Beloved fellow-members of Christ,
With this first issue of another year, I want, on my own behalf and
on that of all my fellow-workers, to send you warmest greetings, and
to thank you most warmly for all your loving and helpful fellowship
during the year now past.
This year has been outstanding in our history. On the one hand we
have known very much Divine blessing. There has been constant growth
in every way. More unsaved people have come to the Lord in our midst
and through ministries out from here than in any previous year. The
gatherings, both weekly and at the special times, have been larger
than ever. A specially blessed feature is the large proportion of
young people with us all the time.
Much life has characterized every part of the work. The output of,
and demand for, the literature have increased considerably. There
have been many outgoing ministries: to colleges, hospitals (medical
Christian unions) and schools, and to other countries. The number of
different countries represented at our 'Conference' times is always
most impressive. All this, and more, without any 'attractions',
'entertainments', advertisements or propaganda: just a seeking to
exalt the Lord Jesus and to make His fulness known.
This is written for two purposes only: one, to draw out praise to
our Lord; and two, to encourage you to continue to pray.
There is another side to the story, but we have no desire to dwell
upon it or to give details. Suffice it just to say that never in our
history have we known so much opposition of every kind. Spiritually,
the pressure has sometimes almost reached the limit of endurance.
Opposition, in the form of misunderstanding leading to suspicion,
misrepresentation and positive antagonism, has seemed to reach such
dimensions and violence as to be intended to bring this ministry to
When we were given our motto for 1954 - "THE LORD IS GREATER THAN
ALL" - we little thought how great that "all" would be. But He has
been faithful, and the motto for 1955 is born of that true
experience - "JESUS HIMSELF... WENT WITH THEM". We go into the new
year with this confidence, and believe that, although it may be a
year of testing, we shall know that His presence is sure salvation.
We want to reaffirm that the sole object of this ministry is that of
bringing our Lord Jesus into the fulness of His inheritance, and of
bringing His Church into its inheritance in Him. It is intended to
be a wholly spiritual ministry. We have no desire to set up or
maintain any particular or separate 'movement' or 'sect'. We have no
vested interests in this work, and when the Lord shows us that the
purpose for which He brought it into being is fulfilled we shall
have no difficulty in letting go. Our continuance, growth and
sustenance over these years is not due to any effort of ours, but -
we believe - because the Lord has had a use for such a ministry, and
this is all we want.
We covet your prayers, dear friends, and are always grateful for
In a time when, because of the grave and terrible threat to the very
destiny of the peoples of the earth, statesmen and responsible
persons are wearing themselves out to find some way of mutual
understanding and co-existence, should we not pray that - with a
much more solemn issue in view - all the Lord's people, and
responsible leaders in particular, may make a corresponding effort
to destroy the spreading and intensifying work of Satan, as he seeks
to divide the people of God, by pouring out clouds of suspicion and
The greatest menace to his kingdom is a united people of God, and he
will stop at nothing to put that beyond possibility. We must seek to
meet on the ground of Christ - not movements, institutions,
teachings, but just that we are His.
When He comes, that is the only thing that will go through and
abide. It would be a glorious thing if this should be the year of
His appearing! Let us remember our own part in "hastening" that day
- to be prepared ourselves, and to labour that there shall be "a
people prepared for the Lord".
Again, we greet you, and send you our love in Christ.
Yours in that "Blessed hope",