July 7th, 2022
Greetings from Charlotte,
Messrs. Gerald Weston, Rod McNair, and Jonathan McNair are traveling this week from Charlotte to Texas for the teen summer camp that begins next week, where they will soon be joined by many additional ministers, staff members, and excited campers. Your prayers for a successful camp season are very much appreciated. Our adventure camps have gone very well, as reflected in Mr. Bobby Jacques’ report below. Mr. Weston’s recent telecast about Russia, Ukraine, and prophecy is bringing in one of the highest responses we have seen all year. And last quarter, requests for the second set of lessons in the Bible Study Course—meaning individuals who didn’t stop at the first set and who are choosing to continue in their studies—hit their highest numbers in almost a decade. As the world continues to sink into confusion, more and more people are seeking the answers only God and Jesus Christ can provide. Please remember to pray that the Gospel will go out with increasing power and impact and for God’s abundant blessing on all of our summer camps.—Wallace Smith
Prayer Request for the Brethren in Myanmar
While most of the world is focused on the war in Ukraine, the political crisis in Myanmar continues, and civil war rages on as government forces attempt to regain control of the country. There is heavy fighting in northern and eastern Burma and escalating over the border into Thailand. With the army losing personnel in these battles, it is now going through villages to forcibly recruit young men and boys. The Internet and even sometimes the telephone landlines have been shut down in some places, making it challenging to contact brethren. Your urgent prayers for the protection of our members in Myanmar would be much appreciated.
Recent and Upcoming Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Last week we held five follow-up Tomorrow’s World Presentations: Vero Beach, Florida; Sudbury, Ontario, Canada; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina. These had a combined total of 19 guests. This week, we are scheduled to hold five initial presentations: Fargo, North Dakota; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada; and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. In addition to these initial presentations, four follow-up presentations will be held this weekend. Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated in this effort to preach the Gospel.
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only—Repeat Announcement
Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Friday, July 29. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. The forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org).—Festival Office
Living Youth Program
Adventure Camp in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas
The outdoor camp in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas was a challenging and wonderful adventure! Twenty-two staff and campers established a base camp on Sunday afternoon, June 26, and after orientation and instructions, the hikers hit the 26.5-mile trail Monday morning. The camp theme was “The path to success!” and focused on both physical and spiritual success and the path to achievement. Our days started in prayer and focused on God’s creation and His way of life. Water was not as plentiful as on our preview trip, but God always provided. The terrain was rocky and the brush thick in places. The elevation went from 800 feet to 2,000 feet over the course of the trail, with some really nice pinnacles along the way. Heat, humidity, and the lack of breezes tested our endurance, but the campers always looked for three positives (credit to Mr. Mike DeSimone). Camp concluded with a visit to a nearby waterpark on Thursday, and we reflected on the lessons we had learned, including “We can do hard things!” Friday morning everyone said their goodbyes and left with bonds of friendship and memories for a lifetime.—Bobby Jacques
Stay Focused on Our Mission: The lessons of history show that mankind and God’s Chosen People have drifted off course again and again due to Satan’s deceptive influence. Adam and Eve made wrong choices that sent the course of human history off in a wrong direction (Genesis 3). Ancient Israel turned from God and suffered consequences—and modern Israelite nations are heading down the same path. Jesus called disciples and raised up His Church to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15; 16:15), to warn the world of the consequences of sin (Isaiah 58:1), and to announce events that would indicate His return was near (Matthew 24). The mission of God’s Church is also to prepare a people to rule with Jesus Christ as kings, priests, and teachers in His coming Kingdom (Luke 1:17; Revelation 5:10; Isaiah 30:20–21). To qualify for this challenging and exciting reward, we must avoid being distracted by the trials and temptations of this world (Matthew 13:18–23) and remain faithful and focused on our calling and our God-given mission (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 3:8–12; 17:14).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 7, 2022
Sydney Under Water! Officials in Australia issued evacuation orders for 50,000 residents of Sydney this week in response to severe flooding (BBC, July 5, 2022). Parts of Australia’s largest city received eight months’ worth of rain—nearly a meter—in four days! People in 50 other areas around the city have been warned to prepare for evacuation. Australia’s east coast has suffered four major floods over the last 18 months, and even though the rain has stopped, flood waters are forecast to continue rising as rivers drain (Washington Post, July 4, 2022).
As residents reel from another flood and more destruction of homes and businesses, experts think this current climate cycle will continue throughout 2022 (The Guardian, July 4, 2022). Meteorologists and climatologists blame current weather systems on global warming. Yet, the Bible reveals that at the end of the age weather patterns will develop that will punish Israelite-descended nations that reject God. “The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation… with scorching, and with mildew [often the result of flooding]; they shall pursue you until you perish” (Deuteronomy 28:22). The Bible indicates that God will punish disobedient nations with the contrasting scourges of severe rain and flooding and severe heat and drought (Amos 4:7–9). This region of Australia was in a multi-year drought and is now being hit with repeated floods. If our nations would repent and obey God, He would bring blessings, and rain in due season (Leviticus 26:4). To learn more about God’s hand in the weather, read or listen to Acts of God: Why Natural Disasters?
Water: A National Security Threat? Extreme drought in Chile over the last 14 years has resulted in half the nation of 19 million people being in a state of “extreme water scarcity” (The Guardian, June 1, 2022). Hundreds of communities now rely on emergency tankers to bring in water from other locations. A Chilean hydrologist recently identified water shortages as a national security risk: “It’s the biggest problem facing the country economically, socially and environmentally. If we don’t solve this, then water will be the cause of the next uprising.”
Chile is not alone. Researchers have determined that Spain and Portugal are suffering the driest weather the region has seen in 1,200 years. In the United States, a winter of light precipitation and 23 years of drought have resulted in the lowest water levels in Lake Mead since it was first filled in 1935 (NBC News, June 22, 2022). Lake Mead provides water to people in Arizona, California, Nevada, and part of Mexico. The lake is also vital to powering Hoover Dam, providing electricity to California, Nevada, and Arizona. So, as water levels in Lake Mead drop, not only is there a risk of running out of water, but the reduction in water released reduces the amount of electricity that can be generated. Experts warn that hydro-produced electricity in California could be cut in half if the drought continues, resulting in increased electricity costs and a need to produce more power from fossil fuels. All this comes at a time when most of California’s nuclear power plants have been shut down. Some researchers suggest that this period of drought is the driest for this region in over 1,000 years!
What about other countries and cities impacted by drought? The Bible warns that at the end of the age, God Himself will withhold rain from certain cities, especially in the sinful Israelite-descended nations (Amos 4:7–8). In fact, it will get so bad that whole cities will wander to nearby cities looking for water. The future will be bleak for a while before Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God when rain will regularly fall on the righteous (Leviticus 26:3–4). To learn more about future challenges with water, be sure to watch “Could your city go to war over water?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater