Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

SCOTLAND

LANARKSHIRE  This summer’s effort was centred on the small assemblies at Chapelhall and Coatbridge, helped by others in the county systematically taking responsibility for open air preaching and supporting the meetings. Around fifty were present at the Open Air Rally preceding the first three weeks at Chapelhall, giving a strong testimony at each of the five stands where the gospel was preached. At the meetings that followed many unsaved people were present, and Robert Revie faithfully preached the gospel. Again, at Coatbridge, a well supported Open Air Rally preceded the three weeks’ campaign, and even greater numbers attended those meetings, although fewer unsaved people. One man who was contacted months before with a gospel tract, came and was wonderfully saved. Later in the same week, a man who had been prayed for often at Chapelhall came along and he too trusted the Saviour. What an uplift this was for the believers! On each of the other Saturdays in June, Open Air Rallies were held in different towns and villages and on many occasions people came into their gardens to listen. Each day during the campaign, Roy Marshall did door-to-door visitation in outlying areas, some with no assembly testimony, and help was appreciated in the distribution of tracts.

FIFE Some extra efforts in the gospel have been made in several places this summer. Thank God for opportunities taken and seed sown. Please continue to pray for blessing to follow. Stephen Arbuthnot had the responsibility of leading the July week of outreach in the needy town of St Andrews. There was good support from believers, young and not so young, from a wide area. It was a busy week, each day beginning with teaching for the believers, then two open air meetings, an outdoor children’s meeting, and a gospel meeting in the evening. Favourable weather was a help, and many heard the messages given. At Kennoway, weekends of Bible teaching, a short report of God’s work, with afternoons of tracting and open air gospel preaching were held on two occasions with John Grant and Jim Patterson as preachers. ‘Holiday Clubs’ were held for children during the second week of August by the assemblies at St Monans, Abbott Hall, Dunfermline, and at Lochee, Dundee. Interest and attention were excellent by the many children who came at each location, and many parents and friends of the children also heard a presentation of the gospel.

For several summers and again this year, the assembly in the seaside town of Arbroath has taken the gospel out to the visitors and locals each Lord’s Day. In the afternoons, Summer Sunday School is held in one of the public parks, and a good number of children have gathered, with older ones on the fringe also listening. In the evening, instead of an indoor gospel meeting, a Sundown Service is held at the harbour where again a good audience has sat nearby or passed slowly along. We pray that the literature distributed and the messages heard will bless many.

NORTH OF SCOTLAND  During August, Dan Gillies held tent meetings in the village of Portknockie where some believers from the Cullen assembly live. A good number came to hear the gospel during the three weeks, and parents were present at most of the children’s meetings, many coming on the prize-giving night. The support of neighbouring assemblies was most encouraging and much appreciated.

The baptism of two teenage girls in have taken place in Peterhead, and a middle-aged man in Inverurie. On both occasions the halls were packed to capacity, with many unsaved relatives and acquaintances there by invitation to hear the gospel presented.

The foot and mouth disease restrictions caused the cancellation of a number of agricultural shows where Ainslie Paterson usually takes a literature stand, but he was able to use it at a number of locations where Highland Games were held. A lady in Plockton requested Ultimate Questions after Ainslie and Bobby Soutar had tracted that area earlier in the summer. Sam Matthews continues to visit and tract in the Spey valley where there is some interest being shown. One new contact asked for tracts to give to his friends; he also received Ultimate Questions. The Forres assembly continued its summer programme for tract distribution in some of the villages in Moray. Over eleven villages received a tract into every home, and a little response has been noted. Pray that God will bless His word both displayed and distributed.

Camps: It is estimated that over three hundred different children and teenagers were reached with the gospel and the teaching of the Scriptures at camps held at Faskally House, Pitlochry, and elsewhere. Some young ones professed faith in Christ, and some older ones, already saved, expressed intentions for baptism. Pray especially for those from families which give no spiritual support or encouragement, that what they learned and saw during a week of the summer may not be forgotten, but rather built upon through contacts in their own localities.

AYRSHIRE  The assembly at Woodpark, Ayr was founded in 1971 and for thirty years much effort has been made in gospel outreach in the Belmont area of the town. Many contacts among young and old are ongoing, and to mark thirty years of gospel testimony a campaign was held for three weeks in May and early June with Stephen Grant as the evangelist. Ayrshire Gospel Outreach lent their support and assemblies throughout Ayrshire took responsibility to attend on designated evenings. The presence of many believers was greatly appreciated, especially at the early evening prayer meetings.

On the first night of the campaign a buffet meal was arranged and all adult contacts were invited, resulting in some sixty unsaved friends present to share the meal and hear a gospel message. Several attendees came to subsequent meetings and listened attentively to the gospel. Coffee Mornings were held weekly and many gathered on these occasions also.

Pathfinders’ Specials were arranged for the children each evening on the first week and on the second Wednesday the form of the evening meeting was a Pathfinders’ Parents and Friends night. Many unsaved were present including several who had never attended such a meeting before. One interesting point here was that several friends took away Ultimate Questions booklets which had been placed conveniently near the door. This has alerted the assembly to the possibility of more effective use of evangelistic literature.

Many pupils from the local secondary school are in the vicinity of the premises at lunchtimes, and one day a light lunch was provided for some pupils to enable them to meet the evangelist and listen to a simple explanation of the gospel. Stephen also had the opportunity to speak to the Belmont Academy school assembly on two mornings, and it is estimated that about six hundred pupils were reached with the gospel in this way.

The main regret was that there were no open professions of faith, but the campaign was seen as part of the ongoing work of evangelism in the area and to this end continuing efforts are being made to encourage regular attendance at the Sunday morning Family Service where the gospel is preached.

ISLE OF LEWIS  Stornaway Dan Gillies and Colin McIntosh conducted two weeks of children’s meetings and three weeks of adult meetings in the gospel tent in the village of Col, near Stornoway. The children’s meetings were well attended. A good number of unsaved attended during the three weeks of meetings and the gospel was faithfully preached. The assembly in this remote area would value the continued prayers of the Lord’s people.

NORTHERN IRELAND

CO ANTRIM  A. Aiken conducted open air meetings in various housing developments in the village of Broughshane, backed up by visitation and tracting the whole area during late July and August.

The Old Lamas Fair in Ballycastle this year attracted tremendous crowds on Monday the August bank holiday and the following day. Three meetings were held each day and many tracts were given away, and some good contacts made. J. and W. Martin concluded five weeks of tent meetings in Knocknadona at the end of August. Encouraging numbers of local people attended.

CO LONDONDERRY  Dromena – J. McClelland  (Nova Scotia) and C. Brown had eight weeks of very well attended gospel meetings. Above average numbers from the district came into the meetings, some for the first time. There was encouragement for the preachers and the Christians when the preaching resulted in blessing in salvation.

CO ARMAGH  W. J. Nesbitt, helped by local brethren, has already covered the town of Newtownhamilton as well as Cullyhanna and a large rural area stretching towards Keady and across the border the Erryroe district, with invitations and distribution of the God’s Way of Salvation booklet and tracts. An encouraging number of local people have been present during the gospel meetings.

CO DOWN  Meetings in the portable hall situated in Greyabbey continued for five and a half weeks with large numbers each evening including many locals. A real sense of the presence and power of God was in evidence as M. Radcliffe and B. Martin faithfully and sweetly preached the word. A. McLean stood in and helped when Blair Martin had to return to his secular employment. Quite a number were known to have professed to be saved and one restored, with others still concerned. The meetings during the concluding nights were in Cardy Gospel Hall with W. Fenton and M. McKillen preaching. There has been a definite movement of God in the Ards Penninsula during the past year in series of meetings and in some assembly Sunday evening meetings, where many have been saved. May this stimulate prayer that a real awakening may spread across the Province and encourage the people of God.

W. Fenton and M. McKillen saw a number saved during gospel meetings in a portable hall in Ballywalter.

BELFAST AND DISTRICT  R. Eadie and S. Maze had six weeks in a tent at Park Avenue, Belfast, in association with Parkgate assembly. After a troublesome start, (the tent had to be guarded 24 hours per day), there was a reasonable response from the district. brother Eadie had a series of sixty-six charts illustrating the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, which created a lot of interest. God has been pleased to bless the preaching as two young people have professed faith in Christ.

EIRE

In Bandon Gospel Hall there has been some encouragement in the work of the Sunday evening gospel meeting where a number of unsaved started to attend. This has encouraged the assembly to plan a gospel campaign to build on this work. The annual conference which was postponed due to foot and mouth restrictions took place on the last weekend of October.

ENGLAND

CUMBRIA  The good work continues in the Cumbria area with good contacts being made at various markets. Many booklets were given out, David Locke assisting in this work and also helped the local assemblies in the ministry of God’s word. The saints were also grateful for the help of John Knight – Radio Outreach, and Geoff Scott – Medical Missionary News. Cumbria Gospel Outreach have a mobile exhibition unit which is used at various open air markets throughout the region enabling the saints to take the gospel to the people. Many contacts are made as a result. In late August David Richards gave help in this work and his ministry in the local assemblies was greatly appreciated.

LANCASHIRE  David Raggett has been encouraged at the number of opportunities opening up in schools. He now has access to around fifteen on a regular basis and last term an additional after school club was held where there was an opportunity to lay a biblical foundation for those who attended. David is currently working on a Bible Exhibition for use in schools and looks forward to using this as a tool to present the truths of God’s word. He also paid a short visit to an Angolan Refugee Camp in Zambia and had a number of Bible studies with them in the camp, also a question and answer session with some of the believers. Subjects covered included the eternal security of the believer, the Holy Spirit, baptism and prayer. There was also an opportunity to distribute goods from Medical Missionary News.

YORKSHIRE  Harrogate – The work of the Postal Bible School continues under the guidance of Paul and Elizabeth Jackson. The Bible-time Camp was held at Robin Hood’s Bay, near Whitby. In the mornings Jonathon Gibson spoke to the teens with Steve Buckeridge and Paul Jackson speaking to the juniors. In the evening sessions Philip Kaye spoke to the whole camp and the presence of God was felt in those meetings. Since camp several of the campers have requested baptism. The popularity of the Via magazine continues with the entire stock of 100,000 being distributed within three months. As a result a number of responses and requests for literature have been received.

The Hemsworth assembly invited Keith Bullock to bring the Life and Times of Christ children’s Bible exhibition to the Gospel Hall and worked hard to contact a large number of children. Coaches were provided to bring the children to the exhibition and as a result around six hundred children attended. Some of the local saints provided food, the kind of which was eaten in biblical times, others told the stories of Bible characters and a worksheet was distributed to all those attending. Keith conducted six school assemblies with an average of three to four hundred children listening. In one school they had been looking at Hinduism and Keith was greatly helped as he told them the message of Jesus Christ.

EAST MIDLANDS  Warsop Outreach During the week commencing 24th June the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition visited Warsop. Over the five days four schools sent pupils to the exhibition and, as a result, over five hundred youngsters heard the gospel. The enthusiasm of the youngsters and the effort of the believers involved, some travelling each day from Northampton, combined to make it an encouraging and successful event. The local Catholic Secondary School, which sent nearly two hundred pupils were particularly interested and purchased all of the bookstall for use in their school. All the children received ‘exit’ packs containing a copy of John’s Gospel and other Scripture portions together with a Postal Bible School leaflet.

There was also some interest from the village with adults attending during the day and in the evenings. Although the adversary was active with a drug addict who came in and stole one sister’s handbag, the Lord overruled in its safe return with nearly all of its contents intact.

The exhibition was followed by a week of children’s and adult meetings with Ian Campbell (South Shields) as the evangelist. All four schools were visited as a follow-up and the prizes and assemblies taken were well received. Considering that there is no assembly in this ex-mining village the children’s meetings were encouraging with numbers growing to just under thirty. The interest was very good with Scripture portions and the Bible stories being learned.

A Secondary School in Kirkby-in-Ashfield was also visited and a presentation on ‘Creation and the Gospel’ was given to a group of sixth Form students. They listened well and five stayed for thirty-five minutes after to ask further questions about the material covered.

THE MIDLANDS  Children and young people’s work continues to thrive at Charlton Road, Birmingham, with the young people undertaking to raise money to build a house for a little girl in Rwanda. The money raised so far is in excess of expectations. Two of the young people returned from the summer camp and requested baptism.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE  A tent was erected at Hartwell. This work has been undertaken for eleven years during which time Sid Mountstevens and David Richards have laboured faithfully in the gospel. The response from adults has been poor but a number of children attended and a good time was enjoyed with them sharing the word of God and encouraging them to memorize gospel texts.

The Spencer Bridge Road and Osborne Road assemblies conducted an outreach entitled ‘Green Pastures’ during the Northampton Hot Air Balloon Festival. A tent was erected, refreshments provided and people engaged in conversation, many of whom then accepted gospel literature. Quite a number of foreign language tracts were distributed, particularly to Albanian nationals but there was a reluctance on behalf of the Asian community to accept the gospel leaflets. At the Postal Bible School corner some four hundred children completed the quiz and seventy-seven requested introductory packs. In addition ten replies were received from the gospel distribution service cards and most of these have requested regular gospel literature.

OXON  Bicester Two weeks of prayer meetings were followed by three weeks of gospel meetings in the gospel tent in Bicester. Peter Orasuk, from Canada, and Norman Mellish, from Stoke, preached the gospel. Good numbers attended throughout with an average of sixty at the children’s meetings and about seventy present nightly in the gospel meeting. A 22-year-old man and a middle-aged mother came under deep conviction and were saved, with others showing varying levels of concern. The local saints were greatly encouraged and thank the Lord’s people for their prayers and support. One Saturday the preachers told their testimonies and over 140 packed into the tent with dozens of unsaved present.

WILTSHIRE  The annual Swindon and District Missionary Conference took place on the second weekend in September.  The Friday evening was an informal session when two of the missionaries, Alf Poland of Portugal and Bryan Jenkins of Zimbabwe, were interviewed. This provided a rare insight into the background, testimony and calling of those serving overseas. The main meetings on the Saturday were well attended and all were challenged about the needs of the countries concerned and also the desperate need for all to serve in their own communities.  Reports were also given by Brian Nurse, representing Brass Tacks, and Simon Prince who spoke of the stark needs of India, particularly the city of Calcutta. The conference also heard from a family who are hoping to go to Zimbabwe to serve the Lord in the future, if the Lord will. The challenges of a world that knows little of Christ are as great as ever they were. One brother spoke of the fact that as individuals we cannot meet all the needs, but our God can.

BERKSHIRE  Windsor The Windsor assembly had twenty-five children attend the Holiday Bible Club for three days and over thirty on the last day, with forty-five different children. On the last night eleven parents came to the prize giving (only three had been before).

SOMERSET  The Kingfisher Christian Camps took place at the Kings of Wessex Secondary School, Cheddar, Somerset, in the last week of July and the first week of August. The school offers excellent facilities and these are especially helpful if the weather is inclement.  A total of 234 children attended with leaders and helpers coming from many assemblies. Messages were given by Marcus Hall, Ian Rees and Stewart Scammell. The tent leaders had many good spiritual talks with the campers and seventeen professed salvation. Some of these come from difficult backgrounds and need much prayer and ongoing support. Many who have come previously were also helped spiritually and some have already requested baptism. The work has expanded over the years and prayer is needed for the team responsible in running the camps - especially the weight of legislation relating to the protection of children and health and safety and the need for full compliance.
CORNWALL  Saltash. The assembly was encouraged by a full hall at its annual conference on the first Saturday in June.  Bill Gardiner and John Grant ministered the word to spiritual profit and brother Grant continued into the following week.  Prayer would be valued as the assembly embarks on a leaflet distribution effort throughout the town.

DORSET  Colin Lacey reports that another very profitable Christian Holiday Conference was held at Slavanka Christian Hotel and Conference Centre, Southbourne, Bournemouth during August. These Conferences have been held for over thirty years now and, clearly, they have met a need among the Lord’s people. They have provided a reasonably priced week’s holiday in a comfortable hotel, fellowship with Christians of all ages and an opportunity to study the Scriptures each morning and evening. This year Jack Hay from Perth ministered on John 13-17 and the large company of believers present went home refreshed both physically and spiritually.

SUSSEX  Keith Bullock spent two weeks in Eastbourne holding beach missions each weekday in the afternoon and open air meetings in the mornings. Good support was given from the local believers and a profitable time was had with around fifty children. Adults who walked along the promenade heard the gospel and some good contacts were made as a result. Keith reports that although the team was small – they have a mind to work and God is opening up many doors of opportunity.

WALES

In June, the Trimsaran assembly was thrilled when a lady of 91 years was saved after a gospel meeting. It was as a result of the witness of a neighbour. How important are personal witness and testimony!

The Port Talbot assembly arranged two weeks’ ministry with John Stubbs of Mayfield, Scotland, on the subject of the Millennial Temple in Ezekiel. The ministry was instructive and most challenging. The small assembly greatly appreciated the fellowship of those who gathered with them.
The Swansea and District Assemblies Camp was held on the Gower. One week for girls and another for boys. Good weather was enjoyed and it is trusted that the good seed sown will result in young lives saved.

Treboeth had two weekends of ministry, one with John Hall and one with Peter Brandon. Both occasions were well attended and good ministry enjoyed.

Fforestfach assembly enjoyed a visit from Dr. Peter Coates with reports and ministry. A good number were present from other assemblies. John Baker has also been with the assembly for a week of door to door tracting and witness. Some good contacts have been made and the gospel presented. Please pray for results following.

The South Wales Mobile Unit has been active in assisting assemblies in their outreach work. Over the past few months visits have been made to Carmarthen, Mumbles, Penygroes, Maesteg, Port Talbot, Neath and Ammanford. Many people have been contacted and given appropriate literature. Sadly, one of the regular drivers, brother Ron West, was called home suddenly and his place will  be hard to fill.

0 0 0 0  PRAYER POINTS  0 0 0 0

  • For the work of many evangelists and children’s workers in schools that doors might remain open for the gospel.
  • For refugees in this country that understanding and wisdom might be given to those who work with them in the spread of the gospel.
  • For assemblies that they might be visited with blessing and the salvation of souls.
  • For the thousands of gospel leaflets given out over the summer months and the many gosple campaigns conducted that souls saved might grow spiritually and be established in the faith.