By Steve Wallace, Kevin Campbell
In late August of this year, Doug Hill, of Pasadena, Texas, arrived in Kaunas the third week of August to start another effort to spread the gospel in Kaunas. Steve Wallace worked with him for a good portion of September; then Kevin Campbell arrived in mid-October to stay until they both left the first week of November. Ivan Valdes followed them in the work and Derek Chambers, who is still there as this report is written, followed Ivan.
Almost everyday for three months a table full of literature in the Lithuanian language was set up on the busy Laisves Aleja. It is one of the main streets in town and limited to pedestrian traffic. Things were busy at the table and we had several days that were unlike anything I have seen since our early efforts in Lithuania with people crowded around the table asking questions and taking literature. On at least one day we ran out of some of the tracts. We had gotten three new tracts printed since our efforts there this spring, one of which is the first lesson of a Bible correspondence course by brother Campbell. Al-ways, we handed out invitations to our Sunday lectures to everyone who passed.
The attendance at the Sunday lectures varied, which has been our general experience in working there. Ads were run in the paper advertising lecture topics, sometimes large ones with a paragraph telling of the need for learning about a given topic. We made overhead charts of our lessons which were handed out to all who came. Our high attendance was 11 visitors at one lecture. After Kevin arrived, an effort to spread the gospel in the city of Siauliai was started. Siauliai is a city about one and a half hours north of Kaunas. Jay Horsley, Doug Hill, and Kevin Campbell made several trips to Siauliai to hold Bible lectures. A school room was rented and several days were spent each week distributing literature and invitations to the lectures on the streets of Siauliai. Fourteen were in attendance at the first lecture and twenty-eight at the second a week later.
One precious soul has been baptized there and brethren hope that this is the beginning of a new congregation in Siauliai. Also, Doug and Steve held a lecture in the little town of Smalininkai on Wednesday evening, 27 September. Ten people were in attendance and interest was good.
The Church in Kaunas
Things are going well with church there. As the group is made up completely of women a lesson dealing with the role of women, making special application to the work there, was preached. It was well received. We are encouraged by the progress of the Christians there. Also, there are visitors at every service who have shown interest in the gospel.
We are moving into another stage in our translation of material into Lithuanian. Up to this point we have been translating and printing tracts. However, we now plan to start translating books of 50-100 pages in length. There is a complete dearth of reading material and Bible study books for these brethren, and books published by those in human denominations are starting to appear on the market there. Also, we believe that publishing religious debates will help truth seekers among the population to better study the Bible in an environment that offers increasingly more diversity in religious teaching. Beyond all this, Lithuania was previously a Russian republic, unlike most Eastern European nations which were merely satellites. Hence, many people know Russian. Once we are able to offer translators copies of a book in both English and Lithuanian it will not be difficult to produce a copy of the book in Russian. This will help the work of spreading the gospel in Russian speaking lands. We have come up with an economical way to print such books in limited quantities.
Can You Come to Kaunas in 1996?
Beginning in March 1996, a further effort to spread the gospel is being planned for Kaunas. It is planned to continue into December. Workers are needed. Can you come for a few weeks? Everyone who has worked in Kaunas believes in the need for further work to be done there and has found the work something they were able to do. Please contact one of us for information about working there.
(Note: After this report arrived, brother Wallace sent me a note on Compuserve indicating that two had recently been baptized in Kaunas as a result of their efforts this fall.)
Guardian of Truth XL: 5 p. 12-13
March 7, 1996