Look on the Fields
ITEMS FOR PRAYER AND PRAISE With Daily Scripture Readings
The Netherlands Day: 1
Venezuela Day: 2
Sri Lanka Day: 3
Albania Day: 4, 28
Italy Day: 5
Romania Day: 6
Brazil Day: 7, 17, 21, 24, 25
Moldova Day: 8
Ukraine Day: 9, 15
Ireland Day: 10, 30
Zambia Day: 11, 26
Dem. Rep. of Congo Day: 12
Middle East Day: 13
Argentina Day: 14
China/England Day: 16
Tanzania Day: 18
Canada Day: 19
Scotland Day: 20, 22, 29
England Day: 23
South Africa Day: 27
‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ Mark 16:15
Friday 1st THE NETHERLANDS
Writing from N Ireland
A recent visit to the Netherlands gave insight into the difficulties of maintaining assembly testimony in a post-modern society. The people are friendly and hard-working, but they are also permissive of any lifestyle, and totally indifferent to the Gospel. Yet, in such an environment it was a joy to break bread with the assembly in Schoonoord, a village in the northeast of the country. Their order was scriptural, and their manner reverent. And when ministry was given from 1st Corinthians that directly pertained to the local assembly, it was very well received. While many would know English, brother Denis Romkes skilfully interpreted the message into Dutch.
The assembly at Schoonoord was encouraged that morning. A young couple had been attending regularly and asked to be part of the fellowship. How they ever found the assembly was interesting. Brother Denis Romkes had an extra Dutch bible that he advertised for free online. A young man contacted him and soon came to the house to pick it up. When he arrived, he questioned if Denis knew the value of the book he was giving away! Denis assured him that he did, and this started a conversation that revealed the young man was a believer. While the pandemic interrupted contact for a while, the young man eventually brought his wife and baby to the assembly gatherings. I have since heard that they are now in happy fellowship with the believers. We would do well to pray for them and the assembly at Schoonoord.
Another highlight was visiting Mrs. Trudy Swaan, the widow of the late brother Lou Swaan. As a young man,
Schoonoord Assembly Hall Dedemsvaart Assembly Hall
Ruth with Mrs Trudy Swaan
Mr. Swaan had emigrated to British Columbia, Canada, and become a renowned dairy farmer. But when he and several other Dutchmen were saved through the preaching of a faithful Canadian, brother Swaan become convicted that his homeland needed the Gospel. Thus, he returned with his young family to the Netherlands. Those were good days, when the assembly at Schoonoord was large and active, and soon another assembly at nearby Dedemsvaart was established. But those “glory days”, as one Dutchman put it, are over; now there are only a handful of mature believers. Mrs Swaan herself is presently in assisted care. True to her pioneering spirit, however, she took great delight in sharing that one of her nurses had recently trusted the Saviour. She kept us there until the nurse arrived so we all could rejoice together!
One cannot help but admire the steadfastness of those few believers remaining in scripturally gathered assemblies in the Netherlands. May they hold fast until He come.
Saturday 2nd VENEZUELA Los Altos
At the end of May, Mr. Noel McKeown (my father-in-law), became unwell with a strong virus and, despite receiving medical treatment and seeming to be on the road to recovery, he collapsed one day at home and ended up in the ICU for a few days. The Lord led us through deep waters, but in His good will He has helped us and we are very grateful to Him. Mr. McKeown’s recovery has been slow but steady and he has been able to return to some of the meetings.
With Mr. McKeown´s recovery, but still feeling the need to be close to home, we started gospel meetings in El Chaparro, a community located in Anzoátegui State, going down the hill from Los Altos. Brother Vladimir Mata, who lives in Los Altos but is originally from El Chaparro, has been wanting the gospel preached at his parents’ home, where other relatives also live close by. Due to the rains, we could only be there for three weeks, but many family members and neighbours attended every night, the brethren counted up to thirty unsaved adults some nights. Most had never witnessed the simple and solemn way the gospel is preached. We would like to return when the rainy months are over but, for now, the contact has been made and we pray the Lord may open their hearts and there may be blessing in that area.
On Monday, we start Bible Readings with Mr. McKeown (health allowing) in the Los Altos Assembly then, as being away from home is easier during Bethany´s school holidays, we hope to accompany the brethren in Cumana for a few weeks, God willing.
We appreciate your prayerful interest, which helps us continue our activities in the work in the Northeast of this beautiful land of Venezuela.
C. 2001 (Can) ELTON & RUTH FAIRFIELD 28/7/23
C. 2018 (Ven) PEDRO & LOIS MALAVE 14/7/23
Sunday 3rd SRI LANKA Colombo
During the month of June, we were delighted that five recent converts were baptized. Their names are: Selathurai (78 years), Varatharajah (44 years), Malar (34 years), Kenuja (20 years) and Spurgeon (17 years). The oldest, Selathurai, is a fisherman. Much prayer had been raised for many years regarding his salvation. He has some family members who are in fellowship in the Vaddavan assembly. They had presented the gospel to him on numerous occasions over the last two decades without any success. Selathurai was a hindu and very much involved in all the activities of his local hindu temple. Recently, he attended a gospel meeting that was held in a relative’s home. Two of the local brothers presented the gospel on that day. One of the brothers first spoke from John 3:16 & 17. The second brother presented the gospel from Isaiah 45:22. After the meeting, Selathurai was seated quietly in a corner of the home and when one of the overseers in the local assembly approached him to talk to him, Selathurai told him “I realize now that I am a very bad person, I have done many wrong things in my life, how can I change my life and put matters right with God?”. Over the next hour the brother explained to Selathurai the steps he needed to take. Before the end of the evening, Selathurai asked the Lord Jesus Christ to take control of his life. Since that day last month everyone in his family has noticed the great change in Selathurai’s life. He has even made adjustments to
John Dunlop (Crosshouse) with the five new converts who were baptized Conference
some aspects of his life which surprised people as most of them did not think he could change at the age of 78. There was great rejoicing in his family and in the assembly as he went through the waters of baptism two weeks ago. The youngest to be baptized this month was Spurgeon. His father who is fluent in English and Tamil named his son after ‘Charles Spurgeon’, a powerful preacher of the 19th century, whose messages, writings and hymns had influenced him when he was a new believer. Spurgeon’s father confessed that he decided to name his newborn son after ‘Charles Spurgeon’ in the hope that his son would also become a man of God. Seventeen years later the parents were delighted when recently their son told them that he was saved. He explained to his parents that he had confessed his sins and put his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The parents were so happy that they called all their friends and relatives that same day and informed them of the wonderful decision that their son had taken.
During the month of June, a large conference was organized in Valaichchenai in Eastern Sri Lanka. The speaker who was invited to speak at the conference was John Dunlop from Crosshouse in Scotland. Approximately 500 people attended the conference. John gave very helpful ministry from Exodus during 4 one-hour sessions that was greatly appreciated by all the saints. The believers from one of the villages (name withheld) in eastern Sri Lanka started gathering at 6:30am in the center of the village in their local area to take a bus to travel on the long journey to the conference. The local authorities in their village noticed the large gathering of people and made inquiries as to what they were doing and where they were going. When they discovered that these believers were travelling to a Christian conference, they instructed the leaders of this company to present themselves at the local police station for an inquiry. At the police station that day, the overseers were questioned about how they had become Christians, how often and where do they meet, the names and contact numbers of each of those who were meeting with them. They also inquired about where this conference was being held, what was the name of the speaker, who was funding the conference and several other questions as well. Finally, the police released the overseers and instructed them that in future, before taking any group away from the village, that they should first inform the police and the local village chiefs and get their permission in advance. The local brothers in that village have informed us that none of their assembly members want to give in to such intimidation and that this incident will not stop them from attending future meetings. Please remember this matter in your prayers.
GOSPEL HALL, COLOMBO 28/6/23
Monday 4th ALBANIA Tirana
A continuing focus during the last few months has been the spiritual growth of every believer and the collective growth of the assembly. As the believers are at different stages in their Christian life, challenges vary, and a good deal of time is taken up with shepherding. It has been encouraging to see a number of the more mature believers having a similar burden and care for the wellbeing of the saints also.
The Sunday school children prepared a program for parents and friends which was well attended. Enris’ uncle continues to be interested in spiritual matters, awaiting each invitation and coming with much desire to hear the story of salvation. We continue to pray for his salvation.
R. the husband of one of our young sisters professed salvation several weeks ago. We have been meeting with him regularly now for two years and studying the Bible together. It is such a joy to see him growing in spiritual matters, his desire to know more about the Lord and His word as well as observing the changes in his life. It has been a spiritual battle, as two young Muslims would stop by his fruit and veg shop daily, spending several hours discussing the Quran and at times we would get so discouraged, but we are reminded of the Lord’s words in John 1:9 ‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’.
We continue to search for new premises in which to meet as our rented apartment is too small and now very crowded on the Lord’s Day. It is a good problem to have, but finding other suitable premises in the capital is proving almost impossible. Another option would be to look for land on the outskirts, providing an opportunity to purpose build and in so doing we could also facilitate conferences as hiring hotels is no longer feasible. It is a matter of prayer for the assembly at present and we look to the Lord for guidance and direction.
“Can we trust the Gospels?” has been published, with around 200 copies distributed to believers in Albania and Kosovo. The reliability of the Bible, especially of the Gospels, is consistently attacked in a secular and Muslim society.
We were able to write and print another tract, to give out on the streets, dealing with the emptiness and meaningless of life without the Lord.
We continue to support the young assembly in Kosovo and mentor our brother and his wife who serve the Lord there. They often find themselves very lonely and have suffered numerous and varied spiritual attacks over the last few years. Just a few weeks ago the teenage daughter of one family passed away following major brain surgery for a rare tumour in Tirana, which has been a big loss for the family and for the assembly. Please do remember the fledgling work in Kosovo in your prayers.
Web materials and other teaching
The online Bible teaching programme brings a lot of joy. At the moment there are 12 students from different cities of Albania and one who resides in Italy. While gathering
articles and sound Christian literature for the students as extra reading, we are constantly reminded of the lack of good Christian books and material in the Albanian language. However, this motivates us and gives us yet another reason to be engaged with translation work. We meet intermittently together on Zoom enabling the students to feel less isolated and providing opportunity to answer questions as well as discuss more difficult topics. At the end of each course, we assess their progress and identify areas where they still need help in order to have a better understanding of the Scriptures.
ABC Christian Clinic
Sylvia continues to support the ABC Clinic with medical expertise and medical supplies. As a member of the scientific board that approves training for GP’s and nurses throughout Albania, she has been helping colleagues at ABC with 10 new training sessions to deliver over the next few months.
It’s hard to believe that Luke will enter his final year of school in September. He plans to spend his summer here volunteering at the children’s home in Gjirokaster and at the ABC clinic in preparation for university interviews in the autumn. Benjamin and Esther have found this year in N Ireland easier than the initial transition and are thankfully more settled. We are grateful for those who have reached out to them and those that have remembered them so faithfully in prayer.
Tuesday 5th ITALY Naples
This past weekend here at Bacoli, we held 5 baptisms at the main town beach (Bacoli is surrounded on three sides by the sea). These are all recent conversions of people in their 50s. One is a local doctor who is a cardiologist. Please do pray that the Lord will use this public witness to touch people’s hearts with the Gospel, and that the Lord will sustain these new believers in their walk with Him.
The previous weekend I just came back from another weekend of Bible teaching in Albania. The Lord gave help, and it was encouraging to see the students’ interest in the Word of God, and the desire to be faithful to it.
The summer activities are upon us and next I am due to travel up to Florence for a weeklong leadership training conference, which I am involved in organising. Soon after I am due to go to a ten-day youth camp to teach the Scriptures, and we will be looking at the life of Sampson.
Debbie and I and our two sons are well, the youngest Micael, is due back home from England for the summer, before returning for fifth and final year at university. Nathan is continuing with his employment in Milan. We are thankful that they are both following the Lord, and it will be good to see them both next week, as they are due to be coming to the Bible conference near Florence.
C. 2008 ENRIS & SYLVIA NASE 10/7/23
C. 1987/88 ROD & DEBBIE JONES 3/7/23
Wednesday 6th ROMANIA Ploiesti
The month of May saw the commencement of the 16th season of gospel tent outreach. Faithful evangelists and gospel workers using tents in different counties continue to preach the gospel in towns and villages. In many areas, children, young people and adults look forward to the tent meetings each year.
County of Hunedoara – By the end of July tents had been pitched in 24 places in this County in Central Romania and a number of people have professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
County of Suceava – Tent meetings are taking place in at least 17 villages and towns. Early June a tent was pitched in Negostină, a few miles from the Romanian-Ukrainian border. On the first night about 175 people were inside and outside the tent and an older man from the village was saved. In Bănești 20 young believers from 4 assemblies worked tirelessly as 160 children enjoyed 4 days of tent meetings and good numbers of parents attended on the final evening. This was followed by a weekend of gospel meetings. There were excellent numbers of children attending tent meetings in Luncușoară (140) and Prelipcă (250).
County of Neamt – In Urecheni the same group of young Christians that worked in Bănești held 3 days of tent meetings and 150 children attended from Urecheni and Păstrăveni.
Tent meetings in the County of Suceava
County of Iași – With the Lord’s help, tent meetings over a wider area have recommenced after a break of several years. They commenced in July in two villages (Ciurbești and Cornești) just off the circular road around the city of Iași. It was a great encouragement to visit the tent in Ciurbești on the first night when 60 children and teenagers attended and 20 unsaved adults.
County of Botoșani – Tents are pitched weekly and there were most encouraging meetings in Mlenăuți, Popeni, Păltiniș and especially Corni where over 150 children attended and good numbers of unsaved adults. After the tent meetings two adults made professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
County of Vaslui – A young brother from Vaslui has been developing a work amongst children and teenagers during the last 6 years. Already this summer a tent has been used for 5 days of meetings in Oltenești, Berezeni and Rebricea, with up to 100 children attending in each location.
Much of our time has been spent in the counties of Suceava, Iași, Botoșani and Neamț, in the north and northeast of Romania. After months of prayer, planning and preparation, the Lord has blessed the tent outreach work in a wonderful way. Plans were made to reach out into local communities and encourage children to come along to the tent and invite their parents on the last day for a special gospel meeting. Believers in local assemblies put in a lot of effort, together with dedicated and hard-working groups of young believers. In a number of places 100-200 children enthusiastically joined in the special programme of activities arranged for them lasting three to five hours. The Word of God has been sown over a wide area and prayer is valued that souls might be saved.
It has been hard work but also a time of great encouragement for all involved. Parents from different communities have expressed appreciation for the Bible lessons, choruses and verses that the children learnt each day. They remarked upon the warm and friendly atmosphere created for their children by the young people working with them. Bridges are being built into communities and people are getting to know believers better. Through different gospel events it is possible to have more contact with the younger generation and ultimately their families.
• Pray for those transporting and pitching the tents.
• Pray that gospel literature distributed might be read and result in the salvation of souls.
• Pray for wisdom in following up contacts made.
• Pray that a work among children may be commenced, restarted or developed in different locations where there are local assemblies.
Gospel work is always long term not short term, therefore during the autumn there will be an evaluation of the gospel tent work alongside discussions on how this can be expanded and how to develop other aspects of gospel work in order to meet the challenges of a changing society.
Please continue to pray for the many unsaved people who will be listening to the preaching of the good news of God’s free and eternal salvation in gospel tents throughout Romania this summer.
C. 1992 PAUL & SUE WILLIAMS 1/8/23
I recently had the privilege of spending six weeks with the assembly in Três Passos. The assembly is small numerically, in recent years some of the believers have moved away, some are elderly and can’t be out. Others sadly have gone home to glory, but those that remain have an interest and a zeal for the gospel. Sr Baldoino, is a retired brother who has the assembly at heart and is a great help with the work of the gospel in the different outreaches. During the time I was there we had the regular meetings in Três Passos and also in two different outreaches, one in a neighbouring town called Braga and another in a remote country area called the Linha São Paulo. Two people in particular always attended in Braga and continue to show an interest in salvation. One is a man in his late twenties called Tiago, the other is a woman around forty years of age called Elizangela. We would ask you to pray for them, that soon we would hear of them trusting Christ.
There is usually a nice number of country folk that attend the meetings in the Linha São Paulo (photo). I was impressed with the interest and attention that a teenage girl called Dionara showed in the gospel. The meetings have been held in her grandmother’s house for a number of years now and she seems to have learned of her need of salvation and shows a measure of concern for her soul. A man in his late sixties called Noedi started to attend the meetings there recently. For many years he had been quite active and involved in one of the Pentecostal churches, but came to realise the folly of salvation by works. He had attended a few meetings in Três Passos years ago, but had lost contact with the believers after moving away. As he listened to us preaching it was very evident that he had an appreciation of the pure message of the gospel and of the person of Christ as the only Saviour for sinners.
I also had the privilege of being at the annual conference in Sombrio, Santa Catarina which was held on June 8th. Approximately three hundred attended. It was a precious day spent around the good word of God.
C. 2014 JOHN & ROSEMARY DAVISON 28/6/23
BRAZIL Estancia Velha
Friday 8th MOLDOVA Zirnesti
As always, the summer months have been extremely busy in Moldova with many opportunities to reach out to children with the Gospel. Once again, this year we have been able to hold summer camps during June and July. Over 900 children attended the five children’s camps, and we expect about 160 youth to attend the youth camps to be held in August. We thank the Lord for a very profitable time with the children and the many parents who attended the parents’ evenings held on Friday at the conclusion of each camp. The camp theme this year was the ‘The Mighty Jungle’ and involved the telling of four Gospel stories based on Paul White’s Jungle Doctor fables which some may be familiar with.
One of the highlights of the second camp week was to have Ukrainian twin sisters visit us. They stayed with us last year just after the commencement of the war with Russia. Initially they were indifferent to the Gospel, but over time their interest grew. In June 2022, during the Russian language camp, they both accepted the Lord Jesus as Saviour and in August, before leaving to return to Ukraine, both were baptised. We were greatly encouraged to see how they have continued to grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus. Please pray for them as life is not easy in Ukraine and the town where they come from has recently been targeted with missile attacks.
We would greatly value your prayers for the coming months. From now until Christmas it will be a very busy time in Moldova with much preparation for the Christmas Festival and the Christmas literature distribution. Calendars are now being prepared, along with other Christian literature in Russian and Romanian, for distribution during November, December, and January. There are thousands of gifts to prepare which will be distributed to the fire-fighters around Moldova during December along with Christian literature.
Children's camp 1-3
We are praying that the Lord will provide more volunteers to come and help us during this busy season.
We thank the Lord for continued encouragement in the Zirnesti Christian Assembly. It is good to see unsaved people continuing to attend Gospel meetings and we pray that they will come to know the Saviour. One young man, Damien, has brought us much encouragement. He attended the Sunday School, summer camps and youth meetings over the years. He accepted the Lord Jesus as his Saviour last year and was baptised earlier this year. It is wonderful to see him growing in the Lord and now being active in the assembly. Pray that other youth who also attend regularly will understand that they need the Lord Jesus as Saviour and open their hearts to Him. Thank you for your prayers for the work.
On a personal note, please continue to pray that the immunotherapy will continue to be effective in fighting the cancer that I have. So far reports have been very positive with significant reduction in the size of the lesions that were visible on the scans.
Saturday 9th UKRAINE Writing from N Ireland
It is very difficult to comprehend and process that the horrific war in Ukraine has continued unrelentingly for 15 months, with absolutely no indication to a cessation of death and destruction. On the 6th July a Russian missile slammed into blocks of apartments in Lviv, three kilometres from the gospel hall and our apartment, killing 6, injuring 95 people and damaging 35 apartment blocks. Please pray for the believers and all our friends and neighbours in Lviv. We rejoiced with the saints in Ivano Frankivsk at the planting of an assembly in the city. Although this means the loss of 4 members of the Lviv assembly, the brethren were more than delighted to commend them to the new assembly to God’s glory and honour.
On the 11th July we took refugees Olessa and Martha and her two children, Dima and Ada to the airport to fly to Krakow and onward by bus to Lviv. After staying a short time in our apartment in Lviv they moved on to visit their parents and to be reunited with Martha’s husband, Serghii. We would appreciate prayer for them until their return on 9th August, God willing. A recent visit to Letterkenny proved positive as we had a small informal gospel meeting with the refugees in the communal kitchen. We would value your prayers for my own health as recently I (Edmund) have had a few issues regarding my heart and high blood pressure.
C. 2004 (Aust) MATTHEW & RUTH HILLIER – CMI AID 1/8/23
C. 2010 EDMUND & AGNES JOHNSTON 15/7/23
Sunday 10th IRELAND Cootehill
As usual our summer is full with lots of activities and lots of people. As we write, we are blessed to be home for the week with around 15 visitors all working on compiling video messages to support the Bible Time lessons. Last year we ran this week for the first time under the name of iTeam. It was a good week, but very hectic managing so many people and so much technology for the first time. Thankfully this time around we were a little better prepared and a good portion of last year’s team returning has meant that it’s been a little easier to get started. As we work at presenting the stories from the Bible in engaging ways, we pray that the videos might be used to draw young people into the wonder and hope of the biblical message.
Just a week prior to iTeam we took a group of 116 to Ovoca Manor in county Wicklow for a week of summer camp. While we had a familiar team of leaders the majority of the campers were actually new. We were glad to have so many new campers with quite a few coming along because they had school friends who came on their own the previous year. On the whole, even those we anticipated might struggle in Quiet times were contributing positively by the end of the week. Michael McKillen spoke on the call of God and provided an excellent challenge to all those who listened. On the last night our traditional campfire was rained off, but we were able to gather in the house for singing and testimonies. 7 senior campers bore testimony to the Lord’s clear working in their lives. It is a great encouragement to the team of leaders to hear of the impact of camp, and more importantly of Christ on these young people over several years. One young man in particular came to camp after enquiring about a school friend’s faith and after arriving at camp without a bible came to express faith in Christ over the course of the week. We pray for each of these young people as they begin new chapters of their own lives.
As we emerge from iTeam this week we will gear ourselves up for childrens meetings in our own community in the final week of the summer holidays and a return to mailing lessons around all of the schools in anticipation of the new school term. September will, God Willing, offer us the opportunity to visit 16 Donegal schools to speak to the children and distribute prizes. With all the work that lies ahead of us and the current vacancies in the team, we look to the Lord for help to be able to undertake all that He has for us to do. We appreciate your interest and value your prayerful support.
C. 2018 GARETH & MARGARET McMEEKIN 2/8/23
Supporting Orphans and Families in Zambia Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:10 that we should ‘do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith’. When we see the challenges that many of our fellow believers in various parts of the world are facing, those of us in relatively affluent countries should be prepared to help where we can. This is our exercise at SHAREAfrica as we seek to help our fellow believers in Zambia.
Our long-term objective is to alleviate poverty by helping them to support themselves. With this in mind, we have several programmes to help improve life for them. For many just providing for their daily needs is a great challenge. This is particularly true for orphan children living with lone parents, grandparents or aunts. These families struggle to provide food for themselves let alone the additional costs of schooling which is so vital if they are to ever escape the poverty trap. We are currently supporting over 200 children, providing a sack of food for the family each month and paying any additional school fees or expenses to enable them to continue their education. Here are a few examples of the children we are helping.
Concilia is the fifth child in a family of six, five girls and one boy. Their father was found murdered for unknown reasons in Mumbwa, Central Province, in July 2018. Her mother, Elizabeth, struggles to care for her family on scanty resources as she isn’t in gainful employment. The family lives in an uncompleted structure of a house as caretakers.
To make ends meet, Concilia’s mother struggles day by day to put food on the table by making corn fritters and popcorn which she sells by the roadside. The income is not much to sustain the family.
In January 2023 Concilia was selected to grade eight after passing grade seven exams. She is at a government run school and her academic performances is above average, though she is not able to meet school requirements due to the high poverty levels the family is in. Concilia goes to Mumbwa assembly and is active in her Sunday School class.
11th ZAMBIA SHAREAfrica
Concilia at her school in Mumbwa, Central Province
Elizabeth Kunda Kazembe
Elizabeth’s academic performance is impressive as a girl coming from a family living in abject poverty. She got above average marks in her grade seven exams last December and is now in junior secondary doing grade eight.
As a teenage girl and coming from an impoverished home, challenges for lack of sanitary products makes a girl like her to miss classes. SHAREAfrica helps her with these necessities.
Charles is the third born child in a family of five, three girls and two boys. Two of the three girls are twins. Their father has died and the family lives with their mother in a small two roomed rented house. Life is hard for Charles and the household in the shanty township. Charles’ mother, Doreen, works as a domestic help but the income is too low to sustain the family, let alone meet Charles’ school requirements.
However, with help from SHAREAfrica, Charles is now doing grade nine this year and determined in his schooling. His performance at school is encouraging and his attendance is good. He attends assembly meetings at Kafue Central where he is in the Youth group.
These are just a few of the children but typical of so many on the orphan programme. It is good when we see children like Elizabeth and Charles doing well at school despite the challenges of their home. We pray for their salvation as they attend the Assembly and that the help given them for their schooling will enable them to improve their circumstances.
See more about the Orphan programme and other aspects of the work of SHAREAfrica at www.shareafrica.com.
Update from Alastair Rogers, Stowmarket 2/7/23
Elizabeth in the street near her home
Charles at his former school in Zambia compound. He is now in junior secondary at Kafue Day
DEM. REP. OF CONGO Katoka
‘See, I have set before you an open door and no-one can shut it…’ Revelation 3:8
The above verse was brought before us in early March whilst still in the UK and again in early April, not long after our return to DRC. God has faithfully opened multiple doors for us since then.
In May and June, we had the privilege of hosting two visiting bible teachers (one at Katoka and one in Lubumbashi). The enthusiastic response to the teaching they delivered reinforced to us even more that there is a hunger for God’s word and a desire for both individuals and assemblies to grow in their relationship with God and be more conformed to His word.
To try and build on the enthusiasm shown for bible teaching by the young men we work with at Katoka, we are currently planning a 3-day long youth conference there at the end of August. Young folk from neighbouring villages will also be invited. Please pray for those who attend, that they will come with teachable spirits and with a desire to be more Christlike.
The need for access to more good quality bible teaching resources is widely recognised in DRC – one person described the country as ‘starving’ for good quality literature, and they are right! God has graciously opened the door for us to receive a container full of literature and so we are currently compiling a list of carefully and prayerfully chosen books and leaflets which we would like to use to facilitate more bible studies as well as be available for wider distribution. It is our prayer that the container would be able to be sent within the next few months and that by the time it arrives we will have established a network for use/distribution. Please pray that we have wisdom in selecting the appropriate materials and that the logistics of the project would all come together in God’s timing.
Several doors have also recently opened to allow us to plan the distribution of BES Bible Time lessons into hundreds of schools across two provinces. It is therefore likely that around half the contents of the container will be filled with the Bible Time booklets. Join us in praising God for each of these amazing opportunities!
The Picture shows a Question and Answer session with a group of young men, hosted in our ‘Chota’ at Katoka. They had so many questions for Brian (Howden, Angola) – they had to continue into the next evening!
25/7/23 Hos 1-7
C. 2016 JOSH & KERI KAYE
Wednesday 13th MIDDLE EAST Writing from Jordan
The Lord’s work in Jordan:
1. The 12 bible study groups are going on with the help of the Lord, with more than 60 families on the waiting list to start bible studies with them. We are seeing the fruits of this work in the lives of people, for which we give God thanks.
2. A recent visit from a refugee family resulted in the husband, his son, and his daughter deciding to accept the Lord Jesus. Pray for their steadfastness in the Lord.
3. The Zoom meetings with friends from the ‘other background’ are still going on every Saturday. Two new sisters from Egypt joined recently. The meeting is growing, and the attendees are about 30 people. We ask you to pray for them and their protection. The attendees are from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, etc.
4. We thank the Lord for an open door for Emmaus course studies in prison and in local churches. Please pray that the Lord facilitates the transportation of courses from Egypt to Jordan.
The Lord’s work in Egypt:
The Lord’s work in Egypt continues to grow, and the Lord opened a door in the last month, through a couple who studied the Bible with us previously. They now live in an area in the south of Egypt. A new assembly has now been established in that area. Please pray for them.
The assembly in Dayrut in south of Egypt is growing rapidly. Six weeks ago, a Muslim man reported to the police about this ‘new church’. The police called Brother R, who leads the meeting there, and warned him not to meet at home on Sundays. The brethren are now unable now to break bread in brother R’s house. Please pray for their safety as they are now under persecution. They hold on to the Lord and still meet in secret. The assembly hope to buy land and build a hall, which the authorities allow (as it is then registered – and visible). Pray that the Lord will help them with their exercise and testimony.
Another assembly, Al-Saadat village, is growing fast. They still face threats from Muslims and from the Evangelical Church (because the Evangelical Church is liberal). They also hope to buy some land and build. Please pray for them.
In August, I will travel to Egypt for about a month. There will be two training conferences on evangelism, discipleship, church planting, and mission. Please also pray for the visits to the new assemblies to encourage them to grow.
The Lord’s Work in Sudan:
I wanted to visit Sudan at the beginning of May 2023 because the harvest there is plenty, but the ongoing civil war makes the situation very difficult. Today, I contacted Brother Isaiah from Sudan, and he informed me that the Lord’s work there is growing, and many people from Khartoum (the capital) have fled to the city of A. where brother Isaiah is, and their situation is very difficult. As for the believers in D, their situation is extremely difficult, so please pray for them and also that we will be able to find a way to help them.
Please pray for:
• The distribution of Emmaus courses and for the students, especially the work in the prison service.
• The new assemblies in Egypt, especially in New Assiut.
• Sudan and the civil war there and the severe hardship for the believers, especially the believers in D. and the new assembly on the island.
Mr I and Mrs L Z 31/7/23
Thursday 14th ARGENTINA Parana
Three weeks ago, along with another brother I travelled to be with the assembly in Rosario del Tala which celebrated their twenty third anniversary meeting. We were the only visitors. The nearest assembly is 60 miles away and our own 110 miles distant. As always, memories were stirred of the many journeys and first meetings held there, the first baptisms held in the public park, the first Breaking of Bread etc. It was thrilling to meet again those first fruits that remain and also meet two married couples who were absent for a few years, now restored and happy in the Lord. I was able to chat for a while with Carina who lost her husband (52) very recently and suddenly. They were renting so in order to make ends meet, she and her four children have moved in temporarily with her parents who are in fellowship. Marcelo, the brother who went with me and did most of the driving, gave the first message. After a lovely time of fellowship and food we made our journey back arriving at midnight.
This week, after 13 years of unbroken monthly contributions to ‘Bible and Doctrine for today’s Assemblies' in Argentina´s Assembly magazine, I agreed to continue for another year, God willing. We know the Word is inexhaustible, but freshness is needed. Please pray about that.
I have also agreed to give ministry in six sessions of forty-five minutes on the book of Romans. This arrangement of meetings has been running for years now on a Thursday night in a Bible Class format in several assembly venues in the country; mainly young people attend.
It is an enormous challenge and a personal concern that teaching be kept to local churches. Young folks are able to access limitless online teaching and teachers. Hence so many fundamental issues are being questioned everywhere. We cannot change technology with its dangers, and many benefits too. Hence the need to strengthen our efforts and underline ‘The things most surely believed among us’.
This week I accompanied my son-in-law Heber and my daughter Fiona to a new outreach: new in the sense that this was their fourth or fifth weekly visit to the village of Antonio Tomás. Prior to the meeting Heber and Fiona and helpers went six miles further on to the village of Brugo to do door to door evangelism. I preached the Gospel at night. It is a special privilege and a thrill too, to preach the gospel in a new context. Please pray for these weekly outreaches.
C. 1974 JIM BURNETT 18/7/23
Rhoda and I are now into the 17 month of the war and the Ukrainian offensive has started. While we write, bombers fly overhead, and air-raid sirens blare out most nights due to incoming missiles or drones. There are 2 to 3 military funerals passing through our town every day and the destruction and death - unbelievable. Life is not easy, but we are not leaving the Lutsk assembly Christians and what God has called us to do. It is a privilege to serve the Lord and we want to thank you all and appreciate your prayers and practical support.
As a TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More. We keep well though I did have to go into a Ukrainian village hospital recently for an operation on my left hand. It’s an experience you don’t forget. First of all, you pay for the operation and then buy everything that is needed – toilet paper, gowns, syringes, bandages etc. They froze my arm and when I was on the operating table a kind nurse asked me if I would be willing to take vodka or beer. When I said no, she said, “Ok, I will have to give you an injection in your leg”. Maybe the vodka would have done a better job!! The hospital is very poorly equipped, and the Lord had so arranged it, that we had just taken a delivery of crutches, walking aids, bandages etc. from N. Ireland. We delivered all to the hospital and they were so thankful. When I was in again to get my stitches removed the surgeon said to me, “you gave us so much we would even do a head transplant, free for you”. I don’t know why, but Rhoda thought that would be a good idea!
Our Thursday evening Gospel meeting is attended by approx. 350 each week. We give out a food bag only once a month and the Lord has blessed and 4 people have been saved, baptized and received into assembly fellowship in the last 6 months. Do pray for Kostja. He and his wife are in assembly fellowship, and they have a little son who is 2 years old. Kostja has been called up to the military, but we don’t want to see him go. We are doing all we can to keep him in Lutsk. Please pray.
to get into the meeting Amos
The assembly is active in the distribution of Gospel tracts, New Testaments and invitations. We never distribute material goods without Gospel tracts. It is important that we are seen to be of help in a war situation keeping in mind that the spiritual need is paramount.
God willing, we have our summer camp from the 9th July to 16th. 70 children/teenagers will attend, and we would long to see them saved. Pray for Michelle, Nastja, Diana, Nazar, Roman and Vanja. On June 21st we visited the camp to speak to 50 orphan children from Kharkiv.
The orphanage is finished and ready to open. 1.5 million children were sent abroad due to the war. 87,000 of these are orphans and local, regional and national authorities are looking at ways to bring the children back. We have offered our facilities free of charge and could house 56 children and 28 adults comfortably. The photo shows three 7-seater second hand cars we have been able to buy for transportation needs.
& RHODA SLOAN 1/7/23
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Orphanage with cars
PAKISTAN/ CHINA/ENGLAND Writing from Liverpool
Pakistan is now back in a period of severe rains and flooding. Sohail and the local brothers have been working hard to protect believers from the effect of the flooding. So far, many of the homes that were rebuilt and given a measure of flood protection have survived this year’s flooding. However, other homes have been destroyed, such as the one brother Samuel who serves the Lord in ‘F lives in’. At the moment, only three homes have been damaged. This week Sohail hired a boat with an outboard motor, and a couple of the young men (Qasar and Nadeem) rescued 90 older people who were stranded and 40/45 women and children. One of the positive outcomes of these trials is the love and care the believers show for each other - those with dry homes share them with those who have been flooded. People given tents last year are using them to help people in need this year.
Things are going well spiritually in terms of conversions, but persecution continues. Sohail told me today about a sister (Nabella - there are two sisters with this name) who was saved three years ago. This week she decided to visit her sister in the city of ‘D”. She made the mistake of meeting her in the Muslim area where her sister lives instead of meeting her in the Christian Quarter of the town. When she was leaving, she was followed, beaten and murdered (and her body thrown into the flood waters) because she had converted from Islam and refused to deny her faith in Christ. The price for getting saved is still high. There have been a series of murders recently and several false accusations of blasphemy.
Recently Sohail and Saul have been invited to talk to a group of ten Hindus interested in hearing about the gospel. The gospel’s progress is unhindered by persecution and physical tragedies and problems. We can praise the Lord for this.
Flooding in Pakistan
The believers would like me to visit Pakistan later in the year, but this depends on whether things have calmed down by then. Sohail regularly liaises with the police, and we take their advice on when it is safe to go. Sohail may come to the UK for a few weeks at the end of 2023. I would like him to attend a couple of New Year conferences and visit a couple of assemblies during that period. It will be good for him to meet believers who support the work of the Lord in Pakistan.
Please continue to pray for Arthur and May Wei and their daughter Alice. They are very isolated in the city of Jinan, Shandong Province. There are no assemblies/New Testament churches they know of in their city, so they have very little fellowship apart from believers they meet online. Alice is pressured in school to ignore anything she knows about God and the Bible. Please pray for the salvation of Alice and the witness of Arthur and May as they seek to reach out to colleagues and business contacts with the gospel. I continue to have a weekly Online Bible Study with them.
Locally in the UK
Back in Liverpool, we are kept busy locally in Huyton with local assembly work, preaching in schools and on the streets and online Bible Teaching and Gospel. We get quite a bit of abuse for preaching online, so I conclude that the Lord must be speaking to some of these dear folks. Please pay for a man called Peter Bayzl, who has been giving us quite a lot of online abuse recently.
Carole regularly contacts several families from Syria, Sri Lanka and Yemen. This is quite demanding on her both physically and mentally. Her work with mothers and individuals locally is vital as we seek to build bridges and seek opportunities to share the gospel. Most of what I do is only possible with her input and support.
We had a week of open airs in Liverpool, Southport and St Helen’s in early July. Andrew Hutchinson, a brother from NI, came to help me, which was really appreciated. We made many contacts. Please pray for Nathan in Southport, who told us he was returning to work but would put his trust in the Lord immediately. He has our contact details, but sadly we don’t have his. That day Janny, a Romanian, was troubled initially and then became very resistant to the message. Pray for Mohamed, who tried to stop us from preaching in Liverpool and was very aggressive and angry that we were on the streets. Kieran in St Helen’s felt that God was speaking to him (we have to leave him with the Lord), and good chats were had with Matthew (an ex-boxer) and Carole (a shopping centre attendant).
Please pray for ‘C’ in Liverpool. He professed faith in 2020 and has done reasonably well. Recently he has dipped back into an addiction to prescription drugs and is struggling to get back on his feet.
I am currently in Birmingham for their Muslim Outreach Week - on the streets during the day and teaching scripture in the evening. Later in August, I go to Orkney and Wick for meetings (DV). God willing, I will have gospel meetings planned in Huyton with Paul Jenkinson from Kilmarnock in September.
Thanks again for your interest in the work of the Lord. Your prayers are invaluable and the source of great strength and blessing.
C. 2006 STEPHEN & CAROLE BAKER 27/7/23
Sunday 17th BRAZIL Lagoa Dourada
We have been back in Brazil for a few weeks now. We were able to visit Francisco once more and read the Bible with him. He is still not saved but shows concern for his soul and is seeking salvation. He recently had a knee operation and now he has developed thrombosis on his leg. Pray this may speak to his soul and that soon we may be able to share news of his salvation. His wife is in assembly fellowship, and they have a son in his early twenties that is also unsaved. Pray for this family.
We also visited an elderly couple in our Town. They are both in their late 80’s and very devout Catholics but gave us the opportunity to open the Bible and tell them of God’s plan of salvation. We pray the grace of God may reach this elderly couple and that they may understand God’s plan of salvation.
Remember also the distribution of Gospel tracts door-to-door and of some books to other contacts. We trust the written word may reach homes and places we are unable to reach for the glory and honour of God.
We recently had a gospel meeting in the garage of our daughter and son-in-law’s house. We were encouraged to see so many unsaved present. There were 20 unsaved adults there that paid good attention and one family has been to the hall. We plan to repeat this garage meeting this coming month and pray we may see blessing in the salvation of souls.
We also have a meeting with the children once a week. We don’t get many children at the moment but most of them come regularly. We would appreciate your help in prayer for this work. It is a joy to see their enthusiasm to learn. It is our hope and prayer that these children may get saved in their youth.
C. 1998 (Brazil) MARCO & JANICE GEBARA 2/8/23
Inside of the hall in Arame
Sisters preparing soup to serve after the meeting
The children of WWT are now on holiday break (for August) after a very successful 2nd term. They have made encouraging progress in their literacy and numeracy, learned Psalm 1 and some other bible verses, which were recited during the parents’ assembly. They told and acted out the Jungle Doctor story of Monkey and the Tortoise which emphasised that we cannot get rid of our own sin or deceive God but must turn to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith to receive His salvation as His free gift. The children did a very good job and many parents attended. For the past two weeks the children have also been enjoying a new piece of equipment, a 6-seater chair roundabout donated in memory of Gill’s mum. We now have enough play equipment for both classes to have playtime together.
Concerned about illiteracy among the sisters (Happiness, Mama Riziki, & Mama Hemedi) and others who attend the meetings (Mama Lulu), the assembly has embarked on sponsoring them to Adult Education classes 5 sessions a week. They have taken to it with varying degrees of commitment, but Mama Hemedi (pictured), who has never been to school before, is a ‘shining star’. Her 9-year-old (Hemedi) helps her each evening to revise and practice what she has learned, and she continues to do so in bed until she falls asleep. Gill assessed her at the beginning and after her first 5 days, and she had made incredible progress. How sad, that until now, God’s word has been a closed book to these folk, but we trust soon, they will be reading independently, and the Holy Spirit may be able to do His unique work in their hearts.
Beth, a young sister from Erskine, Scotland has been with us for the past 4 weeks. She wanted to use her holiday from working at a Pre-School Nursery to serve the Lord. She has thrown herself into the work of WWT, Kids’ Clubs, helped make resources at home and attended the above seminars, and accompanied Gill on shopping trips. Although she is quiet, she has shown a servant’s heart and a sensitivity to the things going on in the lives of the children and assembly believers. Beth has enjoyed her time here immensely and we pray that it will have left a lasting impression on her heart and help her as she looks to be used by the Lord in the future.
Two weeks ago, Mama Alfani, saved and baptised in early 2022, was abandoned by her ‘husband’ who has run away to the central region of the country. It then turned out that the house in which Mama Alfani and her 4 children (3 of them by him) had been living was not his but belonged to his first wife, who now wishes to return to live there! His second wife has died. One of the sons of the first wife was moved into the property and made Mama Alfani and her family’s life miserable, which adversely affected the health of her eldest son, Alfani. Last week, we helped her pay 6-months’ rent to live with all 4 of her children in one room, to be away from the situation. Mama Alfani has now cut all ties with the ‘husband’ (there was no legal marriage between them) and sees his actions as the Lord extracting her from the situation. She will not have him back under any circumstances. She has shown great grace and patience and now the Lord has answered her prayers and the assembly looks forward to receiving her into fellowship this coming Sunday. Mama Alfani has now hit the top of the list to provide a plot of land on which to build a home for her and her family. She can support herself and the children with day to day needs as she now works as our head cook at WWT. Please pray for her and her family.
We thank you for your interest in the Lord’s work here is Tanzania.
Tuesday 19th CANADA Portage la Prairie
The Lord has once again answered prayer in regard to COMPASS POINT and the NCI native radio contract. We have been granted another 6-month extension until the end of January 2024, God willing! Hopefully, when both programs come up for review next year, they will go for a year’s contract for both; please pray to that end. (Anyone wishing to hear the programs can find them online at www.compasspoint.live)
It’s been a very quiet week on the house front, with nothing new becoming available. We would be happy for that to continue until next weekend, as we have the last PBS mailout before the summer break this coming week. We would value prayer in particular for each family we are linked with, as they will be receiving further information about our revised Safeguarding Policy and a new consent form. Please pray with us that this will not lead to any confusion but will enable us at last to move on and refocus our efforts on developing good relationships with each of our students. With the imminent move, we feel PBS is at a major crossroads and we want to be sure His will is being carried out.
The enemy has certainly been active in recent days and with the whole house move and changes at PBS, we have found things quite stressful and tough. Thanks for keeping us before the Lord, your loving, prayerful support means a lot to us! May the One in whom we trust, be glorified in all we seek to do and that we will be able to look back in due course and say – EBENEZER – “hitherto hath the Lord helped us!”
C. 2002 STEPHEN & GILL DAVIES 1/8/23
C.2000 PETE & ELAINE SMITH 3/7/23
Wednesday 20th SCOTLAND Ayrshire
Along with Tom Jenkinson and Tom Dempsey, I have helped in a number of agricultural shows in the southwest of Scotland. It has been so encouraging to see people coming to our stand and chatting for some time about spiritual matters. We have also contacted people who are not believers, and this has given us opportunity to explain the message of the gospel.
I am planning, God willing, to help in the outreach effort in Edinburgh at the Royal Military Tattoo, where many believers help give out about 40,000 John 3:16 bags and to engage in conversation with those we meet.
In Ethiopia, the believers are seeing so many new converts that it is our desire that they might be clear in the decision they have made. As a result, we are having the course of Christianity Explored translated into Amharic and Oromifa. We trust that these will be of real lasting spiritual benefit.
After a two-year civil war in Ethiopia, which cost so much, there is now a great increase in the cost of living for those who are already very poor. We seek to help in whatever way we can those who are in difficult situations.
I appreciate your prayerful support that I might still be a help to the believers in Ethiopia.
Thursday 21st BRAZIL Piracicaba
We are encouraged with the work amongst the children on the estate where the hall is. This coming Saturday we are having a special afternoon for them with the theme of the armour of God in Ephesians
6. We would value prayer for these children. Many of them come from sad homes, some of them deal with emotional problems as well as health issues. We give them breakfast before Sunday school and supper every Sunday after the Gospel meeting. We are encouraged to see some of the parents coming along to the meetings too.
C. 1969 ROBERT REVIE 3/8/23
C. 1992 ANDREW & ALISON RENSHAW 1/8/23
Some of the children with their bag of prizes which we give out every three months 5-7
Friday 22nd SCOTLAND
This year has been very busy for the Brass Tacks team. We have divided into two groups and managed to help out in Spain, India, Egypt, France, Angola, as well as at home on the island of Arran. We are blessed with a dedicated team of professionals as well as being offered, and gladly accepting, help from other willing volunteers. In the course of these visits, we would like to think that there are many who are encouraged and blessed with projects which they might not have been able to undertake or maybe they just needed a boost to what they were able to do themselves.
I am writing this from the airport in Frankfurt enroute to Blantyre, Malawi, where we hope to continue with the project we started in pre-covid days. Ananda and Grace Babu, Indian nationals, came and joined Jonathan and Ruth Newell for the work in the prisons, visiting local assemblies each weekend and continuing the distribution network for the Challenge Newspaper.
I am hoping to be joined by David Wood (Motherwell, Scotland) and Philip Kennedy (Markethill, N.I) after what will no doubt be a very busy week of collecting tools and building materials. It would be nice to locate a supplier of pre-mix concrete, but that may not be possible, so we will need to purchase or hire a suitable mixer.
From our previous visit, I remember that there was a cyclone which caused tremendous devastation to buildings and probably more significantly to the crops. When there is so much poverty in the country, these events are particularly taxing. Brother Lamition Gatawa from the southern area has been very helpful with distributing aid to those affected. Janet Stafford who had a long association with Torch Trust has just recently sent out another container of relief goods. I was talking to her husband Michael last week when we met, and he was saying that with advancing years the physical side of collecting and organising such help is difficult for them and the team who have been involved over the years.
I only have a short time here, but would hope to give Ananda, Grace, and their two teenagers Jack and Annie a bit of encouragement and fellowship in the work.
We would value your prayers for the following:
• Security as theft is a big problem in Malawi.
• Sourcing of casual labour as well as materials.
• Safety for ourselves as a team along with the local brothers.
BRASS TACKS – Update from ALAN PARK 31/7/23
I am still very much occupied with open-air work which continues weekly, weather permitting, in four local town centres, Sunderland, South Shields, Durham and Newcastle.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the dear brothers and one sister who faithfully stand with me in the various venues. The sister is 88 and three of the brothers are in their early 80s! Advancing years hasn’t diminished their zeal and love for lost souls!
DURHAM – 19 APRIL 2023
The bridge was relatively quiet today, but I had a delightful 15-minute encounter with Johnny and Bradley, two Sixth Form students who came to the board to inspect the tracts. They were keen to talk. Johnny had been accepted at Oxford University. They believed in a creator, and we discussed the Theory of Evolution. I took them through the John 3:16 text displayed on the board. They were very open to the Gospel. They each left with a John’s Gospel, a Creation magazine and a copy of the booklet Amazing Grace.
NEWCASTLE – 2 MAY 2023
An interesting session. The day started with the usual train ride into the city centre and today I shared the journey with a friendly Sunderland lad, James (22). I was stood with my board on wheels and he was stood with his large suitcase. He was off to Greece with his girlfriend for two weeks. He asked what I was up to. I told him I was heading up to Newcastle to preach the Gospel. I mentioned that the Gospel first came to Europe via Greece. I shared the Gospel with him and spoke of the brevity of life. He said he enjoyed our 25- minute chat. We pray for him regularly.
NEWCASTLE – 21 JUNE 2023
Elsie (18) was in the city for a job interview. When she arrived in the city, she received word that the interview had been cancelled, so she had time to listen and chat. She stood opposite the board near a shop entrance and caught the majority of my message, after which I went over to speak with her. She was a keen believer in evolution. This gave rise to a pleasant 30-minute conversation. She asked, ‘How do you know I’m a sinner?’ She told me she’d been baptised as an infant in the Catholic Church and I asked if this was her passport to heaven. I spoke about my own infant baptism. God had caused our paths to cross that morning. She accepted a copy of Amazing Grace. She hopes to study at Liverpool University, beginning in September. A very pleasant young lady with an open mind, given much food for thought.
Saturday 23rd ENGLAND Tyne & Wear
Open air board
SOUTH SHIELDS – 1 JULY 2023
Our most eventful session ever on King Street! There is a street entertainer/singer known as Angel. She wears a silver dress, sports two silver wings, wears glitter makeup, wears a long blond wig and is crowned with a sparkly tiara! Quite a sight and a well-known local character. We’ve had several run-ins with her over recent years. She says we need to preach ‘LOVE’, and in response I’ve pointed out to her the John 3:16 text displayed on the board. Today she arrived just as we were about to preach and announced she was not going to allow us to speak. ‘I’m the protector of these people and they’re not going to be subjected to the message you present!’, she said. ‘If you attempt to speak, I will switch my amplifier on and drown out your words! You will not speak today!’ I started to preach and she proceeded to regularly interrupt me. This generated some interest from the passersby, and some stopped to view these lively exchanges. Several of the shoppers supported her, but Lisa (40s) from Birmingham told Angel she needed to hear the Gospel, as did all the people on King Street. Lisa quoted several Bible verses to her. Another shopper we see weekly told Angel to stop bothering us and ‘Let them preach!’ I think Angel was surprised at the support we got. I was! She eventually left us knowing that her efforts to spoil our day had backfired and many got to hear the Gospel.
Just as our 80-minute session was drawing to a close, Bitten brought a clean-looking teenager, Joel from Jarrow, over to speak with me. He had witnessed the unpleasant encounter with Angel and wanted answers to many of his own questions. I feel Joel is a genuine seeker and I do hope he keeps his promise to return next week. What a morning!!
P.S. Lisa turned up at our two church meetings on Sunday!
IAN & BITTEN CAMPBELL 27/7/23
Sunday 24th BRAZIL Pirassununga
It is becoming increasingly difficult to bring people in to the Gospel meetings, but various believers are active in door-to-door work. Please pray for the preservation of the established testimonies, and for the spread of the Gospel in this region.
The couple who opened their home for a weekly Gospel meeting in Poços de Caldas (170 thousand inhabitants, 70 miles from Pirassununga) suffered a severe blow last month. The eldest of their two sons died after a short illness. He was just 25 years old, and although he professed to be saved, he didn’t leave a consistent testimony. Please pray for Paulo and Sônia, and the meetings in their home.
We also value your prayers for the literature work, which includes a 32-page ministry magazine, “O Caminho” (three or four issues a year, sent freely to around 230 localities in Brazil and to Angola via the Angola Literature Fund), the translation and printing of the Ritchie Commentaries (the NT has been completed, and in the OT we have published 12 of 19 volumes), and the printing and distributing of various other books and booklets.
C. 1998 WILLIAM & ELEN WATTERSON 3/8/23
Monday 25th BRAZIL Porto Alegre
As this newsletter was going to print we heard of the Homecall of our aged and esteemed brother Harry Wilson. A tribute will follow later.
At 94 years of age, Dad is still able to be out at the meetings. He enjoys seeing the Christians and they are always pleased to see him. He takes part in prayer occasionally, but failing eyesight, hearing, and over the last months, cognitive impairment have all restricted his speaking capacity. Mother keeps well physically and in good spirits. She was 92 years old at the beginning of the month. She spends a lot of her time reading, and now reads out to Dad as macular degeneration has made reading very difficult for him.
Last month Lindsay Carswell finished a series of gospel meetings in the home of a brother who died suddenly last year, but who had prepared a large room for the purpose of having gospel meetings. His widow and son who both belong to the assembly in Alvorada were keen to have the series and God blessed with the salvation of that sister´s niece. Carlos Adeni, the national worker, shared in those meetings for five weeks, when he had to stop in order to begin radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. The meetings continued for another week.
At the beginning of last month there was a well-attended conference in Sombrio, in the neighbouring state of Santa Catarina. As is our custom, the day began with prayer and a Bible reading in the morning, ministry of the Word in the afternoon, and ending the day with a testimony /gospel meeting in the evening. This was the first time that Dad was unable to attend due to the long travel distance and long day at the conference.
Five weeks ago, the brethren in Porto Alegre began an outreach work in an area called Sarandi, from where a lot of our Sunday school children came. We are very pleased with the response. Last Sunday 20 children repeated the five memory verses given out since the meetings began; others who started attending later said fewer verses. From 30 to 40 children with no gospel background have been attending. The owner of the rented premises asked us last week if we had thought of having meetings for adults as well – what a question! We had and think that there is great potential in this work. It is a poor area with all the problems of the modern inner-city areas: crime, drugs, broken homes, unemployment, religious confusion or spiritual indifference. But we pray that to the people who sit in darkness and in the region and shadow of death, the light of the gospel may spring forth.
Thank you once again for your kind interest and prayers for this vast and needy field.
Update kindly provided by his son David Wilson
C. 1952/58 HARRY & BETH WILSON 20/7/23
Tuesday 26th ZAMBIA Writing from USA
It continues to be a privilege and blessing to support remotely the Lord’s work at Loloma in Zambia. We are therefore able to share the following from recent communications with different ones we have worked with over the years:
1. Two weeks ago, 4 members of the outreach team that we worked with for many years visited a village area in Ikelenge for 5 days, which is 8 hours’ drive north of Loloma due to the status of the road. We were greatly encouraged to know that these dear brothers continue to faithfully serve their Lord in this way.
2. The local outreach work each Monday afternoon is going well. One week they are in an area called Chiteve where the assembly is small, so we trust that others will be brought to the Lord. The following week they visit through the hospital wards, to share the gospel with the many patients and their relatives. The Two Roads and Two Destinies charts in the local language continue to be an effective tool in this work.
3. We praise the Lord for the safe arrival of a new vehicle for the hospital. This is a great encouragement to the management team as it is much needed for transporting patients and also medical supplies. They are well on their way to completing a new male ward and also a multi-purpose ward for which we thank the Lord. Funding for medicines continues to be one of the big practical challenges, so we look to our faithful God to meet that ongoing important need.
4. The Head Teacher at Kayombo has confirmed that during this second term of the year, the water supply for the school has been a lot better, for which we thank the Lord. His main encouragement is that 9 students trusted the Lord to be their Saviour during this term, which is a great blessing and a special reward for all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into running the school in a very rural environment.
5. We are happy to hear that the Sunday school work in the Loloma assembly is going well, being encouraged that some additional sisters are now helping with this work. Typically, 200-300 children attend this program from 7:30 – 8:30am each Sunday morning, so your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.
New hospital vehicle
6. Ruth, the teacher who was identified to help at the Nursery School for this term is doing well. We therefore hope that in the will of the Lord she will be able to continue in this position. The parents are very happy to have the school running again as we are also. It is a great opportunity to help 60 young children lay not only an academic foundation in their lives, but also a spiritual one.
7. The senior boys camp that was held for 4 days at the start of July went very well. We trust that the Word of God which was presented throughout each day will be a blessing in the lives of all who attended.
8. Those at the village for the elderly are doing well. Being the Zambian cold season, extra blankets were distributed to them in June. We are very thankful that due to the provision of the Lord, their yearly food supply of maize has been purchased and stored at the mission. During a recent visit to them, Yowanu who helps with their care, recorded their words of greeting to our family. It was very special to hear their voices again.
We continue to adjust and settle into life here at York in the US, and the different opportunities that the Lord brings into our lives. Here are a couple of recent personal praise and prayer items:
1. We were very thankful to complete the mother-in-law addition to our house in June, and so brought Joy’s mother to live with us at the end of that month. She has very little awareness of being in a different location, so the move has not been an issue for her. She is typically very appreciative for everything we do for her, which is not always the case with those who have dementia, so we are thankful for that. Through the day she listens to us and will often sing along with hymns that she remembers. Please pray for help and grace for Joy as she carries the main responsibility for her mother’s care, which can be challenging during the nighttime.
2. A recent follow up ultrasound for Tim’s blood clot has confirmed that the blood is flowing normally again through all the veins in his left leg. This is a special answer to prayer for which we thank the Lord.
Thank you so much for prayerful support for us and the work that the Lord is doing in Zambia. Tim is hoping to visit there later this year, so we look to the Lord for His confirmation of this.
C. 1997 TIMOTHY & JOY BEER 3/8/23
It is hard to believe that we have been in the Lord’s work for more than 50 years now, and how faithful He has been over those years.
Recently we had the privilege of spending a week in Botswana with our brother and sister Clark and Hazel Logan in the capital city of Gaborone. It was the occasion of their annual assembly conference, and I had the wonderful privilege of sharing the ministry with a local brother over four days. Around 250 saints from all over the country attended and the fellowship was good. It was a great encouragement to us, and we trust that the conference will prove to be a blessing to the saints there.
Since returning from Botswana, we were both knocked down with an extremely severe flu-like infection. It has taken us two weeks to recover sufficiently to get back to the assembly gatherings. We thank God for His restoring grace and His good hand upon us both.
As in other parts of the world, the use of literature to spread the gospel is an integral part of the work. Each year we design and get printed professionally, calendars with the gospel clearly presented with verses of scripture. Thousands of calendars of various sizes are produced and distributed. One young Indian lady in the assembly is a schoolteacher and she received several hundred calendars that were given away before she even got to her classroom the next morning. Coming towards the end of the year, people at the check-out points in different stores are already looking for next year’s calendars. Recently we designed small, credit-card sized cards with brightly coloured pictures on the front, with the words “Thank You” and a message on the back, thanking the individual for their help and presenting a short gospel message. We have two different “Thank You” cards and also one saying “You can go to Heaven...” on the front and on the back, “...without fame or fortune, ...(and several other things)...but you cannot go there without Jesus Christ”. These cards are all printed full colour and are very attractive. Almost always they are received with a bright smile and a ‘thank you’. Please pray that the Word of God distributed in this way will produce fruit for His glory.
C. 1968 PAUL & DOROTHY GRIEVE 3/8/23
SOUTH AFRICA Umtentweni
Gospel 2 Cor 4:4 and 1 Tim 1:11 Zech 10-14
Thursday 28th ALBANIA Shkoder
Please pray for the assembly in Shkoder, Albania. There is a great need for spiritual leadership. God willing, Colin will soon do some teaching on eldership, looking to the Lord to raise up and exercise men to shepherd the believers locally.
Prayer would be appreciated for unity, understanding and men of character, willing and able to take on this “noble task”. It was good to recognise two men as elders in the church plant in Lezhe. (30 mins from Shkoder). Colin intends to continue a bible study with them, to encourage and help them as they continue to lead this group.
We continue to pray for the youth in our church. Many of the children from believer’s families either have made professions of faith with no real commitment, or else have no interest in the gospel.
Therefore it was encouraging that from the more than twenty 12-14 years olds whom we sent to a summer camp in the south of Albania, five girls made professions of faith. Elida will be involved in helping encourage and disciple some of the girls (two were from our church plant in Lezhe). Prayer would be appreciated so that we would see true growth, maturity and real desire and a commitment of love toward our Lord Jesus.
As I write this, we are into our second week of a holiday bible club. A lot of our youth, including our boys, Aron, Joel and Tomas are involved in running the club. We have over 70 kids (6-14 years) each evening for 3 hours, and then we give them something to eat. So, Elida is busy in the kitchen each evening. We are going through teaching on ‘Jesus, the miracle worker’. Prayer would be appreciated for the restart of this age group after summer. We need to split the kids in two groups for teaching. We have far more in the older 12–14-year age group. Many are from non-Christian families. Pray that by God’s grace, the gospel will become a reality of transforming power in their lives bringing salvation and changed lives that is a true light to their friends and families.
Thank you for your prayers. C. 1997 COLIN & ELIDA STEPHEN 31/7/23
Kids playing at holiday club
Friday 29th SCOTLAND Perth
Last week I was through in St Andrews alongside Graeme Paterson and a team of about 25 others. The week went well, and despite the mixed weather there was a good response to our activities, with quite a number of children attending the beach mission and adults joining us for the lunchtime talks and guided tours. We had many interesting conversations with people in the streets and in addition to St Andrews and St Monans, we also covered Crail, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Strathkinnes, Guardbridge, Leuchars, Boarhills, and Kingsbarns with Gospel literature. So far 6 people have requested Bibles as a result. One of the other encouraging aspects to the week was seeing the interest and enthusiasm amongst the young people who were part of the team this year. Each day started and ended with a time of prayer and all of the teenage lads took part in all of the meetings. We pray that the week will have encouraged these young people in their walk for God! Later in August Graeme Paterson and I have plans for a seedsowers type weekend in Lochee (Dundee) to give some help to the small assembly there.
Aside from these rare ventures further afield, I’m continuing to devote most of my time to local evangelistic opportunities around Perth. For the past 6 months we’ve been holding an outreach in the village of Scone on Sunday evenings. Scone is just a few miles from Perth, has a growing population of around 8,000 souls and no evangelical witness. Presently I’m preaching through Mark’s Gospel and we’re encouraged by the attendance and interest. Over the last couple of months we’ve had 15-20 local people attending each week.
Back in April we relaunched our Men’s Football outreach. We had run this for around 10 years, reaching hundreds of lads, before taking a break last year. It’s been encouraging to reconnect with some of the old crowd, but also to see lots of new faces this year. Attention to the Gospel is always very good and some have displayed a bit of interest.
The soup kitchens continue on Mondays and Wednesdays and between them we have opportunity to show kindness and share the Gospel with around 30-40 people each week.
C. 2015 GARETH EDWARDS 8/8/23 Matt
IRELAND Writing from N Ireland
In June we visited the Dundalk Show for the first time with the Gospel Literature Ireland stand. This was quite a small show however there were many opportunities for good conversations and for the distribution of literature and shopping bags. In August, God willing, we plan to visit the Clonmany Show in Co Donegal also for the first time and the Tullamore Show in Co Offaly and we are praying for access to the Iverk Show in Co Kilkenny. We also hope to visit the National Ploughing Championships in September. Andy will be helping on a stand at the Virginia Show in Co Cavan towards the end of August. In between these events, we are kept busy with the design and production of literature, bookmarks and fridge magnets as well as helping facilitate other believers who want good quality materials to distribute at their local events across the UK and Ireland. As we look forward to the National Ploughing Championships (19th -21st Sept.), please pray for a team of helpers to come along and for salvation to come as a result of the gospel work.
We are thankful for the opportunity to assist with some children’s work in a few nationalist areas of Belfast over the summer. Please pray for these opportunities to develop into salvation amongst these communities.
Last week we were able to travel to the Newcastle West area in Co Limerick and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to visit with a number of unsaved contacts and friends, as well as some of the believers in the assembly.
C. 2006 ANDREW & GILLIAN SHANKS 8/8/23
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)
C=Date of Commendation Published by: LORD’S WORK TRUST 42 Beansburn, Kilmarnock KA3 1RL Tel. 01563 521098 E.Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.lordsworktrust-kilmarnock.co.uk Charity No. SC008740
Total gifts received during July 2023.