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Greetings from Malaysia,
GCI Malaysia celebrated our Festival 2019 from 26 to 30 September at Seri Malaysia Hotel in Genting Highlands. Around 50 members attended the festival. We had pastor Chanling from Myanmar and Asian Superintendent Eugene Guzon as our special guests. It was a Spirit-filled festival with cool weather throughout.
Pastor GCI Malaysia
Congratulations to Pastor Marty Davey and the GCI Jacksonville, FL congregation, Christian Family Fellowship, for winning titles in the Folio Weekly Magazine, “Best of Jax 2019” awards.
Christian Family Fellowship won fifth place in the Best Church category, and Marty Davey won third place in the Best Spiritual Leader category.
November 24, 2019, Grace Communion Cleveland (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) held an outreach for Thanksgiving Community Dinners. We served a specific area where our church meets and gave out invites to the local food bank.
We delivered 15 meals and had 19 ordered for pick up. We also were able to feed about 50 people including our church members in a fellowship hall provided to us free of charge by a church across the street from where we meet. We consider this a huge success for showing Jesus’ love in our community. Our plan is to stay in contact with the names and numbers we collected and see how we can assist them in the future. To God be the Glory!
Grace Communion Cleveland
Dear GCI Disaster Relief Fund Donors:
On behalf of GCI Bahamas, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the generous donation you sent for our members in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Your generosity helped 13 family units (35 persons) restore a sense of dignity and get back up on their feet again. It helped in providing immediate food and water needs, personal items, shelter in the form of apartment rental, etc., purchase building material to repair our church building in Moores Island, Abaco, as well as a number of member homes on the affected islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
In addition, we were able to assist our pastor in Freeport, Calvin Parker, in purchasing a used car, and we provided new fridges and stoves for 10 members who lost these appliances during the storm (thankfully we were able to catch the American “Black Friday” sale and purchase these items at less than half of what it cost here in the Bahamas.) I share the sentiments of Pastor Parker, who wrote recently, “you don’t know how much this means to us. We are a people most grateful. Please give our love to the brethren.” We receive similar expressions of gratitude almost every day.
We were also able to purchase some basic landscaping tools to assist a member in finding self-employment, and we will be assisting our pastor in Abaco, Joanne Jones, along with her mother and sister in setting up a small grocery business so they can be self-supporting in the future. Joanne’s father, Pastor John Paul Jones Sr., died a few years ago, and her brother, John Paul Jones Jr. died recently and was buried just one week before Hurricane Dorian hit the island. So assistance provided for them is especially meaningful at this time. Your kindness went a long way in helping them feel a special sense of love and connection to our international family.
Again, we say thank you, and may God continue to richly bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert W.T. McKinney
National Director, GCI Bahamas
Regional Director, Caribbean
It is with great pleasure we welcome Robert McKinney and his wife Tania as our new Regional Director of the Caribbean. Robert has served in ministry for over three decades. He currently pastors two congregations in Nassau, Bahamas. He has also served as the National Director for the churches in the Bahamas for a quarter of a century.
My wife and I, along with President Greg Williams and his wife Susan, had the privilege of spending some time with Robert and Tania (along with their children) this past September. We were amazed that everywhere we went on the island people came up to Robert as if they were old friends. Robert kept telling us it is a “small” island. This may be true, but the evidence of Robert engaging the people of his island was inescapable. He is dedicated to loving the people in the neighborhood surrounding his church building and lives only a few blocks from where his congregations meet each week. It was encouraging to see how a parish pastor can impact his neighborhood.
Robert loves to perform weddings – to date, he has performed over 1,000 of them. This ministry has helped him to meet and interact with thousands of people across the island. When we were there, we ran into at least three random couples whom Robert had recently married. Robert also has a passion for young people. His passion and giftedness are so well known in the Bahamas the government appointed him to a Review Board that adjudicates court-related decisions that affect juvenile offenders. Again, the place where these decisions take place is not far from where his church meets each week.
Robert and Tania have three lovely children, one daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. While we were in the Bahamas, Greg and I had the honor of ordaining Tanya as an Elder. I am excited to see how God uses her many gifts and talents.
I am thrilled to work with Robert and to see him spread his wings as he joins Jesus in loving and leading our congregations in the Caribbean. Please join me in welcoming Robert and Tania to their new responsibilities!
With Deep Respect,
Michael D. Rasmussen
Superintendent of North America and the Caribbean
Working alongside Charles and Carmen has been a pure joy. These two servants are fun and deeply caring individuals. They have impacted many with their good teaching and fine examples. This impact will echo through the lives of many people for years to come.
Charles and Carmen Fleming have been more than just a church employee and wife in our fellowship. For me, Charles was not only a consummate pastor but also with Carmen exemplars of a rich marriage in Christ. They were friends who always seemed to be ahead of the curve in understanding theology and rich core of grace upon which proper theology is based. I appreciate that their shared ministry always taught Jesus was the center of God’s plan.
In my time working with Charles, there was never an assigned task that was not handled well and managed to a smooth and fruitful conclusion. It is my heartfelt feeling that he made me feel a real part of his family and he is one of those for whom I can say that I always felt enriched when I was in his company. My only regret is that they live on the other side of the country, which will not prevent me from seeking to be in their company again. Tammy and I pray love and blessings upon this new chapter in their lives.
Join me in wishing Charles and Carmen a wonderful time in their well-deserved retirement. I know that they will stay active in GCI and be a blessing to all they encounter.
Dr. Greg Williams
We are once again asking for prayers for Patama Banks, who was diagnosed earlier this year with lymphoma.
Her husband, Leonard, GCI Pastor in Rochester, NY, sent this recent update for Home Office and GCI members globally to stay informed and keep Patama in their prayers:
Tuesday, December 9, Patama will start the fifth (and second to last) cycle of chemotherapy for 96 straight hours. Please pray for her strength as she suffers the side effects of the treatment. Her last round of chemotherapy will be on December 31.