Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Barcelona, Spain.

We have been working on research relating to persecutions and the Spanish Inquisition over here, while also handling church matters remotely.

Anyway, we were able to video certain things related to tortuous persecutions that occurred in Spain as well as to conduct other research.

We expect to work on the ‘cashless society’ matter when we are in Sweden, as well as to look at areas of modern persecution, while we are there.

On our way here, there was a terrorist incident in Manchester England, ,that killed at least 22 people, shortly after my wife and I transferred out of the London-Gatwick airport. This is another reminder that things can change quickly.

Also, the situation with our people in Uganda has been quite difficult–more about that later in this letter.

Sweden

As mentioned earlier, Joyce and I, need to transfer from Spain via the airport in Stockholm, Sweden, so we expect to be there tomorrow and the Sabbath. While we do not have any known supporters in Sweden, should anyone in that area see this and wish to attend Sabbath services with us on May 27, 2017, please email me (email cogwriter@aol.com).

Serbia

As mentioned before, we are planning to conduct Sabbath services in Belgrade, Serbia on June 17, 2017 (we have our airline tickets and will try to determine the precise location we will be meeting at later). If you wish to attend, please conduct Elder Aleksandar “Sasha” Veljic. His email is aveljic@protonmail.com.

Email from North Carolina

The following is an email from a supporter on the eastern side of the USA:

Dear Dr.  Thiel:
Thank you for the prayers you send up for all of us and the whole world in general!
 We and other close neighbors were spared our homes being destroyed by fire by what I believe to be God’s grace and intervention on Wednesday.  The house of our neighbor who lives directly behind us was on fire and the wind was blowing toward us.  Yet, all we experienced was smoke, steam, and soot!  The fire departments from several areas responded in a remarkably quick amount of time and contained it.  I was a little worried we would have to flee our home but thanks to our creators, we didn’t.
 Sadly, the home on fire was lost which usually happens with mobile homes, but as far as I know, no one was hurt.  The neighbors in question got out.  The only people that might have been hurt would be the firefighters because it was a 90 degree day.  I think they are all ok, though. God has intervened in my life and that of my family many times. None of us can ever thank God enough for all that He does for us, and I can never thank all of you at CCOG for your prayers.
Also, Buddy’s arm is getting better.  The prayers of the righteous are heard quickly!  I am far from that but striving to get there.
Please keep us in your prayers as we keep all of you.  Especially, in regards to our spiritual development and fighting the wiles of the devil.
Sincerely in love,
Annie Toler

Brethren, God does hear our prayers.

Speaking of emails and North Carolina, I received information related to the death of LCG evangelist Roderick C. Meredith. He died last Thursday night and they plan to bury him this coming Sunday (see LCG’s Roderick C. Meredith died). We will see what changes may happen at his former church.

Persecution in Uganda

We have had a report of problems between the local government and the people newly with us in Uganda. Although we immediately worked to register the Continuing Church of God in Uganda, apparently some felt that for the time being attending Sabbath was a crime.

Here are two emails I received:

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Dear Dr. Bob Thiel and Evangelist Evans Ochieng,

Greetings from Kampala Uganda,

Please pray for the CCOG congregation in Kampala Uganda.

On my way to the refugee camp of Kyaka to visit our new CCOG brethren, as I have been instructed by our minister Evans Ochieng, I received a call telling me a bad news that the Police invaded into my house today in the morning during the Sabbath meeting, and they arrested some of our CCOG members who were meeting in my house for Sabbath services.

I immediately cancelled my trip and I came back to Kampala, reaching in Kampala town at evening, I tried to call my wife and she told me the bad news.

Please pray for our three brothers who have been arrested and are now detained one of police post of my sub county. Now I am hidden in the capital for the fear of being arrested too.

Please pray for us.

Yours faithfully,

David MUHIRE

Dear Bob,  I come from to the Crime Intelligence Old Kampala Police Station,
Things are not easy even if I escaped an jail.
Truly the jail is related to our Sabbath fellowship without licence.
We have been accused by the Inspector General of Police to be
criminals and terrorists.
After responding him he accused us that we are practicing an illegal
religious activities” and “spreading illegal religious doctrines”
which is a sect!”
And that we are recruiting people for activism.
Our case still under investigations we shall appear again on Wednesday.

Our brethren still in jail at Crime Intelligence Old Kampala Police Post.

Please don’t give up,  keep praying for us.

Regards

David MUHIRE.

We are trying to get more details. Kennedy Wafula and Evangelist Evans Ochieng are also looking into this and trying to assist. Please pray for our brethren in Uganda.

Persecution is going to come to all faithful Christian Sabbath-keepers in the future. We have been praying and providing other assistance to help alleviate the problems in Uganda.

Mozambique and Malawi Congregations–and Zambia

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following photograph of a CCOG congregation in Mozambique:

The man in the front row, standing and wearing a tie, is the leader there, Wedson Matiya. Evangelist Ochieng is standing next to him and wearing a blue shirt. Note: While we were sent a better quality photo than the above indicates, the above was the maximum file-size that the program we use for the weekly Letter can accept.

Evangelist Evans Ochieng also sent the following photograph of a CCOG congregation in Malawi:

The man in the front row with a red tie is the host there, Radson Enock Mulozowa. Evangelist Ochieng is standing and wearing what looks like a pink tie.

Here is a report from Radson Mulozowa:

Greetings Pastor Bob. Thanks Very Much For The Visit Of Pastor Evans
To Malawi.Really He Has Encouraged Us In Many Areas.On Friday He
Visited Mozambique Together With 20 Leaders Who Escorted Us. On
Sabbath We Were At Migowi Congregation (malawi).We Were With Brethern
From Zambia,lilongwe.Zomba,balaka,matekenya.. The Day Evans Arrived He
Found Me Admitted In Hospital.I

He did not explain why he was  in the hospital.

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following report:

Pastor Dr Bob.
Greetings from Kenya.
I am back Kenya after a long trip. I have a lot of happiness concerning my trip in Malawi this time than before. The work that I got in both Malawi and Mozambique is so fantastic and profitable. I thank our representative in Malawi Radson Molozowa for the good organization. This is my first time to reach in Mozambique. Last time when I was going to Mozambique, the rain was too heavy and the road was very slippery that stopped us not to reach in Mozambique. According to what I saw in Mozambique, I can say that it was the work of Satan last time that stopped me not to reach in that country by then. I say this because I found if the work is too big and large in Mozambique. This is a country which I found if part of it people have never kept sabbath since the foundation of the world. When our representatives started to teach about sabbath, they were surprised. When they heard that we were going in Mozambique, so many protestants pastors attended the services highly. The members who decided to join Continuing church of God were 104 in Mozambique. The picture which I sent yesterday was for all members that we met in Mozambique. God’s work in Mozambique was very unusual to how I have been visiting countries. This is the first time when I was in a meeting with chiefs of two countries. The time I was going to Mozambique, I was afraid because I didn’t stamped my passport at the border. This is because migration office is very far from that part of the country since Mozambique is very big country. But when I reaches at the border I found if chief of Mozambique is one of the members of our congregations in that country. The police men who were at the border also wrote a letter to protect me in their country. This is the reason why I am saying that the work in Mozambique is unusual because the way God is working there is wonderful. I received a good welcome and people were very quiet and were taking notes and verses every time. I was very happy with brethren and the work in Mozambique. I promised them that I will visit them again before feast of tabernacles 2017.

On sabbath, we kept sabbath with our members in Malawi. Surprisingly, in Malawi, two chiefs are also members of our congregations in Malawi. So many pastors from Mozambique crossed the border to come and keep sabbath in Malawi because they wanted to learn more. Also we had a pastor who is our representative in Zambia, Pastor Justin Genakumato. The names of the chiefs were – chief Jarden, Chief manasi and chief Duya. These chiefs were very happy and they promised me that they will defend the truth  throughout all zones of Malawi. I sent you another picture for Malawi congregation. They were 74 members. The way how Molozowa has arranged the work in Malawi is very good. He gave me easy time to program everything.
After sabbath we went to check a place of feast of tabernacles 2017. We got good place in a small town called migowi. The hotel is called Thamanji. They have a conference hall which can fit people from Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. Our plan is put brethren from those countries to keep the feast of tabernacles 2017 at one place in Malawi. We arranged everything good.
After that I had a meeting with sosten, Molozowa and matiya and Granton together. The reason for that meeting is to put them together so that they can work together. It was very successful and we closed by prayer when everybody was happy.
I was very happy with Sosten because he saw some good fruits of repentance. I was very happy about that. Let us pray for him every day.

I talked with our representative in Zambia pastor Justin who wanted me to visit Zambia before the feast of tabernacles 2017. According to him, they wanted me to visit them as soon as possible. But I told him that we are going to send Molozowa soon. And after that I will visit them in late June or early July. Now THE CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD has reached in Zambia. That means God has opened the door for the gospel to move. This year we have reached in Uganda and Zambia. I am begging the brethren to pray for the work in Africa and also for me because these work needs a lot of prayer and dedication.
When I was planning to go to Malawi, I was very sick when the days were numbered to 2. Satan didn’t Want me to go to Malawi but through your prayers God led me to those countries. And when I was coming back after reaching in Blantyre, I was nocked by a lorry. God protected my life again and didn’t harm me. So I see that this time Satan didn’t want me to go to those countries simply because there was a better product ahead. May God bless the work in Africa highly.
Evans.
Ps I told Justin who wanted many books that we will send him books and magazines in English because it is an English speaking country.

Here is a report from Grantone Otieno who accompanied Evangelist Ochieng:

  It is my privilege and joyous  moment to inform  you that our visit to Malawi and Mozambique with an Evangelist Evance Ochieng was successful one because so many people decided to join CCOG including three chiefs  after the teaching and preaching from us. Even though Pastors Evance by then, God strengthened him and the mission was done.There were also Pastors from Zambia Who strongly seek to be visited. Glory be to God!!.
  The work that our Evangelist is doing is not easy and it needs our prayer support always so that the Lord God of Ibrahim,Isak and Jacob to continue strengthen him and give him  a heart of serving His people as we all know that travelling here and there is tiresome but with God all are possible.
 Best regard,
 Mr.Grantone Otieno.

Please pray that the Lord of the harvest will send more laborers for the harvest.

YouTube Views

We are still having success on YouTube.

We passed 300,000 views on our ContinuingCOG YouTube channel last week. Our number of ‘subscribers’ to that channel also continue to increase.  YouTube says that “Subscribers watch more,” meaning that they typically watch more of what is on the channels they subscribe to than non-subscribers.  Anyway, we have never promoted getting ‘subscribers’ to the YouTube channels, but the numbers have been increasing.

We originally choose YouTube ‘television’ because it was convenient and basically free.  It also has wide viewership all over the world and we seem to have a core of a couple of hundred regular viewers. This particular channel is the one that we tend to put our sermons on.

World News Items

There is still a lot of friction between the European Union and the United Kingdom because of the Brexit decision. European leaders have repeatedly stated that the UK would have to pay a price for leaving, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now among them (see UK’s May wants more Brexit negotiation clout and Germany’s Merkel threatens that the UK will pay a price if EU opposes UK’s post-Brexit immigration plans). No matter what happens in the negotiations to leave the EU, the time will come when a power from Europe will have the UK pay a greater price as the UK will one day be taken over from a power in Europe (cf. Daniel 8:23-25, 11:39; Jeremiah 30:7).

US President Donald Trump has been on an international trip. On his first stop, which was in Saudi Arabia, a major arms deal was made (see Largest single arms deal in US history! Is Donald Trump arming part of the King of the South?).  He also encouraged the Arabs to work together to be able to defend themselves (see Did Donald Trump just promote the formation of the prophesied ‘King of the South’?). The Bible tells of a time when a military power of a confederation of nations from North Africa and the Middle East will arise (cf. Daniel 11:40-43)– this power will likely employ some of the arms that Saudi Arabia is purchasing.

Germany is looking into various ways to become such a power (e.g. The Final King of the North will arise in Europe: Germany considering putting some troops in Jordan) and the USA seems to be encouraging Europe to arm (see Trump meets Pope and expects to push NATO to spend).

The so-called ‘Doomsday’ seed vault ran into weather problems last Friday (see The ‘Doomsday Vault’ is not humanity’s salvation). Some have improperly called it humanity’s salvation. Jesus warned:

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)

This does not mean that no physical preparations should be made–but they will not save anyone in the long run (see also Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians).

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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Is China paving roads to Armageddon? 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: Spiritual Gifts. 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 new 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 BibleNewsProphecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul was wrote:

8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:8-9)

While Joyce and I do not expect to ‘tarry’ in Europe until Pentecost, as we are scheduled to come home next week, we would like to remind everyone that Pentecost this year will be on Sunday, June 4th.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer