2018 Dallas GPA…about to begin!

Dear Praying Friends,

In brief:

  • Praise God! Twenty-four Dallas GPA pastors have arrived; we expect the final two today.
  • Pray for each pastor to acclimate well and for a great first week.
  • Remember Dr. Richard as he prepares to teach at the GPA amid other demands on his time and attention.
  • Praise God for ongoing efforts to connect and strengthen trainers of pastors globally.

The bigger picture:

GPA arrivals

Almost all the pastors have arrived. Praise be to God! Please pray for the two yet on their way.

The Dallas Global Proclamation Academy, RREACH’s premier annual pastoral training event, officially begins Sunday, June 10. Pray for the 26 delegates from 26 different countries to acclimate well to their new surroundings. Pray for patience, understanding and good humor as they learn and adjust to each other’s cultural perspectives, nuances and accents. Pray that they will bond with each other in the Lord Jesus for lifelong friendships and ministry relationships.

Pray also that the pastors will dedicate this time to God and His will for their lives. Each was asked to come with a specific growth goal. Pray that He will accomplish this and far, far more in them. Pray that they will become better proclaimers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Richard is to teach Monday, the first day in the classroom. Please pray that his allergy-compromised voice will hold up. Praise God for the additional time he had for ministry planning after last week’s board of directors meeting and ask for His unceasing direction. Continue to pray for Dr. Richard’s banquet message preparation.

Uphold GProCommission colleagues helping connect and strengthen pastoral trainers in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, Central Europe, the Middle East and North America/Western Europe. We’re still seeking a colleague for Central Asia. Please pray for that need and for the colleagues in other regions considering how they can help in the meantime.

Thank you for praying!

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!

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.

Proclamation reclamation and other good news

Dear praying friends,

The post-GProCongress reclamation of the proclamation portion of Dr. Richard’s ministry is progressing. During a short trip this week, he spoke to a packed college chapel. When he invited attendees to new or renewed relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ, many responded!

The RREACH board is meeting today and tomorrow, and next week Dr. Richard heads to Thailand, the Lord willing, and then to Romania for the final days of the national GPA there. Please pray for the Lord’s special sustenance through a demanding itinerary and a number of speaking engagements.

Two other national GPAs are underway right now: GPA Guinea (Conakry) and GPA St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Pray that delegates in all locations will be powerfully connected, united and strengthened.

We rejoice that 20 pastors now have visas to attend the 2017 Dallas GPA! Thank you for praying, and please continue to intercede for the visa process. We also appreciate your prayers for getting good flights for the pastors. God is providing–ahead of our schedule.

2017 Dallas GPA: Prayer Warriors needed

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Dr. Richard and delegates opening the 2015 Dallas GPA in prayer

Dear praying friends,

Dr. Ramesh Richard and RREACH are seeking ministry partners available and willing to give special, focused, concentrated prayer covering to the 2017 Dallas GPA. Would you consider committing to pray for this effort? For those willing to serve in this capacity, we are asking for the following commitment:

  1. Pray regularly for delegates. We will send a schedule of visa appointments and updated needs and praises periodically.
  2. In May, we will begin sending updates once a week, and during the GPA, three times a week.

Some Dallas GPA needs will be posted on this blog, but more in-depth information will be sent directly to those who sign up to be part of the GPA Prayer Commission. Here’s part of the most recent Dallas GPA prayer email:

  • We have 30 candidates, sixteen of whom have visas. We have someone working with the pastors this year on their visa interviews, since many pastors were denied in 2015 and had to reapply. Unfortunately, the global climate of 2017 is difficult, and we are still experiencing difficulty.
  • Pray for communication with the pastors. We have a few pastors we have not been able to contact in a couple of weeks, by either email or phone. Communication is key in helping them obtain their visas, purchase flights, etc. Please pray for communication barriers to be broken. Pray that the pastors will schedule their appointments ASAP and that we will hear from them soon.
  • Pray for the pastors as they need to raise half of their airfare. Many struggle, since half of the airfare may represent several months’ wages.

One of the greatest needs right now is for pastors to find favor as they apply for visas. (To pray specifically over each pastor applying, please sign up to receive the emails.)

We are in desperate need of faithful, available and willing partners like you to pray for the 2017 Dallas GPA. If you would like to serve in this important way, please email mary@rreach.org. Thank you!

Proclaiming and pastoral training all over the world

Dear praying friends,

rrspeaking2

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!

Grieving and Acting with Hope

Dear praying friends,

Dr. Steve Douglass-Campus Crusade for Christ International/Cru, Rev. Sirikul and Dr. Richard last November in Florida

Dr. Steve Douglass – Campus Crusade for Christ International/Cru, Rev. Sirikul and Dr. Richard last November in Florida

Early this morning Rev. Enoch Yuttasak Sirikul, chair of the Executive Board of Thailand Evangelism and Church Growth Committee, chair of Thailand Campus Crusade for Christ, and national coordinator for the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, went home to the Lord after a sudden, massive heart attack. Please pray for Rev. Sirikul’s family, friends and ministry.

Rev. Sirikul instantly invited Dr. Richard to hold the GProCongress in Thailand after Typhoon Haiyan battered the Philippines in late 2013, requiring the relocation and rescheduling of the event. “[The GProCongress] will be a historic event in the body of Christ for this generation,” he said.

“I am shocked, stunned and terrifically sad,” Dr. Ramesh Richard said. “I’ve known ‘Nok’ for 30 years. He was one of the great leaders of the world and one of my best friends in ministry.” Your committed prayer for God’s total protection and global provision for the fulfillment of the GProCongress and its strategic follow-up is essential during these days. Please remember:

  • Registration and delegates – up to 5,000 of the right pastoral trainers from all areas of the world
  • Speakers, presenters, coaches and follow-up – availability and preparation
  • Funding – God has supplied all the funding needed to meet Congress contract deadlines to date; we anticipate needing another $1.6 million by June 15
  • GProCongress team – creativity, capacity and Christlikeness

Thank you for praying for us during this time of intense grief and action.

 

Dr. Richard finishes final GProCongress recruitment trip

Dear praying friends,

I have just returned from my personal final recruitment push for the Congress. Here are some thoughts for your prayers.

Final vision-casting meeting

Final vision-casting meeting

1) God has brought fine leaders around the table to implement the GProCongress. There are still decisions to be made and actions to be taken, but the general sentiment is that at this point, we have done what can be done.

2) We saw a registrant “uptick” by about 300 in what seemed a few hours! There is a recruitment effort this week in Nairobi among Anglican Evangelical Prelates. Last week a friend made special connections in a major Asian country, and recent visits to Brazil and Argentina have already yielded fruit.

3) Our industrious back office leaders relocated to Uganda from Malaysia while maintaining a torrid schedule; they also negotiated a generous visa policy for Congress delegates with our kind host country—a great answer to prayer.

4) Coordinated follow-up is to be one of the Congress hallmarks. Our fine follow-up team just gathered in Costa Rica for planning.

5) Our Thai hosts are all “pumped up” because this Congress has a vision with action till 2020! Their volunteers are amazing.

We have fewer than 56 days left. Decisions will be made by the thousands…please pray for total protection and global provision. Pray for me since I am recovering emotionally and work-wise (about 100 hours of written labor) from a personal mishap, the theft of my briefcase at an airport–all important, much useful, some favorite, and a few irreplaceable things.

God’s graces kept my passport and credit cards from being in the briefcase, where they normally are!

Thank you for praying.

ramesh

Dr. Richard on a mobilization sprint

Dear praying friends,

Dr. Richard is in a mobilization sprint. After meeting with Latin American evangelical leaders in Honduras earlier this week, he returned to Dallas to assist some dear friends with the memorial service celebrating their young son. He left again yesterday evening for GProCongress vision-casting sessions in three major cities in two South American countries. Praise God for His sovereign care as Dr. Richard travels and ministers in many different ways, and pray that He will continue to be lifted up through Dr. Richard’s life and service.

Ask God to encourage many pastoral trainers in Central and South America to attend the GProCongress, both for their benefit and for the perspective they bring. Also ask Him to provide as they face prohibitive travel expenses to Bangkok. Finally, please remember the following ongoing Congress prayer priorities:

  • Up to 5,000 of the right pastoral training delegates
  • The right coaches and speakers/presenters/discussion leaders and their preparation
  • Praise for over $930,000 given toward the recent Inspirational Challenge
  • Approximately $3.1 million in donations is needed by 12/31/2016 to finish RREACH’s Congress financial commitments

Thank you for praying!

Mobilizing Mobilizers

Dear praying friends,

The road to the GProCongress is not easy, but God is good, faithful and all-powerful, and we can see Him answering prayer daily. Thank you for praying. Twenty-five first-rate leaders of nine SE Asian nations who met with Dr. Ramesh Richard on his last trip have begun implementing plans to mobilize more than 1,000 delegates. Dr. Richard also met with leaders from highly influential believing communities in two other nearby countries. We’re praying for each to send 500 delegates.

Please ask God for clear direction as Dr. Richard considers trips to the Middle East and South America in the next month. Pray for the right people to be available to meet with him and for best stewardship of time, resources, physical health and relationship in the midst of numerous opportunities and demands.

Thank you for continuing to remember Dr. Richard’s family in prayer. Intercede for the Lord Jesus’ protection and peace, and praise Him for His infinite blessings.