Dear new friends!
This is my inaugural contribution to the Reach and with just five weeks under my belt as executive director of World Outreach, many “firsts” have taken place surfacing three repeating themes: Thankfulness, Calling, and Together.
My first order of business was to attend General Assembly in Memphis, TN last month. My wife, Rachel, and I loved immersing ourselves in a multitude of introductions on stage and off that week. To be physically surrounded by heaven’s ambassadors, those who love the Lord and are passionately committed to building His kingdom drew our hearts to a deeper place of thankfulness, confirmation, and worship. In this age of COVID and clouds of uncertainty constantly hovering, moments to be together are a true gift that we no longer can take for granted. Thank you to Second Presbyterian for hosting so well, the office of the General Assembly staff, and all the volunteers and officers for making our first GA a time of great blessing. A special thanks to the worship team for ushering us onto holy ground, lifting our eyes and hearts to Jesus with profound artful excellence that had Rachel and I wiping tears away every session. With this GA headlined by significant transitions the importance of God’s calling was heavily underscored in my mind, both our calling to follow Jesus and also our calling in how we serve Him. Listening to the many highlighted, divine moments of Jeff Jeremiah’s tenure prompted a recurring echo in me, “Only God.” Only God could know how Jeff’s experiences, gifts and talents would be utilized to meet the needs of the EPC so specifically.
Whether it was praising God for His work in and through Jeff, witnessing the vows being taken by Dean Weaver, the commissioning of seven new World Outreach workers, hearing the faith testimony of a new pastor during a “chance” lunch under the tent, or even examining my own calling and presence at GA, the same phrase reverberated again and again, “Only God.” Only God could orchestrate all of this. Only God would call me here. Only God would call all of us to worship and serve together side by side.
Though we had the privilege of meeting some of our global workers at GA, many could not attend. So two weeks ago Rachel and I had the joy of meeting many more for the first time during July’s “Global Huddle,” a quarterly virtual gathering, where we had a chance to visit face to face by computer. To accommodate our global workers in different time zones we held six Zoom gatherings starting at 6am and ended after 10pm:
- South Asia
- Central Asia
- Middle East & Africa
- East Asia
- South East Asia
Listening to the trials and triumphs of our workers serving in sensitive areas of the world fills us with gratitude, awe, and reflexively drops us to our knees in prayer to praise God for what He’s doing and intercede for changes and transformation only He can make.
We continue to be impressed with the ministry and reach World Outreach has had to this point. The quality, depth and wisdom of the people who have made World Outreach what it is today, is a testimony that again, rings the response, “Only God.” Seeking to steward the ministry forward in the best way possible will require a lot of learning for me as a newcomer. Toward that end I openly invite your input. I’m eager to meet with you, pastors and mission leaders, to get to know you, your ministry and how I and World Outreach can serve you best.
I am thrilled to serve together with you toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this new season, to stand together with one spirit and one purpose, and fight together for the faith, which is the Good News.
Grateful to link arms with you,
Gabriel de Guia
Executive Director of World Outreach
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.”
If you missed out on World Outreach events at General Assembly, you can still catch some of them online! Spend some time in the Word with former director, Phil Linton; catch the World Outreach Report to General Assembly; watch the World Outreach Banquet, and listen to the Israel of God Leadership Institute workshop. Email us to receive more information about the global workers appointed there!
Interested in getting to know World Outreach’s new Executive Director? Check out this article from EPConnection for more information on his past ministry experience, the de Guia family, and the confirmation of God’s call to this position. You can also email us to receive a link to the de Guia’s Network Lunch at General Assembly.
Prayer is one of the most important ways we can support global workers as they share the love of Christ to those that have not heard. If you feel led to pray for our workers, we encourage you to join the EPC World Outreach Missionary Prayer Network (MPN). Click here to learn more about the MPN and sign up to become a prayer intercessor.