Registration Open for Crossing Borders Summer 2019
Crossing Borders provides twice-a-year mission trips into Mexico. Here are some important reminders and requests:
We have openings for anyone age 15-99 to come along on our summer mission trip to Mexico. Our 27th trip will be June 22-30. Please consider for yourself and let others know about this opportunity. Details at: www.cbmission.org
We need a camp host(s) for the summer trip — one or two people to stay at camp on the U.S. side of the border and cook meals and do some laundry. Very important support for the mission trip! Let us know of anyone interested and we can discuss in more detail.
For our winter trip Dec. 6-9, we need additional shoebox gifts for children in Mexico. We thank God for people in various churches, clubs, school groups, neighborhoods who send/bring us shoebox gifts every year. But our number of boxes has decreased lately, and we could use an additional 400-500 boxes. Could you organize a group to pack and send gift boxes that we hand-deliver to needy children in Mexico? For more info, click on Shoebox tab at: www.cbmission.org.
Contact Lee Berger for details at Lee.Berger1@gmail.com or 903-746-4463.
It is with sorrow that we share the passing of Paul Kurts, father of former Southeast Regional Director Paul David “PD” Kurts. Please pray for PD, his family and all those who knew and loved Paul. Many of you have known Paul through the years because of his visits and preaching in GCI. We are deeply grateful for his service as a minister of the gospel and his passionate desire for people to know Jesus Christ and the love of the Father. The following announcement was written by his daughter Allison.
Paul Kurts, 74, of Madison, AL, passed away on May 21, 2019. He was survived by his wife, Pat, and three children, Paul D. Kurts (Emma L. Kurts) of Hickory, NC, Michael S. Kurts of Madison, AL, and Allison K. Meadows (Paul W. Meadows) of Alabaster, AL; his five grandsons, James P. Kurts, Michael D. Kurts, Maxwell W. Meadows, John P. Meadows, Jones W. Meadows; his twin sister, Pattie K. McGee; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Mr. Kurts was a 1966 graduate of Mississippi State University, where he attended on a full golf scholarship and was in the Air Force ROTC. He served in the ministry for 40 years before retiring in 2009. Mr. & Mrs. Kurts were married in 1965 in Jackson, MS, and celebrated their 53rd anniversary last September.
Through the years, Mr. Kurts touched many lives through pastoral care, children’s ministry, and teen ministry. He enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and grandsons, playing golf and giving golf lessons, fellowshipping with his high school friends regularly, encouraging other people, writing about trinitarian theology, composing poetry, and staying busy with his entrepreneurial endeavors. He liked Mexican food, perhaps a little too much, and made the best homemade salsa you’ve ever tasted.
Throughout his entire life, his love and passion for dogs were unparalleled, having cared for many, including Schnauzers, Yorkies, Beagles, Rat Terriers, and Dachshunds. He was richly blessed and will be greatly missed. Plans for a Celebration of Life gathering will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Cards may be sent to:
Mrs. Pat Kurts 243 Rainbow Dr Madison, AL 35758-8776
In the Netherlands, we celebrated two blessings of the children. On April 28 we performed the blessing for Selah Vrijmoeth, the daughter of Jester and Jeanine Vrijmoeth from The Hoeksteen congregation and on May 26 we had the blessing of Ezra den Hartog, son of Matthias and Yvonne den Hartog from The Hoeksteen congregation as well. Ezra is the first grandchild of Hans and Denise de Moei, pastor couple of The Hoeksteen.
We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted. In this episode, GCI Pastor, Judah Dwight Sanders, shares a little about himself and why he likes to serve in GCI and in what ways he connects the most with God.
In the narrative of Jesus’ ministry on earth, there are many stories that demonstrated his profound love for those he encountered. And to be honest, many people he encountered were not necessarily that easy to love. But no other story captures the true depth of Jesus’ love, compassion and grace as that moment when looking down from the cross at the throng of jeering spectators and Roman soldiers, Jesus uttered through his agony the words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Forgiveness in the face of betrayal or hurt is seldom easy for us. The pain—both physical and mental—lingers, and too often our thoughts turn to anger and revenge. After all, somebody has to pay for what has been done to us. The Bible uses the big word “propitiation” to express that same sentiment. “Somebody has to pay.” When Jesus looked out at the crowd surrounding him – and by extension at us – he saw all the hurt and pain that would ever be inflicted upon us – and by us – as a result of the evil in this world. And in his love for us, he became that propitiation.
May we, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, begin to see the people surrounding us through the same eyes that looked down from the cross. To see beyond the evil they may do, and to comprehend the unconditional love held out for each of them, and for us, by the Father, Son and Spirit. The Father’s forgiveness is already ours. May we graciously extend that forgiveness to others.
By Tim Sitterley Regional Director USA Western Region Eugene, Oregon
During the last week of April, Susan and I had the pleasure of meeting several GCI leaders and spouses in Paris. We met with European Superintendent James Henderson (Shirley), National Ministry Leader of The Netherlands Frans Danenberg (Lamberta), National Ministry Team Leader of UK and Ireland Gavin Henderson (Sinead), and National Ministry Leader of France Marie-Angelique Alcindor Picard (Jean-Philippe). Husband and wife team, GCI Treasurer Mat Morgan and GCI Operations Coordinator Pam Morgan also participated in the meetings.
This was our first European Community of Practice meeting. A “Community of Practice” is a group of like-minded leaders who are working together to fulfill a shared vision, support one another, and share resources. These important gatherings are used to share news about our current status (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats); to share lessons we have learned, innovative ideas that may be of value to the group, and to consider ways we can bolster the ministry efforts across the region. We have six such groups in GCI.
This meeting took place in the Picards’ home, where we were given a taste of French life with many delightful foods in the comfortable environment of a private home. James started our time together with communion—always a good and appropriate way to acknowledge the presence of Jesus in our lives and ensuing discussions as we seek to follow him in caring for our churches.
Many gave reports about the status of our churches inclusive of challenges and opportunities. I dubbed 2019 my “Year of Discovery,” and during these meetings, I learned much about our churches spread across the European region (with more yet to learn). As much as growing in understanding of the state of our churches is part of my job, building relationships with the leaders is of equal importance.
Establishing relational chemistry is vital in establishing trust, and it takes trust to form meaningful working relationships that help us to collaborate and experience the synergistic energy of the team. Permit me to share a story that better describes relational chemistry (with permission from Marie-Angelique).
Shortly after James shared communion, the meeting moved to open discussion. Marie-Angelique, who is known for her honesty as much as for her gracious hospitality, openly stated, “We know Joseph Tkach, but you, we don’t know you.” I thought that was fair, and I decided to put my PowerPoint presentation aside. We spent time getting to know each other and I allowed the meeting to follow the course of topics most concerning to the group.
The day after our meetings, we attended the Paris church and celebrated with them in the new hall they were able to purchase. The hall is still being modified into a functioning church facility, but we are excited because it is in a wonderful part of the city. During the service, the members were provided headsets so the French-speakers would be able to hear an interpreter for my sermon message. However, the headsets were not working properly, and prior to my message, Marie-Angelique told me, “We will have to do this sequentially.” This meant I would speak a sentence or two in English and she would then translate in French. Though it seems awkward, the comments from many in attendance were overwhelmingly positive. It appeared to them that Marie-Angelique and I were giving the sermon as one voice and our rapport with one another was apparent. Chemistry and trust were being built.
I spent the final day with James recapping what we had heard and establishing provisional plans for work that he will attend to – though good, a supervisor’s work has no end. My work with our European brothers and sisters will continue as I plan to visit the UK in November. I will sit in as a guest at their Board meeting, and spend time with Gavin in their Home Office. I am also looking to returning to France in 2020 and spending more time in relationship building at their annual celebration in Evian.
I am discovering how wonderful our GCI leaders are, and I continually thank God that he has raised up such faithful men and women for such a time as this.