November 18th, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
This week saw the beginning of Semi-Annual letter responses, where we advertised a DVD containing three Tomorrow’s World telecasts that have been censored in some locations. We held the second lengthy meeting on Thursday to discuss the Teen Living Youth Camp in Texas. We are excited about our prospects for 2022 and are working to refine some procedures and programs from last year. Messrs. Bill Long and Bobby Jacques have also begun work on Adventure Camp 2022. Ministers in various locations are also gearing up for Family Weekends around the end of the year, including a Young Singles Weekend in Wisconsin that Carol and I plan to attend. Mr. and Mrs. Cristian Orrego returned from their trip to Mexico where they visited members in several cities, and Dr. Douglas Winnail returned from his trip to Southern Missouri and Arkansas. Some members are facing employment trials due to vaccine mandates and would appreciate our prayers as they struggle with this challenge.—Gerald Weston
Trials Test Our Faith: The Apostle Paul warned, “Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1). Jesus predicted that the end of the age would be marked by increasing trials and turmoil on a global scale (Matthew 24), and He wondered aloud, “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). When the challenges of life begin to mount, we need to remember that faith is one of the fruits of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and that God gives His Spirit to those who trust Him and obey His instructions (Acts 5:32). However, we must also do our part to stir up God’s Spirit (2 Timothy 1:6–7). We need to remember that we can ask for more faith (Luke 17:5), and that faith comes from hearing (and studying) God’s word (Romans 10:17). God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9), and He is like a rock and a fortress that protects His faithful people (Psalm 31:3, 23). James wrote, “the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3–4). Let’s remember to study the examples of faith in Hebrews 11 as we work through the trials we face in our lives.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 18, 2021
Fertilizer Costs and Food Shortages: The costs of fertilizer have roughly tripled since last year, which has serious implications for world food production (Fortune, November 4, 2021). According to the CEO of a large Norwegian fertilizer producer, “The world is facing the prospect of a dramatic shortfall in food production as rising energy prices cascade through global agriculture.” He predicted very low crop yields in the next harvest cycle and noted that “the delayed effects of the energy crisis on food security could mimic the chip shortage crisis.”
As reported by many news outlets, rapidly rising energy prices across the globe are putting upward pressure on farm-produced goods. Rising energy prices make it more expensive to dry and preserve foods, produce packaged food, and bring food to market. Floods and fires have also impacted food prices. In China, flooding and high energy costs have reduced crop yields. As costs increase and fertilizers become scarce, food production rates will drop off further. Add natural disasters and the derailment of fertilizer-carrying trains to the mix and the situation becomes grave. While the farm industry has learned how to increase crop yields to feed greater numbers of people, fertilizer has been a key ingredient in making this possible. Without fertilizer, crop yields will drop and people will go hungry. As an American investigative journalist once noted: “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.”
Bible prophecy predicts devastating food scarcity at the end of the age that will contribute to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people (Mark 13:8; Revelation 6:7–8). To learn more about this sobering topic, read “Famine and Food Shortage Coming.”
Anarchy in Haiti: In July, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was murdered (Reuters, October 27, 2021). Prime Minister Claude Joseph stepped in to run the country in his place, but under pressure has resigned, giving place to 71-year-old Ariel Henry, who had been selected by Moïse as future prime minister only two days before the assassination (NPR, July 19, 2021). However, since Henry’s appointment, his government and his nation have been held hostage by Haitian gangs.
“The G9 alliance of gangs has for nearly a month been preventing trucks from reaching the Varreux fuel terminal outside Port-au-Prince, leading to shortages that have forced hospitals, businesses and schools to limit operations” (Reuters, November 12, 2021). Its leader, Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, has publicly stated he wants the prime minister removed and has accused him of the murder of Jovenel Moïse. The prime minister responded by saying he will not negotiate with criminals. Canada is removing non-essential personnel from its embassy, and the United States recommended last week that its citizens leave Haiti. Anarchy appears to be setting in.
The situation in Haiti is dangerous and tenuous, but sadly, it is not new. The nation has a long list of violent coups. Haiti is an island nation with tremendous potential and with a kind and welcoming citizenry. However, self-interested leaders and a lack of respect for the rule of law have long been heavy weights around its neck. The ongoing problems in Haiti are just one more example of the need for Jesus Christ to return as the Savior of this world to bring peace and justice to its troubled peoples (Isaiah 9:6–7). To learn more about the impact Christ’s reign will have on Haiti and many other nations of the earth, be sure to listen to or read The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?—Scott Winnail, Joe Brown, Wyatt Ciesielka, Chris Sookdeo, and Francine Prater