GCI Update

The Gospel is Good News

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have you ever watched a TV advertisement for a product that seems so amazing and the price so cheap that it seems just too good to be true? At first you’re probably skeptical, but as you listen to testimonial after testimonial from perfectly credible sounding people, you begin to believe that this might indeed be a miracle product – the very thing you’ve been waiting for, whether you knew it or not.

And it gets better – the price is just a fraction of what you would spend on similar products that don’t work as well. But wait – there’s more! If you call within the next five minutes you’ll get not one – not two – but three bonus gifts that are alone worth the purchase price. Operators are standing by, but supplies are limited, so you MUST ACT NOW!

So you succumb and place an order. But when the item arrives you are deeply disappointed. It looks and works very differently from what you saw displayed under the bright lights of a TV studio. With a sigh you realize you have been tricked by slick advertising that greatly oversold the item. It leaves you feeling foolish and betrayed, and you resolve never to fall for that kind of deception again.

It’s bad enough if that happens with a vacuum cleaner or a piece of jewelry. But it is tragic if untruthful advertising misrepresents something as important as the gospel. But sadly, it does happen.

The gospel is good news, the best possible news anyone can hear. It promises a new life beyond death, a life rich in joy, peace, friendship and real love. It’s the good news of a life in communion with God, who loves you and wants you with him no matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done.

The gospel is the best and only hope for humanity. It is the best and only hope for you and me and everyone we care about.

That is why we preach it, calling on all people everywhere, as far as the Spirit gives us opportunity, to turn to Jesus in faith so they can know Jesus and know the Father for who they really are, as well as so they can come to know themselves for the beloved children of the Father they really are in Jesus.

My deepest thanks goes out to all of you for all you do to help spread this best of all good news!

This week we’re pleased to honor Franklin and Cora Guice who recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Franklin is a GCI elder who has served on the Church’s board of directors for many years. He and Cora are active servants at our New Hope Christian Fellowship in Eagle Rock, California. Our thanks to them for their faithful example, and our deepest congratulations to them for their fifty years of marriage!

I’d also like to draw your attention to two reports from two widely separated areas of our worldwide work. Hector Barrero sends us news from our churches in Chile and Argentina. Kalengule Kaoma, our Mission Developer in Africa, brings us news from one of our most remote and inaccessible congregations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I hope you will take the time to download these two stories and share them with your congregations. It is easy for us to think of God’s work only in terms of our local area. These exciting reports from ‘the uttermost parts of the earth are a reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work in our denomination 24/7.

With love, in Christ,

Joseph Tkach

Bengali Evangelical Association 25th anniversary

We are pleased to announce that the Bengali Evangelical Association recently celebrated its 25th anniversary year of mission work in the villages of Bangladesh.

John and Naomi Biswas

On Sunday September 18, John and Naomi Biswas met together with friends of BEA for an evening of praise, prayer, celebration, fellowship, and dinner at the Elks Lodge in Duarte, California.

This was a milestone event with 130 guests who heard from the keynote speaker Pastor Neil Earle, and the Mayor of Duarte who welcomed all and congratulated BEA on behalf of the city.

The various GCI churches in the area were also well represented by their pastors who gave special prayers and comments. Praise music was provided by the band from Bermie Dizon’s New Life Fellowship church, and a Bengali group, all friends of BEA, who accompanied themselves on their traditional instruments. Dr. Tkach, who was in Australia at the time, sent a congratulatory letter that was read to the guests.


Ordination in Africa

This report was filed by Kalengule Kaoma, GCI mission developer in Africa.

Ministry and church leaders

I recently visited Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo where 26 ministry leaders attended a one day leadership seminar on September 10. Delegates came from three GCI congregations in Katanga Province: Lubumbashi, Kawama, and Kolwezi. All three congregations are in good spiritual health.

Baby welcomed by pastor Justin-Richard Tshibasu

On Sunday September 11, a special guest attended our Lubumbashi congregation. One and a half month old baby girl Mongenu Kazaka attended a GCI service for the first time. Accompanied by her parents, grandparents and siblings, the baby willingly participated in her “blessing of a child” ceremony. She was deep in sleep, but woke up at the end of the ceremony when we clapped to welcome her.

Pastor Tshibasu congratulated by his daughter

After the blessing, another ceremony took center stage; the ordination to the office of elder of Justin-Richard Tshibasu. To show acceptance, joy, and approval of the occasion, selected representatives from the congregations went forward with ululations and sprinkled white baby powder on the new elder, his wife and the officiating elder.

Pastor Tshibasu and his wife Josephine

Bogota, Colombia – Celebrating Marriage and Friendships

This report was filed by Hector Barrero, GCI mission developer in South America.

Last Saturday September 24 at the Bogota congregation we had 46 couples celebrating San Valentine day – which is celebrated this month in Colombia. These couples are the result of about 3 years working to help couples better their marriages. We enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by a group of ladies of the congregation. We also enjoyed funny and edifying activities. Many gifts were presented and there was lots of celebration plus a short meditation on what are the benefits of being married.

Then Sunday, during church services, we also celebrated that God considers us His friends, as He did with Abraham, and Jesus did with his disciples. It was a day to celebrate friendship. Members of the spokesman club presented testimonies of good friendships in their own lives. It really was a day of much celebration.

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Chile and Argentina visit

This report is from Hector Barrero, GCI mission developer in South America.

From September 14 to 16, Paulina and I visited the Santiago de Chile Congregation. It is a group of about 25 people. They always have been a very loving congregation that functions as a big family. Little by little, the Holy Spirit has been transforming them to grasp the love of God in a deeper way. We were surprised by seeing their progress in the understanding and practice of the grace of God. This group meets at Thomas and Miryam Keller’s home. We spent long hours with them sharing a great variety of topics and solidifying our friendship.

We met on Thursday afternoon with the whole group and spent a wonderful time which ended with singing of hymns and praises with all joy.

Thomas Keller, the leader of the group, is a board member of the Chilean-North American Professional Institute in Santiago, which prepares students to become bilingual technicians in business administration. His wife Miryam also teaches at the same Institute. The Kellers graduated from Ambassador in 1994. They have three children: Karina and the twins, Samuel and Kenneth.

The group manifested their gratitude for our visit and their desire for more frequent visits like this one. They also send their regards and we gave them loving regards on your behalf.

From there we went to Buenos Aires where we met Charles and Carmen Fleming to visit the Ezeiza congregation. They are a very loving and united group. Saturday afternoon I made a presentation about what our God and Lord is doing in our congregations in Latin America; then we all made a summary of what God is doing there among them. It was an exercise that motivated them to resonate with the kind of congregation they want to be. On Sunday, Carmen and Paulina presented topics of spiritual edification and I presented one on Romans 5. For lunch we altogether enjoyed the traditional “asado Argentino” prepared by the members. All of them send you their loving regards.







Leading with Jesus

A series of helpful articles on Christ-centered leadership is found at  http://www.leadershipletters.com/category/the-preeminence-and-centrality-of-jesus-christ/. Here is an excerpt from one of the articles:

Divine fellowship was the source of Jesus’ words and works – indeed of His entire life, ministry and leadership – so our experience of Divine fellowship will be the source of all true Christian character, fruit and leadership in our lives.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18, NKJV).

As a result, just as Jesus, through living by His Father’s life, revealed His Father to the world, so we, through living by means of Jesus’ indwelling life, will express His life and being to the world. As Paul testified:

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Cor. 4:10-12).

This is the simple nature of the Christian life: union with Jesus, and living by means of His indwelling life.


Karen Torgerson

Karen Torgerson, wife of our Wisconsin Dells’ pastor John Torgerson, has been fighting a cold that has impaired her lung functions to the point where she had to be hospitalized and put on a respirator. Karen has been losing lung function a little bit at a time for a number of years but has been able to lead a relatively normal life by using a portable oxygen generator. John said that the Doctors do not know at this point if her lungs will return to her pre-cold levels.

Cards may be sent to:
John & Karen Torgerson
4193 6th Ln
Wisconsin Dells WI 53965


Jewel Love

We are very grateful to all of you for your prayers to our faithful and loving God on behalf of my husband, Jewel and our family. While we were staying at the Fisher House, in West Los Angeles, it was very comforting to know your loving prayers were being offered up for us. The good news is Jewel has finished his radiation treatments and we are now back home in Redlands, CA. During his last doctor’s appointment we learned that Jewel’s PSA level had gone from seven down to two. Thank God that was good news. The doctor also indicated that within a month his PSA level should be zero. So continue to keep us in your prayers. Thank you for your prayers, cards, visits and telephone calls.

God’s peace and love to all you,

Lelia Love

Cards may be sent to:
Mr. & Mrs. Jewel R. Love
850 Gail Ave
Redlands, CA 92374-2544