2018 Dallas GPA…about to begin!

Dear Praying Friends,

In brief:

  • Praise God! Twenty-four Dallas GPA pastors have arrived; we expect the final two today.
  • Pray for each pastor to acclimate well and for a great first week.
  • Remember Dr. Richard as he prepares to teach at the GPA amid other demands on his time and attention.
  • Praise God for ongoing efforts to connect and strengthen trainers of pastors globally.

The bigger picture:

GPA arrivals

Almost all the pastors have arrived. Praise be to God! Please pray for the two yet on their way.

The Dallas Global Proclamation Academy, RREACH’s premier annual pastoral training event, officially begins Sunday, June 10. Pray for the 26 delegates from 26 different countries to acclimate well to their new surroundings. Pray for patience, understanding and good humor as they learn and adjust to each other’s cultural perspectives, nuances and accents. Pray that they will bond with each other in the Lord Jesus for lifelong friendships and ministry relationships.

Pray also that the pastors will dedicate this time to God and His will for their lives. Each was asked to come with a specific growth goal. Pray that He will accomplish this and far, far more in them. Pray that they will become better proclaimers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Richard is to teach Monday, the first day in the classroom. Please pray that his allergy-compromised voice will hold up. Praise God for the additional time he had for ministry planning after last week’s board of directors meeting and ask for His unceasing direction. Continue to pray for Dr. Richard’s banquet message preparation.

Uphold GProCommission colleagues helping connect and strengthen pastoral trainers in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, Central Europe, the Middle East and North America/Western Europe. We’re still seeking a colleague for Central Asia. Please pray for that need and for the colleagues in other regions considering how they can help in the meantime.

Thank you for praying!

In his words: Ramesh Richard May 2018 update

My dear praying friends,
Hurray! On April 30, I finished my first full-semester back at Dallas Theological Seminary, after the administration graciously loaned me to serve the world for the last several years in view of executing and recovering from the 2016 Global Proclamation Congress.

Students at DTS are highly motivated. They sacrifice much in terms of season of life, finances and relationships to attend seminary. One student drove three hours each way from Lawton, Oklahoma, to Dallas for an evening class (6:45pm – 9:30pm), returning very late to his home. That kind of commitment inspires any teacher to do his best. I did not know I missed the classroom so much. So, I am grateful.

Since I “lost” the first quarter of 2018 to travel and my father’s final earthly farewell, I formally began 2018 three months late. I am asking the Lord to compress 12 months of life into nine and create new time for me. This He has already begun to do with cancellations and rescheduling. Again, I am thankful.

The personal highlight of the month was my three days with our pastor-son Robby and his family in Greenville, South Carolina. Joshua (8), Emma (5) and I played chess, laughed, read and told stories. Our Dallas granddaughter, Annika (2) is a daily joy and responsibility for Bonnie and me. I am blessed.

The organizational highlight was a set of two global phone calls with RREACH-related staff based in some ten countries. A two-hour prayer time went by so fast that we are going to make it a quarterly habit. Then came an hour of casting vision to the global team in view of the upcoming five years (2018-2022). Our organization does not waste much time, money or energy, and now has been recognized by non-profit watchdog Charity Navigator as the ONLY “religious” organization with a 100 score for financial health accountability and transparency. Praise be to God.

Dallas GPA planning is in full swing for a busy June. Final visas and US entry still pose a problem. Yet God has intervened in our situation in many times and ways so that we are trusting Him yet again to do what we cannot. He tests the limits of our faith till the final moment. Thank you for being part of this brinksmanship through your faithful prayer.

In the Inexhaustible One,

rr-signature-smaller

Praise, productivity, peace

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • Praise for one more pastor who has obtained a visa to join us for the Dallas GPA!
  • Praise for a good first semester back in the DTS classroom for Dr. Richard; pray for summer productivity.
  • Pray for GPA Paraguay pastors as they finish and return home and for other GProCommission pastoral training efforts in Latin America.
  • Pray for many to hear about the Lord Jesus in a new way through LifeRocks.

The bigger picture:

LR2018.F002-TN

Another praise: Our newly updated LifeRocks media outreach site has gone live with Dr. Richard’s newest talk on peace. Intercede for many, especially in otherwise unreachable areas, to see these talks and receive the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A 22nd pastor has obtained his visa to attend the 2018 Dallas GPA! Six more are in the visa process. Praise God for His provision in so many ways—available and quality candidates, seven new countries represented, visa approvals, generosity in funding, Master Coach availability, good behind-the-scenes teamwork, and more. Keep praying for the right 25 delegates, their and our preparation (including funding), and those dealing with deep disappointment at not being able to come.

Dr. Richard has completed his first semester back in the DTS classroom after several years in a revised role. Praise God for a good semester and pray for him to find times for focused writing this summer. Pray, too, for his son Ryan and Ryan’s fianceé, Chelsie, as they prepare to marry in a few weeks.

Despite some initial challenges, GPA Paraguay began last week and is set to conclude this week. Pray for God’s protection of and provision for all national GPA organizers and potential delegates. They often face major obstacles. We’re also asking the Lord for fruitful GProCommission pastoral training connections all across Latin America.

In his words: Ramesh Richard April 2018 update

Well, I must finally start … 2018.  I needed to find a day to begin and Resurrection Sunday/April Fool’s Day provided a definite marker. Between grief and travel recovery (I actually slept two full nights on the 31st and 1st), I told Bonnie I’m beginning a new day, week, month and … year!

Last month blazed with a two-week, five-country, six-city presence and proclamation.

  • I count all Dallas Seminary opportunities a stewardship and ended my recent chapel talk there with a 1972 photo of two heroes of the Faith together, Billy Graham and John Richard. They both flew to heaven in February, much like they did on an Indian Airlines flight in 1965. Ongoing classroom involvement at DTS has been a wonderful outlet for me to personally proclaim God’s Word.
  • In Singapore, I roomed with a believer who had just lost his beloved Hindu mother. We grieved differently—with and without hope. He has hope for himself, but not for his mom; unlike myself with hope for both me and my dad. I so overlook biblical riches.
  • Two cities in India hosted the final services for my dad. The Lord empowered me for His glory, my father’s honor, the strengthening of believers, and Gospel advance through testimonies to an extraordinary life. I got to preach at a church in Chennai from which I have childhood memories of my father as a lay-leader and where I was spiritually shaped. That experience strangely strengthened my resolve to do all I can until I no longer can to serve Christ—like my dad.
  • I took an overnight flight to Hong Kong for pastoral calls—a couple fighting her cancer; a man fighting Parkinson’s; a man fighting his wife; a couple fighting his health challenge—caring for friends in life’s fights.
  • Finally I wrapped up with 40 hours in the Philippines with key encouragers, the head of the Philippines Council of Evangelical Churches (who has suggested a GProCongress Philippines), and a wedding, before a 36-hour journey home.

In the multiplying of proclaimers of God’s Word, RREACH accomplished the second GPA Zambia, since the first one in 2013 was mostly a failure. Also, GPA El Salvador graduated 19, who met at a beautiful place within 300 feet of a gang murder. God protects.

And God provides … through you … for me to carry on in proclamation and leadership into the rest of 2018. Our Lord has created time before and I am counting on him to do so again, or at least to compress 12 months into nine. Maybe I will get to share how next January. I intend to start the next year on time, the Lord willing. Thank you.

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR

In his words: Ramesh Richard March 2018 update

Dear praying friends,

I do not know how to write a longer note this month, but not for lack of powerful activity. It just has been a personal blur caused by great earthly loss. My hero, my dad, John Richard, died 17 days short of his 95th birthday. And I have been balancing that reality with the need to continue serving God in Jesus’ name, and my father’s too! What a legacy he has left me.

He lived a full life—of faithfulness and fruitfulness—and now has begun to receive the reward for his earthly labors. I could not make it to be with him at his final earthly breath. Upon receiving the news, my first journal entry was simply: “I want to live like my father and die like my father!”

Two U.S. memorial services were conducted. God was glorified, my dad was honored, believers were strengthened and the Gospel was proclaimed. Several pre-Christian friends trusted Christ in Syracuse, New York. And our son Robby preached at his grandfather’s service in Dallas, Texas. Both brought immense joy to earth and heaven in the middle of grief.

Actually, the month began with me doing what my dad would have wanted me to do—addressing 300 some leaders from about 150+ missions agencies. Many leaders and organizations are part of his legacy. I spent four days of writing in a nice Middle Eastern hotel on a friend’s points, but also got to present the Gospel there at a private dinner for 25, where 10 responded with professions of embracing the Good News. Also, I started back in the classroom at Dallas Seminary after a five-year load-restructure around RREACH’s mega-project, the decade-long Global Proclamation Commission. Heavy and hearty follow-up continues deep and wide in pastoral training and biblical proclamation.


…balancing ideas with opportunities and resources with realities…


Two more memorial services for my dad also took place in India. I will write about them next time. You will benefit reading the outpouring of memories from across the world at www.rreach.org. And you are welcome to add your own. There would have been no RREACH without my dad. And RREACH would not continue without you.

I want to thank my family, board, staff and intercessors for your amazing support through the thick and thin of personal and ministry life. We are in the process of balancing ideas with opportunities and resources with realities. I thank you and need your ongoing help!

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR

Visits, visas and vision-casting

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • The Lord Jesus blessed Dr. Richard’s trip with deep connections and re-connections.
  • LifeRocks is getting an update to better engage pre-Christians.
  • We’re celebrating the completion of GPA Zambia and a 14th Dallas GPA candidate visa approved!
  • The GProCommission is developing connections across Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

The bigger picture:

Dr. Richard is en route back to the U.S. after a swift, five-city trip through Singapore, India, Hong Kong and the Philippines. He visited long-time friends, made new friends, cast vision, spoke several times and participated in two memorial services for his dad. He reports that his heart and mind are beginning to adjust after the initial period of grieving. God is using your prayers and expressions of love to help the whole Richard family heal.

RREACH is migrating and updating LifeRocks, our Media Outreach website. Please pray for technological mercies! Also pray for the production and release of the newest LifeRocks video next month. Continue to intercede for more pre-Christians to think more clearly about the Lord Jesus Christ as they view and read our materials.

The fourth national GPA of 2018 is in session. Please ask God to watch over GPA El Salvador attendees and organizers and their families and ministries back home. Praise Him for the 28 young pastors who completed GPA Zambia (2) last week and ask His blessing on their ongoing ministry.

Also thank the Lord for a 14th Dallas GPA candidate who has received a visa. Sadly, another brother who applied this week was rejected. We are waiting to hear results from three others and praying for upcoming appointments for Pastors K from Togo (second attempt), K from Lesotho, and T from Myanmar.

On the GProCommission front, our colleague in Latin America is pursuing partnerships for Spanish pastoral training resources and a mentoring program. Our colleague in the Middle East plans to speak and cast vision at an upcoming conference. Our colleague in Europe is developing alliances with organizations in French-speaking Africa. Please pray for these and for ongoing provision and protection of colleagues and pastoral trainers in all areas.

Thank you!

 

Halfway, underway, upcoming

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • We are now halfway—13 Dallas GPA candidates have visas!
  • GProLearning.org now features 5,667 curated pastoral training resources in 13 languages.
  • GPA Zambia 2 is underway.
  • Ramesh Richard speaks in DTS chapel Friday, March 2, and has an upcoming four-country, five-city trip through Asia.

The bigger picture:

We praise God for the progress in pastors obtaining travel visas to attend the Dallas GPA this summer. Please keep on praying. Pray that those who have been rejected will have peace despite the great disappointment and clear guidance about reapplying. Pray for Pastors D from Niger and N from Indonesia, who have appointments March 7. And pray for the GPA team working tirelessly behind the scenes.

We’re excited about the growing library of curated pastoral training resources at GProLearning.org. Please ask God to lead us to many more excellent materials in many languages, and for volunteers who can help curate non-English language resources. Also continue to lift up GProCentral colleagues as they learn a new process of tracking activity. Pray that this will improve how we serve pastoral trainers even in the remotest areas of the world.

A national GPA is just beginning in Zambia. Thank God for all the effort put into it. Ask Him to bless them with the right 25 delegates, wisdom in managing details, and transformation for the Church in Zambia. Please ask these blessings over upcoming national GPAs scheduled for El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Chile and in an undisclosed region.

Dr. Richard is set to visit five cities in four Asian countries over the next two weeks. We’re so grateful for the travel mercies God has granted him. Pray for continued protection over him and his family as he travels. Pray for his appointments to be productive. Especially remember him as he prepares for two memorial services in India in honor of his dad.

Finally, Dr. Richard is to speak at the DTS chapel service on Friday, March 2. If you’re in the Dallas area and wish to attend, let us know. Thank the Lord for this opportunity and request His hand to be on Ramesh as he prepares and speaks. Thank you!