Greetings from Grover Beach, California.
We are back from Puerto Rico where I spoke on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. The messages were in English, but simultaneously translated into Spanish by Oscar Leal.
Photo from apartment in Puerto Rico
We were able to meet Carlos Aponte, his family, as well as Oscar Leal. I had worked with both of those men over the telephone and internet prior to this trip, but had not met them personally before going there last week.
We not only finished the Feast of Tabernacles there, we made progress on plans to increase our production of Spanish-language videos and other materials in the Spanish-language.
Reports and Problems
We are glad we were able to go to Puerto Rico last week, though there were various difficulties. There were also lockdowns and/or other limitations in India, Australia, New Zealand, Mozambique (which is why those there that could came to Malawi), and other areas.
Notice the following report from New Zealand:
Feast of Tabernacles 2021
Greetings from New Zealand and Australia
We in New Zealand had planned the FoT 21 be held in Rotorua in the North Island. There we would continue our skype services to include our scattered Australian brethren unable to move in or out of their own states.
As the beginning of FoT 21 fast approached we realised that the lockdown levels in NZ would not be lowered and would stop us from being together in Rotorua. Except I was able to travel from the West Coast of South Island take the ferry across the Cook Strait and continue up to Rotorua while Shirley, Fai and Sharon were trapped in their lockdown zones in the upper North Island.
With that, we scattered brethren continued to skype starting from the evening of the 1st Day through to the Last great Day. Each daily service consisted of opening and closing prayers , daily Sermonette and sermon, hymns with music and changing photo back grounds. We were blessed with exceptionally good internet connection over this time which allowed us to communicate easily amongst ourselves both visually and voice.
As a small Sabbath group we were delighted to bring into out FoT services from the 1st day, a new brother who lives in Sydney and I believe had only recently made contact with CCOG. Would this have been possible not so many years ago ?
We are only but a small group amongst our brethren around the world and we all have been challenged in a way that many of us have not experienced until now, therefore let us remind ourselves of the path way we are to walk.
I know your works. Behold, I have given before you an open door, and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept My Word and have not denied My name. Rev 3:8
Others had serious health and other problems in Europe, the Philippines, and the USA.
Plus, notice the following report I received Sunday written by Terry Nelson about his family’s return from Malawi:
I’m sick now with Fever and Coughing, but so far I can breath ok; Asher’s sick also but not as bad; Andre seems ok, with slight throat issues, we didn’t hardly sleep much in the last 24 hours, most likely from lack of sleep from the Terrorist on board our Flight; The man was a Somalian American, sitting in the next isle from us; he was getting loud around 2 am, the male flight attendant told him to quiet down, that’s when he grabbed the flight attendant and was going to Punch him, I jumped out of my seat to intervene, then he threw a drink at one of the Female attendants; me and some other men met in the back and planned on restraining him: there was no sky Marshall on Board, I was not afraid, I stood my ground and was ready, we were able to restrain him and zip tie him, until we landed in Dublin Ireland for refuel, the police took him off the plane in Dublin, he also said he had a bomb on board, so there was an internal and external baggage check; fortunately we were able to clear Customs, then our symptoms got alot worse; interesting how all these attacks, came at this Feast; we must be getting close.
Furthermore, Andre told me personally that the terrorist threatened to kill his father Terry and beat him and his brother Asher up.
Anyway, this week’s recommended sermon is related to that: Puerto Rico, Trials, and Triumphs.
Kenyan elder David Cheruiyot sent the following report:
Dear Bob Thiel
Christians greetings from Njoro – Kenya I thank our almighty God who has given me this opportunity to convey my sincere greetings to you and entire brothers and sisters in christ.Thank you very much for your support through pastor Evans Ochieng. The feast of the tabernacle went on more successfully than before, may God bless you abundantly.
The feast had three teachers;
David SoiWe were blessed with many converts from sunday keepers and few from sabbath keepers, nobody was left with an empty stomach.Pray for the church here in Kenya for we receive man calls but the labourers are few. I hope God will give us a way to Maasailand and again on 22nd October, 2021, Pastor Sawek and I will be visiting Mauche to open a local church, pray for the work of God.Attached are the photos during the feast.Yours in vineyard,
Elder David Cheruiyot.
We also received the following from Kenya:
receive greetings in Jesus Christ. We held the Feast of Tabernacle very well in Mau region. It was blessed having been visited by our brethrens from Sekemian together with four families. Initially they were not respecting the feast of Tabernacles but upon visiting us, they agree and requested for the our Continuity church to open a church in their area.Therefore, we are requesting to allow Pastor Sawek to make a visit to their area for a talk concerning the opening of the Continuity church in that region.Otherwise we are grateful and most sincerely thank Evangelist Ochieng for visiting us in Bomet, we managed to held a blessed Feast of Tabernacles, the brethren are still glad and thank God.May God bless you.
Ethiopian deacons Koang Deng sent a report that 120 attended the two festival sites we had in his country, including 5 from South Sudan. This is the first time we have had two sites in Ethiopia and this represents major growth there.
Deacon Ondigo Ochieng sent the following report from his area in Kenya:
KEHANCHA CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD
2021 FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND LAST GREAT DAY REPORT
We really thank God Almighty-our dearest Dad in heaven and Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord for given us yet another amazing opportunity to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day closer to Messiah’s Second Advent. We also thanks our precious Ministers and Brothers who supported these wonderful memorials. May God richly bless you all.
This year’s Feasts was so good as compared to last year’s.However,we were fewer in number as compared to last year’s.We were a total of 34 adults.Some were totally new to the Church of God but they learned a lot of truths that they had never been taught in their nominal churches.
We were privileged to be visited by the former SDA pastor Robert Atandi from Kisii.He narrated to us why he left SDA.He came to understand God’s calendar and the Feasts.He was accompanied by his family.
We also received visitors from within and outside Kehancha,some of whom were radio listeners.
It is nice that the radio program there seems to be starting to bear fruit.
Please keep Africa in your prayers.
Elder in Panama
Late last year, I began to hear from a former WCG USA elder who moved to Panama.
A couple of months ago, we finally spoke over the telephone and he came with us in the Continuing Church of God.
Here is a photo of him and his wife Anne:
I asked him to write something up related to his background. Here is what he sent:
I was born at home on the family farm in Western Ohio that stopped at the Indiana state line. I attended school in Willshire, population about 600. A friend’s mom introduced me to The Radio Church of God/Worldwide Church of God through the PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
When I was about 12 years old, my parents flew my brother and me from Fort Wayne to Dayton to Columbus for the Ohio State Fair. A couple of days later, we returned the same way. The airplane was a TWA DC-3. From that time on, I wanted to be a pilot. The problem was that I did not know the way to that goal. Neither did any of my teachers in that small town school.
During my high school years, I remember leaving the house to sit in the car in the garage at 11 o’clock at night hoping to be able to tune in the World Tomorrow radio broadcast from a distant city.
I considered applying to Ambassador College but Pasadena seemed like the other side of the world from the farm in Ohio. Consequently, I attended a nearby engineering college (they had a flying club!)
Along the way, I learned about a Professional Pilot Training program at Purdue University. I was accepted into their limited numbers program. During the second year, I flew DC-3’s in their charter airline, Purdue Airlines, once all of the way to Hudson Bay, Canada where there were icebergs on the bay in June! Upon graduation, I was hired by TWA (Trans World Airlines), this time to fly the Lockheed Constellation (“the Connie”). After 37 years with them, and several different airplanes all of the way up to the Boeing 747, I had to retire due to Federal Aviation Regulations. By then, I had flown about 34,000 hours. I calculate that to be the equivalent of 161 trips to the moon and back… And that at 500 mph, not the 25,000 mph that the astronauts fly.
I began attending the Worldwide Church of God in 1973 and was baptized in February 1974. In 1984, I moved to Freeport, The Bahamas where I was made Deacon in 1988. Having my own single engine airplane, I was able to serve brethren in the out-islands. One sabbath in 1992, I flew to Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco to lead a service there. This was one of the few times that I served in only one location in a day. I returned to Freeport in the afternoon for their afternoon service where the Bahamas’ Pastor Mather had come up from Nassau to give the sermon. It was a total surprise when he asked me to come on-stage and ordained me as Elder. Afterward, I served by traveling to lead the service in Belize. Further, I had the opportunity to give a sermonette in Fiji in 1993, one in Paris, France and a sermon at Nassau, The Bahamas during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1995.
I returned to Florida in 1996. In 2001, my wife, Jo Anne, and I built, as building contractors, our house in Hobe Sound. While there, I had some regularly scheduled Bible Studies. For three months, I had a 100,000 watt daily radio broadcast. The broadcast could reach from northern Ft. Lauderdale to Melbourne, Florida and east to the northern Bahamas.
After the financial meltdown in 2008, we began to look for a cheaper country to live. We looked at Panama about every year until we moved there.
Before moving down here to the Rep. of Panama in 2014, I attended a two-week study program on how to conduct a Bible study for the purpose of Bible Study/church multiplication. My plan was to eventually cover the entire nation of Panama with Bible studies. But my plan was thwarted by my inability to speak Spanish adequately.
Here in El Valle, I have had some Bible studies, each numbering about 15 in this volcano, mountain community of 8,000. But even this came to a close with the restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19. Even our international airport was closed for 9 months! We still must wear masks at all times and observe a curfew.
I do not remember now how I first learned about the Continuing Church of God. I do know that I looked at some other Churches of God but was not drawn to them. When Dr. Thiel called me the first time, I think we both saw that God was drawing me into this church. Subsequently, we have discussed my serving in the area of ministerial counseling, baptisms, and all of the tasks that an Elder might have.
Before I close, let me reveal to you the reason for my nickname. Three weeks before we moved to Freeport, Bahamas, my youngest little girl was born at home in Michigan. Her older brother and sister were 20 and 18 years old respectively. This at-home birth was unplanned. It was supposed to happen in the hospital. After all, that is what hospitals and doctors demand when the mother is over 40 years of age. Furthermore, although the birth was due then and I had bid my days off to occur then, the doctor told us the day before this that it would be at least two more weeks. I was devastated in that I would be working every day during that newly planned birth date. But it wasn’t 14 days later that she was born; it was 14 hours later! Every father knows, after staring at the flickering florescent ceiling lights all night in the hospital, that all babies are born at 6 AM. This was only 6PM!
We did not make it to the hospital, but, rather, she was born at the top of the stairs on the second floor. But it wasn’t that normal. We were going to the hospital. On the way to the top steps, mother said, “I am having the baby!” I went to the bedroom to get my telephone. When I came back, the baby’s head was out, but the bag was not broken. It still covered the baby’s head. I could see the eyes and nose through the membrane. I got down on one knee and said, “It is all right to have the baby at home.” With one little push, the baby was in my hands! I didn’t spank the little thing; I simply told her that it was all right to breathe. In seconds, when I heard her breathe, I called the hospital with my other hand and told them to send the ambulance. When we arrived at the emergency entrance to the hospital, the doctor was waiting outdoors on the asphalt for us. He said, “Congratulations Doctor Buchanan. I am Dr. Lake.” So, here I am, Doc Buchanan. I kept the name. I tell people that it is like a battlefield commission. I’m not a real doctor; I am just Doc Buchanan
Now I anxiously watch and pray for Jesus’ return and the establishment of the kingdom of God on this earth. I want it desperately. I want to see healthy and happy people, no longer dying and hungry people. I want to see joy, peace, love and prosperity all around the world. It is worth working for it.
G.E. ‘Doc’ Buchanan
I actually met him and his wife very briefly at the Feast of Tabernacles in the Bahamas in 1992.
It is great he wishes to help and serve in the Continuing Church of God.
Suggested Sabbath Day Service
Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:
- 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.
- The suggested sermonette is: AUKUS sparking European military. Other sermonettes are available at our Prophecy channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- The suggested sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email, will be a recorded one. The suggested one is: Puerto Rico, Trials, and Triumphs. Other sermons are also available at the COGTube channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
- 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. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.
World News Items
The AUKUS military agreement by the Aussies, Brits, and Americans is still upsetting the Europeans. Several in Europe are pointing to it as yet another reason that Europe should be its own military power, independent of the USA (see AUKUS: Europeans calling for more military autonomy). While some see this as a good idea, it will not end well for the USA or its British-descended allies (cf. Isaiah 17:3; Daniel 8:24-25, 11:39).
An Iranian official stated that war between his nation and Israel has already begun (seeZH: Iran Says “War With Israel Has Already Begun” Amid Fresh Covert Attacks; WND: Iran promotes Kamala’s approval of student accusing Israel of ‘genocide’). The time is coming when that war will become an even ‘hotter’ one and Jerusalem will get greatly damaged (Isaiah 22:6-8)–this will be an important sign of the end times.
The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) sent military aircraft into Taiwan’s claimed airspace. Taiwan is concerned that the PRC might invade by 2025 (see TN: China could launch ‘full-scale invasion’ of Taiwan by 2025; CNBC: Beijing’s military activity near Taiwan is a warning to the U.S. and Taiwan). Despite Taiwan’s hope that it will remain independent of China, I do not expect that to remain the case–in time Taiwan will align with the PRC–at least consistent with Revelation 16:12.
The Apostles Paul and Barnabas said:
“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22-23)
Yes, brethren, that can include trials and tribulations related to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Holy Days. As Jesus Himself taught,
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:13-14)
We are not to give up. We must continue in His way and proclaim His message.
Pastor and Overseer