Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
Jonathan and Joy Black, who have been commended by the Harryville assembly in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, to serve the Lord in London, have been involved in gospel meetings in Clifton Hall, South Norwood. Each night there were unsaved in under the sound of the gospel. When visiting this area door-to-door, they spoke with people from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds. Conversations at the doors offered a great opportunity to present a simple gospel message, even to those who will not come into the Hall.
Each Wednesday Jonathan and Joy have also been conducting open-air meetings and distributing gospel tracts in the centre of London. Over the summer they have focused on an area close to Victoria station and have been encouraged by those who have sat and listened, including those who work in the area, tourists and homeless. Following the preaching questions are often asked, even by those who claim to be atheists. Please pray for the contacts made through open-air work.
The 16th residential Yorkshire Bible Study Week was held at Sneaton Castle Centre, Whitby, in October, with over eighty people from all parts of the U.K. in attendance. Phil Coulson led Bible Readings on Romans 12 and 13 and gave ministry on ‘Aspects of Priesthood’. The excellent teaching and warm fellowship were much appreciated.
The small assembly at Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, convened another ‘Evangelism Day’ on the 8th October. They were joined by eighteen young people from other assemblies for an intensive day of evangelism around the town.
Although the weather was poor, with rain throughout the day, 2500 tracts were distributed and a short meeting was held in the town centre shopping precinct. The enthusiasm of the young people was particularly appreciated as they braved the elements throughout the day.
The saints were encouraged by the contacts made, by conversations with various people, by an increase of seventy hits to the assembly web site over two days, and by two men who came to the gospel meeting as a consequence of the tract work. Please pray for the seed sown.
It is hoped to repeat this effort in the new year, DV.
At a recent series of meetings conducted by Peter Brandon at Roseford Chapel, Cambridge, the saints had the joy of seeing a man profess salvation. In addition, a leader of the local Brownie pack, who is supportive of the children’s work, brought over 20 children from her pack to the gospel meeting, along with some of their parents. The gospel was clearly proclaimed and the outcome left with the Lord.
Whilst many people visit the city of Salisbury to see its 123m cathedral spire, the small number of believers who meet at Barnard Street Gospel Hall, had the joy of sharing a greater treasure with a good number of the local children and adults. For two weeks, they opened the hall and invited the public to ‘Discover the History of the World’s Bestseller’. Around 160 children and 140 adults took up the invitation.
Another well-attended season of ‘Friday Nights @ Winchester’ have seen many young believers enjoy simple, challenging, and encouraging ministry from the word of God. This last series was entitled, ‘Knowing Jesus Christ as . . . ’ and covered, ’our Redeemer’, ‘our Bridegroom’, ‘our Great High Priest’, ‘our Advocate’, and ‘Head over all things’.
After a week of gospel meetings in Liverpool, Thomas and Dietburg Jennings had packed all their goods into their motor home, ready for the next leg of their journey of invitations in Scotland. Having locked and secured the vehicle, they returned to the hall to commit the saints to the Lord in prayer. They had said their goodbyes and on returning to the vehicle found that, even in that short space of time, it had been stolen!
They were totally reliant on the Lord as to what to do, as everything from computers, to credit cards, to clothes was gone and the Lord, in His matchless grace, immediately intervened and wonderfully supplied everything necessary for their safe return home to Northern Ireland.By Sunday, 2 October, Dietburg still maintained her belief that the Lord would not allow His work to be thwarted . . . and, against all odds, on Monday, 3 October, they received a telephone call from the Merseyside Police Authority advising them that the motor home had been found. The van and the contents have now been recovered with minimal damage.
A primary school in Liverpool has opened the doors for a local brother to teach about scripture to four classes each week for the first six weeks of 2012. The school has also agreed to take the Bromborough Bible Exhibition.
The assembly in Huyton have seen the contacts through their Parent & Toddler group grow. In December 2011 the parents were invited to one of the local saint’s home for supper and a brief message about the real meaning of the birth of Christ. The saints were encouraged recently when a Botswanean lady visited the hall, and subsequently trusted the Lord for salvation. She asks challenging questions every time she meets the believers. Please pray for her preservation and progress.
Open Airs continue in Liverpool city centre with some younger brethren doing the bulk of the work. An additional worker has joined the group of workers recently. This brother is gifted in personal evangelism and each week is successful in engaging many individuals in conversation. He is also an excellent writer of tracts and has written some bespoke tracts for use in this work on the streets.
The work at Manvers Hall, Bath, continues amongst the young and old. A recent special series of Family Services was held based on the theme of ‘The Cross - Why?’ A number of the believers brought along friends and family and the response was encouraging. The first and last of the series were followed by a meal, and this provided good opportunities for conversation with those who came along.
There was an exercise amongst the believers to commence an after-school work amongst primary school aged children. Almost thirty children have attended each Wednesday afternoon between 4.15-5.15 p.m., and a number of parents regularly stay. This has been a great encouragement and much enjoyed by the children attending. Particularly pleasing has been the number of friends of the believers’ children who have attended.
A recent series of Friday night ministry sessions have also provided great help and encouragement to the believers. A good number have joined from other places for this series entitled ‘Inspire!’ The series challenges us to find our inspiration in the inspired word of God as we seek to continue our testimony. The current series focuses on ‘continuing steadfastly . . . ‘, and, so far, useful sessions have looked at doctrine, fellowship and preaching the gospel with boldness.
The assembly in Pensford has once again supported the Bibles for Children ministry and brother Philip Veater was able to distribute Children’s Bibles to 22 new starts at Pensford Primary School in December (see picture above).
There was opportunity to speak to the children as a group, together with the rest of the school. Philip was surprised and encouraged by the answers to his questions about the Bible and the Lord Jesus as to who He was and what He had done. In this school ‘religious education’ has caught the interest of the children and is having results. It is the belief of the saints that the Bibles distributed over the years may have contributed to this.
In the run up to Christmas and the annual Carol Service the new Precious Seed Olympic-themed calendars were distributed to every home in the village and beyond. We trust many will hang this attractive calendar in their homes where the Word of God will be seen and read on a regular basis during the year.
The annual week of children’s special meetings was held in early October at Coleford Gospel Hall, Coleford, Nr Bath, with David Tinkler. Good numbers of children came, and as well as learning a text each day, they took home scripture texts to colour, and keenly returned them the next day. The prize-giving family service was again well attended on the final Sunday. David managed to visit a number of schools in the area taking assemblies and giving illustrated Bible stories. For the first time he was able to obtain permission to go along to the Coleford village junior school.
1,100 Precious Seed Gospel 2012 calendars have been distributed, together with invitations to the Christmas Family service at which Ben Beckett was responsible for communicating the gospel. This event is always well attended.
Gospel literature distribution has continued in the locality including many neighbouring villages around Coleford. One man contacted has come several times to the Breaking of Bread service. He shows a keen interest to learn more of our doctrine and practice, having been familiar with more formalised church services - he has expressed interest in having Bible study.
An 18-year-old lad has been saved, having come to the Sunday School for many years - he comes to most of the gatherings and is visibly growing in the Lord.
The fortnightly ‘Friday Club’ for teenagers continues to prosper and although sometimes it is disrupted by the few, there are those who listen carefully to the gospel messages. The ladies meeting also prospers with two older ladies recently added to the numbers - they have asked that Bibles be purchased for them and they also wish to have regular Bible Reading notes. One of these ladies said many years ago that she would never set foot in the Gospel Hall!
The Mums and Toddlers continues to be an encouragement with twenty or so mums coming along each week – some of the toddlers have come to the Sunday School as a result of contacts made as a result of this work.
Graeme Paterson conducted children’s meetings for one week in November at Winshill. Between twenty to thirty children came along each evening and a couple of parents also came in. Graeme also went into local schools to take assemblies and spoke to just under 1000 children, each receiving a gospel calendar.
At Holburn Gospel Hall, Aberdeen, the assembly again ran a Bible exhibition in early September and saw close on 300 children from local Primary 6 and 7 classes come along. Each pupil completed a work sheet and prizes were awarded for the best; copies of the Precious Seed daily reading book, Stepping Stones, were issued as prizes.
As a follow-up to the exhibition, Gordon McCracken also visited for two separate weeks in October and November. Gordon had a week’s children’s meetings in two school locations in the city with regular attendances of twenty to twenty-five children each evening. Prize-givings were held at the end of each week with a good number of parents attending.
In addition, access was given to around fifteen schools for school assemblies. These visits were well received, as they have been over the past few years. Prayer would be valued that the word sown in so many young hearts will yet bring forth fruit.
The saints in the assembly at Tredegar held a Bible Exhibition for two weeks in September and were greatly encouraged to see about 500 children and adults attend.
The assembly in Port Talbot have put Seedsowers into 2,000 homes along with details of their Carol Service. It was also good to have the help of a group of young believers to distribute 700 calendars to local homes.
Republic of Ireland
The believers in Newcastle West would value prayer for a man called Mike, who is in his late 30’s. Mike and his wife were neighbours of Andrew and Gillian Shanks, five years ago. Contact with him was lost after they moved to Newcastle West. However, last year, on the 23rd December, Andrew met Mike in the town. Mike explained that his marriage had broken down, that he had lost his job, and was now living with his mother in Newcastle West. After a good chat and an invitation to the meeting was given there was no other contact until one Sunday in March Mike turned up at the Gospel meeting. Mike now comes to most of the meetings, and, in November, he expressed to Andrew his desire to be saved. Please pray for this man. He was raised a Roman Catholic but now reads his Bible every day, and comes to meetings. How good it would be to see him truly saved and have the assurance of being so.
The Lord once again made it possible for a scripture text to be put up on a billboard sign at the main roadside through Newcastle West for two weeks in December. Please pray that God will move people’s hearts in response to this.
The believers in Pozzuoli have had the joy of seeing some more people baptized. Due to lots of problems with the people who live around the hall, (during the baptisms earlier in the year, they called the police to try stop the meeting) they decided to have the baptisms in Alec and Patrizia’s garden and use the children’s swimming pool! There were quite a number of non-Christians present, and the Lord really blessed the word preached. How good to be able to give thanks for His grace and power! The Sunday evening open-air meetings on the sea-front have seen crowds of adults as well as children stop, most of them staying to listen to the whole message.
The believer’s have been offered the use of a hall which is twice the size of the current one. However, it is in another part of Pozzuoli; out of the city centre where they have been since the commencement of the assembly, fourteen years ago. This would be a big change for them, and they are before the Lord for His guidance. They would appreciate prayer that the Lord would make it very clear as to His will.
September 16th 2011 was an auspicious day for the saints meeting at the Klang Gospel Hall. It was the first national holiday commemorating the formation of Malaysia – an amalgamation of the peninsular with two other former British colonies of Sabah and Sarawak in 1963.
Even more significant to the Lord’s people was that they celebrated 100 years of God’s faithfulness and leading in the assembly, with more than 350 believers, including those from outstation assemblies, who had attended the Thanksgiving Service.
The witness in Klang began in 1911 through the effort of Mr. Chew Boon Hean, a convicted opium addict who was saved in the prison, and upon his release, he constructed a wooden Hall for meetings.
Local Christians worked alongside missionaries from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to build the assembly into what it is today. Mr. Ng Eng Yen, with his son Mr. David Ng Kong Lam, Mr. Chellappah Abishegam, Dr. G.D. James, and Mr. Lim Chin Kheng were among the early brethren who toiled for the Lord in the Klang assembly. Mr. E. V. Brewerton, Mr. T. R. Angus with his son Mr. David Angus, Mr. S. S. Adams, Mr. Bill Wilson, Mr. A. E. Phillips, Mr. William Stott and a host of other missionaries ministered God’s word to the saints in Klang. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Watt from Scotland were also stationed in Klang, where he was one of the elders. From one assembly there are now five other centres housing six English, Chinese and Tamil speaking assemblies. Surely the Lord has been good!