Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Work, for the 'day' is coming by and by,
When He, the Master, all our work shall try;
O that we may, with ever-single eye,
Work till the Master comes.
Work, for the 'day' is coming very near,
When in the glory Jesus shall appear;
Then shall be ended all our service here -
Work till the Master comes.
We never know what the final results of the faithful preaching of the Word in all its fulness will be. A young girl who was converted in the Lancashire Tent meetings at Haslingden last year witnessed to her parents and an aunt. As a result the aunt attended a Gospel meeting and has been saved.
The last issue included a report on the work in Skelmersdale and we rejoice that the believers have now started to gather together to remember their Lord in the way revealed in the New Testament.
Denbighshire. Three weeks of Gospel meetings were conducted by P. Harding in the Rehoboth Gospel Hall, Johnstown, during March and April. The small assembly was encouraged to see a good number of unsaved attending and some of these spoke of experiencing salvation. Good numbers of children also came and a teenage girl from a Roman Catholic family told of trusting the Saviour. Many conversations were held as the believers went from door to door with invitations.
South Wales. Months of prayer, planning and preparation proved very fruitful in the Gospel crusade arranged by the believers at Ebenezer Gospel Hall, Heol y Gors, Swansea, with S. Ford as evangelist. Visits to the prison, senior schools and factories made an impact on the area. Rallies held in the centre of the city were well attended and the local hall was packed to capacity for the final meeting. Believers were encouraged and many souls were led to the Saviour during this concentrated effort lasting three weeks.
G. Morgan and J. Morris experienced the hand of the Lord in blessing during children's meetings at Llwynhendy and Fforestfach. There was much to encourage during ministry meetings taken by J. Hunter at Fforestfach and Carmarthen.
Northern Ireland. The assembly in the little seaside town of Ballywalter, Co. Down, has dwindled in numbers during recent years. However, during four weeks of Gospel meetings conducted by J. Hutchinson interest was shown and several professed to have been converted.
The work in Armagh city has been difficult but J. Finnegan had reasonably good numbers attending special Gospel meetings and there was some blessing.
A. Lyttle and J. Hawthorne held quite encouraging meetings in the Gospel Hall at Newtonbreda, a developing district on the outskirts of Belfast. Attendances were good and some professed to have found the Saviour. These included a young Roman Catholic nurse from another part of the country who had been working in Belfast.
S. Thompson and R. Jordan held tent meetings in another newly developed suburb in which the Ballyhackamore assembly has been working for some time. A rather rough and noisy element made the meetings difficult some evenings.
In another part of the city J. Wells and S. Ferguson preached in the Windsor Gospel Hall. Numbers were small, no doubt due in part to the troubled conditions in nearby parts of the city. Although the troubles really only prevail in a few spots a general feeling of uncertainty has been detrimental to special Gospel efforts anywhere near these areas.
Fifeshire. A Gospel campaign lasting five weeks was held in the Gospel Hall, Dunfermlinej the preacher being J. Campbell. Numbers were good, especially on Lord's Days when on one occasion the hall was filled to capacity including over thirty unsaved folk. About ninety children gathered each evening. Two women professed to have exercised faith in the Lord Jesus and others seem interested.
Lanarkshire. D. McMaster was responsible for a month of children's meetings at Bellshill when attendances reached the two hundred mark.
Several assemblies in the shire periodically invite a Gospel preacher for one month and make special efforts on these Lord's Day evenings. In some cases special Gospel subjects are publicised. Real blessing has resulted with an increase in the numbers attending.
The assembly at Forth hired a public hall in the village of Carstairs for a fortnight in order to hold children's meetings. This village has no evangelical testimony whatsoever. Great was the joy of the believers to find most of the children in the village come night by night to hear the Gospel; most of them heard it for the first time.
Renfrewshire. A very encouraging series of Gospel meetings was held in the Gospel Hall, Busby, during February, the evangelist being H. Murphy. There were good numbers of local folk, both young and old, and considerable interest was shown. Over twelve made a profession of faith in the Saviour and four young people have since asked for baptism and reception into the assembly.
Wigtownshire. The believers at Newton Stewart have been cheered by the baptism of two young sisters, who have brought pleasure to their Lord and Saviour by following Him in this ordinance.
Open-Air Work. Every Saturday evening at 9.30 p.m. a Gospel Rally is held at the corner of Dalhousie St. and Sauchiehall St., Glasgow. This testimony has been maintained for approximately twelve years and thousands have stood and listened as the Saviour has been made known, and some have been won for the Lord as a result.
The service closes at about 10.30 p.m., and thus covers the time when the public houses are closing and the dance halls filling, the crowd of listeners being augmented as a result. Many conversations concerning the reality of the Gospel message continue long after the service has finished, and very often it is midnight before some of the workers reach home.
As is normal at such meetings tracts are distributed, but each includes the offer of a free Emmaus Bible course, and on average there is one reply each week to this offer.
At a special rally held in George Square some four hundred believers gathered together with hundreds of unsaved folk to listen to the preaching of J. Carrick. Many were spoken to after the meeting and there were at least four requests for Bible courses.
God has been pleased to bless the work from time to time in the salvation of souls. This spring a man aged around fifty approached a worker to tell that he had trusted the Saviour while standing listening to the Gospel.
Eventide Homes. The number of such homes provided for elderly folk increases month by month, providing an opportunity for believers to reach out, not only with the Gospel, but to encourage those believers who are resident therein.
It was in 1961 that the Lord laid it upon the hearts of believers in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, to hold a service in the local home. An application was lodged with the local authority and in due course granted, and this home has been visited ever since.
When a second home was built the believers accepted the challenge and on application were again granted permission to hold a service. They therefore visit both of these homes once a month.
Many of the residents are very aged and frail, and this is taken into account in arranging the meetings. Hymns are chosen by the old folk from a specially compiled book of old favourites and the address is limited to about ten minutes.
Numbers at the first home are around twenty and about thirty at the latter. Such is the coming and going due to illness that each visit brings news either of someone who has passed away or someone admitted to hospital.
How solemn therefore the challenge is to each reader, as to whether the residents in similar homes in our locality have the opportunity of hearing of the love of God for them.
Yorkshire. A new hall was opened in Leeds last December, replacing the one that was erected in 1946. The believers now gathering in Harehills Gospel Hall first met in 1939, when they numbered eight in fellowship. Although there are strong Jewish and Roman Catholic communities in the area, they now number sixty, and there is an attendance of nearly one hundred at the Sunday School.
A rapid and widespread circulation of the news of the opening of this hall was achieved by the insertion of an advertisement in the local Shopping News, which is delivered free to all residents in the city each week.