The good news is not preached in all the world, as we understand it.
Paul talked about that being done, even in the first century.
He said of their work of preaching to the Jews;
"But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
And their words *to the ends of the world.’* Rom 10:18
That word "world", really means, "land". Not all lands, are the whole world.
Paul also said;
Col.1: "5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, *as it has also in all the world*"
He was saying that the gospel was already heard, in the whole land.
Verse 23 continues; "and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was *preached to every creature under heaven*, of which I, Paul, became a minister."
Paul did not preach to the whole world. Yet he says that the gospel was preached to "every creature under heaven".
Rev.14: 6 says; "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach **to those who dwell on the earth**—to *every nation, tribe, tongue, and people"*.
We may think from this, that everyone in the world is being referred to.
But notice that the great crowd is described in the same way...
"9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, **of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,** standing before the throne and before the Lamb...) (Rev.7)
Is the Great Crowd, the whole planet? No.
Look at how the anointed priests and kings of God are described....
"9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
**Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation**,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev.5)
They are not the whole world either.
So they too, are described as "from all nations", but they are not the whole world.
When Rev.14:6 tells us that the good news will be preached "to all those who dwell on the earth"... the word that was translated "earth", also means, a particular land and is occupied by people.
In Revelation, the "earth" is not the "sea".
The "sea" represents those who do not know God (see Isa.57:20).
The Land that does know God, and claims to worship him, and that land is translated into the word "Earth" (God's occupied land).
So again, the good news is not toward the whole world, but toward God's people.
Even though the gospel opened up to Gentiles of all nations, who were also added to God's people, notice that they also *become Jews, in their spirit*...
"28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but *he is a Jew who is one inwardly*; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom.2)
Do you see that those of all nations, become spiritual Jews?
"28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And **if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed**, and heirs according to the promise."
If you become the seed of Abraham... you become a spiritual Hebrew.
Rom.4: "16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham"
who did Jesus say we would be preaching to, and trying to reach with the truth?
"22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures *to the end* will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, **you will not have completed preaching to the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."** (Matt.10)
Did you notice who Jesus said, would be getting preached to?
"The cities/towns, of Israel".
What are the towns of Israel?
Jesus named them, in Revelation 1:11...
"...“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
The message being sent out to the "towns of Israel", is the opened scroll of Revelation. To understand that message, is good news....
Rev.1: "3 Happy is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
So from all this, we see that the good news is not preached to the whole planet, as JWs teach. Jesus said that we would not even finish preaching to "the towns of Israel" before he would return. The good news that is trying to reach God's people, is the true and full interpretation of the book of Revelation. That message reveals the truth, about who is wicked, and who is faithful. That is good news to those who have been slandered and thrown out as wicked, because they are the ones to receive the kingdom. Those who raised themselves up, will be humbled and condemned. Pearl Doxsey, 4 womaninthewilderness
By JOHN BUTLER
The JW Org / GB say that Armageddon is very close. They also say that Jehovah is speeding up the work in these 'last days'.
Now, it seems I'm not one for knowing truth from lies, so people keep telling me, but this webpage/site seemed interesting to me.
It seems to show more of a decrease in JW's, but more importantly it seems to show more of a lack of faith, or lack of action / 'works' of JW's. It also shows a large number of people leaving the JW Org.
If this video or page has been used before then I apologise for any repeat. But I thought it was of interest.
By The Librarian
Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. This caused countries allied with Austria-Hungary (the Triple Alliance) and countries allied with Serbia (the Triple Entente Powers) to declare war on each other, starting World War I.
The bullet that killed the Archduke; sometimes referred to as "the bullet that started World War I"
Franz Ferdinand ignored warnings that Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand — still reeling from Austrian annexation in 1908 — was plotting to assassinate him during his state visit to Sarajevo.
Plus, the day of his tour was Serbia’s National Day. Sophie pleaded with him not to go.
So why did he? Death was better than humiliation, said Lebow. It was a matter of honor.
Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie riding in an open carriage at Sarajevo shortly before their assassination on June 28, 1914. Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images
On June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were riding in the third of a seven-car convoy when a bomb bounced off their hood, exploding as the fourth car passed.
At this point, said Lebow, “any security detail worth its salt would have rushed these people out of town immediately.”
But they didn’t. Franz Ferdinand insisted that they pay a visit to an officer wounded in the bombing. On the way, the driver took a wrong turn, and happened to reverse right in front of one of the conspirators, Gavrilo Princip, who, said Lebow, was sipping a drink outside.
Pointing his pistol at the car, Princip fired two shots.
When Sophie was shot alongside Franz Ferdinand in 1914, these were his last words to her, as published in “Archduke of Sarajevo”: “Sopherl, Sopherl, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
By Guest Nicole
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — To those watching on TV, religion may seem absent from the Winter Olympic Games. Away from the spotlight, though, an estimated 3,000 missionaries are on hand.
About 2,000 missionaries — South Korean and international — are working in the city of Gangneung, where the indoor Olympic events are being held. The remaining 1,000 are working in Pyeongchang, site of ski, snowboard and other events.
There is no reliable count of missionaries at Olympics past. But the number of local missionaries here far exceeds previous games, said Marty Youngblood, leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention mission team, who is at his fifth Olympics this year.
South Korea, which is 29% Christian, and among whom Protestants predominate, enjoys high levels of religious tolerance. Buddha’s birthday and Christmas are both national holidays.
The Winter Games have attracted teams of Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons also abound, each group sharing the gospel in its own way. The United Christian Churches of Korea, a coalition of 144 local congregations, is helping foreign mission groups to arrange housing and ministry sites and learn about Korean culture.
Local churches are taking advantage of an Olympics at their doorstep. Many have set up welcome stations in parking lots, where they give away snacks, coffee and Christian literature.
In addition to its coffee and snack giveaway, Somang Presbyterian Church — located in the shadow of the Olympic venues — is showcasing a live orchestra and church members dressed in traditional costume. It’s just one of the 26 local churches in Gangneung with Olympic outreach ministries.
Then there’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Helping Hands Center, a two-story building on prime real estate across the street from the train station in Gangneung. Working there is Coloradan Chandler Petry, chosen by her church with a small group of other Mormon missionaries already in Korea to serve at the Olympics.
The center’s multilingual staff will give athletes, members of the media and any Olympic spectator a warm drink and a place to recharge their phones. But its main goal, according to the church’s website, “is for as many as possible to see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the members and missionaries.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have sent about 1,000 missionaries to the Winter Games, far more than to previous Olympics, said Steven Park, public information officer for the Jehovah’s Witness Korea branch. He says that the work they do in Gangneung and Pyeongchang is no different from the ministry they do elsewhere and that some missionaries will remain in the area after the Olympics.
One of the most popular tools of ministry for these Olympic missionaries is lapel pin trading.
Myungsu No, a campus minister in Seoul, says his students from the Baptist Student Union use pin trading — a pastime at this and previous Olympics — to spread the gospel. While athletes and spectators trade pins that typically depict a certain country, sport or team, mission groups give away a “More Than Gold” lapel pin, borrowing the slogan a consortium of missionary groups adopted in the 1990s to brand their Olympic outreach.
Psalm 119:127 declares that the commands of God are loved “more than gold.” The reference to gold at the Olympics, where athletes’ highest reward for their performance is a gold medal, is borrowed by the missionaries to suggest there is a higher reward to be sought through faith.
Veteran missionaries trained in the art of Olympic pin trading are passing down the skill to the new generation. The missionaries make an initial pin trade using a nonreligious pin they have collected — say, that of the USA ski jump team. This often prompts a conversation and a chance for the missionary to offer the trader the “More Than Gold” pin as a gift.
Some missionaries who work elsewhere in Asia have decided to take a break to focus on the Olympics.
American Kathryn Daniel, based in China, says she felt called to evangelize at the Winter Games because of her personal connection with Korea. She spent 12 years of her life in the country with her missionary parents.
Nine months ago, she heard her father was getting a group of other retired missionaries to go to the Olympics, and she thought, “I think this is God telling me to go, ‘Kathy, just go.’” Daniel is staying in Korea for a week, working with the group from the Georgia Baptist Convention.
The first weekend of the Olympics, mission groups passed out Christian literature in the Olympic park unimpeded.
Then Olympic park officials posted signs informing visitors that passing out religious material in the park was banned, and any materials found would be confiscated.
Youngblood, of the Georgia Baptist Convention, said he is not concerned. His missionaries are also using the pin trading and only give pamphlets to those who want to learn more.
And A-lim Jang, a recent university graduate and student leader with Baptist Student Union missionaries, said pin trading has allowed her and her colleagues to share the gospel “with many people that God puts in our path.”
Madeline C. Mulkey is a senior at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is doing a special online documentary and a series of articles on “God at the Game.” Her project is funded in part by the Magellan Scholarship Program.
This article originally appeared on Religion News Service. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY.
By Guest Nicole
Transcript - Preaching in “the Most Distant Part of the Earth”.pdf
By The Librarian
A plaque in the town of Techelsberg was dedicated in memory of Jehovah’s Witnesses who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
Paint strippers! Models are transformed into living works of art at the World Bodypainting Festival...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
The Catholic Church raised a “cry of alarm”, because every year ten thousand Catholics become Jehovah’s Witnesses.By Kurt
The FRANCISCO POPE PRAISES GOD’S WITNESSES WORLDWIDE
Moving – Pascom Porto Feliz: Catholic Conference discusses increasing Witnesses … What drives so many people to become Jehovah’s Witnesses? This was the question asked by some clerics, as shown by the following quotations. For example, in Bologna, Italy, the ecclesiastical authorities, with the approval of the pope, held a conference to discuss ways to combat the success of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Catholic Church raised a “cry of alarm”, the newspaper La Republica, because every year ten thousand Catholics become Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Jesuit Giuseppe De Rosa said that “the religious point of view the most dangerous are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They come fully trained, and always have the Bible in hand.”
In an article that deals specifically with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica said:
“The first reason for the spread of this movement are the propaganda techniques [ie, in preaching]. On the one hand, the work is thorough, carried from house to house by people who are strictly trained in this work, and are deeply convinced [ …] ”
“The second reason for the success of TJs is the force of attraction of Jehovah’s message, because it can meet the needs, demands and expectations of the people of our time. First, answers the need for certainty, which is much appreciated at a time where everything is uncertain and unstable. […] Above all, it is an absolutely safe revelation of the future and, therefore, all who accepted, experience freedom from fear and anxiety and can face the future with joy, with ensuring that survive the destruction that will come the great day of God’s judgment on a wicked world, to live in eternal happiness on earth. Second, Jehovah’s message helps to overcome the concern of the individual against the woes of this world, announces that soon will end the unbearable situation of today, and soon, so there will be a new era will be born a new world in which all the wicked will be removed now triumph. […] ”
“The third reason for the success of TJs is that this movement gives its members a precise identity and strong, and is a place where they were greeted with warmth and a sense of brotherhood and solidarity.”
The Vatican document analyzed the needs of people today, and the quote above the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica showed that the message of Jehovah’s Witnesses meet those needs. This also showed Vittorio Messori Catholic writer in his recent book Scommesse sulla morte (a bet on death), who writes: “It makes us think that Jehovah’s Witnesses, is one of the religious denominations of the fastest growing in the world. It is among the religions that are practiced in many countries and perhaps […] is first in terms of fervor, zeal, activism, the ability to make proselytes. ” “And his presence, increasingly pronounced, is not limited to Christian tradition countries, but reaching the whole world, where in the name of Jehovah, and before long, they get results that are superior to those of Catholic missionaries, Protestants and Orthodox, who have worked for centuries. ”
“This stunning expansive force is incomprehensible only to those who simply do not want to admit that […] course in how to understand the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses meet the real needs that other theologies do not meet.” “You can not get around the issue suggesting that the growth of witnesses is because they scare people is precisely the opposite:. Unlike the churches” official “, deny the existence of hell and preach the destruction, disappearance after death to the wicked and unbelieving. This may be an unpleasant prospect, but certainly less frightening than the threat of a terrible pain for all eternity. “Yes, the God of Jehovah’s Witnesses is a loving God, and not one that terrorizes the people .
The following quote is the Catholic magazine Mondo ERRE March 1986: “It must be said that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the first to live the faith they preach: Do not IRAM, do not smoke, do not accumulate wealth, remain outside the political discussions […] pay taxes. They live a virtuous and honest life, they are happy and helpful. All this has made people appreciate the ”
I’m glad to know that they have had success in evangelizing them my family is Catholic more from small learn to admire their work in all the earth ….
By Guest Nicole
On his drive to Calipatria State Prison, Ricardo Perez thought of the couple he’d met a few months earlier and their desperate plea: Can you help us get our innocent relative out of prison?
It was spring 2012. Perez was fresh out of Loyola Law School and yearning for a meaningful case, so he agreed to look into their relative’s conviction. After reading the trial transcript, he went to meet Marco Contreras.
“Are you innocent?” he asked him. “If you're not, I won’t judge you and I won’t tell your family. But if I’m going to spend the next several years on this, I need to know for sure.”
Contreras looked him dead in the eye, Perez recalled, and said, “I’m innocent.”
That conversation led to years of investigation and, ultimately, Contreras’ release from custody on Tuesday — the second time this month that a team of lawyers and students from Loyola have helped free a wrongfully convicted man.
After spending 20 years behind bars, Contreras used the moments after his release to speak to others in his situation.
“Keep fighting,” he said in Spanish. “Be patient and keep fighting.”
Contreras, 41, who maintained his innocence, was convicted in 1997 of attempted murder and attempted robbery for a shooting at a Compton gas station a year earlier. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Superior Court Judge William Ryan ruled last week that Contreras was factually innocent, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace said Tuesday that prosecutors lost faith in Contreras’ conviction, adding that other men have been linked to the crime.
Attempted murder and conspiracy charges were filed Thursday against Antonio Salgado, 41; Antonio Garcia, 61; and Ricardo Valencia, 46. Both Garcia and Valencia pleaded not guilty Monday, and Salgado hasn’t been arraigned.
Contreras’ attorneys say an eyewitness inaccurately identified him as the gunman, although he’d been at home sleeping at the time. It’s an example of the unreliability of witness misidentification, said Adam Grant, another Contreras attorney.
“This is a huge problem,” he said. “It’s a thorny problem because the public considers it reliable.”
Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent began looking into the case in 2012 after Perez put them in touch with Contreras’ family. During their investigation, lawyers and students found new evidence, including a striking physical similarity between Contreras and Salgado. The team of attorneys then presented its findings to the district attorney’s conviction review unit — a crew of prosecutors and investigators dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions — which conducted its own investigation, along with sheriff’s investigators, into the shooting.
In a letter to the judge made public this week, prosecutors laid out the facts of the case, which they say point to Contreras’ innocence.
At a Mepco gas station on a September morning in 1996, a man fired several shots at Jose Garcia, who was wounded but survived after a month-long hospital stay. While stopped at a red light nearby, Alicia Valladolid, an intern for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, saw the gunman run into a getaway car – a blue and beige Bronco.
She jotted down the license plate number and investigators tracked the car to Contreras. When his brother, Miguel, told police he owned the Bronco, he was charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery, as well as being an accessory after the fact. At Miguel’s preliminary hearing, Valladolid spotted Marco in the audience and told a detective he was the shooter she’d seen. Marco was arrested and charged as the gunman.
At his trial, the victim expressed some doubt in identifying him as the shooter, saying, “I’m not sure about the face.” And defense witnesses testified that Marco was home at the time of the shooting. But jurors found him guilty.
Miguel pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to a 16-month prison sentence. His other charges were dropped as part of his plea deal.
After his release, he told Compton police that his brother — who had a clean criminal record — wasn’t the gunman. Around that time, a detective had been trying to interview Salgado, a documented gang member the detective believed was the true gunman. Salgado fled to Missouri, records show, after realizing police were looking for him.
Although Miguel had long resisted being viewed as “a rat,” according to court records, he eventually told his family that Salgado was the gunman and agreed to help authorities with an undercover sting operation.
During a secretly recorded conversation with Valencia, Miguel brought up the shooting. Valencia told him it was an orchestrated hit likely tied to a drug dispute and said Salgado had admitted to being the gunman.
During a 2014 interview with prosecutors and Loyola attorneys, Miguel said he and Salgado had been hired by Antonio Garcia, another co-worker, to carry out a murder-for-hire plot. Miguel — who described his role in the crime as merely assisting a friend — said he believed Antonio Garcia had promised to pay Salgado $10,000.
Contreras’ release is the second big reversal handled by the district attorney’s conviction review unit since its creation in 2015. Last year, prosecutors asked the same judge to throw out the murder conviction of a man charged in the 2000 slaying of a college student in a Palmdale parking lot. Earlier this year, Ryan tossed the conviction and declared Raymond Lee Jennings factually innocent.
In the other Loyola case from two weeks ago, a different judge threw out the murder conviction of Andrew Leander Wilson, who served 32 years behind bars after being convicted of a 1984 stabbing.
As Marco Contreras was escorted into court Tuesday, he turned to look at his family in the audience. He nodded at them several times, and tears welled in his eyes. Perez patted him on the back.
At the end of the hearing, Contreras — dressed in a black suit — stood to address the judge.
“I’d like to thank you for allowing me to be here,” he said. “Also the D.A. — I’d like to say thank you to everybody.”
The judge smiled and told Contreras he hoped he had a good support system to help him adjust to life outside of custody. The world, the judge warned him, had changed a lot in 20 years.
“This is a new chapter,” Ryan said. “Good luck to you, sir.”
The audience of Loyola students and Contreras’ family burst into applause, shouting, “Woo! Woo! Woo!” Contreras threw his fist in the air in celebration, and the courtroom bailiff smiled. Perez said a single word — surreal — was running through his mind.
During a news conference after the hearing, Contreras’ mother, Maria, walked slowly toward her son. She embraced him in a tight hug and congratulated him in Spanish.
“¡Felicidades, hijo!” she told him. “¡Felicidades, mi hijo!”
She told reporters she’d always known he was innocent, saying before his arrest that he’d never gotten in trouble — not even a traffic ticket, she said.
Asked whether he felt any rancor, Contreras shook his head: “No, none. There’s no reason.”
For now, he said, he was looking forward to two things: good Mexican food and April 11. He’s a Jehovah’s Witness, and that’s the day his denomination will remember the anniversary of Jesus’ death.
His faith, he said, had kept him from spiraling into depression.
I want to make a "collection" of all those photos that appear radomly on the official page,
although our internet friend david has made a wonderful collection on his web.8080.page.
[thank you david]
Talking about God’s Kingdom with Spanish-speaking farmers
Matobo District, Zimbabwe—
Witnessing from house to house
Offering Bible-based publications in Maria-Theresien-Platz
Seoul, South Korea—
Engaging in metropolitan witnessing
From exploring the wilds of Namibia to finding a new heaven in Nicaragua, the best outdoor adventure holidays to take in 2017By Guest Nicole
There's fresh impetus to explore Namibia's startling landscapes this year CREDIT:FOTOLIA
6 JANUARY 2017 • 12:31PM
If your ambition this year is to try new things and explore new places, you're in luck. From Nicaragua to Tajikistan, a number of hitherto "undiscovered" destinations are increasingly catering to discerning holidaymakers, with a host of new resorts opening and experiences launching over the year to come. Read below for more on the most exciting outdoor adventures to be enjoyed around the world in 2017, or for something more sedate see our guides to 2017's best wellness and fitness breaks; 2017's best luxury beach holidays; the year's best yachting and sailing holidays; and the best cities to visit over the next 12 months.
The Desert Circuit: Namibia Exclusive Lodges
The four new luxury lodges on the Namibia Exclusive circuit are located in some of the most remote and beautiful northern parts of the country, each designed by architect Greg Scott and built of local materials that reflect the region’s landscapes and cultural traditions.
Sorris Sorris Lodge in Damaraland has been built into huge granite boulders scattered across the desert landscape, its modern African rammed-earth structures and pool offering views over the Ugab River and the mountains of the Brandberg Massif.
Sorris Sorris Lodge
Omatandeka Lodge is surrounded by vast plains inhabited by the Himba people, table-top mountains and a vital wildlife corridor used by mountain zebra, oryx and endangered black rhino, while Sheya Shuushona Lodge, on the northern boundary of Etosha National Park, is surrounded by photogenic salt pans that change colour with the seasons and turn into a lake in the rainy season.
Finally, Xaudum Lodge, the most recent addition, is surrounded by the sand dunes of the Kalahari, home to some 3,000 elephants. All four lodges are located in areas with indigenous communities and contribute funds so these people can continue to live in traditional ways on their ancestors’ land.
The Explorations Company offers a nine-night safari, staying at three Namibia Exclusive lodges, from £8,985 per person including flights, air transfers, full board and guiding.
The Italian Castle: Castello di Ugento, Puglia
There are few buildings in Europe in which guests can stay above a Norman keep, dine beneath 17th-century Baroque frescoes and wander around a garden in which Bronze Age artefacts have been found. In April, on the southern heel of Italy, the (rather wonderfully named) d’Amore family will open their restored thousand-year-old Castello di Ugento to paying guests for the first time (doubles from £260).
Visitors can relax within walled gardens, in which more than 100 medicinal and aromatic plants are grown for the kitchen and spa; admire the frescoes painted in 1694 to portray the noble family’s history; sample local wines in an ancient cistern-turned-cellar; and take cookery lessons in a wing turned by the Culinary Institute of America into its first European school.
A maximum of 18 guests will sleep in stone-walled rooms with high, star-vaulted ceilings and views over Ugento’s rooftops, and they will feast on Puglian favourites cooked by Milanese chef Odette Fada, whose refined cuisine at the renowned Rex Il Ristorante in Los Angeles and San Domenico NY made her name as one of America’s finest Italian chefs. The nearest beaches are two miles away and Baroque towns such as Lecce are a short drive from the castle.
The Urban Forest: Aman Shanghai
Aman’s latest property in China (its fourth) must be one of its most anticipated to date. The Shanghai retreat (rates not yet available) is a picture of leafy tranquility – and full of surprises. If a visitor were to drop into the 100-acre property, planted with thousand-year-old camphor trees and interspersed with historic Ming- and Qing-dynasty houses, they’d never believe that they were within easy reach of buzzy downtown Shanghai. Neither the forest nor village are native to this area; both were moved here over the past 10 years from Jiangxi, some 500 miles southwest, by Ma Dadong, a pioneering businessman, when the building of a reservoir threatened their survival.
Now that the painstaking replanting (which took three years) and the building of the hotel are complete, the 37 villas in the new sanctuary are being decorated with original beams, floors, sculptures and carvings from the uplifted village homes. Kerry Hill, the project’s architect, has taken care to reflect traditional Chinese culture while blending in contemporary comforts and natural tones of earth, moss and creamy whites. Guests can take day trips to Shanghai, walk in the forest, sample Eastern cuisine, or relax in the spa, beside the two pools or in the Nan Shu Fang contemplation garden.
The South American Sleeper: The Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
For the first time in May 2017, travellers will be able not only to traverse the Andes in one of the most luxurious trains on earth, but to sleep overnight on one. The Belmond Andean Explorer has been built to carry up to 68 passengers in en-suite cabins decorated by the South African designer Inge Moore in contemporary light woods and comforting alpaca-wool colours.
Each of the train’s cars is fitted with expansive windows to frame views of the Andean plains, mountains and grand architecture, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Arequipa. Although another two trains already operate in this area – Belmond’s Hiram Bingham, which offers day trips to Machu Picchu, and the more traditional Inca Princess – this is the first modern luxury train to offer trips from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, on one- and two-night journeys. Chefs from the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco will serve modern Peruvian cuisine in two dining cars; guests can also enjoy spacious lounge and observation cars, and an open deck. Doubles from £738 , all-inclusive, for one night.
The Gorilla Camp: Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
One of the key trends in Africa in 2017 is the growth of camps that offer both sustainable luxury and adventure. Hence Wilderness Safaris’ decision to open Bisate Lodge in June as a luxury base for tracking the 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (doubles from £1,762 full board, excluding gorilla permits).
The lodge, raised high above the forest floor in the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, has been designed by architect Nick Plewman to echo the spherical, thatched structures that dot the hills, as well as the layout of traditional Rwandan palaces. The interiors by Caline Williams-Wynn have been inspired by the rich detail of Rwandan textiles, many of which are made using a technique called imigongo, an ancient art form incorporating geometric shapes.
When the first guests arrive, they will be able not only to track gorillas, but to hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and her former research station at Karisoke, to trek to the top of a nearby volcano, and then to relax in the extensively reforested gardens.
The Jungle Retreat: Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s first luxe mountain resort sits in the lush landscape of Nandaime, just 40 minutes’ drive from the pretty colonial city of Granada. Nekupe – or heaven, in the indigenous Chorotega language – was designed with the help of a feng shui architect to have the highest energy flow and least environmental impact possible, and the four freestanding villas and four expansive suites, with king-sized beds, made-for-sharing bathtubs and alfresco showers, are decorated in earth tones and warm woods that echo the serene setting (doubles from £720, full board). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views over Mombacho volcano’s perfect cone, and wraparound terraces are perfect for sipping daiquiris, before farm-to-table feasts of nuevo-Nicaraguan cuisine.
Nekupe will provide access to Nicaragua's underexplored nature reserves
The surrounding nature reserve, which echoes with the sounds of primates and toucans, can be explored on ATVs, as well as on paths created for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, or on zip wires, which soar above the forest canopy. For those not expending energy on target-shooting, tennis and yoga, there is an infinity pool and a spa.
The Cook Ski Spot: Lech, Austria
Size matters to ski resorts, so the hotly anticipated coronation of Ski Arlberg as Austria’s largest contiguous ski area is big news indeed. Encompassing eight villages, including big hitters St Anton, Lechand Zürs, Ski Arlberg is already one of the best-known ski areas in the Alps. But now its four new lifts are open, linking the entire area to deliver 109 miles of pistes (three more than Val d’Isère), Ski Arlberg will join the ranks of the world’s über resorts.
New developments have given Lech a leg up
The four connected lifts, known as the Flexenbahn, will place Lech at the epicentre of the ski area (stealing some thunder from St Anton). While expanding its lifts, Lech has also been consolidating its position as Austria’s leading town for luxury ski chalets. In December – hot on the heels of properties like the Aurelio Clubhouse, Chalet N, Chalet 1597 and Überhaus, which have raised the luxury bar in recent years – Severin’s Alpine Retreat will open its doors. The nine-suite hotel will be fitted with only the best: Minotti furnishings, a spa with an indoor infinity pool and hypoxic chamber for altitude training, and a ski room with bespoke Indigo kit.
Guests can take over the chalet, for free rein over the suites, restaurant, capacious spa and fire-lit lounges, or plump for The Residence: a sleek four-bedroom private apartment spanning two floors with a professional kitchen, cinema, bar and outdoor hot tub. The Oxford Ski Company offers a week for two people at Severin’s Alpine Retreat from £6,440, including transfers and flights.
The Rugged Destination: Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan
Tajikistan was the second-fastest growing tourist destination in the world in 2015, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Which is why in 2017 Edge Expeditions will be running a two-week Luxury Tajikistan tour of the country’s spectacular Pamir Mountains: one the most diverse, wild, exhilarating and least-explored corners of the planet.
With a team of expert guides, a maximum of eight guests will traverse the raw wilderness by either four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a driver, or motorbikes. Journeying along the legendary Pamir Highway, travellers will spend days exploring azure mountain lakes, hidden valleys, ancient ruins and high mountain passes that very few outsiders ever get to see.
The trip starts off at a five-star hotel in the capital, Dushanbe, while on the road the ground crew will prepare yurt camps with hot showers, comfortable beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and gourmet meals prepared by the expedition’s private chef. Along the way, both British and Tajik guides will interpret the layered history of the region, while astronomers with telescopes will also be on hand to explore some of the least light-polluted night skies in the world.
Edge Expeditions is offering a 14-day Luxury Tajikistan journey by four-wheel-drive or motorcycle, from £9,495 full board, starting and ending at Dushanbe, including transfers, motorcycle rental or vehicle (with driver), back-up vehicles, guides and medic, but excluding international flights.
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