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May 27, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

27spring-2009-dianekubik21Please join me in extending congratulations to Diane Kubik, wife of Oleh Kubik, pastor in Binghamton, NY . She finished her college degree at Liberty University and last week graduated Summa Cum Laude (4.00 average). Diane has wanted to finish her Ambassador College degree for quite some time. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Multiple Disciplines. As Oleh mentioned to me, “It was a wonderful accomplishment and an emotional time. Diane has fulfilled a dream she’s had since 1972, when she married me.”

The Surprising God Blog is an informal blog about Trinitarian theology provided by Grace Communion International for its ministers. It is filled with helpful information including downloads, book reviews and recommendations. Here are just a few items that have been posted recently:
A trinitarian view of family relations
Salvation: re-creation not transaction
If all are included, why final judgment and hell?
Music and Theology

The URL of the blog is: http://thesurprisinggodblog.wcg.org/

27jordan-sky-henderson13James Stokes writes: “Our granddaughter is now a grandmother! Makes me think I must be getting old now that we have a great-great granddaughter! Her name is Jordan Sky Henderson, and she joined our clan on April 30, weighing in at seven pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 21¼ inches long. All are doing well. I’ve attached her picture so you can see what a cutie she is. Grace and I send our love and best wishes. Keep Smilin’!”


Generations Ministries director Ted Johnston reported the successful conclusion of the first two GenMin camps of the 2009 camp season. CrossWalk, near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, hosted 130 campers and 80 staffers; and The Mountaintop near Atlanta, Georgia, hosted 90 campers and 100 staffers.

Anthony Mullins, who works with Mountaintop, wrote: “In my opinion, we had the best Mountaintop experience to-date. God’s provision was evident in many ways, not the least of which was having more staff than campers. The staff-camper ratio allowed our volunteers the opportunity to give a tremendous amount of personalized attention and care to the campers. Our volunteer staff is at the highest level of skill and competency that I have seen. The camp was well-planned and well-executed, and much of that success lies at the feet of the leadership team – it’s been a joy working with them. Our theme for the weekend was Mission Possible, and God reminded us again that he is more than able to meet our needs and far exceed our expectations. It was a great camp experience and a privilege to participate in this ministry of Jesus!”

A slideshow of Mountaintop highlights can be viewed at:

Jamaica Mission Trip

Grace Communion International is sending a team of workers to Jamaica July 5-12 to help the Kingston, Jamaica, congregation with construction projects and a Vacation Bible School. We have GCI members from Ohio, Florida, England and the Caribbean currently on the team. We have room for 5-7 more team members. The trip is coordinated by one of our Cincinnati, Ohio, congregations. Details of the trip can be seen at www.cfcnext.org by clicking on “Jamaica Mission 2009.” The trip is only $600 plus airfare.

Pastors, may we suggest that your congregation might help sponsor one or more of your members to be part of this life-changing mission trip? This mission trip can use men and women over the age of 18, or under age 18 if accompanied by an adult.

For more information, see the web address, or e-mail Mike Lockard at jmlockard@fuse.net or call Mike at 513-741-8059. You can also contact Caribbean Mission Director, Charles Fleming, at charles.fleming@wcg.org for more information about the Jamaican congregation.


Kalengule Kaoma writes: “Kimani Ndungu, Area Pastor for East Africa, and I traveled to Meru, Central Kenya, where we visited the Kibiricha congregation on May 2. Close to 40 members attended. Kimani noted that since Kibiricha was our first formally organized congregation in East Africa, the members need to keep going forward and not to look back. Not only is Kibiricha the oldest WCG congregation in East Africa, it is also one of the most stable congregations. The group is enthusiastic and hospitable.

On Sunday, May 3, we attended the main congregation in Nairobi, where we worshiped in Kiswahili and English. The Kibiricha and Nairobi congregations send their greetings. They would like you to know that they pray for you.

27kibiricha11 . 27kibiricha33 . 27kibiricha22

Prayer Requests and Updates

Our beloved friend and brother, Werner Jebens, died at approximately 3:00 am on Monday, May 25, 2009, ending his battle with cancer.

Werner was born in Hamburg, Germany and lived in Germany throughout World War II. He completed high school and trade school education in Germany after the War and emigrated to the United States around 1950. He reported he first heard The World Tomorrow on the radio in 1956 and was baptized into the Church by Dean Blackwell in Chicago in 1957.

Mr. Jebens was hired by the Church in the German Department in 1961 and worked as a Researcher, Proofreader and Translator. Later, when there ceased to be a separate German Department, he transferred to Editorial and continued work as a News Analyst and News File Supervisor. He retired in 1995 and was 83 years old when he died.

He is survived by his wife Ruth Jebens and three daughters, Gloria, Sue and Eve and several grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 7 at 10:30 am at:
Rancho Del Oro Community Clubhouse
135 Basilica Way
Oceanside, CA 92057

Cards may be sent to:
Ruth Jebens
180 Bautista Court Unit 78
Oceanside, CA 92057

Prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer. Additional spiritual disciplines such as fasting and study draw us closer to God and strengthen us. When more of us prepare individually, the stronger we move together.

Love from my family to yours,
Joseph Tkach