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Passing the Baton in Asia

Dear GCI Friends and Family,

For this issue of Update, I wanted to give the column to retiring superintendent, Eugene Guzon. It has been my privilege and joy to work with Eugene over the years. Lulu, his wife, has been a wonderful partner and support alongside Eugene. Their daughter, Joyce, and her husband, Aron, are vibrant leaders for the present and the future.

During our recent Celebration, Eugene passed the superintendent baton to Danny Zachariah. Eugene emulates the love and patience of Jesus. His commitment and tireless service have been appreciated by the Philippines and the entire Asian Region. I wish Eugene and Lulu much joy and fulfillment in this next stage of life.

In Him,
Greg Williams

P.S. Don’t miss the recordings of the Denominational Celebration in this issue.

I write to share highlights and reflections from God’s work in Asia—a region of diverse peoples, cultures, and spiritual beliefs. A large segment of the population is young. The countries are developing, and resources are scarce. In several areas, Christians are a minority. GCI has been active in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand, with networks in other countries, like Nepal.

I became Asia Superintendent in January 2019. The territory was a new frontier for me with its unique context and geopolitical challenges. An element that characterized this assignment was change. The Healthy Church vision was being introduced. We formed a new Community of Practice (COP) with Danny Zachariah and Wong Mein Kong, who were also early into their roles as regional directors for the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia (respectively). The landscape of the church shifted through COVID-19. It was a time of active learning as we tried to discern and follow where the Spirit led.

Participating together

One of the ways God is moving in Asia is through the people. I am inspired by many committed servant leaders, most of whom are volunteers. God provided them as engines of ministry in our local churches to carry out His mission. We have also been blessed through generous partners from our bigger GCI family and other like-minded organizations.

We are experiencing the value of teams. From the GCI Superintendents and Asia COP to the Philippines National Ministry Team, district directors, pastoral teams, and now the Faith, Hope, and Love Avenues, the team-based culture has been empowering and fulfilling. The process of cultivating REAL teams is not quick or easy, but it is a worthwhile investment and is more reflective of the life of our triune God.

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24 thoughts on “Passing the Baton in Asia”

  1. Thank you Eugene for your labor of love. You have been a source of great inspiration and motivation to me over the years and I wish you (and Lulu with you) rich blessings in the years ahead.

    1. Dear Mr. Guzon,
      It’s hard to believe nearly 24 years have gone by since you prayed for a blessing on our then three month old daughter. As part of a small group of expatriates living in Japan from Canada, the Philippines, and the U.S. you visited us regularly and served us with love, encouragement, much hope and a focus on sharing the gospel with others. Thank you!
      All the best for you and your wife and family. Love and Blessings, Melvin and Carla

      1. Hello Melvin and Carla, It is so good to hear from you. I still remember you and have talked about you in our conversations with our brother Shunsuke Nakagawa in Japan last December. Is your daughter’s name Midori? I am not sure if I remember it right. Please extend my regards to them. It was a wornderful journey with people like you. Praying for success and happiness for your family! Keep in touch brother!

  2. Dear Brother,
    It has been a wonderful privilege getting to know you, Lulu and Joyce. We greatly enjoyed the time spent together at international conferences. As I’ve shared with you before, our fellowship was greatly blessed by the wise and humble leadership you provided in the Asian region. You may have “passed the baton”, but your legacy remains. There will be new and exciting service and mentoring opportunities. Our prayers are with you.

    Love and hugs,
    Santiago and Elke

    1. Hello Santiago and Elke,
      Good to hear from you. Considering the health challenges that you face right now, we really appreciate your love and service to all of us by your regular posts. We also enjoy and treasure your friendship! Praying for your recovery and strength. God bless you brother!

  3. Pastor Eugene and Lulu, We thank you for your example of leadership and love for God. As you begin a new season, we know that God has much more wonderful things for you to do as you partner with him. You are a blessing to us and all who know you. We love you. Blessings and Hugs, Bill and Donna Rae

    1. Hello Bill and Donna Rae, thank you very much for your encouragement! I can feel your friendship and love in those words. We miss you both! Stay healthy.

  4. It has really been a great moment for a man of God through Christ Jesus who has used you from 2019 to lead the flock by his Spirit. We encourage and bless from Zambia

    1. Thank you Alex for your post. Ministry is a gift and I am blessed that through the 33 years of full time ministry, we have experienced His grace as we participate in His awesome work. We are all in this together. All the best!

  5. Thank you both for your many years of service as superintendent of the area. I have fond memories of my visits to the Philippines and appreciate the growth I’ve seen there, both physically and spiritually. May the Lord continue to bless you in his service, as one never retires from that!

    1. Hello Sheila, Thanks! I still remember that time when you visited us here in the Philippines along with Tammy. Very fond memories and I stil remember you both doing your share in the dance floor during our socials. Yes, there is no such thing as retirement in ministry. We participate with Him as long as we live. Keep in touch!

  6. Thank you, Eugene and Lulu. You have participated with the Holy Spirit in keeping the spotlight on Jesus’ Gospel for years. You share the Father’s heart nationally, culturally, and personally. I’m grateful for the times we broke corn bread together.

    1. Hello Ken,
      We had fond memories of ministry together. It is amazing how time flies, but we are blessed because it leaves us memories that have enriched our lives. God is good! It was a privilege sharing corn bread with you!

  7. Eugene and Lulu, thank you for the productive years you have faithfully served as the head of the Philipine work. You have been in my prayers and thoughts and God has answered my prayers, enjoy your retirement. Danny Zechariah, I visited and baptized him and his wife, he is a very intelligent and excellent pastor….all the best. Love, Richard and Joyce

    1. Hello Richard and Joyce, thank you for your labor of love for our church for many years. We enjoyed our visits in Chicago years back and I had fond memories of our chats too. Thank you for your hospitality. We felt so good being part of a big family. We missed you at the last conference. Yes, I agree that Danny is a big blessing to our church. I am happy for him as he takes on this new role.

  8. All the best to the two of you in the next phase of your life. It has been a pleasure to know you and spend brief occasions together. Thanks for your enthusiasm and broad kingdom vision and friendship. May God bless and keep you both in the years ahead.

    1. Hello Phil, our dear mentor and ACCM facilitator. Thanking God for those times we shared in learning in the Philippines and in Thailand. Through your teaching, we have felt your heart. Keep going my friend. We hope that we can visit you in Tasmania.

  9. Thank you, Eugene and Lulu, for your mentorship, generosity and love. It was a privilege working alongside you. Cannot forget the tremendous support you have been to us in the challenges. God richly bless you.

    1. Hello Dan and Mary, I am so happy for you both as you assume this new role. In the last four years as COP, we had many REAL opportunities to serve together, learn together, and experienced challenging times, but those are among the best. Precious. Your help, along with Mein Kong in many ways made me a better servant leader. I have learned a lot from your teaching too. With or without the title, I am willing to help in any way. Keep up the good work! God bless!

  10. Eugene and Lulu, heartfelt congratulations on being a faithful always learning servant leader. I have heard how you often took notes, a trait of being an amazing steward. I join you in prayers for your retirement, as you beautifully write: a new frontier …. where you hope to experience God in fresh ways as you navigate this next chapter. God bless you and yours.

    1. Hello Tom,
      Thanks for your encouragment and well wishes. I did not realize that someone noticed my taking notes at the conferences. That was my way to keep awake! Just kidding. Yes sir, we are looking forward to what good things God has in store for us in this new season. Let us together take note.. God bless you!

  11. Dear Eugene and Lulu, thanks very much for all your love and faithful commitment to serve God and his people during all these years. The seeds you planted around the world keep sprouting, flourishing and bearing fruit, even in Canada. We all love you and wish you the best on the journey ahead as God opens new paths to even greater blessings.

    1. Mi Amigo! Thank you very much for your encouragement and hospitality during my church visits to Toronto. I missed the chance seeing you at the recent conference. We are still looking forward to seeing you again. We had a very nice fellowship with Marinel recently. I am happy to tell you that a few more of our Filipino leaders have just moved to a few places in Canada. May God bless you more to bless others including the new Canadians. Let us keep in touch!

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