Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 8, 1966

Back From Australia

Sewell Hall

High above the Pacific these words are written as my 25,000 mile preaching trip to Australia nears completion. Last night, I spoke to the Leeward Congregation, Waipahu, Hawaii; and am now, by God's providence, only a few hours from home and loved ones. He has blessed my travels wonderfully all the way. Plans reported in the last newsletter have been carried through without complication and there have been even more opportunities than anticipated.

There were no responses in the meeting at Banda-berg but toward the end of the meeting several visitors attended, some of whom appear to be promising contacts. The meeting was well advertised by the church. All in all, the work in Bundaberg seems stronger than it was three months ago. The most encouraging progress was observed among the men who attended the training class. Eight men who had never before done so made talks in the class and when Roily and I were gone, some of them spoke to the full assembly. One of the brethren began taking over the song leading relieving Roily of the double responsibility of preaching and singing. The congregation is to be commended for their cooperation with the efforts made.

The work at Rockhampton was encouraging to me. Some 25 members comprise the church, many of them related in some way to Brother A. M. Johnson who started the church some eight years ago after seeing the errors of the "Christian Church" as it exists in Australia. With no financial help and with comparatively little outside teaching the church is firmly rooted and growing. They have recently purchased a commercial building which is currently being remodeled for use as a meeting place. It is well located and will fill their needs for some years to come. In addition to a short meeting of four services, I assisted for several hours each day at a stand supported entirely by the local church at the Rockhampton Fair. The Fair is a big thing in that city. Several hundred tracts were given away and some contacts made which resulted in visitors at our services. The church at Rockhampton has a promising future with several young men growing up active in the work. Its sound doctrine and practice seem equally assured for years to come.

As the flight back to the U.S. was to leave from Sydney, I made appointments for preaching all along the way south. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, June 20-22, I was with the Holland Park church in Brisbane. I was warmly and hospitably welcomed. At Armidale in New South Wales, I visited the Cecil Stone's, conducting a class one night with their family and four visitors. The Stone family comprise the church there. Brother Stone is an able teacher.

Saturday and Sunday morning I was with the church at Inverell. We had two services. Several of those who originally formed the church there have moved away and a few have backslidden. After arriving there, I regretted that I had not planned a longer visit. The brethren seemed especially grateful for my coming and the whole congregation were at the airport to say farewell.

Sunday through Tuesday nights, June 26-28, I was with the East Hills church in Sydney. This little congregation of five members meets in a comfortable little building in Walter Waller's back yard. Visitors from three other congregations gave splendid support. Attendance Monday and Tuesday averaged nearly 40. Though one of every five Australians lives in Sydney, there are perhaps no more than 75 New Testament Christians in the city. Truly a needy field.

Summarizing the past three months, I have preached 65 sermons, taught 29 classes in four countries. I preached for roughly one third of the churches in Australia (9) and had full cooperation in attendance from at least five others. There is reason to believe that I would have been welcome in most of the others. Two baptized and two restored.

I wish I could have done a better job. Each step was taken prayerfully and even now we pray that God will overrule even our weaknesses and mistakes of His glory. I am certain that good can be done by such visits as this. Wherever I went I saw evidence of the good work done by Brother Dark in a similar period seven years ago. But it is hoped that sound gospel preachers will go for more extended work, I shall be happy to use the information I have gained to assist any preacher or congregation in undertaking a scriptural work in that country.

Once more, may I thank each congregation and each individual making possible my journey and providing so wonderfully for my needs and those of my family.

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