Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Rod King has returned to the UK after a very profitable trip to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. Mr. Wallace Smith and his family are here in Charlotte for the week while he is filming two programs for the Tomorrow’s World telecast. Mr. Meredith has completed a co-worker letter that is being mailed today and should arrive over the next few weeks. In the letter, Mr. Meredith announced our plans to start an educational arm of the Work, Living University. We plan to offer a limited number of courses this fall, with more to be added in the future. More details are in the letter. I will be heading to Canada for Sabbath services this week.
New Assignments: Mr. Dan Hall will become the new Regional Pastor for the South Central Region of the United States. He and his wife are currently making monthly trips to the Dallas and Gladewater, Texas, congregations. Mr. Carl Ponder will oversee congregations in Jackson, Laurel and Columbus, Mississippi, in addition to his duties in Georgia. Mr. Joe Brown will work with Dr. Scott Winnail to serve the congregations in Pensacola, Florida, and Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Mr. Jonathan McNair reports: “We had a successful combined Sabbath service for the New Jersey congregations this past Sabbath. It was our ‘Living Leadership Course Theme Day’—we are on lesson 4. The sermon and sermonette focused on the topic of self-evaluation as applied to leadership. We followed that with Spokesman Club and our Women’s Enrichment Program, where, once again the theme was discussed. The Women’s Enrichment Program is an opportunity for the ladies to gather together during the time the men are in Spokesman Club. We use the instructional pattern of Titus 2 as our directive—the older women taking a lead in guiding and encouraging the younger women…
“Mr. Dave Chornomaz on Sunday morning said that the ‘afterglow’ from our International Night in Worcester the previous week was still in full force. People were all excited, talking about the activity, sharing pictures, etc. The power of positive fellowship is really amazing! We had our monthly Providence Bible Study on Sunday evening. Our attendance is a consistent 12 to15 people, and I believe that it is well worthwhile. The fact that we have a study there every month gives me an opportunity to spend time with those people on a regular basis… Our new Boston TV station did quite well this past week—16 responses. We’re looking forward to fruit from this station.”
Visit to Africa
Excerpts from Mr. Rod King’s report to Headquarters: “The recent trip to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya revealed that God is indeed working with a growing number of people… We arrived in Johannesburg on January 23 where we met the four ministers and wives… The next two days we had a ministerial conference where we concentrated on how to strengthen the personal spiritual life of the ministers and the lives of the Church members. The subject titled ‘The Honor of the Ministry’ was also covered, where accountability, transparency and competency as important aspects of ministering were emphasized. On the Friday we met for the Annual General Meeting of the South African Board… On the last day, we took a trip to a possible Feast site nearby which involved traveling through magnificent mountain scenery. God has blessed this country with grandeur.
“The Church in Dar es Salaam [Tanzania] is administered by Mr. Jerome Chembe… I completed counseling with three people in Dar on the evening of my arrival… The next day we held a Bible Study at the Chembes’ home and there was a good response from all. Rick Stafford visited there for the 2006 Feast and set a fine example of faithful instruction in God’s Word…
“[In Kenya], it took us nearly two hours to travel 25 kilometres to visit with our members near Kisii. Rain that fell the previous night had turned the road to mud and only by the grace of God did we make it to the Bible study there. Mr. Simon Muthama is a deacon living in Nairobi who has been given the oversight of the church there... We traveled to Homa Bay on the first day and it took all day to get there. At one point we stopped to see 13 giraffe grazing on thorn trees just 50 metres from us. They did not run away and it was my first experience of these noble giants as they used their prehensile tongues to delicately pluck the leaves of these thorny trees without injury to themselves. We spent the next five days visiting and speaking to groups of about 30 to 50 people in various towns.”
FEAST OF TABERNACLES 2007
Information on Three More International Feast Sites
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
The Feast will be held in the beautiful Bay of Islands in New Zealand’s sub-tropical north. Services will be held at the “Comfort Inn, Bay of Islands,” which is located at Te Haumi Bay, Paihia. For those with Internet access, the website is www.boiresort.co.nz. This resort has a very nice, roomy conference facility where services and some social activities will take place, with the added advantage that members will be able to stay on site. Fellowship with other brethren should be a highlight of the Feast.
The accommodation is all of a good standard. There is a range of unit sizes and types (studio, 1 and 2 bedrooms) and prices (USD$55-80 per night) so that everyone’s accommodation needs can be met on site. From now until the end of February only bookings from our LCG group will be accepted by the proprietors. This will give you the best possible opportunity to secure accommodation for your needs. The proprietors are offering us generous tariffs and will charge only for the basic unit with no charge for extra persons in a unit (up to the legal occupancy). You need to identify yourself as being part of the Living Church of God group. Be sure to reserve your accommodation as soon as possible.
The Bay of Islands is rich in colonial history. The whole area offers many restaurants and attractions within easy reach. Feastgoers will be able to tour historic sites and enjoy outdoor activities. The Comfort Inn is located in a quieter part of Paihia, away from the busy, more touristy part of town and is just over three hours’ drive north of Auckland where most overseas visitors will arrive. A good link to the Bay of Islands in general is: www.northlandnz.com/destinations/east_coast/bay_of_islands.htm. For further information, please e-mail or call Kinnear Penman at email@example.com or phone +649 269 2239.
Sierra de la Ventana, Argentina
The Feast of Tabernacles in Argentina will be held in Sierra de la Ventana this year, surrounded by God’s creation and clean air. The Feast will be held at the Cabañas Silver Golf hotel. This peaceful family resort provides good and friendly customer service. Sierra de la Ventana is a small town of approximately 2,000 inhabitants located on a mountain range. Sierra de la Ventana is situated within a natural, virgin environment and benefits from a temperate climate, which provide for several activity opportunities such as horseback riding, mountain and peak hiking, and panoramic viewing. Temperatures in Sierra de la Ventana vary from 65°F to 70°F during the day; they cool down in the evenings to provide for a refreshing and restful night.
The cost for accommodations is approximately USD$25 per person, per day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, towels and housekeeping service. You can visit the hotel’s website at www.hotelsilvergolf.com.ar or the websites on Sierra de la Ventana at www.argentinaturistica.com/sveiresenia.htm; www.sierradelaventana.com; and www.comarcaturistica.com.ar/fsierra.htm, to further research this site.
Translation services into English have not been determined yet. Please keep this in mind before making your arrangements. Those interested in attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Argentina should contact the Spanish Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-844-1960, ext. 217.
The Feast of Tabernacles in Chile will be held in Maitencillo, a beautiful seashore town located some 90 miles northeast of the country’s capital, Santiago. With only 1,200 in population, white sandy beaches, 300-plus-feet-high cliffs, and diverse vegetation make Maintecillo a Millennial site. During the Feast, the brethren can enjoy walks on the beach, bicycle rides, horseback riding, and sightseeing tours to Marbella resort, Penguin Island, Zapallar Springs, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso Harbor and the Casablanca vineyards.
The Feast will be held at “Centro Vacacional 18 de Septiembre” complex in Maitencillo beach. The cost is USD$193 per person for nine days; this includes lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner (based on quadruple occupancy). Roundtrip transportation to Maitencillo from Santiago will be available for only USD$10. There is an international airport in Santiago. Translation services into English have not been determined yet. Please keep this in mind before making your arrangements. Those interested in attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Chile should contact the Spanish Department at email@example.com or call 704-844-1960, ext. 217.
Study the Word: Isaiah records that God is looking for individuals who “tremble at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). Jesus taught that we are to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). He also warned of men who would set aside the commandments of God and teach “as doctrines the commandments [traditions] of men” (Mark 7:5-13). This is why the Apostle Paul stressed that we must diligently study the Scriptures so we can rightly divide (correctly understand and teach) the word of truth and avoid being confused by false teachers and misguided ideas (II Timothy 2:15). In a world where many people have different ideas about what to believe, we need to know what the Bible really says to avoid being misled. Jesus plainly said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—February 15, 2007
Temple Mount Heating Up! Recent repair work by Israel on a bridge leading to the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount brought an outcry from Muslims world wide. The Hamas Prime Minister, speaking from Mecca, called on all Palestinians to “rise up together and protect al-Aqsa” (The Australian, February 8, 2007). Arabs claim the repair work could destroy the mosque, while Israel claims it will not. Under pressure, Jerusalem’s mayor halted repairs, but allowed archaeological excavations to continue, further inciting Arabs (Khaleej Times, February 12, 2007). In addition, an Israeli archaeologist released research suggesting a new and more accurate location for Herod’s Temple, basing his research on cistern maps created by Sir Charles Wilson in 1866 (WorldNetDaily, February 11, 2007). God prophesied that Jerusalem would be a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone” to all surrounding peoples (Zechariah 12:2-3)—which is happening today in the Middle East and will escalate as prophecy marches on. But God also promises to make this current “hot spot” the “throne of the Lord” when Christ returns (Jeremiah 3:17). We should “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6)!
The Pope Calls for More Spiritual Unity. The Pope continues to stress interaction and work between Catholic bishops and other so-called Christian entities (Zenit.org, February 8, 2007). He recently stated that interreligious dialogue and efforts are not “options” but are necessary in the world today. His comments were made to the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, a group he helped found in 1999. Foundation members represent Jews, Muslims, and so-called Christians (Zenit.org, February 1, 2007). As the Pope works to bring the world’s three monotheistic religions together, Jerusalem planners are proposing to restructure Jerusalem using a “Vatican model.” Plans call for three distinct and separately governed areas in Jerusalem: a Palestinian area, a Jewish area and, like Vatican City within Rome, a distinctly non-Jewish/non-Muslim governed area (Haaretz.com, January 31, 2007). Could this lead to a nation-state governed by the EU or future Beast power, within the confines of Jerusalem? Jesus prophesied of a time when Jerusalem would be under “gentile” rule (Luke 21:24). The Bible reveals the Day of the Lord will not come until the “man of sin” is revealed—one who places himself as God in the temple of God (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). Could the ecumenical and “interreligious push” by the Pope, and the proposed ideas to redesign Jerusalem, create the opportunity for a future man of sin to safely dwell in Jerusalem? We need to watch!
Flies Threaten America’s Grain. The wheat-destroying Hessian fly is back with a vengeance in its see-saw battle against mankind. Scientists think it first reached North America in the mattress straw of Hessian mercenaries hired by the British during the American Revolution. Since 1955, scientific research has kept the fly under control. In the last two years, however, the species has undergone genetic changes that enable it to attack wheat plants once again (USDA Agricultural Research Service, January 24, 2007). The Hessian fly is found in most wheat-producing areas of the world, and is especially troublesome in the eastern U.S. Once a field is infested with Hessian flies, there is no effective rescue treatment (FarmAssist.com). God will use various means to get mankind’s attention for rejecting Him. “They have sown wheat but reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain but do not profit... be ashamed of your harvest because of the fierce anger of the LORD” (Jeremiah 12:13). Yet God also commands, “Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping… Return to the LORD your God… Who knows if He will turn and relent” (Joel 2:12-14).—Don Davis, Scott Winnail
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