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!

Balancing needs and realities

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • A pre-Christian couple who attended an event with Dr. Richard has requested Bibles from the believing friends who invited them.
  • Ten pastors now have visas to attend the 2018 Dallas GPA! Four more have interviews next week.
  • GPA Zambia starts March 1; GPA Laos March 8.
  • Ramesh Richard is scheduled to speak at the DTS chapel service Friday, March 2.

The bigger picture:

Just a few weeks ago Dr. Richard talked with a group of pre-Christians in a closed country. He got word from the organizers this week that “by God’s Grace we were able to give two Bibles to two of my colleagues, on their request.” Praise be to the Lord! Please keep praying for these and many others newly exposed to the Lord Jesus.

Another praise: Ten pastors are now visa-approved for the Dallas GPA! Of the pastors who had interviews this week, one was approved, one denied, and one we have not yet heard from. Four more visa interviews are scheduled next week: Pastor M – Senegal, Pastor N – Pakistan, Pastor S – Tanzania, and Pastor J – Bolivia.

GPA Zambia (2) starts Thursday, March 1, the Lord willing, with GPA Laos following on March 8. Each national gathering is precious to attendees and strategic to effectively proclaiming the Lord Jesus to large numbers of individuals. Ask God to bring the right 25 pastors to each, to protect all involved, and to connect, unite and strengthen them for His glory.

Friday, March 2, Dr. Richard is scheduled to speak at the Dallas Seminary chapel service. Please pray for God’s hand to be on him. As many have kindly advised, the process of grieving his dad’s passing will take time. Yet, he also hears his dad’s voice in his head and heart citing John 9:4, “Night comes when no man can work.” Pray for wisdom, peace, energy and patience in balancing needs and realities.

A legacy of love and proclamation

Dear praying friends,

DSC_5608

Ramesh Richard with his dad, John Richard, in 2015

In brief:

  • The Richard family is gathering for John Richard’s memorial services in Dallas this weekend.
  • Dallas GPA visa count: 9. Four pastors are from new countries! Several more pastors, however, have been denied.
  • Dr. Richard is preparing for an international ministry trip in March.
  • The GProCommission team is looking for more GProCentral colleagues, i.e. teammates who personally connect with pastoral trainers and leaders.

The bigger picture:

Dallas services for Ramesh Richard’s father are scheduled for Saturday, February 17. A service in Delhi, India, is set for Saturday, March 10. Please continue to pray for the family. And pray that God will extend John Richard’s legacy of love for the Lord Jesus Christ and passion for spreading His Word, to His glory.

Three Dallas GPA candidates have visa appointments next week: N from Bangladesh, C from Burundi, and S from DR Congo. Pray that they will be able to join the nine already approved, four from the new countries of Gambia, Macedonia, Mauritius, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Seventeen additional pastors are still in pre-visa application stages. Pray for the Lord’s direction and provision as they and we work through the process.

Please ask God to lead clearly as Dr. Richard plans a March trip to South East Asia. Ask for the right ministry opportunities to mature and for Dr. Richard’s capacity for scheduled and impromptu ministry moments while adjusting to the earthly loss of his dad.

GProCommission colleagues actively connect with pastoral trainers and leaders to encourage and network them in their ministries. These regional teammates are a critical element of our strategy to strengthen pastoral trainers to produce 100,000 better trained pastors by 2020. Colleagues are especially needed in South East Asia. Pray for the Lord to bring the right people on board.

Thank you so much.

My hero, my dad

Dear praying friends,

My hero, my dad, D. John Richard, just entered heaven to receive his eternal reward for a full life and fruitful labors (Saturday, February 3, 2018), just 17 days shy of his 95th birthday. It happened very fast. He fell last Sunday, and five times since then. We’re grateful and sad.

I’m headed to Syracuse…just arrived in Dallas last night after 16 nights away. I wrote memories of him on my 15+ hour flight home, having just talked the exact streets and places of youthful life with him.

Please pray for all of us. We have our Christ’s Resurrection hope for His believers-followers…or we would be of all people most miserable!

I borrow from John 1:6: “There was a man sent from God. His name was John.”

Warmly,

ramesh richard