Overcoming the Fear Pandemic

Our ministry associate, Dr. Lewis Gregory wrote this article on having a faith-based response to the coronavirus crisis:

The COVID-19 has resulted in worldwide turmoil and panic. It is hard to imagine that a microscopic virus has turned the world upside down. The Coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and the severity of this virus is still uncertain. To be sure, there have been other pandemics and natural disasters that were more devastating, but this one seems to have resulted in a ripple effect that has virtually shut down the entire world. Keep in mind that a “pandemic” is an epidemic that has spread worldwide. Thus, the word pandemic is used because the Coronavirus has now spread across the world. This does not necessarily mean the virus is deadly, although some have died and others will probably continue to die.

These pandemics normally run their course in a number of months. However, the devastation to the world’s economy from the Coronavirus will take much longer to recover, and the cost will be enormous. This is just part of the death and destruction that the Bible warns us about when it says that the wages of sin is death. This death includes much more than just the physical death from the Coronavirus. Death involves loss, which comes in many forms: financial, mental, emotional, etc. Jesus predicted such horrific events would come upon the world. “People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

The COVID -19 has caused people to become fearful and panic-stricken. Therefore, many people are losing control, running scared and becoming very confused. Far more people have been stricken with panic than have actually contracted the virus. More and more people worldwide have become panic-stricken. They are very frightened and worried about the present situation. As a result, many are unable to think clearly or act reasonably. In fact, a growing number of people are too frightened to think or act normally. They have been overcome with panic. As a result, irrational thinking, erratic behavior, and bizarre actions are escalating. This is a recipe for disaster.

Here are some recent examples. A young mother reported the following that occurred on 3/13/2020. “A woman in the grocery store just pushed me and sent my cart rolling away with my young child in it, as she shouted, “DO YOU MIND?!” To further illustrate this bizarre behavior, many stores are selling out of even the most basic products. People are stockpiling everything they can get their hands on. And of course, price gouging is on the rise. A friend shared this from 3/10/2020 “This photo below is from the toilet paper aisle in our local Walmart. The bleach aisle looked just the same. I don’t get it! Why a run on toilet tissue? This is not doomsday! Good grief!”

Becoming panic-stricken can be much more severe than the actual effects of the coronavirus. But it need not be so. Instead, you can turn to the Lord and cast all your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). When the Lord is your Shepherd, you will fear no evil (Psalm 23:4). When your life is founded upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ, you will be able to remain steadfast and unmovable amidst these unsettling circumstances (1 Corinthians 15:58). Jesus Christ will counteract the fear and panic with His perfect peace and rest. He will replace the “spirit of fear” with His very own presence of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He will cause you to think clearly, empower you to do right, and motivate you with His unconditional love. Furthermore, He will supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19) and get you through this terrible situation. You’re in good hands in the Lord!

Dr. Lewis Gregory 3/17/2020

Conference and Birthday

We are thankful for the 22 who attended the March 6,7 Exchanged Life Conference in Pigeon Forge. We concluded our time together with a birthday celebration for Chuck Solomon, who turned 90 on March 8th! chuckgfi@aol.com

International attendees include Ron from Canada and Luciano from Brazil. The Spirituotherapy Workshop runs from today through Thursday.

Happy 90th birthday to our dear Chuck Solomon
Gail And Webster Davault came up from Florida.
She gave a testimony of her Exchanged Life and current “Life Saviour” counseling ministry.

A Spiritual Cure for Depression

Ministry Weekend in Miami

Year in Review

50th Anniversary Banquet

On November 16, 2019 Grace Fellowship International had a thanksgiving banquet to celebrate 50 years of ministry. Over 90 attended the event which included a dramatic presentation by Ron Solomon (Hudson Taylor), testimonies, music and a devotional message by Dr. Phil Jones. To view video recordings of the banquet program, visit the 50th Anniversary landing page: https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/50th-anniversary/

The following article is featured in our current newsletter, Glimpses of Grace.

From Industry to Ministry: The Launch of GFI

In the summer of 1969 Chuck began to have a dis-ease about remaining in industry. Although several years earlier (before God dealt with his life) he would have panicked at the thought of making a living “on the outside,” he now had total peace about leaving and knew what it was what God would have him do; but he had to have God’s confirmation. He had just organized Grace Fellowship International in May of that year, with John Stevens and Dr. Buker as board members, so he thought he should have their counsel, something from the Word, and circumstances. If all of these lined up, he could be pretty certain he was following God’s direction rather than his own.

On approaching the GFI board members, they didn’t say “yes”; but they didn’t say “no” which left him to the Word and circumstances. As he read in the Word all he could come up with was the number 40, which he later found was the number of “experience.” He was coming up on age 40 which fit; but he could have been twisting this around to suit the occasion so he could not trust that either. This meant that he would have to analyze the circumstances to see if they would agree. As he summarized his position, he did not have funds to support his family unless he could find some reserve funds on which to operate as he made the break from industry and transitioned to ministry. If he quit his job, he would only receive vacation pay whereas if he were to receive a layoff, company policy dictated that he receive 11 weeks of pay plus his vacation. However, the company was not in a layoff mode and since it was not likely that management would be in favor of such an option he did not bother to inquire about it.

Chuck began to pray about the situation, then the company needed to lay off some employees. He could have offered to take a layoff to save the job of someone else, however, he told the Lord that he would like for his direct supervisor to come to him with the offer of a layoff. That December, his direct supervisor came to him and said, “Solomon, what would you think about a layoff?” He replied, “I think it’s about time!”

Chuck walked out a free man the next month with no salary and no promise of financial support by a church or any individual. God had called him; and God had set the time, so Chuck was confident that He would pay for that which He ordered! His wife, however, was not so certain; and she retreated to the bedroom to pray it out and search for a job for herself at the same time. After a week or so, Sue was given total peace from the Lord about it as well, and she has walked by his side from that day forward.

Incidentally, God did provide for all their needs as He promised to do in Phil.4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The layoff was in January; and Chuck started full-time ministry in the basement of their home in Lakewood, Colorado on February 1, 1970. At that time they had three teenagers, one of whom was starting college that Fall. When he left his job, Chuck cut his salary almost in half and drew it out of the account where he had placed his severance pay; once the severance pay was exhausted, he continued to draw out the same amount from the GFI account where all gifts were deposited and which the Lord was constantly replenishing.

From the beginning, God began to honor His calling with transformed lives and to provide opportunities to speak in area churches, which resulted in hurting people scheduling appointments. After about four months of operating from their basement, John Stevens, a GFI board member, made it possible for them to have a basement suite of offices within his Savings and Loan building. He, himself, paid the first and last month’s rent in advance — $200!

God’s faithfulness was demonstrated in that they never had a need from that point forward that was not met. In addition to meeting their own personal needs, millions of dollars were supplied to GFI, not only for the initial offices established that year, but for the many related and spin-off ministries that followed.

-from The Story of GFI–God’s Faithful Intervention

Pastor Umar Mulinde Interviews

Fermatas in Brazil

Fermata team in Juazeiro do Norte: Luciano, Elfie, Carlos & Fernanda, and John

John Woodward is in Brazil September 10-21 to co-teach three Femata retreats in the northeast.

For over a decade, Grace Fellowship has partnered with Edmund Spieker (of TransWorld Radio and Churches in Mission) to provide three day retreats for pastors and their wives. See Edmund’s testimony about “helping leaders finish well” that he gave at a GFI banquet: Fermata Ministry

The Lord blessed the first Fermata in Juazeiro do Norte. Over 30 couples were in attendance for the fellowship, worship, teaching and equipping. A new web page was created for follow up in Portuguese: gracefellowshipinternational.com/brazil/ Fermata concludes with a testimony meeting. Many gave heart-felt thanks for the Exchanged Life teaching and resources. The next two events are also in the state of Ceará; they are planned for Guaraciaba do Norte and Fortaleza.

Men’s Mentoring

Conference and Workshop

Spirituotherapy Workshop group

We give thanks for the recent Conference and Workshop in Tennessee. Participants came from Indiana, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia and India.