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The Promise of His Coming

The Promise of His Coming

Promise3There is no more prominent theme set forth in all the Holy Scriptures than the coming of the Lord. There are more than 300 passages in the New Testament dealing with this all-important event. The second coming of Christ is the stabilizing hope of the Christian. Someone has said that more than six million saints have given their lives in hope for this coming.

Yet, it is possible for men to die in error. Pure sincerity about a thing is not enough. In order to be true and factual, the second coming of Christ must be a valid belief. How then can we know?

Consider the following:

  • Jesus Christ said He would return again.
  • Prophecy of the Bible says He will come again.
  • The signs of the time indicate the end of the age.

If His second coming is not true, Jesus Christ is an imposter. He said, “. . . I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. …” John 14:2, 3.

He emphasizes the point even more in His parable about the ten virgins. In that parable the Bridegroom did come. Those who were ready to meet Him went to the marriage.

Perhaps even more pronounced are the words of the two men who appeared to the disciples on the Mount of Olives as they stood looking after their ascended Lord. “. . .ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner. …” Acts 1:11.

The prophecy of the Bible clearly states that Jesus will come again—this time as Ruler and Judge. ”… Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all. . . .” Jude 14, 15.

It shall be at this time that the prophecy of Zechariah 14:3, 4, 5 is fulfilled. Prophecy in the New Testament portrays His coming as one of “power and great glory.” Matthew 24:29, 30. Then will the prophecy of Matthew 25:31, 32 be completed, for He shall ‘‘sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all n aliens. …”

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth. . . .” Revelation 16:15. “Behold, he comoth with clouds; and every eye shall vsee him. …” Revelation 1:7.

These Scriptures speak of the second coming of the Lord. But they speak of two different aspects of that coming. The first passage speaks of His Advent when He comes to resurrect the dead saints and catch away His Church. Many will be caught napping; but His Church will be awake, ready and waiting.

The second passage speaks of the last phase of His coining, when He comes with His Church to rule the world. Without a careful examination of all Scriptures about the second coming of Christ, it would appear that there are contradictions. But by careful analysis, we learn that the second coming has two well-defined parts: first, to resurrect the dead in Christ and rapture the Church; second, to return to earth and rule the world in a thousand year reign of peace.

The signs of His coming are all around. The arise of false christs, antichrists, demigods, cults and isms are but paving the way for the crowning of all false systems —the emergence of the antichrist. The war spirit that permeates the whole world must also be a “sign.” Jesus says, ”… for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew’ 24:6.

Another sign of the end of time will be the increase in famines, pestilences and earthquakes in different places. The writer Luke assures us that “. . . there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” Luke 21:25. Never in the history of man has he known more about outer space. Man not only is able to predict with precise accuracy the schedules of the planets, but also he walks on the moon and has target dates for Mars and other planets.

Finally, and perhaps foremost, the reestablishment of Israel and the control of Jerusalem have brought the world breathtakingly close to the fulfillment of Luke 21:24. Even a casual study of the prophecies in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah point clearly to the arise of Israel at the time of the end.

While not even the angels of heaven know’ “that day and hour”—it is reserved for God alone—we may be certain that the Church of God will not be caught sleeping. The Church will be ready, for it is a certainty that the Lord will return for His Church and the dead in Christ. Ephesians 5:25, 27.

The Church will be ready. The prophecy of Revelation will then be fulfilled: “… the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Rev. 19:7.

Many people have all sorts of fake ideas about for whom the Lord is returning. But we must agree to accept God’s Word on the matter. It declares that He is returning for His own —the Church.

We recognize that the dead in Christ will be raised first as the Word declares. The living saints, who at that time will be united in faith, doctrine, and government in God’s Church, will be “changed in a moment” and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. Nothing will keep it from happening; it is a certainty! God has spoken.

Jesus is the Son of God. It is He who came to redeem us from the power of sin and of death. He conquered the grave and pulled the stinger out of death, and He shall put down death totally as the last enemy of man. It is this same Jesus who is coming again to catch away the Church and to raise the “dead in Christ.”

Preparation by both individual and Church is necessary. You should not delay. The first step for the individual is a born again experience. Read John 3:3.

The contents of this tract are from The Promise of His Coming.

PCCNA Calls for United Prayers

PCCNA Calls for United Prayers

leadership_jefffarmerOn Wednesday, September 2, 2015, Dr. Jeff Farmer, President of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America released a statement to member organizations asking that they unite with upcoming prayer observances.

“Rarely has there been a season in history when such urgency and desperation beckons God’s people to pray!” stated Dr. Farmer. ” I want you to be aware that our Canadian brothers and sisters will be uniting in The Cry, a national day of prayer and fasting, on September 11-12. Also you should know by now that on Patriot’s Day in the USA (September 11), Cry Out America will be observed by Christians across our nation. God’s people in North America will be crying out to the Lord for forgiveness, healing and mercy in this hour of need.  Please humble your hearts – and fast and pray – as together we seek the Lord.   The Lord says, ‘Return to me…’  The Lord says, ‘Rend your hearts…’ The Lord says, ‘Humble yourselves and pray…’ Amen.”

A member of the PCCNA, the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices encourages our local ministries in the United States and Canada to connect with these prayer opportunities as possible.

About the PCCNA

The purpose of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America is to provide a framework for fellowship, dialogue, and cooperation between the various Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, churches, and ministries in North America that agree with the purposes and goals of the organization. Since these churches and fellowships share a common history of Holy Spirit renewal and an overriding goal of evangelizing the world, they wish to join in a common witness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh in the last days.

154610da-7dd7-4626-ad8f-f4b8036a40e2It is the desire of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America to give expression to the inherent principles of spiritual unity and fellowship among Pentecostal believers, leaving inviolate the existing forms of government adopted by its members and recognizing that every freedom and privilege enjoyed by any group shall remain its undisturbed possession.

The Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America are committed to the message of reconciliation through the cross and unity in the power of the Holy Spirit, which became a reality on the Day of Pentecost and was demonstrated at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street at the beginning of the twentieth century.

PCCNA frequently hears from believers around the world, often requesting prayer or seeking funding.  Because we staff with volunteers, and our mission statement is limited to Canada, United States, and Mexico, please do not regard our failure to respond as uncaring, but rather a reality of limited time and specific ministry focus. PCCNA rejoices in the global harvest and prays daily for Christians around the world.

 

Akron COGOP Honored for Food Pantry Ministry

Akron COGOP Honored for Food Pantry Ministry

AkronfoodpantryThe Sanctuary Church in Akron, Ohio, has been honored in recent months by local media for its food pantry ministry, which serves a great need in the community. In 2015, the church is projected to distribute more than 2 million pounds of food, feeding more than 6,000 people a month. Pastor John Klapp recently shared with White Wing Messenger staff the heart behind the ministry.

How did the food pantry ministry begin?

The church teamed with the Akron Canton Food Bank in 2001. This was four years before I was appointed as the pastor. The food pantry was small, and like all food pantries, food distribution was done on non-service days. I always supported the food pantry; Jesus made it clear in Matthew 25:31–46 we are mandated to feed the poor, but the food pantry never brought new people into the church. Sure, they came for food, but they never returned to attend church. It took a few a years, but I finally realized having food distribution on non-service days was the wrong way to do it, so we decided to start having food distribution on service days and use the food pantry as our main outreach, and that’s when everything changed.

Akronfoodpantry4What effect has it had on our local church? Why is an important part of your ministry?

The biggest effect the food pantry has had on the church is the ability to bring people to the church. Jesus said in Luke 14:23, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” And the Akron church is always filled. In fact, there are times when there are more people outside the building than inside the building. Even the Fire Marshal and local police have had to come out and assist us because of overcrowding.

What are some of ministry moments you’ve witnessed through this effort?

Akronfoodpantry3Using a food pantry to bring people to a church is like casting a giant fishing net over the city. You bring in every type of person there is, including the meanest, nastiest people you will ever meet. But that’s exactly what you want. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”

And when you see the Lord take these lost souls and transform them into sons and daughters, it is truly amazing!! On Easter Sunday alone, 98 people accepted the Lord. There are a lot of lost souls out there and it’s our job to go get them and bring them to the Lord.

If a local church was considering starting a food pantry ministry, what advice would you have? What should they do? What should they avoid?

Akronfoodpantry2Before starting a food pantry, the church body must fully understand the Biblical principles behind it. They also must understand, a church is not a social club for the righteous, but a spiritual hospital for the lost. I call our church, “The Church of the Misfits.” And that’s because most churches wouldn’t want the people we have in our church. Many are homeless, and some don’t bathe, but Jesus said in Luke 4:18, 19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Along with seeing many souls saved, we’ve also witnessed the Lord do many incredible miracles. Most recently, the Lord healed a four-year-old deaf boy. But don’t fool yourself; running a food pantry is a lot of work and it takes money. Yes, the rewards are great, but the challenges are there, too.

 

 

Proclaiming the Gospel and Deliverance in Congo-Brazzaville

Proclaiming the Gospel and Deliverance in Congo-Brazzaville

The National Overseer of Congo-Brazzaville recently shared a report of his travels throughout the works in the nation. Enjoy this first-hand account of our work that continues to experience blessing and growth:

Mantsiene Visit

Congo, Brazzaville - 2015.07.10 - Mantsiene CommitteeIn June, Pastor Zacchaeus and I were able to visit the local church of Mantsiene located in the countryside district of North  Pool which is  about 90 kilometres from Brazzaville City. Travelling by rental car, we found the trip quite challenging as this church is located in the bush,  and there is no asphalt road. At any rate, the Mantsiene local pastor and his committee, along with some other leaders from the Liko and  Mwana-Mboka local churches welcomed us for the meeting.

We had a vibrant worship service in the hangar of the local church. I preached on the subject taken from Hebrews 11:6, ”And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Throughout the message, the Lord convinced and touched many hearts, one brother gave his watch to the preacher, and some ran to their houses and brought an offering. The Holy Spirit of the Lord performed many wonders and signs among the people to confirm the supreme power and presence of JESUS CHRIST among His believers. We encouraged everyone to meet with us and attend our upcoming 7th National Convention in Ngo during the last weekend of July.

Invouba Visit

Early in July, we journeyed to visit the Invouba church which is about 150 kilometres from Brazzaville. My traveling companions were Minister Dieudonné and Pastor Zacchaeus. Local Pastor Ngami and his committee warmly welcomed us at our arrival near the local church hangar, and shared that they were prepared for a night worship service. There wasn’t enough room inside for all  believers and some stayed outside of the hangar listening through the windows. My message was drawn from Exodus 3:5 and Joshua 5:15,”Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground….”

Everyone who will follow this way, will be guided by Holy Spirit from victory to victory, for being the “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,” the LORD of lords and the KING of kings. I explained that the holy ground is everywhere the LORD can meet us, and also it is our bodies and spirits that belong to Him [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. Many were convinced by Holy Spirit speaking to the church and dedicated themselves to God. We praise God that 26 received Jesus Christ and 52 joined the church during this meeting as the LORD confirmed His Word through many signs and wonders.

Before we departed the next day, those having particular problems gathered together in the church hangar and I prayed with them. After the prayer, our local Pastor Aimé Ngami, showed me the piece of land which they would like to buy for the local church. Presently, the place where they worship costs the congregation $400, so they would like have their own building. Please join with us in prayers to believe with them for their own property and worship facility.

7th National Convention

Congo, Brazzaville - 2015.08.04 - 7th Natl Conv.12 - Truck Transport after Car Broke DownThe last weekend of July, Congo Brazzaville COGOP held our 7th National Convention in the city of Ngo, in the Department of Plateaux about 300 kilometres from Brazzaville. Conducted by National Overseer Bitchy, we welcomed attendees from five of our districts: Gamboma, Pool Nord, Ngo, Djambala, and Brazzaville. As 27 of us were travelling from Brazzaville, our car broke down and I negotiated with a truck driver going to Owando City [passing by Ngo] who accepted to tow our car to Ngo. Upon arrival, I led a leadership meeting at the hotel before the convention began for all the pastors  and leaders who were present.

We were blessed to have the commission of restaurants serve food to all the delegates. Then, we had a parade of all districts present which was led under the vibrant melody of the singers from district of Brazzaville. And, because the hall could not contain everybody who came for the convention, we glorified our LORD outside.

After welcoming everyone, we rejoiced and were moved by Holy Spirit through the songs and dances of the youth from Okiene and Ngo churches, as well as, by the music of the worship group from Brazzaville. The Ngo district superintendant preached a deep message about “Remember Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth…” taken from Ecclesiastes 12:1. After this message, the youth from Mbe-Okala and Nsah local churches marvelously sang and danced for the glory of Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings. Pastor Florent then directed a procession of evangelists, pastors, and others workers of the harvest, afterwards delivering a powerful message entitled, “No Path Without Jesus Christ” taken from John 3:36; John 14:1-6; and Acts 4:12.

National Overseer Bitchy delivered a vibrant message themed, “You Have Made Your Way Around This Hill Country Long Enough, Now Turn North,” sharing his text from Deuteronomy 2:3. The consequences of getting lost are going into devil prisons and possessions, satanic oppressions, curses and many other social calamities that men are facing presently. Today, to turn north means to give up bad ways and thoughts, repent and have your heart  circumcised in Christ, and to have the bath of renewal. [Acts 3:19-21; 17:30; Colossians 2:10-15] Everyone who will follow this way will receive the grace and mercy of God and will be restored in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. After this powerful message, we experienced the visitation of our LORD who confirmed His Word through wonders and many signs that Holy Spirit performed among the people gathered. Many testified about what God did for them. Praise God that 63 people received Jesus Christ as their Lord when the invitation was given to come forward.

On Sunday morning, it was time for our Women’s Ministry program led by Pastor Julienne. After a marvelous women’s processional, she delivered a great message entitled, “But only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” from the passage in Luke 10:42. Afterwards, each district formed processionals, entered, and presented their reports to the National Convention. We praise God for these good reports.

In his closing message, National Overseer Bitchy presented another edifying and encouraging word to the people that relayed, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” according to Galatians 3:29. His in-depth description of what it means to be born again, become a new creature, and belong to Christ stirred the hearts of many souls. He shared that we should be made new in the attitude of our minds, put on a new self, be like God in true righteousness and holiness, examine self to see if you are in true faith, and take the washing of rebirth and renewal by Holy Spirit. Just as Abraham left his country and went to the country which God showed him and then possessed it, those who will leave the lusts and desires of this world for the sake of the kingdom of God will be “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” At the close of his message, 38 people came forward and received Christ, and 28 joined the church. To God be all the glory. Many brethren witnessed the hand of Jesus Christ touching them during this 7th National Convention, and there were unnumbered signs performed by Holy Spirit to confirm the supreme power of God, His grace and mercy. After vibrant songs and dances by the musical worship group from Brazzaville, the convention concluded with a final prayer of blessings by National Overseer Bitchy. All attendees were commissioned to go forth in this new missionary year proclaiming it as a YEAR OF REVIVAL IN CONGO BRAZZAVILLE, according to John 4:31-36. We truly praise God for more than 600 people in attendance, witnessing 28 new covenanted members of the church, and 104 receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. All glory goes to God for what He has done. We sincerely desire your prayer support for this next season of ministry.

Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Congo-Brazzaville through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Congo-Brazzaville is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.

If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Congo-Brazzaville, please contact the Global Missions office.

 

Churches, Ministries Restored in Brazil

Churches, Ministries Restored in Brazil

Unknown-1Sunday, July 26 was a special date for the Church of God of Prophecy in Castanhal, Pará. After teaching a group of seven (7) new believers on the teachings, biblical principles and beliefs of the Church of God of Prophecy, they were baptized by our licensed minister, Elias Francisco with the assistance of our lay minister Sayle Torres. This was the first baptismal service we celebrated since the church went through a crisis and had to undergo a change in our leadership in January. On Sunday night, nine (9) people were added to the membership of the local church in Castanhal. Among these people were two individuals who had previously been pastors of the Church of God of Prophecy and had decided to rejoin the church. This was a day of great celebration and fellowship among these brothers and sisters. The day began with the baptisms, followed by a fellowship lunch, and concluded with communion and the covenant service for our new members.

 

We thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for restoring a church that the enemy had attempted to declare “closed”, but God has brought it to life once again.

Praise our Lord Jesus Christ always and forever!

Responding to Ebola, Orphans Needs in Swaziland

Responding to Ebola, Orphans Needs in Swaziland

It is unfortunate that the EBOLA epidemic came to Sierra Leone and interrupted many good works which were underway and added more problems to handle. Needless to say, the country has been suffering many months from the ongoing EBOLA crisis. Families have been left fatherless and motherless. It is not unusual today to see a home with a child acting as mother or father since all their adult relatives are dead—moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Some of our churches’ members have now taken in children that were left orphaned, and are caring for them. But, I am happy to inform you that our immediate COGOP membership was spared any extreme loss, as we only lost three or four people. So, we give God praise for His mighty hand of protection and grace over our precious church family.

Although the ugly EBOLA claimed the lives of a reported 3,951 people in Sierra Leone thus far, and has left over 3,000 children orphaned without either parent, the work of the church has still remained faithful, functioning, and ongoing. We were able to undertake and provide much needed psychosocial counseling for many, and provided some safety materials such as chlorine, soap, and washing basins or buckets. Some of our local congregations and a new mission field were able to receive food items with funds provided through your help. Thank you.

Our church under the guidance of the Liaison Team set up by Bishop Clarke was able to conduct seminars and teaching sessions to sensitize and educate the entire church membership of Sierra Leone as to the attack and danger of this disease. We were able to provide and set up hand washing stations at all our churches. This surely helped lessen the spread of EBOLA among our own church people. We are ever thankful for God’s guidance and protection.

Several orphans are being cared for by members at the Kuntoloh Church:

Please pray for these orphaned children and their needs to be met.

The EBOLA crisis caused a huge strain on the already suffering economy and, especially, on the access of food. There were sanctions on movement from our homes and from traveling place-to-place. Funds have been distributed to the pastors and churches as they have become available to help out in this long, long crisis. We truly extend many thanks to our donors who helped our people be able to purchase food.

All schools were shut down by the government during this crisis, but praise to our God, they have now re-opened and most students have been able to return to their classes. However, some are still reluctant because of the lack of information and lingering fear.

Government officials have stated the situation of the EBOLA has decreased and is under control and that they are very confident all will be cleared up soon. However, inasmuch that our political leaders are announcing a decline on the rate of infection, please know that the numbers are still great and, sadly, the death rate has now increased among infants and younger children. According to my recent findings from the Waterloo Cemetery where all EBOLA corps are buried in the Western area, 78% of every day’s burials are now children. Thus, we still need your prayers for protection and healing grace as we continue the battle against this dreadful EBOLA epidemic.

The issues of so many complications afterwards on those that actually survived the epidemic are also increasing. After survivors are discharged from the treatment center, many complain of serious joint pains, kidney problems, and vision issues. These people are found in all communities where we have operating churches. Please help us know how to encourage them to place their trust in our mighty God who is far bigger than the crisis they’ve been through. And, help us to pray healing and miraculous prayers for these people to come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

While things were very hard and movement from our homes was restricted, the National Overseer was the only source of financial relief to our ministers and their families. Both he and Sister Clarke sought for information about everyone and they responded to all. Truly, we convey our special thanks and deepest appreciation to them and all that they were supporting in order to reach us. It was also such an encouragement to know that we were being cared about, supported, and prayed for by our church family around the globe. Thank you.

Despite the isolation of this crisis, we were able to still evangelize in some areas. Churches were kept alive through home prayer meetings and, at least once per week, we met in the church buildings when possible. We are trusting God that very soon everything will be back to normal.

Since our last report, two church buildings have been completed—Hasting and Calaba Town churches.

These photos are of the Hasting church showing the completed structure, including the tile, electrical, and painted church. Below shows the toilet project that is in process. 

Calaba Town 

 

Tengbeh Town

New Mission at Songo 

Portee School 

We also want to share that the Portee school has 4 new classrooms that have been completed during this time.

 

Songo Primary School

Image 17Previously, the well had mechanical problems that rendered it out of operation, so we are grateful to have the water source running again. This new well not only provides the needs of our Songo Primary School, it also serves our community in this area. We praise God that the water well at the Songo Primary School has now been completed. 

Our sincere appeal is that you continue in faithful prayers for Sierra Leone. Your partnership means so much more than we could ever express in this newsletter. Again, please receive our grateful, heartfelt thanks to our many friends and donors who are praying for us, and also lovingly supporting us financially. And, please know that our prayers are with you as well. May God bless each of you abundantly as we await Christ’s return to gather us all as one big family together.

Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Sierra Leone through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Sierra Leone is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.

If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Sierra Leone, please contact the Global Missions office.

Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Phone: 423.559.5207
Fax: 423.559.5238
E-mail: harvestpartners@cogop.org

Content provided by: Pastor Issa L. Bangura, Sierra Leone, and Floreth M. Clarke, National Overseer’s Wife

All gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your gift is applied to the need you specify. 

Nicaragua Transportation Appeal

Nicaragua Transportation Appeal

According to needs submitted by our regional overseers in Nicaragua, National Overseer Marrero and General Presbyter Feliz have approved and submitted the below appeal for different types of transportation needs within the nation.

Pastors need animals for transportation to their churches, and in most cases, the horses do not work as well. They should be mules, motorcycles, or bicycles.

A mule costs 545US dollars and they need 33
A motorcycle costs 545US dollars and they need 1 A bicycle costs 145US dollars and they need 6
A horse costs 545US dollars and they need 1

Won’t you consider helping Nicaragua meet these needs? No gift is too small, and every gift is deeply appreciated as we endeavor to assist our pastors and regional overseers in Nicaragua.

Churches and Individuals can give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project; ie:

Nicaragua Transportation – Mule; Horse; Motorcycle; or Bicycle.
If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Nicaragua, please contact the Global Missions office.

All gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your gift is applied to the need you specify.

Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Phone: 423.559.5207
Fax: 423.559.5238
E-mail: harvestpartners@cogop.org

New Mexico Hosts SOPAS, State Convention

New Mexico Hosts SOPAS, State Convention

July 30 through August 1 were three busy days in eastern New Mexico. Regional Overseer Bishop José Rivera conducted the School of Practical and Advanced Studies (SOPAS) during those three days, plus the New Mexico State Convention which met for evening sessions on July 31 and August 1. Four SOPAS terms were completed. Four students met in the English SOPAS Term I class. In Spanish, all three SOPAS terms were conducted. 13 students completed Term I, 4 completed Term II, and 4 finished Third Term. Though classes were small, students in this area of New Mexico appreciated the opportunity to attend these classes. In total, 25 students received certificates. Students noted that the classes were a blessing and the information gleaned was applicable and helpful to their ministries.

The Spanish church in Clovis, New Mexico hosted the SOPAS classes and the state convention. Commendation goes to Pastor Leida Mazara and members of the Clovis church for providing a great place to meet for classes, including a beautiful, newly remodeled sanctuary. Pastor Mazara and her team provided great tasting lunches for the three day school. During the convention, singing filled the sanctuary, and we enjoyed challenging preaching, needful recommendations presented during the business session, and sincere times of prayer. A family of four came to salvation during the Friday evening service. All the convention attendees and SOPAS students left Clovis with a sense of purpose for the coming year of Christian ministry in New Mexico.

Swaziland Churches Need Your Help

Swaziland Churches Need Your Help

Presently, we have two local churches under construction in Swaziland whose congregations need your loving support and assistance. Both sites are located in the Hhohho District, the most northwestern region of our nation.

Swaziland, Majovane Building Project.3 - 2015.08
Majovane Church of God of Prophecy

The Majovane local church is in the rural community outside of Piggs Peak. $3,000 will put a roof on this church building. For the rest of the work needed, our Mojovane congregation will complete that part of their construction project. 

The Mantabeni local church in the same district only needs $2,000 for doors and windows, according to Pastor Mathunjwa. 

Won’t you prayerfully consider helping these two local churches complete their building projects? Local churches can participate in these fundraising efforts through Harvest Partners Project Giving, and individuals can give through Helping Hand. No amount is too small, for as we all work together, we will make a tremendous difference—together.

Designate your gift as:

Mantabeni Church of God of Prophecy
Mantabeni Church of God of Prophecy

Swaziland Building [and list which local church name you are assisting, Majovane or Mantabeni.]
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Phone: 423.559.5207
Fax: 423.559.5238
E-mail: harvestpartners@cogop.org

Note that all gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your gift is applied to the need you specify.

Responding to EBOLA Crisis in Sierra Leone

Responding to EBOLA Crisis in Sierra Leone

It is unfortunate that the EBOLA epidemic came to Sierra Leone and interrupted many good works which were underway and added more problems to handle. Needless to say, the country has been suffering many months from the ongoing EBOLA crisis. Families have been left fatherless and motherless. It is not unusual today to see a home with a child acting as mother or father since all their adult relatives are dead—moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Some of our churches’ members have now taken in children that were left orphaned, and are caring for them. But, I am happy to inform you that our immediate COGOP membership was spared any extreme loss, as we only lost three or four people. So, we give God praise for His mighty hand of protection and grace over our precious church family.

Although the ugly EBOLA claimed the lives of a reported 3,951 people in Sierra Leone thus far, and has left over 3,000 children orphaned without either parent, the work of the church has still remained faithful, functioning, and ongoing. We were able to undertake and provide much needed psychosocial counseling for many, and provided some safety materials such as chlorine, soap, and washing basins or buckets. Some of our local congregations and a new mission field were able to receive food items with funds provided through your help. Thank you.

Our church under the guidance of the Liaison Team set up by Bishop Clarke was able to conduct seminars and teaching sessions to sensitize and educate the entire church membership of Sierra Leone as to the attack and danger of this disease. We were able to provide and set up hand washing stations at all our churches. This surely helped lessen the spread of EBOLA among our own church people. We are ever thankful for God’s guidance and protection.

Several orphans are being cared for by members at the Kuntoloh Church:

Please pray for these orphaned children and their needs to be met.

The EBOLA crisis caused a huge strain on the already suffering economy and, especially, on the access of food. There were sanctions on movement from our homes and from traveling place-to-place. Funds have been distributed to the pastors and churches as they have become available to help out in this long, long crisis. We truly extend many thanks to our donors who helped our people be able to purchase food.

All schools were shut down by the government during this crisis, but praise to our God, they have now re-opened and most students have been able to return to their classes. However, some are still reluctant because of the lack of information and lingering fear.

Government officials have stated the situation of the EBOLA has decreased and is under control and that they are very confident all will be cleared up soon. However, inasmuch that our political leaders are announcing a decline on the rate of infection, please know that the numbers are still great and, sadly, the death rate has now increased among infants and younger children. According to my recent findings from the Waterloo Cemetery where all EBOLA corps are buried in the Western area, 78% of every day’s burials are now children. Thus, we still need your prayers for protection and healing grace as we continue the battle against this dreadful EBOLA epidemic.

The issues of so many complications afterwards on those that actually survived the epidemic are also increasing. After survivors are discharged from the treatment center, many complain of serious joint pains, kidney problems, and vision issues. These people are found in all communities where we have operating churches. Please help us know how to encourage them to place their trust in our mighty God who is far bigger than the crisis they’ve been through. And, help us to pray healing and miraculous prayers for these people to come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

While things were very hard and movement from our homes was restricted, the National Overseer was the only source of financial relief to our ministers and their families. Both he and Sister Clarke sought for information about everyone and they responded to all. Truly, we convey our special thanks and deepest appreciation to them and all that they were supporting in order to reach us. It was also such an encouragement to know that we were being cared about, supported, and prayed for by our church family around the globe. Thank you.

Despite the isolation of this crisis, we were able to still evangelize in some areas. Churches were kept alive through home prayer meetings and, at least once per week, we met in the church buildings when possible. We are trusting God that very soon everything will be back to normal.

Since our last report, two church buildings have been completed—Hasting and Calaba Town churches.

These photos are of the Hasting church showing the completed structure, including the tile, electrical, and painted church. Below shows the toilet project that is in process. 

Calaba Town 

 

Tengbeh Town

New Mission at Songo 

Portee School 

We also want to share that the Portee school has 4 new classrooms that have been completed during this time.

 

Songo Primary School

Image 17Previously, the well had mechanical problems that rendered it out of operation, so we are grateful to have the water source running again. This new well not only provides the needs of our Songo Primary School, it also serves our community in this area. We praise God that the water well at the Songo Primary School has now been completed. 

Our sincere appeal is that you continue in faithful prayers for Sierra Leone. Your partnership means so much more than we could ever express in this newsletter. Again, please receive our grateful, heartfelt thanks to our many friends and donors who are praying for us, and also lovingly supporting us financially. And, please know that our prayers are with you as well. May God bless each of you abundantly as we await Christ’s return to gather us all as one big family together.

Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Sierra Leone through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Sierra Leone is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.

If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Sierra Leone, please contact the Global Missions office.

Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Phone: 423.559.5207
Fax: 423.559.5238
E-mail: harvestpartners@cogop.org

Content provided by: Pastor Issa L. Bangura, Sierra Leone, and Floreth M. Clarke, National Overseer’s Wife

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