A sleepless but splendid start to 2015

Dear praying friends,

“I am worn out after a rich and meaningful start to the New Year, just like I would want it—my equivalent of a ministry-Times Square ball-drop!” So wrote Dr. Richard after he spoke at a Watch Night service for 2,000 in Chennai, India. (You can watch a brief video here: http://viewpure.com/YSzXech0cMc.) He has since traveled north to Maharashtra State to meet with pastors, cast vision for the GProCongress, and speak at an evangelistic event for business leaders, all organized by GPA grad Pastor A. Early reports indicate that about 110, 60% nonbelievers, attended the evangelistic event. The Lord willing, on January 5 he’ll be off to another city for a spontaneously-organized evangelistic event.

As you remember Dr. Richard and these ministry opportunities in prayer, please also ask the Lord to give him restorative sleep. He managed to get three hours in the first 30 of this trip. Thank you for praying!

Praises from across Africa

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying Dr. Richard across Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia over the past two weeks. Here are a few photos from Uganda for you to enjoy.

rr speaking in uganda

Dr. Richard teaching at the Uganda Pastors Conference

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Dr. Richard speaking to non-believers in Uganda

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Crowd at evangelistic event

gpa uganda pastors

Dr. Richard, Robby Richard and four of our Dallas GPA grads who minister in Uganda

The Lord willing, Dr. Richard will arrive back in Dallas today. He has a busy schedule coming up.

Please pray for:

  • The RREACH Board meetings this week
  • Dr. Richard’s two speaking engagements and trips (within the U.S.) next week
  • Several special gatherings with long-time and new-to-RREACH friends

“We have learned a new thing…”: praise/prayer update from Africa

Dear Praying Friends,

Praise: GPA Mali accomplished!

mali 3Against earthly odds, 21 pastors graduated from GPA Mali last week. Master Coach Pastor MN reported,

It was a new experience which challenged us in a new way. We have learned a new thing to trust God more in hard situations. The world news highlights on Mali: Ebola, Jihaddists, etc., and not enough attendees in the first three days, really shook us. If it were not for Christ’s sake we could have decided otherwise. But now, we have joy and thanksgiving in our heart. As Paul said, ‘We have kept the faith,’ and RREACH has shown how much it cares for the Church of Christ, for it could have cancelled the Mali national GPA.”

“We are thankful to God for His grace, care, protection and provision throughout the whole GPA Mali.

Dr. Richard’s Journey Through Africa

Dr. Richard is grateful for the prayers sustaining him through less-than-ideal circumstances when he first reached Africa. His hosts’ warm spirits blessed him through a busy first few days in Malawi and South Africa. Please continue to intercede for him as he heads, the Lord willing, into a large pastors conference and evangelistic events in Uganda, as well as GProCongress vision-casting gatherings with leaders in Uganda and Ethiopia. Also pray for organizers and attendees.

Thank you for praying!

Prayer needed: GPA in “difficult/dangerous” Mali, Dr. Richard leaving on 4-country Africa trip

Dear friends,

GPA Mali – a difficult and dangerous undertaking

Mali is one of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world for anyone, let mali_small_mapalone Christians. It is also one of the world’s poorest nations. Yet right now, three courageous and committed Dallas GPA grads are holding a national GPA for 21 Malian pastors who have braved threats of terrorism, war and Ebola to attend.

Pastor MO, the sole Dallas GPA grad from Mali (2007), traveled two weeks one way to GPA Togo last September to observe a national GPA in process. He then single-handedly organized GPA Mali, with fellow Dallas grads Pastor MN from Burundi (2012) and Pastor MS from Togo (2013) joining him as master coaches. By the opening day of November 14, only 15 of the anticipated 25 delegates had arrived. Others had started their journeys two days ahead of time, but were still held up by various difficulties. The team worked hard to encourage them to persevere.

“Every day since we came the news is not encouraging,” Pastor MS wrote Sunday. “The state of Ebola is increasing and there is a lot of fear in the city. But because of Christ we are more than conquerors…. I am starting the ‘Scripture Sculpture’ and need your prayers to be effective while teaching.”

Yesterday we received communication from Pastor MN: “We have started well and are grateful to God for His grace. We have 21 ministers of the Gospel. We are thankful for them. However, one has lost a child in his church. Please pray for him and his church family.”

Both expressed thankfulness to be part of the Global Proclamation Commission, serving “among passionate people making Jesus Christ known and the Church healthier by equipping pastors to teach and preach sound biblical messages”–even, and specifically, in Mali. As Pastor MN declared, “May all the glory be to God.”

Please pray earnestly with us for the organizers and pastors of GPA Mali, and for their churches and families.

Dr. Ramesh Richard – upcoming proclamation trip in Africa

Dr. Richard leaves today, Tuesday, November 18, for a 14-day, four-country trip to Southern and Eastern Africa. Please pray that he will be able to meet about 25 key pastoral trainers in each country–Malawi, South Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda–regarding the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers. This weekend he is to speak at an apologetics conference and at Dallas GPA grad Pastor F’s church in Lilongwe. Next week he is speaking at a pastors conference and evangelistic event in Uganda. This will be his first time away from home over Thanksgiving in 38 years. He is also preparing for a number of key engagements taking place immediately upon his return.

Please pray for Christ-likeness, capacity and creativity for Dr. Richard, as well as the Lord’s total protection and global provision on him and all with whom he will come in contact.

A 20th anniversary and a historic first in India

Dear friends,

Thank you for praying for Dr. Richard while he ministered in India earlier this month. We are grateful to bring you the following praises from his trip!

Personal Proclamation:

  • While in India, Dr. Richard was able to see many friends when he spoke at the 20th anniversary of a church plant by Delhi Bible Fellowship, where he served as pastor in the mid-1980s. The church plant had struggled when Dr. Richard was serving in India, but the Lord has been gracious and in the last 20 years they have planted several more churches.
  • Dr. Richard also spoke at a leadership conference, and was thankful that RREACH friend and former coach Del Harris could join him and present a workshop.

Ministry Training:

  • In Bihar State (once called the “graveyard of missions”) Dr. Richard spoke at a pastors conference in Patna attended by 170 pastors and their wives. One of Dr. Richard’s childhood friends felt called to Bihar, where being a Christian meant being under threat in every way. Now, 30 years later, this place is called the “vineyard of missions” and there are 1,140 churches and 110 pastors there! (Pastoral training is of great importance here so that church health can keep up with church growth!)

Evangelizing opinion leaders:

  • RREACH and our partners in Bihar held their first-ever evangelistic event in Patna, attended by 70 people, including 45 unbelievers. Several trusted Christ!
  • At an evangelistic event in Bangalore, a former classmate of Dr. Richard’s responded to the invitation to trust Christ!

Please continue to pray for those who attended events and meetings at which Dr. Richard spoke, that God would continue to use Dr. Richard’s words in their lives to encourage, convict and bring them into fuller relationships with Himself.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer coordinator

P.S. We have updated news on the 2014 Dallas GPA! Click here to see it!

A few updates: India & the Dallas GPA

Dear Friends,

Please continue to pray for Dr. Richard as he ministers in India. He arrived safely and has, among other things, spoken at a pastors conference of 170 pastors and their wives and at an evangelistic event attended by 70, including 15 unbelievers, three who responded to his message. Praise God for these opportunities, and please pray for the Lord to sustain Dr. Richard’s physical health as he has several more full days of ministry ahead of him.

We hope to have a full trip update for you soon. In the mean time, please continue to pray for the upcoming Dallas GPA. We have several updates since our last post.

We have accepted 25 candidates, including 11 pastors who have obtained their visas. Praise the Lord for His provision, and continue to pray that we’d soon have a full class of 25 pastors with visas.

Also, join us in praising God for the following:

  • Pastor K from Togo was able to pick up his visa for the relevant dates without incident.
  • Pastor J from Mozambique and Pastor P from Myanmar were granted their visas.

Please continue to pray for favor during these upcoming visa appointments:

  • March 3: Pastor A from Burkina Faso
  • March 3: Pastor V from Liberia
  • March 13: Pastor G from Cameroon

Please also pray:

  • For God to provide one more master coach to join Dr. Richard in filling out the 2014 Dallas GPA faculty.
  • For God to provide the entire budget for the Dallas GPA by June 28. (The Pastors pay for half of their air travel to Dallas and RREACH covers the other half and all expenses of food, lodging, travel and education during the GPA.)
For His glory,
Edie Ross 
prayer coordinator

From Haiti to you: A Christmas greeting and more

Dear friends,

Thank you for praying for Dr. Richard during his trip to Haiti. He and the team have returned safely and we are excited to bring you a trip report, along with a Christmas greeting sent from Haiti to RREACH friends via email. If you would like to join RREACH’s mailing list, please email me at edie@rreach.org.

The joy of this trip centered upon the multiplication of RREACH training by Dallas GPA graduates to the third and fourth generations.

The team was met at the airport by Pastor V (2009 Dallas GPA graduate). They spent time their first evening in Haiti with Pastor B, a 2005 Dallas GPA grad who was referred by Pastor E, a Dallas Seminary graduate who has worked in ministry partnerships with Dr. Richard since the early 90s.

Prior to coming to the Dallas GPA, Pastor B was already training pastors. But since receiving training on how to create and preach expository sermons, he has multiplied his training and has taught Dr. Richard’s Scripture Sculpture method to 560 pastors each year. Scripture Sculpture also is taught in the local seminary and was used to craft a written sermon that has circulated through the country. It is estimated that this sermon has caused more than 100,000 people to make decisions toward Christ.

The next morning Dr. Richard delivered the keynote address at the seminary’s commencement. Fifty-two would graduate, many at great personal expense. Some pastors traveled back and forth for up to seven hours on extremely difficult roads to attend the two-year training.

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Dr. Richard praying with the graduates

All were bivocational, meaning they would work a regular job, pastor a church and also devote time for the two-year course. The seminary was the vision of Pastor V, and so again, the team was blessed to see how RREACH training was being multiplied.

That evening, Dr. Richard spoke at an evangelistic event attended by 90 people including congressmen, senators, doctors, lawyers, college professors and entrepreneurs. He spoke about passion, mission and vision and challenged the audience to consider how this plays out in their personal and professional lives. He asked them to think about how they could make a difference, encouraging them to make God the passion of their lives. We’ve heard that more than 20 people made decisions to trust Christ that evening!

Sunday began bright and early as the team left the hotel at 5:30 a.m. to attend a 6 a.m. service at the oldest church in Haiti, which was packed full of 1,200 people.

Next, they stopped at Pastor V’s outdoor church — a young congregation.

vijonet's church

Dr. Richard at Pastor V’s outdoor church

Dr. Richard addressed the congregation and Pastor V interpreted. Next, the team traveled to Pastor E’s church where Dr. Richard spoke during two services.

That evening the team had the opportunity to meet up with Pastor V, who shared about his ministry and its joys and challenges. He is responsible for 17 churches and his vision is to not only train pastors, but also to help provide healthcare and life insurance – especially for older pastors –  to assist with medical needs and funeral services.

Dr. Richard with Pastor Vijonet

Dr. Richard with Pastor V

Please continue to pray for the pastors in Haiti, which is still dealing with the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake. (Pastor V still sleeps outdoors while his home is completed!) Pray specifically for pastors E, B and V that God would continue to use them mightily to bring the Haiti people to Himself.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator

Encouraging the hope-less and the faith-full in Haiti

Dear Friends,

Please join with us in prayer today and over the weekend as Dr. Richard and a few RREACH staff and friends travel to Haiti to minister there.

Dr. Richard and RREACH have a deep history in this country that is impoverished materially but blessed with giants of the Faith.

Dr. Richard has made several trips there to train and encourage pastors, including in 2010, just a month after the devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of 300,000 people. He and the RREACH team traveling with him, including Dr. Richard’s wife, Bonnie, went to provide a day of refreshment for Haitian pastors dealing with their own losses of loved ones and physical property while also trying to minister to their hurting congregations.

Haiti 2010

2010 Haiti Trip

Dr. Richard said this of his decision to go then.

Bonnie and I were there … because the pastors had stopped smiling and singing.

During this weekend’s trip, please pray for the following opportunities to proclaim Christ:

Saturday: In the morning, Dr. Richard will deliver the keynote address for the Theological Education Program commencement ceremony. Pray that those attending the commencement ceremony would be transformed and encouraged by Dr. Richard’s message.

That evening he will speak to “hope-less” opinion leaders at an evangelistic dinner. The office of Haitian president Michel Martelly called to inform RREACH’s Haitian hosts of Martelly’s sudden need to go to the funeral of Nelson Mandela, which will cause him to be unable to attend the evangelistic event Saturday evening. Please pray that many opinion leaders would attend, and that many would find hope and place their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday: Dr. Richard will teach from the pulpit during two services at Eglise Baptiste Berée, the church of long-time RREACH friend Pastor E, a Dallas Seminary graduate. That evening Dr. Richard will have a special visit with GPA graduates in the area, who have multiplied their training to the third generation. Dallas GPA graduates from Haiti in 2011 put on GPA Haiti. GPA Haiti graduates, in turn, were inspired to organize intentional pastoral training for 100 specially selected pastors from all 10 regions of Haiti. Please pray that God would use Dr. Richard’s preaching at Eglise Baptiste Berée to impact those attending and that the special visit would be of mutual encouragement and refreshment for GPA graduates and for Dr. Richard.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
prayer coordinator

This, that and a gift idea

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued prayer for Dr. Richard and RREACH! I have some prayer and praise updates and a great opportunity for you to get some Christmas shopping done.

Prayer update: Philippines

Thank you for praying for all affected by the super typhoon that devastated parts of the Philippines. RREACH is working to get aid to pastors there through the Pastor’s Family Care Fund. To hear about the situation in the Philippines directly from Dr. Richard, please see the video below, which was sent out to RREACH friends as a Thanksgiving message. (If you didn’t receive it and would like to be on RREACH’s e-mail list, please email me at edie@rreach.org.)

Please continue to pray for the recovery effort in the Philippines, and specifically for the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, which is inundated with requests for help.

Praise update: Dr. Richard’s Southeast Asia Trip

Before traveling to the Philippines, Dr. Richard spent time in Singapore. He wrote this of his trip there:

In dynamic Singapore, I addressed a denominational convention whose leaders were in great discouragement. Their heyday was in 1978, around the time of Billy Graham’s visit to their ascending city. One member mourned that the committee comprised the same people from 35 years ago!
 
God used me at a preaching clinic for about 50 pastors from seven countries and at a private, pre-evangelistic meeting of about 30 people, half of whom were unbelievers. Three (20%, they noted!) welcomed Jesus, and there was triple joy in heaven. The climactic talk of the week was to 400 church leaders at a pastors’ appreciation dinner—a fine concept for any pastor, any church, any denomination, in any city.

Please join us in praising God for this wonderful and beneficial trip. Pray for great fruit.

Prayer request: Please be in prayer for the RREACH board meetings, which were scheduled for today and tomorrow but have been delayed because of the weather. We are thankful for every member of our board as they faithfully serve RREACH in unique and wonderful ways. Please pray specifically that board meetings later this month would be Spirit-led and that the board would seek God’s wisdom to set the direction of RREACH.

Praise update: Thank you for praying for GPA Ghana. Information about that GPA is rolling in and we’ll have a full update soon. Enjoy this picture of GPA Ghana delegates!

GPA Ghana

Gift idea: We received word from the publisher of Dr. Richard’s acclaimed sermon preparation series that they will be offering the e-book of Preparing Evangelistic Sermons for $3.99 today through Dec. 12 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ChristianBook.com as part of a special promotion.

Preparing Evangelistic Sermons is the partner book to Preparing Expository Sermons (Scripture Sculpture), which in 2009 was named one of the 25 Most Influential Preaching Books of the Past 25 years by Preaching Magazine. In Preparing Evangelistic Sermons, using principles rooted in his seven-step Scripture Sculpture method, Dr. Richard guides the reader through the foundation, framework, method and special issues of preaching salvation.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator

Costa Rica trip praise report

costa rica 2Dear friends,

Thank you for praying for Dr. Richard as he ministered in Costa Rica. Please join us in praising God for His goodness! I am excited to share these bits of good news with you:

Join us in praising God for the 25 pastors from different denominations who came to GPA Costa Rica from around the country. Coordinators reported thatpastors took home a new fervor for expository preaching and also life-long friendships.

Of his experience, one pastor wrote, “In life, I’ve said goodbye to friends, turned around and walked away without knowing when I would see them again. Today, leaving from el Redil [the venue whercosta rica 1e they stayed] I experienced the same emptiness in my stomach—multiplied by 25. I couldn’t avoid the tears and the sensation that a part of me stayed with you all. I am taking you in my heart.”

Another said, “I never thought I would be so encouraged and trained in this few days.”

While in Costa Rica, Dr. Richard also had opportunities to speak at an evangelistic dinner where 500-plus people attended and 50 indicated a decision to trust Christ! He also was able to preach at Sunday morning church services. Please join us in praising God for those opportunities to proclaim Christ.

Also, join us in praising God for His protection of Dr. Richard and those he traveled with. On one occasion, his group was protected from a stray bullet-like object that pierced a billboard seconds before they walked in front of it!

Thank you for your continued prayer for Dr. Richard and RREACH.

For His glory,

Edie Ross
Prayer coordinator