April 24th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Richard Ames reports that he had a stroke about two weeks ago, but it has not hindered him from spending Passover and the first half of Unleavened Bread in Kansas City and in Joplin, Missouri, for the second half. The stroke has affected his right side, mostly causing numbness, and he would appreciate your prayers for a full recovery. We are seeing some exciting results on our YouTube channel, which now has over 44,000 subscribers. Mr. Michael DeSimone’s whiteboard video on “3 Days and 3 Nights” has surpassed 209,000 views with tens of thousands per day coming in this past week. The Canadian-produced Tomorrow’s World program, “Like Sheep for the Slaughter,” has surpassed 40,000 views with 2,000 to 3,000 coming in daily over the last week to 10 days. This is in addition to those viewing it on television. Several other videos and programs are picking up. Brethren in the Birmingham, Alabama congregation missed the Passover due to violent weather. However, all are okay and will be taking the Second Passover. Mr. Christo Botha reports that major flooding has occurred on the southeastern coastal area of South Africa, which has affected some of our members. Please see full report below. There is also an encouraging report below from Mr. Paul Shumway on an extended pre-Passover trip that he and Mr. Damian Weekes took to visit our brethren in more remote areas.—Gerald Weston
The Second Passover this year is on Sunday, May 19, which means that it will be observed on Saturday evening, May 18, shortly after sunset. This Passover is for those baptized members who were unable to take the first Passover due to unavoidable circumstances, as instructed in Numbers 9:1-14.
Flooding in South Africa
We experienced heavy rains here in South Africa, especially on the southeastern coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It has been confirmed that 51 people have died in the floods. All our brethren in the area are safe (those whom we were able to contact), but those brethren who have been traumatized need our prayers. Most of our brethren living in the affected areas are left with damaged homes, cracked walls, loss of furniture and are still battling to dry their possessions. Several members reported that their neighbors had suffered more damage and that they believe that they were protected by God in several ways during this time. Please see the following link: “At least 51 confirmed dead in KZN floods.”—Christo Botha
Ministerial Visit to the Hinterlands of Guyana and Brazil
We recently returned from a very productive two-week trip to the Hinterlands of Guyana and Brazil. We flew to the interior in a twin-engine Beechcraft where we met elder Laurus Alfred. A new Feast possibility was checked out before making the five-hour trek across the savanna in a four-wheel-drive pick-up truck. Fifty-eight attended Sabbath services in Awarewaunau; in addition, there were four Bible studies and a leadership seminar. Two couples were counseled for marriage. A TV, solar battery, and DVD equipment were purchased with funds provided by other members of God’s Church. (There is no electricity or Internet in the area.)
After leaving Awarewaunau, three individuals were counseled for baptism in Bonfim, Brazil. One was baptized—Gaius Rudolph, son of our deceased deacon and video recipient. We now have one baptized member in Bonfim! Our last stop, Moscou, is about two hours away by car. We had a wonderful Sabbath service with special music by the youth choir. Attendance was 68. It has been difficult for them as farmers because it has been unusually hot—100 degrees F (38 C). The rainy season should arrive soon and we are all praying for “rain in due season” for our hardworking members in this area. We purchased rice to help tide some of the members over until the rains and new crops come in. It was encouraging to find the brethren to be in good spirits and holding fast to the Truth in spite of their many challenges. Please remember our Hinterlands brethren in your prayers!—Area Pastor Paul Shumway and Associate Pastor Damian Weekes
We’ll close this abbreviated version of The World Ahead with a word to let you know we at Headquarters hope you all have a fulfilling and meaningful Last Day of Unleavened Bread! We are certainly the most privileged people on earth, to be given a glimpse of God’s plan. And how special it is to be invited to keep these Feast days, which rehearse that plan each year! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Have a joyous Feast day and Sabbath,