Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ,
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Weston are in Athens, Texas, preparing for our annual Living Youth Camp for Church youth of ages 13-17. We expect about 118 campers and 86 staff members to serve, work, and enjoy two activity-filled weeks “recapturing true values” and developing a godly culture of life. The Living Youth website describes the site:
Lone Star Camp is located on 278 acres in the beautiful pinewoods of East Texas. In the heart of this camp lies a picturesque, spring-fed 25-acre lake. Housing includes rustic and modernized cabins, houses, and boys’ and girls’ dormitories. Facilities include a welcome center, air-conditioned gymnasium (complete with classrooms and a dance studio), an outdoor pavilion (seats 3,000), a cafeteria (seats 400), grass-covered playing fields for soccer, football and softball, an in-ground 25-meter outdoor swimming pool, an archery range, and two dozen RV sites.
At Living Youth Camp, Christian Living classes challenge our young people to experience for themselves the values of abundant living that will last a lifetime and beyond. How valuable is the training of our next generation for leadership roles in the service of Christ, His Church, and local communities around the world? God instructs parents and all of us,
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
The world’s youth continue to learn ungodly values of life. As Mr. Weston commented in his July Tomorrow’s World editorial, “God’s creation shows that He loves diversity. But the kind of diversity our children are introduced to at school these days is something that God does not love” (p. 2). Western youth are facing educational dangers, as I mentioned in a recent Tomorrow’s World article: “As children learn humanism and materialism, are they missing out on the values that true education provides?” (“Education or Indoctrination?,” March 2022, p. 4).
Thank God that He is showing LCG youth the way of life that is true and “abundant” (John 10:10). For a week in June, two groups of Living Youth teenagers enjoyed challenging Adventure Camps—one in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and the other in the Ouachita (pronounced “Washita”) National Forest of Arkansas. We appreciate your prayers and support for these exciting and vital youth programs here and around the world!
Around us, we continue to see negative trends in so many sectors of society—including international conflicts and “disaster upon disaster” (Ezekiel 7:26). You may have seen Mr. Weston’s telecast “Russia, Ukraine, and Bible Prophecy,” which aired June 23-29 and received an outstanding response with more than 6,000 viewers requesting Mr. John Ogwyn’s powerful booklet The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality? What is the prophetic significance of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Many of you are subscribers to our News & Prophecy newsletter. Our June 2, 2022 edition reported,
Coming: An EU Army: The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has put intense pressure on European nations to build up their military capabilities far more rapidly than previously planned. European military spending has suddenly increased in many nations in just the last couple of months, and it looks as though increases will continue (EU Reporter, May 20, 2022)…. For several decades, Europe has discussed a common defense but has made little progress. However, recent events in Ukraine have pressured EU nations to finally take action—especially Germany, where the coalition government has agreed to “massively increase military spending” (Deutsche Welle, May 29, 2022). End-time prophecy reveals that the coming German-led European “beast power” will wield great military power on the world stage (Revelation 13:1–4). Actions currently underway could bring about the fulfillment of this major prophecy.
Under the auspices of NATO, several member nations—including Germany—have access to nuclear options. For decades, we have been warning Israelite-descended nations that, unless they repent of their immoral and anti-God actions and ways of life, they will be taken captive and their cities destroyed. Ezekiel’s “prophecy of thirds” gives us a sober warning: “One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them” (Ezekiel 5:12).
Do not misunderstand! God loves human beings (John 3:16) and the end-time Israelitish nations that are rebelling against Him. After they have gone into captivity and learned their lesson, God will return them to the Promised Land in a great “second Exodus” (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 16:14-16; 23:7-8). The King of kings will restore these nations and establish world peace. We pray every day. “Your Kingdom come!” (Matthew 6:10). As Mr. Weston concluded in his June 2022 “Personal” in Tomorrow’s World magazine: “Keep watching—and keep reading Tomorrow’s World magazine!” (“An Existential Threat,” p. 3). The August 2022 edition of Tomorrow’s World magazine will post a circulation of 587,000. That is in spite of a vigorous renewal program that unsubscribes readers who do not contact us or renew their free subscription after about two years of receiving the magazine. Be sure to read both the July and August issues!
Our Television Department has recently finished production of the yearly “Behind the Work” video to be shown at our annual Feast of Tabernacles sites in October. We look forward to members and guests attending our 17 convention sites in the United States and 73 sites in other countries. I have been personally touched and moved in previewing this video titled, “Festival 2022: Behind the Work in Africa.” It discusses the history of God’s Work in Africa—including the broadcast of the World Tomorrow radio programs by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong over Radio Lourenço Marques in 1955. The video also spotlights three current Church members who attended Mr. Armstrong’s three-night evangelistic campaign in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1975. Mr. Peter Nathan, Regional Director, comments: “In 1975, they traveled some 300 km from their homes on the northern slopes of Mt. Kenya to hear Mr. Armstrong over those three evenings. They still form the core of the congregation in Kibirichia, in the Meru District of Kenya, faithfully serving their God some 47 years later.”
Concerning French-speaking African countries, Mr. Nathan reports, “Today, we have other opportunities for preaching the Gospel. Let me give you a right-up-to-date example given to me just before we recorded this program. Our most recent whiteboard, ‘The Three Heavens Explained,’ translated into French, generated a very respectable 34,000 views in its first two weeks on YouTube. Of those 34,000 views, 27 percent came from 17 French-speaking nations in Africa.” The growth of our French-speaking congregations is also very inspiring! Yes, the Gospel is having a positive effect in many parts of the world, including Africa.
God is truly blessing our efforts to preach the Gospel in various languages. You can view the Tomorrow’s World telecast El Mundo de Mañana with Spanish voiceovers on our Spanish-language website, ElMundoDeManana.org. Our Spanish-language Facebook channel, where the telecasts are available, has experienced rapid growth, gaining more than 200,000 followers in five months and with some programs reaching millions of views. Our Canadian French-language telecasts can be seen on our MondeDemain.org website. French voiceovers of the Tomorrow’s World telecast and whiteboard animations are producing good results, as are the new Point de vue (French for “Viewpoint”) videos, which are accessible on YouTube. Our Chinese website in Hong Kong recently began to promote a featured Chinese-language booklet, along with a Viewpoint and Tomorrow’s World article, each month. And Mr. Weston recently reported our venture into another language: “We have begun posting articles in Hindi on the India website and will have new content each week to keep the site up-to-date and active. We are currently offering the English-language Bible Study Course online but will be posting booklets in Hindi in the weeks to come” (The World Ahead, June 30, 2022).
Our Tomorrow’s World magazine is also circulated in Spanish, French, and Afrikaans languages. You may also want to visit our Tomorrow’s World websites in German, Dutch, and Portuguese. We have much more to do, and your support is vital to preaching the Gospel. With high inflation and the threat of a recession, our mail and online income has dropped significantly. Many of our members and co-workers are struggling to survive financially. Be sure to claim God’s promise, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Brethren and co-workers, if you are able to give more than usual at this time, it would be much appreciated and give a great boost to the Work. May God bless you all as you seek His Kingdom first in your life!
In Christian love,
Richard F. Ames