Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Burdened with the spiritual needs of the large Asian population of die area, the believers gathering at Southall took a stall at the local trades fair. They obtained a supply of records in various oriental languages from Gospel Recordings, which explained portions of Scripture dealing with the Gospel. Believers took it in turns to man the stall and played records appropriate to their audience, with the offer that if the hearer wished the record would be given as a gift. Several hundred were accepted in this way, together with Scripture portions in their own tongue. Some records were in English, thus catering for all who passed. This venture was considered to have been very profitable.
Residents from overseas are increasing in number in many areas and believers have a responsibility to bring before them the Gospel; we should not just offer it to such in English, but endeavour to present it in their own tongue, at least in writing.
North Wales. It is a long while since we reported on this area. P. H. Harding spent nearly one month visiting many homes in the Bala, Llangollen and Dolgellau areas with Gospel tracts and booklets. The reception was good on the whole with many interesting conversations, after some of which booklets were accepted with the promise that they would be read. In Bala itself however religious pride and tradition proved a barrier. A number of isolated believers were contacted in the course of the visitation of farms and hamlets.
Lancashire. The county tract band have concentrated their efforts during the summer in the Haslingden area of Rossendale where a good interest has been shown both by believers from the adjoining districts giving help and by local folk writing in for correspondence courses.
Mobile Units. The South East London unit spent a weekend at Hythe, Kent, when six meetings were held for youngsters on the beach at Hythe and St. Mary's Bay. Open air meetings were also held at Dymchurch and Folkestone, some newly erected houses visited and a large caravan site tracted. A busy but happy week-end.
Republic of Ireland. During the period of riot in the north the workers in the south have been greatly encouraged by evidence of blessing. At open air meetings and through personal testimony many were faced with the claims of the Gospel and several responded in a positive way.
For nine weeks S. Patterson and G. Stewart preached in a tent three miles from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Up to twenty unsaved folk came each night and a number professed salvation. Some of these have asked to be baptised along with others saved at meetings over the past two years. As there are others who are concerned about their souls it is purposed to try and consolidate the position by a further Gospel effort in the district later in the year.
In the city of Galway great things have happened. For the first time in the experience of the workers they have seen a group of Roman Catholics saved, baptised and now meeting to remember the Lord. Three young men have taken this step, and we should be prayerful that they might not be hindered by Satan. Others in this city have made professions of faith but have not yet gone as far as those mentioned.
Northern Scotland. G. Miller has been systematically seeking to reach ten Grampian towns with the Gospel, and the campaign at Kingussie brought him about halfway through the list. He was assisted by G. Hodgkinson and several were saved.
H. Burness pitched his tent at Cove and Bridge of Don, both near Aberdeen. At die former the going was arduous but he was much encouraged by the way that the children rallied. A young, newly married couple who have recently moved to the village plan to commence meetings for children during the winter. At Bridge of Don adults attended as well as youngsters and there were three known cases of conversion.
J. Gordon and S. Stewart had a discouraging time at Cullen on the Moray Firth. There was opposition from spiritists, a surprising occurrence in that district. Nevertheless some were blessed.
I. Munro has been concentrating on Invergordon, the centre of new Highland industrial development. He has been joined by F. Reid, commended by the believers at Buckie.
In the Spey valley, full of tourists during the summer, there are a large number of Roman Catholics. J. Huskisson and P. Harding visited in the area and found many who listened courteously, some even inviting them into their homes.
Mid-Scotland. In Fife the county tent was pitched at two sites in Dunfermline with D. Barnes in charge. A man who attended the tent was saved in his home and a woman restored. Children's meetings were well attended with good attention evident. Interesting contacts were made in house to house visitation where much help was given by the young sisters, but sad to say the lack of interest among young men was very evident.
J. Thompson used a portable hall for meetings near Cowdenbeath when some nights as many as twenty unsaved were present. One woman and two young girls spoke of accepting the Saviour.
J. Campbell spent several months in St. Andrews, where there is a small assembly. Starting with visitation he then continued with meetings in his portable hall, assisted for a time by C. Goldfinch. The going was hard but there were some good audiences.
Southern Scotland. As a result of the work at Gretna, Dumfriesshire, reported in the last issue, believers have now begun to gather together in accordance with the Scriptures. At present they meet in the portable hall at Loanwath Road, Gretna, and this will continue until the new hall, which is about to be built, is completed.
In Wigtownshire a small tent was erected by J. Duthie at Port Patrick for the month of July when he had considerable encouragement, especially among young folk.
J. Merson held a week of meetings at Creetown, followed by a similar period at Newton Stewart. The searching messages were appreciated by the believers.
The believers who met at Bethany Hall, Gourock, have now moved to a new hall situated among the housing schemes. It is hoped that this will be beneficial to the spread of the Gospel.
In seeking to help the smaller assemblies in the shire Leadhills, Lanarkshire, was the base for a fortnight's holiday for a number of young believers. Gospel work was carried on among young and old, indoors and out, and considerable interest was created. The small assembly was much encouraged and one young girl professed to have been saved.
In the Lothians, the assembly at Whitburn reached out to the nearby villages with open air meetings held several nights each week for a period. R. McPheat and R. Souttar pitched a tent at Tranent as an aid to the small assembly.
Northern Ireland. T. McKelvey and J. G. Hutchinson visited a number of places for ministry where they had previously held Gospel meetings and seen some saved - Ardmore, Ahoghill, Ballymagarrick and Mullafernaghan. In the latter the believers were greatly encouraged when a young man professed salvation.
A. McShabe and N. Turkington held Gospel meetings in a tent at Ballymacash, near Lisburn. The tent was blown down during a storm and they were then granted the use of a local hall. A good number of unsaved folk heard the Gospel and God was pleased to give some blessing.
A portable hall was erected by A. Lyttle and J. Brown in Portadown, Co. Armagh, for Gospel meetings. This proved too small and an extension was added, a number professing faith in Christ.
In Rathfriland district, in the heart of Co. Down, all were encouraged by the numbers who attended meetings taken by J. S. Thompson and J. Stewart, and by seeing some saved.
J. Hawthorne and D. Kane held. Gospel meetings for several weeks in a tent pitched in the Shore Road district of Belfast. Although the disturbances in the city seemed to affect attendances, all were encouraged by a fairly good number of local folk coming in. The results of the faithful sowing of the Good Seed are known only to the Lord.
There is no assembly of believers in the village of Lisnaskea in Co. Fermanagh. W. Nesbitt and J. Wells rented a public hall for two months, the first Gospel effort by believers from assemblies for about twenty years. Local residents came in fair numbers and a few professed faith in the Saviour.
Holiday Bible Schools. The number of such efforts to reach young folk during the summer holidays has increased this year. Numbers have been good, the highest reported being that at Llansamlet, Swansea, where over five hundred gathered each day. If no such vacation activity is carried on in your area, now is the time to be thinking of next year.
Open Air Work. The summer months offer unique opportunities for reaching folk on holiday. S. Ford and P. Hill held services on the beaches of South Devon. In the north of that county D. Pierce was able to speak to holiday makers in a camp. In Dunbartonshire the popular Loch Lomond and Clydebank areas were the scene of Gospel preaching and tract distribution. Car parks and caravan sites were also visited. A good measure of attention was received.
Camps. A variety of youngsters have again found camp a unique experiences—some have found the Saviour, others have been led into a more positive life of obedience. In one such camp in the West Country a large proportion came from homes where there is no real sympathy for the things of Christ. Some were from foster-homes and others from the care of local authorities.
In Scotland, the Hebron Hall, Bishopton, camp at Aberfeldy numbered over one hundred and twenty. Several of the campers made a profession of trusting the Saviour. Since returning from camp three young sisters have been baptised and received into fellowship.
Personal Work. Do we use the obvious opportunities that occur day by day? A brother was preparing the baptistry at Abbey Chapel, Tavistock, for a baptismal service. As he did so no less than eight visitors to the town walked in, curious that the door was open. To each he simply explained what was to take place and gave a courteous invitation to the service. At least two were present that evening and heard the clear message of the Gospel and the reason why this ordinance is still applicable in the twentieth century.
Somerset. Open air testimony is still an excellent means of reaching the people in the West Country. The work on Ham Hill, where many gather to enjoy the views on Lord's Day evenings, proved profitable once again. A number of assemblies combined after the usual Gospel meetings and this summer over seven hundred listeners have been contacted with tracts and many interested souls spoken to.
A number of villages of varying character have been reached with the Gospel by a band of believers from the Glastonbury area. This work has been blessed by God and during the coming winter D. Wilcox is following up those who were contacted.