Thank you for praying for Dr. Richard as he traveled and ministered in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. We are excited to share these praises from the trip!
GPA Dominican Republic:
Dr. Richard teaching at GPA Dominican Republic.
National GPAs are intentionally designed to combine training and fellowship and are focused on younger pastors (in an effort to maximize the number of years they multiply the training.) This combination of training, fellowship and focus on multiplication sets National GPAs apart from other training opportunities.
Because of demographics, church structure and other variables, it is not always easy to find younger pastors in certain countries, including in the Dominican Republic. Organizers had this to say:
It was very challenging at first for us to be able to register 25 pastors under 40 years of age. We have very few pastors in all the country with this requirement. A couple of days before starting we thought it was not going to be possible but God granted us the privilege of having 25 young pastors in the Academy.
Regarding the training received, pastors said Dr. Richard’s Scripture Sculpture method of preparing and preaching expository sermons was very relevant to their ministries.
In terms of connecting and uniting the pastors, GPA Dominican Republic organizers put together a game of baseball, which thrilled participants—some who had not had the opportunity to play for years. It was such a treat that it became one of the things the pastors “wrote home” about.
Bonding via baseball.
“I grew up next to a baseball field,” Pastor U said. “I used to play every day but I had 10 years without doing it. My family was happy when I called them the day we were playing and gave them the news.”
Several of the pastors remarked on the way the GPA—through activities like the baseball game—brought together pastors of different denominations.
“It was amazing to have the opportunity to share with pastors from other denominations and see so many things we all have in common,” Pastor R said. “It was good to blow away the prejudice among denominations.”
RREACH encourages national GPA organizers to allow wives to attend over the weekend, and GPA Dominican Republic drew 21 wives – the most of any national GPA so far!
Some wives called the national GPA “another honeymoon,” and said it was an excellent opportunity to learn and share with their husbands without distractions.
Please continue to pray for the pastors who attended GPA Dominican Republic as they return to their ministries and apply what they learned.
Cuba Pastors Conference
In Cuba where the average income is $20 a month, there is a stark contrast between tourist and government areas and the rest of the country. While the population of Cuba is declining, the number of Christians is increasing!
The pastors conference, which drew 300 pastors and their wives, had a grand opening with bagpipes, an orchestra and dancing. David, who translated for Dr. Richard, had translated for Dr. John Richard (Dr. Richard’s father) 20 years ago!
The pastors were eager to learn and were a true blessing to Dr. Richard. Please continue to pray for these faithful men ministering in difficult circumstances.
Thank you for your continued prayer for Dr. Richard and RREACH.
For His glory,