Cutting myself gave me temporary pleasure; it was how I dealt with my problems Pg 6 EDITION Nº287 ll Weekly Edition-USA ll Free distribution ll The Universal Church • The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God Enjoy and share - www.UniversalUSA.org SELF-HARMING Can one pain alleviate another? MORE AND MORE people are coming forward to talk about a problem that they've kept hidden for years. Self-harming is an issue that affects your average Joe, and celebrities alike. It does not discriminate. How does one get over something so hidden, destructive and even deadly? See pages 6&7 ADDICTION HAS A CURE: iHope Radio - Shows that will keep you on your toes! Pg 10 5 6 9 1 1 1 3 5 6 9 Twenty-five years of addiction to cocaine and free after drinking the Blessed Water Pg 3 FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, unemployment, debts, all the stress made me want to hang myself! Pg 2

2 Bishop Macedo’s message I wanted to hang myself... Bishop Edir Macedo message How can you love someone you don’t know? “We had a seven-year-old son when my husband passed on. That was a tragedy for me because I was unemployed and the thought of raising two children alone paralysed me. It was the most difficult time of my life. I felt hopeless, lonely and I could not sleep at night. I had to depend on my mother for financial support,” she said. When her son was four months old, Kedibone found a job, but she still suffered from depression. “My salary was not enough to cover all our needs and I ended up swimming in debts. My situation became unbearable and I contemplated committing suicide. One day, I took a rope and went to a nearby railway station where I wanted to hang myself from a tree. The thought of depriving my children of the right to be raised by their mother stopped me from killing myself,” she said. Later that afternoon, Kedibone was invited to the Universal Church and she attended the services because she wanted God to change her life. “In the church, I received counselling and I was encouraged to trust God with my problems. I put the teachings of faith into practice and allowed God to work in me. Two years later, I found a wellpaying job and I was able to provide for my children. I was also able to pay my debts. Surrendering my life to God, healed me from depression and the loss of my husband. The presence of God gave me the comfort I needed. I now enjoy and appreciate every moment I spend with my children,” said Kedibone. H ow can you love someone you don’t know? Is it possible…? How can you love someone you don’t know? …follow and serve someone you don’t know? …have the Faith of the Spirit of Faith and not know Him in His fullness? The Spirit of God is the Lord Jesus’ substitute today. In the same way that Jesus guided, taught and protected His disciples, so His Spirit does today with His followers. There is no way to love Him, follow Him or serve Him when you don’t know Him! This is the work of the Spirit of God! Only He is able to REVEAL and INTRODUCE His Son Jesus. And now the question arises: What can I do to get the Holy Spirit to come and do this work in me? Do you want to know Him more than anything else in this world? That is what happened to Zacchaeus. He was a chief of thieves, greedy, selfish—not only was he very short, he was a very great sinner. But this didn’t stop him from meeting Jesus or having Him come to his house. Why not? Though Zacchaeus was full of sin, he was possessed with an enormous desire to know Him. This desire was enough for him to be called, chosen and to sit at the table with the Lord Jesus. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9

4 International The Universal Church throughout the world Get to know the work of the Universal Church in the Philippines W poor health. Rain, typhoon and flood are also common natural phenomena that punish the population, leaving entire cities underwater, depending on the intensity. One example was the typhoon that devastated the country in 2009, making it rain in a few hours the expected volume for a whole month. Thousands of people died and millions more were left homeless. Today, the Universal Church has been present in the country since 1995 and has 17 churches, some in expansion work, and several other special works spread from the North to the South of the territory. ith a population of over 105 million, the Philippines is the seventh most so we began to see the growth of the work in the Philippines,” he says. populous country in Asia and the 12th most populous in the world. Formed by a group of islands, it was already at the peak of the Asian economy, but currently faces economic and social problems such as lack of basic sanitation and Restored love life Philippines “For many years, the work was concentrated only in the capital, but in the last year we have been able to expand to 9 different provinces, including the aid to the afflicted,” says the pastor resposible for the work in the country. But the beginning of the work was difficult, especially in the financial sense. Carpenter Rodelo Salazar Sajul, 56, has been a member of the Universal for 20 years and followed the early stages of the church. “It created in us a revolt that brought results.” He also accompanied the expansion of church temples throughout the country. “Before, we only had one place to take all those who needed help. But, little by little, God was opening doors in neighboring cities and too. “It was when I was invited by a friend to go to the Universal Church and seek God’s help to solve my problems. As soon as I arrived, I surrendered myself; I left the women and I found peace through the Holy Spirit,” he says. His sentimental life has also been restored and today he is married It was the problems in the love life that led Rodelo to know the faith. His marriage was destroyed and his relationship with his ex-wife were filled with fights. “The situation was so unbearable that I preferred to live alone, than to live with her because of the constant fights,” he recalls. To escape the situation, he left with several women, but nothing completely satisfied him. In the meantime the marriage is over and happy. Social support Social work spearheaded by Universal made a real difference, with donations, hospital visits, prisons and even professional courses for detainees. In the typhoon episode of 2009, for example, the group organized a large donation of clothing, drinking water, food and hygiene products to those most affected. “We called all the people to bring their donations and we prepared the kits to be distributed,” Rodelo recalls. In the area of communication, they have invested in a weekly edition of the newspaper in the country and recently a radio program that airs Monday through Friday. “We know that this step is very important to expand our reach to souls and, therefore, the church has invested heavily in communication through these mediums.”

Holy Week Special 5 3-DAY CRUSADE Palm Sunday In biblical times, palm branches symbolised peace and victory, and this is what God came to give to those who believed in Him. On Sunday, April 14th , we will acknowledge this special day and you will bring a palm branch to be blessed. The palm branch will represent God Himself and as you bring the branch into your home, it will also represent God entering your life.

SELF-HARMING Can one pain alleviate another? T hi s practice, also known as cutting, consists in hurting one's body in order to alleviate pain resulting from feelings of anger, anguish, sadness, r ejection, abandonment , e mpt ine ss , depression... Despite Symptoms of Self-Harm • Scars • Fresh cuts, burns, scratches, or bruises • Rubbing an area excessively to create a burn • Having sharp objects on hand • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather • Difficulties with interpersonal relationships • Persistent questions about personal identity • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsiveness, or unpredictability • Saying that they feel helpless, hopeless, or worthless These symptoms are adapted from the Mayo Clinic. practiced being by people is of different ages, self-mutilation more common among adolescents and young people, especially females. The modern epidemic, as seen by many experts, increased by 70% in the age range between 10 and 14 years, according to data from the National Health System. According to a YouGov poll, one in four men are turning to selfharm due to depression, anxiety and stress. Many men who were surveyed said that they would turn to over-exercising, hair-pulling and taking drugs when they felt under pressure. 21% would drink heavily, 19% would punch walls as an outlet for stress and 16% would turn to controlled eating. These statistics are a clear sign that women are not the only victims of depression and stress; but an increasing number of men are suffering with mental health issues, too. From image insecurities to today’s pressures on young people, more people are succumbing to symptoms of depression and anxiety, among others. Although medication and psychotherapy help alleviate the anxieties and frustrations felt by those who suffer from this problem, they can not guarantee cure. So, you have to look for other ways of dealing with this situation. For writer Cristiane Cardoso, the strength within each person, that is expressed through selfmutilation, can be transformed into an inner strength capable of putting an end to this suffering. Cutting gave me Being the only child from my father made me feel like the odd one out. It was as if my father had split the family up. I wondered if it was my fault. Watching my family selfdestruct created a pain that literally forced me to run from them. I would avoid them and do whatever I could to stay away. At the age of nine, I had strange experiences at night. tried to fight it, but the force wou overwhelm me. I’d try to scream for help, but m vocal chords would tie up and sound would come out. This was frequent occurrence. Everything was becoming too mu for me and I was fed up. Suicid thoughts plagued my mind and an attempt to relieve myself of t pressure, I started self-harmin With every penetration the bla

It was the beer bottles that I used to cut myself with For the past 16 years I was depressed and suicidal. I’ve been married 3 times and each ended sadly: My first husband pulled a gun on my son and I. The second was abusive and made me feel that I was worthless – that’s when the suicide attempts started. And the third, went out on me and started doing drugs, which I refused to live with. I used to drink a lot and it was the beer bottles that I used to cut myself with. Every time that I cut myself and saw the blood, it felt comforting. I was upset when I awoke in hospital, because it meant that my suicide attempt had failed. In another attempt, I drank so much I came to this ministry and since then absolutely everything has changed! that I got alcohol poisoning and in hospital, the doctor recognized me from before and sent me to a psychiatric ward. I was given pills but they didn’t help me at all. This went on, until one day I switched on the tv and the showdown of faith was on. I felt like directly to me and so I called up the number that was being shown on the screen. I have changed, there’s no more depression – I don’t even think about suicide, I love myself and I love life. I have a blessed marriage but most of all I have God, it is He who gives me life. – Norma The pain of finding out that your daughter is self-harming the Bishop was speaking Alwa sleep depr consider completely if also with m temporary pleasure . I uld my no as a uch idal d in the ing. ade made to my skin, I felt temporary pleasure, but the thought of having to wake up the next morning to face another day ate away at me. It was one invitation to the Universal Church that changed my life, although in the beginning I couldn’t believe that people were so open and positive. Yet, I had nothing to lose so I stayed. I regained my confidence little by little, and as I removed each hurt, grudge and pain that was inside of me, that’s when I became a new Omar. I have completely let go of my past. I no longer self-harm, I don’t get so angry anymore that I lose control. My family are united and our relationships with others keep getting better and better. Today, I help other people the same way I was helped, and it is a pleasure to do so. – Omar She and After gan to lie to me. I was always worried, but when I talked to her, she ignored me and locked herself in the room, but then she started to cut herself and I did not know... To aggravate the situation, I learned that she tried suicide several times. With all this happening, my daughter also began to display many health problems, so much so that, every half an hour, her Universal Church. "I joined the purposes of faith on behalf of my daughter. Through the prayers and advice, I was healed, my insomnia and depression went away. My daughter has also had a transformation; now, she works and we have a harmonious and healthy relationship. She no longer self-harms and is a happy young lady. "

Universal Beyond BarsUNIVERSAL BEYOND BARS "The UBB is here!" ...was chanted by the women in the Hobby Unit as the volunteers of the Self-Awareness program approached them. There is no doubt about the change Universal Beyond Bars (UBB) is bringing to many women in TDCJ Hobby Unit. On Saturday, March 16th, volunteers of the UBB women ministry had the pleasure to see all the women who have been participating in weekly SelfAwareness programs. A total of 225 women were present, and many have already seen great results. The Self-Awareness program is for women to discover themselves and identify the negative experiences that have shaped who they have become. The program offers Bible-based advice that has helped thousands of women around the world. It's an opportunity for the women to rewrite their own story. The course is held by female volunteers who have experienced first hand what they teach, which we believe is the best school anyone can have.The women shared the changes they've seen within themselves and their behavior. Some ladies shared how they have transferred from a behavioral unit (G5) to the General population. In the General population, they have more freedom and are not under behavioral restrictions. All the prayer requests that were given to the UBB team are being prayed upon daily. The women are genuinely receptive and the dedication and joy in their faces speak plenty. Actions speak louder than words, and right there where you are, you can make a difference. Start by identifying three things about yourself that you urgently need to improve. Remember, your change starts now. Continue to place into practice putting your mind over your heart. Think before you react to something. You are strong, don't allow any emotions or feelings to get the best of you. Think about everything you do, even when you feel like giving up, go until the end because you will receive the reward. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Now identify what you can do to start improving as a person. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ AND SECOND I IN CHANCE DESIGNED SOMEONE WAS LIFE GAVE GOD TO BE __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ , __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ . MEA Are you seeking the Holy Spirit? It has been such an eye-opener working with the UBB to help these ladies because I can see their suffering inside and out. It's such a joy to see each time as we go there, how the weight is lifting off of their shoulders. They are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and have hope in themselves for a change. They are practicing what we say to do and have been seeing great results of God answering their prayers - Elsie (UBB Volunteer) Bishop Bira wants to hear from you! Hundreds of Letters arrive every day but each is treated and responded to individually. You can be certain that Bishop Bira together with the pastors and his team of faith are always praying for you. Mailing address for prayer request What is causing you suffering? Send us your prayer request: The Universal Church 7075 Southwest Freeway, Houston TX 77074 You can also send us your letter through JPay: ubb@universal.org or Coralinks: bbf@universal.org BE AWARE No one is baptized with the Holy Spirit because they deserve it. Anyone who thinks they’re worthy of the Holy Spirit will never receive it. WANT You must yearn to have it because you understand that it’s as necessary as salvation. This need is similar to the need for forgiveness for your sins. GIVE THOUGHT Your want has to be followed by constant thoughts of the Person of the Holy Spirit. He should continuously be on your mind. Think about Him as much as possible, just like when you’re in a relationship with someone. UBB Coordinator in Texas: Pastor Quincy Leith Phone number: (cell) 713.588.5841 (office) 713.773.8400 Email: ubb@universal.org Facebook @universalbeyondbars DON'T BE ANXIOUS It's useless to worry about when you will receive it. Just wait. The baptism can happen at any moment and anywhere.

10 Media “My name is Erlin. I suffered from depression for over 5 years. I was suffering for so long and nobody really knew what’s going on with me. Things started becoming worse when I felt so much pain in my body. I felt so sick. I went to the doctor and they told me there was nothing wrong with me. When I became pregnant, the doctors had told me to get an immediate C-section because of the situation of my baby inside. I thought that either the baby or I would die. But I remember praying for the operation to go well. My brother took me to the Universal Church and attended the meetings. Today, my baby and I are healthy. I’m free from depression.” BishopBira birafonseca_ Bira Fonseca birafonseca.com/en/

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