This morning, as I was preparing for work, a news bulletin came on the television. Another suicide bomber had killed 19 people in northern Israel. Yesterday morning, I heard another news report of an individual who carried out a suicide bombing and killed more people in the Philippines. Each day, the news is filled with examples of the troubled world in which we live. As prophecy said, near the end of time there will be wars and rumors of wars.
Then there is our economic situation. It seems as if every day the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and other economic benchmarks either stagnate or drop as unemployment increases and recovery remains out of reach.
Even though the whole world seems to be in turmoil, it is comforting to know that God loves and cares for His church family. Through God’s blessings, our church members continually support the mission of their church with their tithes and offerings.
Our country’s economy certainly has affected our members and their church. Instead of having typical tithe increases, last year we only had a 1.46 percent increase. While this is a substantially smaller increase than the last few years, any tithe gain is truly a blessing in light of the flagging economy and turmoil of our times.
Because of the support of the North Pacific Union Conference members, we were able to appropriate $845,000 to our six conferences for evangelism. We contributed an additional $275,000 to help conference evangelists to conduct meetings. In total, NPUC was able to provide $1,125,000 last year for evangelism within our territory because of God’s blessings and the support of our members.
The North Pacific Union also participated with the Oregon, Upper Columbia, and Washington conferences to establish new church plants with more than $217,000 in additional financial aid. Our union and its conferences provided more than $1,000,000 to Walla Walla College for operations. These are just a few examples of what God has done for His church through the dedication of our members.
It is only fitting on behalf of our president, Jere Patzer, and our secretary, Bryce Pascoe, along with each conference president, secretary, and treasurer, that I offer our most sincere appreciation to God for His blessings to His people. Also, it is fitting that we express our appreciation to you, the members, who love their church and their God and support the mission that Jesus gave us. It’s because of you and God’s blessings that we have been able to move forward in telling people that Jesus is coming. And because of your support, we have a tremendous educational system teaching our children what our church is all about—a Savior who came to save them.
Our church leaders have an awesome responsibility in this troubled world today. Yet when we consider that we have the God of the universe to ask for counsel, guidance, and His blessings, it certainly is a time to be optimistic about what He can do for us. Be assured the same God who fed the children of Israel in the wilderness, and gave them water from the rock, looks after and cares for us. We can truly look forward to the time when He will come and these difficult times will be over. So praise God! •