Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
It has been calculated that in the area of South Wales there are over one million souls who will not be reached widi the Gospel by normal assembly methods. Of this total one quarter are seventeen years of age or below.
If such statistics could be produced for London or the other great conurbations they would be even more horrifying.
Have we forgotten that we have a debt to pay to all such, which can only be discharged by telling them of the Saviour?
Yorkshire. G. Tryon has spent the summer working primarily among boys and girls, visiting Rotherham, Hemsworth, Ravensthorpe and Otley. Really full meetings were experienced and rapt attention was shown as old fashioned truths were taught from the Word of God. He found a greater interest than he had ever known, the result of the Bible being completely unknown to the children who, with so many others in our land, are growing up as headiens. The old fashioned choruses based on the Word of God were enjoyed and by this means the Scriptures of truth, which alone can be used to the salvation of souls, were fixed in their minds.
How important it is that we only teach children choruses that they can sing truthfully, those based on the Word of God.
There is a desperate need everywhere for young believers with an interest in children to come forward who are prepared to work in the very rewarding field of solidly teaching the Word of God to children.
Even in Sunday School work we often seem afraid to teach simply the Bible in all its fulness. With but one hour per week at our disposal it should be devoted to instilling divine truth into the minds of the scholars.
Kent. An unusual form of Gospel outreach was engaged in by the assembly meeting at the Gospel Hall, Singlewell Road, Gravesend. A stand was taken at a trades exhibition held in the town's civic centre for four days during July. This was stocked with literature including Bibles, SGM leaflets, books and details of the assembly activities. Christian records were also on sale.
A rota was drawn up for the manning of the stand with the aim of always having at least one brother and one sister there at any time throughout the day. This encouraged many sisters to take an active part.
One of the brethren was interviewed on behalf of Radio Medway during the exhibition and this was broadcast one afternoon. By this means the purpose of the assembly in taking the stand at the exhibition was explained and the message of the Saviour brought before the listeners.
Thousands of leaflets were distributed, profitable conversations were held and all felt that the exercise had been well worthwhile.
Could such an idea be taken up in your area?
North West England. The Cumbria Gospel Van workers found the three weeks in June to be the most productive of all. They were well received on the doors and many good contacts were made. The children responded well from the outset and on the second night seats had to be borrowed to increase the seating capacity. The adult interest was also good and there were few nights when unsaved folk were not present. Indeed there were a couple of nights when there were more unsaved present than believers.
Suffolk. The assembly of believers in Haverhill, on the Essex-Suffolk border, held a week's meetings in June aimed at reaching the many boys and girls who live on the large housing estates in this expanding town. Crowds came each night to listen to R. Clare telling the Gospel story. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was moving and at the end of the week six girls spoke of accepting the Saviour. Such need our prayers for the home influence is so often anything but helpful.
North Wales. For the first time in over fifty years a Gospel tent was pitched in the Wrexham area this summer. P. Harding and G. Miller were responsible for this work near a large housing estate in Penycae, some five miles south of Wrexham. Meetings were held for children and adults from Lord's Days to Thursdays with ministry meetings on the Saturdays.
At first there was considerable vandalism with the tent being torn, seats broken, ropes cut and stolen. As the meetings continued this decreased until at the end there was no trouble. Well over a dozen teenagers came and their confidence was eventually gained so that at the end some helped in taking the tent down. Usually the tent was full for the children's meetings, and there were unsaved adults present each night. There were several professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. One of these, a sixteen year old lad, has since been baptized. A woman who had been away from the Lord for years desired to be restored.
Both evangelists were able to obtain entrance to some of the houses on the estate and a number of contacts were made. P. Harding continued in the area after the tent was taken down, seeking to contact teenagers on the estate and also holding a few meetings in the hall at Johnstown. The believers from this assembly were faithful in supporting the tent work and were a great help to the evangelists.
South Wales. D. Morgan, supported by believers from the Llanelli district, has been seeking to reach the needy areas in West Wales with the Gospel. Tent campaigns have been held in Burry Port and Kidwelly. The interest was very encouraging, particularly among the youngsters, whilst the witness in the open air attracted many listeners.
Mid Scotland. A series of ministry meetings was held in Hebron Hall, Inverkeithing, during the month of June. G. Anderson, who went from that assembly in 1938 to serve the Lord in Africa, dealt with prophecy as revealed in Daniel and Revelation. His ministry was illustrated by a large chart and a good interest was maintained. Support came from neighbouring assemblies and quite a few who had no assembly associations were also present.
Southern Scotland. The assembly at Peebles, established only a few years ago, continues to grow, and there are now thirty-five in fellowship. Each year a team engaged in literature distribution has visited the assembly during the first fortnight of July, and this year a married lady professed to have been saved.
The Ayshire tent was pitched at Beith with excellent attendances. The value of taking unsaved from other areas to the tent was again demonstrated when two girls from Irvine were saved.
The Lanarkshire mobile hall was erected in the little village of Chapleton where there is no assembly testimony. Earlier this year, in the month of March, G. Hanlon had preached on the Lord's Days in the public hall with encouraging numbers present. It was felt that this helped the attendances when the portable hall arrived in the care of D. Barnes. A lady of over seventy years of age was saved.
J. Aitken, who had the charge of the Lanarkshire Gospel van, was encouraged at the reception he received as he visited from door to door. The open air meetings were the best he had experienced as regards people listening. He is helped by a retired brother who travels to meet with the evangelist every day no matter what part of the shire he is in.
At Forth in the same shire, two special Gospel meetings were held on successive Lord's Days, J. Chinas taking the first and G. Bull the second. The meetings were later in the evening than normal and many people came, a husband and wife being saved. The wife trusted the first night, the husband the next day. In their mid-twenties they had come from a town ten miles away at the invitation of relatives who were in fellowship at Forth.
Special Gospel meetings at Annan during July resulted in many unconverted coming under the sound of the Word of Life and there were some professions of faith among the young people as a result.
The campaign at Paisley taken by P. Brandon caused much searching of heart among the believers, and all of us would do well to do the same. How concerned are we in reality, as before the Lord, about the souls of our friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues?
Open Air Witness. The mobile unit workers combined in June for the witness in Trafalgar Square. One of the most attentive crowds seen in over twenty years listened to the solemn, setting forth of the Gospel. How thankful we should be that the liberty to preach in this way is maintained to us, and how we should take every opportunity to avail ourselves of it else we will find this privilege taken away. Many nationalities were represented in the crowd making this a great mission field.
May we again stress the importance of open air work, of going where the people are?
For several years a number of brethren from several assemblies in the London area have maintained a witness at Speakers' Corner, near Marble Arch, on Lord's Day afternoons between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The thousands who flock to this spot, both sightseers and foreign Lourists, present a great opportunity for the faithful preaching of the Gospel. Such preaching is vita! today when so many are being led astray by the pernicious doctrines of various sects, the promises of pagan mystic cults and the pedlars of witchcraft and the occult. All these are vigorous in the spread of their evil doctrines, but where are the teachers of the Word of God?
As usual the need is for workers. Bretliren who can preach in such demanding surroundings, and brethren and sisters who can counsel the many enquirers, are all urgently needed provided they are sure that the Lord is calling them to this work.