Ministry and math

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Dear praying friends,

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Sunday service in one of the fastest-growing churches in the world

People are hungry for God. The picture above shows Ramesh Richard’s view as he spoke in one of the fastest-growing churches in the world during his recent South Asia trip. He spoke in two of five services which average 20,000 to 25,000 attendees each. At a mega youth conference of 15,000 the church held the next day, around 10,000 responded to his invitation.

From there he went to teach at the first pastors conference held in conjunction with RREACH’s first Chair of Preaching and Pastoral Ministries, established at SAIACS a year ago. The attendance–55–was but a fraction of that at the mega-church. But for Dr. Richard, it was more strategic. The reason is simple: multiplication. Those pastors, by God’s grace, will lead many future churches.

This last week Ramesh gave several “heart message” talks to about 200 church planting leaders from around the world at a Global Alliance for Church Multiplication Forum in Minneapolis, Minn. Their goal is 5 million churches planted by 2020. The corresponding challenge: Who is going to pastor those church plants to long-term health? RREACH’s Global Proclamation Commission is working on that. At the same time the forum was in session, 36 pastors and 18 wives were finishing training in Cuba’s second national Global Proclamation Academy.

That, dear prayer partners, is how God is multiplying the effect of your prayers!

The response has been encouraging. “Your talk was superb today. Superb. Much positive feedback. We thank God for His provision.” And from a media conference in South Asia, “I could see the Holy Spirit working in every word you spoke. I clearly see God’s hand in hand picking you for this year’s conference, and from the feedback we are getting, I am seeing God igniting hearts to move forward in the area of the harvest.”

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate you. Please keep on praying. The Lord willing, RREACH’s board of directors meets this weekend, GPA Mexico begins next week, and we are planning a retreat for pastors and families in a desperately dangerous region.

 

Praying around the world

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Dear praying friends,

We heard from people around the world who prayed for Dr. Ramesh Richard as he spoke to a group of influencers last week—what a blessing and encouragement! “God did speak through me,” he reported. “I sensed it…and so I am told.” May God multiply its impact.

Ramesh is now in the middle of a three-city trip in South Asia. His upcoming engagements include speaking at one of the fastest-growing churches in the region, a mega youth conference, and a pastors conference. Plus, many people wish to meet with him. Praise God for these opportunities! Pray for the right words at the right moments, physical and spiritual protection, and, ultimately, for more people to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ.

We’re excited about the young pastors who have recently graduated from GPA Niger and GPA Mongolia. Please intercede that they will apply what they learned and continue to encourage each other. GPA Cuba and GPA Mexico are coming up.

Also lift up the GProCommission team’s efforts to connect, unite and strengthen trainers of pastors. The range of needs in this area is vast—but God is providing as we pray! An associate who can communicate with a significant language group recently joined in the work.

In his words: Ramesh Richard September update

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Dear praying friends,

Two days in 30 were all I could give to Dallas last month. Fortunately, six of the 30 were spent with Bonnie and son Robby and his family in Greenville, South Carolina. Everyone with grandkids know they energize grandparents while depleting them. They gave me enough joy to bear the intense travel of the month.

It began in the eastern tip of North America—Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. A dozen leaders met to discuss additional initiatives stimulated at last year’s GProCongress. That GProCongress, which you helped support, continues to ripple all over the world with beautiful and fruitful effect.

Speaking over a weekend at Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California, on the other end of the continent, was another amazing experience. Well-trained to listen by eminent preacher Dr. David Jeremiah, God’s people were terrifically responsive.

Soon after I left for a most remote country which most don’t know exists! Broken, but beautiful and beloved, Burundi (Google it!) wore me out. ALARM, Inc. our host, had me speak

  • Sunday—at a three and a half hour service for about 2000 people, involving a one and a half hour message with translation. My voice was already showing weakness.
  • Monday—four hours with 120 select pastors on “Shepherding;” their questions showed much lack of pastoral training.
  • Tuesday—three hours with 80 officers of their police and military sitting together for the first time in their history to uphold both the law and government of the land, hearing about Ethics and Society. Several made public spiritual commitments. That evening with businessmen had a light turn-out, yet many among the few embraced the Gospel.

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    Ramesh speaks with Burundian police and military officers on “Ethics and Society.”

  • Wednesday—three hours with about 200 university students on “Foundations for the Future.” Their questions, too, revealed lack of basic knowledge, but great eagerness.
  • Wednesday evening was my highlight as 100 select politicians from ALL 29 political parties attended a two hour seminar. I don’t know any country where all political parties would attend anywhere together! Several embraced the Gospel.

With my voice totally silent by then, I wondered how I could proclaim God’s Word two more times on the way back. And as I have experienced many times before, God’s strength accompanied my weakness…just for the speaking moment…and then I became weak again. God did it, once more! Thank you for being part of His specific support system in this servant’s life of proclaiming and multiplying proclaimers of God’s Word worldwide.

Warmly,

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P.S. Feeling uncertain about the state of the world? You may find comfort in my reflections from October 2001.

Fruit and floods

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Dear praying friends,

It took Dr. Ramesh Richard 46 hours just to get to Burundi, a beautiful African country scarred by tribal conflicts, but his four days there last week were rich in opportunity. He was invited to preach one and a half hours in a (three and a half hour) Sunday church service, spoke at a pastors conference, and held major, separate sessions with military, police, government and business leaders and students.

We prayed for good attendance and great fruit and God granted these requests. One example: Representatives from all 29 political parties filled the meeting room to hear Dr. Richard speak, and more than 20 of them indicated making major life decisions. Praise Him!

Pray that all of these efforts will result in people finding peace with God and making peace among themselves. Also pray that Burundi’s pastoral leaders will multiply the training they’ve received.

The Lord willing, on his return trip Dr. Richard will stop to speak twice at a fellowship in an influential country. Pray that his voice and energy will hold up. He also plans to meet with RREACH’s Director of Ministries to discuss organizational architecture, ministries integration and project priorities.

The last few weeks we have been praying for flood victims in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, and for mudslide victims in Sierra Leone. We now add flood victims in the Houston, Texas, area to that list. Please ask God for immediate help for all affected, and for many to receive the eternal rescue the Lord Jesus offers. Ask Him to direct and strengthen those giving aid.

Thank you!

 

Receiving God’s goodness

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Dear praying friends,

On a recent flight, Dr. Richard prayed with an airplane seatmate whose mother was dying. A few days later he got word that the mother miraculously pulled through! Thank God for His kindness and pray for the family to continue to experience His loving care.

As national GPAs in Brazil and a special region conclude this week, pray that each pastor will go forward better connected, united and strengthened for ministry. Also pray for blessings on upcoming national GPAs in Niger and Mongolia.

NGPA Banner outside of the dorms.

GPA Brazil banner outside of dormitory

Last weekend Dr. Richard was privileged to speak at Shadow Mountain Community Church, Dr. David Jeremiah’s church in southern California. Praise God for this opportunity and for the wonderful connections he made while there. If you wish to listen to his message, you may access the recorded service at http://www.shadowmountain.org/default.aspx?page=3468.

Later this month Ramesh is scheduled for a pastors conference and meetings with leaders from several sectors in a troubled African country. Please pray for many to receive the Lord Jesus’ favor and for the whole country to experience positive change.

Ten down, many more to go

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Dear praying friends,

RREACH just wrapped up its 10th national GPA of 2017! Praise God for the national GPA team and Dallas GPA grads who have organized this special training for more than 200 pastors in Romania, Vanuatu, Senegal, Guinea, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Argentina and Gabon. Pray for each pastor to remain connected with his national GPA brothers and to grow in preaching God’s Word.

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Young pastors at GPA Gabon

Pray as the team works toward many more national GPAs for this year and coming years. A special GPA venture began over the weekend and GPA Brazil is set to start this week. Please ask the Lord to bring the right 25 attendees to each. Ask His favor and protection on all involved, in every detail. Pray, too, for His provision of resources. With more than double the number of national GPAs being held each year now, we need more than double the funding to support them.

Dr. Richard is on the go the rest of the month, the Lord willing, with speaking engagements in California, Africa and in between. Please intercede for his safety and health, and for his ready use as an instrument in the hands of his Maker.

Thank you for praying!

In his words: Ramesh Richard August update

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Dear praying friends,

“For the first time since 2012 I felt I had a day off,” I told Bonnie early last month. I have had days off, for sure, but the fact that I was not pushing or driving towards any big, future thing was what made me feel this way. I think it was also the point of resuscitation in this five-year voyage. I get to serve Christ at His pleasure in full strength again.

On July 1, Dallas Seminary welcomed me back into full-time faculty duties. What an amazing connection with my alma mater, whose leadership has not only accommodated our original understanding of 30 years ago, but gone beyond it to institutionally and personally support what I can bring to the school in global theological engagement and pastoral ministries. It was intriguing that I hosted a global phone conference of formal and non-formal theological education on the very day of my return to DTS.

I dedicated last month to what we called iA.S.K.—explained in my devotional in our third-quarter RR Crossing magazine. Please enjoy it for your spiritual health. Taking the acronym from Matthew 7:7, I am3Q17 front

  1. Asking for God’s good gifts, especially the Holy Spirit’s empowerment as His best good gift to us;
  2. Seeking first His kingdom—His purposes, priorities and plans for this ministry—while conduct myself righteously; and
  3. Knocking at His door for opportunities big and small, deep and wide, far and near, long and short, even heavy and light. Because much has been given to me, much is required from me.

I also penned First Basic: Confession & Conviction for Missio Nexus, an organization attempting to return the North American missions community to the basics of evangelism, discipleship and church planting at its 100th anniversary year.

2017’s Media Outreach theme media is Peace. I recorded six more short videos for LifeRocks. If you don’t get our bi-monthly videos, weekly thoughts and daily postings, please let us know.

While on a weekend trip to New York to be with my dad and sister, I ended up preaching at a vibrant, international church; I also spoke in Dallas at a South Asian congregation. Both were delightful. I felt like I was in healthy churches with active congregational participation in testimonies, songs, prayer and sharing, all before communion, offering and the message.

These are decisive days for RREACH, moving from waiting (January to June) to asking (July), to prioritizing (in August), to implementing (September to December and beyond)! Every time someone sends a gift or says they pray regularly for me explains so much of what God continues to condescend to do through us, His servants, you and me together. Thank you.

Warmly,

RR

Changing the way people think…will you pray?

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Dear praying friends,

The Lord Jesus gave Dr. Richard some unexpected ministry encouragement during a quick trip to visit his father, Dr. John Richard. He met a man who remembered his talk at a leadership seminar held more than 20 years ago—and the man had been just 11 years old at the time! He also got word that a Christian television station in India is airing his LifeRocks Media Outreach messages daily. In addition to the joy of spending time with his dad, what an affirmation for Dr. Richard that God continues to change the way people think about the Lord Jesus Christ through his personal proclamation!

Will you trust God with us for his upcoming proclamation opportunities, which include Media Outreach message filming, guest-speaking at the church of an internationally-renowned minister, and a pastors conference and evangelistic outreaches in East Africa?

We rejoice in the 29 pastors who graduated from GPA Ivory Coast this month and the 24 pastors who gathered this week for GPA Argentina, which is to run through August 5.

GPA Argentina classroom

GPA Argentina pastors in class

Pray for God’s special connecting, uniting and strengthening for all of our Dallas and national GPA graduates and for current and upcoming national GPA attendees.

Please also uphold RREACH and GProCommission team members and their families, RREACH Board members and their families, and Dr. Richard’s family, especially as many travel this summer. Based in Dallas, Texas, USA; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Beirut, Lebanon; Kampala, Uganda; and many other places, we all strive to serve together for the proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ worldwide.

30 years of proclamation products…and many more, D.V.

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Dear praying friends,

Whew! RREACH is in the last stages of inventorying 30 years of Dr. Ramesh Richard’s personal proclamation products—from books, booklets and articles to audio and video recordings (in every format from beta to digital). We’re so grateful for the volunteers who generously gave time to help pull three decades worth of materials into one central database. Please pray for Dr. Richard and the Ministries team as they strategize creative and cost-effective new ways to use these texts and messages to further proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s hard to believe one year has passed since the culmination of the GProCongress gathering of pastoral trainers in Bangkok. Efforts to follow up with attendees and further mobilize pastoral trainers have been intensive and fruitful, yet the need remains immense. Please ask God to pour out wisdom, power, perseverance and sufficiency on the team. Intercede for more workers to help in this critical aspect of the harvest.

Eight national GPAs have taken place so far in 2017. GPAs Argentina and Gabon are scheduled to begin in the next few weeks.

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GPA Honduras graduates

Pray for all graduates to continue to connect, unite and be strengthened, and for God’s will to prevail as organizers labor to pull off many more national GPAs planned for this year.

We thank you!