Sabbath 26/4/32/120


Dear Friends,

The church is having problems in Africa in Northern Uganda and in the Isiola area in Kenya.

Uganda has lost a number of people from famine this last few weeks. 35 people died in Teso district Northern Uganda and others from the Karamoja district in East Uganda also died.

Due to the grace of God, so far we have lost none of our CCG Ugandan people but CCG Lira, Arua and Guru are hard hit in the north. This area (also Gulu) was a base of the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) under Joseph Kony. For those of you who do not understand what that is, the following url will be informative for you. It is not suitable for children and may distress some:

We have 48 children in Lira without food and clothing with two more groups in Guru and Arua. There are many hundreds of our families in hunger and malnourished. Now brethren there must be well over 100,000 children in CCG. Surely we have some clothes the children have grown out of to assist the Northern Ugandan churches. Remember the difficulties of the Jerusalem Church and Paul set up the collection for assistance to them. If you are overseas just send some funds to World Conference or your national conference marked for Africa. If you are in Africa give the clothes to your coordinators and they will make sure they get to Uganda. Remember we are all being judged under Ezekiel (esp. ch. 34) as to how we treat each other (see the paper Measuring the Temple (No. 137)). God is tearing the sheep out of the hands of the shepherds and judging sheep against sheep. Those of the other churches of God would also do well to remember that fact. You can also assist via the web site or send a donation to the Headquarters at World Conference or of the country in which you live. All funds go directly to the area and none is consumed in administration.

The original bodies of the CCG groups there in Northern Uganda were involved with the Seventh Day Baptists and were badly decimated by the LRA and the rebel conflicts over the last decade or so. 50% of the men were killed. Women outnumber men by two to one there in the northern groups. Bizimana, who lives in the south at Kasese lost both his parents and had to raise himself and his sisters when he was an adolescent. His wife lost one of her parents in the conflict. There is scarcely a family not scarred by it all.

The CCG officers there are undertaking projects and are being assisted from the Southern Uganda tithe paying areas that are more soundly established (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)).

Coordinators of CCG Lira, Guru and Arua groups have gone to Kasese to be trained in project management by the officers of CCG there. They will stay till next Monday and no doubt return with supplies.

CCG Uganda has requested every member to contribute 1000 Uganda shillings, or whatever they can, to help CCG Arua, Guru and Lira. The senior coordinator there, Bizimana Bosco, reports that the results so far are encouraging:

CCG Mubende groups have so far contributed 280,000 Uganda shillings
CCG Mityana has contributed 35,000 Uganda shillings
CCG Sembabure and Masaka have contributed 170,000 Uganda shillings
CCG Kiboga has contributed 80,000 Uganda shillings
CCG Kasese-Fort Portal, Kawempe and Kakiri contributed 160,000 Uganda shillings and a tonne of Maize flour.
CCG Mbarara, Kabale and Kisoro groups contributed 110,000 Uganda shillings

These are encouraging results and it will continue. There are thousands of people yet to contribute there. CCG Australia and the US contributed $500 and $900 respectively (say 3 million UGS). They are renting a vehicle to transport the flour and supplies up to the North from Kasese.

This is an example of the power of tithing and contributing to emergency programs. In this way for a little money we are able to concentrate adequate funds for emergencies. If everyone one in CCG in Africa gave fifty cents we could harness enough funds to alleviate all emergencies and send a truckload of supplies wherever needed.

We hope to increase the food projects on an ongoing basis. Tithing on the produce will enable project seed assistance and also micro-financing. One day we will be powerful enough to set up our own bank and agricultural and other funding network. All that could have been done years ago but the funds were squandered.

God is also adding to the church everywhere and there are seminars underway for the conversion of Sunday worshippers who wish to join CCG. There is a great movement of people to CCG in many places.

There is a new seminar to be convened in Sembabule (Sembabure) Uganda (north of Masaka) to induct another 80 ministers from eight ministries from all over Sembabule and the surrounding areas into CCG. They approached us and the CCG Coordinator at Sembabule. They are converting from Sunday Worship. The problems in the north have eaten into the funds needed to assist the ministry to attend the seminar. 57 ministers appear to be travelling from distant regions by launch and bus. Bizimana still has to go to the Sudan to complete the induction there mentioned in a previous message.

We have had to schedule induction seminars for almost 200 ministers by Uganda alone in the period from end June to mid August 2009. We had two church systems of Sunday Worshippers over a number of countries, with over 15000 members, come to us on the one day, for admission to CCG. We told them what is required and they are now studying and counting the cost. It may be simply too hard for them. God rarely works with such large groups. He calls two of a family and one of city. However, he is working with churches now in a way we have not seen to date. He is certainly consolidating the Sabbath-keeping churches on a large scale in Africa. Pray for them all.

In Kenya we have had a disaster. The churches in the Isiola area of Kenya are caught up in tribal conflicts between the Christian Turkana and the Muslim groups of the Samburu. The Turkana were attacked by the Samburu who made away with a number of goat herds and cattle. 200 of our member’s goats and other stock were stolen.

In the process of the thefts four policemen were shot and killed. It was national news in Kenya. Unfortunately one of our CCG men was shot in the head and died in hospital and two others were seriously wounded. The disconcerting thing was that all this happened within six kilometres of the Kenya army barracks and no one intervened.

We are going to speak to the authorities in Nairobi about the matter. At present Moses Lomongo, our pastor there near the barracks, at Attir, has taken the area church (there are two CCG churches at Isiola) to the barracks at night and they sleep outside the gates for protection. The raiders are around all the time and are threatening the church there. They are very worried. The whole church is requested to pray and fast for God to remove these evil men.

Walter Okello is in the Masai lands near the Tanzanian border as I write this message. He has been inducting the ex SDA churches who have joined us. They seem very dedicated and sincere. They left the SDA Church because of the unbiblical doctrines and vegetarian nonsense that the Adventists go on with. We are getting them coming to us in significant numbers. He has to go to the northern Rift to induct more in a few days. As we have said many times, Vegetarianism is a doctrine of demons and a death sentence in developing countries. The Masai members of CCG treated him and the other CCG ministers to a Masai style roast beef dinner while he was down in the Masai lands. He says it was really great.

We are also waiting on a report from Tanzania. Joash Okinyi has just returned from reorganising the churches at Musoma and appointing new leaders, at the church member’s request. This is the follow on from my visit there in 2005 with Jeremy and Angel. I refused to credential the leaders we found there, for many serious reasons. The members there were frustrated by the situation and approached us and appealed for our intervention and assistance. Joash went and spoke with them and returned to reorganise them about ten days ago. He has been a faithful member of God’s Church since 1982 when he was instrumental in founding the WCG church at Kericho Nyanza Province, Kenya. It was closed when the tea plantations were mechanized years ago and the workers went home. He formed the WCG system at Utegi and the Tarime region in Tanzania when he went home and was made a local elder there by UCG. He came to CCG on doctrinal and other grounds last year and his previous work was recognized and he was made a deacon evangelist with the power of ordination as National Coordinator, and area representative at my direction. We have reorganised the Churches of God from the WCG system in Tanzania. They are ALL in CCG, despite what the others say on their web sites and how many places they list as having in Kenya and Tanzania. As far as we are aware there are only two genuine Sabbath keeping groups in Kenya not in CCG. One small group is in Migori and the other is centred on Nairobi. They are both with UCG. There are no other genuine Sabbath-keeping groups in Kenya to our knowledge, in any COG. In fact the National Council of Churches in Kenya resolved at its last meeting to clean up some of the scams and it was reported that four people are being summoned for a final warning at the Attorney General’s office.

As I understand it we have four new churches at Musoma and others at Irugwe and Ukerewe Island and also more in the Mwanza area. There are well over 5000 or so people in the area that are Sabbath-keepers. Some are faithful members of the Churches of God for years. The majority came in from the North from Uganda. They have never been part of the Church of God system. There is a small group in Musoma calling itself the Church of God (Seventh Day) but it has nothing to do now with the Denver Conference but registered the name.

We are growing into a significant world body with extensive networks. For example, virtually every major town from Arusha and Mwanza in Tanzania to Isiola and Lodwar in the North of Kenya has a CCG church group. So also can you drive from Mombasa on the coast, right through Kenya and Uganda to Kigali in Rwanda and on to Bujumbura in Burundi or north into the Sudan and there will be a CCG church group in most major towns and the surrounding districts. It does not matter much which route you take either. This is perhaps the first time we have ever spoken of our extent. We have no idea how many people we actually have and we at World Conference cannot even keep up with the names of the ministers we have, as they are joining us at such a rate. However, I can safely say we are the largest of the Churches of God by a long way and we are growing at a faster rate than any Church of God in history. We have a little strength. A large part of that strength is our sound doctrine and it is converting the others whom God is calling. We also have great needs. We are not rich. Many of us are very poor. However, if God is for us who can be against us?

It is important that we all develop a mindset of Jesus Christ in this great work. Each of us must sacrifice for one another. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Ask not what the church can do for you. Ask what you can do for the church.

Individually we are nothing but when we are combined together as the body of Christ and the Church of God and as an international group of the Churches of God we are very powerful indeed. Strive to love one another and to serve one another. If you think you are badly off remember the ones who are worse off. If you have no shoes remember those who have no feet. If you think your meal is boring remember those who have no food. If your brother is naked clothe him. You have the same obligation to do that for an enemy let alone part of the body of Christ.

Give thanks in all things. Ask God to bless the church and to help us to help others. There will be many more join us as time goes on. Each nation will be given the opportunity to repent and to come to the body of Christ. Our job is to teach them the sound doctrines. As they are combined their strength will be increased like a many stranded rope. As the Bible says a threefold cord is not easily broken. There are no tribes in CCG, only the nation of Israel which forms the Temple of God. We are that Temple.

Pray for our brethren in need and ask that God intervenes to protect and help them. The best kind of help is self help. As the saying goes give a man a fish you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will feed himself.

Our project teams are organised and work hard. As we increase we will be able to appoint more for the induction seminars and the project development instructions for all people. The growth is exponential.

Pray that we are given more labourers for the harvest and that God opens their eyes and ears and minds to see and hear and understand the wonderful world that lies ahead of us from the return of the Messiah.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General