Richmond: Three weeks of gospel meeting in the West Richmond Gospel Hall with Marvin Derksen and Brody Thibodeau concluded on October 4. This city has a large population of those of Asian origin. Some 70,000 invitations went out, to which a number responded. The meetings were well attended with Chinese interpretation provided. Some received assurance of salvation.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Corner Brook: John Meekin had nine ministry meetings with the saints here in September. The time spent in the book of Nehemiah (and related passages) was instructive, encouraging, and challenging.
McIver’s: Jim Jarvis and Robert Curry held two and a half weeks of gospel meetings under canvas in the town of Meadows on the North Shore of the Bay of Islands. These meetings were an outreach from the assembly in McIver’s, and good numbers attended. A sister obeyed the Lord in baptism.
Parsons Pond: In July, Eric Fowler and Roy Foster had a couple of weeks of gospel meetings under canvas, and then moved into the gospel hall due to inclement weather.
Arnstein: God blessed with a good conference. Ministry was given by John Bain (Cape Breton), David Booth, Alex Dryburgh, Eric Fowler, Bryan Joyce, Fred Krauss, Bruce Rodgers, and Stephen Vance.
Guelph: The assembly was encouraged with the recent baptism of two teenagers from the Sunday school. Bryan Joyce preached the gospel at the happy occasion with a good number present, including many unsaved family members. The assembly has been encouraged with recent ministry given by Jim Beattie, Bryan Joyce, Brian Owen, and Larry Steers.
Hamilton: The Nash Road assembly hosted a weekend conference on “Origins” with Michael Penfold as the speaker. About 300 were present for the Saturday meetings. Believers of all ages expressed appreciation for help received and were encouraged from the sessions.
Mississauga: The Applewood Heights assembly was encouraged by the attendance and spirit of unity at the recent weekend of Bible readings on the “Sermon on the Mount.” Appreciated help was given by Scott MacLeod, Paul Robinson, Dan Shutt, Shawn St. Clair, Ken Taylor, and Stu Thompson. Many received a benefit from the teaching that was given at the readings (it was the first year of reverting to the format that was used at Mimico).
Alpena: Please pray for gospel meetings with Jerry Jennings and Roy Weber beginning November 9 in the Alpena Gospel Hall. There will be a distribution of invitations and gospel tracts throughout the town of Alpena and surrounding areas on the afternoon of November 8.
Battle Creek: The first meetings in Spanish were held on the last Lord’s Day of September because of the number of Venezuelans now living in the area and visiting.
Deckerville: Bill Metcalf came for a Lord’s Day and gave encouraging ministry on “Looking for the city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Saginaw: The assembly enjoyed ministry and gospel messages by Stuart Thompson and Larry Perkins at the October 4 bimonthly ministry meeting. Saints in Saginaw and the surrounding assemblies greatly appreciate the support of our ministering brethren.
Davenport: Al Christopherson and brethren from the Marion, IA assembly, have been having gospel meetings on Friday nights. This is a follow-up to a Seed Sower distribution and gospel meetings held in August. A woman professed to be saved during a recent Friday night meeting.
Garnavillo: A baptism was held on September 13 at Kregel’s Pond, and seven young people obeyed the Lord.
Fridley: A young couple saved earlier this year, obeyed the Lord in baptism in late September.
Black Earth: A baptism was held Sunday, September 27, with six young men obeying the Lord, five of them sons of the Christians. Weather and all cooperated to make it a happy day.
Ontario: One young woman was baptized on September 27.
Nueva Jerusalem: John Thropay writes: “The inauguration of the University Studies School, UMAJA, occurred on September 26. Over 500 Mayan Indians attended. All local officials also honored us with their presence. Six assemblies were represented.
“We request your prayers for the preservation of our testimonies as we take such a public role in the midst of many adversaries. The approval was considered most unusual by most of the state officials. Approval was awarded in four months instead of one and a half years. The assembly brethren working on this project have no special relationship politically, financially, nor by family ties to the people in the capital. The Lord’s hand was seen in a special way for the accomplishment of the project thus far. I was asked to give a word of peace from the Scriptures in this place that was tormented for 15 years by the Zapatista rebellion with the peace accords signed about five years ago. The gospel of Jesus Christ was well received by all. Virtually all of the churches in the region were present to hear the gospel. Attendance at the gospel hall in Nueva Jerusalem has doubled with many eager to hear the gospel once again.
“The village officials requested a private session with the assembly elders and expressed their sincere gratitude. They asked if more people from North American assemblies could come and help as professors from time to time. Lord willing, we hope to begin classes in the provisional building until the major university structures are completed. There is a need for an accountant to help supervise the financial aspects of the work. All professors interested in setting up a University course project are being welcomed by the local authorities.”z
Tapachula: Another new assembly in this city is being established in the Colonia of Indeco Cebadilla. The town has been the focus of evangelistic efforts by the brethren in the gospel hall in the Colonia of La Quinta de San Antonio with 15 families attending the meetings. The assembly is scheduled to commence on November 28 in the home of brother Tito Rivas Castro. Land for the new gospel hall is being sought at this time. The other assembly in the capital established one year ago in Tuxtla-Gutierrez is going on well and growing. Their new gospel hall (Sala Evangelica) is currently under construction.
Xalapa: The believers in this assembly were able to commence meeting in their own hall on August 2, contented to see God’s providing hand in this way. There are a few brethren in the assembly who are giving good help in gospel preaching, both in the open air and in the hall.
Tuxpan: John and Rebekah Nesbitt have been able to visit this coastal town, four hours north of their home, a few times of late. On Sunday September 27, John preached the gospel to a number of contacts of believers who live in Cotaxtla, an hour west of Veracruz.
Irapuato: Your prayers for the continued growth of this work are much appreciated. Ricky and Erika Sawatzky were happy to see local believers help in the delivery of literature and invitations on September 15 and 16, a national holiday.
Chihuahua: The assembly enjoyed two weeks of Bible readings on 2 Timothy leading up to their annual conference in mid-September. They were thankful for God’s help and blessing during the conference when Paul Thiessen, Timothy Turkington, Shad Kember, Marcus Cain, Leonel Chavez, and Miguel Mosquera (Portage la Prairie, MB) gave appreciated help in ministry and gospel. It was encouraging to see some of the believers from the work in El Vergel at the conference.
El Vergel: After the Chihuahua conference, Shad Kember and Leonel Chávez returned for a week to preach the gospel in this village. A newly saved couple has expressed their desire to be baptized.
San Luis Potosi
El Barril: In mid-September, the assembly enjoyed Miguel and Ruth Mosquera’s visit, along with Eleonor Mosquera. Miguel gave three nights of excellent teaching from the book of Ruth, touching figures of the Lord Jesus and the local assembly.
Guadalajara: Two weeks of meetings concerning the local church were held in the south of the city where the believers seek God’s direction concerning the formation of an assembly.
Puerto Vallarta: The assembly in El Coapinole had a good week of children’s meetings in September with a number of children and young people coming for the first time.
San Juan de Abajo: The assembly celebrated seven years of God’s faithfulness to them as they seek to be a lampstand in this town close to Puerto Vallarta. Six new believers were baptized and two were added to the assembly on this happy occasion.
Iguala: Marcus Cain was here for the first weekend in September with teaching from the Word of God concerning the role of the sister in the home and the assembly.
Hermosillo: A married couple was baptized on September 27. They began attending in April when they became convinced that the teaching they were hearing elsewhere was not in agreement with the Word of God. Hector saw the hall as he was getting gasoline across the street. He called and immediately began attending. God graciously saved them the next month. Pray for their many family contacts, most of whom are opposed to the gospel.
Nogales: A group of about 20 from Hermosillo delivered 4500 Seed Sower texts and invitations on Independence Day, September 16. Although the receptivity of the people is encouraging, it has not translated into new people coming to hear the gospel. Please pray for the work in this needy border city.
Oacalco: Please remember this work in your prayers. Attendance since Duncan Beckett and Abisai Vieyra commenced renting a hall in August has been encouraging, and meetings are now held on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Eric Fowler writes, “We are returning to the Ukraine again October 9 through November 6. We value prayer for our trip. We will labor in Ivano Frankisk the most, and will be in Lviv every Lord’s Day, DV. On the last Lord’s Day in October they will have their fourth conference ,and we are responsible for the Bible reading on 1 Peter 1 and also for the preaching of the gospel for two nights. The situation in the country is growing desperate due to the war with Russia. The need is for young couples with an interest to move there and labor. Our daughter, Mary is going with us, as well as Gary Sharp from Ontario. Mary was there for the first breaking of bread in Lviv and the saints were asking for her. She has a month off from work to travel there, so pray she will again be a help to the contacts and the young saints there.”
Below are some excerpts from various communications which draw a picture of present conditions in Venezuela. Please pray for the work and workers there.
“We are crying out to the Lord for our country. Venezuela is the country with the highest inflation rate in the world. Control is out of the hands of the government. They have strayed, and are following the advice of the wicked one. The occult has spread and thrives. Thanks to the Lord for the power of prayer. The Lord has mercy on His people. Thanks to the Lord that, until now they are respecting the freedoms guaranteed by the law. However, the insecurity is alarming. A SUV that was provided to us for the work of the Lord was stripped on the inside by one of the mafias that steal trucks on commission. They tried to strip the engine, but a security lock prevented them. The truck remains in Valencia waiting for spare parts which are not available.” (from a Venezuelan worker)
“Pray for the peace of our country. Three men from Barbula, not Christians, who had positions in a union, were murdered yesterday.” (from an assembly bulletin).
“The Lord’s return is near. I’ve been thinking on it more these days. Maybe things that have happened recently have made us focus more on these blessed realities. All that is happening in the world points in that direction, and the violence here makes us aware that this world is heading toward a climax. During the past two weeks, two brethren who live in the same block as the hall in La Pica were held at gunpoint and their cars stolen. They called the brethren demanding a large sum of money. It’s going on all the time. Three other cars were stolen in the same street during the past two weeks. We all need to be preserved.
We are preaching in a barrio of Maracay and “there have been a few unsaved attending. Some seem to be awakened to realize their need of salvation, so we continue sowing the Good Seed.
“It has been increasingly difficult to purchase Bibles in Venezuela for two reasons: 1) The Bible Society has stopped importing Bibles and other suppliers have now drastically reduced their importation. This is because we can’t buy foreign currency in the country due to government regulations, so these suppliers can’t get the dollars necessary to pay the Bible sellers in the USA and elsewhere. 2) Importation is allowed, but our currency has devalued so much and import duties are high, which means the price of Bibles is high in local currency. Wages are comparatively low, so the believers find it hard to purchase them.
“The Bible and Tract distribution service commenced by Eddie Fairfield over 70 years ago still carries on, printing tracts, hymnbooks, calendars, and most recently, books translated and published. So far, 25 books, as well as the NT series of What the Bible Teaches have been published. A serious issue is the difficulty of sourcing paper which is very expensive due to its scarcity. To keep the price of tracts low for assemblies and believers to purchase, the costs have to be subsidized.
“There are other needs that were not previously so acute, but that we now consider, such as the cost of conferences and monthly ministry meetings across the county, or the cost of Sunday school prizes.
“With the exception of liberty for the gospel, Venezuela today is a puzzle, difficult to understand. It is certainly a different country from the one that the Lord’s people in Canada heard of over the years. Disorder, interpersonal abuse, and violence abound. Government ‘soup-kitchen’ assistance flows to those who do not fall into disfavour with the regime. The middle class is fast disappearing. Food prices have risen more than 100% in one year, but staples are very scarce. There is a deep resentment between the political ‘ins and outs’ and poverty is very evident amidst the appearance of abundance. Some assemblies have ‘love basket’ programs funded by contributions which supplement conventional Lord’s Day offerings. This is an admirable evidence of Christian fellowship.” (From an elder).
“Since Chavez died, the world mostly stopped paying attention. That, however, may soon change. The stage is now set for what could become a major confrontation. On December 6, Venezuelans go to the polls to elect a new National Assembly. The stakes are enormous, and the possibility of serious turmoil is very real. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but the country is essentially bankrupt. Last November, it started importing oil. There are shortages of practically every conceivable consumer product. A shopping expedition is an exercise in frustration and endurance. Venezuelans have to stand in line for hours in the stifling tropical heat in pursuit of products that are more often than not completely out of stock.” (CNN report)
January 9-10, 2016, in Haddonfield Middle School, Lincoln Ave. and Chestnut St. Haddonfield. Prayer meeting on Friday, January 8 at 7:30pm in the gospel hall, 6530 Caroline Ave. Pennsauken. Brethren Marcus Cain, Marvin Derksen, Michael Penfold, and Peter Ramsay plan to be present, DV. Corr: David A. Curran, 326 Windsor Ave., Haddonfield, NJ 08033-1142; Tel: 856 429-4443.
Conferences Previously Published:
Alpena, AR – October 31-November 1
Newington, CT – October 31 – November 1
Saskatoon, SK – October 31–November 1
Bryn Mawr/Hatboro, PA – November 6-8
London, ON – November 7-8
Cape Breton, NS – November 14-15
Oil Springs, ON – November 14-15
Oshawa, ON – November 14
Brampton, ON – November 21
Maberly, ON – November 28
Phoenix, AZ – November 27-29
Saugus, MA – December 5-6
Change of Address
Jim and Joyce Beattie: 13-1888 Concession Drive, Newbury, ON, Canada N0L 1Z0. E-mail address and phone number remain unchanged.
Change of Correspondent
Sydney Mines, NS: John Ingram, 20 MacInnis Drive, North Sydney, NS, B2A 3H9; Tel: 902 794-2691; Cell: 902 565-8558; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert (Bob) Woods of Sarnia, ON, on June 9, 2015, age 81. He was saved on May 9, 1947 through John 3:16. Our beloved brother was a consistent Christian who did good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. For over 50 years he was always ready to help in all the activities of the assembly. His willingness to bear responsibility in the assembly left behind a good example for all to follow. At the funeral, his three grandchildren Aaron, Andrew, and Alana Smits spoke lovingly about their grandfather and the spiritual impact that he had on their lives. Steve Kember shared the gospel, and Jim Chisholm spoke at the graveside. Please pray for his dear wife, Helen, who was with him for over 50 years, and his one son, Robert, two daughters, Lori and Lois, along with nine grandchildren.
Marlis (Schick) Maess of Turtleford, SK, on August 22, 2015, age 74. Our sister was saved in her early teens and continued in happy fellowship in the Mervin assembly. Marlis was a faithful witness and loved to speak of her Savior and sing His praises. A large number from the community attended her funeral and this was a testimony to the respect she had earned. Her husband, Stanley, and three married children, will deeply miss her. The funeral service was taken by James Ronald.
Douglas Harold Griffin of Westbank, BC, on September 14, 2015, age 90. He was born February 1, 1925 in Michichi, AB, the third of five children born to Douglas and Lena Griffin. His family moved from Alberta to BC in 1931 when Harold was six years old. He was saved at 14 on June 6, 1939 under the preaching of Samuel Greer during a gospel series in Westbank, baptized in July, and received into the assembly fellowship. Harold continued steadfastly, as an active member of the assembly, as the song leader for many years, and as an elder, until his life work was ended. He loved mixed farming of fruit and cattle on Elliott Road all his working life. He was delighted to bring home his bride, Jean Skelly of Ireland, in August of 1977. Jean has been a tremendous help and blessing to Harold in their 38 years of marriage. He is predeceased by his oldest sister, Margaret Hatt, and his youngest brother, David. He is survived by his devoted wife, Jean, his older sister, Hattie Webber, and younger brother, Donald Griffin.