Look on the Fields
ITEMS FOR PRAYER AND PRAISE With Daily Scripture Readings
Brazil Day: 1, 25
Spain Day: 2
Panama Day: 3
Scotland Day: 4, 7, 15, 17, 18, 27
Zambia Day: 5, 26
Botswana Day: 6, 28
Armenia Day: 8
Ukraine Day: 9
Australia Day: 10
Venezuela Day: 11
Canada Day: 12, 16
Colombia Day: 13
Wales Day: 14
Tanzania Day: 19
France Day: 20
Mexico Day: 21
England Day: 22, 31
Italy Day: 23
Romania Day: 24
South Africa Day: 29
Lebanon Day: 30
‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ Mark 16:15
Saturday 1st BRAZIL Rio Grande Do Sul
I recently finished seven weeks of encouraging Gospel meetings in Cachoeirinha, with our brother David Wilson. We had consistently good attendance throughout the series,
with between 10 and 20 unsaved in each night, and good support from believers from the other assemblies in the area. In addition to local people who attended, we had some unsaved coming across from Alvorada where they had previously attended Gospel meetings. We are thankful to the Lord for some who have professed salvation and we trust that time will prove that they are really saved. Please pray for further blessing as a result of the Good Seed sown.
I recently had the privilege of speaking at a baptism that was held in a coastal area called Rei do Peixe. Our brother Joel Matos has been working in this area for the past few years, so it was a joy to see 3 believers obeying the Lord in baptism. After the baptism a ministry meeting was held in the nice little Gospel Hall that has been built there. We would appreciate prayer for further progress in this work.
Recently, we have had 2 of our larger annual conferences. On Easter Friday, we had the first Porto Alegre conference since the pandemic and were very encouraged to see around 550 present. Then, on 1 May we had around 380 present at the Novo Hamburgo conference. We were thankful to the Lord for the measure of His presence enjoyed on
both of these occasions and for the opportunity of being together with His people again after the interruption of the pandemic. Then on 8 June, in the will of God, we hope to have the conference in Sombrio, almost 3 hours from us here. Please pray that this day will be a blessing to both saved and unsaved who will be present.
At this time of conferences, are very conscious of how few missionaries we now have to help on such occasions. While Harry and Beth Wilson managed to be present in Porto Alegre, their advanced age leaves them unable to play their normal role on days such as this. In addition, this was the first year that we have been without Tom and Dorothy who had been present at every Novo Hamburgo conference since the first one was held in 1987.
Next Lord’s Day, in the will of the Lord I hope to be with the assembly in Osório for a baptism and ministry of the Word, followed by a Gospel meeting. This will be the second baptism held there since the pandemic, so it is encouraging to see these signs of progress linked to this assembly, which was the very first to be established in the state just over 67 years ago.
1998 JAMES & JOY ARMSTRONG 15/12/22
Sunday 2nd SPAIN Soria
Thank you all for your faithful prayer support for us here in Soria. The enemy is hitting hard on all sides and at times it feels like we are just waiting to see what’s coming next!!! How wonderful it is to be able to stand firm on the Rock and trust in His unchanging character and love!!! Since about February I was unable to assist in our clothes depot due to a lesion in the lumbar zone of my spine. I really miss the contact with the people who come along. I went back for a trial period, but my back just gave out. Please do pray about this frustrating situation as this is a ministry very close to my heart and I would love to still be involved in chatting and giving literature out to those who come along. However, the Lord continues to encourage me in the discipleship groups with the Ukranian ladies and the twenties group. Now the summer is approaching, the teens group will be recommencing and that is such an opportunity, as some of the girls who are believers bring several friends along from various cultures and beliefs and we can freely share the gospel with them. The 12 girls who come are from 13 to 16 years old. Please join us in prayer for this initiative that the girls would come to saving faith and a firm commitment to the Lord Jesus.
Recently both Jesús and I have been so encouraged and overwhelmed at the same time, to see the Lord at work in opening up the hearts of several friends we are in contact with regularly. They are very devout Catholics but recently they have been questioning their faith and coming to us for answers!!! What a privilege to be able to point them to Christ. Thank you for praying for them and also for a very dear family whose daughter was badly injured in a car crash where the two men sitting beside her died. The Lord has opened a door with this family too.
How we long to see folk surrender at the Lord’s feet and worship Him for who He is. Thank you for standing with us in the battle for souls here in secular Spain.
C.1983 JESUS & HELEN ORTIZ
Monday 3rd PANAMA Vista Alegre
We wonder at times if there really are seven days in the week, as the space between Sundays seems so short and passes so quickly! This passing of time has brought several changes and challenges to the work here in Panama.
Last year we were given permission to enter schools in our province to give out Bible texts, but this year our application was received with silence. The only reply was to tell us that permission must be sought at the national level in the City of Panama, not the provincial level where we always received it. They couldn’t tell us where to go or how to make this application. Since the beginning of the school year in March they have arrested at least thirteen students carrying loaded handguns in the schools. We believe the elevated level of violence and drugs in the schools has resulted in not receiving permission. Clearly the Word of God would be invaluable in this environment.
In March of this year, we finalized the purchase of a property that we had been pursuing since last November. We plan to use the building for the assembly meetings, activities, and outreaches. There is much work to be done, but we are thankful that most of the outside drainage work has been completed before the rains started and we are just needing to get some grass down. We’ll turn our attention now to the inside for a good cleaning, painting, electrical/lighting work, and some floor tiling. Sadly, thieves entered and made off with most of our tools. That was a set back, but Nehemiah had plenty and still kept at it. We remember his words “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down”.
We are encouraged by some new contacts that have been attending. Our neighbour, a young man in his twenties, who is part of Lois’s Thursday evening English class has been attending Friday evening young peoples as well as on Sunday. Three families who started attending over a year ago continue faithfully and show a sincere interest in spiritual things. One of the husbands was baptised in February and his wife has recently expressed her interest in baptism as well. In May we had the joy of also baptising the wife of a young brother who is already in fellowship. The home school group that Lois is part of has given opportunities to have people over to our place and to get to know them better. This has resulted in some of their children attending the Friday evening young people’s class which has been an encouragement.
Baptism of Katherine
Thankfully the orphanage has welcomed us again this year and we are able to have a Bible class every Wednesday afternoon.
We appreciate you labouring with us in prayer.
John Newton wrote these words in 1779: Behold the throne of grace! The promise calls us near; There Jesus shows a smiling face And waits to answer prayer.
C. 2006 BYRNE & LOIS FORESHEW 31/5/23
Ciudad del Nino - Orphange
In spite of strong opposition to Nehemiah, we read ‘so built we the wall….the people had a mind to work’. Nehemiah 4:6 It was a good work….a great work….it was God’s work!
Tuesday 4th SCOTLAND
In February I had a half term Children’s Bible club in Coleford, England which went really well, with the hall being well filled with kids from the village every day. There is no doubt that it took far more out of me than something similar would have done before my illness but the Lord gave the necessary strength. Once home I received word that a girl who attended these meetings professed faith in the Lord Jesus during the week. God is so good.
Not long ago I received further joyous news that a seventeen-year-old girl was being baptised in Bethesda Hall, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Unknown to me she had trusted the Lord as her saviour during a meeting I was taking there just before covid took off back in February 2020. In God’s great goodness and mercy this is the third soul I now know of who the Lord saved during my last visit to Sri Lanka. Even though my service for Him has been curtailed over these past years He is still bringing encouragement, praise His name.
During the Easter holidays I had another Children’s Bible club with the assembly in Cullen. I was up there just before the holidays visiting the local schools trying to encourage what is a new generation of kids to come along. It has been four years since the last one due to the pandemic and my cancer, so it was great to get it going again. In God’s goodness over one hundred children came along and over fifty parents attended the prize giving. Eight new children have started to attend the Sunday School since the special meetings.
Cullen Gospel Hall Easter Holiday Bible Club prize giving
For the coronation of King Charles my own assembly in Perth organised an open day with various activities set up for children. Unfortunately, the weather meant it had to held indoors, which meant there were less activities on offer. Despite the weather the hall was packed with families and well over a hundred unbelievers came into the main hall for a twenty-minute meeting where I had the opportunity to preach the gospel.
Recently I had my Bible Experience Exhibition in Elim Hall Kilmarnock and each day we had three primary six/seven classes coming along. That equates to over three hundred and fifty kids hearing the word of God over the course of the week. We also opened it to the public on two evenings and a good number came in and many good conversations were had. God willing at the end of May I will be setting up the Bible Experience in Holburn Hall, Aberdeen for another week of school visits.
God willing in the summer meetings are planned for Kilmarnock, Kinross, Liverpool and the North East Camp in Yorkshire. Prayer would be appreciated that my stamina would hold up and that the word spoken will bring forth fruit to God’s eternal glory.
GORDON & ALISON McCRACKEN 23/5/23
Bible Experience New Testament section Elim Hall, Kilmarnock
We have been able to resume our monthly surgical trips to Dipalata. The small plane flown by our brother Chris Brundage makes this possible saving us the tiring road trip. One of the elders there was telling me they are continuing to regularly proclaim the gospel at the hospital. Pray for Mark and Jenelle Heikoop who now have the main responsibility for the hospital since our sister Betty Magennis retired last year.
Here at Chitokoloki the hospital continues to be busy, and we are now approaching 600 surgical procedures this year. It is good to be able to pray with our patients before surgery and commit them and the procedure to the Lord. It is always a joy to see people recover health and this morning we were thrilled to see a young boy of 10 smilingly take his first few faltering steps after several weeks following major surgery when he lay semiconscious and unresponsive, and it seemed all hope had been lost. The gospel goes forward each day at the hospital whether over the intercom or by tract distribution or by personal witness.
Pray for our sister Wilma Geddis of Loloma who is soon to have a major operation in Belfast. She was quite ill here for several months before gaining sufficient strength to make it home.
Pray for the proposed meetings for young people to be held at our new Conference Centre during the summer months, Lord willing.
Pray too for the completion of our new clinic building, which is now approaching roof level, in the next few months of the dry season.
We have had encouraging visits from Dr Rodney Strahan and his wife Margaret of Australia and Dr Simon Porter from Northern Ireland. They gave helpful ministry in the hall and both brethren worked intensively on the digital X-ray system at the hospital here and at Chavuma and Loloma. Both these brethren spend several hours each day, from their homes, reporting on our X rays which is a great blessing to our patients. Margaret does valuable personal work and teaching with many of our long-stay patients especially children.
We thank God too for the wonderful help we had in recent months from our sisters Arlene Hamilton from Annalong and Rebekah Heelham from Newcastle. At a time when we were short-staffed and hard-pressed their assistance was a great blessing. C. 1991 DAVID & LORRAINE McADAM 29/5/23
Dipalata Airstrip 142-150
Thursday 6th BOTSWANA Gaborone
The late Frank Knox of Belfast is often accredited with the expression ‘Preach, Pray and Peg Away’. This approach is so relevant, especially here in Botswana.
I am just getting ready for a little time with 24 young people. They are aged between 13 to 19 years and are all children of believers in fellowship. We will be at the hall for a sleep over Wednesday night because this Thursday is a public holiday (Ascension day) so we will have time together on Thursday too.
This group of young people have been a great burden to us. For over 2 years we were unable to have them at assembly meetings because covid restrictions here forbad meetings of over 50 people and the adults in fellowship were over that number by themselves, so their children were left at home. Our restrictions lasted a lot longer than UK and they were stricter too so we have been trying to catch up ever since. I would be so glad to have your kind prayerful fellowship.
We continue each day with the Sunday Schools in different locations around Gaborone and nearby villages. Today there will be 3 Sunday Schools held at 3pm. Clark has his in Mochudi, Hazel has hers in Tlokweng and I will be in Broadhurst. Children up to the age of 13 years finish school at 1pm (having started before 7am). Clark’s Wednesday SS in Kopong is over 150 in number with 30 mums also attending. We are very grateful to God for these open doors for the gospel and never take it for granted that at any time things may change. The weekend Sunday Schools are done by the believers as they are free, but mid-week when everyone is at work, we take the opportunity to sow the seed too. We still call them Sunday Schools even though we do them on different days, that way everyone understands it’s about the Bible and not a craft club or something!
C. 1990 JOY GRIFFITHS 15/5/23 Prov 1-3
In mid-April, we were able to go to the Belfast Easter conferences. What a joy it has been to speak to, and listen with, many hundreds of God’s people around the Word of God over three days. After this, we also had a week of ministry meetings in Shieldhill where it is encouraging to see how God is blessing the assembly currently. I was going over fundamental truth and the meetings were designed to be helpful to those who have recently been received into fellowship and others sitting back. Please remember in prayer those who have recently joined the assembly there.
At the end of April, we were able to have a few days to help a few assemblies locally in some ministry and the gospel. We were also able to do some tracting in Kirkcaldy for the monthly gospel meeting. We try to maintain this gospel work every month and when we cannot preach other brethren step in to help. Other assemblies hold their conference in the hall in Kirkcaldy and at times I have had extra ministry meetings for the believers who attend. There has been much to thank God for these past few weeks. A lady professed faith in Christ in Kirkcaldy in April (after an extra gospel meeting organised by Kennoway) and another young man also from Kirkcaldy, long prayed for and who has attended many of our meetings, phoned me to tell me that he had got saved in his own home in April. He was baptised in Glencraig in early May and is now in fellowship. Another lady from Lochgelly was received into fellowship in Glencraig in mid-May. She was actually saved in the 70’s through the preaching of a brother in the Hospital Hill, Dunfermline assembly but married an unsaved man and never made the progress she had hoped. I spoke at her baptism a few years ago after a series of meetings in Hospital Hill. It is great to see progress and restoration and to see the seed of God’s Word still working with her. Another two young people have also asked for baptism and another young man also came into fellowship in Glencraig in May. To God be all the glory. Pray that all these people will go on for God.
In early May we were at the Ayr bible readings with our brother Jack Hay. I felt that the Lord’s presence was a reality, and we were both really encouraged with excellent support each day and the interest by younger believers. The subjects of the Olivet discourse and the Upper Room are wonderful passages, and it did my soul good to go through these sections once again. We pray that this week will prove to be helpful in the maintenance of assembly testimony in Ayrshire and the encouragement of the saints. Jack Hay and I are currently in our third week in New Stevenston in gospel meetings (DV) and we are enjoying very good interest. Please keep us in prayer as there are quite a few ‘not far from the kingdom’. One lady has stayed back a couple of times to ask questions and one night she was evidently broken. Another man has indicated that he wants to be saved. We pray on. The open-air meetings each night and the tracting door to door every afternoon is also profitable. Alasdair Baijal also shared with me when Jack had to leave for a few days. We were also able to have four sessions on 2 Timothy in Bury St Edmunds on one of the Saturdays in May. It was very encouraging to see the number of young families who came and the interest in the Word. The Present Truth is expanding into a number of language areas and the new web site www.truthdefended. com is proving to be a very useful asset to the work. Last year over 300,000 tracts were distributed by Scotland Needs the Gospel which we manage. Over 150,000 tracts will
Friday 7th SCOTLAND Fife
be going out over May and June through Scotland Needs the Gospel. Please pray for the seed.
I hope to be in Gospel tent meetings in Wick in June with Alasdair Baijal (DV). We value the prayerful support of the saints very much.
CRAIG & HANNAH MUNRO 26/5/23
Saturday 8th ARMENIA Yerevan
Prayer is requested for the assembly that gathers to the Lord’s name in the Olive Center in Yerevan, in the district of Erebuni on the outskirts of the city. It is the only such assembly in Armenia. The premises where the believers meet is large and there are maintenance difficulties involved. Please pray for guidance regarding the wisdom of keeping this building or finding another place nearby. Also, the outreach work in Dvin needs our prayers. There are a good number of children gather and it is encouraging to the saints who travel there from Yerevan on the Lord’s day, to bring the word of God to them.
It is encouraging to see the assembly in Yerevan continuing and the believers, many whom I met when I first visited in 2004 still faithfully attending. I do hope in the will of the Lord to visit this year and encourage the saints.
Prayer is requested for the camp work again this July, in the will of the Lord. Up to 90-100 children attend over the 3-week period. The dates are from July 10th to the 31st 2023. After those dates, a few days are set aside to take the older believers for a little holiday, it is the only break away from home some of them get from one year to the next.
It takes a week to prepare the Camp area that is on a 50-year lease. Many improvements have been made in recent years to make it more fit for purpose. The site is a long distance from Yerevan, high in the mountains in the North of Armenia, not far from the border with Georgia.
To those who have faithfully prayed for Armenia over the years, a big thank you.
WENDALL WEBB 31/5/23
Children's meeting in a house in the village of Zovashen
Sunday 9th UKRAINE Writing from N Ireland
The year commenced with visits to different assemblies each Lord’s Day for preaching the Gospel and encouragement of the saints at the remembrance meetings. Agnes and I had the joy of introducing a Ukrainian family to the Sunday School at Newtownbreda assembly, Belfast and subsequently the Gospel meeting. I was invited to join with Paul Kissick and Jack Hay for the Carnlough Missionary conference to report on the Ukrainian refugee work in Ireland.
In mid-January I had the privilege of joining a group of brethren and young believers from different assemblies in NI, Wales and Scotland on a trip to Katowice, West of Krakow in Poland for bible teaching, evangelism and work with Ukrainian refugees who are being supported by the 4 assemblies we visited. I brought with me 400 Ukrainian Gospel calendars which we shared first at Krakow train station where there are still ‘help/holding points’ for fleeing refugees.
On my return from Poland, I had an additional 2,000 Gospel calendars printed, which we sent out by courier to a dear brother Konrad. For the last year has been making visits into Ukraine with humanitarian aid and large amounts of Gospel literature printed in the Ukrainian language; he requested more calendars to go into the East of Ukraine. We also had donated to us a large quantity of medical supplies for the hospital in Lviv which we sent out directly to Tanya, Ruslan’s wife for use in the hospital where she works.
Please remember in prayer Myroslava and her 3 children who have returned to Lviv after 6 months being kindly hosted by Noel and Caroline Brown; her husband Volodia will remain here working. As we bid her farewell, with tears in her eyes she said, ‘maybe my time in NI was God’s plan to bring me closer to God’.
On the 12th of February I commenced Gospel meetings in Parkgate assembly, Belfast sharing with brother Bobbie Eadie. We were very encouraged by the numbers attending, many returning night after night. My unsaved cousin attended for 3 nights, for which we were very thankful. It pleased the Lord to bless in salvation and one-man G waited behind one evening to tell us that he had received the assurance of salvation. It was great to return to Parkgate for the baptism of Craig who had been saved during the meetings, and to see the hall full of many friends and relatives.
We would request prayer for Olessa from Kiev, living in Belfast who attended the Gospel meetings at Parkgate. She is very concerned and anxious. We have had many conversations in trying to help her, but she seems a little confused. Also, Irina and her daughter Sophia who are from Lviv and living in Arklow. They both are so open to converse on spiritual matters but coming from a catholic background they feel salvation is by works and Christ.
Sad news came through from Ruslan (fellow worker and elder in Lviv) that his nephew Nazaar had been killed fighting in Bakhmut, Donbass. We knew him well and can only leave him with the Lord. He leaves a wife and young son. At the end of February, Ruslan was discharged from the army. We would also value the prayers of the Lord’s people for Ruslan and his family at the loss of his mother, who was called home at the beginning of May. Olya Temun was a lovely Christian lady, and her home was always open to foreign visitors to Lviv and many times Agnes and I enjoyed her home cooking and hospitality.
She was very faithful at all the assembly meetings until failing health reduced her movements from her own apartment. Olya will be sorely missed in Lviv, however she is now ‘with Christ’ free from pain and suffering.
We wish to thank all for their constant, continual prayers and support over these last months and years.
C. 2010 EDMUND & AGNES JOHNSTON 31/5/23
AUSTRALIA Strathalbyn, near Adelaide
What privileges and responsibilities are ours as the people of God! As children adopted into the family of God, we manifest our simple dependence and appreciation of our Father. As sons, brought into the dignity of heirship, we show forth the character and the purposes of the Father. As ambassadors with heavenly citizenship, we speak for Him in this world.
Truly, ours is a high calling; it is a great salvation. He, our Saviour God, is indeed worthy to be praised!
Dawn and I are blessed by your love of God, His Gospel and His people.
Having been interstate, for good periods over the previous six months in the Gospel and Bible Exhibition and various conferences, we are looking forward to working locally during the winter months here at Strathalbyn. We have tried to ensure that we have returned here as often as we could to continue the work here and so to minimise the impact of our supporting assemblies elsewhere.
We continue to have weekly outreach Bible studies, monthly Ministry meetings as well as Gospel efforts. With the local saints here in Strathalbyn who are not in assembly fellowship, we spend a considerable time with hospitality and endeavouring to have quality time with these dear saints individually to help them grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have seen the benefit of this, but it is a slow work and sometimes mentally exhausting.
Please pray that as the various applications to local councils are made to put up the Gospel tent and Bible Exhibition in spring and summer we might find favour with these and get the necessary permissions.
We urge you to continue in prayer for us, particularly that the opposing hand of Satan will be restrained and God’s people preserved in doctrine and practice. Pray that God will continue to work in this area and that we would see His arm made bare unto blessing here in Strathalbyn: “…The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought…” Rom 8:26
Thank you for your prayers.
C. 2015 BRYAN & DAWN STEWART 16/5/23
Tuesday 11th VENEZUELA Los Altos
We rejoice in the privilege of being members of the family of God. In February, our dear brother Mr. Ezequiel Figuera (92) was called home to be with the Lord. He was one of those present when the Assembly was first established nearly 70 years ago. Although he was not given to the platform, he was always zealous to maintain Biblical truths faithfully, His testimony and that of his home are worthy of imitating. We accompanied the brethren in gospel meetings in his home a few weeks. Our dear sister Albertina (89) is sorrowful at his absence but holds on to the promise of an eternal reunion.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.’
116 : 15
Finishing these meetings, we went to Piñantal, where we had agreed to preach in an area called Campamento, about 3 miles from the hall. Attendance has been motivating, we have been able to visit house by house giving out tracts and Gospel texts. It is a very poor area both economically and spiritually. There are many children so we meet with them also and they have learned choruses and Bible verses. Our prayer is that the Lord may reach and transform lives that are deep in darkness and ruined by sin.
On the last weekend of April and thanks to the Lord’s faithfulness and provision, we celebrated our 52nd conference in Los Altos. They were days of much joy and fellowship with more than 700 brethren from the different Assemblies in eastern Venezuela present. Ten of the Lord´s servants also came and the recurring theme throughout conference was “The Lord is my shepherd”.
We had the joy of seeing our daughter Alexa (19) being baptized. Three years ago, after many nights of turmoil, she professed to be saved, she is currently studying Graphic Design at university. Our eldest, John (20), is in assembly fellowship, he helps Lois when I have to be away from home. This week he presents his final project to a board of examiners as he is finishing a technical degree in Computers. Little Bethany (14), to our joy also professes to be saved. She has an impish character, is still in high school and likes to study. She is our baby even though she may protest that fact.
This week we have had Mr. Bernardo Chirinos and his wife with us so we have visited the different assemblies in the Area: Zurita, Santa Fe, Puerto La Cruz and the work in Piñantal. Mr. Chirinos lives and ministers in the centre on the country and isn’t often in the East, so it was a blessing to have him with us a few extra days.
Please continue to pray for the work here in Venezuela, for His work in the Northeast and for ourselves, that he may guide us in the work we try to do.
C. 2018 (Ven) PEDRO & LOIS MALAVE 17/5/23
The Hutterites take their name from one of their early leaders, Jakob Hutter. This group had its beginnings during the Reformation and were part of the Anabaptists. Both Jakob Hutter and his wife Katharine were continually on the move as religious and government authorities searched for them. Finally, on November 29th, 1535, Jakob and Katharine were captured and the two were separated, never to see each other again on earth. Jakob was executed, and two years later his wife was also killed. Yet what they had commenced was going to live on.
Although the Hutterites moved across parts of Western Europe in response to various forms of persecution, it was not until 1873 that the Mennonites and Hutterites sent out members to North America in search of a new place to live. Being pacifists, the main reason for this was to avoid compulsory military service that was being imposed. Thus, on April 14th, 1873, two Hutterite men, Paul and Lorenz Tschetter, with a Mennonite delegation, set out for the USA to search for suitable land.
Once they were in North America, they travelled through many parts of the country including Manitoba, in their search for land. However, the persecution they faced because of their pacifist stance during the First World War, led them to move from the USA to Canada, and six colonies were established in Manitoba, and nine in Alberta.
Jakob Hutter believed in the community of goods, where all the followers of this movement would live and work together. They based this idea on Acts chapter 2 verses 44 and 45, where the early Christians ‘sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need’. This practice continues amongst the Hutterites today.
An individual colony is presided over by a ‘preacher’. A secretary handles the financial side of the colony, while a farm boss is responsible for the agricultural activities. Each colony cultivates thousands of acres. Along with agriculture, most of the colonies also undertake manufacturing work. Colonies vary in size from seventy to 150 people. No one receives a wage for their work but they all labour together for the good of the community.
Sadly, this movement has deteriorated into a salvation-by-works theology. As adults, they are ‘baptized’, by pouring, and take an oath that they would never leave the Hutterite Church. While some would be believers when ‘baptized’, the majority would not be. While they separated from Catholicism in those early days, today they have fallen back into some of their practices.
In the early 1990s, some of the young people on the colonies started to question the practices and desired answers from their preachers. These young people produced a paper called the ‘Thirty Questions’. They wanted answers from the Bible and not from their Hutterite tradition. As one can imagine, this caused a great stir.
Wednesday 12th CANADA Winnipeg
In 1994 Andrew Bergsma, along with my wife and I, commenced visiting these colonies. Hutterites cannot leave their colony unless permission is granted by the preacher. This means that they cannot come out to us to hear the gospel, so we must go to them. Personal visitation was the means of contact. This we did for seven years before the first ones left the colony system and came to meetings.
In visiting the colonies, we have been greatly helped by the material produced by the International Bible House in Delta, British Columbia. They very kindly ship us 8 inch x 10 inch (approximately 200 mm x 250 mm) gospel texts for distribution on these colonies. My approach is very simple. We buy frames for these texts and then drive on to a colony. The first person that we meet is given the framed text. Then I have enough unframed texts to give away and ask this person to take them to the common dining hall, as there is one text for each family. Often we are invited into their homes for coffee and, at times, taken to the common dining hall to have a meal with them. The Hutterites are very hospitable. To some we would be looked upon as bringing a new religion on to the colony, while others are very open and are willing to talk about the scriptures. We introduce ourselves as overseas missionaries – having spent twelve years preaching the gospel on the island of St. Lucia in the West Indies. The Hutterites do not have missionaries and this opens up the way for conversations.
There are now over 120 colonies in our province of Manitoba, and we visit each colony at least once each year. It has pleased the Lord to work amongst these dear people over the years. These gospel texts we distribute are readily received, and they put them up in their houses. God has used these verses to bring souls to Himself. The work is the Lord’s from beginning to end. We ask for your prayers that this door of opportunity that has been opened to us will continue until the Lord returns.
During the month of December each year we distribute Bible calendars. Once again, these are readily received and often we get phone calls from them as they await us to come.
There was a great movement of God in the years 2000 – to 2004. Many were truly born of God and lives changed. Teaching meetings in our home were conducted one night a week. Many responded to this and were baptized as believers. Further teaching on the way that God would have us gather as believers followed. This resulted in some being received into local assemblies.
Since last year, 2022 and into this year there is another stir. God is saving some young people who are keen on learning God’s Word. Some contemplate the big move off the security of the colony. When these leave, they only take what they can carry.
JACK & RUTH GOULD 23/5/23
Thursday 13th COLOMBIA
After visiting some assemblies in the USA for two weeks, we came to Colombia on the 12th of April to visit our relatives and help in the work among the assemblies in this country.
My mother was born in Colombia but moved to Venezuela when she was 16. There she was married and later heard the gospel and was saved and baptised in an assembly gathered unto the Name of the Lord. My father left us when we were very young and died without salvation. After living in Venezuela for more than 40 years, she came back to Colombia due to the tremendous crisis in Venezuela. The last time we came as a family to visit her was in 2019, so it has been a real joy to be together again. Coming to visit her also gives me opportunity to help with the growing gospel work in this country. The assembly work in Venezuela has always been stronger and larger than in Colombia, but due to the Venezuelan crisis many citizens of that country, including believers from the assemblies, have migrated to other lands. Many brethren and sisters from Venezuela have come to Colombia and most of them have helped the small assemblies here, and even have helped to start new works around the country. Since we arrived here I have visited two assemblies and five new works in Colombia and one assembly in Venezuela. I have been impressed by the effort of these brethren, going out to invite people to the meetings, moving around in public transport, motorbikes, or just walking (only a few of them own a car) and it has been a joy working with them again.
There are so many examples of the work here, but I will give you a couple of examples. In a city called Barranquilla there is an assembly that started eleven years ago; they have a small hall that is full to capacity at almost every meeting, with more than 50 people, including believers and visitors, but they also work in another part of the city where the Lord has opened a new door. They started with a Sunday school class in a carpark and although they could have the children in the house of one of the believers, they prefer using the carpark because they can accommodate more children there! They also have there a weekly gospel meeting in that area, and last week while I was there, they hired a community hall to accommodate more people, and the place was overflowing with believers and neighbours, with people standing outside and several listening from their homes through the PA system. Behind this good attendance we can see the hand of the Lord, blessing the good testimony of the believers who lived in that part of their city, and their efforts in inviting their neighbours to the meetings.
With the assembly in Barranquilla (Colombia)
The second instance is from a city called Santa Marta. There is not an assembly established there yet, but some years ago several believers from Venezuela moved to that city seeking for employment and started a Sunday school work. Over the years several preachers have visited the area and the Lord has blessed the effort with a few souls being saved. Now they are seeking the Lord’s direction to start breaking bread soon. They have two meetings during the week and two on Lord’s Day, and two Sunday schools: one in the place where they normally meet and another one in a different suburb. They have their regular meetings in an open area that has been rented to them, but now the landlord has told them that they need to go because he needs the place to build something else. Last Lord’s Day I preached the gospel in that place and the noise from the loud music was unbearable for someone not used to it, but we had five unsaved visitors there, most of them brought to the meeting by a young brother standing outside handing out gospel tracts and inviting people in.
Yesterday I arrived in Ibagué to visit a Colombian family who were reached through the Spanish work in Australia. They are here visiting family and friends, sharing the gospel with them. The husband’s father was saved some months ago, so I will help them with gospel and Bible teaching. There is a very small assembly here and I will be working with them.
Back home in Australia our eldest son (19) keeps us informed of the activities over there. The meetings in Spanish continue regularly and he helps as much as he can. Two Colombian men were received into assembly fellowship this year, fruit of the Spanish work and we praise the Lord for His blessings. I keep regularly in contact with
them, encouraging them to continue steadfastly in the Lord, and answering all sorts of questions. I have also been in touch with believers in Papua New Guinea and trust to be able to go there again as soon as we are back in Australia. Two brethren from Australia are visiting there at the moment, which is wonderful.
Thank you again for your prayerful support.
C. 2015 WILLIANS & KYLIE ALCALA (Australia) 22/5/23
Assembly in Hiribi (Papua New Guinea)
Friday 14th WALES Cardiff
Over the last few months Stuart, along with a good team of helpers, has had the opportunity to use the ‘ice cream bike’ at spring fayres and to do a city centre outreach. These have proved fruitful, with many good conversations and some people stopping to listen to the short messages given. Many John 3:16 bags were given out along with literature and children’s books. It was great to see so many people walking around with the bags proclaiming God’s love and the way of salvation.
Stuart continues to attend HMP Cardiff and HMP Usk. In Cardiff we run Christianity Explored each week and many prisoners are challenged by the content. One prisoner was close to salvation and just couldn’t quite step over the line. As they came into the course one week, the prisoner nudged Stuart and whispered, ‘I’ve trusted Him you know’. Please pray for prisoners that have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, as prison is not an easy environment to live for Him. Stuart’s old Sunday School friend continues to battle addiction and is in contact from time to time. Please pray for Andrew who knows the gospel and is seeking to be drug free.
The street and homeless works are a vital part of fulfilling the commission. Stuart often meets ex-offenders who are now struggling on the streets. The needs among the homeless are greater than ever and the effects of drugs and alcohol are devastating. Please pray for these desperate people who face challenges that we will know very little about.
The horse box that we have had converted has been used and has proved to be very effective. It keeps those in it safe and houses the provisions well. The fridge and boiler allow us to provide well for the people we meet and for others to concentrate on witnessing. We meet so many needy people and we are able to cater for them in some small way physically and tell them the greatest news that can help them eternally. Stuart, along with the ‘Truth in a Trailer’ group have applied for various shows and festival where we will have the trailer and marquee to go into our small part of the world with the Gospel.
Stuart meets with some men at different time to encourage them in their faith, it was great just a few months ago to baptise one of these men, who continues to grow in the Lord.
Stuart along with others has been involved in drive in preaching in Bridgend. Some people came along in their cars to listen and accepted literature and some had conversations. Others were happy to stop and listen as they passed by.
Stuart continues his work with Logos School in Cyprus and has visited again to help the school. It is great to be able to combine Stuart’s secular experience with a spiritual work. The school is celebrating their 50-year anniversary and a free book is available to tell people more about the work. The school needs to develop and is embarking on an ambitious project running into millions of Euros. This will ensure that the school remains as a beacon of Christianity on the island of Cyprus. A significant percentage of pupils that go through the school come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Please pray that this wonderful school will remain in place for many years, if the Lord has not returned, and many more pupils will be saved. It is still a wonderful opportunity
for volunteering, especially for gap years, newly qualified teachers, or those that feel the Lord calling them to serve there. Stuart is looking forward to returning to help the school in October.
Stuart has been asked to write some children’s books for John Ritchie, looking at ‘what Jesus said’, ‘what Jesus did’, and ‘the stories that He told’. Poems and stories are all available with downloadable sheets on www.scrollthroughthebible.com and have had over time some 54,000 views. Stuart has also written a book that collates experiences from people that he has met in prison and on the streets and that he has led to the Lord.
The children’s work is good fun with a great group of children attending. The numbers are slightly improved and although we strive to get more along, we remember that each one is precious to the Lord.
STUART & BETHAN SCAMMELL 5/6/23
Saturday 15th SCOTLAND Luthermuir
We recently had a week of well attended ministry meetings with the Magherafelt assembly in N Ireland.
On 15th May we commenced two weeks gospel meetings with the Glenluce assembly. Thirty thousand homes received a gospel message/invitation through Royal Mail (organized by our brother Craig Munro). I visited door to door each day and had some good conversations. Owing to past series of meetings, I am getting to know a number of the locals. One or two invited me into their homes. Not many unsaved attended but the lady next door to the hall came a number of nights. The meetings were well supported, both by local saints as well as a number from surrounding assemblies. It was good to hear the two brethren recently received into fellowship taking part in the remembrance of the Lord. One of them and his wife never missed the prayer meeting nor the gospel meeting, travelling daily from Stranraer.
We are looking to God to work further in salvation.
Later in June, brother Aaoran Colgan will be joining me for two weeks of tent meetings with the Kirkconnel assembly. Much prayer is needed and valued as we visit around the homes during the day and preach the gospel each night. Also, for the preservation of the tent and caravans.
Towards the end of last year, we received a phone call from one of the elders in Whitehouse assembly, N Ireland, to say that a man who was saved a few years ago during a series of meetings I had in Kingsmoss, and who went on for a few years but who subsequently backslid, had been restored and was received back into the fellowship of the assembly. He was present on the last night at Magherafelt, and it gave me great joy to see him.
Gwen’s mum continues with us. She is now 95 and requires a lot of care, so Gwen is kept busy. Many thanks for all who remember us in prayer. It is much appreciated.
DAN & GWEN GILLIES 18/5/23
Sunday 16th CANADA Portage la Prairie
How quickly my three weeks in St. Lucia have passed. We appreciate your prayers very much and believe the Lord has greatly answered them! I was able to visit 22 new schools across the north of the island to promote the BibleTime booklets, and to date have seen 15 of them place new orders. Wonderfully this includes 6 more Roman Catholic schools. So, God willing, over 10,000 booklets will be shipped later this year and we would appreciate prayer that there won’t be any delays this time. I was also able to take an assembly in two of these new schools and others indicated they would be glad to have me come in the future, so we are truly grateful to the Lord for this increased opportunity to reach the rising generation in St. Lucia.
It was a joy to share in a Gospel series in La Guerre with local brethren and to see a young mother and her three little children attend every night. There were others who came along occasionally and we’re thankful for the Lord’s help, and we look to Him to bless the sowing of the Good Seed. During the final week I was able to visit four assemblies for ministry. It was encouraging to see the interest each night and we trust His precious Word was a blessing to each of the saints.
On another encouraging note, we recently discovered that some 455 PBS students are based on 83 Hutterite Colonies. This is the highest it’s ever been. For many years it used to average between 120-150, so we are thankful for this continuing great opportunity the Lord has afforded us to reach those from this religious group. Please pray that this door will remain open, and we’ll know how best to reach out further among them.
It was in August 2000 that we arrived in Canada with our 3 girls and set up home in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Throughout the past 23 years we have been in very happy fellowship with the dear believers at River Road Gospel Hall, (previously 1st Street Gospel Hall). Our home in Brown Bay has been the base too for the PBS Centre and we have much to be thankful for, as we reflect on all that the Lord has enabled us to do and all who have been involved with us in this work over the years. So, when the idea of possibly moving became part of our conversation last fall, we were both quite uncertain and overwhelmed by such a prospect. However, through the promises of His Word, the Lord has enabled us to accept His will and to know His peace, concerning a change of location. We truly believe He would have us move to support the Mitchell assembly and though presently we have no idea who is going to replace Elaine’s faithful band of sisters, who shoulder the main burden of the office work with her, we feel the Lord has assured us both, that He will not fail, nor forsake us in this regard. So, we would very much value your prayers as we shorty put our house on the market and look for a new home, that the Lord will go before us in every detail. Also, that He’ll give us the needed strength, grace, wisdom and help to not just move house, but move a charitable organization, while still continuing to run the Centre and also keeping on top of the radio program production. It’s a daunting prospect, but we are completely resting upon the Lord, believing that He has everything in hand and under His control. Above all, please join with us in praying specifically for the Lord to exercise the right sisters to approach Elaine about offering to help in the office. For example, we will miss Carol Brand, who for a number of years has faithfully helped for one of the three mailout days, each month.
In closing, we value your prayers especially for ourselves. That this stressful process will not put undue strain on our personal relationships and that we can be a help and support to one another, when the going gets tough, but above all we shall have the joy of seeing the Lord work everything together for His glory and for our good.
C.2000 PETE & ELAINE SMITH 1/6/23
Monday 17th SCOTLAND Inverness
The last month or two have been encouraging. I have much to give thanks for as I recently received a qualified ‘all-clear’ from my tests at the hospital following my illness at the start of the year. Praise God! We have just finished 1 John in the Home Bible Study, and at the request of two of the participants we will be doing a short series on prayer, followed by studies in 1 Peter. It is encouraging to have an enthusiastic group who really want to develop in their relationship with the Lord.
The city centre coffee and tract stand work is progressing. We were encouraged yesterday to see a lady in a wheelchair (Suzie) make the effort (with the help of one of the sisters from Culloden), to come to our Gospel service and stay for the Sunday Snack. She was contacted in the town centre on Friday. The monthly Sunday Snack, run by several of the sisters from the assembly, which involves free food in the carpark of the Hall, is growing in popularity in the neighbourhood. The new banners we have outside seem to have encouraged a number to stop for some food and stay for a chat. Tomek, one of our young men, took the opportunity this week to witness to three teenage boys (Dylan, Drew and Jaden) – please pray for these boys, as it is possibly the first contact they have ever had with the gospel.
I’ve just finished a series on Very Human Questions at Culloden in which we reflected on what and who we are as human beings, what has gone wrong with us, and is there any hope for humanity. I followed up with ministry on some of the ‘cannots’ of Scripture, a young sister who struggles with mental health issues was encouraged by this ministry. We were also encouraged about a month ago to hear of a lady, Heather, who professed faith in Christ after an Easter gospel message we gave at Celt St Assembly. We hope the seed has gone down deep into her heart and will bring forth abundant fruit. We also held an Easter Gospel Service in my home village of Croy. Please pray for Bruce who showed an interest. We intend to follow this up with some more services, in the Lord’s will. Lindsey continues with the upbringing and education of the children, and also other opportunities to help others. Please continue to pray for her. The little toddler group continues from Culloden Gospel Hall, and Lindsey has been encouraged to see a few new mums attending recently.
LINDSEY WILLIAMSON 10/5/23
C. 2017 ANDREW &
Tuesday 18th SCOTLAND Bridge of Weir
During the month of August, Edinburgh is significantly busier with visitors than usual. The International Festival and Fringe Festival, together with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo bring thousands of extra people into the streets of Edinburgh throughout August. Over 8,000 people attend the Tattoo each evening in August at Edinburgh Castle to watch the military bands from across the world perform into the evening.
Along with Graeme Paterson, Andrew Borthwick, Leonard Currie and others, we decided to spend a week in August evangelising the crowds in the centre of Edinburgh during the day and into the evening. We designed a Bag for Life to give out on the streets, with John 3:16 on one side and the Scottish Saltire on the other side, and containing Gospel literature. Last year we included a Gospel of Mark. We also have a website for the outreach with Gospel material which is advertised on the literature. In addition, we have had a couple of years where we were able to hire an Advertising Van with a digital screen to drive around Edinburgh City Centre for the week. This van displayed Gospel texts and had a voiceover of the texts broadcasting.
The outreach is not possible without the help of a lot of younger Christians who come to help. They are the backbone of the work. We have parking spaces given to us from the Free Church College at the Mound, which enables us to park the vans with the bags and use as a base throughout the days. The bags are taken in bundles of 50, 100 and sometimes 200 up to the Royal Mile and other parts around the centre of Edinburgh and handed out.
Last year we gave out 40,000 bags, during the previous outreach which was pre-covid we gave out 60,000 bags. This year we have 40,000 bags ready to go in August. These bags are packed and made ready in a few packing nights at Bridge of Weir and Plains and the help of everyone there is appreciated.
It is a thrill to see the bags all over Edinburgh and in different parts of the world as they are taken home by tourists. Please pray for the packing nights and the distribution in August.
STEPHEN & SHARON GRANT 6/6/23
The children at WWT have been making excellent progress in their learning, with all in Class One now being able to write their names, and many of them have already learned the 100 basic sounds required to start reading independently. This is a big step and a delight to us and their parents, some of whom are illiterate. They continue to enjoy their Bible story times, singing choruses and learning memory verses, and a chorus written recently using the words of John 3:16 is the latest hit with them. This week, the schools break up for the month of June (their mid-year holiday), so we are bracing ourselves for increased numbers, volume and enthusiasm which lift our spirits at the end of a busy week. It is such a privilege to share the wonderful story of the Saviour’s love and observe their interest and attention to what they are being taught. Each WWT child receives a daily wholesome meal with fruit and a paediatric multivitamin, but we are coming across older children who have vision problems due to vitamin deficiency. Our local ophthalmologist told us that the local daily diet of beans and rice/ ugali (a dense porridge made from maize meal) does not provide the necessary nutrition unless accompanied by fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat. These ‘additions’ rarely feature in the diet of the poorer families and are often missing from boarding schools. We can help provide a few older children with necessary vitamin supplements and encourage parents to try to provide their children with at least a fresh carrot a day.
We were thrilled that Baba Prince came to realise his need of salvation, confessed genuine faith in the Lord Jesus, and was baptised on the first Sunday of May. Being made aware of the privileges and responsibilities of being in assembly fellowship, he was received into fellowship a fortnight later. Please pray that he might grow in faith as we seek to encourage and nurture him in the things of God. We heard from Meshak this week that although he has failed to get permission to enter the refugee camp at weekends to meet with the assembly there, he has found another assembly within 30 minutes of his lodgings and has been meeting with them. This is an answer to prayer, and we are pleased he made the effort to find a ‘spiritual home’ away from home.
We also appreciate those in the UK who have recently helped with the preparation of
Wednesday 19th TANZANIA Dar-es-Salam
drawings for an assembly building. Enquiries at the local council revealed that we need a Building Permit, but this is only granted to registered entities. We are currently pursuing the possibility of registering a ‘Trust’ to own the assembly plot and give future opportunities for other works to be registered under it. In the meantime, we have asked Festo (a former member of the assembly now living in a different part of the city) to bid for the building of a 4-room house as we wish to help some of the single mothers have a permanent roof over their heads which does not rely on them paying rent. He is a good brother and builder and, if his quotation is reasonable, it would provide work for him too.
Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support.
Thursday 20th FRANCE Bouc-Bel-Air
There are three invited people coming along to an Alpha course, and so far, this group has given much encouragement. Guidance is still being sought about a follow up bible study for the other group that has now finished the course.
Your prayers really work concerning people who have come along to these groups in the past. One couple in particular couldn’t have a family and they had a baby not so long ago and the husband was involved in some kind of rather strange “faith healing”. He has now given this up and has taken up another job. So, keep praying!
The ‘Oasis’ group, directed towards Christians and non-Christians with a Muslim background continues to meet once a month and had a meeting yesterday afternoon. There is also a group which meets on a Friday evening for some more in-depth bible study. We do pray that those who do not know the Lord will come through for Him and that those who know Him will be strengthened in their faith.
The Christian school here in Aix will shortly hold its end of school year presentation in the assembly building. We trust that this presentation evening will know much blessing and that this school will experience much development in the coming days. Because of what is being taught in public schools, two Muslim families have taken their children out of the public school system and have enrolled them in the Christian school. A nonChristian family have done the same thing. The needs of the school are great and they would value our prayers going forward.
We do indeed appreciate your prayer fellowship for the matters we have raised.
C. 2002 STEPHEN & GILL DAVIES 31/5/23
C. 1973 GRAHAM & ALISON BLACK 26/5/23
S of S 1-4
Here is a brief update on the work of the Lord in Cancun, Mexico.
1. The assembly continues on with the regular meetings. On Sunday morning we have the breaking of bread and Bible class and in the evening we have a Gospel meeting. On Tuesday and Thursday we have prayer and ministry. It is uplifting to see the brethren developing their gifts and taking part in the ministry and gospel.
2. The assembly has been encouraged so far this year with various ones showing interest and several professing to be saved. In the month of February, a young widowed mother who is a contact from the children’s school, got saved in her home and has been consistently attending the meetings with her three children and showing signs of spiritual growth. In the month of March, a woman who has been attending the Sunday evening gospel meetings for several years, told us that she had gotten saved in one of the meetings. Also in March, a man who recently started attending, told us that he had gotten saved in his home. It is a joy for us to see these various ones put their faith in the Lord. Recently, a woman attended one of the meetings because of a Gospel text that she received in her home a number of years ago. It was an encouragement to think that even after all this time, there is fruit from the seed that has been sown.
Assembly with Marcus Cain visiting
S of S 5-8
Bible Class on Children's Day 30th April
1. The assembly continues on with the Sunday Bible class and it is a joy to see various believers involved and helping out with the classes. There is a nice number of children as well as young people who are attending. Recently, while we were out picking up children for the class, a mother came up to us and asked what she needed to do to be able to send her children to the Bible class. We are happy to see this interest in the community.
2. One part of the work here is the visitation of believers and nonbelievers in their homes. Most people are very receptive to home visits and the one-on-one time is helpful to have personal conversations and help in areas of questions, concerns, comments, etc.
3. In the month of March, we had a series of Gospel meetings in the hall. It was an encouragement to have various ones attend, including several new contacts. There were also unsaved children in each meeting. Before the series started, a number of the believers went out door-to-door with invitations and texts.
We ask for prayer for the following:
1. The personal encouragement and spiritual growth of the believers in fellowship here
2. Salvation of more souls in this city
3. The work with the children and young people on Sunday
4. Safety from violence in the city
C. 2019 (Ven) TIMOTHY & AMY TURKINGTON 2/6/23
Saturday 22nd ENGLAND Datchet
The airport chaplaincy work has continued during the past weeks with an encouraging time at the staff Bible study. Recently we were both involved with a lady whose relative had been killed while away on holiday. We were able to spend several hours with her during her layover at Heathrow where we listened and showed Christian care and compassion. It was interesting to hear her talk of her strict Christian upbringing, not what we were expecting given her appearance! No doubt God was working in her life again.
We have a good number of school assemblies booked for this term. In the Lord’s goodness there are several opportunities for preaching the gospel and teaching among His people over the next few weeks and we look to the Lord to bless His Word. It was lovely to be altogether last week for our son Josh and Rachel’s wedding. We pray that God will richly bless them as they begin this new chapter of their lives, seeking to serve Him together.
C. 2012 STEVE & JUDI BUCKERIDGE 11/5/23
We have got some really good news to share with you! Almost a year ago we were able to buy the land that we applied for building permission for. We were held up as we had to convince the local council that we were exempt from paying the massive amounts of tax that they were asking for. The Lord overruled in an amazing way. A member of our church, who is a lawyer, was asked to be a consultant for the planning department of the Pozzuoli council! As they were unsure of how to interpret the law, they asked for his advice and you don’t need me to tell you what he said! Just think about it. Of all the councils in our province, it was the Pozzuoli council that employed him. Of all the departments that need legal advice, it was the planning department that employed him, just at the time when we were in discussions with them about tax. You couldn’t invent it! The Lord is amazing!
We then needed to formalise our agreement with the council, which should have taken days, but as expected, took months. Finally on the 11th of May that agreement was signed, and planning permission was released last week! Thank you so much for standing with us in prayer for the many long years!
The photo is of me, the council architect, council civil engineer and council solicitor signing the agreement. Planning permission finally granted!
We have the necessary funds to build the concrete structure and roof, and will soon be in a position to look for quotes. Please do continue to pray for us that the Lord might guide us to the right builder.
Once the main structure is complete, we hope to be able to use volunteer builders, plumbers and electricians to complete the work. This will not be easy because of local laws, so we would value prayer for that, as well as that the Lord might continue to provide all that is necessary to complete the work.
C. 1995 ALEC & PATRIZIA CATCHPOLE 31/5/23
Sunday 23rd ITALY Naples
Council architect, engineer, solicitor & me signing the agreement
Planning permission finally granted
Already this year we have had a steady stream of cancer patients coming to us and staying for several weeks while they go through their radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. They are all very appreciative of the level of comfort, cleanliness and the
care we show to them during their stay. We have had some good opportunities to tell them of the Lord Jesus, and some have come along to midweek church meetings when they feel able. Just now, most of the clients have finished their treatments and returned home so we have several spare rooms ready to be used at short notice if required. It can be a little difficult to plan ahead, as sometimes the patients have to postpone their treatment if the results of their blood analysis are not suitable to continue. We have always said that; ‘The Lord knows just who needs to come into Casa Luca’, and so we leave it with Him. As we have had some changes to our address and telephone numbers, we have had new brochures made, and Nicu, our administrator has re-stocked the leaflet holders at the clinic in Cluj. Pray with us that the Lord will send along those who need to hear about the Saviour.
Ukraine—visit 12th April
We revisited the hospital, clinic and displaced persons’ hostel in Ukraine recently and were pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of restoration work internally and externally is in progress. We continue to forward gifts for the purchase of bulk food to feed those who have fled their bombed towns and also have helped buy some much needed medical equipment for the clinic. Although there were far less people staying there than what we saw last year, the hostel still provides 300 hot meals 3 times a day to those resident or staying in local families
The Ukrainian doctor with some new equipment that we helped provide
homes. We would like to buy for them some crockery and cutlery sets. We were told that the buildings were being restored as probably the people will stay for at least 5 years, as they have nothing to go back to. Pray with us not only for the end of this senseless war, but also for the rebuilding and re-homing of these thousands of Ukrainians.
TIM & JENNY GOODING 9/5/23
Here in Pirassununga we are encouraged to see some fruit. A few years ago, a young brother whose parents are in the meeting moved away to study and work about a thousand kilometres from here. There was no assembly where he moved, and he faltered spiritually. During the pandemic he returned to his parent’s home in Pirassununga and has been coming to meetings again. His wife has professed to be saved and asked to be baptised, and he desired to return to the fellowship of the assembly. Geisiane was baptised last Saturday, and they both were received on Lord’s day.
We continue the series of fortnightly ministry meetings in Poços de Caldas dealing with assembly principles, so we value your prayers for the believers in that town. It lies in the eastern fringe of our region, about 140 km from here — a large town, with around 170 thousand inhabitants, with no assembly testimony. A small group of believers live there — we value your prayers for guidance and help in this matter.
This year we received from the printers Job, volume 11 of the John Ritchie 'What the Bible Teaches' Commentary Series — we continue work on the 7 volumes that still have to be done. The twelve volumes of the Old Testament which have been published, along with the complete New Testament set, continue being very useful to the saints here in Brazil.
Last weekend I was visiting a small assembly just over 700km from here. The bus journey took 15 hours each way, and I preached 8 times over the weekend. It was lovely to see their interest in the Scriptures. There are many small, isolated assemblies scattered over the interior of Brazil, who have little contact with other believers. We try to visit and help them as occasion arises, and we appreciate your prayers for this.
The short daily Meditations sent through WhatsApp continue reaching almost 600 believers daily; we have passed the mark of one thousand Meditations. It all began as a small and local stop-gap measure during the 2020 lockdown and grew beyond our expectations!
Thank you for your prayers.
C. 1998 WILLIAM & ELEN WATTERSON 7/6/23 Isa 13-17
ZAMBIA Writing from USA
We have now been in the US for 18 months, and therefore have so much to thank the Lord for in terms of His faithful leading and provision in many ways. The modifications to our house are nearing completion, so God willing Joy’s mother who is suffering with dementia, will be able to come and live with us in a months’ time. This will clearly bring changes to our family dynamics, so we appreciate prayer for the daily grace and strength that will be needed.
Our children have transitioned well to the west for which we are very thankful to the Lord. Our daughter Kara now 17, was baptized at the beginning of April, which was a cause of much rejoicing. She has one year of home schooling left and will soon be able to take her driving test, being close to completing the required 65 hours of driving under supervision. She enjoys helping with the children’s AWANA program at the assembly, has joined the homeschooling soccer team, and works part time at a café run by a couple in the assembly. David and Daniel (21 and 19 respectively) are doing well in their work, learning many practical skills. Our key desire for each one of them is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, and so enjoy a close walk with Him throughout the rest of their lives.
Thank you so much for your ongoing prayers for the Lord’s work at Loloma. Tim had hoped to visit there next month, but due to several reasons, one of which is a blood clot that was recently diagnosed in his left leg, that trip has been postponed. However, he is thankful to be in daily contact with a number of the believers there, and so provide assistance as much as possible. Here is a summary of some of the recent things that the Lord has been doing.
1. A very generous gift has been sent to the hospital, for which we thank the Lord. This has been a real encouragement, both for the management team and ourselves. It has enabled the purchase of a new vehicle to help with transporting patients and medical supplies, which is greatly needed. God willing it will also ensure the completion of the two new wards that are under construction, along some other current needs.
2. The Nursery School has just reopened through the provision of another teacher which is a great answer to prayer. The school continues to be an excellent opportunity to mold the lives of these young children for two years, not just academically but also spiritually.
3. Some members of the village outreach team that Tim worked with for many years, continue faithfully in this wonderful opportunity to share the gospel. They have identified their next village area called Chiteve, which is about 25 minutes drive from Loloma. It has not been visited in outreach for many years, so God willing they plan to begin their outreach program there in the next week or so. Please pray for the Lord’s working in that area.
4. The village for the elderly continues to be used of the Lord, and we thank Him for His faithful care of the 21 people currently living there. We are thankful for Yowanu a local brother in the Lord we have worked with over the years, who continues to help with the care of these elderly people including the yearly purchase of maize.
5. The second term for this year has just begun at the Church managed boarding school at Kayombo. Around 390 students from grade 8-12 will again be exposed to the Word of God each day, and also attend the gospel meeting each Sunday at the local assembly which is close to the school. There is huge potential in these students for God to use them greatly in the coming years if our Lord Jesus has not returned. Extra teachers are needed for Religious Education (a very evangelical syllabus), English Language and Business Studies, so please remember these needs in your prayers.
6. Sadly, a dear brother in the Lord, Ken Chikuta, who Tim worked with over the years, suddenly passed away during a visit to Angola. We know that for Ken it is far better, but really feel for his wife and 4 children. The oldest is in grade 11, and the youngest is 3 years old. He had a real heart for the gospel, so his presence in the assembly and in the Loloma area in general will be greatly missed.
Thank you so much again for your prayers for the work of the Lord in Zambia, and also for our family in a different environment here in America.
C. 1997 TIMOTHY & JOY BEER 23/5/23
Thursday 27th SCOTLAND Lanarkshire
I have just been in Orkney for 12 days of schools and meetings. This visit has been very encouraging with so many schools happy for me to visit. Since our first visit in March 2012 access into the schools has been very difficult, so to see this progress is a real work of the Lord. We were able to visit Orphir, Stenness, Westray, Papay, Eday, Burray and Hope primary’s for a mixture of classes and assemblies. On a rough count there must be over 400 children hearing about the Lord Jesus, along with staff members too! Some of these schools are on very small outer islands with populations of 150 and obviously the schools are very small, yet the welcome is very good. I also had a productive meeting in Kirkwall Grammer and hope to be able to offer some support to them at some point in the future. My aim is to target the town schools on my next trip. Every one of the schools visited has expressed their interest in a return visit, and Westray school would in interested in an after-school Bible Club; God willing we will plan this for October time. We will perhaps try and tie this in with some gospel meetings in Kirkwall.
May sees the summer work of Outreach commence with drive in meetings and kids park meetings all starting. I also have a week of gospel meetings planned in Queensferry. I will also visit Cardy in Northern Ireland for a week. Please keep on praying that these opportunities will remain open to us, there are a great number of young people hearing and learning of God’s Word.
GRAEME & ANNA PATERSON 9/5/23
Friday 28th BOTSWANA Francistown
Greetings to you in the precious name of our soon coming Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Family News. As a family we are well generally, and very thankful to the Lord for His goodness to us as we continue here. Rejoice, Thomas and James are all grown up now; Thomas and James are very pleased with themselves as they are taller than their father! But what brings us joy is that both Thomas and James were baptised at the Gospel Hall at Francistown at the beginning of April. This was followed by lunch kindly provided by the Assembly. Thomas also requested fellowship, so was received into fellowship on 23 April. We thank the Lord for these steps of faith and obedience. Meanwhile school wise, Thomas commenced today term 2 of his first year of A levels, with James doing form 3 in anticipation of his IGCSE exams at the end of next year (form 4). Rejoice currently has an office job in town whilst waiting for university placement.
Gaone has been posted far from Francistown at the primary school in the village of Lesoma, which is just 10km south of the Zambian border at Kazangula, 500km from Francistown. Mothusi is currently living up there as well due to being unemployed, but he is looking for formal employment. In the meantime he has a small business going generating some income.
Onty’s father is now very weak, and the family recently purchased a wheelchair for him. This is a great help for about home and also when he goes out for various things. It is so sad that he is completely blind, but he remains cheerful day by day.
Other News. On Monday 1st May we were able to gather together with some older ones from the various Sunday Schools and Bible Classes at the hall for some sports, a meal and a message from the Bible. We were about 60 in total as some younger ones managed to appear too! We were both busy organising and helping with meal
preparation. The feedback is that the time together was much enjoyed, with requests to repeat it soon!
Numbers at the Sunday afternoon Sunday School in our yard at home continue to be good and encouraging, with about 100 present during the latter stages of term 1. It’s great to see them all, and to have the opportunity to teach them the Scriptures and way of salvation. We continue to take some of the older ones with us to town on Sunday mornings and look to the Lord to bless in this as well.
We are anticipating a 6m container being sent out from Northern Ireland in June, arriving maybe August. The boxes of items so kindly provided by various believers in different parts of the UK and transported over such a long distance are a real help in the work. It is marvellous to see all the varied items and to be able to use them as prizes for the children for the various Sunday School prize-givings. Other materials help with the book-table and outreach. Our sincerest thanks to all involved with this exercise.
The Francistown bus rank is a very busy place and ideal for tract distribution. Two weeks ago, 10 believers gathered at the hall then proceeded to the rank for literature distribution. Most people receive the literature; a few do refuse for various reasons, but we pray that as the literature is read that precious souls will be saved. This exercise is undertaken during school holidays on certain Sunday afternoons when there is no Sunday School.
A good number, about 60, of both men and women at the CII are continuing with the Bible lessons. Marking and processing the lessons takes quite a bit of our time, but the lessons are well received and helpful to the students. One man recently wrote a note in his lesson thanking us for showing him the door of salvation. We thank God for this continued opportunity. John continues with some practical help at the Gospel Hall. Unfortunately, there has been some more minor damage at the Gospel Hall with theft of small items recently, with a few repeat visits very early in the mornings. Repairs need to be undertaken at short notice depending on the damage done.
We do much appreciate your continued prayerful interest in us all and the work of the Lord here.
C. 1999 JOHN & ONTY BANDY
SOUTH AFRICA Umtentweni
The Zulu believers are delighted that things in the assemblies are getting back to normal following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Easter conference in the assembly that meets in Gamalakhe, a township about 20 km from us, was well attended. It was a privilege to share in the ministry of the Word of God at that time. Since then, there has been a boys’ camp and a ladies’ camp. This month the annual Men’s Bible Week will, God willing, start up again after the pandemic issues. This Bible Week is aimed at Zulu men, particularly those in leadership positions in various assemblies across the country. For five days indepth teaching from the Word of God is enjoyed. This year, our brother Dr Clark Logan from Botswana will be the speaker. We would value prayer as Clark ministers the Word during the last week of the month.
We have been asked to share in the ministry of the Word of God at the annual conference scheduled to be held in mid-July in Botswana, in the will of the Lord. We would value prayer in our preparation, travelling and interaction with the saints there. It is always a time of encouragement and blessing, and we look to the Lord that this year will be no exception.
Please also pray for the service delivery issues that are plaguing our country. Every day electricity is cut off, often for eight hours, sometimes for 10 hours. It is so disruptive and makes life difficult as we try to arrange preparing meals in between this ‘loadshedding’ as it is called. We also have issues with mains water supply. For 10 days now we have had no water in our taps. The local council seems oblivious to the problem despite multiple complaints being lodged. We learned today that the main water supply is contaminated with sewerage, so it is as well that they don’t pump that into our homes. Pray that we might have patience and not react in an inappropriate way.
Again, many thanks. It is wonderful to be God’s fellow workers.
C. 1968 PAUL & DOROTHY GRIEVE 2/6/23
Easter Conference Gamalakhe
Sunday 30th LEBANON Tyre
The academic year 20222023 gave students the opportunity for a more consistent school experience than had been available post-covid. However, it is not until next year that students at Lebanon Evangelical School Tyre (LEST) will have a 5-day week. The days were reduced this past year due to the economic situation in the country as a way of reducing transportation and running costs. The majority of children attend fee-paying schools in Lebanon and this has continued despite the economic crisis as official schools have been on strike for most of the school year. The next year will see a big jump in school fees which will be difficult for many but is necessary to increase the conditions for teachers and to meet increased running costs.
In Lebanon, we are blessed with opportunities to have school assemblies and staff devotions. Your prayer over this freedom is valued as we live in a world where this is no longer the norm. The culture here provides many opportunities to build relationships and live before people that in reality may be the basis for their views on Christianity. The financial situation and uncertainty in the country is a burden for most people so do pray for them to turn to the ultimate source of Hope.
My role in school brings opportunities for relationships with many families. Whether children attend classes in the Support Department or need individual support for other reasons, it is a privilege to be able to support them. There are too many stories to share but please do pray for children and young people living in difficult times.
This past year, I was blessed with a good team of teachers so please do pray that will continue in the next school year. It was an encouragement to have two First Servers with us for 3 months as they were able to encourage local believers and help me with devotions for younger students. There are many opportunities for people to get involved - whether by praying for the ministry or coming to Lebanon!
Assemblies at LEST
Harbour at Tyre 36-38
• Lebanon – pray for justice and stability in a place where these are often missing. Praise God that we still have opportunities to share Truth in this community.
• Believers – pray that local believers would be encouraged in their faith and faithfully share with those around them
• Workers – pray that God would guide others to come and get involved as the opportunities are many
ANDREA SMITH 7/6/23
Looking back over the past two months, the number of children who attended the Easter Holiday Club at Clifton Hall in early April was far lower when compared with the years before Covid and was somewhat disappointing. Although we distributed invitations to five schools, each day of the Holiday Club there were just over twenty children present, several of whom were children of believers in fellowship. One major difference to preCovid days is the fact that several schools seem to have their own Club over the Easter period and we suspect that was a major contribution to the lower numbers. For the prize-giving just four parents, not connected to the assembly, attended. Nevertheless, we are thankful that we could hold the week and look to the Lord to grant blessing in the salvation of young lives.
On May 7th, we had a Coronation Tea but again the response was most disappointing with only one outsider present. Looking forward we hope to have a stand at the South Norwood Festival on July 2nd, but this year have been restricted by the festival organisers from doing any tracting around the festival site! We are only permitted to give leaflets out from the stand itself, whereas formerly we usually spread out to different points over the whole festival area. We have not experienced any restrictions in the past so this was somewhat unexpected. It has served to again impress upon us the character of the days in which we live, and the activity of the god of this world in his work of blinding the minds of those that believe not.
As to our personal news Judith continues to have some cognitive problems and has been referred to see a consultant but we await an actual appointment, which we have been led to think might be some time in coming! The surgery I had for cataracts last November was, in the goodness of God, most successful and I am thankful to be able to return to preaching and teaching, although still limited through various health issues. Though not so active as in former years, there is still much to do both locally and in fellowship with assemblies in and around London, with recent visits taken to Bracknell, Basingstoke, Westcliff–on-Sea, Hildenborough, Horsham, Romford and Four Marks. We value prayer for safety in travel and for strength and help in the Lord’s work.
RICHARD & JUDITH CATCHPOLE 23/5/23
C=Date of Commendation
Published by: LORD’S WORK TRUST
42 Beansburn, Kilmarnock KA3 1RL Tel. 01563 521098 E.Mail: email@example.com
www.lordsworktrust-kilmarnock.co.uk Charity No. SC008740
Alistair Buchan (Aberdeen)
David Grant (Kilmarnock)
Andrew Grieve (Belfast)
Kevin Oh (London)
Stephen Trimble (Ballykeel)
Raymond McNair (Glengormley)
Alastair Sinclair (Crosshouse)
Gordon Stewart (Wallingford)
Secretary: Leonard Currie (Kinross)
Total gifts received during May 2023.