Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

SCOTLAND   

MACHERMORE CASTLE EVENTIDE HOME

On 1 May 1954, the late Willie Scott opened Machermore Castle Eventide Home at Newton Stewart as a residential home for elderly believers. A christian charity was set up under the control of a body of trustees whom the Lord has graciously helped over the last fifty years. Recently a major change has taken place which the trustees wish to bring to the readers of the magazine for their interest and prayerful support.

Malcom and Esther Herbert, a couple in fellowship in the Crowle assembly, Worcestershire, have bought the Castle from the trustees and will maintain the Christian ethos of the Home by continuing to welcome believers. Under the operating tittle ‘Machermore Castle Care Home Limited’, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert have plans to develop the property to make it an attractive venue for older Christians and the Trustees wish them well for the future. Alexander Oxenham, who has given sterling service over many years, will be manager of the Home.

The Machermore Trust is in the process of being wound up as it's purpose has been served. A new trust, the William Scott Trust, is in process of formation with the principal objective of assisting the work of the gospel in Scotland. This is an apt memorial to Willie who had a real heart for the furtherance of the gospel among all age groups and the Trustees would ask for the prayers of the Lord’s people in this new venture.

CHRISTIAN RECORDINGS

Christian Recordings is a tape ministry and has been involved in this work for the Lord for over twenty-five years. It is run by a small team drawn from three assemblies in the West Fife area of Scotland.

Three tapes are issued every month, two of these are for UK listeners – a ministry tape 'Precious Truths', and a gospel tape 'Gospel Sounds', and and for overseas missionaries 'Missionary Melodies'.

The tapes are available to all who request them but the UK distribution is primarily aimed at those who are unable to attend a place of worship on a regular basis. Many of the UK listeners are therefore blind, handicapped or housebound and so these tapes carry out the important task of providing these individuals with a regular message from the scriptures.

The content is similar for each tape, plenty of good traditional Christian music and an appropriate short message. In additiion the 'Missionary Melodies' tape includes a missionary report. All music used is copied from commercial sources such as CD's or LP's and in every case full permission has been given beforehand by the copyright holders to use their material.

UK listeners are asked to return the tapes after three weeks so that they can be cleaned and reused for the following month. Sighted listeners recieve their tapes in a padded envelope with an enclosed label for return and blind listeners recieve theirs in special plastic wallets with reversible address labels. There is no cost to the listeners other than a second class stamp for the sighted listeners to return their tape. The special plastic wallets used for blind listeners are handled postage free by Royal Mail.

The number of tapes issued continues to rise steadily and presently close to 1,000 are posted out every month, spread over the three tapes. However, many are shared amongst the listeners.

The tapes clearly meet a very great need. Every week the mailbag contains letters from the listeners, not only giving thanks for the regular supply of the tapes but also telling of the blessings recieved from them. It is also clear from the content of these letters that many of the listeners perhaps feel lonely and isolated and so these tapes also provide a link with many other believers.

There are also practical considerations to consider with Royal Mail recently issuing proposals on how they wish to restructure national postage rates. Packets such as those used by Christian Recordings to send the cassettes to the listeners homes would be particularly affected and if these proposals were introduced it is estimated that it would raise postage costs fourfold, making it financially difficult to continue.

Despite the ever growing mailing list, the work is being undertaken by a dimishing team of workers and prayer is requested that the Lord will send others with a burden and specific interest in this work and who are willing to make the necessary regular long-term commitment.

This is a work of God and those involved in this ministry solicit the prayers of the Lord’s people that guidance and help might be given from God as to the future, and that this work might continue in His will to be a blessing to many.

ASSEMBLY WORK   

KENNOWAY The assembly in Kennoway was much encouraged when a young lady was saved and baptized The change in the woman’s life is a tribute to the grace and power of God in salvation. Prayer is requested for her children, a son of fourteen years and a daughter of nine years.

At the end of June the assembly profited greatly from the visit of Phil Coulson who helped in the first of their summer outreach week-ends. The gospel was preached at various locations in the locality in an attempt to reach unbelievers who never come to the meetings. The week-end started with a short series of gospel meetings entitled 'The Missing Peace'. These were taken by local believers and some interesting contacts were made.

A coffee morning has also started recently and it is hoped to reach some of the community through this work

During the weekend Phil Coulson gave a fascinating report of the Lord’s work in India together with a stimulating and challenging account of his call to full-time service.

DUNFERMLINE ABBOT HALL. The assembly is planning to hold their 5th Annual Summer Mission Week – 2nd to 8th August 2004. This will be held in a community centre in the north of the town. There will be a morning 'children’s holiday club' programme, the speaker this year will be George Forbes of Kinross. There will be an Evening Youth Programme, a Wednesday afternoon senior citizens tea and a Saturday barbeque. Prayer is requested that former contacts will be re-established, new contacts made and that God will bless the work in souls being saved.

EYEMOUTH. Jim Patterson Jnr. and Steven Grant will be conducting gospel meetings in the border town of Eyemouth and prayer is requested for those reached through this work.

WALES   

SWANSEA DUNVANT. A commendation meeting was held for Phil and Sheila Davies as they begin a new work for the Lord. Our brother and sister have served the Lord faithfully for over twenty years in various parts but feel guided to serve in a more locallly based work. Prayer is requested that their labours will be blessed in souls being saved.

NEATH. The assembly in Neath has been encouraged recently when a young man and a teenage girl were baptized and recieved into fellowship. The hall was packed and a good number of unsaved were present. Pray for the witness and the message given.

TREBOETH. The assembly held a young people’s camp at Gower with teaching from Phil Davies. The weekend was a great success with a number feeling challenged from the teaching. There is also noticeable spiritual progress being made by some of the young people. Pray that their lives might be preserved and that they will be raised up to be young men and women of God.

TRIMSARAN. The assembly in Trimsaran has run a coffee morning for a number of months.Transport is provided for some of the villagers and others come along by themselves. A portion of the word of God is read and opportunity is given to ask questions or have a discussion. Pray for the people reached by this work that they may come to faith in Christ.

TYCROES. The assembly was encouraged recently when a gentleman came to the gospel meeting as a result of recieving a pre-paid postcard initiative. In addition they have seen a number of unsaved reached through the monthly friends and neighbours outreach. The local primary school expressed thanks when it became known that the believers had prayed regarding the school inspection. These links are invaluable when trying to evangelize a community. Pray for God's blessing in this work.

ENGLAND   

SOLIHULL. In 2001 the assembly as exercised before the Lord as to the lack of unsaved people attending the gospel meeting. After much deliberation and prayer, the assembly decided to start a family service which is held after the breaking of bread on the Lord’s day morning.

As a result of this, around thirty different unsaved have attended the family service and some of those have come more than once. Around ten unsaved now come on a regular basis plus around seven children.

REDDITCH. Several years ago the saints in Foxlidiate in Redditch were plagued by a group of teenagers disrupting the meetings to such an extent that they had to guard the outside when the meetings were on. During these unfortunate times there was damage to cars and buildings and some believers were threatened with knives.

Around two months ago, the leader of this group, now aged about twenty-three, walked into the hall and informed the believers that he had become a Christian. Since then he has been coming regularly and was baptized on the 2nd of May. Prayer is requested for his wife, who can see the evidence of the change in her husband’s life but struggles to come to terms with the change in their lifestyle.

The man’s father occupied a prominent role in the Mormons but became disillusioned and left the sect. He has also attended some meetings and shows great interest and is asking many questions. Pray too for his wife who is a Jehovah Witness.

BICESTER AMBROSDEN. Good numbers of unsaved attended the gospel meetings with sixty-three different unsaved souls attending through the seventeen nights. Although no one professed faith in Christ, there were a few who shewed real concern and prayer is requested for those especially and the others that there might yet be a work of grace in their lives. A number of good contacts are being followed up including some for the Sunday school.

SOUTHEND ON SEA The believers who meet in Coleman Street Chapel are elderly but nevertheless are busily engaged in a very needed work for the Lord. Although small in number they lend help to missionaries at home and abroad by gathering a large range of clothing, toiletries, knitted textiles, footwear and toys for young children. Much of the provision is passed to Medical Missionary News who ship it to various destinations throughout the world. The efforts of the Lord's people in this way will be greatly appreciated by many in poorer countries.

EASTBOURNE The believers who meet in Marine Hall have had much encouragement in the avenue of their gospel outreach. There are times when they see around twelve unsaved people attending the gospel meeting and this response often follows tracting or openair work.They also reach the unsaved with coffee mornings, children’s work, and correspondence courses. Recently two university students trusted Christ, pray that they may go on for God.

BOURNEMOUTH Bournemouth Bible Study Week was held from 31st May to 4th June. Good numbers attended and it proved again to be a time of real blessing to all. Many of those who came,travelled a good distance demonstrating a real thirst for the word of God.

Brother Jim Baker conducted the morning Bible readings on Acts Chapters 1 to 4 and in the evening ministered on the book of Daniel, giving some teaching on both prophetical and practical themes. In the will of the Lord these meetings will be held again next year and anyone requiring information can contact Mr. Alex Wiseman on 01202- 859179.

NORTHERN IRELAND   

CO ANTRIM RASHARKIN. D. McGarvey and A. Caldwell completed five weeks’ gospel meetings which were well attended. The area was visited and invitations given to hear the gospel. The assembly was encouraged to hear of some being saved.

CROSSKEYS. D. McGarvey and G. Maze concluded six and a half weeks of gospel meetings. The meetings were well attended with the hall being filled most evenings. Many heard the gospel for the first time and prayer continues that those who heard the gospel will be saved.

BALLYMENA HARRYVILLE. Brother David Gilliland gave much appreciated and helpful ministry during a week of well attended ministry meetings at the end of April.

CO. LONDONDERRY AND CO. DONEGAL A. J. Higgins, New Jersey, spent several nights in the ministry of the word with the three assemblies in the region. The ministry given was on the subject of the life of David and was most profitable.