Gospel Work and other Activities
Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
CO. CORK The three small assemblies in Co. Cork were greatly encouraged as they held their fifty-fifth Annual Conference for ministry in Bandon Grammar School over the St. Patrick's Day Bank Holiday weekend in March. Many of the Lord's people came from Northern Ireland as well as from mainland Britain. There was hardly enough room for the number of believers present. The ministry, given by Jim Flanigan, J. B. Nicholson, Snr., and Ken Rudge, was of a devotional and practical nature, tackling some of the needs presented by testimony and assembly life in our present society. The assemblies were encouraged to see a wide spectrum of interest also shown by people from the locality. Noel McMeekin greatly helped by organizing children's meetings during the weekend. Postal Bible School. Three years ago this work, overseen by Noel and Liza McMeekin, and their co-worker Helen Johnson, was sending out 2,500 lessons every month. They now handle 4,000 lessons each month! The administration alone is a giant task, but in addition to this they hold many prizegivings throughout the country and maintain a large ministry in visitation, evangelism and youth work that seeks to establish young converts in the fundamentals of their faith. Enniscorthy. John and Linda Stanfield continue their personal and visitation work in this town and report slow but encouraging progress in the gospel. Their Easter distribution of leaflets with reply slips entitled 'Real peace in our time' requires prayer backing, as does the anticipated Summer Teams work in Limmerick, 15th - 22nd July, and Enniscorthy, 5th - 19th August, (DV). Prayer is also requested for the growing number of believers that have come out of Catholicism and as a result face the rigours of adjustments in their thinking and lifestyles. Many find this a real problem to spiritual development.
> > > > PRAYER POINTS < < < <
- Ireland has a very vigorous and growing economy at present. There are not enough people to fill the job vacancies. Many Irish families are returning from abroad, some 40,000 last year. Pray for the opportunity this presents for the gospel as people turn from traditional ways and seek new styles of living.
- Pray for those Catholic people that have been brought to a living faith in the Lord Jesus that they may be delivered from the ritualistic bonds that would keep them from developing strong Christian testimonies.
- Pray for the vast work and workers involved in the Postal Bible School work. Pray that its influence may materialize into true conversions.
CO. ANTRIM Many of the Lord's servants have been serving among the assemblies in the county recently with varied encouragement. John and Stephen Grant saw blessing as a result of four and a half weeks preaching in Ballymena, (Cambridge Avenue). The same is reported of gospel preaching in Ballintoy, where W. Fenton and M. McKillen have laboured. There was evidence of good interest at meetings held in Broughshane by A. Hull and J. Fleck. Professions of faith have been an encouragement as a result of the gospel being preached at Kingsmoss by D. Gillies and also at Eden, where D. Armstriong had a series. J. Baxter recently visited Portrush, preaching and doing extensive visitation.
CO. ARMAGH T. Wright and M. Turkington experienced good numbers coming in to their portable hall at Derrydale, as did H. Andrews during a three week campaign at Ahorey where some also professed. A school house was used for meetings in Glenanne, where D. Glendinning and J. Black did a great deal of door to door work. There was felt to be a powerful sense of God at work during six weeks of meetings at The Birches conducted by A. McShane and D. Gilliland.
CO. DOWN There has been an encouraging sense of purpose as good attendance by many at meetings throughout the county have enabled servants to present the word of the gospel with power. At Annalong, R. Pickering had seven weeks of meetings using a portable hall. The small assembly at Ballynahinch was helped by strong support for the meetings conducted by B. Glendinning and R. Fairley. The difficult area around Moira is being evangelized by the efforts of S. Ferguson and W. Boyd. Special early morning prayer meetings gave extra liberty in gospel meetings held in Central Hall, Bangor, by H. Reid and S. Jennings. It was after the series had ended, that one lady who had attended many of them, received Christ as Saviour. At Banbridge sustained good attendance over five weeks of meetings, helped J. G. Hutchinson and D. Radcliffe to preach with power.
CO. FERMANAGH Recent evidence of the blessing of God upon His word and the labours of His people give cause for many thanksgivings. A young couple from the assembly in Enniskillen opened up their new bungalow each Thursday evening during November, for their neighbours to come in and hear the gospel. A good number came and H. Andrews who spoke on each occasion was helped of God to present the word. He also had gospel meetings at Ballinamallard, where the assembly is small and usually holds only monthly meetings for the gospel. After attending a series of ministry meetings on future events conducted at Enniskillen, by J. Allen, a young man professed salvation. This, together with the fact that a number of denominational believers also attended the meetings, gave much to encourage.
CO. LONDONDERRY The assembly at Coleraine enjoyed five weeks of gospel outreach using M. McCandless (New Brunswick) and also five nights of ministry in the book of Genesis with J. Allen. Of the large numbers attending, it was good to know that this included people from the area. A. Davidson and D. Ussher have been encouraged by seeing new faces in the hall for special gospel meetings they are holding in Quilly. A few locals are attending the meetings being held in the portable hall erected on land belonging to a believer in Trentagh, Donegal, Eire.
CO. TYRONE W. J. Nesbitt and T. Wright continue their meetings in the new hall, Sintona, and are seeing good numbers to hear the gospel with some response to its claims.
BELFAST AREA R. Pickering conducted two weeks of meetings in Ballysillan. R. McKeown had a very encouraging series of gospel meetings in Cloughfern. The good attendance included some seamen from vessels visiting Belfast. The Lord blessed the gospel preached at Maranatha when at least two professed salvation and a number of unsaved came under the sound of the word. There was also the added joy of the salvation of a lady, seventy-six years of age, converted through the usual weekly women's meeting. Several assemblies are joining forces to use a large tent to preach the gospel during the month of May when H. S. Paisley, Canada, is expected. D. Williamson, M. Radcliffe and J. Allen ministered the scriptures to full meetings at the Cregagh Street Conference. The Annual Belfast Christmas Conference was well attended and many were refreshed through the Bible Reading in Galatians 1 and 2, and in the evening ministry sessions.
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- Thank God for every soul that has heard the gospel through assembly witness in the Province over the past three months. There are hundreds. Pray that God will still be at work in their hearts.
- Pray for those evangelists serving in difficult and seemingly unresponsive places, that they may be encouraged of God to keep up their labour.
- Pray for those who have made profession of faith in Christ and for those seeking to support them. Pray for the testimony of the small assemblies mentioned that recent effort in gospel work may strengthen and add to them.
- Please continue to pray for the Bus Text work, in which, twenty seven assemblies, serving together, support a text to be displayed in seventeen city buses for a year.
GLASGOW Once again in January, John and Stephen Grant conducted a series of gospel meetings in the Easterhouse Estate. This needy area of the city continues to be the focus of a regular outreach to children and adults, and this effort consolidated the ongoing work, reaching many who were challenged to seek the Lord before it was too late.
FIFE Blairhall, At the end of the year, members of the assembly distributed 2000 Scripture Reading Plans to local families, and feedback indicates that some are using them to read God's word for themselves. Over the past year the assembly's gospel outreach has focused on families and invitations to special meetings at the festival times of the year have brought a good response. In addition, this village assembly has traditionally taken local funerals. This past year has provided three such occasions at which the gospel message was brought to large numbers of people.
PERTH During February, the weekly gospel meeting of the assembly was advertized as a series with a special theme. Several unsaved people responded and it was felt that the gospel preached by Arthur Pollard made considerable impressions. Our brother has also continued doing his weekly children's meetings in the very small assembly in Forfar. Many winter series of children's meetings will be holding prizegivings, and as parents and children are brought together, now is the time to pray for evidence of God blessing His word in their lives.
ABERDEEN Fernielea. The assembly enjoyed the week of children's meetings conducted by Alistair Young during February. Up to eighty children attended and the parent's night was well supported. The children recited texts and heard a very clear gospel message. Alistair was well received in several local Primary Schools where he took morning assemblies.
PETERHEAD Ian Jackson laboured for several weeks in the gospel throughout February and the assembly was encouraged to see a growing interest from the town with some in for the first time. The meetings were impressive and solemn. Children's meetings were held three times a week and local schools visited. In the fourth week there was great joy when a teenage lad professed salvation.
ORKNEY In November, Bobby Soutar preached for two weeks in Westray and then a week visiting the small assemblies in Papa Westray, Harray and St. Margaret's Hope. Our brother seeks to serve the Lord in the islands and to maintain his ongoing work in his home assembly, Mintlaw.
SHETLAND ISLANDS Our brother Frank Lonney spends time each year seeking to help in the evangelism of these islands. He holds a Bible Club for two weeks and many children hear the gospel as well as learning texts and choruses. Often parents have been stirred up too, and a Scottish Newspaper felt that one family's searching of their Bibles after such contact, was worthy of a report in their columns.
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- Pray for children and those that work amongst them. Ask God to touch parental hearts as their children speak of spiritual things.
- Pray for those in Blairhall who responding to the Bible Reading Plan have started to read Scripture on a regular basis.
- Pray for continued interest in the gospel after the meetings have finished. Pray for follow up work.
CUMBRIA The work of the Cumbria Gospel Outreach report encouragingly that last season the evangelists visited thirty seven times to the markets and attended twelve shows as well doing a great deal of personal visitation to homes. Gifts of several thousand tracts suited to the work have made a useful contribution to the work this year. The season starts on May 10th, when Frank Lonney will commence witness at Workington. Other evangelists will be David Locke, Ian Campbell and David Richards. Pray for them, (DV).
SHROPSHIRE Frank Lonney has been visiting a man who was a Jehovah Witness for forty years but has now been saved and lives in Ludlow. He has a great knowledge of the Scriptures and now uses Precious Seed Day by Day publications to encourage other believers and J. W. contacts to read the word of God.
YORKSHIRE Harrogate. Urgent prayer would be valued regarding the future sphere of work for Peter and Elaine Smith and their family, as they seek to follow the Lord's directions to leave the UK and set up home and their centre for service in the Canadian Province of Manitoba. The needs are as follows:- confirmation that there are those who will take over the work of Postal Bible School in Yorkshire; the provision of work permits in Canada, the sale of their present house and the purchase of one in Manitoba at the place the Lord would have them to be. Pray that the children will resettle quickly and that the timing of these events will be overruled of the Lord before the autumn sets in.
LANCASHIRE Manchester. The inner city assembly meeting in Shaftesbury Chapel, Miles Platting, has been encouraged as work has commenced weekly among six- to twelve-year-old children. The interest has been good and parents have come along too. Some of the children have also appeared on a Lord's Day morning!
BIRMINGHAM Charlton Road. A Saturday morning breakfast invite had a welcome response from about sixty people who came and ate breakfast in the Hall as part of a weekend of gospel outreach. In the evening many returned for an informal 'Eat and Meet' time, at the conclusion of which David Buchan gave a personal testimony to the truth and relevance of the gospel to today's society. Many new contacts were made and the need is to know how to keep this going. Many requested further such events as they had really enjoyed coming. After a week's children's work in November, a great boost was given to the work and the assembly now has access to local schools, but it is the need to co-ordinate and sustain the opportunity afforded that poses a challenge to the assembly now. A Christmas activity amongst the Parent and Toddlers’ group conducted by Keith Bullock was very well received. The burden of trying to present the gospel in a relevant way to the locality remains a concern for the assembly. Sadly, we have to report that the latest Birmingham Missionary Conference, held in March, was so poorly attended that the convenors have had to consider closing it down for the present.
WEST MIDLANDS Dudley. The assembly has been greatly encouraged recently by two conversions. One young woman, a teacher in a Roman Catholic school, was brought to the gospel meeting and trusted Christ just before Christmas. She was very fearful as to how this would affect her job and particularly what would happen if she got baptized. With the encouragement of the believers she was baptized in March, and so far the school authorities have not indicated they will take any action, though to renounce her Catholic faith and not to go to Mass would of course cause them great concern. In an overruling of God she has been relieved of teaching R. E. and this will ease some of the pressures. The future will not be easy and urgent prayer is requested for her. A young university student was also brought to the gospel meeting and after much enquiry as to what Christ had done for him, he trusted the Saviour. He has difficulties in his background and has need to have his confidence in believers strengthened that they will not let him down. Both of these are now doing the Nurture Course for new Christians produced by Precious Seed.
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- Pray for the Smith family as they seek to follow the Lord's guidance for their new sphere of service.
- Pray for assemblies that are trying to confront the problems of witness by reaching out in different ways and yet not wanting to compromise the gospel in any way.
- Pray for those new converts that have great problems sorting out their life having trusted Christ. Pray for those that seek to stand by them and show them the way.
BERKSHIRE Windsor. The small assembly here used the February half-term break to have a Holiday Bible Club for the week. Keith Bullock came to lead the activities. Over the week forty-six children came in and the Friday prizegiving was very well supported with a number of excellent conversations taking place with parents. Three days were spent on door to door work and one woman showed particular interest in the gospel, promising to come to the hall. It was felt that the Lord used the week to stir up a great deal of interest and the fellowship of the workers was much enjoyed.
SOMERSET Bath. The ongoing work in the gospel in Manvers Hall is a source of encouragement as many are reached through various activities each week. There is a two-monthly delivery of three thousand gospel leaflets, providing a contemporary application of its truth, to the residents of local flats and houses. A good group of youngsters are bussed in weekly to do Postal Bible School lessons and a Bible class for the teenagers. The weekly Mums’ and Toddlers’ group is strong, as is the support for the weekly lunch for the over sixties. Each Lord's Day at 11.30 contacts are made through inviting passersby to come in for a coffee and a short message. The assembly has planned an Easter holiday club for children. Over the next few months thousands of reply cards for Bible study courses and literature will be delivered in the counties of Somerset and Wiltshire.
Norton St. Philip There is a small assembly in this village just eight miles south of Bath. Outreach among children is through two clubs run on a Friday and Saturday. Each has a different drawing attraction for the children and is well subscribed. There is a good opportunity to present the gospel and to get them to memorize Scripture. The whole of the village is served with the Challenge good news monthly paper and it is well received. A quarterly insert makes the other assembly activities known. The saints were encouraged by a baptism in March and look forward to a Holiday Club for the children during the autumn. Coleford. A Holiday Bible Club held during the Spring half-term holiday brought in about thirty children each day. The crafts, which were prepared by the sisters over the year before really were attractive to the children. Robert Plant guided the week through and presented the gospel each day. On the Sunday there were eighty in to the prizegiving. Fifty of these were adults. A number of the children were enthusiastic about coming to the Sunday School and good conversations were had with adults and one promises to return.
DORSET Wimborne. The assembly maintains a steady and persistent witness in the town through a visitation and tract distribution programme. This has provided many interesting contacts which it is hoped to follow up later in the year when there is to be a gospel effort with John Baker. A regular work in the hospital and residential home has been maintained for many years.
SURREY Guildford. Three opportunities to reach out with the gospel were taken by the assembly during February. The first was the celebration and thanksgiving meeting held for two babies safely delivered to believers’ families. Many relatives attended and some heard the gospel for the first time. A meal provided for the parents of children attending the Parents’ and Toddlers’ group again brought in a number who had not heard the gospel before. In this less formal atmosphere it was felt that people relaxed and listened well to the word. Finally, a three day Holiday Bible School resulted in about sixty different children hearing the message of salvation. Twenty parents came with their children for the prizegiving. Prior to this several schools were visited for assemblies and it is hoped that this will continue. The assembly is seeking the way forward to present appropriately the gospel to the locality.
SOUTH EAST ESSEX Our apologies for printing the incorrect phone number of our brother John Barber from whom copies of the book Coleman Street's Children can be obtained. His address is 136 St. Luke's Road, Southend on Sea SS2 4AG, phone 01702 616302. The cost of the book is £7.95 plus £1.50 p&p.
DEVON Appledore. This small assembly still manages to maintain a vigorous work among a group of enthusiastic children that come to the One Way Club each week. Presentations in the Summer, at Christmas and Easter have filled the hall to capacity and many have heard the gospel as a result. Westhill, Plymouth. Continued prayer is asked for permission to move ahead and build a new hall on the Efford Estate where there has been such a good response to the gospel and souls have been saved. The authorities seem to be having difficulty in agreeing permission.
CORNWALL Falmouth, Trevethan Chapel. The assembly receives great encouragement from the youth work and the monthly Family Services which are generally packed to the doors. Their gospel magazine which they produce themselves is also faithfully delivered and well received around the neighbourhood. St. Austell. Once again there was a great response from the local Primary Schools to come to see the Open Air Mission's Children's Bible Exhibition. This exhibition allows you to tell the story of the Scriptures as the many pictures in it vividly portray the action. It helps when you have believers dressed in the costumes provided and who can tell their own story. About two hundred and fifty children came, heard and went away with their own Scripture portion. The assembly maintains a constant ministry in these same schools through taking assemblies in them and the links formed are evident. Saltash. A gospel campaign amongst the young, youth and adults is being undertaken for the first two weeks of April, led by Robert Plant. An extensive coverage of the town and the schools is envisaged.
SWANSEA AREA The Millennium Day Fellowship Meetings brought together a good company of the Lord's people to listen to a report from David Restall, and ministry from Roy Hill and Stephen Essery. Eric Bermajo reported to a number of assemblies on the Lord's work he is involved with in Spain. His word was much appreciated. Ruth Hadley also reported to sisters on the work in Angola. Much prayer is needed for this troubled land. Tom Bentley ministered to the hearts of the saints during his visit for ministry as he exalted the Lord Jesus. The assembly at Treboeth was greatly encouraged as a lad of fourteen requested baptism, having been saved at the Swansea and District Camp during the last summer.
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- Much has been done by the way of Holiday Bible Schools. Now pray that youngsters will continue to come to regular meetings set up for them.
- Pray for the many activities set for the Easter weekend. As many hear the gospel pray for salvation and evidence that God is at work.
- The smaller the assembly the greater the difficulty of maintaining a witness in the area. Pray for those who are still able to do this that they may be helped of God to continue
- Ask the Lord to move the situation forward for the assembly at Westhill in Plymouth.
- Thank God for the access He has given into schools. Pray that more assemblies will take advantage of the open doors.