Dear Brethren, Co-Workers and Friends:
Thank you for all your prayers in regard to our annual conference—they were greatly appreciated and their power was felt. During the conference, which concluded just over a week ago, we were able to complete everything that we set out to do, and more. We used this time to assess where we have been and evaluated where we should go. We looked at the past year specifically to see if we have accomplished what we planned, and to the future to set more goals in order to better fulfill the Great Commission that we have been given.
The ministers gave reports that included areas specific to them, as well as other regions that need to be looked after. We are beginning to notice more and more needs in areas that we do not currently have the resources to serve. As the necessity becomes more pressing, the reality that we must tend to the prospective members there becomes more tangible. As we preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God, as God has commanded His Church to do, this is the outgrowth that we can expect. Because we have done this in accordance with His Will, we faithfully wait for and anticipate the means by which we can carry out this next step.
We are making the most of what we have been given. As we continue to experience the economic crisis that besets our nations, our organizations have begun to take some financial hits. We expressed our financial needs to our members, and asked for prayer and fasting, and we are sincerely appreciative of the generous response to those needs and the special offerings that have been sent in. Our duty has been and will continue to be that of wise stewards with that which God has given us. We sincerely try to be as effective as possible with all that we have been entrusted. We will not spend what we do not have, but we firmly believe that God will give us what we need to fulfill our responsibilities.
One of the areas that exemplifies this and continues to develop is that of our Internet presence. The percentage of positive change has been phenomenal in several different areas. We have seen numbers nearly twice as high as the year before—this is a 100% increase over last period’s figures. In human terms, this seems unsustainable, but with God nothing is impossible—so we will not doubt what He can and will do. Our hopes and expectations are to carry on this momentum to a point of critical mass—a time when an explosive self-sustaining growth is triggered.
The technical team’s efforts were bolstered with the ordination of Mr. Eric Rank to the rank and office of an Elder. Mr. Rank has been heavily involved in this aspect of the Work for years. Exodus 31:1-5 was cited within the ordination message in the context that God can give more of His Spirit to help someone do an even better work than they are otherwise capable of. Our Internet presence is currently one of the main means of getting the gospel out to the world—a crucial aspect of our commission. The ministry concluded that Mr. Rank’s attitude, combined with his tireless dedication, made him an obvious candidate for the eldership.
The other aspect of our commission, as mentioned in Matthew 28:19-20, is the feeding of the flock. In this vein, Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Link and their family will be heading to Germany to visit the brethren there. Recently, the area has experienced startling growth and the need to support it is evident. They will leave in about one week and remain there for the duration of the Spring Holy Days.
We are now in the pre-Passover season, the beginning of the annual festivals of God. We have already heard many messages directed toward us in preparation for this most meaningful and pivotal time. As we pray to be led by God’s Spirit, we need to take to heart these messages, as we examine ourselves.
At this time of the year, many issues may come to the surface, and real problems are magnified. There is an explanation for this… but there are two sides to the coin, though!
Firstly, we need to be aware of the fact that Satan is going to be making trouble for us. He will use every means at his disposal to take us off point. We need to be cognizant of all his evil devices and be on guard for his attacks. When trouble hits, we must be ready for his end game.
The other side of the coin is that God wants us to grow and overcome the faults and character flaws that we have. At this time of the year, in particular, He wants us to critically examine ourselves. God wants us to see ourselves the way He does—so that we can change for the better and become more like Him.
So, especially before the annual Passover, we can expect dilemmas and difficulties to arise. How we respond to them will determine whether we progress or regress. Remember, Satan tempts us in order to bring out the worst, and God tests us in order to bring out the best.
We are admonished not to give way to the devil, but rather, to submit to God. When we use the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us, we can successfully navigate the season we are in and come out of it spiritually augmented.
Brethren, God has tasked us with a vital undertaking. Please continue to diligently pray for one another and the Work that God has given us to do, so that we may be found “so doing” when Christ returns in the very near future.
In Christian love,
PS We are enclosing a renewal card for our readers in the USA. Please fill out and return the card in order to continue to receive our member letters and booklets.