Greetings from Charlotte, 

Last week, we were saddened to learn of Mr. Jean Carion’s death. He was a long-time minister in God’s Church in Belgium. We heard that he died in his sleep on Friday, February 15, at age 84. Dr. Doug Winnail, who was scheduled to return last Sunday evening, extended his stay in Brussels to be present at Mr. Carion’s funeral yesterday, which was attended by 150 people from various Church of God groups. Dr. Winnail will return to Charlotte tomorrow.  

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ames and Mr. Dexter Wakefield are on their way to Barbados today. They will be spending the Sabbath with our congregation on the island. On Sunday, Mr. Ames will also be conducting a public lecture. A national labor strike in Barbados posed potential problems to the success of our lecture. Thankfully, in what we believe to have been divine intervention, the strike has been postponed! The Barbados Church Corporation is also holding its Annual General Meeting today.  

Church Administration 

Baptisms in 2007 

Last year we had more than 250 baptisms in the Living Church of God; 145 of them in the United States, 36 in Canada, and the rest in other countries around the world. This represents an increase in baptisms worldwide of 23.5% compared to 2006. The United States alone increased by about 7%, while baptisms internationally increased by 55%.  

United Kingdom Update 

We received the following report from Mr. Rod King, United Kingdom Regional Director: Just when we were pleased to be able to have the Tomorrow’s World telecast on LoveWorld in South Africa, someone must have alerted them to our doctrines; consequently, we were bumped from the station. Our U.K. LoveWorld station is a subsidiary of the S.A. station, so they were ordered to take us off the air in the U.K. as well. God is the One who opens doors and closes them. We added 3,000 new subscribers in the U.K., Ireland and Europe while we were on LoveWorld so we are thankful for the opportunity.  We also added 18 subscribers in South Africa from the few programs we aired. We will remain on television in South Africa with CSN.  

Upon our return from South Africa, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bennett, who had taken care of our calls while we were away, had 18 new “GoTo’s.”  A “GoTo” comes from our Data Entry department in Charlotte and is the message generated from phone calls by interested people. I just counted another 30, in addition to Mr. Bennett’s list, for the month of February. Some of these will be questions that I need to answer either by phone or e-mail; others will be visits that I must make during the next two weeks. We are busy and loving it! God’s Work is the most rewarding and honorable calling, and we thank you all for your faithful prayers and support. 

Living Youth Camp Adventure Team 2008—Bridger-Teton National Forest

Mr. Meredith has approved a Wilderness Adventure Camp for the older teens. This youth program is designed to challenge and strengthen our youth. This year we are planning a 40-mile, six-day, world class backpacking trip in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The adventure continues in Jackson, Wyoming, with whitewater rafting down the Snake River (Lewis & Clark River Expeditions) and rock climbing (Guided Service). We will conclude the experience on Thursday evening, August 14, with a special steak dinner and stage show at the Bar J Chuckwagon.

The cost will be $350 per person. Those who are 16-20 years of age are eligible to apply. You will need to supply your own backpack, zero-degree sleeping bag, hiking boots and personal items. Tents, cooking gear, water filters and food will be supplied. If accepted, you will be required to organize your own transportation to and from this camp. Plan to arrive on Wednesday, August 6, for a 6:00 p.m. dinner and orientation meeting in Pinedale, Wyoming. Plan to depart on Friday morning, August 15th. We recommend flying into Jackson (for those who are planning on traveling by air). We will be providing rides to and from the airport. Look for applications to be available beginning March 1 at the LYC website, www.youth-web.org.  


Why do some in God’s Church feel discouraged today? Why do they doubt or lose their peace of mind when hearing of wars, famines, financial debacles and moral corruption? Don’t we all know God’s end-time prophecies? Or, should a loved one’s death leave us thinking that God has forsaken us? At all times, we must remember God’s promises and never lose faith. Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). We should never feel lonely nor abandoned. Christ said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5-6). And David wrote, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). Our eyes should constantly be turned toward God and His Kingdom. Even during our trials, and we all have trials, we must be patient and maintain a positive attitude. God said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” (Matthew 5:11-12). We have all the reasons we need to be strong. Let’s remember God’s promises at all times and look forward to the future with courage and joy.  

Have a peaceful Sabbath,

Dibar Apartian

News and Prophecy—February 21, 2008 

German Influence in Africa Increasing. The German Foreign Ministry understands that Africa is a continent rich in resources, and apparently intends to gain access to it by influencing scores of future leaders. Under the auspices of a 20 million euro program, “Action Africa,” Germany will create “new German schools abroad [in African nations], to orient the nation’s future elite toward Germany… The new program is not intended to provide urban elites with educational possibilities they already have [in the U.S. and France], but to provide the possibility for a reorientation toward Germany.” Germany is also attempting to train a future elite workforce and would like to glean from the African continent. Germany will also send more soccer coaches to Africa in order to help control and positively impact the poverty-stricken masses—as people are happier about their professional sports teams, they are more patient with their government (German-Foreign-Policy.com, February 13, 2008). As Germany continues to take the lead in European politics, it is interesting to watch its efforts in a region where it has had limited influence in the past. God prophesied of a time when the African nations of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya would be under the German/Assyrian-led Beast power that will conquer like a “whirlwind” (Isaiah 20:1-6; Daniel 11:40-43). The Assyrians/Germans have been a people that God has and will use greatly to fulfill His will on earth. Eventually, they will be greatly blessed (Isaiah 19:25). 

Terror Shall Rule Over You. Terror once again struck an American university campus last week when a 27-year-old gunman killed six students, injured a dozen more and then took his own life, at Northern Illinois University (NIU). “I wish I could tell you that there was a panacea for this kind of a thing,” said the NIU police chief, “but you’ve noticed that there’s been multiple shootings all over this country within the past six months… It’s a horrible circumstance, and as much as we do it’s unlikely that anyone would ever have the ability to stop an incident like this from beginning.” Allison Warren, a 20-year-old NIU student, summed up the feeling of terror and helplessness this way, “You’re scared to go to school lecture halls and I’m going to be looking over my shoulder and skeptical of people coming to class late. You kind of think it won’t happen around here.... It could happen anywhere and there’s no way of really protecting yourself” (AP, February 16, 2008). God warned the ancient and modern-day Israelite-descended nations, “But if you do not obey me… and if you despise My statutes… I will even appoint terror over you…. you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Leviticus 26:14-17). Saddening and sobering as these terrible events are, they are also a direct fulfillment of God’s warnings long ago. God’s Church MUST preach the Gospel to a world that is in desperate need of repentance and of hearing the Good News of God’s soon-coming Kingdom!     

Watch Your Wallet! Criminals are conducting several new scams by telephone and e-mail, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IR-2008-11, January 30, 2008). There has been an upsurge in scammers posing as IRS officials seeking individuals’ personal data. Unsuspecting victims are told to provide personal information such as their Social Security number and bank account routing numbers, either as part of an audit or in order to receive a promised “rebate” from upcoming Congressional legislation. Identity thieves sometimes claim that the victim was sent a check that was never cashed, and that the individual’s banking information is required to trace the lost deposit. Internal Revenue Service officials want Americans to know that their agency does not send unsolicited tax-account-related e-mail to taxpayers. The agency does not force anyone to use direct deposit to receive a refund, nor will IRS agents initiate a taxpayer contact by telephone. If an unknown individual offers “something for nothing,” wisdom dictates that we should avoid greedy impulses, and use prudence when investigating the situation. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).Don Davis and Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2008

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