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,

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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.

 

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,

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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

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!

 

“This is what God has made me to do”

Dear praying friends,

Great news from Dr. Ramesh Richard in Thailand: “The Lord just gave us a great harvest at a private gathering of about 100 opinion leaders, with 60% being pre-Christian, and all of them want to know about Jesus. Eight or more of them received Jesus today. Follow-up has begun! This is what God has made me to do—Proclaim His Word and multiply Proclaimers of His Word to deliver spiritual health to large numbers of individuals worldwide.”

Dr. Richard also spoke to a gathering of 1,000 Christian leaders about the tremendous need for pastoral training, and this weekend he is to speak to a large group of missionaries in Southeast Asia. Next week he flies back, the Lord willing, in time for the start of the 2017 Dallas GPA. Please ask the Lord to continue to speak through and sustain this “Vagabondslave.”

We’re also praising God for granting 29 pastors the visas they need to attend the Dallas GPA, which begins June 4! Pray for final preparations—on our side to welcome them and on their side to come to the U.S. Pray for smooth and safe travels, protection of loved ones, and a powerful three weeks of connecting, uniting and strengthening.

Please also remember the GProCommission team in their massive post-GProCongress effort to connect and nurture pastoral trainers and pastoral training.

Around the world in seven days

Dear praying friends,

Around the world in seven days…that was Ramesh Richard’s agenda last week. He stopped in Bangkok, Thailand, for three engagements (and a meeting) in one day to remember Rev. Enoch Sirikul, visionary leader and national host for the GProCongress, one year after his graduation to heaven and to encourage believers from across the nation to carry on proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ.

A stop in Romania allowed Ramesh to meet GPA Romania delegates and deliver their graduation message, as well as lecture at a Baptist university in Bucharest. “The Lord has graciously helped me again…through a strenuous schedule and its vulnerabilities,” he said. Praise God for His steadfast care of Dr. Richard. Pray for enduring fruit from these ministry opportunities.

GPAs Guinea (Conakry) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines also finished last week. Please ask the Lord to specially connect, unite and strengthen the pastoral delegates as they return to the demands of daily ministry. On the Dallas GPA front, 22 pastors now have visas! Continue to intercede for those still applying. Also pray for provision as they prepare to come.

Proclaiming and pastoral training all over the world

Dear praying friends,

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Ramesh Richard speaking during a GProCongress Indonesia plenary session, assisted by interpreter Pastor RB

Dr. Richard has just completed his time at GProCongress Indonesia, a follow-up event from last June’s GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers in Bangkok. He spoke twice on aspects of the critical need for more and better-trained pastors to the group of 600 pastoral trainers representing many different denominational backgrounds.

An estimated 300 delegates stepped forward to commit themselves to train 20,000 pastors in the next four years. Not only that, GProIndonesia plans to do its own follow-up with its own budget. Praise God! Pray for them! Pray, too, for Dr. Richard and a number of formal/non-formal pastoral training colleagues as they prayerfully consider strategic next steps in more efficiently and effectively training pastors around the globe.

As GProIndonesia wrapped up, GPA Vanuatu commenced 6,000 km/3,700 mi to the southeast, in another nation of islands. Thank God that the materials shipped there arrived safely. Pray for these national GPA delegates as they meet through March 11, connecting and being encouraged to preach and live biblically.

Back in Dallas, the RREACH team is rejoicing over 14 pastors accepted to the 2017 Dallas GPA who have visas. We’ve booked four of their flights already. Seventeen accepted pastors still need visas, however. Please intercede for the following as they apply:

  • Pastor C (SE Asia): March 8
  • Pastor M (Africa): March 9
  • Pastor E (Africa): declined for visa earlier; applying again March 14
  • Pastor S (Africa): also declined; encouraged by consulate to reapply

Pray for the pastors’ spiritual, financial and physical preparation to come to Dallas. Pastor T (Africa) is having difficulty finding someone to fill the pulpit while he is away.

This weekend, the Lord willing, Dr. Richard will close his six-cities-in-12-days trip by speaking at a church in SE Asia. Please ask the Lord Jesus Christ to sustain him, in order to proclaim Him!