Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from Grover Beach, California.
We hope and pray you are all fine, despite COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.
Related to that, we sent funds to Malawi to assist with some of the hunger issues there, and possibly Mozambique, that COVID-19 restrictions have worsened. We also sent funds to assist in Tanzania and parts of Kenya.
While we cannot solve all hunger or economic problems in Africa, we strive to follow the biblical admonitions to “not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so” (Proverbs 3:27) and “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
Haiti is also having issues.
Haiti has been on a near lockdown for over a year because of riots and protests.
COVID-19 has made it even worse.
From Canada, Herb and Gisele Haddon sent the following report based with information they received from our host in Haiti:
We have just received this update with photos from Moise in Haiti.
Hi brother. how are you ? I hope you are all well. I send some pictures of our brothers to you. they are burning wood for coal products to sell, the situation is currently very hard for them, they are in confinement, nothing to do, food products are becoming even more expensive, these are the things I found that they do, some of them, and others have nothing at all. I hope that our supreme God secures you. we impatiently await the imminent return of Christ, especially our brothers in Haiti, only God who will change everything.
The series of images portray the process of making charcoal , used for cooking. As noted a year ago, when Gisele and I were in Haiti, the 2 main heat sources for cooking fires are propane and charcoal. The charcoal is created/produced in country. Propane, as well as all fuel, is very expensive and not always available.
Making charcoal in Haiti is an unsustainable resource. The country is now almost completely cleared of its trees, so much that, a separate industry of ‘stealing’ trees and wood from neighboring Dominican Republic has become rampant. Obviously our brethren are not involved in the removal of wood from their neighboring country.
These are trying times for all our brothers and sisters around the world, but especially for those who live in economically distressed counties.
Herb and Gisele
When I asked for more details related to Moise Nicholas and Haiti, the Haddons also sent the following:
Moise has, single handed, been visiting the brethren, providing both spiritual and physical comfort and been the onsite spiritual advisor for the CCOG congregation.
Gisele and I were sent to Haiti a year ago to aid with setting up and preparing Moise for a Work in Haiti. Because of civil unrest in the area, we were able to travel to Haiti but the situation had forced us to return to Canada having only talked to Moise on the phone and leaving some materials to aid in his undertaking.
Since our ill fated trip a little over a year ago, we have been closely watching the situation in Haiti. Air Canada has ceased travel to the country until things change. We watch events and stay in touch with the airline (Air Canada) to see when we may book tickets to finally get to see our brother, Moise.
Following is a note from Moise regarding his current health post surgeries:
I feel a lot good on the contrary last night a shaken stone piece but it is not yet thrown. during the days before many dumb stones fall. God certainly answered our prayers. i do urine better than before i hope before long i will make urine completely good by making big changes. Yesterday I have visited all brethren from house to house. I would encourage them to keep in faith. I saw many in a terrible condition but I spoke with them for encouraging.
We will keep you posted with any future developments.
Herb and Gisele
Recently we were able to assist Moise Nicholas with a problem he was having, and he seems to be doing better. The Haddons hope to be able to go to Haiti, review the situation there, and see how we can best assist the Haitian brethren spiritually and physically after travel restrictions are lifted and safety has improved.
Womens’ Groups in Kenya
Elder David Cheruiyot sent me the following today:
Christians greeting from North Rift region Njoro and Molo, Nakuru County, Kenya.
Here in Kenya we are well though the corona virus is spreading mostly in five counties many people have lost their jobs and closed businesses due to the disease.
We are sad to hear that America is leading in covid19 pandemic. We pray that for you and all our church of God members and all parts of the world.
Women have formed groups mainly from Njoro and Molo to help the church grow, each group has the name as follows;
- Daughters of the king continuing church of God.
- Mercy of peace continuing church of God
You will find the attached lists showing the names of the groups who requests for the support in America from the well-wishers.
On 21st April 2020, I sent photos to you of the women who are the members of Njoro. The woman who was baptized was from North Rift region Njoro after the Passover. …
Daughters of King Continuing Church of God women group
No. Name ID NO. 1 ANN KIMETO 3842326 2 JANE CHERUIYOT 21434555 3 NANCY ROTICH 21933017 4 MARY RANA 20470435 5 JANNIFER KORIR 6 UNICE KETILE 7 BIBIAN CHEPKURUI 21136907 8 WILITER CHEBET KOECH 21629580 9 JOYCE CHEPKEMOI KOECH 29935083 10 SALOME CHEPKEMOI MUTAI 11 JOAN CHEPKEMOI 12 DEISY CHEPKURUI KERICH 23165467 13 TABUTANY CHERONO CHESIMET 7156120 14 NAOMI CHEPKEMOI 15 SHARON CHELANGAT TONUI 25739441 16 JENET CHERONO SOI 21261257 17 IRINE KOECH 18 SARAH CHEPKOECH MAIYWA 1759963 19 NAOMI MORITIM 29196068 20 NANCY CHEPKEMOI MENGEWO 34502881
Setting up a women’s group is something that Terry Nelson discussed with them when he and his sons visited in February.
Second Passover May 7th After Sunset
As mentioned before, because of last minute government restrictions, translation issues, and communications’ barriers, many in Africa were not able to attend a Passover service. Those who were unable (as opposed to unwilling) to keep the Passover then, are authorized by scripture to keep the Passover a month later (Numbers 9:1-13).
May 7th, after sunset, is the 14th day of Iyyar on the Hebrew calendar. That would be the time for the ‘second’ Passover.
Despite actual and potential issues with YouTube, we continue to get new subscribers to our videos. We now have 2380 subscribers on the ContinuingCOG channel–this is up from 2,220 on December 12th. This is the channel that has our sermons, offertory messages, and some of our less prophetically-oriented sermonettes.
We also have 5,480 subscribers to our Bible News Prophecy channel. This is up from 5,230 on December 12th. This is our main sermonette channel.
According to YouTube, subscribers watch more often than non-subscribers and our number of subscribers to these channels has continued to rise. Hence, our audience continues to expand.
We are also on other YouTube channels such as CDLIDDSermones (21 subscribers), CCOG Animations (83 subscribers), and CCOGAfrica (89 subscribers). The number of subscribers on all of these are up, but I do not have exact numbers from December 12th (other than I think the count was 1 subscriber to CDLIDDSermones back then).
These are all part of our efforts as we work to fulfill Matthew 24:14, Romans 11:25, Romans 9:28, Ezekiel warnings, and Matthew 28:19-20.
World News Items
The loss of certain insects is again in the news. One concern is that losing certain beneficial insects may lead to swarms of more destructive ones (see BBC: ‘Insect apocalypse’ more complicated than thought). Pestilences, which seemingly would sometimes include insects, are prophesied (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:7-8).
But the current COVID-19 pestilence and related matters has been dominating much of the news (e.g. BI: Australia has enraged China after backing Trump’s call for an investigation into how the coronavirus pandemic started; FN: China lashes out at US, claims country is ‘lying through their teeth’ on coronavirus; threatens Australia). The US Centers for Disease Control has increased the number of symptoms it considers to be related to the novel coronavirus (see ‘CDC Triples Number of Possible CCP Virus Symptoms;’ Don’t swallow Lysol to fight COVID-19! What about Zinc? Bloodclots?). Many are now facing unemployment and poverty (see ILO: About half of all workers worldwide are in danger of having their livelihoods destroyed because of the pandemic; HWA: Universal Prosperity: Is It Possible?). Some governments are trying to figure out how to undo some of the damage their policies have caused (see also US expecting biggest GNP drop since Great Depression, NZ prepares to lift COVID-19 lockdown, Australia & Europe taking steps, and German banking loss), while YouTube has sometimes censored voices who it wants to silence related to COVID-19 (see US reopening issues, ‘dress rehearsal for a police state,’ and microbiologists denounce lockdown — and get censored!).
Over in the Middle East, now that Israel has a coalition government again, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with annexations in Samaria and Judea, with the USA being the main international ally on this (see Aljazeera: ‘US to recognise Israel annexation of West Bank, Jordan Valley,’ COGwriter: ‘This will not end well for the USA’). Ultimately, this will not end well for the USA.
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:
- 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
- Opening prayer.
- Sermonette, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Lessons from ‘Groundhog Day’. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p. If your internet connection is still too slow (as my home one is) and/or you prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played. This is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well)–and, of course, we have written article options. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.
IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.
The Book of Psalms has the following:
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked. (Psalm 91:1-8)
Yes, God can deliver us.
Brethren, even if we do need to go through some of the trials that the world does (like the children of Israel went through the first 3 of the ten plagues of Egypt), “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11:2).
Remember that Jesus said:
32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
Brethren, the world has been greatly disturbed by COVID-19.
But we do not have to be.
Consider the coronavirus as a wake-up call that the world as we know it will be changed.
And remember, one day Jesus will return and establish Kingdom of God.
Pastor and Overseer