During the months of June, July, and August, Holburn Gospel Hall held three gospel meetings on Lord's Day afternoons in a small auditorium in the Winter Gardens of a local park. Several people took time to listen to the message, while others just passing by still heard something of the Saviour as the services were broadcast to other parts of the Gardens.
From 9th-13th September, the assembly hosted the Aberdeenshire Bible Exhibition. Again the focus was principally on children from local schools, with around 300 pupils and accompanying adults attending. The children listened well, and responded positively in the quiz sessions which followed each tour of the Exhibition. Feedback from the teachers, particularly in relation to content and presentation, was very positive. On two of the evenings special sessions were held for pupils and parents associated with the external Bible Clubs run by members of the assembly. While few passers-by visited the Exhibition, those who did come gave opportunities for good conversations. Please pray that what the visitors heard will bear fruit for eternity.
In September Gordon McCracken completed his second six day visit of this year, visiting twelve primary schools in the area around the Overtown Gospel Hall. He spoke at eleven School Assemblies and to P6 and P7 classes in eight schools. Over 2,200 children and 105 adults heard the message and we do trust that the seeds sown will bear fruit. We pray that these opportunities in schools will remain open.
The assembly at Glenburn, Prestwick, hosted the Bible Exhibition for a week in September and were very encouraged with the response. Six different schools participated with around 300 children attending with their teachers, learning truths about the Bible. Clearly many of them knew little or nothing about God's way of salvation. The evening sessions saw a handful of local people come along each night, some of whom had never been in the hall before. Graeme Paterson brought his bus which was used for the children's juice and a quiz to reinforce their learning. He continued for two weeks' gospel meetings after the exhibition. Different questions were used for subjects each evening, covering the existence of God, sin and its consequences and why the Lord Jesus is the only way. Hundreds of invitation leaflets had been distributed but only a few people came to hear the messages - some local women, and one young man who has sat under the weekly preaching of the gospel for years and as far as is known has not yet trusted the Saviour. During a week of children's meetings a number of new ones came along and we pray that they will continue to attend the weekly Monday Club over the winter period. Graeme was also able to visit local schools to take assemblies and classes where many children and teachers heard a simple presentation of the gospel. All told, Graeme's visit has been a blessing to the assembly and we trust it may yet result in the salvation of many.
Summer Tent Work
Dan Gillies was able to use his tent only twice this summer, first at Sanquhar, in fellowship with the assembly at Kirkconnel, and then at Corpach, near Fort William, in fellowship with the assembly there. Aaron Colgan helped at Sanquhar where the most encouraging aspect of the work was amongst the children. Around 30 children gathered nightly, plus two or three young mothers. Other parents were present for the prize-giving. A few did come to the later meeting over the two weeks, but none showed any real interest or concern. Two assemblies were taken in the local academy, and an invitation to return was again given. There was a better response in door to door work than in previous years.
At Corpach the tent was pitched in the local play park and Phil Kennedy from the Fort William assembly joined in the work. Numbers of children were quite small but two mothers attended nightly, sometimes with older family members. The first week saw a handful of locals attending the later gospel meeting. On the Monday of the second week the meetings were concluded early because the town council which had given their permission for the meetings unfortunately had not informed the community council, and when one or two residents voiced complaints about the tent being there, the community council put pressure on the town council to ask them to leave – which they felt was the wisest thing to do. This is the first time in 30 years of tent work that they have experienced this kind of opposition. Whilst Satan is ever busy, God is sovereign and no doubt He had a reason for all this.
At the time of writing, Dan had commenced a series of gospel meetings with the Linwood assembly. These were being well attended with a good number of unsaved people coming in. Prayer is valued that God's hand may be seen working to bring salvation.
N. Ireland & Eire
Ballinaloob Gospel Hall: T Wallace and D Davidson had three weeks of gospel meetings in the hall in September. A clear and unambiguous gospel was presented nightly. Local assemblies were supportive, and many visitors heard the gospel. There was blessing in salvation. To God be all the glory.
Ballycastle: D McGarvey concluded two weeks of Gospel Meetings in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle on 4th October. Very encouraging numbers attended and there were those who said they had been saved, and through this blessing the saints and all concerned were encouraged. A very worthwhile effort.
Ballyclare Gospel Hall: Gospel Meetings with J W Martin and E Fairfield concluded on 29th September after 7 weeks. Before each meeting nine or ten brethren prayed for blessing. The hall was packed every night and there was a sense of the Lord's presence with help to speak. Many people attended, not only from the area but also from other assemblies, including very many children. A number of young people professed salvation. There was much to praise the Lord for. Continue to pray for further fruit.
Ballymoney Gospel Hall: Gospel Meetings with M Radcliffe and A Steele continue after an encouraging start on 29th September.
Ballywatermoy Gospel Hall: A Davidson had ministry meetings from 7th-10th October on "Studies in the life of Joseph".
Dundesert: D McGarvey and R O'Neil had a very encouraging short spell of Gospel Meetings in this difficult and needy area. Extensive visitation resulted in quite a number of people from the locality coming into the hall for the first time. Others attended who had not been in the hall for years. The hall was well filled, some nights to capacity. God gave help in the preaching, with some showing signs of concern about their soul's salvation.
Lisburn (Plantation): Gospel Meetings commenced on 22nd September with J Fleck and S Gilfillan. Prayer appreciated.
"If the Lord will…"
Bushmills Gospel Hall: It is expected to commence Gospel Meetings in early January, 2014 with S Gilfillan and A Caldwell.
Bushmills: Preliminary Announcement. It is proposed to commence the Annual Bible Readings on Monday, 7th July, 2014, concluding on Friday, 18th (DV).
Cookstown Gospel Hall: Gospel Meetings commenced with D McGarvey. Prayer valued and appreciated.
Dunmullan Gospel Hall: The tent meetings in this district concluded at the beginning of September. The tent was full every night and the assembly was greatly encouraged to learn that a 28 year old woman from the area professed salvation. Speakers: J Fleck and S Gilfillan.
Killycurragh Gospel Hall: Mr Jack Hay was with the assembly from 23rd-26th September. He gave excellent and helpful ministry. The hall was full each night with good support from local assemblies which was most appreciated.
Martray: Gospel Meetings with N Fleck and S Nelson are continuing (end of Sept) in a portable hall at the Ballygawley roundabout. Some locals are attending, but this is a difficult area as far as the gospel is concerned.
Armagh Gospel Hall was open for Heritage Day on 14th September. It was most encouraging to see well over one hundred people from all walks of life coming in. Each left with a booklet entitled The Perfect Plan.
Bleary Gospel Hall: J Rogers and T Armstrong have concluded their spell of very well attended gospel meetings. The assembly was able to encourage some from the area and many of the believers' children showed an interest. During the meetings, a faithful, consistent, and highly esteemed member of the Bleary assembly (Miss Etta McComb) passed away very suddenly. Pray that soon we will hear of blessing from the good seed sown.
Portadown Gospel Hall: D Gilliland had a week of profitable ministry. Large numbers attended.
"If the Lord will…"
Ballyshiel Gospel Hall: I Gordon (Glengormley) and J Rogers (Newry) are expected for gospel meetings (DV) at the beginning of January.
Bangor: Central Hall. J Hay was with the assembly for five nights of very helpful ministry on "The Nature of the New Testament Assembly".
Castlewellan: T Wright and A Davidson have concluded their Gospel Meetings. There has been encouraging attendance, and prayer is requested for blessing in salvation.
Dromore: C Beresford and M Hunter have commenced Gospel Meetings with the assembly. The meetings so far have been encouraging.
Mullaghfernaghan: N Emerson was with the assembly for a week's ministry on Prophecy with particular reference to the Church.
Portavogie: Ebenezer Gospel Hall. The Annual Conference was held on 14th September, and very profitable ministry was given by A Colgan, J Parkinson, J Fleck, D Radcliffe and W Martin. A Colgan continued in ministry for three nights on the Prophecy of Isaiah.
Portavogie: New Road. The assembly hosted the Ayrshire Bible Exhibition with G Paterson. There was an excellent local response with over 400 children and many adults visiting the Exhibition. Very good contacts were made. Gospel Meetings are continuing with an encouraging start with J Rogers and D Gilliland. Weeknights at 8.00pm. Lord's Day 7.15pm.
Kingsmoss Gospel Hall: The assembly had a week of ministry meetings by B Currie on the seldom handled subject of "Oversight", covering a wide range of Scriptures. It was a profitable week for young and old alike and the subject was handled with honesty, clarity and warmth.
Sandringham Gospel Hall: The assembly profited greatly from the week of ministry by David McAllister. The general theme of "Things most surely believed among us" commenced with "Truths in relation to the person of Christ". The fundamentals of His Eternal Sonship, His impeccability, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection and ascension, His high priestly work and advocacy, together with His future role in Earth's government were among the subjects handled with warmth, clarity and the dignity that befits such matters.
Coleraine Gospel Hall: Gospel Meetings commenced with B Currie and J Palmer.
Lisachrin: E Fairfield and M McKillen commenced Gospel Meetings on 7th October with an encouraging start. Prayer and attendance appreciated.
England & Wales
The assembly had two weeks of gospel meetings with Blair Martin during September. Due to limited man-power the Royal Mail was used to distribute invitations in the local Post Code area and an advert was placed in the local newspaper. In addition the believers had a Distribution Morning on the Saturday before the meetings began, giving out leaflets in the town and to parents of children with whom they have contact. Over the two weeks 20 different people attended the adult meetings, some coming several times, and one young teenager was at every meeting. The two Friday nights were especially well attended with 60-70 present on each occasion. During the second week there were children's meetings each evening, averaging 35 children each night, and four schools were visited during the days. The gospel was well preached by Blair throughout the series and the issues of the gospel made crystal clear. After the sowing we water the seed with our prayers and look to God to give the increase.
Brother L Craig was with the assembly for a week of children's meetings and a couple of extra gospel meetings. Some new faces were seen at the meetings and the Word was faithfully preached.