May 30th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
From Southeast Asia, Mr. Htoowah Laybeh reports that, “After two months of running around… God eventually blessed our efforts and now the Immigration Authorities are satisfied and have granted us a one-year visa with the option for multiple entries.” Meanwhile, Mr. Rees Ellis baptized 19 individuals on his recent visit to Burundi. These were individuals previously from congregations that had been part of another Church of God. Mr. Ellis also visited Rwanda, where a number of people, once again largely from another Church of God background, have been in contact with us. Last week Mr. Stuart Wachowicz gave a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 57 guests and 38 members.
Young people are often at a loss as to what to do after high school. The Church needs young people from time to time to work in Accounting, Legal and Risk Management, Internet and Information Technologies, and Television editing. Although we may not have openings at any given time, we know that these represent fields of study that will be helpful to the Work as it grows and as some employees retire. We are currently advertising for someone with computer programming skills (see announcement). In addition, we see future needs for an additional employee in Legal and Risk Management and in Television editing. These careers are viable options for those just starting out in the adult world, whether working for the Church or outside the Church.—Gerald Weston
On May 17, Living Education–Charlotte enjoyed a commencement ceremony for all of our graduates. For a detailed write-up of the ceremony, and pictures of the students, family members, and guests, just go to lcgeducation.org. We are still accepting applications for the 2019–20 school year. For students who have graduated from high school and are preparing for their next step, Living Education provides a sound foundation in living a successful, godly life. Just go to lcgeducation.org for more information and to apply.—Jonathan McNair
Living Youth Program
Texas Teen Camp Staff Assignments and Certification Requirements—Repeat Announcement
The Staff Assignments for the Teen Camp in Athens, Texas are now posted on the Youth Website. Check to see where you are assigned.
If you are working in the Kitchen or on the Special Events Staff, you will need to obtain a Food Handlers Certificate for the State of Texas. All staff members are also required to have a current TrainRight Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training (two-year certification). Both certifications can be done online.—Sheldon Monson, Living Youth Program Director
Staff Certifications—Repeat Announcement
First Aid/Lifeguard Certificate and Archery Certificate
If you have a current Certificate in First Aid/Lifeguarding and/or Archery, and you will be serving in this capacity at any of the U.S. camps in 2019, then please send a copy of your certification to Miss Jill Ewers ([email protected]). The certificate must be current and valid through the entirety of the camp(s) where it will be used.
TrainRight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training
Beginning last year, all camp staff 18 years of age or older are required to participate in an online training program for awareness and prevention of child abuse. The program is approximately one hour in length. Once you have been accepted as a staff member at one of the camps, you will receive an e-mail from [email protected] titled “Invite – Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training Program” with a link to register for and complete the training online.
Note: The certification for this TrainRight course is good for two years, the year you complete it plus the next year. For example, if you took the course in 2017, the certification was valid in 2017 and 2018. Therefore, you would have to retake the course in 2019 to receive certification for 2019/2020.
A Transcendent Purpose: God revealed a vital truth through the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “in the last days… men shall be lovers of themselves… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Today, many people have full schedules and empty lives. All too often, our lives are focused on ourselves—my life, my job, my friends, my feelings, my problems—which is a one-way ticket to frustration. However, some have learned that the key to a really fulfilling and meaningful life is to focus on a goal that is bigger than ourselves—that transcends ourselves—a transcendent purpose! This is really the message of the Gospel. Jesus taught that we should “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). He told His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). To fulfill our calling as Christians and add real meaning to our lives, we must get our focus off ourselves and think about how we can prepare to serve others—both now, and in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:25–28). The Sabbath is a good time to ask God to guide you to develop a transcendent purpose in your life.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 30, 2019
Spring Storms Delay Crop Planting: Spring of 2019 brought a “bomb cyclone” in March that flooded a significant portion of the American Midwest (AccuWeather.com, April 11, 2019). Since that devastating event, storms have continued to inundate the region with rains and flooding. While many farmers had stored record amounts of corn and soybeans in an effort to wait out low prices, the recent flooding caused much of that stored crop to be lost—U.S. law requires farmers to dispose of all stored grains affected by water.
The storms and flooding have delayed the planting of this year’s corn crops. As of May 20, just 49 percent of corn crops in 18 corn-producing states were planted. The five-year average for planting by that date is 80 percent (USDA Crop Progress report, May 20, 2019). Soybean planting has also been delayed, with 19 percent planted as opposed to the five-year average of 47 percent (AccuWeather.com, May 23, 2019). Corn and soybean yields will be lower than average and lower than last year as well. Many believe low soybean prices will cause farmers to accept crop insurance payouts rather than plant soybeans, if given the option. U.S. farm incomes are expected to be lower than usual this year (FarmDocDaily, May 7, 2019). While supplies should be safe this year, lower projected yields could impact grain prices in both America and the rest of the world.
The flooding in the U.S. Midwest is sobering, and the losses to farmers are real. Reserves and the overproduction of grains in America will prevent people from going hungry. However, the vulnerability of agriculture to such conditions beyond man’s control should remind readers of the Bible of events prophesied to occur in the future—events that will dramatically impact the world. Moses warned that, due to disobedience to God, “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl… the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks” (Deuteronomy 28:17–18). To gain a better understanding of how God uses the weather to guide the course of history, be sure to read or listen to Acts of God: Why Natural Disasters?
The Year of the Pig! In the Chinese lunar calendar, 2019 is the year of the pig. For many Chinese, pigs are a symbol of good fortune and wealth. China produces (and consumes) more pork than the United States and Europe combined—it is one of its staple proteins. Late in 2018, African swine fever began running rampant on Chinese pig farms. Since then, millions of animals have succumbed to this disease. Officials predict China could lose up to 200 million animals (about a third of the total) before the disease is fully contained.
The virus infecting pigs is harmless to humans—so far. However, it is decimating many of China’s small, independent pig farms. “Analysts say there isn’t enough pork in the world to cover China’s expected shortfall and consumers are likely to turn to other meats as a substitute” (CNN, May 15, 2019). Global pork prices are also forecast to increase, as pork from other nations is shipped into China. Meanwhile, the disease has also migrated to other Asian nations, including Cambodia and Vietnam, and it appeared in eastern Europe even before it was found in China.
It is sad to witness so many pigs dying from African swine fever. Yet this is a disease that would have minimal impact on swine populations if there were no mass-production pig farms. The Bible clearly differentiates between animals that God created for food and those He created for other purposes (see Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14). Pigs are one animal that God did not create for human consumption, and science has shed light in recent decades on why God makes such differentiations. For more details about the meats God did intend for human consumption, be sure to read “Bible Principles of Health”—and look for our article “Do You Really Want to Eat That?” in next month’s issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine. Subscribe here.—Scott Winnail and Todd Lawrence