Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
The assembly in Skelmanthorpe appreciated a week’s visit from Jonathan Black. Jonathan ministered the word and gave reports on the Lord’s work in London at the Home Worker’s Conference. He also presented the gospel at a senior citizens’ tea. From Monday to Friday his Bible Exhibition was displayed, and it was encouraging to have over 400 children from eight different schools come through it during school hours. Six new children have attended the assembly’s children’s work following their visit. A number of adults from the local community also came in during the general public sessions, some of whom had never been inside the hall before, and one man spent an hour in serious conversation about spiritual things. The assembly looks to the Lord that there might be lasting fruit for His glory from this special effort.
On the 19th of November 2014 the Leeds Muslim Youth Forum held a fair at the Hamara Centre to which many different faith-inspired organizations were invited to have a stall. They were seeking to attract organizations who had been inspired by their faith to do good for their communities and to make a positive contribution to society. Schools were booked to attend the fair, and all participants were asked to plan an activity for children to participate in.
The organizers contacted Precious Seed (Faith Matters) and the information was passed onto the believers in Harehills Gospel Hall, Leeds, to see if they would be interested in staffing a stall. Ruth, one of the sisters in the assembly, became the main organizer and, along with others, staffed the stall.
They report as follows, ‘We felt everything went really well, there were different stalls representing different groups – police, women’s support, Islam, Sikh sword fighting, etc. About eight school groups came to our stall to do cake decorating and loom band making. These activities were linked to creation. Every child, and everyone who passed the stall, got a goody bag containing a DVD called “The Cross”. For some, it was an immediate turn-off, for others it was the reason they stopped and spoke with us.
A Jewish lady offered to come to the Gospel Hall and show us how to make challah bread – “ON A SUNDAY”! After we picked our jaws off the floor, I just thought “at least she’s got boldness to ask”. I quite admired her audacity!
Please pray for Harjinder, a Sikh man who heard Billy Graham in Leeds in 1966 but felt “his style of preaching wouldn’t work now as you have to allow for all faiths” – I disagreed with him, and let’s just say we had to agree to disagree.
Please pray for Joss, a teacher at Bankside Primary; he calls himself an atheist, and refused point blank to take a goody bag when he saw the DVD. When I asked him, he said he was a good person; I asked, “by who’s standard?” Incredibly, he said, “well I suppose God’s”!
Please pray for Shabana, a Muslim supply teacher. She asked us to pray about her getting a job. We prayed for her on the spot, and she took a bag.
Please pray for Catherine, a Christian teacher, and for each child who took a bag, heard the gospel, or took a “million pound” tract. We know God’s word will not return void. We were told to pack away at 4.20 pm as the weather started drying up, but, at 4.15 pm, the organizer asked if we had an activity for the children who had arrived late. We were the last stall standing, and closed at 4.45 pm. Give God the glory’!
Over fifty-five school assembly visits over fourteen days in December! This was what CSalt (Christian School Assembly Team), from Spencer Bridge Gospel Hall, Northampton, took on. They majored on the nativity in these visits and have seen some new schools ask for their help over the past few months. Entry to one of these schools is through a teacher who has recently moved from a school that closed its door to them. They have also been using a World War 1 presentation, which is very well received by schools, and staff; in particular they have been impressed by the life of William Coltman, VC. Please pray that, as pupils and staff hear these presentations, they will be struck by the fact of God’s love to us, and the necessity of responding to it.
Republic of Ireland
Matthew and Shirley McKillen report from Gorey, ‘Many have asked about Sabrina, who was baptized in May. She has made good progress spiritually. Her husband is confused by the change in her and she often finds regular fellowship difficult. Pray for them.
We had three weeks of outreach teams during the summer and are thankful for all the young people who volunteered to help and who worked so tirelessly. Each morning of the three weeks we had a Holiday Bible Club in Riverchapel. It was a joy to see the enthusiasm and participation of the many children who attended.
During week one we spent the afternoons doing door-to-door work in neighbouring villages. Whilst this work was hard going, there were some good conversations. One lady has since completed an evangelistic Bible study. In week two we ran a Bible Club in Gorey in the afternoons. We were pleased to have about thirty children each day. The fact that a number of these were new contacts was also encouraging.
Afternoons in the third week involved a new venture for us. We hired the gym and classroom in a local school and ran a two-hour programme for teenagers, entitled Identity? About thirty-five attended each day. Most of these come to our Youth Club, but we also had some new contacts. We ran various activities and then concluded each day with a half-hour video presentation, looking at who we are and why we are here. Good attention was given and a number took the New Testaments we offered.
The summer also gave another opportunity to have a stall at the Gorey Agricultural Show. Again, it was encouraging to see a number from the assembly getting very involved in this outreach.
In October we commenced a new evangelistic Bible study. This has proved much tougher than in recent times. Several of those who attended previous studies were unable to return and only one new person came.
We continue to have many opportunities to present young people with the gospel. The Wednesday afternoon Seekers Club is attended by up to twenty-five children. We have had quite a few new children this term – mostly as a result of the summer club’.
The assembly in San Carlos has extended the hall they use for their annual conference. Due to the ‘overflow’ in recent years, they decided to add an extra four hundred square metres to the existing hall. At conference time in August it was a joy to see over 1,500 people comfortably seated.
The Lord continues to bless in Barinas. Last month in the city the assembly held two weeks of Bible teaching and one week of gospel meetings, which ended with nine baptisms. All who obeyed the Lord by taking this step were added to the assembly. The enemy, however, has been busy in this little assembly and two of the little group have had to be ‘put away’. Antonio, who takes a lead in the work there is quite discouraged, yet plods on. Please pray for him, the work, and the believers.
In Barrancas, they have had three weeks of meetings and hope to baptize a couple who have given clear evidence of new life. Daniel, the son of a sister in the assembly, gave much trouble for years. He was into drugs, gambling and much more, but was awakened to his spiritual need when his closest friend was taken from his side by a bullet. On the night of his baptism, he asked permission to give to his friends a leaflet containing his testimony.
William Turkington has settled in Tucupita, which is the capital city of this eastern delta state. He has an exercise to reach the Indian tribes that live in stilt-house settlements on the delta. He certainly needs our prayers in this new work.
Enri and Sylvia Nase from Tirana report, ‘At the end of May we had a baptismal service. Nuri, a young man who has been a Christian for a couple of years, proclaimed his faith by going through the waters of baptism, and was received into fellowship. Nuri’s mother, a non-Christian, came to witness and was very touched. She is a widow and travelled more than three hours just for the occasion. Nuri is married and his wife is also in fellowship. They are eager to share the gospel with their work colleagues, and have brought many of them to our gospel meetings.
At the end of August, we had a weekend conference time at a small facility in a beautiful, and now largely unpopulated, ancient town about four hours from Tirana. It is home to some twenty-three Orthodox churches, which at one time were thriving communities but are now in disrepair and frequented only by tourists. There we were able to take time out together to study the word, enjoy fellowship with one another, and admire the handiwork of our Creator. For some, it was the first time, and they were simply amazed at the quietness and natural beauty of the place.
At the end of September we hosted a group of eight young people from the assemblies in Germany and Austria for a week. Although young in age, the group was motivated and were a great help to the assembly. In the mornings, they were involved in street evangelism, engaging people in conversations regarding spiritual matters and the gospel. In the afternoons, we had special children’s meetings, which coincided with the start of our regular children’s meeting on Saturday mornings. The culmination of the week was a special outreach night organized by the team, and we were all thrilled to see around fifteen new attendees. Almost all of them were students and, after the gospel message, we had a number of very good conversations with them. Since then, one of the young men has been coming to the gospel meeting every Sunday and to the Bible study and prayer meeting on Thursdays. Please pray for his salvation.
One of the young ladies, who has been attending the gospel meeting over the past few years, has been showing much interest in spiritual things. She has asked for a Bible and, with it, we gave her an Emmaus course – What the Bible teaches – which she has been studying at home. Sylvia and I are meeting with her weekly before the children’s meeting. We are earnestly praying for her salvation. She also invited her twenty-year-old brother to one of the special evenings we organize with the young people at our home’.