Greetings from Charlotte,

Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames both recorded new Tomorrow’s World television programs this week. Mr. Meredith recorded, “Why Earthquakes?” offering the booklet Who Controls the Weather? Mr. Ames recorded, “Prove the Bible,” offering the booklet The Bible: Fact or Fiction? Mr. Rod McNair and Mr. Crockett conducted a teleconference with Festival Site Coordinators from around the world on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Germano was in Charlotte this week to record lectures for Living University and to take care of university-related business. Last Sabbath, I was with about 100 brethren in Sacramento, California and conducted a Tomorrow’s World Bible Study. We had 27 “new” people attend the study, titled “What’s Ahead for America?”  Dr. Fall will follow-up with a presentation this Sabbath, titled “Where Is God’s Church Today?” This coming weekend I will be visiting congregations in Ohio; Mr. Charles Ogwyn will be speaking in Walterboro, South Carolina; Mr. Ehman will be in Anderson, South Carolina; and Mr. Apartian’s visit to Statesville, North Carolina, was postponed.
Church Administration
Ministerial Transfers and Changes
Mr. Harold Way will be moving from Kansas City, where he has served as the Associate Pastor, to the San Francisco Bay area in California area where he will pastor the Concord (Oakland), Redding and Fresno congregations.
Mr. Wallace Smith will be moving from the St. Louis, Missouri area—where he is serving as Pastor of the St. Louis, Rolla, and Columbia congregations—to Ohio, where he will pastor the Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), congregations. Mr. Charles Knowlton, who has been the Associate Pastor in Columbus, will be retiring from that responsibility, but will continue as an Elder. In the interim, Mr. Lambert Greer will be the Pastor of these congregations. Mr. Val Burgett will be leaving the full-time ministry, but will continue as an Elder. We appreciate the years of service rendered by Mr. Knowlton and Mr. Burgett.
Haiti Update
All of our members are safe. The homes of two Church families were completely destroyed by Haiti’s January 12 earthquake. The homes of additional families were damaged and are unfit to inhabit. We are making arrangements for a new place for our members to meet for services, as well as assisting the families.  
Today, we received a report from one of our leading members in Haiti, Mr. Boniface Louijamé, recounting his experience on the day of the disaster:  “On Tuesday, January 12, at around 4:50 p.m. I was returning from the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, located some 8 km from Port-au-Prince’s centre city. Three of us, friends and engineers, were traveling together… [The driver] was taking me home. He was descending to the street rue de Casernes, where he was to meet another person. In a span of maybe two or three minutes, I heard a noise and felt the shaking. The vehicle began to sway. I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing. What was happening? It was an unusual earthquake. A magnitude 7.3, it razed the city of Port-au-Prince, including the National Palace, which had been known for its resistance to bad weather and its exceptional beauty (… a contrast in Haiti).
“I was at the heart of the worst; I couldn’t flee forward or backward. I was only a few tens of meters from the National Palace, the Treasury and the Parliament buildings, which were completely destroyed. Almost all the buildings on that bloc—to the right and to the left, to the front and to the back of the vehicle—succumbed. It was a picture I had never seen—not even in the movies. Only the two buildings closest to my vehicle not only remained standing but, apparently, also intact. If any windows fell… they must have fallen after my departure. The losses are incalculable…. The earthquake affected an area of 90km in diameter. It was until the following Sabbath that I was able to see Mr. Jove Jean-Pierre [our deacon]. The house where Church services used to be held was crushed by a building next to it that succumbed to the shaking. It was left totally unusable. The Jean-Pierre family, which used to live in that house, was spared. Most of the family members were outside when the earthquake occurred. Mr. Jean-Pierre [our deacon] was inside and barely escaped.”
Divine Intervention
Mr. Paul Shumway reports: We have had a lot of snow this winter and now rain, which is causing severe flooding.  This week one of our members called to request that the Church pray for his home since there was flooding upriver and the weather forecast called for flooding in his town (Alderson, West Virginia).  The river was expected to crest at noon the following day at 27 feet above flood stage.  This would not only flood their basement, but would also flood the main living area of their home.  As we were speaking, the fire department told them it was time to evacuate.  Our members took their parents and relocated across town at a sister’s home, which was on higher ground.
The next morning I spoke with our member who was overjoyed.  He said that within two hours of calling to request prayers, flood conditions began to change.  The river crested much earlier than forecasted (midnight rather than noon the following day) and the water level was much lower than anticipated.  Our members returned to their home later that night—and no damage!.... our members in West Virginia are humbled and thankful for God’s intervention once again on behalf of His servants!
United Kingdom and Africa Update
Mr. Rod King reports: We ended the year with a slight deficit in income over expenses.  We were actually expecting it to be more of a minus figure than it was so we are grateful…. our budget for 2010 should hopefully be balanced, even after allowing for only a 5% increase in income.  Our [United Kingdom] Tomorrow’s World subscription list is running at 9,000 and is building at just about 120 new contacts a week.  That will translate into about 6,000 additions [in 2010], but we will also lose some who do not renew their subscription.
I had a wonderful weekend (just passed) with the Belgian brethren.  We had a good attendance at Sabbath services with an ALTP class before services and then the LLC after services.  On Sunday,  Mr. Ellis and I conducted a pre-marriage counselling as well as a meeting with our young adults. There is a fine group there who want to do things God’s way….
I will be leaving for a trip to Kenya in mid-February, where I will meet with a representative from Parents magazine.  We plan to run an article and advertisement for our marriage booklet. From Nairobi, I will carry on to South Africa for their Annual General Meeting as well as two TW Bible lectures in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  Our new television station in Cape Town is producing good results.  The Church in Ireland has generously supported the South Africans with funds for the station.
Little Rock Family Weekend
The “Go West” Little Rock Family Weekend was a great success!  A total of 161 brethren attended our “Go West” family weekend activities, which included adult and children’s Bible studies, Sabbath services, an exceptional BBQ Brisket dinner and a very festive dance.  On Sunday, we continued the festivities with a western style “flap-jack & scrambled eggs” breakfast, games and more fellowship.  The local brethren opened their homes to host guests from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida!  
Everyone had a wonderful time, but the real highlight of the weekend was hearing that our brethren in Haiti were protected from the initial effects of the terrible, recent earthquake.  Mark your calendars for January 15-16, 2011 (MLK Day Weekend) for next year’s Little Rock Family Weekend.  God-willing, we will see you there!
New Extension Numbers
Attention Ministry: Please note that the Headquarters’ staff phone extension numbers have slightly changed. The number “2” has been added in front of the previous three-digit extension numbers, making the new extensions four-digit. In a few cases, extensions are completely different. In the following days, please look for an updated extension directory on the ministerial section of MyLCG(www.cogl.org).
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Festival Coordinators Web-Meeting and International Registration
We had a profitable web-meeting last Wednesday, January 27, through the Internet.  It was exciting to see technology bring together in a meeting at least 18 of our coordinators from such diverse places as Australia, Malaysia, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and Belgium.  We discussed festival contracts and budget issues, early International registration, plans for this year’s festival brochure, using the Internet to disseminate information about the Feast, and lessons learned from 2009.  We will be announcing the early (International) registration date soon. Please note that our Feast site in Anchorage, Alaska will also open for early registration, along with the international sites. 
For your convenience, we are republishing below the list of confirmed 2010 international sites. Barbados and Georgetown, Guyana have been added to the list. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Other international sites are still being finalized and will be announced once confirmed.
International Sites:
Argentina, Islas del Delta
Australia, Victor Harbor (South Australia)
Chile, El Quisco
France, Hyères (Provence d’Azur)
Guatemala, Quetzaltenango
Guyana, Georgetown
Indonesia, Batu
Jamaica, Montego Bay
Malaysia, Penang
Martinique (French West Indies)
Mexico, Tolantongo (Hidalgo)
New Zealand, Nelson (South Island)
Papua New Guinea, Wewak
Philippines, Baguio City
Philippines, Davao City
South Africa, Still Bay (Western Cape)
Sri Lanka
Tobago, Crown Point
United Kingdom, Llangollen (Wales)
Vanuatu, Orap
Living Youth Camp
It’s hard to believe, but summer—and our exciting summer youth camps—will be here before you know it!  Registration for the Living Youth Camps for the summer of 2010 begins next Monday, February 1.  Texas Pre-Teen Camp will be held June 13-18 at Fort Parker State Park, located 80 miles south of Dallas in Mexia, Texas.  Missouri Pre-Teen Camp will be held June 20-27 at Cuivre River State Park (about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis, Missouri).  The Rocky Mountain Adventure camp is tentatively set for July 7-15.  The LYC Teen Summer Camp will be held August 3-13, at Raccoon Creek State Park, just west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To register for any of these summer camps for 2010, and for more information, please visit the website: www.livingyouth.org.
Living University
Enrollment Update: The semester is now underway with more than 100 students registered! We are thankful to God for the opportunity to pass on details of God’s truth to future generations around the globe through the use of computer technology. What would the apostles think about the capability to educate that we have today?
On-Campus Program: For those planning to apply for on-campus study in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in August, please contact Dr. Scott Winnail as soon as possible and let him know of your interest to apply. As we plan for the Fall Semester (Fall in the northern hemisphere) it will be very helpful to have a rough idea of how many students are interested in attending the on-campus program and how many desire work-study positions. If you have any questions about our on-campus program, please contact Dr. Winnail. His contact information is as follows: swinnail@livinguniv.com and 704-844-1966, option 7.
Real Christians Grow: Jesus encouraged His disciples to “bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Peter urged believers to “add to your faith virtue [courage and determination], to virtue knowledge” (2 Peter 1:5). He told Christians to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Paul warned that “we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro… with every wind of doctrine… but … grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15). Paul already had extensive religious training, yet he continued his religious education after his conversion by looking to senior teachers in the faith for guidance (Galatians 1:13-19). Apollos also grew on the job as a preacher by listening to advice from more experienced teachers (Acts 18:24-28). As Christians, we must continue to grow so that God can use us to serve others and reach this world with a powerful and relevant message about Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. Let’s ask God to help us grow mentally and spiritually as individuals, and to help us grow as His Church so we can be a more effective instrument in His hands to accomplish His purpose on this earth.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 28, 2010
Being Christian Is Becoming Criminal. In recent years, Christians in Western society have come under increasing pressure to keep their beliefs “in the closet.” Britain, long a haven for religious freedom, is now a haven for discrimination against Christians. Recent headlines tell of Christians losing their jobs after offering to pray for a sick person or suggesting that a client look to God for help. “What this amounts to is that for Christians, the freedom to live according to their religious beliefs—one of the most fundamental precepts of a liberal society—is fast becoming impossible. Indeed, merely professing traditional Christian beliefs can cause such offence that it is treated as a crime.” According to one author, “...it is nevertheless a source of wonderment that for the police, ‘hate crime’ doesn’t seem to occur whenever Christianity is pilloried, mocked and insulted—as happens routinely—but only when a minority faith is in the frame.” Ironically, the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently chastised British politicians for adding to the fray. One author sees the situation this way, “Without the Biblical narrative, which gave the world the revolutionary idea of an orderly universe that could therefore be investigated by the use of reason, science would never have developed in the first place” (Daily Mail, December 14, 2009). God warned that those who reject Him will be given over to a debased mind (Romans 1:28). These same individuals are often well-educated, “always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). We need to pray for the day when God’s Truth will fill the earth (Isaiah 11:9).
European Council President Wants Rapid Reaction Force. In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Herman Von Rompuy stated that the European Union needs to create its own “humanitarian rapid reaction force.” Currently, the EU’s aid is sent through the United Nations. President Von Rompuy appears to be moving Europe to the point where it can act independently of the UN. Von Rumpuy’s plan is for this force to be used for future emergencies (www.bbc.com, January 19, 2010). Bible prophecy does indicates that a military power will soon arise in Europe (Revelation 13:1). Any Rapid Reaction Force would necessarily have military backing in order to accomplish extremely difficult tasks. For example, in addition to all of the aid being sent to Haiti by the United States, thousands of military personnel are also being deployed to keep the peace and provide humanitarian assistance. Once an EU force is established, it could be used for humanitarian aid around the globe. In theory, too, this EU force could even be used to “aid” the U.S. in a future major disaster, like those mentioned in Leviticus 26. Time will make clear just how such a force will be used.
Newly Discovered Bible Text Supports Bible Understanding. “Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing—an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David’s reign… ‘It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research,’ said Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text.” To this point, most Hebrew scholars believed that most of the Old Testament originated in about the 6th century B.C. This new research suggests a date of at least 400 years earlier (LiveScience.com [Yahoo], January 15, 2010). Skeptics often criticize the Bible as being a collection of myths compiled by relatively recent writers. However, as time goes on and more credible research surfaces, it becomes increasingly evident that the Bible is indeed a source more ancient than “experts” traditionally have thought. Christ noted “…For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known” (Matthew 10:26). Could it be that, at the end of the age, God’s Truth will be evident to all, and that in order to continue to deny it, one will have to “ignore” widely known facts?—Scott Winnail, Daniel Bennett, Mark Sandor, James Ginn