February 6th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
In this week’s World Ahead update, Mr. Simon Muthama has a personal report describing the devastation from locusts in East Africa (see below). The explosion in the numbers of locusts and resulting devastation is, ironically, related to abundant rainfall all over East Africa (see this week’s News and Prophecy). Your prayers for our brethren in eastern Africa would be much appreciated. Please also be praying for Mr. Gerald Weston, as he departed Wednesday for an extended international trip. He’s visiting the Canadian office and recording telecasts there before heading on to Southeast Asia next Monday. We also heard good news recently, that Mr. Paul Shumway’s work visa in Barbados was renewed, and that Mr. John Strain is nearing the end of his cancer treatment and is making good progress. We are thankful for the good news! Please also be praying about upcoming Tomorrow’s World Presentations this weekend in Jacksonville, North Carolina (Mr. Richard Ames) and Naples, Florida (Mr. Wallace Smith).—RMc
Report on Locust Plague in East Africa
We experienced a terrible locust plague in East Africa. Highly affected areas are Northeastern Kenya and Eastern Kenya. One of my nieces in Kitui county was one of the locust victims. The locust plague was so terrible that they consumed anything green. They consumed maize, beans, wheat, grass, trees—anything they found green was consumed. Now, animals and human beings in those areas have nothing to eat. However, the government is providing food. Besides the locust plague, God has blessed us with rain. It is raining all over East Africa. Now I am in Musoma, Tanzania, and there is a lot of rain here. It is interesting because the locust plague came in with rain. They consumed the grass and more grass is growing. It is unusual to have rain at this time of year, but it is raining heavily everywhere in East Africa.—Simon Muthama
Passover and Night to Be Much Observed 2020—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: Please let us know if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays, wine trays, and/or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). For U.S. congregations, we need this information by March 5 to ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs. International requests should already have been submitted. In 2020, the Passover Service will be observed on Tuesday evening, April 7. A new Passover Service recording in English was made for 2020 by Mr. Ken Frank.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. International requests should already be here and U.S. requests are needed by March 5. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Also, Pastors, if you need copies of last year’s Night to Be Much Observed recording, please let us know.
French Audio Booklets—Repeat Announcement
The Work in the French language has begun the reading of booklets for the blind and for those who enjoy listening to audio books. At this time, two audio booklets are available: The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy and The Middle East in Prophecy. Additional booklets will become available every week in the coming months. To access the audio files of the booklets online, go to our French website www.MondeDemain.org, select a booklet, and click on the HTML option of the booklet’s page. The MP3 audio file will be available on the top section of that page, under the booklet’s title and author’s name. The audio booklets are also available on CD and may be requested from your nearest regional office.
Have you wondered what our Children’s Bible Lessons are like? Here’s the introduction to last week’s lesson on Jeremiah for 10–11 year olds:
“King Josiah had worked hard to get Judah back on track to serve and worship the Eternal, but God knew that soon the people would be right back into their old ways of worshiping idols and practicing evil. He needed to send another messenger to warn the people that if they didn’t fully turn to Him they would soon go into captivity like the Kingdom of Israel did. God had picked out a particular young lad named Jeremiah. One day, God revealed to Jeremiah the plans He had for his life. At first, Jeremiah was nervous and felt like he was too young for the job, but God assured him that He would help him—and He certainly did!”
The lesson then points to chapters from the book of Jeremiah that parents can read with their child, with questions to think about as they read. A suggested memory scripture is included as well. The lessons have been one of the most highly viewed areas of our www.lcgeducation.org website, with material for ages 6–11. Our objective is to provide parents with material that can be used to train children in the knowledge of the Bible.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Pre-Registration for Ireland—Open for Irish and UK Members—Repeat Announcement
Pre-registration for the Feast of Tabernacles site in Trim, Ireland, is now open for Irish and UK members only. To register, you will need to log in to your MyLCG account to access the link to the online pre-registration form. ALL Irish and UK members wanting to attend the Feast in Trim MUST pre-register by March 1. International members will be able to pre-register beginning at 12 noon on Sunday, March 1 (EST). Please do not try to register prior to this deadline unless you are an Irish or UK member. If you need assistance, please check with your congregation’s Festival Advisor.
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on February 14 will cover Luke 10:21 through Luke 11, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chat room will be open for a half-hour before and after the Bible Study.
To join the study, visit https://live.livingyouth.org, and sign in with either your MyLCG or LYP camp registration credentials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For those who are unable to make it to the study, recordings of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Luke 9–10:20, can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/.—Josh Penman
Living Youth Camp 2020 Registration Opens!
Registration for the North American and European camps begins this Sunday! In North America this year, we will have three Preteen camps, a Teen camp, and our Adventure camp. For information on all the camps and to register for North American camps, visit https://camp.livingyouth.org. Registration for most of the camps will be open for several months, but please pay attention to the closing dates for registration. We don’t foresee having late registration available this year. Also note that the Adventure Camp tends to fill up quickly, so registration for it may close earlier than announced. For planning purposes, it’s helpful for us that people register early, enabling us to start matching people with duties and see what assignments we still need to fill. Finally, please wait to receive acceptance information before beginning to make travel plans, as there will be important details regarding arrival and departure times included in your acceptance packets.
If you have any questions about the registration process or require assistance, please contact Jenny Penman at the LYP office at [email protected] or call 980-254-0132. To register for the LYP camp in Europe, please contact [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you at camp!—LYP Office
2020 Living Youth Summer Camps in the United States and Europe
Below you will find the list of dates and times of all United States camps and the camp in Europe for the summer of 2020. Registration for all these camps will begin this Sunday, February 9!
United States Camps 2020:
- Teen Camp – Sheldon Monson, Director; Jason Fritts, Assistant Director
Location: Lone Star Camp, Athens, TX.
Dates: Sunday, July 12, 2020 – Sunday, July 26, 2020
Staff Arrival – Sunday, July 12, 2020
Camper Arrival – Monday, July 13, 2020
- Adventure Camp – United States – Mike Kreyer, Director; Assistant Director TBD
Location: Wisconsin (River Canoe Trip)
Dates: Friday, July 31, 2020 – Sunday, August 9, 2020
- Missouri Preteen Camp – Yancy Taber, Director; Mark Sandor, Assistant Director
Location: Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Camp Clover Point
Dates: Sunday, June 28, 2020 – Friday, July 3, 2020
- Texas Preteen Camp – Phil West, Director; Dennis Shipley, Assistant Director
Location: Lone Star Camp, Athens, TX
Dates: Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020
- West Virginia Preteen Camp – Scott Winnail, Director; Lenny Bower, Assistant Director
Location: Glenwood 4-H Campground, Princeton, WV
Dates: Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020
International Camp Europe 2020:
- Teen Camp Europe – Peter Nathan, Director; Rees Ellis, Assistant Director
Location: Chevetogne Estate, Belgium
Dates: Monday, July 27 – Sunday, August 9
Staff Arrival – Monday, July 27, 2020
Camper Arrival – Friday, July 31, 2020
Are You a Peacemaker? Jesus Christ expounded a fundamental aspect of Christianity when He told His disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The Apostle Paul advised brethren in Rome that Christians should do all they can to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17–21). Paul explained that we can become peacemakers by not seeking revenge, by not mistreating others when we are mistreated, and by overcoming evil with good. Solomon wisely observed, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Solomon also stated that, “He who covers [overlooks and forgives] a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats [keeps talking about and won’t let go of] a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Jesus warned that reacting angrily to a brother or sister is the same as murder, because it breaks the spirit of the law (Matthew 5:21–26). Real peacemakers are willing to go to their brother or sister when problems arise and talk things over in a spirit of meekness (Matthew 18:15; James 3:17–18). One important lesson we must learn as Christians is that peace comes when we follow and learn to apply the laws of God. David wrote, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—February 6, 2020
Brexit Finally Happened! Three and a half years after Britain announced plans to exit the European Union, Brexit finally happened, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fulfilled his campaign pledge (NY magazine, January 31, 2020). The United Kingdom is no longer a voting member of the EU, but is still required to abide by European laws through the 11-month transition period.
Now the UK and the EU governments have to transact major agreements, while the British government simultaneously works on independent trade deals with other nations. Some are optimistic, while others believe there is insufficient time to complete meaningful negotiations (BBC, February 3, 2020). The EU appears to be insistent that the UK remain committed to European rules and regulations, while Johnson is clear that he wants Britain to work with the EU without being tethered to European regulations (Politico, February 4, 2020). Several potential flash points in the negotiations include fisheries, rules and regulations, the future of Gibraltar, as well as who will have the final say in decisions regarding the UK and Europe.
For millennia, Bible prophecies have warned that former allies of Israelite-descended nations (like Britain) will turn against them at the end of the age (Jeremiah 4:30), and these nations will go into some form of captivity under a German-led European “beast” power—a punishment from God for turning away from Him and despising His laws (Deuteronomy 28:15, 41; Ezekiel 23:9–10). Aggressive Brexit negotiations could accelerate this process of separating allies. To learn more about the future relations between the UK and Europe, watch “Brexit Update: What Is Next for Britain?”
Locusts Are Devouring the Horn of Africa! The Horn of Africa is battling the worst locust plague to hit the region in seven decades (The Telegraph, January 26, 2020). “In biblical style, the locusts have already devoured and destroyed 70,000 hectares (175,000 acres) of farmland across Somalia and Ethiopia.” Tremendous rainfall in the region has optimized breeding conditions for the insects, resulting in a massive population explosion. Locusts can be devastating for a region—a large swarm can eat every bit of green foliage on a farm in half a day, destroying the livelihood of farmers for an entire year! In one instance, a passenger plane was forced to change flight plans and land at a different airport to avoid locust swarms.
Somalia has declared the situation a national emergency (BBC, February 2, 2020). A Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson noted the locusts this year are larger than usual, meaning they are eating more. Farmers and governments fear that, if the locusts remain, they will destroy entire spring harvests. Some experts believe the size of the swarms could multiply 500 times by the spring, and officials are calling for international help in dealing with them.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle reports that Pakistan has also declared a national emergency due to locusts (February 1, 2020). The insects crossed into the country from Iran last June and have devastated cotton, wheat, maize, and other crops. According to the article, “Their potential for large-scale destruction is raising fears of food insecurity.” India is also experiencing locust swarms. Some believe that the best defense against this insect plague is aerial spraying.
Bible prophecy foretells a future when the earth will be devastated by many different plagues from animals, insects, and microorganisms. The current locust outbreak is a sample of what is to come prior to Christ’s return, when devastation will reach the point that a quart of wheat is sold for an entire day’s wages (Revelation 6:5–6). For more insights into end-time plagues prophesied to impact our world, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.—Scott Winnail, John Meakin, Francine Prater, and Chris Sookdeo