Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

Precious Seed

SCOTLAND

FASKALLY HOUSE, PITLOCHRY Faskally House is a residential centre in the heart of Scotland set aside for the furtherance of the Lord¡¯s work among young people especially. Over many years, assembly based Camps had been held in schools in Scotland in several locations, with many young people being saved, baptized and added to assemblies. In the early 1990s it was becoming increasingly difficult to continue using schools due to more stringent fire regulations and also increasing costs. To continue this worthwhile work, a group of trustees began considering the possibility of purchasing a permanent site for Camps.

In a wonderful way, the Lord provided a facility almost exactly suited to what the trustees had been praying about, and through the generosity of His people enough funds were in hand to purchase Faskally House and its sixtyseven acres of ground in December 1996. This stately home, built in 1831, had been used since World War II as a training college and then as an outdoor education centre. No ¡®change of use¡¯ planning application was required, and it was in a state to use it right away. It was also ideally situated in the very centre of Scotland, with easy access by road and rail. Over the last five years, the accommodation has been upgraded and transformed to make it suitable not only for children and teenagers but also for adults.

Faskally House can accommodate a total of ninety people, making it ideally suited for young people¡¯s camps. Some thirty Camps have used the site with encouraging spiritual results in that several dozen children and teenagers have professed to be saved. Some of these have been baptized, and many of them added to assemblies.

The first occasion the House was used for a Young People¡¯s Weekend was in April 1997. These have continued to be popular each year. What tremendous potential there is in the lives of young people if they are surrendered to the Saviour for Him to use.

Very soon, benefits for older people were included in the provision at Faskally. To date some thirty ¡®mid-week breaks¡¯ have been held. The first and last of these each year combine Bible Readings in the morning with consecutive Bible teaching in the evening. The other breaks give greater opportunities for folk to enjoy the lovely highland scenery in the area with its many tourist attractions, followed by Bible teaching meetings each evening. Sometimes unsaved and backsliders have been present during these holidays, and have found the Lord challenging them. When adults are in residence the number the house can take reduces to around forty.

¡®Families Holidays¡¯ have been provided in August during the last three years. There is plenty for families to do in this part of Scotland. Separate meetings are held for the young folk and their parents each day. Two weddings have also taken place, a number of anniversaries celebrated, and many different types of weekends for assembly groups.

There are some lovely walks in the extensive grounds by the loch and river, and in the mature woodlands at any season of the year. Three acres are kept as a play area for outdoor games. Indoors, games are available, such as air hockey, table tennis and snooker. In addition to this a large games hall has just been constructed to give an excellent facility especially in inclement weather, which is known to occur sometimes in Scotland!

The managers and trustees of Faskally House are gratified to see the increasing use, which is being made of this top class facility since it was opened. Altogether about 7000 people have stayed in the house between a weekend and a fortnight, and very many have been blessed as a result. On the operational side, it has also been most encouraging to find a large number of the Lord¡¯s people volunteering their time and talents to help develop the premises and to contribute to the day to day running of the various events.

Prayer is requested that the Lord¡¯s presence and power might continue to be experienced, for the blessing of all who visit or stay and for the wisdom to direct and manage the house, so that the Lord¡¯s name might be further glorified.

For further information about the House, the activities organised, or the possibility of using it, do please contact Arthur and Christine Pollard, phone 01796 474411.

ENGLAND

YORKSHIRE Ossett. Around 400 children attended the Bible Exhibition from four different schools. On one day the coach, which picked up the children went to the wrong school. The school had been the previous day and hadn¡¯t planned to send further classes. However when the head teacher heard there was another opportunity he quickly found a class and sent them to the exhibition. As a result, two classes came at the same time giving large numbers but a great opportunity. Each of the teachers and helpers received a unique ¡®Jesus¡¯ CD with a copy of John¡¯s Gospel. Many profitable conversations took place.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Warsop. As part of the on-going work in this small Market town a week's children's meetings were held from the 28th January to the 1st May. Ian Campbell, South Shields, was the evangelist. The meetings were held in the local Junior School where Ian was able to take an assembly before the meetings commenced. To begin with twentyfour youngsters came and numbers gradually rose to forty by the Friday evening. Interest was excellent and the Scripture verse was learnt and the stories listened to with great intensity. Three parents were also present during part of the evenings.

Overall, Ian visited five schools, four Primary and one Secondary. He took school assembly in all of the four primary schools and spoke to over a hundred youngsters from the whole of KS2 in each. He visited the Catholic Secondary School in Mansfield and gave a talk on Creation to over 400 youngsters from KS4 and KS5 over the course of two days. The sixth form presentation was particularly lively with the young people showing great interest. Staff, together with two nuns, were present for each talk. Further discussion with staff and students took place over lunch at the school.

Please pray, with us, for the seed that has been sown. May there be much fruit borne to the glory of the Lord. Prayer would also be valued for a further gospel series planned in June when Joe Baxter, Livingston, will be in the town.

WEST MIDLANDS Keith Bullock has been encouraged by some of the contacts made during open-air work. One young man in particular is an animal rights activist and lays out his stall in the street to promote his cause. He has always been opposed to the gospel but has mellowed following a conversation with Keith to the point that an opportunity has been given to speak to him about his need of a Saviour. Opportunity has also been given to visit a Social Services day unit where people who have psychiatric problems are helped. Pray that wisdom will be given to reach them for Christ.

An exhibition is currently being prepared based on Bunyan¡¯s Pilgrims Progress. It is purposed to use this exhibition in schools and possibly prisons. This idea was based on a recommendation from an RE teacher who suggested that Pilgrims Progress, being a classic would also draw the interest of English departments in school.

Solihull Gospel Hall held a holiday Bible Club during May for 5-11 year olds. Ivor Cooper led the week and introduced children to Bible stories with the use of high quality computer graphics. Bright singing, indoor games, crafts and interesting activities contributed to the fast-moving, actionpacked two hour programme each morning. During the week, thirty-one children attended and most of their parents came for the prize giving when they heard preached a clear gospel message.

A winter series of Friday Focus meetings were held in the assemblies of Stourbridge and Broadwas. The subjects under consideration have been of a practical nature. In Stourbridge the theme has been, 'They turned the world upside down' (Character Studies in the Book of Acts) when those present were challenged as to the impact they are making on the world today. In Brodwas the believers have been encouraged to consider that we have a 'Faith that Works' (Studies in James). The numbers attending have been good and it has been particularly pleasing to see a significant group of young people from the West Midlands area present at all the meetings. Please pray that the considerable amount of spiritual potential shown by these young people will be realized and that they will become men and women of God.

The assembly which meets at Charlton Road Birmingham held an outreach week with Robert Hamilton. It was a good opportunity for the assemblies to work hard together planning and organizing a major outreach event - an 'Italian Evening' on Saturday. The hall was decorated and a three course meal prepared, and included 'events' interspersing each course to aid discussion and social interaction. Help is required to be able to welcome and chat to people who are not known to the local Christians, and build relationships quickly and easily with them.

NORFOLK The assembly at Staltham in Norfolk have been greatly encouraged by the children¡¯s work with 25-30 children consistently attending the 3.15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon Craft/Bible Club for 11/2 hours. The children are taken straight from school into the Gospel Hall where they have a varied programme. This is slowly building up contacts with young mothers.

David Dixon continues his fortnightly visits to Wayland Prison. The prisoners are all vulnerable prisoners and numbers attending are never large. There is however a great opportunity to simply open the word of God. Their attention is excellent and they always express appreciation.

OXFORDSHIRE The assembly in Bicester was encouraged with two baptisms of believers saved during the year. Also, two funerals drew large crowds of unsaved. One ten-year-old girl tragically killed who had attended the Sunday School. The other, that of Will Penfold, known to many readers of Precious Seed. Sharing in brother Penfold's funeral was an Indian evangelist, R. J. Chhatria, who visited several assemblies in the south of England giving reports of the Lord's work in Orissa, India.

Robert Plant held a week of well attended children's meetings, while at the same time taking seven local school assemblies. On the final Sunday a young man in his late teens was saved in the gospel meeting through the words of the hymn ¡®It is enough that Jesus died and rose again for me¡¯. Jack Hay then took two weeks of ministry on 1 Samuel, gleaning practical lessons from the book with particular emphasis on family matters. The assembly has been encouraged by these events.

SOMERSET A spring half term 2002 Holiday Bible Club was held at Coleford with Robert Plant. This was encouraging with over sixty children attending overall and with up to fortyfive being present on most days. The meetings took place from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon each day with Bible stories on the life of Moses. The children enjoyed making relevant craft items and took these home with worksheets. These were returned the next day with obvious contributions from the parents! This work has enabled contact to be made with many families in the area and it is encouraging that the Scriptures are going into so many homes. On the Sunday a family service and prize giving was held with over sixty children and adults attending.

An elderly man in the village who is unwell asked for a visit. He attended the Sunday School from the age of five to eleven. He has never forgotten the bible verses and choruses he learnt and can recite them now by heart. A number of others in the village have stopped the believers in the street and invited them in to see the Seed Sowers Texts. Now in pride of place on their living room or kitchen walls. Some have even had them framed. Pray that God will speak to them through His word.

A magazine entitled Proverbs was distributed to local homes and was followed up by Ian Rees with the help of local believers who knocked on doors and gave invitations to come to some informal Bible studies in local homes. These are called 'Looking into Christianity' and are now being held in three homes in the area with a number non-Christians attending. It is encouraging that two elderly men who have come to believe have asked to be baptized as a result of these studies. Others have been interested to ask questions about salvation. One lady whose husband is a teacher in a local Catholic boarding school shows keen interest. She has already told us that the Roman Catholic church cannot provide her with the answers to her questions and she is genuinely searching for truth and reality. Another lady trusts very much in her own good works and lively discussions have taken place over God's way of salvation through grace alone!

The Kingfisher Postal Bible School work administered by Geoff and Iris Pearson from Holcombe in Somerset continues to grow with the number of scholars now at approximately four hundred. The age range of these is three to eighty-one years and they reside not only in the UK but in many different areas of the world. A recent enquiry was received through the internet web site (www.kingfisherpbs.org) from mainland China! The material used for the study courses is published by Bert Gray (Penarth, S. Wales). It is encouraging to know that a number of scholars have trusted the Lord as their Saviour through the last year. Others have also been baptized. Many parents have confirmed how glad they are that their children are receiving help in studying the Bible and quite a number of parents have become involved in introducing new children to the Postal Bible School. forty-two voluntary teachers assist with marking the returned lessons and this involves considerable logistics. The administration is greatly helped by a computer database developed with tyhe assistance of Nigel Kitcatt, (Barry, S. Wales). Everything is free of charge to the pupils and no appeals are made for funds. (The work is funded by the gifts of the Lord's people). This work is part of the Kingfisher Camps work held each summer at Cheddar, Somerset. The overall aim is to see souls saved and added to the full fellowship of local assemblies.

WALES

CARDIFF Bethesda, Rhiwbina, Cardiff is being encouraged by the regular attendance of people from the community at its ¡®Sunday Morning at Bethesda¡¯ service. This is a family service which is committed to teaching the Bible in a contemporary style and is modelled by the conviction that God speaks into people¡¯s lives through his living word, and through that word the light of the gospel shines.

During the winter months the assembly at Caerphilly held a meeting every other Friday night inviting speakers to deal with subjects aimed at younger Christians. The response has been most encouraging.

Richard Collings has been working on the streets of Caerphilly on Sunday nights among groups of young people who in normal circumstances would not enter a place of worship. Each week numbers of them have been coming into the Gospel Hall some for the meeting and others for a hot drink and a talk after the meeting. These contacts have opened the doors of several new homes and as a result a number of children have been added to the Sunday School.

The assembly continues to post tracts through the letterbox of each house in the town. The task is getting harder as the town is growing. During the last five years more than 1,200 houses have been built. There are now more than 30,000 houses to visit. Pray for blessing in this work.

The Cardiff and District Assemblies Quarterly Prayer Breakfasts continue to be times of joy joining with other brothers and sisters for a time of prayer. All those who attend say that their prayer lives have been improved and that they are able to pray more intelligently for particular works as they hear the prayers of other saints. A number of young people from the assembly in Dinas Powys have committed their time to short term support work with the Lord's people both at home and abroad. Gareth Newberry is in the middle of a six month term with Emmanuel Ministries in Calcutta working with the poor and destitute, street children and addicts. Keri Lewis is about to go to Ecuador working with Latin Link on some practical projects including a school for the missionaries around Quito. Paul Reed and Stephen McDonald are involved with ¡®Big Ideas¡¯ and ¡®Going Public¡¯ in the local Cardiff Area. A number of other young people have signed up with GLO teams in this country and abroad. Bethesda also supports Margaret Davis, a missionary sister working in Caen, France by sending a group led by Roger Newberry at Christmas each year. They help lead a carol service with Margaret's senior citizens. The group has also supported Margaret with practical projects at various other times including The Lighthouse, a building which she hopes will one day host an assembly in Louvigny, her local village. Last year a group visited Mark and Malichaba West in Lesotho. Mark was commended from Bethesda ten years ago. They were delighted to receive this support from their home assembly. In 2002 others from the assembly will be visiting The Bahamas to support Richard and Netica Roberts who are full time workers.

The assembly which meets at Ebenezer Cardiff is much encouraged with a monthly Men's Evening, which has been running for a few years. Numbers are good. The monthly Lunch Club for pensioners and the weekly Coffee Morning are very popular and well attended. The ladies afternoon meeting and a monthly informal evening for ladies have good numbers and gave great opportunity for the gospel message.

The assembly at Tredegar have much to praise the Lord for with the work among the youth and children who attend the weekly Sunday morning YPG and ¡®Discoverers¡¯. There has also been a good relationship built up with the parents of these children and they attend the gospel meeting on occasions, especially when their children are involved. Some older children attend the gospel meeting regularly and time is available after which to meet informally. Most of the children have made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus. A few have been baptized already and some are showing a desire.

SWANSEA Recently at the Monday evening open-air witness in the Kingsway, Swansea, the workers of the Mobile Unit were approached by a young woman, obviously on drugs, in real distress, but seeking help. One of the sisters took her into the Unit and spoke with her and prayed for her. She said she was due to go to a drugs and rehabilitation centre in a month¡¯s time. She left with suitable literature. She was made a matter of urgent prayer at the Treboeth assembly prayer meeting.

NORTHERN IRELAND 

CO ANTRIM Crosskeys. W. Fenton and M. McKillen erected a portable hall and preached the gospel each night. One young man, who had been the subject of many prayers, was saved.

Dundessert. R. Pickering and T. Wallace conducted gospel meetings in this needy country district near Crumlin. The assembly is small and the area is difficult. Prayer would be valued for this work.

CO DOWN Ballymagarrick. David Gilliland conducted a week of ministry on subjects ¨C Lordship, Headship, Fellowship, Membership, Stewardship and Worship. The meetings were very well attended and the ministry was searching and challenging.

CO LONDONDERRY Portstewart. Harold Paisley conducted meetings for two weeks using his chart ¡®The Book of Daniel the Prophet¡¯. Large numbers attended with Christians coming from local assemblies and farther away. Students from a local university showed a keen interest not only by their presence but also by their questions.

CO TYRONE Tullyroan. D. McGarvery and A. Colgan have been encouraged along with the assembly with the good numbers who have attended the gospel meetings. Blessing has also been seen in salvation.

BELFAST AND DISTRICT The assembly in Albertbridge Road have held gospel meetings with David Morgan from Wales. Over 4,000 invitations were distributed in the area which were politely received by the locals. The response to these invitations was disappointing in terms of unsaved attending the meetings but Christians from other areas brought friends and relatives resulting in unsaved being present each night.

Matchett Street. S. Ferguson and W. Boyd conducted meetings which saw a fourteen-year-old girl saved. The area was extensively visited and many gospel tracts and invitations were distributed.

> > > > PRAYER POINTS  < < < <

  • For those who preach the gospel in open-air work, who regularly meet with opposition but often have good opportunities to speak to individuals in need.
  • For those who endeavour to reach ethnic communities that wisdom might be given to understand cultural differences and reach them with the gospel.
  • For those who labour for God in small assemblies that they may be encouraged and see blessing in salvation.
  • For those who preach the gospel that they might be helped to lay hold on God for His power and blessing in salvation.
  • For the many young people¡¯s weekends that the challenge might produce resolve to do something for the Lord.
  • For the work of Postal Bible Schools that through God¡¯s word many might be saved and added to the aassemblies of God's people.