Gospel Work and Other Activities
Stephen Baker, Manchester
The believers in Guildford have been inviting people to a gospel outreach course in the Gospel Hall. They report about a man called ‘J’ who came to the Gospel Hall after seeing the invitation in their local gospel magazine. He came basically because he had been preserved from death, on no less than three occasions, and wanted to see if the Christians could tell him why.
In the second week of the outreach it looked as if no one was coming - but just before 7.00 p.m. ‘F’ (a Chinese student in his second year at Surrey University) came into the hall with his girlfriend - enquiring if they were a ‘church’. He was invited to come to a meal that had been arranged and because he lived less than 100 metres from the hall he was able to go home and get rid of his bag and return in time for the meal. He had been interested in Christian things since June and felt that God was speaking to him.
After the prayer time at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday the believers waited and waited, but no one came. At nearly 7.15 p.m. (fifteen minutes after the start time) they gave thanks for the food and asked the Lord to bring in ‘J’ and ‘F’. About ten minutes into the meal ‘F’ arrived (he had been waiting for public transport for an hour from the University). After the talk and discussion ‘F’ asked how he could get onto the narrow road the believers had been talking about. He was then taken through the way of salvation again and one of the brethren offered to pray with him elsewhere. ‘F’ was quite happy for the others to stay and spontaneously followed a brother as he prayed a prayer of repentance and faith. ‘F’ then asked if he could pray for himself in his own language, Mandarin. You can imagine how thrilled the believers were - they pointed out that they were rejoicing like the angels in heaven over his repentance.
Isn’t it amazing! The Christians had been praying for some of the people they had invited to the course every day for the last year who made excuses not to come. But ‘F’, whom they didn’t know (and as he pointed out was taught atheism for over twenty years of his life), came in by God’s appointment (quite miraculously as was pointed out to him) and came to faith in Christ a week later. We should all stand back in awe at the sovereignty of God and His unsearchable ways.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray that ‘J’ will be saved;
- Please pray that ‘F’ will go on well;
- Pray that the believers in Guildford Gospel Hall will be sensitive in nurturing ‘F’.
- Pray that ‘F’s girlfriend will be willing to come with him to hear the gospel.
The assembly at Lewisham, London had two encouraging open air meetings at the Clock Tower. Sometimes over fifteen people were listening while seated on benches eating their lunch. One man listened for forty-five minutes. Unlike our usual Sunday evening gospel meetings there was no complaint that ‘no unsaved came’.
The meetings with Nitish Patel started well with a few outsiders attending during the first weekend but the numbers dropped off and attendance was very poor during the week. However things did not stay that way and on the last Lord’s Day there was a record attendance of sixty of whom eighteen were unsaved. A sister in the meeting planned a special lunch for her family and the assembly members at the hall on the condition they stayed for the evening meeting. She has a great concern for her husband and many others who are not saved. Around twelve of the unsaved stayed to hear the gospel. Three of them had never before been inside a Gospel Hall in their lives.
The assembly was much encouraged when a young brother and sister were saved on the Friday. We hear they are making good progress.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- The open air testimony in Lewisham;
- Pray for the unsaved that came into the meetings with Nitish Patel;
- Pray for the family of the sister in the assembly in Lewisham that they will respond to the gospel.
Park Gospel Hall, Swindon, is in a housing estate with all kinds of social problems. The assembly has faithfully knocked doors and tracted for many years and has seen some souls saved in recent days. Nitish Patel had gospel meetings recently and had some good conversations while visiting homes, a number of New Testaments were given out. In total about eighteen unsaved came to the meetings. Some young people came often and sometimes listened well. A couple who had been prayed for, for a long time but were very hard to persuade, surprised everyone by coming to the meetings.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- The witness of the assembly in Park Gospel Hall;
- That many will be saved as a result of the recent gospel work, especially the eighteen who came into the hall;
- That the couple who surprised everyone by coming to the meeting might be saved.
During the month of December the assembly which meets in Wembley Gospel Hall had a visit from Dr. Mahesh Bandarupalli of Leicester. He is an ex-Hindu priest who like Saul of Tarsus hated Christians and sought to silence them. He tried to prove the Bible was a lie but through reading it the Lord saved him. There were five attempts on his life but the Lord spared him and he is currently working as a doctor in this country. The believers had the joy of hearing his testimony and though many leaflets were given out they were disappointed that only a few of their contacts came (only two Hindu ladies and some other unsaved).
The testimony was recorded and will be available on DVD in two languages – English and Hindi. We hope to distribute copies into Hindu homes. Many are afraid of coming to the Hall but will listen at home. If any believers have Hindu contacts to whom a copy could be given then please write to Nitish Patel via the Precious Seed address (or e-mail address) and he will send out a copy when it is produced.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- The preservation of Dr. Mahesh Bandarupalli;
- The unsaved who were at the testimony meeting that they might repent and believe the gospel;
- That God will bless the testimony on DVD with the salvation of Hindu’s.
The believers in Manvers Gospel Hall, Bath, tell a touching story of a boy’s conversion. On the Sunday before Christmas, with his parents and brothers and sister present and before a full hall, ‘G’, a young boy of twelve, at his own insistence, made public profession of his faith, thanking the Lord for dying on the cross that his sins might be forgiven. His father (‘J’), present at a meeting in the Hall for the first time ever, is terminally ill with bowel cancer, and is not expected to live for long. He was moved to hear his son speak as he did, and has expressed his own surprise and delight to see such a change in his son’s attitude since his professed conversion. ‘J’ has had a rough life and, a few weeks before Christmas, spoke of God in very disrespectful and dismissive terms. He was visited for the fourth time last week, and it was thrilling to hear him speak of God with reverence now, claiming to have a peace in his heart when he prays. He expressed the hope that he will have a place in heaven when God calls him. Do pray for ‘J’, who has already said that if ‘G’ could have such a change in his heart, there is hope for him. Many of that family of fourteen children have attended Manvers Hall over the years, and some still do. What a powerful testimony it would be in Bath if this family were saved!
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- For ‘G’ that he will ‘grow in grace’;
- For ‘J’ that he will be saved;
- For the rest of the family of fourteen that they will be saved;
- For the assembly in Manvers Hall, Bath, to maintain a good witness and to nurture these young believers.
The assembly at Wollaston, Stourbridge, has been encouraged by an increase in the numbers in fellowship in recent times and the subsequent opportunities this has given to expand the Lord’s work in the preaching of the gospel. A number of brethren have been involved in the consistent distribution of tracts in the area and two others have engaged in preaching the gospel in the town centre - a woman came to the gospel meeting as a result of this exercise. An open-air carol singing and preaching session in the local shopping area on the Saturday before Christmas was well received.
Some of the sisters have begun a mother and toddler group on a Tuesday morning each week and the early responses to this have been encouraging.
Numbers attending the weekly children’s meeting have grown and this has provided numerous openings to build up positive relationships with parents in the locality. A successful Children’s Holiday Club was held in October, led by Mark Lacey, from Bath, which resulted in further useful contacts with the local community, including the opportunity to take an assembly in the primary school. There is also encouraging support in the West Midlands for the teaching of the word of God. The monthly Friday Focus Bible Teaching Meetings on ‘God’s Wilderness House’ have been extremely well attended and it has been a delight to see such a high level of interest from a wide age range of believers. Our prayer is that in, and through it all, the Lord will be honoured and glorified, souls saved and His people built up.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Tract distribution and the salvation of souls;
- Open-air gospel preaching;
- Bridge building through the mother and toddler group;
- The salvation of souls through the children’s meeting and contact with parents;
- The teaching of God’s word.
In November 2004, the believers at Perth Gospel Hall, Scotland, had a visit from Stephen Grant to assist in their ongoing outreach. During the fortnight, the assembly arranged for Stephen to visit, schools, residential complexes, conduct lectures in a sports centre, run a children’s club, speak at an outreach dinner and conduct a teenager meeting.
The lectures attracted an encouraging interest from adults with some travelling many miles to hear the interesting subjects. Some have started coming to the weekly gospel meeting as a result of the lectures. One young man shared the fact that he had been seeking and was sure he had now found what he was seeking for. We hope and pray that he and others will truly receive Christ as Saviour and Lord.
The schools outreach was again very encouraging, with twenty-one separate assemblies conducted with many thousands of children hearing a clear gospel message. Some of the children have responded to a free offer of a Christian CD.
Stephen also conducted an after school club, which was small but rewarding, with some new children now attending the regular Sunday School.
It was a very encouraging two weeks for which prayer would be appreciated. In December the Christmas period was used to invite friends and families to hear the gospel. An open-air service also allowed many to hear the good news. Three meetings in residential complexes allowed older people an opportunity to hear of the Saviour. A Christmas Service was held in a Perthshire village called Comrie, with a good attendance by the local villagers. A new contact from the web site, allowed us to be able to send a Chinese Bible to a Thai lady in Ipswich, some 400 miles away from Perth!
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray for the many people that heard the gospel of the fortnight of gospel activity;
- Pray for the children and the schools were the seed of the word of God was sown;
- Pray for the assembly in Perth and their testimony;
- Pray for those who heard the gospel over the Christmas period.
The believers in Kennoway were encouraged with the start of a new outreach venture in the local hospital. Good numbers of patients were present for the first two visits, including a significant number of staff. The staff have been very helpful and co-operative in getting the necessary permissions.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray that this work will flourish and result in much blessing.
In the north east of Scotland, the Cullen assembly arranged a five-week series of gospel meetings with Jack Hay and Ainslie Paterson during October and November. A good number of unsaved people from the locality came on a regular basis, and believers from neighbouring assemblies gave good support. The meetings were divided between the Cullen Gospel Hall and a village hall in nearby Portknockie, where the Sunday night meeting was particularly well attended. It is intended to continue this meeting on a monthly basis over the winter.
Further along the coast, the believers in Lossiemouth assembly had arranged activities to mark fifty years of witness from their present location in James Street Gospel Hall. Special editions of their regular gospel leaflet, The Lossie Light, and continued outreach led up to a two week campaign in the gospel at the end of November with Stephen Grant. Some unsaved folk and some backsliders came to the meetings almost every night, sometimes three or four on occasions. On the first Friday of the campaign a Sunday School reunion was held, and the hall was packed with many who had never been there since their childhood. One young man who attended over the last four nights trusted the Lord for salvation.
In Fife, the assembly in Tayport had a four-week series of gospel meetings with Blair Martin during November, as did the assembly at Hospital Hill, Dunfermline, with Craig Munro. Some unsaved attended these meetings, and the plain truths of the gospel were clearly and faithfully made known.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Please pray that the Lord will yet save many who have showed an interest in the gospel in Cullen and Portknockie;
- Pray for the meetings which will continue on a monthly basis;
- Thank God for the gospel outreach in Lossiemouth;
- Pray that the young man who was saved may live in such a way as to prove the reality of his faith;
- Pray that God will yet further bless the word that was so faithfully and clearly preached;
- Pray that the Lord will bless those who attended the meetings in Tayport and Dunfermline.
The assembly in Caerphilly, Wales, recently had to ban a few younger teenagers from their Sunday Good News Club due to their disruptive behaviour. It is however good to report that a couple in the assembly are hoping to start a work to reach young people on a Sunday night after the gospel meeting. Another encouragement is that one of the disruptive lads is showing a measure of concern about salvation and he and three of his friends came to hear Norman Mellish give his testimony in December. While two of the lads had to be ejected before the end of the meeting this lad (‘G’) stayed and took note of what was said and afterwards asked Norman how he could be saved. These young folk come from very dysfunctional backgrounds and know little of any restraint in any facet of their lives.
Last winter/spring the assembly decided not to have a series of Friday night teaching meetings as the interest and support of the series had waned. However, encouraged by the comments of a few who expressed a desire to see the meetings reinstated a new session began in September and to date the meetings have been most encouraging. Some nights half a dozen or so young people in their late teens and early twenties who do not normally attend meetings in the hall have been present. They put some challenging questions in the box for the Q&A session that follows the teaching. One night they returned to the home where David West was staying and had a lively, interactive discussion with him until midnight. Nearly all of these young folk had been brought up ‘in the assemblies’ although one has been saved from a non- Christian background and another is still unsaved. How fantastic it would be to see all of these commit themselves whole heartedly to the things of the Lord, what an impact it could have and what adjustments it might create for all concerned! The series is scheduled to run until the end of March, DV.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray for the youths of Caerphilly that they might get saved and be the start of another mighty work of God;
- Pray in particular for ‘G’s salvation;
- Pray for a movement of God among the young believers in Caerphilly.
In County Antrim gospel meetings were recently held in three areas. Jim Martin and Wesley Martin preached the gospel in a portable hall in Straidkillen, near Ballintoy. There have been a good number of local people attending the meetings. The assembly in Ballymena Gospel Hall, Cambridge Avenue, Ballymena, have had five weeks of gospel meetings with Ian Jackson. The numbers were quite encouraging with several unsaved young people coming to the meetings. In Broughshane gospel meetings were held with M. Radcliffe and M. Turkington preaching. Good numbers of unsaved young people came to the meetings every night.
County Down saw gospel outreach in Ashfield (Mullafernaghan), Holywood, Killyleagh, Lisburn (Plantation Hall) and Shanaghan. A number were saved in Ashfield with a good number of people coming to the meetings. The meetings in Holywood ran concurrently with a Bible Exhibition supplied by R. Eadie. There was a good interest and many good contacts were made.
County Tyrone saw gospel meetings in a number of places. In Donemana many local people came in to the seven weeks of meetings after the area had been covered with invitations and tracts. The meetings were well supported by surrounding assemblies and there was great joy over a number of souls professing faith in the Lord Jesus. N. Tinsley and N. Coulter preached the gospel in Martry. In Omagh W. Fenton and M. McKillen preached the gospel with large crowds coming in from the district, thankfully this included many unsaved.
The city of Belfast was blessed with the opportunity to hear the good news of salvation when D. Gilliland and J. Fleck preached the gospel for six weeks in Cregagh Street Gospel Hall. An interest in the gospel built up over the weeks with Christians bringing along their families and other people who were interested. Some good contacts were made and some souls professed faith in the Lord Jesus. The district around Windsor Gospel Hall had the opportunity to hear the gospel for four weeks when S. Ferguson and W. Boyd visited the area. Despite good gospel preaching the local people did not take advantage of coming to hear the message.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray for the young people who heard the gospel in Broughshane and have not yet believed;
- Pray for the young people who heard the gospel in Ballymena that they might repent and believe the gospel;
- Pray for those who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus that they might grow in grace;
- Pray for the families of believers who are not yet saved;
- Pray for those in the district of Windsor Gospel Hall who did not accept the invitation to listen to the good news of God’s salvation.
Norman Mellish preached the gospel with the assembly at Basingstoke for a week in October.
Ian Jackson was in Wallingford for two weeks of gospel meetings in October. Numbers of unsaved were present.
Alan Barber was in Bicester for a week of children’s meetings. About fifty children were present each night. Eight visits to local schools provided an opportunity to speak to up to 2,000 children.
New Bradwell Gospel Hall held a week of children’s meetings during half term with local brother Paul Cartwright helping.
Michael Penfold held talks at Chalfont St. Peter for three nights on creation/evolution. Many unsaved who were present showed a good interest. Michael took part in a Radio interview on BBC 3 Counties Radio prime time breakfast show which reached thousands more.
Ian Campbell was at Uxbridge Gospel Hall for three nights taking up the subject of creation/evolution. Some unsaved were present.
Assembly believers had the joy of joining in open-air work in the city of Kingston upon Hull during the week the city played host to one of the largest travelling fairs in Europe. Thousands of leaflets were handed out and around 150 individual conversations took place. Two souls are known to have confessed Christ as Saviour and many others were challenged.
The assembly in Caerphilly are starting now to plan for this year’s Big Cheese Festival outreach. The Festival takes place over the final weekend in July and consists of displays, crafts, a fair, events and demonstrations – over the two days 100,000 visitors are expected. Until now they have used the Seed Sower packs as the basis of the outreach but feel the need to appraise what they are doing to ensure it doesn’t become stale.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Prayer for guidance in planning and for the Lord’s blessing on this outreach would be appreciated.
Prayer has been requested for a short gospel effort taking place at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in early February. Philip Kaye of Skelmanthorpe will be visiting homes and inviting people to the meetings. Help will be sought from neighbouring assemblies to distribute invitations. Gospel meetings will be held each night for four days with a senior citizens meeting taking place on the Lord’s Day afternoon.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Philip Kaye’ visits to homes;
- The circulation of invitations through leaflet distribution;
- Gospel Meetings each night;
- Senior Citizen's Meeting on the Lord's Day.