By Max A. Burgin
This report comes to you from Lismore in the extreme northeast of N.S.W. where we have been for six weeks. This is a very prosperous city of 25,000. in some of Australia’s most beautiful country midway between the ocean and the mountains, being twenty miles from each. The city proper is in a basin which floods almost every year. The record flood of 1974 saw almost 30 feet of water over the caravan park where we are at this very moment; and the business area was under six to eight feet. The “ordinary” floods are up to eight feet or less, but in my opinion are still “a complete wash-out” but those here “for life” accept it as another day.
The church here consists of 16 members and 5 children, including ourselves, and meets in the City Band Hall on Sunday mornings; all other services are in the Squires’ home. At the moment these are on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. Another class is also being arranged to cater for the development of the children and the young Christians. Plans are also under way to purchase a meeting place of their own, however there remain a few difficulties which make it impossible to determine the final outcome of these plans.
We are now beginning a regular teaching article in the local newspaper as well as advertising the meetings etc. I have made contact with several people I’ve known from past visits and set up studies with two, one of which continues. Many things are against the work here just now: two of the women have just had babies and live 25 miles out of town, another member lives about 30 miles out in another direction and twice have been held up by flooding. The majority of the members are young and / or very weak Christians. On top of this, the approaching holiday season makes for a very unstable time. For these reasons we will most likely stay longer than three months, or return at a later date.
Since my last report I have preached in two missions. The first was at Mackay Qld. at the close of our work there when Rolly McDowell and 1 shared the preaching. Prior to that effort we letter-boxed 3,000 invitations, advertised each day for two weeks on the radio, including a live interview, which resulted in nine visitors, three of whom returned at least once. Others were contacted who did not attend and studies continue with a total of five people. At Bundaberg I preached in a seven-day mission on our way from Mackay to Lismore; 19 people visited and 14 of them had not previously attended. Some returned several times but I am not sure of the number.
Last week I returned to Bundaberg for three days to be together with Rolly McDowell and Leslie Diestelkamp, prior to Leslie’s leaving the country. Profitable hours were spent discussing the work in many places and how best our time could be used in each.
We are happy to report an increase in support of $39.31 ($50 U.S.) which comes to us from Brother and Sister Howard McGuire, 8072 21st Street, Westminister, California 92683. This makes our support average $728.26 per month against a budget of %750. A few weeks ago we also received $50 U.S. from Brother and Sister Harris Dark which was much appreciated and we are thankful.
In spite of some minor health problems resulting in seven days in bed on my part, we thank the Lord continually for our well-being and pray always for you brethren who have so generously made the necessities and comforts of life available to us.
May you all be aware of God’s richest blessings strive together for the salvation of lost souls.
Truth Magazine, XX:10, p. 5-6
March 4, 1976