Hurricane Irene has left a long trail of destruction and death through the Caribbean and along the U.S. East coast into Canada. Initial reports from Charles Fleming indicate that our members in Haiti and the Bahamas suffered only minimal damage, and so far our U.S. district pastors are reporting that our members along the East Coast were also spared the worst, though some members had to evacuate their homes, and are experiencing continuing power outages.
We are united in support and prayer for all those affected by the storm who are grieving the death of loved ones and enduring the loss of property.
Once again we’re reminded that life continually brings both tragedy and celebration. In both, we look to God’s promises to use all of life’s circumstances for our ultimate good.
Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.
Love from my family to yours,
Exeter Church: 35 years
The Exeter, England church celebrated their 35th anniversary on July 22. Twenty-two members gathered for a church service and garden party at Wadia Habashi’s home. The sermon was given by Bill Allen who comes with his wife Christina every year to the congregation’s annual garden party.
Salt Lake City Church: 45 years
The Salt Lake City, Utah, congregation, Grace Fellowship, celebrated their 45th anniversary with a barbeque in the backyard of members, Bill and Bambi Patterson.
Bill Bryce, part of the pastoral team in Salt Lake and one of the founding members of the church there, gave a brief overview of what’s happened in Grace Fellowship over the last 45 years. The 52 who attended the celebration enjoyed reminiscing and fellowshipping. The Salt Lake City church began August 20, 1966.
Philippine Leadership Retreat
On June 24-26, leaders of GCI churches in Bicol, Philippines gathered for a leadership retreat. Senior pastors and pastoral team members of churches from Albay, Camarines Norte and Sur, Legaspi, Sorsogon, and Tabaco attended. Dr. Rey Taniajura, Area Superintendent for Bicol, and his wife June were facilitators. The three day event focused on learning debriefing as a tool in pastoral care ministry. Debriefing is a powerful means for pastors and other leaders to offer members a caring “shoulder to cry on.”
During the retreat, Pastor Ernesto Aycardo was ordained an elder.
The standard teaching curriculum for GCI Generations Ministries (GenMin) camps this summer is titled Living Loved. GenMin is pleased to make this curriculum available to congregations for use as a series of sermons, discipleship classes or Bible Studies.
Jim Friddle gives us this update on the progress of his wife Marj:
Marj and I thank you for the outpouring of love shown by your prayers, cards and e-mails. We ask you to continue your prayers for Marj.
After Marj was released from the hospital on antibiotics on Aug 23, she began to have abdominal pain and inflammation on Aug 27. We took her to the E.R. on the next day and she was admitted to the hospital for examination and treatment. That night her incision was opened and heavy drainage gushed out. The next morning, the surgeon cleaned and probed inside her abdomen and stuffed gauze inside to absorb the infection. The Doctor said that the infection was approximately 1 1/2 inches deep in the tissue above the surgery to the colon and intestine. He said that this is a common occurrence with colon operations where a speck of unclean matter is not cleaned out during the operation. Thankfully, no infection was found around the colon itself.
Marj is being given antibiotics and potassium to treat skin and tissue infection. The Doctor wants to keep her in the hospital until the infection is completely gone. We ask for your continued prayers for her. We are thankful to God that he has removed the cancer in her colon!
Birth of Emily Lorraine Wertz
Congratulations to first time grandparents Scott Wertz (a long time employee at GCI’s home office) and his wife Barbara! Their granddaughter, Emily Lorraine Wertz, was born on August 25. She is doing fine, as are her mother Dorothy Stephan-Wertz and her father Scott Wertz Jr.