Gospel Work and other Activities

Colin Hutchinson

SCOTLAND

BALLINGRY During the months of March and May the assembly held gospel meetings in a local community centre each Tuesday night. The gospel was faithfully preached, mainly by local brethren and the attendance of unsaved was most encouraging.

COWDENBEATH Each year over a period of a number of years the assembly has opened the hall each Thursday from October to June for a coffee morning. A good number of local people attend thus giving the local saints the opportunity to engage them in conversation and allowing bridge-building relation-ships to be made. There is also a bookstall where occasion cards with scripture verses can be bought and many have expressed their appreciation of these at times of need. This link with the community means that when special meetings are held the response from the local unsaved is encouraging. Pray that these opportunities will lead to many professing faith in Christ.

KINROSS Jack Hay conducted two weeks of gospel meetings with George Forbes doing the children’s meetings. Good contacts were made in door to door visitation and unsaved attended the meetings each evening. The children’s meeting saw a regular attendance of forty with good interest and behaviour. Pray that the seed sown in these young minds might produce fruit in their lives and as a result maybe takes the word of God into homes otherwise untouched by the gospel. The saints are particularly burdened about two women.

LADYBANK The assembly in Ladybank has been over the years been very committed to children’s and young people’s work. Under the leadership of Clark and Merlyn Houston a number of Sunday Schools and youth weekends have been held as well as an annual Bible Class Camp. One of the most encouraging aspects of this work is that most of the young people are from unbelieving homes and occasionally some of the parents attend these activities. Although this is a small assembly their presence is well known in the locality and many young people have professed faith in Christ. During the winter months a coffee club is held on a Friday night and a short simple gospel message is presented to those who gather. Pray for continued blessing in these endeavours for God.

LANARKSHIRE End of season prizegivings for Sunday Schools in several places were well attended by parents, who with their children listened to the gospel message. The mid-week Bible Club at Kirkmuirhill is to continue during the summer months at the request of the twenty or so teenagers who attend, most of them from unsaved backgrounds. Two young sisters were baptized at Bellshill, giving an excellent opportunity to present the gospel to many of their unsaved relatives who came along. The believers at Greengairs have been encouraged by the salvation of a young girl, and by a request for baptism from an older woman, whose husband was opposed to the whole idea. She needs our prayers. The Bible exhibition was displayed during the last week in April at Braidhurst School in Motherwell. Around 300 children visited the exhibition.
MUIRHEAD The assembly at Muirhead extended their activities to the Mount Ellen district with two weeks of meetings for adults and children conducted by Stephen Grant. Good numbers of children attended, but the number of local adults was disappointing, except on the final night at the children’s prize giving. It is intended to begin regular monthly meetings in the area for both children and adults.

The assemblies at High Parks and Low Waters in Hamilton have again been invited by the local council to have open-air gospel meetings in the New Town Square on Sunday afternoons during the summer months. At Carluke similar meetings will be held in the Market Square.

RENFREWSHIRE A number of believers from various assemblies have joined together to do regular tract distribution in towns and villages where there is no testimony. Lochwinnoch and Howwood have been visited, and further visits are planned each month.

GLASGOW In early May, Stephen and John Grant had a short series of children’s meetings in the Bishoploch area of Easterhouse. This was the first time for children’s meetings in this area and there was a good response. A longer effort is planned here in the will of the Lord in October.

PERTHSHIRE The portable Gospel Hall was pitched in Creiff for nearly four weeks in March, while Jack Hay and Stephen Grant shared the preaching to children and adults. Good numbers attended both types of meetings, supported by believers from the Perth assembly, and some unsaved folks showed a good interest. Follow up meetings are planned on a monthly basis.

NORTH EAST SCOTLAND Many children in Peterhead attended a week’s meetings in March with Jim McMaster, memorising texts and listening well to the message. Several schools in the town were also visited and many other young people and some of their teachers heard the gospel. A similar effort took place at Fernielea Gospel Hall, and later at Holburn Gospel Hall, Aberdeen, with Alistair Young as the evangelist. The message was well presented and received. At Buckie, Ainslie Paterson had several weeks of gospel meetings, including two with children. Over the weeks a number of people from the town came along to hear the gospel, two men in particular showing a good measure of interest. At Cullen during the Conference weekend, a special gospel meeting was held in nearby Portknockie, Blair Martin preaching from the 'Two Roads' chart. Tent meetings for adults and children are planned here for four weeks in August with Dan Gillies. The assemblies in Forres and Cullen distribute tracts during the summer in the villages on their respective sides of the River Spey. Also armed with several thousand new tracts for this year, Sam Matthews continues his door to door work in the Spey valley. Some have been contacted over a number of years and are showing good interest.

NORTHERN IRELAND

CO ARMAGH Armagh A Aiken and J Rodgers have been conducting gospel meetings which have been extremely well attended with up to forty unsaved some nights and one person has been saved to date. Kilmore Meetings by W J Nesbitt and T W Wright have been conducted with spiritual freshness and sustained attendance. As a result of the interest shown Mr Nesbitt will continue the work assisted by his son Andrew. God’s hand has been seen in salvation.

CO DOWN Over the last few months gospel meetings have been held in Ballmagarrick with A McShane and D Gilliland. Large numbers have attended nightly and the preaching came in much power. J Lennox and B Currie had meetings in Craigavad which is a difficult area to get locals to attend. The gospel was faithfully preached. B Graham and R McKeown held meetings in Dromore and were encouraged by the interest among the unsaved. R Fairly and B Glendinning saw good numbers present on most evenings during recent meetings in Newtonards. R Eadie and S Maize saw large numbers attending in Portavogie with blessing in a number professing to be saved.

CO FERMANAGH The assembly in Ballinmallard has been encouraged recently by a number of young people obeying the Lord in baptism.

CO LONDONDERRY Coleraine. P Orasuk and M. McCandless have finished fifteen weeks of gospel meetings, which were held in a local businessman’s store on the outskirts of the town. The preachers expended much time and effort on personal visitation, which resulted in large numbers attending among whom were many strangers. Over twenty people professed to be saved including three married couples.

ENGLAND

NORTH EAST Very encouraging news from Jim McMaster who writes ‘Never in my eighteen years here have there been so many young folk who are showing real spiritual interest and a number of recent baptisms has given us much to be thankful for. At Gateshead a series of children’s meetings which began with the children being disruptive soon developed into feeling a keen sense of the Lords presence. During these meetings some of the children heard the story of Noah’s Ark for the first time. Refugees – A number of contacts have been made with the refugee population of Gateshead. Some are believers and the assembly has had the joy of receiving them into fellowship. Prayer is requested for a couple from Congo who are at a very sensitive stage in their asylum application; to return home means certain death for the brother. It is hoped to set up a gospel literature table near where the refugees collect their vouchers. Other work continues in the Durham Jail where extra visitation days have been given as well as the Friday visitation and Bible class. Ron Hutchison is bodily very weak but spiritually very strong. He still conducts extensive letter writing ministry with men in prison and has seen many won for Christ.  Janet McMaster continues the work of a children’s Bible lending library which the Lord has used to bless many families. The amount of requests is overwhelming and letters of thanks are received every week. In addition to the tapes there are also some daily Bible reading notes for children.

CUMBRIA This area has been particularly affected by the foot and mouth crisis during which the farming community has been decimated. A number of people have been contacted and offered comfort by the local saints at this time of severe difficulty. Some Christian farmers are hurting at the moment having lost their animals and lifetime work. More recently however the spread of the disease has subsided and this has given Ian Owen the opportunity to work with Frank Lonney in the markets of Silloth and Keswick as well as tracting in the villages. The seed-sowers packs were distributed and a number of interesting contacts were made. One woman who has been saved recently as a result and given a Bible, returned to tell the brethren that she and her husband (a backslider) had been greatly blessed.

LANCASHIRE The Lancashire Gospel Work has held meetings in the Gospel Hall in Wythenshawe. This is a difficult area and the response from the unsaved has been poor but the children’s meetings have been well attended. The Lord’s servants Roland Pickering and Ian Campbell have preached very faithfully and with power. Ian Campbell has been widely used in the schools and has been impressed by both the behaviour and attendance of the children. The work moves to a tent in Brombourgh in an area not far from the hall and the believers look to the Lord for His help and blessing.

YORKSHIRE The Postal Bible School in Harrogate is being continued by Paul and Elizabeth Jackson with over 600 children receiving lessons and around 120 markers. One particular area of encouragement is that one school has adopted the PBS lessons for the religious instruction curriculum. This concludes with a prize giving when parents attend and the gospel is presented. This work is a valuable tool to reach both children and parents in a respectable school environment. Pray for this work and for the camp, which will be held in August. Further information on the Postal Bible School can be obtained from Paul and Elizabeth on 01423 505678. Brother Robert Plant has also gained access to a number of schools with his Bible Exhibition. This is a condensed exhibition, which has as its centre point a large presentation of the two ways and with it a very clear presentation of the gospel.

PRISON WORK Brother Steve Clegg has been conducting a bible class in the prison at Ranby (Notting-hamshire). The class is held every Wednesday with around twenty attending each week. At present they are doing character studies and previously the Incomparable Christ. As a result of this, many have been saved and are going on for God. One particular prisoner, who is serving a life sentence, was moved from Ranby to Brixton and started his own Bible class in the prison. Some of the prisoners when on town visits have met with the saints at Ebenezer Hall in Killamarsh, whose warm fellowship has left deep impressions on these men. Pray for continued help and blessing in this great work. 
MIDLANDS Stourbridge. Although the assembly in Stourbridge is quite small there have been a number of encouragements. The monthly ‘Friday Focus’ meetings have been very well attended with believers of all ages and from a wide area giving their support. The subject under consideration for the past series has been ‘Can two walk together except they be agreed?’ The hall was full for the final session in May the subject for which was ‘The Two Witnesses in Revelation 11’. It is planned, if the Lord will, to commence a further series in the autumn. The children’s meetings on a Monday evening has seen a considerable increase in numbers during the winter months and this has led to a number of meaningful contacts with parents, who often stay for some time when collecting their children. Indeed, one of the mothers attended the prayer meeting and Bible reading recently. From time to time the children and parents are invited to tea prior to the gospel meeting on a Sunday evening and this has also produced some encouraging responses.

BIRMINGHAM Charlton Road. The May holiday Bible Club was excellent with the best weather for a number of years and the lowest incidence of accidents in memory. The speaker was Steve Clegg who told stories on a prison theme. Many of the children commented on how much they had enjoyed listening to Steve and it is believed that one of the children from the Bible class has become a Christian. The assembly hope to see two girls baptized later this year. The young people have decided to raise money to build a house for their sponsored child in Rwanda. A number of initiatives are being explored in the hope that enough money can be raised to build two houses and this is capturing the imagination of these enthusiastic children. The senior citizens‘ tea was well attended and one particular family has asked that prayer be made for their marriage, and they have attended some of the family services. The Focus trip was a success with over fifty attending. Mansfield. Over the winter months a young people’s meeting has been held when the Lord’s servants have been given subjects such as ‘stewardship’, ‘addictions’, ‘the rele-vance of God’s word’, etc. The attention of the young people at these meetings has been excellent. The ministry is followed by a time of written questions, many of these reflecting real depth of thought and quest for a deeper understanding of God’s will and God’s word. It is purposed to continue these meetings over the next year and further information is available from Neil Osborne on 0115 8479551.

WARWICKSHIRE Redditch. South-crest Chapel in Redditch have been greatly encouraged during the past six months with the Lords blessing. Two young men and one young lady were baptized. During the schools half term they held a holiday club over a four day period and had an average of seventy-five children attend each day. On the last day an evening meeting was held when seventy parents and sixty children attended. As a result the Sunday Club has seen a subsequent increase in numbers and some follow up to homes is planned in the near future. In addition to this a number of unsaved have been attending the gospel meeting. Prayer is requested that God would move in salvation. At the annual conference helpful and challenging ministry was given by John McQuoid of Larne. Both meetings were well attended with the support of some ten other assemblies.

OXFORDSHIRE Wallingford. In Wallingford there was concern at the possibility of people being reluctant to attend a church building, and it was therefore thought that a meeting in a public hall might break down some barriers, removing some reservations people may have but nevertheless allowing the gospel to be presented. Two meetings were therefore arranged with brother Farid Abou-Rahme covering ‘Creation or Evolution’ on the first evening and ‘Evidence for the Flood and Noah’s Ark’ on the second evening. On the first evening around seventy people came and on the second around ninety among whom was a good number of unsaved. There was some in-depth discussion following the lectures, which concluded that evolution was scientifically impossible and that the only real solution is in God, and He has made Himself known in Christ the Saviour. The meetings concluded with questions from the floor and those attending received a gospel leaflet on their departure. In view of the response from the local people a further meeting will be held on the subject of ‘The Flood’ and ‘Fossils’, etc. Bicester. Ian Jackson held two weeks of gospel meetings in February. A good number of unsaved attended the meetings and a woman who was under conviction during the meetings, and for a good while before that, has since been saved, baptized and received into fellowship. The assembly has also been much encouraged by four other baptisms recently and several additions, which were the result in part from previous tent work and other forms of outreach. In the month of May, Ian Campbell was with the assembly for a week of children’s meetings. Around sixty children attended most nights with several parents coming regularly. In addition to this Ian held three creation-evolution lectures with ninety present on the last night. Many unsaved were in attendance and some are seriously interested in spiritual things as a result. During the week, brother Ian Campbell also gained access to four schools and spoke to about 1,000 children. This level of exposure to the gospel will most surely bring results and the saints look to God for His hand in blessing and salvation. Tent meetings are planned in the month of August with Norman Melish, in a housing estate in the town. Prayer is requested that the good contacts made in the town will yield fruit in salvation.

LONDON AREA Sydenham. The assembly in Sydenham closed last year but the hall remained open for gospel meetings each Sunday evening. Local believers were therefore greatly encouraged when an Easter children’s mission saw an average of 50 children attend each of the meetings. This work is being continued by three sisters each Tuesday, Joe Baxter will be holding gospel meetings in June, trusting that God will move yet again in this needy area. Tottenham. The Tottenham assembly carries out tract distribution each year in their local area. Over the last year thirty people received Bibles, New Testaments and Bible Courses as a result of this activity. One young Nigerian man from the Broadwater Estate contacted through the tract work has been baptized.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Windsor. In Windsor the assembly had the joy of sending four youngsters to the a Christian camp over the late May break holiday. Fifty campers attended from the Thames Valley and heard the gospel clearly preached during four days. The Christians here look forward in the will of the Lord to a four day holiday Bible club at the end of August to start off the children’s meetings with good numbers. In the gospel meeting the number of outsiders sometimes outnumber those in fellowship; this is encouraging. Another couple is urgently needed to help with the work of this small assembly.

ESSEX The Fullbridge assembly in Malden, Essex, planned a number of activities designed to bind the saints closer together and reach souls for Christ. They look to the Lord for continued encouragement in their endeavours for Him.

DEVON Exmouth. Keith Bullock and Clive Williams working with the Hamilton Road Gospel Hall had the joy of going into the Beacon Primary School with the Bible exhibition taking two assemblies and being invited to a staff lunch. Some teachers who obviously had reservations about the work previously warmed to God’s servants and were increasingly more welcoming. During some door to door visitation they met one of the teachers who willingly accepted some gospel literature.

WALES   

WEST WALES Swansea. The assembly in Treboeth held a Bible camp for young people in May and saw eighteen attend bringing great encouragement to the organisers. Fforestfach. Mr K Satyanarayanu of the Bethesda leprosy hospital in Narsapur, India gave a report of the Lords work amongst leprosy and aids victims. There were some thrilling stories of people coming to Christ and the many believers gathered were greatly moved to hear of the work of God in such needy regions. In Port Talbot the annual conference was taken by Edward Griffiths and Dan Gillies. The ministry uplifted the saints and a good number were in attendance.  The assembly in Maesteg has commenced a ‘Parent and Toddlers’ session once a week. It has drawn a lot of mothers with their young ones to the meetings. It is expected that over seventy will attend the camp this August and they are still looking for suitable people to be workers during that week. Tredegar. They report on some encouraging news concerning their YPG (Sunday School). Over the first six months of the year there was an increase in numbers attending both YPG and Discoverers (infants class). Many of the older children attended the Cardiff Camps. Ten attended the Supergang Camp and four attended the Teenscene Camp. Six of these have made professions of faith in the Lord Jesus. A Baptismal service is arranged for one young girl. The Pencoed assembly have no hall of their own at present. They meet in the church hall of one of the local churches. The recent visit of Joe Baxter (Scotland) was a time of encouragement to the assembly in many ways. Some very interesting conversations were held during the door to door visitations with tracts and invitations. Over the two weeks several unsaved accepted the invitations and attended the services. For some it was their first visit to any service in connection with the Gospel Hall. One middle-aged man came for three nights, another man, a self confessed atheist, came for two nights. A thirty nine year old lady made a confession, we trust the reality of which will be seen in future days. Believers from the local Baptist Church attended some of the meetings, and appreciated the faithful preaching of the gospel. The support of other assemblies was much appreciated and was a real encouragement. One night fifty one were present, which was a real uplift. We believe that a foundation was laid for a further visit of our brother Joe Baxter, D.V. In the meantime the assembly and our brother Joe are following up on every contact made and interest shown.

0 0 0 0  PRAYER POINTS  0 0 0 0

  • For the work of God in schools that lasting divine impressions be made and young lives saved from moral and spiritual disaster.
  • For the work of God in prisons that in times of quiet reflection many might turn to God for salvation.
  • For the endeavours of many assemblies labouring despite little blessing that those within might be encouraged to continue.
  • For more power in the presentation of the gospel that many might be saved.
  • For camps and summer open air work that contacts will be made which will lead to salvation.