EXTRACTS FROM THE SPT ANNUAL REPORT - 2017
The focus of the Trust remains as:
- To maintain publication of two magazines: - Youthful Days and Living Water.
- To provide tracts published by Brian Parr free of charge to all who wish to distribute them, particularly in the UK
- To meet as best we can within defined budgets requests for Bibles received mainly from Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Burma (Myanmar).
- To administer a book store based at Bromley and return to circulation books of ministry no longer required by their previous owners.
All the trustees feel the need for guidance from the Lord in ensuring that the truth is properly presented in our publications and in the way that various requests for help are dealt with. Those who edit Youthful Days and Living Water are especially thankful for the prayerful support provided by many.
Youthful Days Magazine
Circulation has stabilised at around 2,900 copies per issue of which 2,500 are distributed free of charge.
The use of Youthful Days for Christian teaching in Zambia, Malawi and Kenya has continued to increase with further growth in the numbers participating in Scripture Searchers, Gleaners and Students. This has created a demand for Bibles for the young people to work from. In one case in Malawi there were 100 children trying to answer the Bible Class questions with only two Bibles between them.
Good quality Christian literature for children is difficult to obtain in many parts of Africa, so Youthful Days is particularly appreciated by Sunday school teachers within communities in Zambia and Malawi. We are thankful for the activities of pastors there who are committed to the furtherance of God’s work amongst the young, and with whom we have frequent contact that provides reassurance of their genuine concern for souls, and their thirst for the true Bible-based message of salvation. It is a privilege to share with them in the spread of God’s word.
Award certificates are provided each year for all overseas Bible Class participants, and we are told this is both an incentive and an encouragement to the young ones, as well as to the Sunday school teachers. Because of the large number of Bible Class students, it has again been necessary to produce a separate list of overseas participants for the 2017 Awards. Copies of this list, for any who are interested, are available from the Editor of Youthful Days.
Living Water Magazine
Circulation has stabilised at around 1,600 copies per issue of which 1400 are distributed free of charge. Translations into Burmese and Chin account for a further 8,000 copies
We are thankful to see the way that the Lord uses articles for the help and encouragement of His people. A Christian seminar held in Malawi during the summer of 2017 took the article on the Coming of the Lord by Edward Dennett in the March/April 2017 issue as a basis for their study. One participant described the article “as very good teaching”.
One regular subscriber in the UK on renewing their subscription for 2018 wrote: “Many thanks for another year of good nutritious spiritual food. May God bless your ministry”.
Once again during 2017 approximately 500,000 copies of tracts
published by Brian Parr were sent to distributors. Quite a few
of these distributors have used these tracts for many years. To help
reduce costs during 2017 efforts were made to limit the number of
tracts sent overseas because of the postage costs involved.
The question is sometimes asked as to whether tract distribution is an effective method of reaching souls in today’s world of instant communication. While we will never know the results of any of our service until we are with Christ in glory, here are three accounts of tracts bringing about a result over time:
- Firstly, a person living in Valetta, Malta got in touch to say that a year ago she was given one of our tracts and as a result she was now a committed believer;
- Another person given a tract was mildly interested. Six months later they were invited to attend a gospel meeting and because of the “mild interest” raised by the tract agreed to go. In God’s wonderful mercy they were brought to the Lord.
- All of the tracts carry an offer of a free New Testament and there is a steady flow of requests. One recent contact had been listening to a recording of a gospel which ended with the words, “Jesus paid the price for us”. Having heard this she went out and picked up a tract in the street and found the title repeated the words she had just heard. A little further along she found another tract and there were those words again! She contacted Brian Parr and said that she “thought God must be trying to tell her something!”
The main demand for Bibles is from Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and
Malawi. For the latter two countries Bible requests are
largely related to the growth in the use of Youthful Days for work
with children as mentioned in the section on Youthful Days,
above . Towards the end of 2017 a number of individual
requests for Bibles were received from Benin City, Nigeria.
These requests often came from people who were concerned about
salvation or needed help to turn from paganism or Mormonism. Four
believers in Benin City were willing to help with Bible distribution
so it has been possible to focus response to requests through
them. A note from one of those helping in this way is given
‘We were thrilled to have the opportunity to pass out your Bibles. What an exciting day
it was distributing these Bibles amongst unreached people in a small village. We were surprised that they seemed more interested in the Bible than the oranges and bread that had been offered as a free gift by another lady that same day. As I handed the Bible out I reminded the people that Jesus is coming soon, and that they needed to get to know Him by reading His Word everyday.
‘An older woman reached out her hand towards me. “Please give me my free Bible, l have been told that you are bringing it for me” she said. As I handed her the Bible she took it, and hugged it tightly, then raising it to her lips, she kissed it over and over again. “Thank you, thank you all,” she said. “I’ve wanted a Bible for so long.”
‘I got so choked up I had to leave for a minute to wipe away my tears of joy for so many souls happy to get a Bible, I handed out over 8 Bibles that day! Stay Blessed, S.’
Here is a note from one who received a Bible:
‘This Bible arrived on my door and has been so used by the Lord to be of immense blessing to my Christian life. Thank you for giving me my first Bible. l appreciate!
Kind Regards, Mrs P.’
‘Words on paper cannot explain in the least how the Bible you sent to me has changed me spiritually and to serve God more. Mrs I. ‘
Priority in Bible issue has been given to meet the needs in Benin and the expansion in those responding to Youthful Days.
The Book Store
There has been a steady flow of enquiries for second hand books of ministry and a good number have been sent to different parts of the UK and overseas. The following message from Nigeria is of interest:
‘I am proud to tell you that here in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, God is
doing wonderful things as a result of sound messages received
through the books you sent to me... Please send me more
of your books.
May God Almighty be with you.
Yours in His Love.’