Chapter 32 - Survey of Work Foreign Workers

Chapter 32 - Brief Up Survey of Work Foreign Workers and Women’s Ministry

The humble work begun by brethren Williams and Johnston in Puerto Cabello in 1914 has had a remarkable growth and expansion. When the writer arrived in 1922, there was the original assembly, formed at the beginning of 1916, and an infant assembly in a coffee plantation called Las Quiguas, in the nearby hills. These two were the only ones in the State of Carabobo; also there were only three infant assemblies in the State of Yaracuy, making a total of five. When the first edition of “It Can Be Done” was published in 1938, there were twenty-two assemblies on scriptural lines in Venezuela. Now in 1973, there are sixty-eight assemblies distributed amongst fifteen of the twenty states in this Republic, and forming a chain from the far west to the east. In addition to these fifteen states, six of the aforementioned assemblies are in the Federal District (Caracas area) and have been planted since 1938. There is also another assembly in La Guaira, the port for Caracas.

The printing press, which for fifty years operated in Puerto Cabello, has been moved to Barquisimeto and brethren in that assembly have voluntarily undertaken the work. In addition, our brethren in Caracas have their modern press which turns out a Gospel paper called, “The Voice in the Desert”, and also our believers’ magazine called, “La Sana Doctrina” (“Sound Doctrine”).

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Mr. and Mrs. Sidney J. Saword, celebration of 50 years in the Lord’s work in Venezuela, December 17, 1972 in the Gospel Hall, Puerto Cabello

The day school in Puerto Cabello, which began in 1919, has gone on well up to the present, but owing to unreasonable requirements of the Ministry of Education, they may have to make some modifications in the near future. The school in El Mene, which Miss Martha Kember and her faithful Venezuelan helper carry on, is a great asset to the work there.

The Home for Aged Saints in Puerto Cabello has, at the time of writing, a full house and a competent staff to attend to the work. The capacity is for thirty-six guests. There are one or two on the waiting list.

THE FOREIGN WORKERS in this country, in order of seniority, are: Sidney J. (1922) and Eleanor C. (1925) Saword, Puerto Cabello.
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 Eddie and Joan Fairfield, Valencia
J. Edward (1933) and Joan A. (1961) Fairfield, Valencia. He operates a large deposit of Bibles, hymn books and Christian literature, in the interest of the work.

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Bruce E. and Rhoda Cumming (1947), Puerto Cumarebo, Edo. Falcon.
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Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Georgina Milne (1947), San Felipe, Edo. Yaracuy.


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John G. and Elizabeth Frith (1948), Duaca, Edo. Lara.


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Back: Ken, Joe, Ruth, Sidney, David
Front: Allen, John, William, Andrew


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Neal R. (1956) and Alice Thomson with their two sons



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Mr. and Mrs. James Walmsley

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Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Ussher, Palo Negro, Aragua State

SISTERS:Miss Edith K. J. Gulston (1924), Puerto Cabello.
At the time of writing, this veteran sister was recently given a reception in honor of her eightieth birthday, being the first worker to attain this advanced age on the field.

Mrs. William Williams (1928), Puerto Cabello, Edo. Carabobo.

Miss Fanny M. Goff (1937), Puerto Cabello, Edo. Carabobo.

Miss Martha Kember (1950), El Mene, Falcon State.

Miss Isabel Macdonald (1967), Puerto Cabello.

Miss Florence Ronald (1971), Puerto Cabello.

Miss Isabel M. Perkins (1973), Puerto Cabello.

Miss Ruth Thompson (1973, also was here for a previous term). Ruth has undertaken a very worthy branch of service, caring for young children of mothers in fellowship, whilst these are earning a living for the family. The children are gathered up in the morning and taken to their respective homes at night.


The above mentioned sisters were commended from scriptural assemblies to engage in work for which they are qualified, within the sphere of woman’s ministry, such as teaching in our day schools, doing nursing work, caring for the aged in the Home for such, and work amongst children. They are dedicated to Sunday School work. In the Puerto Cabello area alone, there are eight Sunday Schools, with corresponding Halls, and in two of these there are at least two hundred children enrolled. Our sisters also give valued help in the work of the believers’ magazine, its preparation and dispatching, also in colportage work in towns and villages.

As an example of what is being done for the needy; a woman was living with a man who spent much time hunting and drinking. His Christian brother persuaded the woman to attend Gospel meetings, which she did. When her man got to know this he threatened to kill her if she became an “evangelical.” In due time she trusted Christ as Saviour and Lord, and was baptized. The man in a fury took his gun determined to shoot her, but she hid herself. He then laid the eight children on the mud floor of the hut with the intention, no doubt, of shooting them all but God put His fear into the man, so he shot himself. The sisters and others gave timely help until the mother was able to find employment, which the Lord provided for her, and the oldest daughter looks after the younger children.


The apostle Paul closes his epistles to the saints in Rome and Colosse with honorable mention of different acquaintances, whose love for the Lord and His people made them very dear to his heart. A list could also be added to this book of those not mentioned in these pages, who through the constraining love of Christ, have fulfilled the ministry entrusted to them and have finished their course with joy. These names are in the Lamb’s book of life, and at the judgment seat of Christ the due rewards will be given. A number of both brethren and sisters are still with us although not commended as full time workers, nevertheless are valuable assets in the work.

One such is Jose del C. Pena, who rendered such valuable help to Mr. Williams in his pioneering efforts. He was saved over fifty years ago, being one of the firstfruits of the Gospel in Aroa. His wife departed to be with Christ many years ago and he now has no home of his own. When any of the Lord’s servants lack a partner in special meetings, he is the emergency man. He is a lover of the Word, and has a shepherd’s heart. It is a grand thing to see a man, after long years of pilgrimage, going on faithful to the end.

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Mr. and Mrs. Donald and Eunice Alves and Family, Valencia, Venezuela (see note: Appreciated collaboration)

We take pleasure also in mentioning Mr. Donald R. Alves and Mrs. Eunice M. Alves. He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Hector Alves of Vancouver. She is the third daughter in the Saword family. He follows his professional calling, and as they were both exercised about helping in the Lord’s work here, they joined us about seventeen years ago. He still is engaged in business but, with Eunice, dedicates all the time available for children’s work, the Gospel and ministry. They made their home first in Caracas, then were transferred to Maracaibo and now for sometime have re sided in Valencia.

On behalf of fellow workers and myself, I take this opportunity of expressing our most grateful thanks to the different channels that supply us with Gospel literature, namely:The Good Tidings Publishers: “Spanish Messages of Love”; “El Sembrador”, Mexico; “Palabras de Amor”, Chile; “Living Words”; “Palabras Fieles”; Gospel Publishing House, New Zealand; The Scripture Gift Mission, and others.

Our sincerest thanks are likewise due to a number of channels associated with Assemblies, which so kindly forward gifts from those of the Lord’s people who prefer such an arrangement.