2018 Dallas GPA – Week 1

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • Praise God that all 26 pastors arrived and had a great start to GPA 2018!
  • Praise that Dr. Richard’s voice held up during his first day of teaching. Intercede that the pastors will quickly grasp all the teaching and see how to apply it.
  • Pray for the onsite GPA team to operate effectively, efficiently and with excellence.
  • Continue to ask God to provide Dr. Richard opportunities to proclaim the Lord Jesus evangelistically.

The bigger picture:Dallas GPA classroomWe praise the Lord for the trouble-free arrival of all 26 Dallas Global Proclamation Academy delegates for 2018. Please pray that they will enjoy getting to know each other. Pray that the Lord will place them with just the right host families this weekend and next.

Thank God that Dr. Richard made it through his first day of teaching. His voice is still weakened, though, and he would appreciate continued prayer as he is scheduled to teach extra days this year. Please intercede for each pastor to learn well and discern how to effectively apply what they are learning.

Uphold the GPA team onsite at Dallas Seminary and pray that they will operate effectively, efficiently and with excellence, by the power of God’s Spirit. Pray for them to be encouraged even in the middle of pressure.

We’ve seen answers to prayer as Dr. Richard’s schedule fills with speaking engagements. Praise God and pray for other opportunities to expose opinion leaders—the largely overlooked group of people with influence and affluence—to the Lord Jesus in thoughtful and winsome ways.

Thank you!

Some answers to prayer!

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • Answer to prayer: Dr. Richard just completed two undisturbed, productive days of writing!
  • Keep praying for the possibility of a pre-evangelistic event with opinion leaders, people of influence and affluence, in Paraguay and other places.
  • Praise God for GProLearning.org’s growth to 7,142 curated pastoral training resources in more than 30 languages.
  • The Dallas GPA is nearly here; pray for 25 pastors and Holy Spirit-empowered preparation. Also pray for a national GPA in a dangerous region starting June 1.

The bigger picture:

Thank you for praying: Dr. Richard was able to dedicate a few days to writing this week and progressed well on a project. Please ask for his continued creativity and productivity.

Another answer to prayer! A RREACH colleague and local pastor met with a government official in Paraguay interested in organizing a pre-evangelistic event. Thank God for their efforts. Pray for Him to open the door there for Dr. Richard to talk with opinion leaders about life issues. Pray for more such opportunities in other locations, as well.

The resource arm of the GProCommission, GProLearning.org, now features 7,142 pastoral training resources in more than 30 languages curated from around the world. Praise God for the team’s diligence. Please ask Him for good collaboration, creativity and excellent implementation as they continue to introduce the GProCommission and its components to pastoral trainers and leaders globally.

With less than three weeks to go, we are praying for the right 25 pastors to attend the Dallas GPA, held on the Dallas Seminary campus. The count is now 23! Several pastors have upcoming visa appointments. Pray for everyone involved—pastors, RREACH team, Dallas Seminary colleagues, Master Coaches and more—to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit in their preparation. Please also lift up a national GPA starting June 1 in a region dangerous for believers.

Thank you!

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

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

In his words: Ramesh Richard August update

Dear praying friends,

“For the first time since 2012 I felt I had a day off,” I told Bonnie early last month. I have had days off, for sure, but the fact that I was not pushing or driving towards any big, future thing was what made me feel this way. I think it was also the point of resuscitation in this five-year voyage. I get to serve Christ at His pleasure in full strength again.

On July 1, Dallas Seminary welcomed me back into full-time faculty duties. What an amazing connection with my alma mater, whose leadership has not only accommodated our original understanding of 30 years ago, but gone beyond it to institutionally and personally support what I can bring to the school in global theological engagement and pastoral ministries. It was intriguing that I hosted a global phone conference of formal and non-formal theological education on the very day of my return to DTS.

I dedicated last month to what we called iA.S.K.—explained in my devotional in our third-quarter RR Crossing magazine. Please enjoy it for your spiritual health. Taking the acronym from Matthew 7:7, I am3Q17 front

  1. Asking for God’s good gifts, especially the Holy Spirit’s empowerment as His best good gift to us;
  2. Seeking first His kingdom—His purposes, priorities and plans for this ministry—while conduct myself righteously; and
  3. Knocking at His door for opportunities big and small, deep and wide, far and near, long and short, even heavy and light. Because much has been given to me, much is required from me.

I also penned First Basic: Confession & Conviction for Missio Nexus, an organization attempting to return the North American missions community to the basics of evangelism, discipleship and church planting at its 100th anniversary year.

2017’s Media Outreach theme media is Peace. I recorded six more short videos for LifeRocks. If you don’t get our bi-monthly videos, weekly thoughts and daily postings, please let us know.

While on a weekend trip to New York to be with my dad and sister, I ended up preaching at a vibrant, international church; I also spoke in Dallas at a South Asian congregation. Both were delightful. I felt like I was in healthy churches with active congregational participation in testimonies, songs, prayer and sharing, all before communion, offering and the message.

These are decisive days for RREACH, moving from waiting (January to June) to asking (July), to prioritizing (in August), to implementing (September to December and beyond)! Every time someone sends a gift or says they pray regularly for me explains so much of what God continues to condescend to do through us, His servants, you and me together. Thank you.

Warmly,

RR

In his words: March update from Ramesh Richard

Dear praying friends,

Evaluation is integral to all parts of RREACH—to find out what is going well, what is not, how to keep the former going, and how to improve the latter. This exercise is particularly important in the aftermath of the 2016 Global Proclamation Congress, as we project (but not predict) the next five years.

Three major gatherings held in Dallas recently allowed for this kind of assessment and planning.

  • Our GPro Team came from Atlanta, Beirut, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Kampala, Chennai, Costa Rica and Dallas for three days of deliberate planning of a disciplined four-year follow-up. I believe the Lord (and you) would be pleased with its sophistication. Please pray that our implementation with intensity and excellence will bear immense and lasting fruit!
  • Our primarily Dallas-based team met for three days to rebalance the ministry and solve our board’s concern for leadership-level support to fulfill the charter of RREACH—a personal proclamation mission undergirding a global proclamation vision. God has brought two outstanding leaders to serve as Director of Advancement and Director of Ministries. Pray for integration and coordination with both the Dallas and GPro Teams.
  • The final Dallas gathering was a listening exercise for me. One of the unexpected delights of the GProCongress was the spontaneous eruption of interest by formal training institutions from all over the world. Their quality must be matched with the speed that non-formal training offers. Fifteen leaders (from all over the US, South Africa, Taiwan and the UK) met for 36 hours at Dallas Seminary to consider models of formal and non-formal pastoral training. Again, new ideas and initiatives were birthed, for which we need comprehensive resources. Your prayers are critical. Thank you.

Two recent speaking engagements may be mentioned here. I got to address the heads of 200+ institutions of higher education in Orlando, all of whom were quite discouraged. With declining enrollment in on-campus models, they are looking at cessation, mergers and acquisitions. God used me to give them perspective, inspiration and even direction.

Bonnie and I returned to Trinity Bible Church, our home church about 28 years ago, when our kids were very small, attending AWANA, etc., in our very own town of Richardson. The town is not named after me, though I am the son of a Richard! It was amazing to meet old friends again. It seems like we all grew older at the same pace!

Thank you for praying me forward all over our city, nation and world. Your support makes me deeply thankful, but also terrifically responsible, in clarifying the message of Jesus and the Bible everywhere.

Warmly, 

RR