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

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 November update

Dear praying friends,

I have spent months diving into the five occurrences of our Lord’s Final Commission. I/We must (1) go with the Gospel (Mark 16); (2) proclaim forgiveness (Luke 24); (3) make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28); (4) by the power of the Spirit (Acts 1); and (5) in the way Christ was sent (John 20). What He has said is what I have done at RREACH for the last 30 years, and last month, too!

In South Asia I spoke in two of five Sunday services at the world’s fastest-growing church, each service averaging 20,000. Their pastor has never had formal training for ministry! At a mega-festival, fully half the 20,000 youth responded to my invitation. I proclaim!

Then I headed to RREACH’s first event at our first established Chair of Biblical Preaching and Pastoral Ministries. The South Asia Institute of Christian Studies (SAIACS) is one of the finest seminaries in Asia. Most of the 50 attendees were teachers of preaching and will take this preaching method to their schools. We multiply proclaimers!

Hardly recovered from jet lag, I proclaimed God’s Word through four “heart messages” to the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication in chilly Minneapolis. Their goal? Planting 4 million more churches in the next four years. And yet who will pastor those churches to health? RREACH’s GProCommission addresses the church health side of church growth.

I might as well have stayed jet-lagged! A Middle Eastern country gave me opportunities at its most prestigious university. Sixteen pre-Christ, English Literature students actively wanted to know about the meaning of life, giving me permission at the end of two hours to share my personal conviction about the Lord Jesus. I did, and offered LifeRocks as follow-up.

A pastors retreat in a war-devastated country was the highlight of the month. After several years of frustrated efforts, we received the Lord’s provision in all ways to gather half (32) of all the pastors staying to serve in this sad area, with their wives and kids under 12, for a time of loving refreshment. Although their suffering is far greater than we can imagine, God used His Word through me to encourage them.

This Thanksgiving month, I cannot but thank God and you for helping me proclaim God’s Word and multiply proclaimers of God’s Word through your priceless support of RREACH.

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR

Only God

Dear praying friends,

It’s hard to think of a better phrase than RREACH’s motto to apply to what has been happening in Dr. Ramesh Richard’s ministry.

Only God allowed RREACH to accomplish bringing 35 pastoral couples out of a battle-ravaged nation to a neighboring country for a few days of refreshing. These pastors have remained in dangerous circumstances, willing to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even their children want to stay. And God is using them to bring many to Himself! Praise be to God! Pray for them as they have now gone back to serve.

Only God gave Ramesh two hours of back-and-forth dialogue one evening with 16 bright pre-Christian university students in an international setting. Toward the end, one student asked him directly what gives his life meaning. Ramesh was honored to share. Praise God for this opportunity! Pray for these students to find true meaning in life.

The Lord willing, the first women’s national Global Proclamation Academy will begin next week in the Philippines. The organizing team, master coaches and potential attendees have been encountering many challenges as they prepare. Intercede for God to protect and provide, as only He can, amid health emergencies, mechanical breakdowns, financial struggles and last-minute schedule conflicts. Pray for this to be an unprecedented time of connecting, uniting and strengthening for pastors’ wives and women in ministry. Praise Him for the 20 pastors who recently graduated from GPA Mexico 2.

Thank you for your faithful intercession.

Ministry and math

Dear praying friends,

Calvary Temple screenshot

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.

 

In his words: Ramesh Richard September update

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,

rr-signature-smaller

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

Fruit and floods

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!