Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
The Red Row assembly, in Northumberland, had a visit from the small Church of England school in Acklington, a neighbouring village, where they have an opportunity to take school assemblies.
The children and two teachers listened well to a ‘history’ lesson, as to how Hebron Hall began, and were also told of the beliefs and practices of the New Testament assembly. They were shown the baptismal tank, and the table set to remember the Lord.
Each child took away a ‘goody’ bag containing a small New Testament, puzzle book, ruler, pencil, and bookmark. One boy said it was the best Church he had been to. The believers were encouraged, and the school have expressed their thanks for the visit, and posted pictures on their school website: http://154-northumberland.eschools.co.uk/site/510-galleries/page-109985-places-of-worship-trip-july-2014.
The assembly at Kirkby-in-Ashfield held the first of their evangelism days in late June. A fine day and a number of interested young people enabled a profitable day of outreach activities.
The monthly market stall in the Idlewells Shopping Centre, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was staffed throughout the day and a number of good contacts were made. On this occasion, the tract work branched out into a new area, the village of Selston, to the south-west of Kirkby, and separated from it by the M1 motorway. During the day, around 2,500 tracts were distributed around the homes of the village, the first assembly-based literature distribution there in over forty years.
The assembly were encouraged by the help they received, and for the overall desire amongst helpers to reach the lost with the word of God.
At the end of another school year, saints at Spencer Bridge Road, Northampton, give thanks for another year of numerical growth in the work in primary schools through their CSALT (Christian Schools Assembly Link Team) activity. From the small beginnings in 1999 with three schools, following the first visit of the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition, there are now sixty-four schools which are visited regularly. Visits are usually once per six-week week term, to take assemblies, and, occasionally, RE Lessons. There is always a warm reception from staff and pupils alike. In addition to the visits, through the generosity of certain saints, a free gospel calendar, 14,000 last year, has been given to every child in almost every school visited, and also various Christian resources provided, again free of charge, to ten schools each year. These resources are highly valued by the schools.
At a time when it is reported that the number of children regularly reading or hearing Bible stories has halved over the last twenty years, it is a great privilege to be allowed into schools with the gospel, while the opportunity is available.
This year was also tinged with sadness as our dear brother Denis Morley, who had been a faithful supporter of the work from its inception, was called home. He is still greatly missed by schools, where his very presence spoke well of his Lord and Master.
Please pray for this outreach and that doors will continue to be open, and new ones open up. Please pray also that others might consider, and use, this type of outreach opportunity in their own locality.
More information is available at http://www.thegospelhall.org.uk/csalt/csalt.htm
A Centenary to be celebrated! Last autumn, when one of the elders cleared out a cupboard in the Gospel Hall in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, he unearthed much interesting material relating to the history of the testimony there – including documents relating to the opening of the building in 1914. Consequently, attention was drawn to the fact that 2014 was the centenary of this assembly in its present venue and it was felt that this could not be allowed to pass without considerable giving of thanks, and acknowledgement of God’s grace, over all those years.
To this end, an Open Day was held on the 10th May, so that all who wished could look around at a collection of photographs, and memorabilia from the early times up until the present day, and also enjoy some refreshments.
The local Christians were overwhelmed by the support given by other assemblies in the North East, and delighted that quite a number of people, who had come to know the Lord in the hall many years previously, returned to have fellowship with them.
The assembly at Bracknell Gospel Hall has experienced much blessing over past months. Unwanted food is currently collected once a week from a local wholesaler and distributed from the hall on a Wednesday. Many parents and carers from the primary school opposite gratefully receive this, and a large number of contacts have been made as a result. In July, this resulted in sixty unsaved of all ages under the sound of the gospel, after which some good conversations were held over a bite to eat.
Children of believers in the assembly also attend this local primary school, establishing a number of further contacts. A Monday coffee morning sees some of these in the hall, holding good conversations about spiritual things. They were delighted to see two mothers profess salvation in Christ in recent months; they are presently attending some of the gatherings, and undertaking a regular Bible study with two sisters in the meeting. It is hoped that the work in this school and others can be developed further through gifting children’s Bibles, and taking assemblies in the future. Please pray for these opportunities.
The assembly are very pleased to announce that they fully recognize and support the Lord’s calling of Daniel and Elisabeth Rudge to His work in a full time capacity. This calling will take the form of teaching the scriptures and preaching the gospel, both locally and more widely as from the end of 2014. The assembly would value the prayerful interest and encouragement of other believers in this matter, as would Daniel and Elisabeth.
Republic Of Ireland
The annual Easter camp for the Youthclub and YouthClub Xtra young people from Gorey was held at Ovoca Manor. Stephen Walls was responsible for the Bible teaching sessions, and while the usual activities and lack of sleep meant everyone left exhausted, this was soon forgotten when news came that one young man had trusted Christ as his Saviour on his return from camp. Please pray for him in these early days as a Christian. At the final Youthclub before summer, Scott Degroff had the opportunity to challenge over forty teenagers with their need of salvation, and the importance of living a life for God.
The World Sheep Shearing Championships were also held in Gorey in May, and the assembly used Gospel Literature Ireland’s (GLI) exhibition unit for the four days of the Championships. Four thousand specifically designed gospel leaflets were distributed. Four requests for further material were later received.
At this year’s Gorey Agricultural Show in June, the GLI unit was used. Sunny weather brought many local families along, and around 900 received a copy of John 3. 16.
The believers at Newcastle West have been having good times visiting door-to-door in Foynes and Ardagh. They have had many good talks with the townsfolk, and have been invited for tea in three homes. It is truly a privilege to bring the gospel to those in need of salvation.
Another encouraging outreach has been the market stall every other Saturday. Although it is not a busy market, again many good conversations have been had with those passing by.
One young man, who the saints have been helping, is showing good signs of growth, although there is a long way to go. After burning all his demon books, he also came to the conclusion that the games he plays are bad, as well as wasting huge amounts of time, so he burned all of them as well; he also gave up his smart phone to keep temptation out of his way. Colin Burnett has started meeting with him weekly for a Bible study, which seems to be going well.
There was a good interest, and support from other nearby assemblies, in a series of Bible Readings conducted by Kenneth Turkington on 1st Corinthians chapters 11-14 in Los Puertos de Payara Assembly.
Kenneth’s brother, Allan, has been working hard on the expansion of the conference hall in Colorados. When complete, it will be twice as big as the original hall, roughly 800 square metres of floor space.
Progress in Elorza is slow, but it is encouraging to see the faithfulness of the little company of believers, eleven of whom are now in fellowship, and a few others await baptism. The three weekly Sunday schools are also well attended and give hope for the future of the work.
Preaching continues in Ciudad de Nutrias and Puerto Nutrias on Wednesdays.
Paul and Sue Williams report that, over the past year, teaching materials given for Sunday Schools and work amongst children, have been a great help in different parts of the country. Tens of thousands of gospel calendars were distributed by believers over the New Year, and they were well received. These calendars were also used by Romanians living in London, Austria, Italy, and Spain. A good quantity of Romanian Bibles have also been distributed, where and when needed.
Fellowship was enjoyed with believers in Romanian speaking assemblies in Vienna, London, and Italy. In May of this year, Paul was invited to the national youth conference in Rome, for the Romanian speaking assemblies in Italy, and visited seven Romanian speaking assemblies, where a keen interest was shown in Bible teaching. It was good to encourage and build up these assemblies through series of ministry meetings and, on return to Romania, they were able to send out a large quantity of Bible teaching materials, and gospel literature that had been requested.
In the literature and Bible correspondence course work, many books have been reprinted to replenish stocks, and the Bible correspondence course work continues steadily, mainly amongst prisoners. Recently, there was a request for twenty-five copies of all the courses for a study group in the County of Timis.
A large supply of gospel tracts, booklets, and John’s Gospels arrived in the Spring, and have been widely distributed throughout the country. They have also been given out in connection with the tent work and the Bible Exhibition. Some believers have been contacted by post as a result of the distribution of gospel literature which has been an encouragement to them.
Recently, 5,000 copies of Robert Cargill’s book Tell me more about the Lord were printed, and a gospel booklet by C. Law for the tent work.
Sue continues to check manuscripts that have been translated, as well as teaching English to a few pupils.
In early January, in the town of Giurgiu, on the Bulgarian border, an art gallery was rented for the Exhibition. In fellowship with believers from the Giurgiu assembly, contact was made with over three hundred people.
The Exhibition has been used in some infant schools in Ploiesti and Plopeni, where both teachers and children were very enthusiastic about what they saw and heard.
During March the Bible Exhibition was in a high school in Suceava which has six-hundred students. The teachers were most appreciative. Whilst in Suceava with the Bible Exhibition, Paul also visited six assemblies for Bible teaching, and large numbers were present.
In March, Paul travelled to the Counties of Satu Mare and Maramures, and spent four days with an evangelist. There were ministry meetings in six assemblies in Satu Mare, Sighet, Odorheu, Sugatag, Petin and Adrian, and also gospel preaching in two new outreach works in Ruscov and Petea. This devoted evangelist has planted new assemblies in these two counties, and has a gospel work in a number of villages.
It is now ten years since the opening of the hall in Foz and, as Jeff and Denise Watson report, there have been blessings and sadness, but they are thankful to have known the Lord’s presence through it all, and the support of fellow believers. Recently, they have had two mothers with babies coming to the Sunday evening meetings and both are doing, or have done, the Bible course What the Bible teaches (Emmaus). Please pray that they will establish their lives firmly on our Lord Jesus, for salvation and forgiveness of sin. Claudia, the mother of Tiago, and Ana Lucia, brother Zedir’s wife, are also doing this course with Denise.
Denise has also restarted the ladies meeting, that meets every second Thursday evening, and there are at least two unsaved present every time.
The men’s study evening goes on well, every Thursday evening. Luka, Tiago’s younger brother, comes with him, now and then, but unfortunately does not draw others along. A man named Davi has been coming to the gospel meetings recently; he is apparently a back-slider from another group. Wisdom is needed in how to handle him. One Lord’s Day he arrived with the whole family, three youngsters, nine to seventeen, and his wife. We also had the pleasure of our brother Zedir’s wife and granddaughter with us. Please pray for them.
In Sapiranga, James Armstrong held five weeks of gospel meetings in the Gospel Hall, and was accompanied by John McCann for the first three weeks, Crawford Brown for one week and a local brother, Rosmelio, for the final week. Attendance was good most nights, but it proved very difficult to get any from the district to come.
One young man of sixteen, whose grandparents are in fellowship, professed to be saved, so we trust that time will prove that he is real. Please continue to pray for Sapiranga.
In recent weeks, two Brazilian brethren have been commended to full time service for the Lord. One is Joel Matos, the son of José Matos, who has served the Lord faithfully for many years. Joel and his wife Aline, with their two little girls, live in Sombrio, in the State of Santa Catarina. The other is Claudio Fraga dos Santos who, with his wife Cintia, has been commended by Cachoeirinha Assembly. For some time, Claudio has shown a real interest in the furtherance of the gospel, and has helped in quite a few series of meetings in various places.