Greetings from Charlotte,
The Middle East continues to “boil and bubble” with new developments coming almost daily, while Europe struggles to pull itself together and the U.S., Britain and other Israelite nations continue their sleepy march towards the edge of a cliff. Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith is working on another co-worker letter and earlier today taped a new Tomorrow’s World program, titled “The Middle East in Prophecy.” Mr. Ames’ TW program last weekend, entitled “Space Wars Ahead,” should receive more than 3,900 responses. Mr. Rod King and Mr. Simon Muthama report that they have had a very profitable visit with a new group of 47 people in Uganda. Dr. Germano is in Charlotte this week to tape lectures for Living University classes and hold a number of meetings. Last weekend we had 29 visitors for the Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation in Greenville, South Carolina. On Friday, the day before the presentation, I was invited to do an interview on a radio station in Spartanburg, SC. The interview went well with the station manager (who reads Tomorrow’s World magazine) asking some very interesting questions about why the world keeps Christmas when it is not in the Bible, etc! This coming Sabbath, Mr. Ron Poole, the pastor in that area, will make a follow-up presentation. Please keep this presentation in your prayers.
Prayer Request: Mr. Fitzroy Greeman
Your fervent prayers are requested for Mr. Fitzroy Greeman, a dedicated servant of God who pastors our congregations in Barbados, Brazil, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Greeman has suffered from hypertension for many years and recently learned that it has caused severe damage to his kidneys. The doctor informed him that if he is to remain alive he must go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant. Your prayers are requested for Mr. Greeman’s complete healing, as well as for all others who are dealing with health trials.
Former Faculty Member Dies
We received news that “Dr. Kermit O. Nelson died Wednesday morning, February 2, 2011, in Sioux Falls, SD, of complications from pneumonia at the age of 85. Dr. Nelson is remembered for his teaching and coaching in Imperial Schools and Ambassador College in both Pasadena, CA, and Big Sandy, TX, from 1957 until he retired in 1995.”
From January 24-27, Mr. Ginn and I went to visit go-to’s in the north of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. In geographic area, Canada is the second-largest country in the world, and most of the population lives in the south of the country, but God is calling people from all over this vast land. We took the time while in the north to visit some long-time members of the Church (since the 70s), who are very seldom visited by brethren due to their remote location. They live 9½ hours north-northeast of Toronto on the outskirts of Rouyn-Noranda, QC, where it dropped to -35 C (-31 F) with a wind-chill of -42 C (-43.6 F) the night before we arrived. It’s when you travel like this that you realize the beauty and extent of God’s creation. (Even from this town, we would have to drive another 10 hours north to reach the middle point geographically of the province of Quebec (north to south)). After having lunch with them, we then drove back 5½ hours to Sudbury (one of the world’s largest suppliers of nickel and copper ores), where we visited four people and baptized one. We also made a visit to a person 2½ hours west of Sudbury in Elliot Lake. We traveled 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) in a snowy wonderland of frozen lakes and rivers in our four-day journey complete with deer and moose sightings. It is always exciting to see people longing for the truth and wanting to know the way of life that God wants us to live. Brethren, please keep the people that live in these areas, where they are alone in the truth, in your prayers for God to help them and protect them.—Marc Arseneault
2010 marked the first year of operation for www.eglisedieuvivant.org, a French website designed as a complement to www.mondedemain.org. Through the year, we registered 8,656 visits by 4,040 unique visitors, primarily from Canada, France and Belgium. We have received more than 150 emails requesting more information, literature or both. There is also a weekly e-mail newsletter offered to inform visitors of new content that has been added throughout the week. The site saw steady growth each quarter and January was an excellent beginning to 2011 as we had more traffic than in any one month during the previous year.—Michael Heykoop
Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Festival Assignments (USA)
Each congregation in the United States has been assigned to a festival site (these are listed below). Brethren in the United States are assigned to festival sites according to the congregation they attend. Please note that your site assignment is based on the congregation you attend, not your home address. This list will be posted on the MyLCG website as well. (For international areas, contact your Regional Office if you do not know your assigned site).
Festival Site Registration begins in two weeks on Sunday, February 27, 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time (USA). Please wait to make housing reservations until you have registered for your site online, and your transfer request (if transferring) has been approved. Here are the site assignments by state:
Branson, Missouri: Congregations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma
Chattanooga, Tennessee: Congregations in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Cobleskill, New York: Congregations in Delaware, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
Glenwood Springs, Colorado: Congregations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
New Braunfels, Texas: Congregations in Louisiana, Texas
Newport, Oregon: Congregations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Panama City, Florida: Congregations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina
Sonora, California: Congregations in California, Hawaii, Nevada
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin: Congregations in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Living Youth Programs
Online Bible Study
Don’t miss our next live, online Bible Study this coming Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Mr. Dan Hall will take the group on a study of Noah and his ark, one of the most familiar and dramatic accounts in the Old Testament. As always, the room will open for chat and fellowship at 7:00 p.m. For more information about how to attend the study, just go to www.livingyouth.org. –Jonathan McNair
Internet Update: Growth During Lean Times
God continues to bless with growth our efforts to do the Work. During the month of January 118,812 people visited www.tomorrowsworld.org. This represents an increase of 35% in the number of people who visited the website during the same time last year.
In 2010 we had a total of 1,178,865 people visit the Tomorrow’s World website. This is a 55% increase in the number of people who visited the website in 2008! During the same period of time, our Internet advertising expenditures decreased by 24%. We are grateful that God has rewarded our efforts to preach the Gospel through the Internet with growth, even during lean economic times.—J. Charles Ogwyn
The Power of Forgiveness: One of the important keys for working together with other people is the willingness and the ability to forgive someone for real or perceived words or actions. And, that is exactly what Christians must learn to do. The Scriptures state that as individuals, we have all sinned, but that we can be forgiven because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died for our sins (Romans 3:23-26; John 3:16). However, Jesus taught that we must also be ready and willing to forgive others who offend us—or God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:12-15). Forgiving others involves not holding grudges or harboring bitterness against others, not seeking to get even, and not gossiping or saying negative or derogatory things about others who have made mistakes or hurt us in some way. This is not always easy, especially when memories, emotions and personal pride are involved, but that is what we are admonished to do if we want to be real Christians—we must learn to forgive. Forgiveness is a powerful tool that makes working together with other human beings possible—and enjoyable!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—February 10, 2011
Israel: Suddenly Surrounded by Threats! Rapidly developing events in the Middle East have placed Israel in a precarious position. On January 12, the pro-Western government of Lebanon collapsed, when ten Hezbollah ministers and the State Minister resigned. Subsequently, a Hezbollah-backed Prime Minister was selected who is said to be a proxy for Iran (Associated Press, January 26, 2011). This places an avowed enemy on Israel’s northern border. With the imminent fall of the pro-Western government in Egypt, the 130-mile border between Egypt and Israel could now become a second front to defend for a thinly stretched Israeli Defense Force. Now, with turmoil erupting in Jordan, Israel faces yet another potentially hostile neighbor with a large population of Palestinian refugees. For the last several decades, Israel has had peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, yet this could change in the days and months ahead as pro-western and “Israel-friendly” governments topple in the increasingly volatile and rapidly changing Middle East. Jesus warned that just before His return, the world would see “Jerusalem surrounded by [Gentile] armies” bent on her desolation (Luke 21:20-24). The Hebrew prophets warned that just before the end of the age, Judah and her Western allies (primarily American and Britain) would “stumble” at the same time and that “half of the city [of Jerusalem] shall go into captivity” (Hosea 5:5; Zechariah 14:2). We appear to be watching this very scenario developing right in front of our eyes!
Economic Riots in Algeria. Flour and salad oil prices have doubled in Algeria in the last couple of months. Although official government statistics place unemployment in the nation at about 10%, independent organizations place it closer to 25%. The result of increasing unemployment and increasing food prices has been rioting. Hundreds of people throughout the nation, mainly youth, have clashed with police and damaged government buildings (Guardian, January 7, 2011). Riots have killed several and injured hundreds of people. Recently, copying an act in Tunisia, several Algerian men have set themselves on fire in protest against the government (www.megharabia.com, January 28, 2011). Algeria has relative wealth because of its oil resources. In response to the recent riots, finance ministers cancelled import tariffs to lower food prices, lessening some of the violence. However, according to one Algerian official, “Our officials have excelled in creating failures; despite the financial abundance Algeria enjoys … they dealt with the social anarchy with the utmost stupidity. Rather than taking urgent measures to quell the anger, they began spreading accusations left and right, trying to find hidden elements who mobilized the street. Well, they haven’t found the hidden elements and haven’t stopped the current deviation” (TheMediaLine.org, January 9, 2011). Long ago, God warned that leaders who are concerned only about themselves and who neglect their people will encounter serious consequences (see Ezekiel 34). The discontent in Algeria is adding to the destabilization across the Middle East and North Africa.
Upheaval in Jordan Too! Amid current turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Sudan, and Lebanon, Jordan’s government is also in upheaval. Reacting to protests, King Abdullah II of Jordan fired his government two weeks ago, tasking his new prime minister with “quickly boosting economic opportunities and giving Jordanians a greater say in politics.” The new Prime Minister is a former Prime Minister (2005-2007) and former general who is pro-U.S. and also pro-Israel. In reaction, the primary opposition group in Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood, noted that the king’s “changes to laws affecting politics and public freedoms” are just cosmetic and are not “real” changes. The Brotherhood is also pushing for cuts to the king’s power (Associated Press, February 1, 2011). Turmoil and unrest appear to be spreading like a virus across the Middle East. This region is becoming “ripe” for a strong leader to come on the scene—perhaps a future king of the South? God predicted through His prophet David, that a confederation of Arab nations would arise at the end of the age and would include Germany/Assyria—ultimately opposing the Israelite-descended nations (Psalm 83:1-8). This could be the turmoil from which comes a “semblance” of order in the Arab world. One day soon Christ will return and set up a totally righteous government of peace, where all who work hard will have plenty to eat and will never again need to distrust their government. God speed that day!—Deborah Lincoln-Strange and Scott Winnail