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The Work of God in the Philippines and East Malaysia—Part 3

David Dobson, senior pastor for the Philippines and East Malaysia, wrote: “Denise and I enjoyed a wonderful Feast trip to East Malaysia and the Philippines. After spending the Day of Atonement with the Manila congregation, we traveled to Sabah, East Malaysia, where we joined 42 members for the first three days of the Feast.

“On day four of the Feast, we flew to Tacloban on the Philippine island of Leyte. Attendance at Leyte was about 100 members each day. In Baguio (Luzon, the north island) 110 to 120 brethren attended, and in Mindanao daily attendance was just over 230. Counting the 42 brethren keeping the Feast in Malaysia and several small groups and families gathered at their homes, overall attendance was above 500. Upon the close of this Feast, we were reminded of Paul’s words to the church at Rome: ‘For now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed’ (Romans 13:11 Romans 13:11And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
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).

“Regarding our nationwide telecast of Beyond Today each Sunday on GMA-7TV and on Facebook and YouTube channels, we want to thank everyone for their prayers for this important witness of the gospel to the Philippine people. We are pleased to report that since programming began several months ago nearly 800 responses have been received. Your ongoing prayers for God’s people and His work in the Philippines and East Malaysia would be greatly appreciated.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in French-speaking West Africa—Part 3

Tim Pebworth, pastor for congregations in France and senior pastor for French-speaking West Africa, wrote:

“After church services on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in Blolé, Côte d’Ivoire, Church members hosted a village-wide local evangelism event organized by local deacon Mamadou Tokpa, who is very passionate about preaching the gospel. People from the community of 8,000 were invited to come to the outdoor event for song, dance, food and a special sermon. More than 400 people attended, including the village elders. The sermon given by our local leader, Albert Oulai, covered the wedding feast of Matthew 22, God’s great plan and the meaning of the Holy Days.

“Professional Yacouba singers punctuated the evening with praise music and dance. Local young adult member, Fulgence Oulai, tailored matching traditional clothes for our members so they would be recognizable among the attendees. I was really inspired by our brethren’s generosity and enthusiasm.

“In the following days, many who attended the event came to services and asked questions about the Church and its doctrines. After I visited the congregation shortly after the Feast, I met with the village elders and discussed in depth the work and mission of the Church. That visit and the now-established relationship with the community is a result of the evening hosted by local members. Please continue praying for God’s blessings on all the brethren of Côte d’Ivoire as they strive to honor Him and do their best to help spread the gospel.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Thank You for Your Prayers AND Please Pray for Those Whom God is Calling

It has been nearly a year since we began publishing media reports, mainly from the Church’s international areas, asking for your prayers that the gospel would reach people everywhere without hindrance. The scriptures tell us God loves to hear the prayers of you, His faithful people (Psalms 34:15 Psalms 34:15The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
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, 1 John 5:14 1 John 5:14And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:
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). Indeed, as the apostle James stated, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
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New Living Translation, emphasis added throughout). As new and updated media reports are published in the MMS eNews and the United News in the weeks and months ahead, please continue your vital prayers that the good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God will reach people in greater power.

In addition, we would like to ask if you would add another vital component to your prayers. Please pray especially for the many people God is calling that they will be unhindered in learning and implementing the marvelous truths of the Bible (Matthew 22:14 Matthew 22:14For many are called, but few are chosen.
American King James Version×
). In Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed He said, “The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:14-15 Mark 4:14-15 [14] The sower sows the word. [15] And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan comes immediately, and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
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). Brethren, we can all pray that God will help people resist the devil’s unseen aggression so that the seed of the gospel will put down roots in their lives so as to begin producing godly fruit (Matthew 13:23 Matthew 13:23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundred times, some sixty, some thirty.
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).

In His model prayer Jesus said, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13 Matthew 6:13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
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). As we pray this way for ourselves, we can also pray for these new, vulnerable “little ones” whom God is calling (Matthew 10:42 Matthew 10:42And whoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
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). This is so they can not only withstand Satan’s toxic influence, but deal effectively with life’s troubles and distractions while growing in and applying spiritual knowledge and understanding (Mark 9:41-42 Mark 9:41-42 [41] For whoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. [42] And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
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; John 17:15 John 17:15I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.
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).

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Brethren in Bahamas to Test Distribution of Beyond Today Magazines

Andy Diemer, associate pastor for South Florida and Bahamas, reports the brethren in the Freeport, Bahamas, congregation have just initiated a new project to test the distribution of Beyond Today magazines.

Church members are now in the process of determining locations to place five, clear plastic countertop displays, complete with colorful signage, offering magazines for free. Potential display locations include shops, stores, post offices and other places of business. It is anticipated that it will take about a month until it is known how well the test is progressing.

The brethren are all praying that this small but important effort to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God will have a positive impact. Your prayers for God’s blessings on this initial endeavor will be greatly appreciated.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in the Philippines and Sabah, Malaysia—Part 2

David Dobson, senior pastor for the Philippines, wrote: “A highly successful national United Youth Camp was conducted July 17 to 23 at the Eden Nature Park and Resort near Davao City, Mindanao. A total of 48 campers were served by 32 volunteer staff members. A complete report on this year’s camp will appear in the United News.

“In addition, a Beyond Today Bible seminar took place on Aug. 13 at the L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City on the island of Negros. The seminar was patterned after the Kingdom of GodBible seminars in past years. We sent out invitations to about 160 Beyond Today magazine subscribers in the area.

“Planning for the Feast of Tabernacles is ongoing for the sites at Baguio, Luzon; Albuera, Leyte; Bukidnon, Mindanao; and Sabah, Malaysia. An earthquake in northern Luzon recently shut down main roads to the Baguio Feast site. Efforts continue to re-open these necessary roads. Please pray that God will stay Satan’s efforts to hinder our ability to appear before God during the fall Holy Days.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in the Philippines and Sabah, Malaysia UPDATE—Part 1

David Dobson, senior pastor for the Philippines, wrote: “A number of exciting developments have been taking place in the Philippines and eastern Malaysia. Approximately 550 brethren attend services in this part of the world. Congregations and small in-home groups are scattered across the various islands of the Philippines and in Sabah.

“During the pandemic, international travel from the U.S. to the Philippines was mainly shut down. This past February travel restrictions were relaxed—making possible a spring festival trip. U.S. pastor Nick Lamoureux was able to join me for a trip to visit as many members as time allowed. We visited almost half of the Church membership by traveling to congregations on the islands of Luzon, Leyte, Samar, Negros and Mindanao. We were able to visit and approve a new Mindanao Feast venue and a new national summer camp facility. We found the brethren to be in great spirits in spite of the pandemic and periodic natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes.

“As you may recall from my report in March 2022, the door opened for airing the Beyond Today telecast nationally. The first season of thirteen episodes generated 300 new respondents. The current season has received almost 150 additional responses. Programs are broadcast every Sunday over GMA-7 from 5:30 to 6 a.m. A delayed webcast is also available over our Philippine Facebook and YouTube channels at 9 a.m. the same day. Thank you for your prayers for a successful launch. We would greatly appreciate your ongoing prayers for God’s blessings on this important effort in sharing the gospel.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia UPDATE

In the Feb. 3, 2022, issue of the eNews, Johnny Lambert, pastor in New York, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia wrote, “Since we have not been able to visit Estonia for over two years due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, your prayers are requested that the door would open for us to return to our office in the city of Tartu.” In this update Mr. Lambert briefly describes how God has answered your faithful prayers.

“On June 30, we began the trip to Estonia with plans to return to the United States in August. This was only a few days after all travel restrictions were lifted by Estonia and most other European countries. After a 22-hour flight we landed in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. From there we traveled to Helsinki, Finland, and Oslo, Norway, to visit brethren and conduct Bible studies. We finally arrived at our apartment in Tartu late on Friday, July 8. We have since been visiting with members and endeavoring to restore our subscription lists for six European countries with the help of an old computer on which we had them stored.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Feast was not held in Estonia in 2020 or 2021, but this year we are returning to this nation where it is apparent that God has placed His name. Although more details about the trip will be published in an upcoming issue of United News, hopefully you have seen the connection between your prayers and faith. Thank you for your prayers.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in the Netherlands UPDATE

September 8, 2022

Dutch elder and UCG-Netherlands National Council chairman, Wim Dekker, wrote the following update to a report he sent several months ago:

“In November last year we asked for prayers for God to bless our new website so that many Dutch-speaking people who are searching for the truth would be able to find it on the Internet. We are still in the process of collecting data in order to determine the results of that effort. Meanwhile, we are exploring ways to attract even more people to our website by posting short teaser texts on our Facebook account—inviting them to visit our website for information on various subjects.

“Although we have many more ideas about reaching people with the gospel message, our team of dedicated volunteers is small. Therefore, we have an additional prayer request for our fellow brethren around the world. Please pray that God would call more laborers for His work in the Netherlands and Flanders.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Canada UPDATE—Part 2

September 1, 2022

Anthony Wasilkoff, director of operations for the United Church of God in Canada, wrote the following update to a report he sent in November 2021:

“Our media team continues working on ways to optimize our websites in order to promote and enhance visitor experience. The team has been writing introductory articles on topics covered by longer articles in The Good News and Beyond Today magazines. The shorter intros are meant to pique curiosity and then direct interested website visitors to previously posted material. Besides this, Beyond Today television programs air each week on cable television. However, Canada has limited print methods available for economical advertising. Those that are available, that we have been able to try, have not produced cost-effective results.

“Regardless of these limitations and having very strict government restrictions during COVID-19, congregations across the country have had some new people begin attending Sabbath services which has been very encouraging to the members. Once again, we would be grateful for your prayers for your fellow brethren throughout Canada and that the gospel will continue reaching many people across the nation.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Canada UPDATE—Part 1

August 25, 2022

Anthony Wasilkoff, director of operations for the United Church of God in Canada, wrote the following update to a report he sent in November 2021:

“Canada has a population of 38.6 million people living in the second largest country in the world with a land mass of nearly 10 million square kilometers (about 3.85 million square miles). The Church has congregations in 9 of the 10 most-populated cities in the country. There are 10 pastors and 16 elders serving 24 congregations in eight provinces. If a person were to drive across Canada to visit all the congregations, he or she would travel about 9,900 kilometers (over 6,100 miles) from coast to coast and would have to make two ferry crossings. An increasing number of pastors use Internet technologies to reach members who are unable to attend Sabbath services in person.

“One of our greatest challenges continues to be manpower—laborers for the harvest. Canada has been impacted recently by the deaths of a pastor and an elder. In addition, there are many policies in place to provide compliance with federal and provincial laws that apply to UCG-Canada as a federally registered charity. UCG-Canada must be especially careful of anything that might be considered ‘hate speech’ against any identifiable group. There are also very strict privacy laws, which limit what personal information we can collect and share. Considering the above-mentioned challenges, your prayers would be very much appreciated that the Word of God may continue effectively reaching the nation. In Part 2 of this report we will cover current media efforts to spread the message of God’s coming Kingdom.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Print Advertising Campaign Begins in Sept. 2022

August 18, 2022

Your prayers are requested for God’s blessings on the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year print advertising campaign in the United States. Beginning in September 2022, a test of six different advertisements in coupon inserts in Sunday newspapers will take place—reaching 24 million households. Then in October 2022, the United Church of God will place 50 million more coupon ads in Sunday newspapers throughout the country featuring our free Bible study aid, “Angels: God’s Messengers and Spirit Army” along with a free subscription to Beyond Today.

The campaign continues in November 2022 when 30 million ads of the study aid “Seven Prophetic Signs of Jesus Return” will be advertised. In January 2023, ads for the study aid “The Book of Revelation Unveiled” will reach 35 million households. In February 2023 our study aid “How to Understand the Bible” will be placed in 35 million coupon inserts. Finally, in March 2023 a rollout of the top two ads from the September 2022 test will reach an additional 50 million households via coupon inserts.

This extensive advertising campaign will be made available to a total of 224 million households! You can be of tremendous help by asking God for His great blessings and favor. Please also pray specifically that people will respond overwhelmingly to this effort designed to provide them with genuine biblical truth, including that of the real Jesus Christ and the wonderful good news of God’s coming Kingdom.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in French-Speaking West Africa—Part 2

August 11, 2022

Tim Pebworth, pastor for congregations in France and senior pastor for French-speaking West Africa wrote:

“In part 1 of this report we asked for your prayers that the Church can be formally registered and recognized. In Côte d’Ivoire, registration would allow the Church to organize and advertise large-scale Bible studies. Because of the previous civil wars, any event over just a few people must be registered with the police and the Church must pay to have local police present. Registration greatly simplifies this process. Registration would also smooth the transition from our current church hall in the northern region of Man onto a new 2.5-acre parcel where the Church can farm a portion of the land while also increasing the size of the church hall and adding facilities for Feast observance.

“In Benin, registration would allow the Church to host public campaigns at its facility. Unfortunately, registration requires that they a have church hall in the first place, something they have never had. However, thanks to donations from a congregation in California, land was purchased last year and they are now raising funds to start construction of a church hall, office, kitchen and apartment. At the same time, the congregation is working to open a reading and language-learning center on the property to help address the literacy problems in their area. The reading center would also help employ some of the local church members. In Togo, registration would allow the Church to register its existing properties in the name of the Church to support continued growth.

“The challenges are great and the brethren know that all these things are in God’s hands. They would greatly appreciate your zealous prayers so that God’s word can go out in this region.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in French-Speaking West Africa—Part 1

July 28, 2022

Tim Pebworth, pastor for congregations in France and senior pastor for French-speaking West Africa wrote:

“We have about 100 brethren meeting in the three West African countries of Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin. This region of the world often ranks among the poorest, and Benin is especially challenged as being one of the most illiterate countries in the world with a staggering nearly 70 percent of women being unable to read.

“Togo, a democracy in name, has nonetheless been ruled by father and son for the past 55 years. Although Côte d’Ivoire has benefited from close economic ties with France, it suffered two debilitating civil wars in the past 20 years and this continues to cast a shadow on the development of the nation. Yet if you were to visit one of the five congregations in the region you would probably feel right at home among God’s people.

“God began to work in West Africa as far back as the 1980s when Bernard Andrist from Geneva, Switzerland, would travel to the region. Over the years, the lack of economic opportunity has weighed heavily on brethren and few have regular employment. Those in farming have more stability, but many must work to resell various products in local open-air markets to have enough to get by. Despite these challenges, brethren are eager to preach the gospel and they are asking for your prayers that the Church can be formally registered and recognized. More about this will be published in Part 2 of this report.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in East Africa

July 21, 2022

Monte Knudson, senior pastor for the United Church of God in East Africa, reported:

“We have 24 churches and Bible study groups with about 400 adults and children in attendance. Our four pastors and two elders, along with deacons, are assisting in speaking each Sabbath in these areas. We have two small groups in Mauritius and Madagascar as well that are requesting a visit, and I hope to travel there soon but must first work through COVID-19 travel restrictions. Also, the government in Tanzania recently informed our small group of 10 brethren that they are not allowed to assemble on the Sabbath until they are registered as a church. We are working speedily to take care of this. Your prayers would be much appreciated.

“While there is inflation and shortages just as in many other countries, the brethren are doing their best through this struggle as they look to God and continue to care for one another. To help supplement their incomes, we have developed a program in some areas where maize is purchased by the brethren at harvest time and then stored and resold just before the next harvest.

“Thank you for your prayers on behalf of your brethren in East Africa. We have much to be thankful for as we follow God and care for one another. All glory goes to Him, as we are very grateful for the many opportunities of being led to be like Him!”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Australia—Part 2

July 14, 2022

United Church of God-Australia office manager, Derek Lewis, adds: “The Church in Australia has certainly been blessed with strong finances in recent times. With all the turmoil these past two years, perhaps it’s not surprising that God’s people have a renewed focus on supporting the work of the Church. Income has been strong, and with a reduction in expenditure during COVID-19, we’re well placed to fund another increase in public proclamation.

“However, there are growing obstacles to preaching the gospel in this part of the world. State and Federal legislation is increasingly an issue, as is public opinion—which is more and more anti-God. In many respects, Australia is not dissimilar to the United States; however, our laws are more stringent when it comes to restricting free speech. We often wonder how much longer we can air Beyond Today when enough complaints about a program could see television station management take us off the air. The gospel message can so easily be thwarted here in Australia without God’s protection.

“Please pray for the work here in Australia, also New Zealand and our neighbors in the South Pacific. Most especially, pray that our increased media efforts bear fruit.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Australia—Part 1

July 7, 2022

United Church of God-Australia office manager, Derek Lewis, writes: “In Australia the National Council has just ratified a Public Proclamation budget of $940,000 ($655,000 USD) for the upcoming financial year (July to June). This is easily the largest budget for public proclamation in Australia that we’ve ever had. It’s 12 percent above spending for this year and 35 percent above the prior year.

“Much of the budget is earmarked for Beyond Today being aired on television two days per week (until six months ago it was aired just one day per week), and also a very significant and increased spending on digital marketing. Beyond Today television and digital marketing have been fruitful. Short video ads on Facebook have brought great results and we’ve just recorded six new ads that we hope will be even more successful. One new theme that we will test is ‘science and God’ where we’ll highlight that never before in history has Almighty God been so clearly seen through scientific discoveries.

“Even with all this as good news, we must be mindful that the gospel message could easily be thwarted here in Australia without God’s protection—as we’ll note in part 2 of this report. That is why your prayers are so important and much needed.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Latin America—Part 2

June 30, 2022

Mario Seiglie, senior pastor for the United Church of God in Latin America, further described how God’s work in the region supports the brethren and touches the lives of the people God is calling to His truth. For example, Mr. Seiglie wrote that “during the COVID-19 pandemic, we held an online, two-week, ten-lesson Bible course of 20 hours taught by four instructors—which was attended by 400 students of all ages in 16 Latin American countries.

“Also, in 2021, God’s work in the region reached an average of 128,000 monthly unique visitors to the Spanish-language website for a yearly average of 1,545,463 unique visitors. We also had 1,868 YouTube subscribers with 93,000 visits and 18,400 hours watched. Plus, we had 1,627 Facebook followers. While all of this was occurring, regular Bible studies, youth and preteen camps, men’s clubs, ladies’ clubs and other events and activities took place. In addition, 29 university or other higher education students received LifeNets scholarships in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile and Argentina.

“Finally, please pray that God will continue to bless the efforts to spread the gospel message and to care for God’s people throughout Latin America.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Latin America—Part 1

June 23, 2022

Mario Seiglie, senior pastor for the United Church of God in Latin America, wrote that within this huge Spanish-speaking region, “600 brethren mainly live in ten countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Thankfully, COVID-19 has subsided and we are now having in-person Sabbath services in most areas. However, the pandemic took a heavy toll on the economies in these countries, which affected the brethren as a result.

“Regarding the work of spreading the gospel in the region, we have 9,000 subscribers receiving Beyond Today magazine—called Las Buenas Noticias. Added to this, there are 7,618 email subscribers for a total circulation of 16,618. We are also active on the Internet with 627 Spanish-language sermons posted, 361 blogs, 33 booklets, 669 articles, 169 Bible ‘questions & answers,’ and 4,500 Bible study resources. Plus, 249 Beyond Today programs and 106 BT Dailies have been dubbed in Spanish.

“While we are doing all we can with the resources available, we do need your constant prayers so that the gospel of the Kingdom will have free course in Latin America and that God would call more people.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

God's Work in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe—Part 2

June 2, 2022

Lewis VanAusdle, pastor for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, wrote that “although English is often used as a common language, there are many different languages spoken in each of these countries. In Malawi, in conjunction with Eastern Zambia, there has been a local translation of the Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God, plus some of the hymns and smaller pamphlet style booklets. The process of translating, proofreading, editing and printing is very time consuming and can be expensive, so only a handful of materials have been translated.

“The brethren in Zimbabwe have also looked into the possibility of translating material into local languages as well. You can find two short audio recordings of BT Daily episodes at ucg.org/congregations/harare/sermons which were translated into the Shona language by Mabasa Chichaya, pastor of our Zimbabwe congregations. Several of these smaller recordings were recently sent to a national radio station as samples. The station manager liked the programs so much that he played them nationally during a prime-time slot at no charge. The samples resulted in several responses which demonstrated the opportunity for this form of media to reach potential brethren across the country.

“Despite many daily challenges in life, the brethren persevere in helping to bring the Word of God to their countrymen. Please pray that God will open doors for His truth to be preached more openly and accessibly and that He continues providing for the needs of the brethren as they strive to focus on doing His will.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

God's Work in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe—Part 1

May 26, 2022

Lewis VanAusdle, senior pastor for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, wrote that because of the challenges the brethren in these nations face it would “be important for them to know that their fellow brethren around the world are praying for them.”

Mr. VanAusdle stated that in each country, “it is tough to find smooth roads, especially far from the big cities. The increasing cost of transportation adds to the difficulty brethren sometimes face in coming to services. Potential members often struggle to find congregations close by. The increasing cost and unreliability of mail services has made sending paper copies of literature more complicated. Although Internet service is available, and many people have smart phones, the cost of reliable Internet connectivity and the inconsistency of electricity make it difficult and frustrating to reliably and rapidly communicate this way.

“Despite some of these difficulties, there are pastors and deacons who have used social media to help spread the word of God. This includes live Facebook videos in local languages, sometimes accompanied with live radio broadcasts on local stations. Radio has proven to be an effective way to preach the gospel in these countries since most everyone has a radio. Particularly in Malawi and Zimbabwe, the cost of radio time is extremely expensive which has slowed the launch of such local initiatives, but the pastors are still hopeful that God will open up doors for His word to be heard by broader audiences despite the inhibitive costs.

“Please pray for our faithful brethren in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe as they do their part to help spread the gospel while personally facing many obstacles.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Needs of God’s Work in New Zealand

May 12, 2022

Michael Fike, senior pastor for New Zealand, writes: “New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with God’s physical glory displayed through all seasons. The COVID-19 virus has been very difficult for the brethren. There have been many complete lockdowns over the past two years and the border has been shut down, so travel in or out of the country has been nearly impossible. The national economy, which has greatly depended on tourism, has suffered and come to a virtual standstill, which has affected the population and our brethren.

“In addition, the government has taken a strong stand against anyone or any group that it perceives might speak negativity about popular sexual and gender ideas. Secularism is a growing movement. While the Church supports a weekly Beyond Today telecast in New Zealand, it has not been able to have a full-time minister for the past two years. Please pray for our brethren in terms of their encouragement and unity.

“Finally, since the border is now opening, we are planning for a Feast of Tabernacles site that is available to foreign travelers—who should first check New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Your prayers are also requested for successful festival planning and for little or no difficulties for members and visitors coming to the beautiful town of Paihia on the country’s North Island.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

God’s Work in Italy

May 5, 2022

Carmelo Anastasi, senior pastor for Italy, writes: “I would like to ask all of you to pray for the continuing success of our new ‘proclamation workshop’ that we began on an experimental basis six months ago. It was designed to give our baptized members practical instructions on how to effectively proclaim the virtues of the One who called them from darkness to His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
American King James Version×
).

“Through this effort to reach the public with the message of the gospel, we give our brethren careful pastoral and editorial instruction and guidance on how to advertise our Church’s magazines, brochures and video-sermons along with their personal comments on Facebook and other social networks. Most of our members agreed to participate in our online workshop that takes place every Wednesday evening. The result? Many new people have contacted us for the first time and have asked to participate in our midweek Bible studies and our church services every Sabbath. The number of participants today has risen to over 100!

“Again, your prayers for God’s blessing on our new proclamation effort would be much appreciated. Plus, may I ask everyone to continue praying for one another and be very thankful to God. This is because in the past we were not a people, but now we are the people of God due to His marvelous mercy (1 Peter 2:10 1 Peter 2:10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
American King James Version×
).”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Paper Shortages for Beyond Today Magazine and Study Aids

April 28, 2022

Scott Ashley, managing editor of Beyond Today magazine, described ongoing impediments to obtaining paper for Beyond Today magazine and study aids (booklets) due to economic and supply chain difficulties in the paper market. Here is some of what he wrote:

“We were barely able to obtain enough paper to print the March-April and May-June 2022 issues of Beyond Today, even though they had been scheduled for a year. Also, since we could not source enough paper to print the usual years’ worth of renewal cover wraps, we printed only enough for the May-June 2022 issue of Beyond Today. Furthermore, a different paper stock had to be used for the recent reprinting of our Heaven and Hell booklet because our usual paper wasn’t available. Plus, we had to delay reprinting The Book of Revelation Unveiled booklet because the printer could not acquire insert card stock until the first week of May.

“The bottom line is that I have never seen anything like this in nearly 50 years in the printing industry. We have been informed that paper shortages may continue well into 2023.”

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated that God will bless the Church’s efforts to obtain sufficient paper supplies to publish the truth of the gospel.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

UPDATE: The needs of God’s people and work in Myanmar—Part 2

April 20, 2022

With a commitment from LifeNets, our deacon, Mr. Davidson Lay Beh, was able to purchase a piece of land in a village to build a new church meeting hall and a small guest house. We still also hope to find an “office” in Yangon close to the airport to serve several purposes—including as a place to develop the work of God, a meeting location for our brethren in Yangon and a place for visitors to stay.

A prospective member in Yangon who speaks, reads and writes English very well has been working with Mr. Lay Beh in translating the Holy Day booklet and has been making good progress. With God’s blessing, he may perform as a valuable part in helping to grow the work of God in Myanmar.

Finally, please pray for the needs mentioned above and that God will soon open the door for people to travel into the country. It would be important for an elder to visit, especially for those who may want to be counseled for baptism and for those who would appreciate spiritual guidance on other issues.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Vanuatu—Part 2

March 31, 2022

Two weeks ago in the MMS eNews, Derek Lewis, office manager for the United Church of God-Australia, reported about God’s work in Vanuatu. He continues:

“The economy is primarily based on small-scale agriculture, which provides an income for most of our members and much of the population. Tourism via the cruise ship industry has also added a positive economic impact. Nevertheless, COVID-19 travel restrictions have had a significant detrimental effect on the economy of Port Vila. Whereas before the pandemic it received multiple cruise ships per week, with anywhere from 500 to 4,900 guests onboard each ship, currently no cruise ships are operating.

“Regarding preaching the gospel, we have been focused on teaching and stabilizing the congregation before making a great effort to grow it. However, we do send literature (study guides, etc.) as needed and also make these available at church services. We have had a few inquiries, but the congregation has grown mostly by word of mouth.

“A very capable young man, John Tabi, has emerged to provide organizational leadership for the local congregation and Sabbath services on Efate. Ideally, we would like to send someone to live there for much of the year. If we could do this, then the Church would likely grow tremendously. There is great potential to reach many people, and with time and effort it would seem we could make a significant difference. Please pray for our brethren in Vanuatu, for effective local leadership through John Tabi, and for our ability to send more manpower to the country again soon.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Beyond Today to Air on Nationwide Television in the Philippines

March 24, 2022

David Dobson, senior pastor for the Philippines, writes: “The Philippine office of United Church of God is thrilled to announce that the Beyond Today television program is scheduled to air nationwide over GMA-7 TV! A contract is in place for one season of 13 episodes, airing Sunday mornings at 5:30 a.m., beginning March 27.

“The Philippines is still largely a religious nation, but secularism and religious skepticism are creeping in, especially among the younger, progressive generations. Your prayers are requested for God’s blessing on this effort in sharing the gospel.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Vanuatu— Part 1

March 17, 2022

Vanuatu is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, comprising a chain of 13 major and many smaller islands located about 500 miles (800 km) west of Fiji and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) east of Australia.

Map courtesy of Ontheworldmap.com

United Church of God-Australia office manager, Derek Lewis, writes that the Church “has been active in serving the brethren in Vanuatu since 2017. Led by Bill Bradford (Brisbane, Australia), the Church has provided manpower and other assistance since that time. We have around 50 members mostly on the main island of Efate, where the capital of Port Vila is located. We support a small congregation in a remote village with the webcast of our Brisbane services each week and also during the Feast of Tabernacles last year (2021).

“Mr. Bradford has made many trips to baptize and perform weddings for members. We have funded and helped build a tabernacle for the Feast on a member’s land, also provided two water tanks, a generator, lighting, audio-visual equipment, etc. LifeNets Australia also contributed. In many ways God’s work in Vanuatu is embryonic, although much progress has been made. We facilitated the Feast of Tabernacles for three years from 2017-2019 and also provided manpower for the Passover and other Holy Days.

“However, we have been unable to travel to the country for two years due to COVID-19 border restrictions. The government of Vanuatu announced recently that they want the vaccination rate up and improved health facilities in place before reopening the border. They said it ‘maybe will reopen this year.’ Your prayers would be appreciated that we can return soon to Vanuatu to provide face-to-face spiritual instruction and guidance.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

U.S. Print Advertising Campaign Continues

February 16, 2022

In August 2021, we reported that the United Church of God was preparing to launch a large print promotion campaign in the United States. Through this effort, in October of 2021 and in January, February and March of 2022, over 123 million advertisements will be included in coupon insert sections of Sunday newspapers in cities and towns across the country. Each ad offers a subscription to Beyond Today magazine and one of our Bible study aids.

The October phase of the campaign, which featured the study aid “Angels: God’s Messengers and Spirit Army,” generated several thousand responses with more arriving daily. The January 2022 effort which offered the booklet “The Book of Revelation Unveiled,” also completed successfully.

Your prayers are now requested for excellent response to the February and March promotions. The February effort, currently underway, is offering the study aid “Heaven and Hell: What Does Bible Really Teach?” And in March, the campaign finishes with our ad featuring “Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Television Networks to Air Beyond Today Programs

February 10, 2022

The United Church of God is pleased to announce the addition of two television networks to air Beyond Today programs.

THE WORD Network

Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 6, Beyond Today will air each Sunday on THE WORD Network at 10:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. CT, 8:30 p.m. MT, 7:30 p.m. PT. THE WORD Network can be viewed in 93 million cable households in the United States. In addition, our programs can also be viewed in the United Kingdom on Sky TV in 9 million households. Furthermore, Beyond Today will be available to be seen in various countries in Latin America and by 1 million personnel in over 65 countries serving in the United States Armed Forces.

i24NEWS TV

Beginning Sunday, Feb. 13, the i24NEWS TV network will begin airing Beyond Today on Sundays at 8 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. CT, 6 a.m. MT, 5 a.m. PT. i24NEWS TV is an Israeli-based international 24-hour news and current affairs network telecasting in English, French and Arabic. Its English-language version can be seen in 20 million U.S. cable households.

Your vital prayers for the success of these two additions to our Beyond Today television line-up would be gratefully appreciated.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in Eastern Europe—Part 2

In a previous message, Johnnie Lambert, pastor in New York and Eastern Europe, described how the work of God is reaching people who speak the Estonian and Russian languages.

Mr. Lambert goes on to write, “Since we have not been able to visit Estonia for over two years due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, your prayers are requested that the door would soon open for us to return to our office in the city of Tartu. This is so we can expand our efforts to respond to requests for literature and increase the impact of the work of God in Eastern Europe and to Russian-speaking people.

“In addition, due to the dramatically changing political situation in Russia, more-effective ways must be found to advertise our Russian website and literature. The Russian government is now shutting down non-orthodox Russian churches and imprisoning their pastors. We need to do more to get the true gospel to the Russian people before the window of opportunity to do so could possibly close. Due to tensions in Ukraine, we have already lost hundreds of subscribers—many of whom live in the area where fighting is taking place—which has prevented our literature and correspondence from reaching them. Your prayers for God’s work in Eastern Europe, Russia and to Russian-speaking people in Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine and other areas are very much needed.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Miracles and the Work of God in Eastern Europe—Part 1

Johnnie Lambert, pastor in New York and Eastern Europe, wrote, “When preaching the gospel, it is important to have the ability to translate God’s truth into languages understood by native populations. In this regard, following the first Feast of Tabernacles held in Eastern Europe in 1997 by the United Church of God, Jesus Christ miraculously provided highly qualified translators in order to begin reaching the Estonian and Russian speaking peoples with the gospel message.

“To be sure, it is rare to have people who cannot only speak native languages, but also have a clear understanding of both the Bible and UCG doctrines. Therefore, the only feasible explanation for that miraculous occurrence was that Christ was fulfilling His promise to always be with us as we carried out His work in the world (Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
American King James Version×
; Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20 [19] Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×
; Mark 16:15 Mark 16:15And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
American King James Version×
).

“Since that time, most of the literature published by the United Church of God in English has been translated into both the Estonian and Russian languages. And, as new and updated literature is produced, our translators and publishers continue providing spiritual materials for those who desire to learn about the truth of God. However, at this time, political and economic tensions are rising in Eastern Europe and Russia. Please pray that our work will not be hindered in reaching the people in Estonia and Russia and to Russian-speaking people in Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and neighboring countries.”

Conditions Affecting God’s Work in Haiti—Part 2

In a previous message, Chuck Smith, senior pastor for the Caribbean region, wrote about the incredible tumult the nation of Haiti has endured during the past year. Here, in part two of Mr. Smith’s message, he explains more about conditions affecting our Church brethren.

“We have had to cancel services more than a few times because of gunfire, rioting and killing in the streets near our church building. Just a few months ago, our church van came under assault as our faithful leader and deacon, Joseph Jean, was attempting to drive brethren home after Sabbath services. The van was road-blocked and then pummeled with rocks and stones. Most of the windows were broken out and the vehicle ended up being totaled. However, God protected our brethren and no one was seriously hurt—only shaken up and concerned about the coming days. LifeNets and Good Works were more than gracious to our congregation by replacing the van.

“In addition, with kidnapping intensifying, Mr. Jean had to move his wife and children back to the United States for security purposes. He recently returned alone to Haiti in order to continue shepherding the flock and carrying on with the work of God.

“Our brethren are poverty-stricken and are doing what they can to meet the bare necessities of life. To give them help, a meal is provided to those who gather to worship on the Sabbath. Despite their hardships, many brethren actually come to the church building three times a week—when it is reasonably safe to travel—to hear God’s Word delivered through sermons and Bible studies and to raise their voices to God in hymns of praise.

“Considering the needs of our members and God’s work in Haiti, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Please know that the brethren are not only zealous for the Word of God but sincerely desire to spread the good news of His coming Kingdom to the people of their country and to every nation on earth today.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Conditions Affecting God’s Work in Haiti—Part 1

Chuck Smith, senior pastor for the Caribbean region, wrote: “The nation of Haiti has gone through incredible tumult during the last year. The President was brutally assassinated, and an earthquake devastated one end of the island, killing 2,200 people and leaving 650,000 in dire need of food and water. The price of fuel has doubled and tripled—if it can even be found. An ongoing kidnapping and ransom situation is being played out daily by thugs and modern-day gangsters.

“About the only bright spot on the island is in the town of Mirebalais. Located in the mountains with a population of about 100,000 residents, this is where God has called your brethren. On the town’s outskirts a ‘sanctuary’ was built for these ‘called out ones’ to meet and worship.

“Constructed two years ago, this church/house of worship conforms to international building codes. Therefore, it is also the place to seek shelter in hurricanes, earthquakes and during civil unrest. While that is very good, Haiti and our members have been living through very troubled times during a politically driven civil war. Please pray for these faithful brethren as the Church goes forward with a message of the ‘hope of the gospel’ (Colossians 1:23 Colossians 1:23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
American King James Version×
) for all the desperate people in Haiti.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Major Newspaper Advertising Campaign

We are pleased to announce that the United Church of God is launching a major three-month print promotion campaign in the United States. In this effort, a total of 75 million advertisements will be included in coupon inserts in Sunday newspapers in thousands of cities, towns and rural areas.

Newspaper readers will have the opportunity to request a free subscription to Beyond Today magazine and one of our Bible study aids. In January 2021, 35,000,000 ads will feature “The Book of Revelation Unveiled.” In February, 20,000,000 advertisements will offer “Heaven and Hell: What Does Bible Really Teach?” And in March, an additional 20,000,000 ads will offer people the study aid “Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns.”

Your prayers for God’s blessings on this important project are needed and greatly appreciated. As Psalms 34:15 Psalms 34:15The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
American King James Version×
says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

At the Whim of Station Managers and Account Executives

I am reminded of a situation that occurred just after the Feast of Tabernacles this year:

The TV station we were on in Syracuse, New York, did not play two of our Beyond Today television programs in a row because the station manager took offense at what we said. One of the programs was “Beware the Mark of the Beast,” and the other was “When Will Peace Come to the Middle East?” On the third week for “The Seven Churches of Revelation: Faith, Trial and Victory” program, the station manager canceled our contract outright, and said he would never let his TV audience hear such [garbage].

So, it shows how the success of placing our proclamation efforts in the media landscape can often boil down to the whims of a station manager or account executive. Therefore, we shook the dust off our feet and moved on (Luke 10:8-12 Luke 10:8-12 [8] And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: [9] And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them, The kingdom of God is come near to you. [10] But into whatever city you enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, [11] Even the very dust of your city, which sticks on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be you sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come near to you. [12] But I say to you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
American King James Version×
; Mark 6:10-11 Mark 6:10-11 [10] And he said to them, In what place soever you enter into an house, there abide till you depart from that place. [11] And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart there, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Truly I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
American King James Version×
; Luke 9:4-5 Luke 9:4-5 [4] And whatever house you enter into, there abide, and there depart. [5] And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
American King James Version×
).

Please pray for God’s blessing and guiding hand in all of our efforts to preach the gospel, and that we may find favor in the sight of those with whom we do business.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Needs of God’s People and Work in Myanmar

Our brethren in Myanmar (formerly Burma) would greatly appreciate your prayers for their continued safety and encouragement. This is because the military and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) resistance movement continue fighting in various regions of the country. Several months ago, LifeNets sent funds to help our brethren—but they have not been able to access it since banks remain closed due to distressing conditions in the nation.

In addition, the Church has plans—which are currently on hold—to establish an office in Yangon in order to begin printing translated literature to reach the public. Davidson Lay Beh has translated several booklets and articles for their website (ucgmm.com) but there is much more to accomplish. Please pray about this vital need so many more people in Myanmar can learn about the gospel of God’s coming, peaceful Kingdom.

Furthermore, Mr. Lay Beh translates English-language sermons into Karen or Burmese during Sabbath services. Your prayers for additional translation help would be much appreciated. Finally, there are some prospective members and several young people who may wish to be baptized. However, since there is no resident minister to counsel them, please pray for God to provide an elder to visit when the country opens up again. Thank you sincerely for your gracious prayers for God’s people and His work in Myanmar.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Conditions Affecting God’s Work in South Africa

Roy Demont, regional pastor for South Africa, writes: “South Africa has sadly become one of numerous African countries in dire straits. Previously our nation received the blessings conferred upon Israel due to Abraham’s faithfulness and could hold its own in the world and perform all necessary functions. However, those blessings have been rapidly evaporating as the nation has pursued Marxist/socialistic policies such as those that destroyed Cuba and Venezuela. Control of the country has changed from a Western cultural orientation to one that looks to China and Russia for guidance. Our leaders now implement ideas and present solutions to problems molded on a Marxist philosophy.

“For example, the state-run Electricity Generation Corporation, that was once the envy of the world, is now a shadow of its former self due to corruption, inefficiency and misplaced affirmative action. In addition, the nation’s unemployment runs in excess of 40 percent—while strikes, crime, civil unrest and the absence of an effective police force exacerbate the situation. Consequently, God’s Church here in South Africa must rely more and more on the United States for financial assistance in our ongoing efforts to preach the gospel. Therefore, we ask for your vital prayers—the prayers of our fellow brethren throughout the world—to help us keep moving forward in accomplishing God’s work despite many obstacles.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in the Netherlands

Dutch elder and UCG-Netherlands National Council chairman, Wim Dekker, wrote: “Right now there is one specific item involving the gospel going to the Netherlands that the ministry and brethren could pray about.

“Because the Internet is still the most important medium in reaching people with the gospel, we decided to completely revamp the Dutch website and make it easier to find by search engines through the use of certain keywords. For this we enlisted the help of Geoff Robertson from UCG-Australia who is a professional website builder. The whole process was supervised by our elder, Marcos Rosales. Both of them have done a great job and we are now a few weeks live! Please check out: verenigdekerkvangod.org!

“Your prayers would be greatly appreciated that God would bless this new website and that it will be a perfect tool through which Dutch speaking people may be led to the truth of Jesus Christ and the gospel.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Owerri, Nigeria

Paul Moody, senior pastor for English-speaking West Africa wrote, “The apostle Paul described various dangers he encountered in spreading the gospel—among them being ‘perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen’ (2 Corinthians 11:26 2 Corinthians 11:26In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers;
American King James Version×
). Civil and social unrest has long presented an element of challenge to the preaching of the gospel. This holds true today in Southeastern Nigeria.

“In April of this year, gunmen using explosives and rockets blasted their way into a prison in Owerri, Nigeria, killing guards and freeing more than 1,800 prisoners before looting a police station. From January to June at least ten public buildings and government offices were attacked by a group calling itself the Eastern Security Network. Terror activities continue to this day, leaving many casualties behind. In response to the uprising, the Nigerian government sent in security forces. Sadly, a recent Amnesty International report paints a disturbing picture of ruthless and excessive force used in this effort. It is estimated that hundreds have been killed due to actions of both parties, including many innocent civilians.

Pastors Ben Light and Paul Moody on a previous visit with the congregation in Owerri, Nigeria.

“Our United Church of God congregation in Owerri, Nigeria, is in the middle of this unrest. As a faithful group of believers, they put themselves at risk each Sabbath to travel the dangerous roads and assemble. They have requested that no other UCG leadership visit them at this time due to regional insecurity and threats to those who are not easterners. Their ability to visit potential members, do outreach with the gospel message and conduct public Beyond Today lectures has been greatly hindered.

“The apostle Paul asked the Church to, ‘Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith’ (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 [1] Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: [2] And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
American King James Version×
). Please join me in praying this prayer for both our brethren and our gospel efforts in southeastern Nigeria.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Needs of God’s Work in Canada

How essential are our prayers—including those for the work of the Church? The apostle James stated, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
American King James Version×
). The apostle Paul understood this and repeatedly asked brethren to support him through their prayers. For instance he wrote, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19 Ephesians 6:19And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
American King James Version×
, BSB). Similarly, we ask for your prayers today that the gospel can be heard and read by millions without constraint.

As an example, Anthony Wasilkoff, director of operations for the United Church of God in Canada, points out that while Beyond Today television programs air on cable television, UCG-Canada has been unable to find affordable print media advertising opportunities to reach larger portions of the Canadian population. In addition, he wrote, “There are growing government-imposed restrictions regarding what is perceived to be critical communication. In some instances, even the Holy Bible itself has been referred to as ‘hate literature.’”

Mr. Wasilkoff goes on to write, “Your prayers would be greatly appreciated that God would open excellent print advertising ‘doors’ (2 Corinthian 2:12) in Canada and that the gospel message will not be obstructed. Also, since UCG-Canada is facing a manpower crunch resulting from the need to replace aging pastors, please ‘pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’ (Luke 10:2 Luke 10:2Therefore said he to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
American King James Version×
, ESV).”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

The Work of God in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

November 4, 2021

“Sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God with the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is both compelling and rewarding,” writes David Schreiber, senior pastor for the region. He continues by writing:

“Seeds of the gospel are being planted throughout Asian countries today by means of our online web presence, Beyond Today magazine and many fine booklets. Although we communicate with hundreds of interested individuals each week by email and other means, how to nourish and care for them in a spiritually in-depth manner is a challenge. For example, in India there are 29 states, each with its own local language. This provides us with a communication hurdle not only with new people, but for the translation of sermons and written materials for our brethren.

“Despite these barriers, we are blessed with scattered members in India and prospective members in Pakistan and Bangladesh who are striving to learn, follow Christ’s teachings and are seeking baptism. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel to the region has not been possible for almost two years. We would therefore appreciate your prayers that we could return to India and possibly visit those in Bangladesh and Pakistan, when safety permits. Please also pray that faithful, God-fearing men could be raised up in each country in order to help teach and counsel newly called individuals and care for our members. Finally, please pray for our scattered brethren who suffer daily hardships in countries where Christians are often persecuted.”

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Portuguese Language Needs

October 28, 2021

The work of the United Church of God in preaching the gospel spreads throughout the world today, including in Portuguese-speaking areas. Portuguese is the sixth most-spoken native language in the world and the third most-spoken European language.

The United Church of God’s efforts in the Portuguese language, which began in 2002, reaches readers through the version of Beyond Today magazine named A Boa Nova. There are also 36 booklets, a Bible study course and a website presence which attracts over 4,000 visitors every day—with an especially strong following in Brazil in South America and Angola in Southern Africa.

Jorge de Campos, senior pastor of the work of God in the Portuguese-speaking areas, asks for your specific prayers. He writes: “The greatest need for God’s work in the Portuguese language is that God would provide laborers who know written and spoken Portuguese and can be available at various times to help with counseling and traveling.”

Thank you for vital prayers for the gospel to have free course throughout the world.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

UCG Google Advertising Censorship

October 21, 2021

The Church has a divine commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all people. The technology to do this continues to advance as never before. The communication systems available, like the Internet, are so powerful.

But with these advancing technologies comes increased pressure for us to be censored and our message hidden by large, controlling tech companies—like Google, Facebook and YouTube.

For example, Google—who owns YouTube—is already censoring our ability to advertise online. Many of our advertising campaigns are now limited in their distribution—being labeled “religious belief in personalized advertising.” Our ads are approved to run, but to very limited audiences. Our reach and effectiveness are being censored and controlled. As a result, we are presently not fully spending our budgeted online marketing dollars for Google.

We would appreciate your specific prayers for the gospel to have “free course” and be available to all those who use the Internet, not just to limited audiences whom Google selects.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

October Advertising Campaign in Sunday Newspapers

October 14, 2021

In late August 2021, we announced the Church’s plan to launch a major print promotion campaign in which 50 million advertisements will be included in coupon inserts in Sunday newspapers throughout the United States. This effort began on the first Sunday in October and will continue throughout the month. People have the opportunity to request a free subscription to Beyond Today magazine and our free Bible study aid, “Angels: God’s Messengers and Spirit Army.”

Your continued prayers for the success of this important program over the final three Sundays this month (October 17, 24, 31) would be much appreciated. Please specifically pray that many people would both see and respond to our offers.

Thank you greatly!

—Peter Eddington, Media and Communications Services

Prayers for Subscriber Renewal in the British Isles

October 7, 2021

David Fenney, chief executive officer of UCG-British Isles and pastor of the Preston, Sheffield, Ballymena and Stirling congregations, mentions an ongoing challenge with a very low renewal rate for Beyond Today magazine. He wrote: “Recently our subscription level grew to nearly 10,000 copies per issue, but now it is dropping back as subscribers do not renew as the end of their 6-issue subscription approaches. Prayers would be much appreciated that subscribers will be increasingly motivated to renew and that our office personnel can be inspired to enhance our renewal process if and where necessary.”

Thank you in advance for your prayers!

—Peter Eddington, Media and Communications Services

Prayers for Travel to Estonia

September 9, 2021

Here is something we can pray about immediately. Johnnie Lambert, pastor in New York and Eastern Europe, mentioned in a recent podcast with church president Victor Kubik that he has been unable to travel to Estonia since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He needs to visit the brethren there and print, insert and mail Estonian language supplements into the Russian language edition of Beyond Today magazine. Please pray that he would soon be able to travel to Tartu, Estonia, so the work of the gospel there would no longer be hindered but have “free course and be glorified.”

—Peter Eddington, Media and Communications Services

Comments

 
  • Val

    Thank you for these important reminders that we might have missed, OR NEED to be reminded of in the part we can have in the furtherance of UCG preaching the gospel to Israel and the nations first as a blessing and then a warning to draw close to God as the last days of Satan’s influence in this world comes to an end.

  • segayem@bellsouth.net

    It's a follow up of the previous brethren prompting that of preaching the gospel in Israel.
    UCG has not and is not preaching the gospel to whom Christ SPECIFICALLY instructed his disciples where to start preaching "....to the lost tribe of Judah." Yet, over 52 years, we never heard WWCG or UCG ever sending any evangelist to preach the gospel to Israel to this day.
    We all wonder why UCG is oblivious to such command of Christ. Our second issue was more than 330 million Americans live in U.S. let alone millions of other citizens in the 7 continents why is that UCG membership is limited to 10,000 since inception? We certainly can't blame God. Of course not. What is the snag here?