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

A wave of Resurrection Day prayer!

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • Dr. Richard finally began the New Year!
  • In honor of Dr. Richard’s parents, we’re expanding our care for pastors’ families through The ENLARGE Fund.
  • The RREACH Ministries team prepares for a major project in Africa.
  • The Dallas GPA candidate-with-visa count grows to 16!
  • Above all…

The bigger picture:

GPA El Salvador vista

Enjoy the view GPA El Salvador pastors had. In spite of gang violence in the area, God kept the pastors safe, and 19 graduated last week.

After the whirlwind of the last few of months, Dr. Richard finally found a couple of days for focused prayer and dedication to officially begin 2018. He now has nine months in which to execute 12 months of plans! Prayer support is priceless to him. Please keep on!

Ramesh has long carried a burden to strengthen pastoral leaders and their families, including widows and orphans, in situations of extreme poverty, social persecution and natural disaster. In honor of his dear parents, John and Manorama Richard, he is expanding RREACH efforts in that area with The ENLARGE Fund. Please pray for this endeavor to raise US$1 million this year.

RREACH Ministries team members meet this weekend, the Lord willing, to work toward a pastoral trainers congress in Africa. Much thought and effort have been given to this, and much more is anticipated. Ask God for His wisdom, protection and provision, and that He will use this meeting to strongly move the project forward.

Praise God — we’re up to 16 Dallas GPA candidates with visas! Six represent new countries. We have purchased flights for 10 of them. Twelve more pastors are in the admissions process. Our goal is the right 25 young pastoral leaders to comprise the 2018 class.

Above all: HE IS RISEN!

Let’s create a wave of prayer and worship over the earth this Resurrection Day! From where the sun rises in the farthest East to where it sets in the farthest West, whenever and wherever your day begins, let us worship the Lord Jesus Christ and pray blessing forward on our brothers and sisters whose day is yet to begin. And let us pray for many more to trust Him!

From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

 

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.

Follow-up, fruitfulness, family

Dear praying friends,

The brief:

  • Dr. Richard’s ministry in two difficult countries was fruitful
  • Five Dallas GPA candidates now have visas; 23 others will be applying/reapplying
  • Dr. John Richard (95), Dr. Richard’s father, is ill
  • GPA St. Lucia is in progress
  • High-level security issues forced the cancellation of a national GPA

The bigger picture:

Dr. Richard’s meeting with friends of friends in a restricted area led to good discussion and ongoing interest. He also had a somewhat impromptu opportunity to speak with young entrepreneurs. Praise God and pray for good follow-up and transformed lives.

We thank God for five Dallas GPA candidates with visas. Five have been declined, although four plan to reapply. Pray for the pastor wrestling with the disappointment of not being able to come. Also pray for these pastors with upcoming appointments: T, Cameroon; K, Liberia; E, Brazil; S, Gabon; A, undisclosed.

Dr. John Richard (95), Dr. Richard’s father and “spiritual hero,” is having health issues. Please ask the Lord to watch over him and guide the family in caring for him.

GPA St. Lucia began February 1. Pray that the young pastors attending will be specially connected, united and strengthened. Also pray that a shipment of books they need will arrive in time.

The international events team is aiming for 25 national GPAs this year—a large undertaking. Pray for new ways to establish connections for national GPAs. One scheduled for pastors from a closed country had to be cancelled because of high-level security issues. Please pray for the brothers and sisters courageously proclaiming the Lord Jesus there.

For the very best…of many…everywhere.

In his words: Ramesh Richard January 2018 update

Dear praying friends,

“Happy New Year” seems trite and passé. However, with the Eternal Father of time (in His ownership), above time (in His essence), and over time (in His control), I wish you a Hope-filled New Year.

Immersed in Psalm 90 at the turn of the year, I noticed verse 9: “We end our years with a sigh!” And we did sigh, indeed, in exhaling 2017, and not necessarily with lament, though it was a tough year for some. With gratitude for God’s wisdom in numbering our fast-fleeting and frail days (v. 12), we appeal to God to display His splendor and extend His favor to us (vs. 16-17).


…we appeal to God to display His splendor and extend His favor to us…


I began last month began by personally witnessing to a brilliant airplane seat-mate from Portland to Dallas. He ended up acknowledging his need and affirming his trust in the Lord Jesus. Rejoice with me!

Then it was on to year-end business as our entire board again signed on for the next annual term. We have godly and practical counsel watching over this ministry. Fine Ministries, Operations and Advancement reports affirmed the excellence of this work.

I dashed off on a two-day trip to Costa Rica, where RREACH established a Chair of Biblical Preaching and Pastoral Ministries at ESEPA, a foremost Central America seminary. We wish to elevate the local church and advance the cause of biblical Preaching through key schools like this worldwide. On the flight back, I got to sow seeds and shake the belief of a young, bright Jewish/Costa Rican businessman. We are following up with LifeRocks thoughts and videos.

The month’s ministry highlight was an intense, three-day gathering of our Ministries staff around a singular priority: How do we enhance RREACH’s “I Proclaim” (iPro) core in order to affirm our charter, uniqueness and mission? We are beginning a short-term (2018-2020) balancing for strength and implementation. Thank you always for standing with us.

Very soon, I am to re-enter the classroom at Dallas Seminary. I have enjoyed getting prepared for these educational encounters with the future of the Church, especially in America. I am glad I am able to contribute to this great land, too, in fulfilling the “worldwide” part of our Mission and our Lord’s Final Commission. Thank you for once again being a part of this personal, biblical and global ministry in changing the way One Billion Individuals think and hear about the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR