Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
A young brother in Co. Cork was deeply exercised some years ago about serving the Lord and would have liked to go to some other land. However the Lord showed him that it was His will that he should remain in the area and serve the Lord while engaged in business. The Lord used his testimony to the conversion of a young Roman Catholic in his employment and this was a beginning of a work of God in the area in which a number have been saved, baptized and are now in assembly fellowship. These include other members of that young man's family. This work of God shows the value of believers dedicated to the service of the Lord seeking to serve Him while engaged in secular employment. In many cases more can be accomplished in certain situations than could be by a 'Full time' worker.
Are we each dedicated in this way?
Republic of Ireland. As a result of division there were for many years two groups of believers in the Convoy area of North Donegal. However a few years ago they were exercised about the lack of blessing in the area and met together to put matters right. This resulted in their coming together and they have since •experienced the blessing of the Lord in the Gospel testimony in that district.
A new hall has been erected and the presence of the Lord was evident during Gospel meetings held by S. Patterson and G. Stewart.
There are many other areas where Gospel testimony is hindered by division among the Lord's people. Often it starts with envy and pride, and we should all be careful lest Satan use us in this way to bring shame on the Name of our Lord and hinder the work of God.
Southern England. The small assembly at the Weald, Kent, arranged a month of special Gospel meetings with J. Smyth as the evangelist. Personal visits were made to every home in the district but it proved very difficult to get the local folk into the hall. Even on Lord's Days, when the village hall was hired, only a few were present. All were encouraged by the support of believers from local assemblies who brought unsaved folk with them.
Shortly afterwards our brother preached for three weeks at Uxbridge, Middlesex. The Lord was pleased to bring a goodly number of unsaved folk in to hear of the Saviour, and on the last night one young man was saved.
Southern Scotland. Some believers living in the Bishopton area of Renfrewshire, where there is no testimony, have been burdened about the spiritual needs of the people around them. As a result a monthly Gospel meeting was started, at which a young man of about thirty was contacted. He was much broken by the message of the Gospel, confessed that he was a believer who had got far away from the Lord, and was wonderfully restored. After this his unsaved wife found the Saviour, and both have since been baptized. Special Gospel meetings were held in the local community centre, J. Clunas being the preacher, and at the first of these their elder child was saved.
Five or six assembly Bible class leaders in this area take their classes along to one of the halls once a month where they are collectively addressed by an invited speaker. This widens their horizons and leads them to realize that what they are taught is believed by many others in other districts.
South Wales. So often we complain that it is difficult to get folk into our halls to hear the Gospel in these days. The believers engaged in the Scripture Study Tests arranged in connection with Swansea and District Sunday Schools have proved otherwise. Over two hundred and sixty boys and girls took part in the studies dealing with the early chapters of Genesis, and the papers submitted were of an exceptionally high standard. A united service for both children and parents at which the certificates were presented was held at George Street Gospel Hall, Swansea. Over three hundred were present to listen to a clear Gospel message from J. Morris. It encouraged all to see the hall filled to capacity with folk standing. It is thus still possible to reach the parents through the children. The Scripture studies which can be such a blessing to our Sunday School scholars are a unique way of interesting parents in the Word of God.
Believers in Fforestfach and the surrounding areas were encouraged by the ministry of A. M. S. Gooding on the Feasts of Jehovah.
Trading. At the time a bomb exploded inside Olympia, London, in March, two brethren had been tracting outside. They felt it right to continue and were enabled to distribute two and a half thousand tracts and have several conversations with folk.
How necessary it is that we avail ourselves of the liberty that our God has been pleased to give us and herald forth the good news in the open air both vocally and in tract form. In days of violence, when souls are ushered into eternity without warning, it is our responsibility more than ever before. The trouble is that we have become too respectable to stand in the open air, we are not prepared to share the reproach of Christ.
Those who work with mobile units feel the same. The South West London workers have had very few come forward to help man the unit. Preaching on the streets of London in these days of increasing violence is not popular.
Personal Work. A young man, unemployed in the North East, came to London in response to an advertisement but on arrival found the post filled. As he walked dejectedly along the road, a married sister felt led to speak to him. Finding that he was penniless she took him home and agreed with her husband to keep him for the night. On the morrow both employment and lodgings were found locally, and the young man was taken to the ministry meeting that evening. He attended all the meetings of the assembly and in the course of some five weeks was saved. Since then he has been baptized.
This should be a challenge to us all, as to how far we 'do good and communicate'.
Bristol. In the last issue we reported concerning the gathering at Emmaus Chapel, Severn Beach. Unfortunately, because of the lapse of time before publication, that report was out of date. Since the report was written the Lord has been working in a wonderful way. Their numbers have increased, both among young and old, and some have come to know the Lord as Saviour. We are sure that all will rejoice at this.