Gospel Work And Other Activities
Faskally House, Pitlochry. During the summer holiday five camps were held at Faskally House: the Newmilns Sunday School camp; the Tayside Christian Youth Camps; and the North East Assemblies camps.
Some 276 campers and leaders were present during the five weeks. Some professed faith in Christ and one teenager has since been added to an assembly with another two seeking baptism.
The camps were followed by a Families Holiday Week when seventy-one campers were present. In the morning, after breakfast, there was a short meeting, plus a longer meeting early in the evening. Ian Campbell had the responsibility of speaking to the children and Arthur Pollard spoke to the teenager/adults. It was encouraging to witness the word of God blessing and challenging those who listened.
Ladybank. Clark and Merlyn Houston took their camp to Derbyshire where Steve Clegg and Alan Patterson shared responsibility in the preaching of the gospel and ministry of the word. There was a very real sense of the presence of God in the meetings and some professed faith in Christ with others being challenged about baptism.
One of the campers brought with her a girl from Belarus who was visiting on a sponsored holiday through the Bel-Aid Charity. She was presented with a Russian Bible and books on the miracles and parables (kindly given by Mitchell Cargill). It was a thrill to hear her read John 3. 16. in her own language and to witness the obvious delight at what she had been given. Pray that this seed sown in the heart of a child will reap a great harvest in her home country.
Abbot Hall Assembly, Dunfermline held another Summer Mission week during the second last week of the School Summer Holidays. Following three years, in a particular area of town, the Lord led to a change in venue. After a discouraging start to the negotiations, with a very limited access to the James Allan Community Centre in the north of the town, the Lord overruled in a wonderful way and prayer was answered, and eventually exclusive and unlimited use of the Centre was given for the full week. From Monday to Friday, a morning Children’s Holiday Club was held, based on the Scripture Union’s ‘Seaside Rock’ Programme. An average of over sixty children came each day – and enjoyed immensely and with enthusiasm the daily lessons on the life of Peter, the singing, games and crafts. A memory text was learned each day. In the evenings a Youth Club was held and, although the numbers were lower than in previous years, the behaviour and attention were greatly improved, and the series of epilogues given on ‘Realities to be faced’ were excellent. A number of the young people were evidently challenged.
On the Wednesday afternoon a Senior Citizens Afternoon Tea was held; eighty to ninety people attended and there was a programme given, including a message from Harvey Stalker of Edinburgh. Some local residents came by themselves and others were transported from some of the Care Homes in the town. On the Saturday a barbecue was held, and many of the week’s contacts, children, youth, parents and grandparents came along.
The week of outreach finished on the last Sunday with a Family Service and Prize Giving, around 150 gathered in the Community Centre. The Lord blessed and encouraged the assembly with a great sense of unity in service and the weather was beautiful all week. The assembly continues to pray for the opportunity to develop further their contact and outreach in this area of Dunfermline.
CUMBRIA The Cumbria gospel outreach continued to visit various agricultural shows and markets over the summer months. Various evangelists and local saints worked together and many conversations were held with people from all walks of life. The word of God is preached and gospel literature is given out. Much prayer is made that God will bless the good work in the salvation of many souls.
YORKSHIRE Huddersfield is the largest town in England (as opposed to a city) and has a cosmopolitan population. A number of saints in fellowship at Skelmanthorpe were exercised to make God’s word in audio form available to as many as possible during a special outreach week during August. To this end, 15,000 tracts were designed, printed and distributed entitled ‘Hear in Huddersfield’, fronted with an aerial photo of the town. The tract continued the theme of ‘hearing’, with verses of scripture such as, ‘This is my beloved Son, hear Him’. The tract invited readers to ‘hear for themselves’ that Jesus Christ is more than just a dead prophet, by sending off for a free CD or tape of scripture, in their language of choice, by sending back the Freepost form on the tract. To date fifty-eight responses for CDs or tapes have been received, including eight in Urdu, two in Farsi, two in Arabic, one in Bengali and one in French. We pray that these scriptures are listened to, that the entrance of His word may give light.
MANCHESTER R. McKeown and P. Orasuk preached the gospel in the Lancashire Gospel Tent in Platt Fields Park for the month of June and were greatly encouraged by the crosscultural attendance, the good weather, and definite blessing in salvation. A French student, an Indian man in his forties and a Pakistani man in his fifties professed faith in Christ.
WINSLOW Thirty-five local adults came to the tent for the first time, many of these had some kind of church connection, including an old gentleman from a local Christian Fellowship who had known Jim Elliot personally (Ecuador – Through Gates of Splendour). The unsaved families of the believers attended well, with some real breakthroughs in certain people coming out for the first time. On the last night Malcolm Radcliffe and Blair Martin preached the gospel faithfully and the tent had nearly one hundred present with over thirty unsaved. The seed has been faithfully sown and hundreds of doors have been knocked and the gospel preached on the doorstep to dozens more. Contacts are being followed up – both among saved and lost.
STOURBRIDGE The assembly in Wollaston, Stourbridge, has recently begun a coffee morning on Thursdays. A considerable number of invitations were issued in the local shopping centre. Although the initial response from residents has been slow, the believers have been encouraged by a small number of meaningful contacts. One man, in particular has come on a regular basis and has attended some of the gospel meetings. Opportunities have also opened up to help people in very practical ways. It has also been possible to link this outreach with the systematic distribution of tracts around the neighbourhood.
CHEDDAR Somerset – Kingfisher Christian Trust. The Kingfisher Camp was held at Cheddar again this year and the organisers were encouraged to see a number of young people put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. A good number of campers came from various sources viz: believers’ children, those from the Postal Bible School, Sunday School scholars, others from assembly week-night activities, and believing grandparents sent their grandchildren. Such a large number of campers need to be kept busy every day to maintain order and to achieve this the day is organised into various activities. The day begins with wake up, rinse and wash, then a quiet time in the tents conducted by the tent leaders and assistant tent leaders, at the end of the day the epilogue is given to the campers and it is a joy to see young people mature in their faith as they conduct these sessions. Over the years the evening epilogue has been given when the camp is quiet and this has proved most profitable. Lengthy conversations can take place and young believers in the tents will testify, perhaps for the first time, about their own salvation.
The local assembly at Cheddar give a warm welcome each year and the campers remember the Lord and help in the gospel outreach. Each week two brethren are responsible for the spiritual side of things and counsel young people who are challenged with the gospel message or ministry. In this type of work child protection issues are a major consideration, as is the constant threat of litigation.
Postal Bible School is run by Iris and Geoff Pearson and is another important part of the work which continues to flourish, with more than four hundred scholars regularly completing their lessons. A network of teachers mark and return the lessons and the Lord has blessed over the years. Prayer would be valued for this work as Iris and Geoff are now finding that bodily weakness is limiting their ability to continue. The Trust is actively seeking guidance from the Lord and praying that other believers will be challenged to continue this good work.
Holiday Bible Studies. The trust has a holiday week at Tintagel each Easter, where young people gather and enjoy the ministry of the word and fellowship together. A weekend in the late autumn is held at Hill House near Bridgwater and as many as one hundred young people will gather to enjoy a spiritual time together.
ISLE OF MAN
Gary Woods reports of gospel meetings in the Gospel Hall in Douglas with Aaron Colgan and Leslie Craig which were most enjoyable although just a few from the town attended. The numbers in the gospel meetings in the village of Laxey in a hired hall in May were small with seven each night, none of these from the village. The tent was in the same site as last year in Ballabeg in July. Although a good number attended last year, sadly no one from the village attended this year at all. The tent was used again as a base for the bookstall at the Southern and Royal Manx Agricultural Shows. Interest was good with over 100 children completing the verse colouring competitions at both shows. The open-air week from 1st to 8th August was most encouraging with thirteen visiting brethren participating. Open-air meetings were held in Douglas, Peel, Laxey and Port Erin and many tracts were distributed in various towns and villages.
It was a joy to have Timothy McCallan, Ross Monteith and Keith Strahan to help in the tract distribution during the international TT motorcycle festival. A tract was published for this occasion in English/French/German to cater for the many continental visitors. The tract was well received with around four thousand distributed to the visiting bikers. During the race days visits were made to various country areas and villages with Seed Sower Texts including St John’s, Foxdale, Andreas, Bride and Santon.
The Neath assembly continues steadfastly in its monthly open-air witness in the town centre as they have done for many years. This is an invaluable way of making contacts and witnessing and many tracts are distributed during this time. Please pray for the contacts made.
The assembly at Treboeth, Swansea continues to be greatly encouraged in the work of the gospel. The assembly ran a three-day children’s club called ‘Seaside Rock’ in the summer, to which over forty children registered during the course of the week. The vast majority of these were newcomers and some have since started coming to Sunday School. The assembly has also been overjoyed at the conversion of a lady who has attended the family gospel service for many years.
The assembly at Trimsaran was encouraged by the salvation of an elderly lady. She has been attending the gospel meeting for many years. This should encourage us to pray for those unsaved who attend our gospel meetings regularly.
The Swansea and District Assemblies Camp had another profitable year. The girls’ week was particularly encouraging with several professing faith.
The Mobile Unit has now been running for over forty years, continuing to visit towns and villages in Wales, including a weekly stand at Swansea city centre. They continue to be encouraged by the number of contacts and conversations as well as the distribution of literature.
COUNTY ANTRIM W. Fenton and I. McClean held gospel meetings that were well attended and they were encouraged to see seven souls profess faith in Christ.
Great crowds gathered in Ballycastle for the ‘Auld Lamas Fair’ and this was an opportunity to preach the gospel in the open air and to distribute tracts (three sessions per day).
The Clonkeen assembly have a very good and large hall in Randalstown, which they use mainly for outreach work. Special gospel meetings have commenced and are being conducted by A. Caldwell and D. McKillen from the Kells assembly.
Better weather than usual during July and August favoured open-air meetings in various villages. In several places brother A. Aiken carried the main responsibility for the preaching and was assisted by brethren from the local assemblies. Mr. Aiken spent a week at Ballintoy on the north coast and was well received in his door-to-door visitation. He also worked in the villages of Kells and Connor, where there was an encouraging response. The assembly in the village of Broughshane arranged for two weeks of open-air testimony – this has become an annual event – and the assembly again supported the meetings well. As in other villages a different location was used each night, after being visited by the evangelist during the day in door to door work, distributing literature and announcing the evening meeting. Many heard the gospel. Pray that the seed sown may bear fruit.
At Carnlough during the July holiday week open-air meetings were again held at the harbour, and local and visiting brethren preached the gospel.
M. Radcliffe and J. Procupio held tent meetings at Lambeg (Lisburn) for eight weeks with an average two to three hundred attending each evening, including many locals and also the families of the Christians. The word was preached with power and there was a time of blessing when at least nine persons were known to profess to be saved.
COUNTY ARMAGH H. Wilson and J. Rodgers concluded eight weeks of gospel meetings at Glenanne, when there was a full hall nightly. The whole area was visited, resulting in many strangers coming to the meetings.
Gospel meetings were held outside the town of Lurgan with some blessing in salvation. The meetings were in a portable hall, which was filled to capacity nightly. The speakers were D. Gilliland and J. Fleck.
COUNTY DOWN B. Glendinning and R. Fairley have seen good and sustained interest in gospel meetings held over seven and a half weeks in a portable hall at Dundrum.
R. Pickering and T. Wallace continued for seven weeks in a tent at Gransha. The meetings were well attended, with good interest. Two young girls professed to be saved.
N. Mellish and T. Topley have had encouraging numbers and interest during a series of gospel meetings held in a portable hall on the edge of Annalong village.
Tent meetings held at Saintfield have seen encouraging numbers attend with B. Currie and J. Palmer preaching the gospel and were grateful for the help of J. Lennox.
COUNTY LONDONDERRY J. Martin and W. Martin had eight weeks of gospel meetings in Ballymaconnely Old School House, Kilrea. No one can remember gospel outreach in this district prior to these meetings. The area was well visited, resulting in a very encouraging response from a wide area. Three professed to be saved, including two outsiders.
L. Craig and A. Colgen are holding gospel meetings in a marquee pitched in the townland of Hillhead, Castledawson. The attendance is most encouraging with a number of locals who attend on a regular basis.
CO. MONAGHAN Robin McKeown had the joy of joining with the assembly at Monaghan on the 16th August for six baptisms (five young women and one young man). The hall was packed to capacity for this night of spiritual joy and gladness. The five women have been received into the fellowship of the assembly.
CO. DONEGAL S. Patterson and G. Stewart held gospel meetings in the Killy-gordon country district in Co. Donegal. The whole area has been well visited and people from all sectors of the community have come into the mobile hall.