Announcements for April 28, 2016
Kenya Feast Site
From Tim Waddle: The brethren in Kenya would like to extend a warm karibu (Swahili for welcome) to join them for the 2016 Feast of Tabernacles at Lake Nakuru Lodge in Nakuru, Kenya. Lake Nakuru is about a 2½- to 3-hour drive from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The Kenyan brethren will be camping at the Lake Nakuru campgrounds, a short distance from the lodge where those transferring will stay. Services are expected to be outdoors under a tent at the campground. Dress is normal Sabbath wear.
In its “Top 10 Colorful Scenes” National Geographic has ranked Lake Nakuru No. 2: “In the heart of the Kenyan Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru hosts one of the greatest bird spectacles on the planet as hundreds of thousands of greater and lesser pink flamingos flock, in blankets of pink, to the water’s edge to feed on the lake’s algae.”
Group rates for Lake Nakuru Lodge are as follows:
- $80 per person sharing a room per night.
- $120 per person in a single room per night.
- Children 12 and under receive a 40 percent reduction, or $48 per night.
These rates include room and three meals per day. Any alcohol, sodas, bottled water, etc. are in addition.
There is an additional charge of daily, government-required park fees. They are expected to be $60 per day per person for those 17 and older. (Those 16 years old and under do not pay park fees.)
There will be twice daily game drives (except on holy days) in the morning before breakfast and in the afternoon before supper. There will be sign-ups for the game drives and a per person charge of $20 per drive.
Arrangements can be made for group transportation to the Feast site from Nairobi, or you may fly the short distance from Wilson airport in Nairobi to the air strip at Lake Nakuru.
We need a minimum of 30 people to attend to receive these rates and have a maximum of 50 transfers due to the size of the tent for services.
Please DO NOT CONTACT the lodge. Contact the senior pastor for East Africa, Tim Waddle, if you are interested in attending or have any questions. You can reach him by email at email@example.com or by phone at 301-272-0500. Please note: He is out of the country until after May 4. Until then, email is the best form of communication.
Summary of PCD Activity
From Cecil Maranville: For the first quarter of 2016, the Personal Correspondence Department responded to 1,176 contacts, seven of which were telephone calls (new people who called the Allen office to speak with a COGWA representative). Compared to the first quarter of 2015, during which we sent out 829 responses, the first quarter of 2016 shows an increase of approximately 42 percent.
God is certainly blessing us with people contacting COGWA, for which we are grateful. Such a volume of messages makes it impossible for me to provide a fully representative narrative about the quarter. So, I’ve chosen a few important areas to emphasize.
Several people wanted to know how to contact and/or locate the closest COGWA congregation. We received requests for information about congregations from individuals in Chicago, Texas, New York City, Indiana, West Virginia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and the United Kingdom, in addition to one who wanted to find the local congregation, but didn’t give his or her location.
We corresponded several times with the leader of a group in western Tanzania that learned of the Sabbath through independent study. They broke away from the church with which they were affiliated and then found us when looking for a Sabbath-keeping church. Through us, they learned about and began keeping the festivals. They have also turned away from the traditional Christian holidays. We are working with them, and time will tell if God is calling them into His Church.
We also had more general contact with three people looking for the true Church. We had four people discussing the need for rebaptism, four discussing baptism, two more who want to become COGWA members (one of whom was formerly a member of the Worldwide Church of God), and literally dozens of contacts who wanted to discuss Sabbath and/or holy day observance.
Suffice it to say that we served a large number of people who have a direct interest in either becoming part of COGWA immediately or who are in the process of responding to God’s call.
The predominant problem our ministers counseled people about was marriages in crisis. Two people phoned to counsel about divorce, separation and child support. Two people coming to repentance wanted to know if God could forgive past adulterous acts. A husband asked if he must confess his infidelity to his wife. A distraught wife wanted to know why God isn’t preventing her husband from divorcing her. Another wife wanted advice in dealing with her marriage after her husband declared that he is not heterosexual. Another delicate marital problem involved infidelity and violence.
A contact wanted to know if adultery is grounds for divorce in God’s judgment. Yet another asked for help with a failing marriage. A woman in an African country is married to a man who claims to be a prophet. He announced he had a vision in which his wife kills him, and on that basis, he is demanding a divorce. She believes she should remain married for life, wanting to live by the Bible. Regrettably, her culture allows husbands to do such things, and women have no legal recourse. A husband’s wife left him and he wants to know how to get her to reconcile. Another contact wanted help in making his or her marriage strong. One person lamented having serious martial problems after being married nearly 20 years and wanted help resolving them. A contact wanted to know how to restore the trust essential to marriage after infidelity.
A woman with no marriage problems, but who had been married and divorced many years ago, wanted to know if obeying God meant she had to leave her present marriage. She was so convicted about living God’s way of life that she was willing to take that painful course if necessary. We explained that she did not need to do that and encouraged her to continue through the process of conversion. Three contacts asked about polygamy, a serious issue in African culture. It is obvious that the slipping morals of “this present evil world” affect those whom God is calling to the faith.
In the area of the unusual, our corporate website is being used by someone or a group running a real estate scam out of Nigeria. Various deals have named people claiming to be our employee, a member of COGWA, managing COGWA’s congregations in Nigeria, etc. Each one is slightly different and sent from a different email address. All of the emails also mention a protestant African church. Our website is offered as a contact for the prospective renter to verify the information in the email. We’ve received several requests so far, asking if we would vouch for the proposed deal. (One found the offer on Craigslist.)
Interestingly, no one who has asked us to validate the email offer has been in our database, so this scam has provided us with the opportunity to interact with new contacts! We write a brief email, explaining that we are not associated with the sender of the offer or anyone named in the offer. We thank the person for checking with us, so that we could help prevent a seemingly fraudulent deal from going through. And we include the Life, Hope & Truth and Discern logos under our signature. (We have also written to one of the several email addresses of the senders of these rental offers, telling them to cease naming our organization’s website immediately.)
In a few other unusual questions, people asked if the spirit in man gives off an aura; if GMLOA is one of God’s names; how many times God parted waters; and if God is good all of the time. Lastly, one young person asked for help in composing her valedictory speech for her confirmation class.