Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

SCOTLAND

SHETLAND CHRISTIAN YOUTH CAMP 2001 was the largest Camp since this work began in 1994, with around 150 children present over the course of three weeks. The necessary help and warm fellowship of believers from around the British Isles and the Faroe Islands was greatly appreciated, particularly that of Frank Lonney from Cardiff, and Norman Mellish from Stoke who had responsibility for many of the meetings.

CULLODEN Three weeks of gospel meetings in Culloden for adults and children were conducted by Jack Hay and David Raggett during September. Several unsaved folks attended and interest among the children and young people was fairly good. Opportunities were taken to spread the word through visitation, school visits and an interview on the local radio station. One or two who attended the special meetings have since come to the regular gospel meeting. The series ended with the annual conference weekend.

ABERDEEN In September Alastair Young assisted with Holburn Gospel Hall’s children’s work in the Kingswells suburb of the city. Moderate numbers attended, attention and verse memorisation were good. He also took several school assemblies and a Scripture Union class through which many more children and some staff members heard the gospel

Sid Mountstevens conducted two weeks’ children’s meetings with the Fountain Hall assembly. Numbers, interest and behaviour were encouraging. Some parents came to the prizegiving evening. This assembly has also been encouraged by attendance at their regular gospel meeting and by the response to door to door work carried on in the nearby village of Blackburn. A monthly gospel meeting has been commenced there, and prayer is requested for these activities.

LANARKSHIRE At Kirkmuirhill Sunday School a 12-year-old girl was shown that she could put her name in the 'whosoever' of John 3. 16. That evening she brought a letter to a Sunday School teacher at the gospel meeting and was saved.

FIFE A good number of contacts are made in the St. Andrews area through tract distribution and open air witness. One of these is a young man who was saved as a result of reading the Bible on his own. He requested baptism and a local brother baptized him by the Castle beach on a cold Lord’s Day morning in December!, watched by many of his friends and relatives.

RURAL SCOTLAND Gospel Activity – Jim Patterson, Jnr., Report. During the last few years a group of believers with an interest in gospel witness have been engaged in spreading the word in areas of Scotland where there is no assembly gospel outreach.

This activity has involved distribution of Seed Sowers and other literature in the villages of East and West Lothian and Borders Region, and some of the towns in these areas, such as Bathgate in West Lothian, Dunbar in East Lothian and Eyemouth in Borders Region, with the many villages in the areas around these towns. Opportunity has also been taken to set up a market stall at Town Fairs, Lifeboat Days, and other markets and public gatherings, with a view to distributing free gospel literature and Bibles. This has been an interesting exercise with many people engaging in discussion, requesting literature, and some asking for Bibles as they have never owned a copy! There is ongoing follow up work with some who have requested further contact.

During August 2000 and again in 2001, there were Gospel meetings held using a portable Hall in Eyemouth, and in February 2001 a series of meetings held in Bathgate. All of these meetings were well attended both by believers and strangers from the areas. In particular the second series in Eyemouth saw many of the local people attend the meetings, including some believers from the denominations in the town. In addition there were children's meetings held each night, with the hall being full with children and parents most nights. A postal follow up work is underway with these children, the majority of whom had never heard the gospel before the first meetings in 2000. During the period of meetings there was an ongoing work on the doors and open air meetings held in the afternoons.

During early 2002 God willing, the group will get together to distribute Seed Sowers in the town of Haddington, which is the main town in East Lothian with some 4000 homes. It is also the intention to return to Eyemouth in August, God willing, for a further series of gospel meetings, and to have meetings in another area, which is, as yet, unconfirmed. These meetings will require the usual preparation work of tracting, open air meetings and door to door visitation. Prayer would be greatly appreciated for the proposed work in 2002, D.V.

Throughout Great Britain, there are areas of substantial population with no assembly-based evangelism. There is a need for those with an exercise in the gospel to become involved in the great work of sowing the seed of the word of God, Matt. 13. 3-8.

CARBERRY The Carberry Bible Study weekend was held at Lendrick Muir, near Kinross, where Alistair Sinclair and Colin Lacey shared the ministry. The focus of the weekend was on Christian Morality and the two brothers dealt with these subjects in both a thorough and sensitive manner. The power of the Spirit of God was felt at the meetings and many of the young people who had gathered spoke of the challenge the ministry had made to their lives and the way in which it’s clarity had resolved some serious questions in their minds.

ENGLAND

LONDON AREA David Tinkler continues to work in schools and has many opportunities to speak to children about the love of God. During these times some head teachers and other staff ask for help, advice, or comfort. Wisdom is required when dealing with these situations and prayer would be valued.

BERKSHIRE Keith Bullock held some open air meetings in Reading, Slough and Bracknell. One woman, a heroine addict with three children, wept openly as she was presented with the gospel. Attempts are being made to put the woman in touch with a Christian drug rehabilitation unit. A university student listened attentively to the preaching of the gospel and expressed an interest in learning more of salvation. A good number of others listened and engaged in conversation with the preachers. Many assemblies would do well to emulate the example of those who take the gospel to the people rather than wait for the unsaved to ‘come in’.

SOUTH WEST Bristol Sid Mountstevens conducted a good week of children’s meetings with the assembly which meets at Parsons Street Gospel Hall. The average attendance was 95 and many of the children came from unsettled backgrounds. Ages ranged from 3 years to 13 years and text memorisation was excellent. One lad of 12 listened intently to the message and showed great concern. Opportunity was also given to address three school assemblies where over 500 children and a good number of teachers listened to the gospel.

MIDLANDS Birmingham The assembly in Charlton Road has been evangelizing the community in various ways with a senior citizens tea, a family fun day and a gospel weekend with David Buchan. This included an outreach breakfast and an evening quiz. A focus group for ladies has had some excellent presentations with good contacts made. Previously reported was the initiative by the young people to provide a house in Rwanda. This exercise has gone well and they hope soon to present a cheque for the first house. There is great excitement with the young people over the amount of money raised and the pleasure of giving it.

Warsop. A further gospel series was held in the former mining town of Warsop. Over 3000 homes were visited with invitations and scripture portions in the two weeks preceding the meetings. Philip Kaye (Skelmanthorpe) assisted the work with a day of visitation in which good conversations about the gospel were had. Ian Jackson (Eastbourne) was the evangelist and the gospel was faithfully and powerfully preached. One lad aged 13 made a profession of faith. Prayer would be valued that his profession may prove real and that he may progress in spiritual things. However, in spite of further visitation, numbers overall were disappointing.

To conclude his fortnight in the area of Warsop, Ian Jackson spent a weekend with the very small assembly at Kirkby. In preparation for two special gospel meetings the saints placed invitations and scripture portions in 2500 homes and invited many personally. They were assisted by Philip Kaye. There were some good conversations on the doorsteps of the town and the saints were encouraged to see some sinners attend the meetings and to see the support of saints from neighbouring assemblies. Again, the gospel was faithfully preached.

The saints who meet at Wallingford Gospel Hall, Oxfordshire, held a series of gospel meetings which was conducted by Stewart McKenzie. Several unsaved were present on each night, some of whom expressed quite serious interest. Please pray for a middle-aged lady who came to a few meetings and appeared to be troubled. Another man hardly missed a meeting, and indeed has been a regular attendee at many special gospel meetings in several southern English towns this year. A few of our ‘regular’ teenagers came regularly, but particularly remember one lad who continues to show interest.

Following the successful ‘Creation’ lectures held by Dr. Farid Abou-Rahme in February, a further lecture was held. Although the attendance was not as high as the previous occasions several unsaved were present. One or two stopped for a chat and a number of young people were quite challenged by what they heard. A teenage girl professed faith in Christ following meetings taken by Ian Jackson at Newbury. Her domestic situation has not helped her attend the meetings regularly so please pray that she will grow spiritually and go on for the Lord.

SOMERSET The assembly in Coleford had a children’s mission which was taken by Ian Rees and ended with a family service on the Sunday. The best ever attendance was recorded with sixty children attending including many new contacts. A number of these turned up for the following week’s Sunday School and gospel meeting. Pray that they will continue. Some Bible studies are also being held in various homes in the village and surrounding area entitled 'Looking Into Christianity', conducted by Ian Rees. So far these have been profitable with a number attending who are not at present linked with the assembly. Lively discussions have taken place after these studies and those attending expressed an interest to keep coming to learn more.

Bicester. Nitish Patel visited the assembly in September for a long weekend. An illustrated message entitled 'The Bible, proved from archaeology', followed by a message the next night called 'The world's Seven Great Crises', illustrated with a chart proved most interesting and helpful, especially to young believers. Brian Currie from Belfast spent a week of ministry in October on 1 Corinthians. The assembly was encouraged by the support of surrounding assemblies. Two weeks later three recently converted young believers were baptized. Seventy people filled the hall, many of whom were unsaved. Thank God for times of refreshment and blessing.

NORTH EAST Jim McMaster reports: For several years Bensham has been an area where the government would resettle those who were seeking refuge in our country. The assembly has had the joy of fellowship with saints from Kazakhstan and China. Over the last year or so there has been a flood of refugees from all over the world into the UK. The area immediately surrounding the gospel hall in Bensham has become one of the main areas for housing these people. Within a mile of the hall there are opportunities to reach people from many of the troubled spots of our world. When they arrive they are scared and alone and just a little display of the love of God makes a big impression. Our joy has been to have opportunities to share the gospel with many of these folks and also to find believers who have been seeking fellowship. As an assembly the saints have responded in a very wonderful way to receive these dear people. Early in the year we had a few special gospel services for refugees and particularly at the last of these we had a good attendance of mainly African people. Just recently we have been opening the hall during the day on a Wednesday to receive these people. We try to provide basic comforts for the winter (some food, blankets, toiletries etc), we give them tea and chat, but mostly we distribute gospel literature to them. It is amazing how the news spreads and every week we see more coming to hear the word. Even the local council now recommends that all refuges when they first come into the area contact us if they are looking for Christian company. Please pray for this work as it has both its joys and sorrows. This year we have received into fellowship five refugees, three from the Congo and two from Iran. Perhaps one of the high points of the years was the night they were both baptized. On a daily basis we visit many of the families. One African family had a recent bereavement and asked me if I would go and preach the word to the family and friends at the wake. It was joy that night to have around thirty refugees sit for at least an hour and listen to the word of God. We are conscious of the political sensitivity that showing kindness to refugees needs and we are always careful to likewise treat other needy families in the area in the same way. Most Sundays we are happy that the Lord brings unsaved to hear the gospel. Please pray for us that we might know the preserving hand of the Lord upon the testimony.

Addicts, streets, and hostels. This last year we have seen considerable encouragement amongst the street folks. The hopelessness of many souls can be seen even in their eyes week by week. Again this year, several we have known well have gone into eternity. The Lord has opened up the way to witness to some who are higher up the supply chain. One ‘main man’ who at first was open in his hatred for the effort in the gospel has since been in prison. I was able to visit him while he was there and witness to the power of the Lord to change Him. He was receptive but since his release has gone back to his old ways. However, his attitude to the gospel and to me has softened and he now does all he can to facilitate my access to the addict population of the city. I am encouraged that some of the folks now come on a regular basis to hear the gospel on Sunday night. At times the vehicle that we use is not big enough to take everybody and at others times no one will come. Such is the unpredictability of these people. However, we are more concerned with taking the gospel to them than bringing them to hear the gospel. Recently an event touched my heart. I spent a few moments talking with them and as I was leaving, I was asked to say a few words to the men about Remembrance Day. I gathered about fifteen men around me and read John 15. 13, ‘Greater love hath no man than this . . .’ I spoke a little about those who die in war but spoke a lot about the One whose sacrifice was the greatest of all. When I had finished the atmosphere was very subdued. One man, called Ronnie, piped up and said ‘say a wee prayer for us before you go’. So I did. Couldn’t help thinking as I made my way back to the Hall, ‘Now, that was a real gospel meeting’. Please pray for these very needy men. The question is what to do with them once they show a real desire to escape from their habit and their environment. Because of the convenient situation of the Gospel Hall we are hoping to extend the ‘drop in’ idea to the addicts in the area, maybe on another day. We so much long for a real touch from God on these men. Physical help is necessary but cannot break the power and penalty of sin in their life. We need a real spiritual movement!

WALES   

THE SOUTH WEST The small assembly in Manselton held their annual conference for believers with brother Roy Hill of Bristol. They were encouraged by the support of other assemblies.

Peter Ferry visited the Swansea area in September and gave reports on the work in Asia.

The Neath assembly held their conference and dedicated the afternoon to open air witness with the help of the Swansea and District's Mobile Unit. The evening session was ministry taken by Jeremy Hollifield of Deri and Nigel Davies of Fforestfach.

A weekend of United Conference in Swansea started with ministry at the Fforestfach assembly on Friday night by Alex Wiseman and continued on Saturday at Heol y Gors Gospel Hall when brother Wiseman was joined by Colin Lacey of Stourbridge. The ministry was of great encouragement.

John Baker of Penarth spent a week with the Fforestfach assembly on door to door work in the area surrounding the Hall. It was at the time of the bombings in America and opened up a number of interesting conversations with people in the area. Also at Fforestfach, John Skingley of Shrewsbury held a week of children's meetings when a good number of children attended each night. This resulted in a boost to the numbers attending the Sunday School.

CARDIFF Some months ago the Precious Seed Magazine carried a report and picture of scripture texts on buses in Northern Ireland. A brother and sister from Cardiff having seen this felt exercised to do the same in their own area. As a result John 3. 16 texts are now appearing on the kerb side of ten buses in Cardiff, and Romans 5. 8 on the rear panel of five of them. These texts will be featured on the buses for the next twelve months. A P.O. Box has also been rented and a dedicated telephone line for enquiries. Each enquirer will receive a free copy of the gospel of John, Gods Way of Salvation, along with appropriate brochures dealing with relevant issues.

NORTHERN IRELAND   

CO. ANTRIM Ballymena. Brethren McCandless and Orasuk have completed seven weeks well attended gospel meetings in Cambridge Avenue Gospel Hall, preaching seven nights per week. Some from assemblies around have given good support, many bringing unsaved members of their families. Several have professed to be saved, various age groups, most with assembly connections.

Lisburn. The assembly at Wallace Avenue keep active in the gospel and are supporting an outreach at Moira Road side of the town using a portable hall, with Roland Pickering conducting the meetings.

Ballyclare The assembly really enjoyed and profited by a week of ministry given by John Grant.

CO. ARMAGH Laurelvale. Gospel meetings have been held in the portable hall with a little interest. The area has been well visited with invitations and tracts. Speakers were A. Aiken and A. Colgan.

Roughan. S. McBride and D. Ussher have conducted a series of gospel meetings in this small assembly. The countryside has been visited widely and to date some locals have come.

CO. LONDONDERRY Portstewart. H. S. Paisley had three weeks of gospel meetings in the Gospel Hall with blessing in salvation. The meetings were very well supported by all the neighbouring assemblies. During the course of the meetings two university students were baptized with approximately forty students present to witness the baptism. The gospel meetings were preceded by four nights of teaching on ‘Christ in the Villages in Luke’s Gospel’.

CO. TYRONE Drumreagh. M. Campbell and D. McGarvey have concluded seven weeks of well attended gospel meetings. The local believers gave good support and were encouraged to learn of souls professing faith in Christ, including a husband and wife. The word was faithfully preached.

BELFAST AND DISTRICT Dunmurry. B. Currie and J. Lennox continue with fair attendance, and the encouragement of seeing people in the hall who haven’t been in for years. There are one or two showing an interest in salvation

Monkstown. E. Johnston and H. Milliken are getting encouraging numbers in the Monkstown Community Centre. The response from the area is somewhat disappointing, but Christians from other assemblies are giving good support and bringing their unsaved children to the meetings.

Windsor, Belfast. W. J. Nesbitt and A. Nesbitt, along with the assembly, have been encouraged by seeing good numbers attending nightly in Windsor Gospel Hall. The whole Lisburn Road and Malone Road areas have been well visited by W. J. Nesbitt, accompanied by his wife, with good response. There has been freshness and power in the preaching.

EIRE   

CO. CORK Bandon. A young girl from a Roman Catholic background was saved, baptized and received into assembly fellowship bringing great encouragement to the saints. The assembly are also happy to work among twenty new families from Africa and Eastern Europe who have come in to the area as refugees or asylum seekers.

The conference in Bandon, postponed from March took place in October and was taken by Norman Mellish and David Gilliland ,and was both powerful and refreshing. Many believers from the denominations attend these meetings and express their appreciation for the truth of God so clearly taught.

Newcastlewest. Mr William Burnett and his son Colin conducted gospel meetings and as a result some were saved and four baptisms took place.

 > > > > PRAYER POINTS < < < <

  • For the work among refugees in various parts of the country that help might be given to communicate with these people and wisdom to deal with the sensitive issues of culture and religion.
  • For the distribution of gospel leaflets by so many in various parts of the country that they might be used by God in the salvation of souls.
  • For the endeavours of our evangelists that despite the difficulties of the day they might be encouraged in the work of the gospel.
  • For the work of God in schools among children and young people that many might be saved and grow up to be men and women of God.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA   

The Uplook Ministries Biennial Conference was held from 26-29 December in Indianapolis, USA and had an attendance of over 1000 believers who gathered from all parts of N. America and some from other places as far away as Japan. The conference consisted of five keynote messages the three morning ones being given by Roy Hill (Bristol, UK), and the two evening ones by Bill Macdonald (California) and J. B. Nicholson (Grand Rapids). There were also sixty other meetings from which attendees could choose. These included subjects such as Current Prophetic Issues, Discipline and Recovery in the Church, Facing the Challenges of a Young Assembly, How to Publicly Proclaim the Gospel, Parables of the Coming King, Living for Christ in the World of Business, Reaching Muslims for Christ, etc., etc.

Over 500 of the attendees were under 30 years of age and they as well as the other people attending spoke of the blessing, challenge and encouragement received as the fundamental doctrine and assembly truths were taught.

Videos, CD’s or audio tapes of the keynote addresses and of the smaller sessions can be ordered from Uplook Ministries, PO Box 2041, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2041, USA, or through the web site www.uplook.org (email address: kevin@uplook.org).