Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Christo Botha gives this update on mail delivery service in South Africa: “It seems as if there is an improvement in the delivery of mail by the Post Office here in South Africa. It will take time, though, before we will be able to confirm that it is indeed the case. We shall ask the members to continue praying about the situation, as we really need this postal service to preach the Gospel effectively in Southern Africa.”
This week, Mr. Jonathan McNair gave a very encouraging video update on his trip to Thailand and Malaysia. We also had a most exciting discussion of where we are in accepting next year’s Living Education onsite program applicants. We have 28 individuals who have begun the application process—the highest number in our history and obviously more than we can accept for the upcoming year. We also briefly discussed where we are with the Living Youth Program’s teen camp in Athens, Texas, and that is coming together very well. It would be especially helpful for any who are interested in any of our camps to get your applications in right away, as this facilitates planning and staff positions are filling up rapidly.
Mr. Mario Hernandez returned home safely from visiting members in Bolivia and Mr. Stuart Wachowicz will be returning home to Alberta after two weeks at the office in London, Ontario, Canada. Please remember all of our ministers as they travel and work very hard to serve all of you and our Great Creator.—Gerald Weston
Past and Upcoming Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Last weekend, we held six Tomorrow’s World Presentations: two initial presentations, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, and Tifton, Georgia; and four follow-up presentations. These events had a combined total of 64 guests. This weekend, we have eleven events scheduled: four initial presentations, including one on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, and six follow-up presentations, as well as one TWP Bible Study in El Paso. Texas. The TWP Bible Study series events are held in locations where we have a number of subscribers but not an established congregation. Generally, these Bible Studies are held monthly for four or five consecutive months. They allow the area pastor to work with a small group of people who are interested in learning more. Thank you all for your continued prayers for these presentations.
Passover 2023—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2023, the Passover Service will be observed on Tuesday evening, April 4. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a physical copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before March 17 for U.S. congregations.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive a physical copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. U.S. requests should be received before March 17. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Note: As in the last couple of years, the digital Passover Service recording will be available to pastors and video recipients via the FTP site, and a private YouTube link will also be provided.
Children’s Bible Study Lessons
We have created a Children’s Bible Study series to support members with children. This week, we’re featuring the Level 3 series. This level is designed for children in the fifth and sixth grades. The lessons go through the Bible in a more thorough manner, exploring concepts more deeply than Level 1 or Level 2. For instance, the first lesson in this study program is “the God Kingdom” and explains that the God Family is at a level higher than the plant kingdom, animal kingdom, or human kingdom. To access the Children’s Bible Lessons, just go to lcgeducation.org.
Living for Tomorrow—for Young Adults
This is the first announcement about an L4T that is being planned for June 2–4 at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For young adults from age 18 to 30, this is your opportunity to spend a weekend with like-minded young people in God’s Church. Mark your calendars, and plan on making a trip to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Registration will begin soon.
Men’s Training Camp—Texas: Time Is Running Out to Register!
For our men in the southern part of the U.S., our only scheduled MTC this year is coming up in only two weeks! The venue for MTC-Texas is Camp Cho-Ye, in Livingston, Texas, just north of Houston. The event will begin on Friday evening, March 17, and conclude on Sunday, March 19. It is not too late to register, so don’t wait any longer! You can register directly by going to www.cogl.org and logging in to MyLCG. Go to https://www.lcgeducation.org/mens-training-camp-texas-2023/ to learn more. Or, contact Mr. Dan Dever at [email protected]. Be sure to get signed up right away!
For men in the Northeast, there will be a program in New Hope, Pennsylvania, from April 21–23, and for the men in the Northwest, the MTC will be in Garden Valley, Idaho, from May 5–7.
Feast of Tabernacles
2023: International Feast Sites—List Posted on MyLCG(Speaker: No need to read entire list.)
We are pleased to announce the international Feast sites that have been confirmed for 2023 and that will be open to international transfers. Some venues have not been finalized yet, so the country is listed but not the town.
Argentina: TBD (Armando Orrego, [email protected])
Australia: Busselton, Western Australia (David Edwards, [email protected])
Australia: Hervey Bay, Queensland (Anthony Mew, [email protected])
Australia: Warrnambool, Victoria (Adam Jennings, [email protected])
Barbados: Pebbles Beach (Alvin Cumberbatch, [email protected])
Canada: Drummondville, Quebec (Marc Arseneault, [email protected])
Canada: Kimberley, British Columbia (Barry Walker, [email protected])
Canada: Liverpool, Nova Scotia (Shane Kruse, [email protected])
Canada: Russell, Manitoba (Michael Brown, [email protected])
Canada: Leamington, Ontario (Michael Heykoop, [email protected])
Ghana: Buia (Rees Ellis, [email protected])
Guyana: Pariaka (Moses Harris, [email protected])
Jamaica: Montego Bay (Lascelles Fraser, [email protected])
Kenya: Nairobi (Simon Muthama, [email protected])
Malawi: Lake Malawi (Lawdi Ferreira, [email protected])
Malaysia: Penang (Rajan Moses, [email protected])
Martinique: Ste Luce (Etienne Duval, [email protected])
Mexico: TBD (Cristian Orrego, [email protected])
New Zealand: Taupo (Tony Leman, [email protected])
Philippines: Baguio City (Joseph Gonzales, [email protected])
South Africa: Kingsburgh, KwaZulu-Natal (Ryan van der Watt, [email protected])
South Africa: Stilbaai, Western Cape (Lawdi Ferreira, [email protected])
Tanzania: Ukerewe (Simon Muthama, [email protected])
Trinidad and Tobago: Bon Accord (Damian Weekes, [email protected])
Uganda: Tororo (Simon Muthama, [email protected])
United Kingdom: Harrogate, Yorkshire (Simon Roberts, [email protected])
Vanuatu: Orap Village (Paul Kearns, [email protected])
Zambia: Lake Kariba (Lawdi Ferreira, [email protected])
Other international sites will be announced later as they are confirmed. Stay tuned to The World Ahead for more information about the Feast of Tabernacles 2023!
Living Youth Program
Registration for all summer camps is currently open at https://camp.livingyouth.org. Please note that staff positions for our Teen Camp are filling up quickly and acceptance notices will be going out soon. If you are at all considering serving at Teen Camp this summer, we encourage you to apply right away! Being a Teen Camp staff member is a rewarding experience, and it is a great way to serve the youth of the Church while having fun.
Registration Closing for the Northwest Adventure Camp on Sunday, March 12
We are nearing capacity for the Northwest Adventure Camp in Olympic National Park and will therefore close registration for this camp on March 12. If you’re interested in attending, please register for this camp before that date! To register for this camp, or any of our five other camps, visit https://camp.livingyouth.org.
Our Challenge to Grow: We are admonished in the Scriptures to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). One reason is so that we will not be misled by false teachers. The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to diligently study the Scriptures in order to be able to correctly explain the Truth and become a more effective teacher and minister (2 Timothy 2:15–16; 1 Timothy 4:12–15). We are also told that the “work of the ministry” is to help God’s people grow in “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:12–14). The Scriptures reveal that Christians are called to become kings, priests, and teachers who will point all human beings to the Truth in the millennium (Revelation 5:10; Isaiah 30:20–21). With this in mind, let’s take advantage of every opportunity to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures—through Bible study, listening to sermons, and meditating on what we learn and hear—so that we can prepare to teach God’s way of life to the world.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 2, 2023
Will Germany Reinstate Military Conscription? In 2011, while she was Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel phased out military conscription. At that time, there was no perceived need to maintain a large military force. Now, German military chiefs are calling for a return to conscription, and the current defense minister, Boris Pistorius, has called the Merkel-era phase-out “a mistake” (The Guardian, February 9, 2023). Pistorius also sees military conscription as a way to increase “social acceptance of armed forces in German society.” Germany is experiencing staff shortages in its military at a time when conflict in Europe is heating up. In contrast to the need for a draft seen by some, other governmental officials are skeptical. They note that a professional army with career personnel is more efficient and effective than training conscripts to serve for only a matter of months.
Regardless of whether Germany decides to resume a regular military conscription or chooses to put greater effort into building military readiness through a professional army, Germany and its neighbors are experiencing increasing pressure from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and other regional threats. The Ukraine conflict could easily spill over into neighboring nations, and Germany and its neighbors have already signaled their desire to take further steps toward building both defensive and offensive military capability. End-time Bible prophecy clearly shows that a future German-led beast power will wield significant military force and will use that force in future conflicts. To learn more about Germany’s future on the world stage, be sure to watch “Four Prophecies for Germany.”
Enough Fentanyl to Kill Every American: That is how much fentanyl was intercepted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2022, according to a BBC article. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid designed for use as a pain killer. It is highly addictive and roughly 50 times more powerful than heroin. The DEA has called fentanyl the “deadliest drug threat facing the US.” Just two milligrams of the drug—about enough to cover the tip of a pencil—are enough to kill a person. In 2022, the agency seized over 379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl—over 10,000 pounds or 4,500 kilograms of the substance. As the BBC notes, that is enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the U.S.! The amount seized in 2022 is double the amount seized in 2021.
Most of the fentanyl coming into the U.S., and most of the other hard drugs, are entering from Mexico, drawn in by a strong market for them. Once in the country, they feed an ever-growing culture of addiction in the U.S.
It is no surprise that a rise in drug use is occurring as our societies turn away from our Creator and His word. The attempt to fill a void in our lives by using drugs reflects a loss of hope in the future. Yet, the Bible reveals that the real hope for the future comes from the word of God (Psalm 119:147). Human beings need to understand that there is a real God and that there is an ultimate purpose for every one of our lives. Without that understanding, many are turning to drugs that only offer a short-term escape from the emptiness that they feel. To learn more about the growing global drug crisis and the hope that comes with understanding our purpose and our future, be sure to read “Dying to Get High.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater