GCI Update
Connecting Members & Friends of GCI
Header Banner

You’re Invited to Ghana

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The GCI Ghana 50th Anniversary Celebration and Conference is planned for August 18–26, 2024 in Accra.

We would like to encourage everyone who would like to visit Ghana to participate. A visit to the historic Cape Coast “Slave” Castle is part of the scheduled events.

Dr. Greg Williams, GCI President, and Pastor Gabriel Ojih will be joining us in the celebration. They and many other invited guests are expected in the country on Tuesday, August 20, 2024.

The deadline for registration is July 15, 2024. Registration form is here.

We are looking forward to welcoming all interested participants to Ghana, West Africa.

May God bless you for your support.

Pastor Ing. Theo Nii Okai
Ghana National Ministry Leader

 

Devotional—Ordinary Love

“You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out — perhaps a little at a time.” —Wendell Berry

I’m new to my neighborhood. I have high hopes of making new friends and building community. I make eye contact, smile, and greet every neighbor I see. And some of them return the greeting.

But many do not.

“Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself” is a poem by Wallace Stevens. Borrowing that idea, author Greg Boyle describes, in The Whole Language, how we don’t want to settle for a description of the kingdom, we want the kingdom itself.

When I read that, I teared up. It connects very deeply to the longing in me. My desire for connection and unity with my neighbors is a longing for the kingdom itself.

Do you long for more than ideas about the kingdom?

Longing can feel like sadness, but it indicates that there is more — more than ideas. Longing tethers me to hope — hope in Jesus’ restorative, reconciling action in my neighborhood. I hope in the reality that we are created for belonging and kinship.

How do I cultivate belonging when my neighbors don’t appear to want to connect?

I don’t have the answer. Perhaps I will have to live it out, a little at a time.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And he shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14 NKJV

We wait. We pay attention to the goodness of the Lord. We stay consistently available and near. We smile. We will not settle for merely the idea of the kingdom kinship.

Prayer:
Strengthen our hearts, Father. In the face of questions, empower us to be of good courage, Spirit. We are grateful for you, Jesus, our answer. Amen.

By Elizabeth Mullins, Update Editor
Durham, NC, US

 

The Art of Mentoring

Last month, we announced an exciting new resource: The Art of Mentoring.

Join us for this series that shines a light on the impactful mentoring stories within GCI worldwide!

In our second installment, Aron and Audie explore how mentoring was crucial in Jesus’ ministry. They invite us to join in Jesus’ ongoing mentoring and discipleship and to discover how mentoring molds our lives in line with Jesus’ purpose.

Ready to be inspired?

Click here to view the next two videos in the series. More videos will be added in the coming months.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was observed on March 8. On the following Sunday, GCI India held a special women’s celebration. The congregation expressed gratitude for the service and leadership offered by the women of the congregation. The worship service was led by our women. The ladies’ choir led the congregation in a soulful time of worship.

Ms. Selina and Mrs. Joshila Philips gave the messages. Ms. Selina explained how inner beauty transcends external beauty through the examples of Rachel and Leah. She focused our attention on Jesus, who is the portrait of absolute beauty with a gentle and quiet spirit. Mrs. Joshila spoke about the importance of women’s leadership in various aspects of the church, focusing on the example of Deborah. Deborah was an Old Testament judge, prophetess, and military strategist who played an important role in freeing Israel. She encouraged the women of the church saying that God bestows all women with unique gifts. Women are to bring that forth and serve the church and society with their gifts.

Pastor Praveen closed the service with communion. As a token of appreciation for the women of the congregation, a sumptuous lunch was arranged and enjoyed by everyone!

By the GCI India Newsletter editors,

Shanti Nirale

 

 

 

Praveen Kumar Chintha

 

Prayer Request

The following is a prayer request for the family of Takalani Musekwa, the regional director of Southern Africa.

Last month, Takalani and Margaret’s eldest son, Francois, was attacked at his home by armed men, who shot him in the abdomen and leg. They then took him with his car to a deserted spot and demanded a ransom and threatened to kill him if not paid. The car tracker company and the police responded quickly and managed to rescue him.

After spending more than two weeks in the hospital in critical condition, Francois died Saturday, April 6. Our hearts are breaking for the Musekwa family. Join us in praying for them.

Family Day Carnival

In British Columbia, February 19 is a holiday called “Family Day.” It is a day that gives families the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones. GC Surrey decided to host a free “Family Day Carnival” for our community. Our volunteers spent many hours preparing games, distributing over 500 flyers in the neighborhood, and praying for success.

On carnival day, 22 volunteers dressed in bright yellow t-shirts welcomed over 100 guests to join the fun. We offered nine games, face painting, a colouring table, candy jar guessing, popcorn, drinks, and prizes for all the kids. Parents, kids, grandparents, and friends enjoyed the games and hung around to visit afterwards. It was an awesome experience for everyone involved—not only the participants but also for the volunteers who served and loved wholeheartedly in the name of Jesus!

By Job Ayuba, Love Avenue Champion & Associate Pastor
Surrey, B.C., Canada

 

Devotional—Our Advocate

As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and human beings, we can have the role of mediator, helper, and advocate. When someone comes to us with a concern, a difficult situation, a grief or hope, what is our go-to response? So often, my immediate response is to seek to find a solution, to help this person with their problem.

When I take on the role of advocate, mediator, and helper, I may be doing what God has gifted me for and bearing the image of the Spirit within me. But I may also be stepping into the role that the Holy Spirit is meant to play in that person’s life. In doing so, what if I short-circuit the opportunity for this person to have an encounter with our triune God?

It is significant that the Spirit quietly works in every moment, giving us life and breath and holding all things together so that we can live and move and have our being. But the Spirit inevitably points away from self to our Father and his Son Jesus Christ. The Spirit mediates, advocates, and helps constantly, being present to each of us and drawing us into union and communion with the Father and the Son.

What we can learn from the Spirit’s self-effacing way of being is true humility, service, and self-giving love. The next time someone comes to us with a concern, how can we set aside ourselves and our solutions, and point them to our Father and his Son in the Spirit? How might we let God be the one who provides a solution?

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me, and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27 NET

Prayer:
Father, Son, Spirit, so often we seek to be the solution to every problem when that is the role you were meant to play in our lives. Grant us the grace to point away from ourselves and towards you instead, for you are our mediator, helper, and Advocate, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

By Linda Rex, GCI Elder
Nashville, TN, US