Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
Arthur Shearman, Worcester, England
Northern Ireland have a report from Jirn Graham, BelfasT, concerning the wurk in various parts. It is good to be reminded oi gospel posters displayed on fourteen of the city of Belfast buses. These constantly move all over the city. The plan is to continue this work with much prayer that God will bless His word,
In the Harryville assembly, Rallymena, Co. Antrim, God blessed the preaching of the word by A. McShane and T. Meekin, and people were saved. At Portglenone, the area was faithfully visited with tracts and the gospel faithfully preached by S. Ferguson and N. Turkington, yet interest by the local people was difficult to attract. On the coast, at Carnlough, the preaching of the word in the open air continued with A. Aiken and others, during two weeks in July. Ai Dromore, Co. Down, D. Kane preached in a tent just outside the town, and at Wirings-town, j. Allen and J. G, Huichinson had an encouraging start lu meetings in a tent.
At Ballyshiel, Co. Armagh, the gospel was preached nightly at meetings with J. Thompson and I). Gilliland. At The Diamond, Longhall, in a portable hall, G. McKinley and A, Davidson saw some local interest, the man who loaned them the ground being present each night. At Dun-drum, near Keady, good numbers attended the preaching of the gospel by W. J. Nesbitt and R. Millar. At Limavady, N. Derry, The assembly convened a conference after 43 years. A very large number gathered and the ministry of the word was shared and helpfully given by five brethren. Outside the town, B. Glendinning and B. Smith preached the gospel in a portable hall. The assembly at Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, was cheered when R. Eadie and R. McKeown conducted a week's ministry' meetings tu help some who were saved during a recent gospel effort in the town. Well attended conferences were held at Bellaghy and Ballymacashon. Harold Paisley, Canada, paid a short visit to his homeland and spoke to packed meetings in various halls giving ministry and preaching the gospel.
Several interesting items come in a newsletter from Edward Jaminson, Belfast. From Belfast he speaks of Spanish publications and 500,000 pieces of gospel literature sent into the Spanish speaking world each year. He receives notes with news of the effect of some of the literature. A believer writes from Cuba telling of the church passing through difficult times on the island and requesting gospel portions tu distribute among his friends and neighbours. A request came from a brother in Bolivia speaking of many contacts established as a result of the radio programmes which are followed up by a personal visit and gospel literature left at the home. A missionary working in the north of Chile has been receiving literature for some time and states that he is now increasing his field of action and needs greater supplies of material. From Peru comes news of a gospel outreach where the literature is in short supply. The writer says that so much more could be accomplished if the necessary material to distribute to these needy areas was available. Here are four instances of the vital importance of Christian literature being available in relevant languages. We can pray for this work.
A brief report comes from David and Kay Stevens, Limerick. Thirty boys and girls from the Limerick Every Boys' and Girls' Rallies attended the week-end camp arranged in Lissclion, near Ballybunion, Co. Kerry. R. Fry, Dublin, gave the bible talks each morning and evening. The Lord gave splendid weather for the many outdoor activities that were planned and it was warm enough for The children to swim. On the third and final morning a number of the children indicated their desire to invite Christ into their lives. Jonathan Stevens was one of them, much to the joy of his parents: all the others came from non-Christian homes. The follow-up work demands much prayer.
Scotland News from Jim Anderson of the work in West Scotland. The first Ayr shire Gospel Outreach Campaign for the summer was conducted by Peter Brandon in Salteoats with the united support of six surrounding assemblies. Weeknight meetings were held in Bethany Hull while on Sundays they were held in the Town Hall. Both buildings were comfortably filled each night. Considerable numbers of unsaved attended. One nighl was for senior citizens and two fnr youth meetings. While believers were thrilled with Lhe gospel preaching, and challenged by two addresses on spiritual recovery on Saturday evenings, results were disappointing. A young married woman from West Kilbride professed conversion but is meeting with opposition from her husband and family. A Catholic youth from Prestwick also professed, and two young folk attending Loan Hall, Stevenslon, and already baptized, sought fellowship. Some 20,000 homes on lhat pail i>f the Ayrshire coast were visited with Christian literature.
Lanarkshire Gospel Work campaigns were conducted by Jack Hay in Bellshill and Netherburn. Bellshill assembly owns two halls and their campaigns are held in each alternately. This summer the effort was held in the Orbiston district of the town, While good numbers of unsaved came in there were no known decisions, Meetings were held with the Netherburn assembly where the numbers were small and the area run down. James Aitken conducts the other part of the Lanarkshire assemblies' outreach with visitation and open air work for a fortnight in each place. He has spent two weeks each in Forth and Newmains.
Robert Revie erected his portable hall in Catrine and Hurlford for the early part of the summer season. Both places used to have assemblies but neither has any gospel witness now. Auchinleck assembly gave good support to their neighbouring village of Catrine. As usual children attended their meetings well, while encouraging numbers of young people attended the adult meetings. It is hoped that contacts here will become interested in the later Ayrshire campaign in Auchinleck, especially as evangelist Jack Hay, who is responsible, dv, helped Robert for two weeks in the Catrine campaign. The site in Ilurlford was in a public park where youths took great pleasure in kicking a ball against the sides of the hall. Support was not as good here, but Robert had some interesting visits from people who had previously had connections with assemblies in the district. One of the helpers described the children as being 'black as night relative to spiritual things. Following their summer visit to Argyll last year, George Forbes and David Locke re-opened the closed Gospel Hall in the town of Oban for children's and adult meetings for the whole month of June. The response was disappointing although former members of the assembly did attend.
North WestEngland Some seven years ago a new estate was built at Kevv on the south side of Snuthport, Lanes., and the believers meeting in the assembly at Bethesda had a vision of the potential for work in the new district. A children's work was commenced in a local school. Permission was not granted however to use the school for gospel meetings. A piece of land was bought and a portable hall was provided for the work. Permission was granted by the council for the use of the building for gospel activities on the understanding that a permanent building would be erected within five years. From May 1st those who were involved in the work moved from Bethesda to break bread and establish the testimony in the new hall at Kew. Twenty broke bread on the first T.ord's Day. They estimate that through the various activities, some 13(1 unsaved are reached with the gospel each week. This is the third work to have originated from Reihesda.
The Merseyside Easter Conference saw good numbers of believers gathering together in Liverpool on the Friday and 'over the water' ai Wallasey on Saturday. Of particular note this year was the appreciation of the believers for the Bible Readings on Holiness and Sanctification' led by A. C, Gooding, and the good connected ministry given by R. McLuckie and S. Emery. R. McLuckie stayed for the week in the district and gave ministry and reports on his work in Guyana, Egypt and Eire.
John Baker had a fortnight's meetings in Bromborough for children, adults and pensioners. Numbers of children increased three-fold over the evenings and at least nine have since come along to Sunday School. The pensioners of the area were invited to a tea and a special gospel meeting on the Tuesday afternoon. Numbers were good. Although lew adult outsiders came to the meetings, i he untiring work of brother Baker and a tew helpers meant that the area was well visited and traded during the two weeks.
The believers at David Street, Liverpool, held their Annual Ilomeworkers Conference recently and it was followed by gospel outreach involving visitation and special meetings. The children's meetings saw over 100 in each night. The assembly at Iluyton have not had a baptistry ihere since it was built, having been able to use those of other assemblies in the city. Recently, following uther building work, they decided tu install one. They had the joy of using it for the first time almost as soon as it was finished. Two believers were baptized. The Gospel Hall in Northficlds, Liverpool is being rebuilt. The efforts of the believers themselves have meant an early finish tu the work despite some early setbacks.
From Gerald Bourne conies news of work in Manchester area. At Cheetham, Manchester, Archie Carew conducted a gospel campaign in June. Though.some difficulty was felt in getting people in to the meetings, the assembly was encouraged by the clear presentation of the gospel. Much door to door visitation was done and it is felt that an impact was made. There were two who made professions of faith in Christ. The Lancashire Gospel Tent was pitched in Adl-inglon, Nr. Clinlry, Lanes., at the beginning of June. The weather was cold to begin with but better weather ensued. Encouraging numbers and support were experienced each night in both children's and adult meetings conducted by Roland Pickering and David McMaslers. Friday night, with the emphasis on youth outreach, saw good numbers attending. A number of the younger children also came to the adult meetings.
It is good to have a short report from Stephen Pugh, commended to the Lord's work by the Shrewsbury assembly for work in the Shropshire area. With a weekly team, open air work is dune as often as possible. One day each month is set aside for reaching out farther around. Ft has been a wonderful exercise in sharing preaching, visitation, singing etc. The response in many villages is improving all the time.
Midlands An unusual item of news is to hand frum Park Lane Gospel Hall, Aston, Birmingham. A request had been made by a young couple who attend bible class to publicly give thanks to the Lord for the safe delivery of a baby boy. Expecting that about a do^en would attend it was agreed to accommodate them at the end of the morning meeting. However, information came that up to forty would be there. The building lends itself to expansion, so a block of seats was accordingly set apart. As the meeting time arrived more seals were needed and at least seventy people sat at the morning meeting. A short explanation was given of the obieel of the remembrance meeting each week. Not 'Holy Communion' in its broad sense, but as the act of baptized believers to remember the Lurd in His death-this was stressed, according to Acts 2. 42. As the meeting progressed it was noticed that there was an attitude of reverence and after the remembrance, a closing hymn was sung and then prayer. The opportunity was, rightly used to point out the need to seek out those born again to leach the young the truth of the scriptures. Also the need of parental example tn spiritual exercises. Finally the need of all who had the responsibilities of family life to know in experience the life more abundant through faith in the Lord Jesus Chrisl.
There is news of follow-up work after a campaign with Robert Revie at Hesters Way, Cheltenham. The assembly was much strengthened and drawn closer together. Twu professions of faith in Christ were seen as a result of the meetings. These were one older lady and a younger lady who was a Roman Catholic. It is encouraging to note their interest in studying the word and attending the meetings. The mother and toddler group is growing with mothers asking questions about spiritual matters, and the Sunday School is increasing. A senior citizens gathering is held each month and there is good interest from the estate. It is evident that the campaign made an impact on the people around.
The Three Counties Show at Malvern in June gave opportunity again for the erection of the Christian Witness Tent. The weather was very good and this drew large crowds to the Show. Many thousands of visitors actually passed through the tent. This gave great opportunity for personal contacts and there were many useful conversations on spiritual matters. It was a matter for thanksgiving that a good team of workers had fellowship in sharing the gospel with the people and while there were no evident conversions it was clear that the Lord spoke to some. Gospel literature was available and a large number of portions were distributed. The Dynamite Club (P.S.S.) was represented and 530 children received starter packs for the new Postal Sunday School lessons. Up to 1000 did the Bible Quiz and this feature of the witness was most encouraging. Already a number of completed lessons have been returned. This annual event presents a challenge to Christian witness and the results must be prayerfully left in the Lord's hands.
Avon News from David Wilcox of a four-day outreach at the Royal Bath & West Show. The tent was erected and the new display produced by various brethren entitled 'The Way Ahead' was set up. Cups of tea were provided by willing helpers and it was possible no distribute a large quantity of Christian literature and to converse with individuals about the Gospel. Postal Sunday School lessons were given to children through Wally Temple, Chard, and Bruce Anderson was there with a Christian Bookstall. Over 150 new recruits were enlisted for postal bible courses and already a number of these have been returned. Guod contacts were made and we can praise God for every opportunity so given to share Christ with the people.
London Area It is good to have news again of the South East Evangelistic Mobile Unit. A good time was had at the Annual Meeting and Jimmy White gave an inspiring address to encourage the furtherance of the often discouraging work. The Unit workers are often conscious of their numerical weakness, yet can be even more aware that they go out to battle in the Lord's strength. Thus, they should nor dwell on the fewness of numbers or become disconsolate, but rejoice that the Lord Himself has given a vision for souls. To date ten outings have been made with the Unit, The visit to Thamesteaci was confined to the central area and about 150 S.G.M. booklets To Bring us to God were used. The Easter outreach was centred around the streets in Glenfarg and Catford using tracts and local assembly invitations to their Easter Sunday gospel meeting. Several hundred homes were visited. At Woolwich, there were larger numbers of people than usual using the station and tracts were well received. The visit to the Strand was an international effort. The team of workers, 2 British. 2 American, 1 South Korean and 1 Dutch, were able to distribute tracts and a few conversations ensued. Although the weather was inclement at Cambcrwell, a good number of tracts were given to folk at the bus stops. It was noted that several had 30 minutes to wait for the buses and prayer is that the preaching may result in the conviction of the hearers.
South Wales The Cardiff Home Workers Conference was held at Ebenezer Gospel Hall. Reports were given by B, Anderson, J. Hayden and W. Longville. A most interesting report was given by W. Longville of the work in Dartmoor prison. A challenging word from Ivan Steeds concluded the conference. The conference at Llandaff North centred in the book of Malachi and helpful ministry was given by D. West and J. Baker. The sisters held their Women Workers' Conference at Ely Gospel Hall and about 200 gathered to hear reports and some challenging words. The annual conference at Cwmbran was well attended and the ministry' was given by A. M. S. Gooding and David Angel.
A new venture at Bethesda, Cardiff was a missionary week-end in June. Various brethren from different parts gave reports. Information was given in the form of an exhibition, slides and a video from the Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Trevor Davics continues to work among the prisoners at Cardiff gaol-this work needs much prayer.
Dorset News from J. Harman of work in the county. The Weymouth Students Inter-naiional Outreach is under way, with provision for witness to students from many-countries who come to Weymouth for language study. A witness team is drawn from universities and college Christian Fellowships to join up with local believers and a coffee bar is open as a centre for making contact with the students in the gospel. Language school lessons are visited by the team in the mornings and the coliee bar is staffed by them in the evenings. So much prayer goes with this witness that effective contacts may be made to bring these students to Chrisl, ;ind thai the team may have good relationships with the school organizers.
The opportunity has opened again for the Weymouth open air witness to be furthered on Sunday evenings on the sands. This is a work that again demands much prayer that Lhe effort to reach passers-by on the Esplanade may be sustained. The going at times is hard hut the Lord gives encouragement, and although the numbers are reduced the work goes on with the help of visiting believers. May the word spoken and the literature distributed prove a blessing to those passing by.
A work has commenced at Three Legged Cross with the aim of reaching the gypsy community in this area. After a long and painstaking effort on the part of one of the local believers they have now been able to establish contact and a few gypsy children are now attending the Sunday School and one or two parents show interest.
A meeting was held in May at Wnlsley Gospel Hall, Plymouth, for the commendation of Ruth Wood to serve the Lord in hospital work in Zaire, The hall was packed to capacity and a fervent time was spent in prayer, praise and thanksgiving lor our sister. Representative brethren from seven assemblies gave words of comfort and exhortation from their assemblies. Alan Osborne, Cardiff, gave the ministry of the word, both encouraging and timely. It was a joy to see so many frum Cornwall and Devon uniting together to show fellowship with Ruth in the concern fur the Lord's work.
The believers at Seaton (Devon; have rearranged their Sunday programme during the holiday months so that after the Breaking of bread remembrance a family service is held with a view to encouraging the holiday makers to attend. This has proved a real blessing and good numbers are attending. The attendance at the evening gospel sen'ice has also improved. There is a real desire on the part of the believers to reach folk with the gospel.
A Postal Sunday School get-together was held on a fine Saturday afternoon in June at a farm near Plymouth. About ninety children, parents and workers attended and a great time was enjoyed by all. Well organized games were followed by a splendid tea. Some rousing singing and an illustrated tall; brought the occasion to a close. The Bible Exhibition was held for a week in June at Plymstock Chapel, Plymouth, and Counties evangelists Ivor and Phyllis Jenkins stayed for the week, and their help was much appreciated. Some 700 children and adults visited the exhibition and a number of useful conversations ensued.
Ken Rudge writes with a useful report ot the work in this county. There is much eattse to give God thanks for the strong interest that has been sustained throughout the winter months in the monthly outreach work for young people. Four assemblies, Falrnouth. Trtiro, Camborne and Si. Austcll, have hosted this outreach and over 100 young people have been willing to come and hear the gospel on each occasion. Several young people have trusted Christ during the season. At each gathering preachers have presented the gospel in clear and challenging terms. There is much to encourage.
Believers in the assembly at St, Austell have been much encouraged by the baptism of a middle-aged couple and a young man during March. God has done a real work of grace in this couple and they need prayer for Jiving the new life in contrast to the old one. "I he May Conference was a great source of blessing as over 200 believers gathered to hear ministry from A. Leckie and T. Ledger. The fellowship of many believers continued through the following days of ministry by T. Ledger. A very profitable exposition of important sections of Romans was given.
Ministering brethren have greatly helped the believers over past months throughout the county. Stan Ford ministered at Truro, St. Austell and Lanivet, near Bodmiu. Jim Rowberry, India, gave reports of a recent visit to the assemblies in India at St. Austell and Truro. Heartwarming ministry was given at Saltash Annual Conference by M. Horlock and A. Lcckie to a very large company of believers. Good meetings followed with A. Leckic and expositions from the book of the Acts were given.
Ruth Had ley has returned to the very difficult sphere of service in Angola. As she serves the Lord she urgently needs prayer support to face the immense opportunities and yet dark pressures in an unsettled environment.