January 20, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you and your congregations for your prayers and support for Haiti. Caribbean Mission Director Charles Fleming sent this update on Friday:

Joseph & Georgette Franklin

I spoke with Mr. Franklin, our Haitian pastor, a few minutes ago. He, his wife and adult son, Billy, are all fine. Mr. Franklin said he did not sleep for two days as they were staying outside for fear of aftershocks, but last night he finally got some sleep. Their home suffered minor damage. He operates a bakery, and his oven, which was in a shed in the backyard, fell into a creek that runs by the house. He has not been able to communicate with all the church members, but he believes they are safe. One church family is staying at the Franklin home.

The church building and school have suffered some damage, but not major structural damage.

The ever-resourceful Mr. Franklin has a backup power system that uses truck batteries. Join us in praying that keeps going, as it will likely be his source of power for a while. It is also what he uses to recharge his cell phone, which is our link to him.

Thanks to all who have already contributed to the Disaster Relief Fund.

Congregations and individual members who would like to help may donate to the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund was established to help with costs of emergency member needs in the wake of such disasters. These costs include such items as food, water, clothing, and temporary housing, as well as temporary local pastoral salary expenses and other emergency local church expenses. The Fund is coordinated by regional leaders and local pastors in the affected areas. Since Grace Communion International is a non-profit organization, donations to the Disaster Relief Fund are tax-deductible in the United States. If more donations are received into this fund than can be used effectively at the time, the excess is to be held ready to assist with future disaster needs.

Donations can be made online at our website at www.wcg.org/DisasterDonation.asp or for those who would prefer to mail a check, the address is:

Disaster Relief Fund
Grace Communion International
PO Box 5005
Glendora, CA 91740

From left to right: Bob Klynsmith, Gordon Green, Trevor Weber, Emmanuel Clifford, Maria Clifford, Sandra de Greeff, Shaun de Greeff.

South Africa

Emmanuel Clifford and Shaun de Greeff were ordained as elders December 6 at a combined church service in Cape Town. On the same day, Papike Lebelo was ordained at a church service at Sizwe hospital.

July international conference in Orlando

Pastor registration is now open for our international conference in July, and pastors have begun signing up for this special event www.2010.gci.org. The conference promises to be a wonderful time of reconnecting with friends and colleagues from around the world.

If your congregation wants to help sponsor one of our pastors from an underprivileged area, please contact Church Administration and Development as soon as possible. We will open registration to our general membership at the end of January and at that time space may start to become tight. If you have any questions on how you could join with other congregations to sponsor a pastor, please e-mail Charles Albrecht (charles.albrecht@gci.org).

Eric, his wife Kareena, their children and Richard (left)

Toronto, Canada

Eric Wilding was ordained an elder at a church service in a Toronto East church service. Eric’s father, Richard, delivered the day’s sermon. Below is a picture of Eric, his wife Kareena, their children and Richard (left).

Prayer Requests and Updates

Mission Director Gary Moore asked that we keep Bill Rabey in prayer during his upcoming trip. Gary wrote:

Pastor Bill Rabey is heading to Africa this Saturday night for about a month. He will be in Kampala, Uganda, helping to renovate a home for an orphanage. The orphanage is run by an organization called Cup for Africa. He got to know this ministry through the Ottawa congregation’s 10-year relationship with Jericho Road Christian Ministry, which takes care of recovering addicts in homes across Ottawa.

Bill Rabey used to provide quarterly Bible studies for group homes that this ministry supports, and now Fraser Henderson is doing a Bible study for this group on a weekly basis. Bill will take a three-hour bus ride February 5 from Kampala to our GCI church in Tororo, Uganda, where he will speak both Saturday and Sunday. He will then take a 7-hour bus ride to meet with Kimani, who is our regional pastor for East Africa. The following Tuesday, Bill will fly and then take about an hour’s bus ride to the refugee camp in Kakuma to meet with our church there.

He hopes to spend three days at the camp (the UN has its own accommodations for all visitors – a good security measure), and then head back to Nairobi for the weekend and speak in the churches there. He will fly back to Canada from Nairobi on Tuesday, February 16. Please support Bill in prayer during this month.

George Affeldt sent this update on the condition of his wife Jackie:

Jackie and I appreciate everyone’s concern and prayers. Jackie had to stay in the hospital until the dizziness went away. She came home Sunday, but they still don’t know what is causing the dizziness. They did find a small aneurism in her brain, but it is very small, and the doctor thinks that she may have had it from birth. He doesn’t believe it is causing the problem. She is scheduled to be checked every six months so they can keep an eye on it. Her chest pains are gone and they found no problem with her heart. We want to thank everyone for their prayers; it is very comforting to know that people care about you and are praying for you.

Love to you all,
George & Jackie

Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer, for we belong to Christ, and by the Spirit it is in Christ that we pray. Prayer and other spiritual activities help keep our hearts in tune with God and remind us of who we are in Christ. He is our all in all, and in him we are eternally beloved of the Father and blessed to share his good news with others.

Love from my family to yours,
Joseph Tkach