Greetings from Charlotte,
Many ministers are traveling to serve congregations for Passover and Unleavened Bread. Most will be traveling within their home countries, but some are traveling a bit farther afield: Mr. Hernandez will be visiting members in Spain, Mr. Peter Nathan and Dr. Scott Winnail are to be in Kenya and Uganda, and Dr. Douglas Winnail is scheduled to be in New Zealand and Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Cristian Orrego are to be in Mexico and Guatemala. There are likely others in our international areas traveling outside of their home countries. I recorded a telecast on Thursday—“Seven Letters to Seven Churches,” offering the booklet God’s Church Through the Ages. As we approach this sobering time of year marking the death of our Savior on our behalf, and our journey out of the bondage of sin, let us not forget one another. Mrs. Nell Lyons, the wife of longtime elder Mr. Lehman Lyons in Walterboro, South Carolina, died this past week. Mr. Peter Nathan reminds us that Mr. Henry Cooper, our minister in the Republic of Ireland, is suffering with cancer. There are many members who face difficult trials. As we age, our bodies naturally break down, but the elderly are hardly the only ones going through difficult trials, so let us remember one another. We wish all of you a profitable and prosperous Passover and Unleavened Bread. There will be no World Ahead published next week.—Gerald Weston
International Tomorrow’s World Presentations Going Strong in 2023
So far this year, the Living Church of God has conducted 15 TWPs in areas outside of the United States, attended by 164 guests. Last weekend, Dr. Douglas Winnail conducted a presentation in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, with 11 guests. This weekend, three out of the four events scheduled are overseas: initial events in Auckland, New Zealand; and Rémire-Montjoly, French Guiana; and a follow-up presentation in Quezon City. Please pray for our TWPs all over the world!
Living Education-Charlotte 2023–2024
The Living Education-Charlotte program for the 2023–24 school year is currently at maximum capacity. If you are still interested in applying, we are accepting applications for our standby list. As we head toward the finish line with our current class, we’re continuing to consider ways to improve and strengthen the program with the goal of giving young adults in the Living Church of God a solid foundation for a godly life. If you’d like to learn more about the program, just go to lcgeducation.org
Men’s Training Camps: MTC Texas
The Houston, Texas congregation hosted a Men’s Training Camp from Friday, March 17, through Sunday, March 19. Mr. Rick Stafford led the program, assisted by Mr. Dan Dever, with guest Mr. Jonathan McNair. Forty men from East Texas, Louisiana, and beyond gathered to focus on becoming better pillars in the Church. Key themes were “bearing responsibility” and “being accountable,” with Sabbath services, lectures and interactive activities. The weekend concluded with a joint online session with like-minded men from more than 8,000 miles away, in the Southern Cape of South Africa, adding a final note of encouragement to the weekend!
MTC – Southern Cape, South Africa
Mr. Lawdi Ferreira led a Men’s Training Camp for 25 men in the Southern Cape from March 19 through March 21. In addition to the introductory message streamed from the MTC Texas location, lectures from Mr. Peter Nathan and Dr. Scott Winnail were streamed to the men from England. Lecture topics included the importance of being grounded in the Truth, training to improve one’s ability to communicate the Truth, and godly masculinity. Mr. Nathan’s closing lecture highlighted the importance of being strong godly men. Mr. Ferreira commented that the men were looking forward to the opportunity to get together again for another MTC next year!
Living Youth Program
Teen Camp Staff Registration Deadline: April 9—Repeat Announcement
If you are contemplating serving at Teen Camp this year, please send in your application right away as Staff registration will close April 9. Camper registration remains open. To register, visit http://camp.livingyouth.org.
Eliminating Spiritual Leaven: The Scriptures state that leaven is to be removed from our homes and not eaten during the Days of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:15). This physical exercise is designed to help us understand the importance of identifying and eliminating spiritual leaven that tends to creep into our lives. Spiritual leaven includes breaking God’s commandments as well as compromising and rebelling against His instructions and His government. Eliminating spiritual leaven also involves overcoming the works of the flesh: lusting, coveting, hatred, sowing seeds of contention, spreading divisive ideas, and personal selfish ambitions (Galatians 5:19–21). As we partake of the Passover and go through the Days of Unleavened Bread, ask God to show you any spiritual leaven that you need to eliminate from your life. Let’s also be forgiving of others and be thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made so we can be forgiven.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 30, 2023
43,000 Die in Somalia! Last year, over 43,000 people died in Somalia as a direct result of its regional drought (Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2023). Nearly half of these deaths were among children age five and younger! Thousands more are expected to die in the first six months of 2023, at a rate of about 135 people per day, all due to the continued drought in the Horn of Africa and the rising cost of food. While food prices may see some welcome relief, hope is fleeting in these war-torn and drought-ravaged regions.
By some estimates, 43,000 represents fully one-fourth of the number of deaths for any cause that Somalia would experience in a normal year—all of them attributable directly to famine alone. If this number of people died due to famine in one year in a European or other Western nation, the world would be moved to act—especially given the number of very young children being affected.
Sadly, these deaths due to famine and hunger are just the tip of the iceberg. Bible prophecy reveals that as the end of the age approaches, famine, pestilence, and wars will cause far more catastrophic deaths, on a scale previously unknown. Revelation 6 shows that one-fourth of the earth’s population will fall under the power of such forces of death and destruction: “And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (v. 8). Using today’s world population numbers, this translates into roughly two billion people! Times are going to get more harrowing and many more will die. However, this terrible time will pass relatively quickly, and then Jesus Christ will finally return and usher in true, lasting world peace. For greater insights be sure to listen to or read Armageddon and Beyond.
The Power of Fathers: In today’s world, many children grow up with limited support from their fathers or without fathers entirely! A growing body of research suggests that fathers play a profound role in the emotional support of their children (Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2023). One recent study of families with two intact parents discovered that closeness with fathers powerfully impacted children and resulted in “fewer weight concerns, higher self-esteem and fewer depression symptoms for both boys and girls.” Some researchers call this the “good father effect.” Mothers play a key role, too. When mothers were also present, the compounding effect of engaged fathers had a highly influential impact on children.
The research provides further insight into what appears to be a world where boys show less emotional connection to people in general. The Apostle Paul warned that men in the end-times would become “unloving” and “brutal” (2 Timothy 3:3), and, interestingly, researchers found that if the mother is the sole provider of emotional caregiving and support, boys mistakenly learn the false lesson that only women can aptly express such feelings. This “further entrenches the idea that the expression of vulnerable feelings belongs in the domain of women.” One researcher makes the case that boys need to see emotion and compassion rightly expressed by men in order to learn that it is acceptable for men, as well, to show and express these feelings.
As our societies fracture and the historical family is dismantled and rebuilt in opposition to biblical guidelines, the suffering of our children grows. However, the biblical structure for the family, known and practiced for thousands of years, holds a key to raising physically and emotionally healthy children, though so many elements of society that claim to prioritize concern for children actively and passionately struggle against this traditional and proven structure. As the Bible warns, at the end of the age, many will call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), even as our children suffer for it (Deuteronomy 28:18). To learn more about the importance of both parents’ involvement in raising their children, be sure to read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater