before and were happy to hear Bible stories, commit to memory Bible verses and sing gospel choruses, many of which we have translated from English into Armenian. In the mornings they were taught from the life and experience of Jacob and in the evening a brother taught from the life of Saul of Tarsus. For the teenagers, we presented the gospel by reference to the “I am" statements of John’s Gospel and also through the practical experiences in the life of Abraham’.
‘Many of the children came from an orphanage in Gyumri and while with us experienced love and care and, most importantly, heard of the love of God for them. Seventeen-year-old Isabella trusted the Lord after hearing the gospel a few times. She comes from a broken home and her mum is serving time in prison’.
‘Following the children’s camp we had five days with the believers from Gyumri, Yerevan and Tvin and were blessed with good ministry, studying the character of God and getting practical lessons for a Christ-like life’.
The assembly in Gangtok, India, held a long weekend of ministry – five meetings – and three nights of gospel meetings, with Howard Barnes. The visit also included an open-air baptism, taking place in the local river at which about forty people gathered and Howard was able to give an explanation of baptism. Two believers were baptized: brother Kunal, a computer teacher, and sister Sujata, a dentist. Two girls from near-by Nepal came with others to the gospel meetings. They professed salvation during the meetings, which was a great answer to prayer, since both of them were known for their previous hard-heartedness with respect to the gospel, and, although they had attended previous gospel meetings, showed little real spiritual interest.
After this visit to Gangtok, Howard returned south to Salabri, a suburb of Siliguri where, for the third year, Howard was able to help at a boys’ camp. Sixty-five boys attended the camp and half had never been to camp before. Many were Hindus and a number were from nominal Christian homes. At the parents’ evening at the end of the week, about thirty adults heard the gospel.