The Stone
Publishing Trust

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPT ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2018

TRUST PUBLICATIONS

Magazines

“Youthful Days” – Circulation 3,000 – A bimonthly Christian magazine for young people

Editor – Keith Wickens

Youthful Days has a strong subscription-based circulation in the UK which is maintained from year to year. In addition, large numbers of the magazine are distributed free of charge in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, where the material and articles are regularly used by Sunday school teachers. Children are encouraged to participate in an age-related Bible Class, and take-up for this has been steadily growing overseas. There are now large numbers of children participating in Malawi and Mozambique, and in Zambia eleven churches are currently committed to the Bible Class involving more than three hundred children, ably supported by James Bwalya who coordinates all the arrangements. Bible Class answers are marked locally in each of these countries, and the scores are then forwarded to the Editor for consolidation into yearly totals, which become the basis for the issue of certificates of achievement for all.

Amos Mukoko is one of those who coordinates Bible Class activities in Malawi. He writes: Thank you for the magazines and the Bible Class which encourage our needy young ones to study God’s word. He also reports that a Bible Class of eight boys was recently started in Sandama near to the border with Mozambique, now there are seventeen boys and girls taking part. In addition there are six primary schools in Kenya who use the magazine as a teaching aid. 

One of the Sunday school teachers in Zambia gives testimony of God’s work amongst the young: I am very happy to see the way God is working amongst our children. Through the sharing of Youthful Days and teaching the children the word of God, other people have also shown an interest in attending our Church. Some of the friends of the Sunday School pupils also come and they share the Word of God together. 

All this is a great encouragement to the Editor, to Eric McPhail, who provides the Student questions and the Word Search, and to David Greeves who has worked so hard to develop the Bible Class for the 5-11 age groups, and who attends to the scores and the certificates. It is also a tribute to the vision of our late Chairman, David Mutton, who strongly supported the development and continuation of the magazine.

Associated Publication: “Christian Fundamentals No. 3”

This recently published booklet consists of reprints of twelve short articles on vital Christian truths printed in Youthful Days between 2012 and 2016. Subjects include: Atonement, Baptism, Worship, and The Coming of the Lord. Copies are available free of charge from the Trust. The booklet is a follow-up to earlier issues of Christian Fundamentals booklets which were exceptionally well received and proved useful to many.

“Living Water” – Circulation 1,800 – A bi-monthly magazine containing
recent teaching, testimonies, poems and other ministry

Editor – Mark Lemon

Living Water has been published for just over 25 years. During that time there has been a steady growth in take-up. One reader wrote on renewing his subscription: Thank you for the joy of receiving Living Water. Selected items from the magazine are translated into Burmese and Ngawn Chin (another language used in parts of Burma – now also known as Myanmar). Translation is organised by Joshua Ai Za Len helped by his son Samuel. 8,000 copies are distributed. The full cost of this is borne by this Trust. Before embarking on this venture, the Trustees took advice from Timothy Eng, whose name was given to us by Edwin Cross of “Chapter Two”. Mr Eng advised that there was a great shortage of Christian material available in the Burmese languages and encouraged us to support this work. Mang Cin Pau wrote in 2018: Living Water 146 arrived yesterday and I am so much blessed by this book. I shared it with my church members and it is so loved by the people.

Associated Publication: Good News from Heaven

This is a collection of gospel preachings originally issued as a supplement to Living Water 118 in 2013. It continues to be in demand especially overseas. A Hindi version was prepared in India and the sister doing the translation reports that the books have been a tremendous blessing to the people here. Susanna Wobolo from Nigeria writes: This booklet has won souls to Christ here and is helpful to those searching for the truth. Copies are regularly left in Preston Prison and it seems the prisoners are happy to take them to read.

BIBLE DISTRIBUTION OVERSEAS

Bible distribution has always been part of the Trust’s work but over the years demand has grown and this work has begun to absorb an undue proportion of our resources. In 2018 distribution was concentrated on three areas:

  • Bibles for Ghana according to needs endorsed by Mr Malcolm Wallach.
  • Bibles for Africa in support of those responding to the Youthful Days Bible Class
  • Bibles for Benin – during 2018 various enquiries were received from Benin not only for Bibles but also asking questions about salvation,how to respond to approaches from Mormons, baptism, and many other things. Four Christians in Benin agreed to help with Bible distribution and by focussing on these Benin requests we were able to direct our resources where they were most needed.

One of our distributors writes: A few days ago several souls came to the Lord with the help of the Bibles we took to their houses. Some tried to thank me but I told them all the glory goes to God. It is wonderful to place these Bibles with needy persons who cannot afford to purchase one.

Many personal notes of thanks are received, here are two:

I received your Bible and counselling note. Thank you very much.- Julius

Thank you for listening to me and sending me your note on baptism and a Bible –N

DISTRIBUTION OF TRACTS PUBLISHED BY BRIAN PARR

The Trust seeks to provide supplies of these tracts free of charge to any who wish to use them. Demand for tracts declined somewhat. UK distribution in 2018 fell by 91,000 from the peak level of 2015. Nevertheless demand is still strong and is likely to continue so. During 2018 a young lad was murdered in a fish bar in SE London. Tony Morley, a Christian working in the community, mingled with the crowd that gathered at the scene. Some were mourning, others were frightened or angry, and others were despairing. Tony took the opportunity to hand
out copies of “JESUS the door of Hope”. He reported that not one person in the crowd refused to take a tract and what a joy it was to have a message of hope to distribute at such a time.

THE BOOK STORE

The book store has generated quite a lot of interest especially in India where three complete sets of JND’s collected writings have been sent during 2018. There are two Pastors Libraries in Nigeria to which we send regular consignments of books as well as one in Ghana. Sadly because of poverty none of these recipients are able to make a contribution to postage. Even where books are sent to more prosperous parts of the world the cost of making money transfers is a major disincentive.

A note from Ajayi Sola who runs one of the libraries said: Thank you for the happiness and hope you gave me through the materials you have been sending me. Another note from Michael Wulikely said: I kept the Darby Bible and the two volumes of Joseph Pellatt. Please in the next parcel send me more of C A Coates writings. These were sent in the November dispatch.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Stocks of “Hymns and songs for praise and worship” ran low in the year and a reprinting was arranged. Following previous complaints about the binding the book now has a better cover The five gospel preachings printed successively in Living Water 149-153 have been combined into a book which is available to purchase.
A further issue of Christian Fundamentals is also under consideration.

TRUST ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

We would take the opportunity of this report to thank those who help with transcription, proof reading and translations. We are truly grateful for all such voluntary support. The Trustees would specially wish to thank the following for the time and commitment given to Trust work:

Graham Boyes:  Management of the Book Store
Ian Coldrick: Production Editor: Youthful Days
Phil Coldrick: Web site development and management
David Greeves: Bible Class design and management (up to age 11): Youthful Days
Tim Knappett:  Production Editor: Living Water
Keith Parkin: Treasurer
Fiona Wallace: Independent Examiner (Accounts)

We are very thankful for the many who support the work through prayer and also those who help practically through gifts.