Praise, productivity, peace

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • Praise for one more pastor who has obtained a visa to join us for the Dallas GPA!
  • Praise for a good first semester back in the DTS classroom for Dr. Richard; pray for summer productivity.
  • Pray for GPA Paraguay pastors as they finish and return home and for other GProCommission pastoral training efforts in Latin America.
  • Pray for many to hear about the Lord Jesus in a new way through LifeRocks.

The bigger picture:

LR2018.F002-TN

Another praise: Our newly updated LifeRocks media outreach site has gone live with Dr. Richard’s newest talk on peace. Intercede for many, especially in otherwise unreachable areas, to see these talks and receive the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A 22nd pastor has obtained his visa to attend the 2018 Dallas GPA! Six more are in the visa process. Praise God for His provision in so many ways—available and quality candidates, seven new countries represented, visa approvals, generosity in funding, Master Coach availability, good behind-the-scenes teamwork, and more. Keep praying for the right 25 delegates, their and our preparation (including funding), and those dealing with deep disappointment at not being able to come.

Dr. Richard has completed his first semester back in the DTS classroom after several years in a revised role. Praise God for a good semester and pray for him to find times for focused writing this summer. Pray, too, for his son Ryan and Ryan’s fianceé, Chelsie, as they prepare to marry in a few weeks.

Despite some initial challenges, GPA Paraguay began last week and is set to conclude this week. Pray for God’s protection of and provision for all national GPA organizers and potential delegates. They often face major obstacles. We’re also asking the Lord for fruitful GProCommission pastoral training connections all across Latin America.

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!

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: February update from Ramesh Richard

Last month began with Bonnie’s and my 40th wedding anniversary trip to Costa Rica—on award mileage! We had not spent uninterrupted time away together since December 2015. That was not fair to my beloved, who sacrificed time with me for last year’s GProCongress. Having been born ocean-side in northern California, Bonnie enjoys the beach—the sights, smells and sounds. She is presently stuck with me in topographically-challenged North Texas.

While in Costa Rica, I also enjoyed time of extended spiritual reflection. God has confirmed the re-balancing of RREACH with personal proclamation as the original core from which the rest flows. Not given to just vacationing (send me pointers!), I met with over 50 Costa Rican trainers of pastors, who came together for the first GProCongress follow-up event in 2017. One said, “You lit a fire in Bangkok, and it is spreading all over.” I hope that was a metaphor for flaming enthusiasm, rather than destruction!

2017’s first national GPA began in Romania. Our staff could not go due to health reasons, but I was able to interact with them for extended times by Skype. Pray for the complex national GPA project. We are attempting to more than double the number of in-country events in 2017.

It’s always great to preach at Dallas Seminary, the future of Christian ministry, especially in the US. About 40 guests joined us mid-January for chapel and lunch. In God’s will, I look forward to returning “home” to DTS this fall.

2017’s LifeRocks media theme is “STOP FINDING PEACE.” Jesus says He will give us peace, so it is best to find Jesus instead. I have recorded three talks: The Peace Plot, The Peace Prize, and Stop Finding Peace. Pray this Facebook initiative will have wide, far and big impact—one million users have “liked” our page.

Finally, last month included a trip to Panama for the Lindell/Encircle Foundation, which benefits from the credibility of our trained pastors, who identify economic needs, allowing the foundation to help with monetary support. RREACH helps pastors’ families in zones of persecution, natural disaster and oppression, so God’s shepherds are prioritized in this joint exercise. A dinner in Panama drew 300 guests, 200 of whom were pre-Faith. Before the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and actor Stephen Baldwin shared testimonies, I gave a full-length evangelistic talk. At least two dozen professed a response to Jesus that night; a Dallas GPA graduate’s church is following them up.

I am filled with reverence that God’s people pray for me toward the vision of changing the way large numbers of individuals think and hear about the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for this gift and for the onward journey together this year and beyond.

Tremendous turnout of Nepali pastors; Dallas GPA about to begin

Dear praying friends,

Dr. Richard spent an intense and rewarding day with about 200 Nepali pastors and wives in Kathmandu last week. About 20 GPA Nepal graduates and four Dallas GPA graduates from Nepal were there and expressed deep thanks to him and to those behind the scenes who prayed and worked and gave to send him to minister to them at this very difficult time. Thank you for your part in blessing them.

GProCongress-driven engagements had Dr. Richard in Hong Kong on Sunday; he visits two more countries before he heads back for the Dallas GPA. Strides are being made toward securing a Program Manager by June 1. A significant portion of funds to resource the Congress is needed over the next 18 months, $5 million by the end of 2015. Please continue to pray over these.

The 2015 Dallas GPA—21 rigorous days—is just days away. Praise be to God, 26 candidates, five from new countries, now have visas! Some arrive, the Lord willing, in a few days. Pray the Lord’s protection and provision over them, their families and ministries, and the Master Coaches as they prepare and come. Please also ask protection and provision over the RREACH, GPA and DTS staff involved, and Dr. Richard and his family, who have had many rigorous days getting ready. Thank you!

Preparing for upcoming speaking engagements; GPA host families needed

Dear praying friends,

Although he has scaled back personal proclamation to work toward the GProCongress, Dr. Richard cannot escape his gifting. Please pray for him as he prepares for the following:

  • Six Media Outreach messages for July – December
  • Teaching a DTS class on Thursday, April 23
  • The message for the 2015 Dallas GPA graduation/banquet, June 27
  • Talks for a Chinese Seminarian Conference

Do continue to lift up:

  • Just-launched GPA Peru with 25 quality young lead pastors, and upcoming GPA Indonesia
  • Dallas GPA candidates and the visa process
  • Finding just the right host families for the GPA pastors

Thank you for praying!

A busy, yet fulfilling season; Dallas GPA visa appointments

Dear praying friends,

Dr. Richard speaking at DTS chapel

Dr. Richard speaking at DTS chapel

Thank you for praying Dr. Richard up to and through another key GProCongress planning session last week, a speaking engagement in DTS chapel and lunch for RREACH friends, a RREACH board meeting, and making additional strategic connections. This Friday, the Lord willing, he will speak at Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week and be interviewed live on Moody Radio. Thank you for covering his wife, Bonnie, and the rest of his family in prayer during this busy season, too.

Three 2015 Dallas GPA candidates have visa appointments coming up (one tomorrow); last week one pastor was denied a visa. Please intercede for this pastor as he deals with this discouragement, and for the others as they apply. Pray for the right 25 delegates, and for representation from at least five new countries. Please lift up all Dallas and national GPA graduates and their families as they minister amid the many different pressures of life.