Our brother Ussher has consented to recount something of the labor involved in a new work for the Lord. The wisdom and work involved are evident.
In this age in which we live it is good to know that the Lord is “taking out from among the nations a people for His Name.” Peter the Apostle spoke these words many years ago at a memorable meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15:14). In Matthew 16:18 the Lord told Peter, “I will build my Church.” This began on the day of Pentecost and will end at the Rapture. This building of the Church is done through the preaching of the Gospel in response to the command of the risen Lord before he went back to Heaven.
That outstanding servant of the Lord, Paul, had the noble desire to preach the Gospel, “Not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20). From Paul’s day until now many honorable servants of the Lord have reached out with the Gospel. In going into a new area we have found that good Gospel literature is a great asset. Open-air meetings at vantage points are also good, if the intention is to labor in a village or town. The origin of the assembly at Orange Field Road in central Trinidad can be traced back to two brethren preaching the Gospel in California village in early 1967. After some open-air meetings, tent meetings were started in the garden of a Muslim man. The first night we preached in the open-air, a man called me over to his home and asked me if the other man with me was Mr. Field, and I told him he was. The Muslim man did business with Mr. Field many years before and had not seen him for a very long time. We had light refreshments in the Muslim man’s home, and on his invitation had tent meetings in his garden. The hand of God was seen in some cases of salvation, and we made good contacts. Sadly the Muslim man died of a heart attack a short time after and, as far as we know, did not get saved.
From 1967 to 1969 we had tent meetings in various villages. In some places, little was seen in the way of visible results and in other places there was some blessing. In early 1968 we had a good series in Freeport village; some saved then are still going on with the Lord. Great wisdom is needed in preaching the Gospel in new areas. Calling religions by name could offend some needlessly. Man’s ruin and God’s remedy need to be stated in loving, clear terms. High pressure methods to get professions of faith in Christ will result in “strange children.” While we do not make appeals, we make it clear that we are approachable to explain the Gospel.