The small assembly in Avoch continued their series of special meetings in the local Primary School. On 14th November Ainslie Paterson presented the gospel message based on "Lessons from a Lighthouse". On 12th December a Christmas Carol Service was conducted by Douglas Mowat. This time the message was woven around the life, conversion, and hymns of Charles Wesley who wrote some of our most beautiful and Scriptural "carols". The believers were encouraged to see a good number of unsaved folks at these meetings, including family, friends, and neighbours who continue to give support. Please pray that many will trust the Saviour.
In Glenburn, Prestwick, similar activities were undertaken over the Christmas period. Over the weekend of 12th December Jack Hay was with the assembly when the gospel was faithfully preached on the Saturday and Sunday evenings. The next Sunday there was an extra lunchtime gospel meeting when, in spite of the snowy conditions, a couple of local families attended and heard the message preached, and on Christmas Eve at the Carol Service again a few local people heard the gospel. Around 3,000 gospel calendars have been distributed along with tracts to local homes, and already a letter of thanks from one resident has been received appreciating the quality and the content of the literature distributed.
Reports from other places around the country tell of many assemblies using opportunities like this in the weeks before Christmas. It is good to hear that in some places attendance figures were about double what would be regarded as normal. Invitations taken to local folk led to many coming into Gospel Halls where they heard the "glad tidings of great joy" about the reason why He came. We pray that God will bless all the seed sown.
Broughshane: Ministry Meetings were held from 3rd-7th January with W Martin.
Buckna: The Annual Conference was held on 27th December. Large numbers attended even more than last year in spite of difficult road conditions. Helpful words were given by S McBride, E Fairfield, J Smith, R McKeown and, after the tea interval, S Wells, M Radcliffe and J Lennox.
Carnlough: The Missionary Conference was held on 8th January. R Armstrong, R Brown, A Davidson, J Finnigan (jnr), and D McKillen reported on their work for the Lord.
Kells: Gospel Meetings commenced at the Tully site, Larne Road in a portable hall on Lords Day, 9th January (7.30 pm) and are continuing. Speakers: J Rogers and S Wells. Fellowship, prayer, and interest would be appreciated.
#"If the Lord will..."
Clough Gospel Hall: Gospel Meetings are expected to commence on 6th March with G Woods and R Reynolds.
John Rogers had a week of Gospel Meetings in Mullingar, Co West Meath in George Fishers home. The weather was extremely bad. Some interesting cases heard the gospel.
Ballykeel Gospel Hall (Mourne): Mr Robert Plant was with the assembly for two weeks of childrens meetings during September. Good numbers attended and Gods Word was faithfully presented nightly. Mr Plant had a good reception in the local schools and in Dundalk. On the last evening over one hundred children received prizes for their attendance. The assembly was greatly encouraged and looks to God to give the increase.
Growell: The assembly held six meetings on "Creation" with I Campbell, and good local interest was seen. There was also a very good attendance at a special seasonal Lords Day Gospel Meeting.
New Road Assembly, Portavogie: M Radcliffe had one week of much appreciated ministry on "The sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus".
The Newry assembly was encouraged by the response from residents and relatives to two meetings held in a local old peoples home, and also by good attendance at a special seasonal Lords Day Gospel Meeting.
Co. LONDONDERRY & Co. DONEGAL
Moneydig: D Gilliland was present for ministry, and gave practical teaching based on some of the "little" things in Scripture.
Fintona: Ministry Meetings were held from 29th November-3rd December with B Currie.
Omagh: Ministry Meetings were held from 27th-30th December. Large numbers attended the ministry of D Gilliland who spoke on "The power of words and words of power".
Laganvale: David McGarvey spent three busy weeks from 24th October with this assembly situated in a densely populated area of the city. Every home was visited several times with invitations and portions of Scripture. There were also many friendly conversations at the doors, but even with the concentrated effort there were no positive responses from the area. The encouragement was that the neighbouring assemblies supported the meetings well with some bringing others in need of salvation to hear the gospel. The district has had opportunity and we must leave the situation with the Lord. Prayer for this area would be appreciated.
ENGLAND & WALES
John Baker visits four schools in the area near his home assembly in Penarth, one of which he has visited for 18 years. The school rolls vary in size from 150 to 350, the largest catering for an immigrant population who listen with rapt attention. Personal work also presents good opportunities, as, for example, while having his car hand-washed, John asked the lad which language he spoke and was told, Russian. John sang a verse of How great Thou art in Russian and the lad was amazed. John left with him a copy of Ultimate Questions in Russian as he also did with a young lady serving in a Penarth coffee shop. Another local shop has been taken over by a Sikh gentleman who has taken a number of booklets in Gurmukhi and a copy of the Life Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh. Also, noticing a group of Gurkha soldiers at a service station, John greeted them with, "Namoste", then gave them some Nepalese tracts he had in his car. He was able to have a fine chat with them, having at one time worked amongst members of a Gurkha Band. Pray that these openings will result in salvation.
The assembly at Chester St, Rugby has been greatly encouraged in recent months. The childrens work in particular has been blessed, and good relationships have been fostered with non-Christian parents of children in the area. A 12-year old girl from a non-Christian home nearby professed salvation and now attends regularly. In August nine young people came to the Leicester Assembly Bible Camp, and in September a 14-year old boy was baptised and received into assembly fellowship. The baptismal service was very well attended with some excellent questions being asked afterwards. A Bible Class was commenced during the year and great interest has been shown by all who attend. Outreach work in the local school opposite the hall continues with the help of a brother from another assembly. The current head teacher has been very supportive of the work and has offered extra opportunities to speak to the children and staff. It is hoped these links will increase the numbers at the childrens meetings. Many different cultures and backgrounds are represented in the locality where people in general are indifferent toward the gospel. Nevertheless, gospel literature is distributed consistently around the homes in the area. Prayer would be valued for these outreach activities taking place throughout the year.
In Deri, South Wales, during the first two weeks of November, meetings were held for the preaching of the gospel with Paul McCauley of Belfast. In the weeks leading up to this, with the help of young people in the region, the assembly delivered nearly 10,000 invitations and offers of a free Bible to the surrounding villages. A good number of people responded to this offer. When the Bibles were delivered personally it led to some interesting conversations. During the meetings many unsaved people were present and heard the gospel clearly preached. Support from other assemblies was greatly appreciated. In addition to the meetings, four school assemblies were conducted in the local Primary and Comprehensive schools, with up to 130 children and teachers present.