Letter from Dr Joseph Tkach – May 2014

Posted by colin on June 6, 2014 under Pastor General's Monthly Letter | Comments are off for this article

Letter from Dr. Joseph Tkach


Grace Communion International - Living and Sharing the Gospel

May 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I’d love to share a story with you about a man you’ve never heard of, but whose life has had a lasting impact on GCI. His name is Joseph Dulaney. We remember him because of a decision he made a long time ago – one that has continued to bear more and more fruit for God’s kingdom.

Photo of Joseph Dulaney

Mr. Dulaney was the son and grandson of doctors and became a pharmacist himself, carrying on his family’s medical profession, dedicated to those around him. When he was still a young man, his father passed away and left him an interest in some land. It wasn’t especially valuable, but one day that all changed. Oil was discovered on that property, and suddenly Mr. Dulaney was a wealthy man. His good fortune didn’t alter his values, however; although he retired from the pharmacy, he spent the rest of his life as a philanthropist, managing his wealth to help those around him. For example, he donated the land across the street from his house for a public library and is remembered to this day as a pillar of his town in McKinney, Texas.

How does this relate to GCI, you ask? That story began 48 years ago, when he had an attorney help him draw up documents that directed his trustee, a financial institution, to donate approximately 4% of his trust assets to our denomination every year. Mr. Dulaney was a faithful churchgoer, and he knew he wanted to participate in the work of the gospel here on earth – even after he had passed on. This gift was modest to begin with, but it grew over time and has gone on to bless others more than Mr. Dulaney could have ever imagined.

Scripture reminds us that the future is uncertain. Given the demands of the present, whether in times of abundance or of need, it can be hard to think about the future. I know for myself how easy it is to get caught up in the needs of the moment. When the roof is leaking or the car is making strange noises, I don’t always have the future on my mind! We can sometimes forget to plan ahead, beyond what we can see. But God asks us to be eternity-minded – to look in hope beyond the pressures of the present. So Paul instructs Timothy to teach his congregation ” to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Timothy 6:18-19 NASB).

A powerful example of such far-sighted faithfulness is that of another Joseph – Joseph in Egypt. Joseph was given prophetic insight by God that after seven years of plenty, the known world would be struck by seven years of famine (Genesis 41:28-32). Joseph advised Pharaoh to “look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt” to prepare for the lean years in a time of prosperity (Genesis 41:33). Ultimately, Pharaoh chose Joseph to oversee the reserve of a fifth of the nation’s harvest each year to prepare for the challenges ahead.

Joseph’s faithful dedication of resources to the future had an impact that even he couldn’t anticipate. The famine affected the surrounding nations as well, including Joseph’s father and brothers. Though his brothers had sold him into slavery, God used Joseph’s position in Egypt to save their whole family. Joseph tells his brothers in joy, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:7).

We have no idea how God will use our present faithfulness to bless future generations. Joseph’s wisdom in light of God’s revelation saved countless lives and allowed for the story of God’s chosen people to continue. Just like Joseph in Egypt, Mr. Dulaney was given responsibility by God and managed his wealth wisely for an unknown future. And, as we give, looking forward in hope, we too can step out, believing that God will use what we offer for the good of the church and the world.

The most recent check from Mr. Dulaney’s trust arrived last month. I marvel that these annual payments, which started at only a few thousand dollars, have grown to approximately a quarter of a million dollars. This endowment, set up long ago by someone who believed he could make a difference for the future, has grown greatly over the years and has had untold impact here at GCI.

Mr. Dulaney made a faithful commitment 48 years ago. That investment has continued to grow, and has made possible numerous opportunities for ministry. As soldiers fought in Vietnam, as the Berlin wall fell and as human beings first walked on the moon, Mr. Dulaney’s gift grew and bore fruit. As the gospel work continues on a global scale, I know such a gift will continue to bless future generations as well.

Because of this gift, and ongoing gifts like it, we have been able to sponsor countless summer camps, plant churches around the world and minister effectively in our own local congregations. I hope this story reminds you of the need for a will or a more comprehensive estate plan.  If you choose to make GCI a beneficiary in some way, you can rest assured that your ongoing gift, like Mr. Dulaney’s, will have a lasting impact for the kingdom of God. By planning ahead, you can make provisions for your loved ones, as well as your future participation in the work of this fellowship. If you have questions about ways to give to GCI, please feel free to contact our treasurer, Mat Morgan, at 1-800-423-4444.

I am immensely humbled and grateful when I think of all those who give so selflessly, like Mr. Dulaney and like each of you. We here at GCI take seriously the task of utilizing these gifts in eternity-minded ways, and we know that God blesses this investment in his kingdom.

With love, in Jesus’ name,

Joseph Tkach
President – Grace Communion International

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