Teresa Corti Gutknecht
(September 12, 1944 – April 7, 2011)

We mourn the passing of a dearly beloved sister, author, friend, and teacher, Teresa Corti Gutknecht, who quietly passed to her rest in the Lord Jesus Christ on April 7, 2011. She will be remembered especially for her many inspirational articles and letters, although she was also greatly appreciated for her language skills, teaching, mentoring, and spiritual support at the mission school in Albertirsa, Hungary. Her quiet wit and wisdom, her gentle spirit, and her generous heart will be missed by all who knew her.

Born in Uruguay of European parents, she lost them while still a young child and was raised first by one of her grandmothers and then by an aunt. She lived a life of minimal religious substance well into her middle years, only coming to know the Lord and His peace later in life. Perhaps that is why she valued the truth so much, for she had tried all the world had to offer (including working at the United Nations in New York City as an interpreter) and found no lasting joy in its enticements and promises. She was fluent in Spanish, English, Greek, and French, and called German her “worst” language.

Sister Teresita, as she was called, came into contact with the New Testament when a young student whom she was tutoring in the Greek language told her what he had heard at school about the number 666 of Revelation at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. She had to confess that she knew nothing about the future as revealed in the Scriptures. This led her to begin to search God’s Word with determination and joy. At the same time, a close friend of hers, Sister Elpida Tsouriadou Teske, told her about the Bible classes she was taking. One evening she accepted an invitation to join the small group of believers to study the Bible. She than started to read the inspired writings whenever she had spare time and refused many invitations to parties, preferring to stay at home with the Book. With all her heart, she desired to know more about Jesus. After one year of Bible studies with Brother Benjamin Gramm, who was at that time leading the group of believers in Athens, Greece, she was baptized in the Mediterranean Sea on June 3, 1988.

After some time, she was called to work as a translator at the General Conference in Germany. There she grew in faith and made many experiences with the Lord through contact with His word due to her personal interest and her work. She understood that she needed the new birth and struggled for a year with the Lord, who finally gave her the assurance of His love and forgiveness. She rested in Him when she found the promise in Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When she understood that she was living by grace through faith, she experienced great peace in her soul.

This experience made it possible for Sister Teresita to be able to guide many of her students to the foot of the cross while she was teaching them English in the mission school in Hungary for six years.

After the school closed, she went with Brother and Sister Siegmund Gutknecht to Germany (Brother Gutknecht had been headmaster of the school) to help take care of Sister Gutknecht, who had suffered a terrible accident in a gas explosion and became bedridden at the end of her life.

For a few years, Sister Teresita stayed in Kurhaus Elim, in Nonnweiler, Germany, conducting morning and evening worships; many patients remember the spiritual studies she offered them. For several years, she was part of the Good Samaritan team and travelled to a few countries in Africa, where she was appalled by the poverty and squalor under which the people suffered.

After the death of Sister Gutknecht, she wanted to sup-port and take care of Brother Gutknecht and to help him with some writings of his. He asked her to marry him, which she did. He encouraged her to write her autobiography, telling the story of her life. The title of her book is I Am a Debtor to the Greeks. It can be found in English and Spanish.

She wrote other books in English, Spanish, and Greek, including: The Song of Love; Twelve Pearls from God’s Treasure Trove; Is Death Really a Mystery? The Cross Calls Us; The Truth about Truth; The Revelation, and some poems, etc. For many years, she was a faithful contributor to the Canadian magazine, the Reformation Messenger.

To do as much as she could with her means, she lived a very simple life void of personal possessions beyond what was necessary for day-to-day existence. She even regretted the simple gesture of receiving flowers which were given to her as something of an unnecessary extravagance, although, after expressing her thoughts, she would graciously receive them. While she never had children of her own, she always demonstrated marvellous parenting skills and great love and wisdom in dealing with her students. Her health began to deteriorate a few months ago, but she never lost hope in her Lord. Until the last moments of her life, she cared for the well-being of those around her. During some of her sleepless nights, she prayed and sang her favourite hymns. Sister Teresita will be greatly missed, but “yet a little while” and we will meet again before our King and Father’s throne.




Oh Lord, give me that faith as a grain of mustard,

To be able to move mountains,

So that I may see a broader horizon.

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That enables me to see the invisible world,

That lifts me above all the negative things

My naked eye can see,

And through the prism of Your love

Reveal to me the hues of life.

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That allows me to touch the hem of Your garment and be healed,

That can make me feel the physical presence of Your angels

Camping around me

And get hold of Your hand, not to let it ever go.

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That sharpens my ears to hear the choir of angels

Around Your throne singing Holy, Holy, Holy,

And make me not aware of the strident noises that sur-round me.

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That smells the fragrance of paradise

And leads me to offer You sacrifices

That You will accept as a sweet smell.

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That can taste Your kindness and grace

And treasure Your word “more than my necessary food.”

Oh Lord, give me that kind of faith

That introduces me into Your sanctuary

And keeps me continuously before Your presence,

Acting as the priest You have chosen me to be,

Mediating for the sheep You gave me,

With the love of the Good Shepherd in my heart.

Teresa Corti