The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.—Job 1:21
Dear Friends and Family,
This past season has been a bit of a difficult time for our family. Within a short period of time, 2 of our beloved dogs passed away: one from cancer and one from an unexpected accident. One week later our house was robbed, which according to the police most likely was someone who works with us and we have trusted. Shortly after these incidents, the hardest hit of all arrived when we got the phone call that my dad had passed away.
Below is his obituary:
Gary William Wiencke, age 81, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Autumn Aegis Retirement Community in Lorain, Ohio. He was born August 23, 1938, to Ellsworth and Gladys (nee Pember) Wiencke in Elyria, Ohio. He graduated in 1956 from Berlin Heights High School and came to Lorain in 1957. From 1956 to 1962, he was part of the Army Reserves, obtaining the rank of Corporal. He worked for American Ship Building from 1956 until 1959 and had various other positions for companies such as Great Lakes Towing, Ripple Motors and Lee Wilson Engineering. Gary was also the owner and operator of Quik as a Wink carpet cleaning in Lorain for 35 years, retiring in 2008. He was a member of the former First Congregational United Church of Christ in Lorain and a member of Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Amherst. Gary enjoyed hunting, fishing, and reading. Surviving are his daughters, Julie Bober of Sheffield Village, Jenny (Tim) Riddle of Cornell, Illinois, Jan (Chris) Bailey of Elyria and Jill (Brian) Kanyike of Uganda, Africa; grandchildren, Dean, Aaron, David, Jesse, Rafe, Lillian, Luke, Laylee and Liana; great-grandchildren, Cole, Logan and Olivia; a brother, Chris Wiencke; and a sister, Mary Sartor. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis “Susie” (nee Bohn) Wiencke in 2018 .
We would like to thank all of you who made it possible to return for my dad’s funeral and who have sent kind messages of condolence or flowers.
On a happier note… Before coming to the states for my dad’s funeral Calvary Chapel Fort Portal asked us to help them host a youth camp. Their church has a youth outreach program called, The Lighthouse Club. The club is designed to disciple teens and young adults while also providing fellowship and a safe place to have fun.
The theme of the conference was “Christlikeness”. The topics covered were: Evangelism, Salvation, Baptism, Purity, Self Presentation, and Vision for the Future. Our team from Arise Christian Fellowship was asked to lead worship, to help with the mentoring, coaching, as well as to teach the youth how to boldly talk about their faith to their peers in school. It was a pretty full day, starting at 6:30 am going up till 7 pm in the evening. We started off with a short time of worship and Evelyn, our worship leader, shared a short devotion from 1 Samuel 3 about when God called Samuel. She told the youth that they are never too young to be called and used by God. There is quite the misconception by many in Uganda that you can not be called into ministry unless you are married, so for many of the youth, the idea that they can already be used by God and be active in the ministry is a new concept.
After the main teachings, the youth were divided into different groups to talk about and try to apply what they had learned. Some of the worship team members were coaches, two of the team were judges, also helping as counselors for the kids along with the Youth Camp team organized by Calvary Chapel Fort Portal. By the end of the day, the youth had become like little brothers and sisters, as we had gone through a rather intense day of ministry with them, from devotions to having them watch videos of the Way of the Master to giving them an in-depth study on the meaning of the great commission to taking them through their personal presentations of the gospel. We saw quite a few of them admit to sin and conviction, even saw some tears, while others stepped up to the challenge of the personal presentations with confidence. For us, the most important part was seeing them understand what they had been taught and seeing them bond with each other, which made the whole day. I am also blessed by all our worship team learned and their own personal growth through participating in this youth camp. They are usually called to lead worship and train other worship teams, so this was a bit out of their normal realm of ministry but all the same, God used them and they were happy to join in the other aspects of the youth camp and to play a part in these youths lives.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.
- Praise the Lord for the ministries taking place in Uganda and South Sudan
- Pray for Jill’s family as they mourn the loss of her father and as they try to close up his house.
- Pray for the Kanyikes to raise the funds they need to cover what was lost in the robbery as well as their trip to the USA for the funeral.
- Pray for Arise Christian Fellowship while the Kanyikes are away. Pray for those who will be teaching and for the congregation to remain strong.
- Pray for those who attended the youth camp. Pray they grow stronger in their personal relationships with Christ as well in their desire to share Christ with others.
- Pray for Brian as pastors and leads the ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
- Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.