Only God

Dear praying friends,

It’s hard to think of a better phrase than RREACH’s motto to apply to what has been happening in Dr. Ramesh Richard’s ministry.

Only God allowed RREACH to accomplish bringing 35 pastoral couples out of a battle-ravaged nation to a neighboring country for a few days of refreshing. These pastors have remained in dangerous circumstances, willing to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even their children want to stay. And God is using them to bring many to Himself! Praise be to God! Pray for them as they have now gone back to serve.

Only God gave Ramesh two hours of back-and-forth dialogue one evening with 16 bright pre-Christian university students in an international setting. Toward the end, one student asked him directly what gives his life meaning. Ramesh was honored to share. Praise God for this opportunity! Pray for these students to find true meaning in life.

The Lord willing, the first women’s national Global Proclamation Academy will begin next week in the Philippines. The organizing team, master coaches and potential attendees have been encountering many challenges as they prepare. Intercede for God to protect and provide, as only He can, amid health emergencies, mechanical breakdowns, financial struggles and last-minute schedule conflicts. Pray for this to be an unprecedented time of connecting, uniting and strengthening for pastors’ wives and women in ministry. Praise Him for the 20 pastors who recently graduated from GPA Mexico 2.

Thank you for your faithful intercession.

In his words: Ramesh Richard October update

Dear praying friends,

After a summer of prayerful thinking, listening and waiting, consulting and strategizing, I am excited to see God’s next steps and season for RREACH unveiled. We are in our 30th year of ministry, and we build on the past. Anniversaries remind us of how far God has brought us—but they don’t tell us how far we have to go!

Last month I celebrated 50th and 25th anniversaries with ministries akin to RREACH. They are training pastoral leaders who seek to serve congregations all over the world. Fifty, 30 and 25 years ago, we could not have imagined the ways He would enable us to do this.

In the keynote address at the 100th anniversary of Missio Nexus, I had to address 775 leaders of missions organizations representing 30,000 missionaries to return to their first foundation—evangelism. I encouraged them to consider whether we were just doing evangelism by proxy, rather than doing evangelism ourselves. I sensed, and comments confirmed, that God once again used me.

A RREACH donor who also volunteers at a respected and major YMCA asked me to bring their annual breakfast talk. They wanted to “lift the C in the YMCA; to put the C back in YMCA.” A significant group of in the Park Cities area of Dallas heard the message. Would you pray that it can lead to more testifying about the Lord Jesus—the hope of the world!

Video-conferences with the young pastors attending national GPAs in Mongolia and Niger were mutually inspiring. The Church in Mongolia is only 27 years old—younger than RREACH! In Niger, less than one percent of the people claim to be Christian, and they are fragmented by a general culture of distrust. May God enable our GPA grads to bear witness among their people with new strength.

Thank you for walking with me on this challenging ministry venture. You are a critical part of how God provides for us in many ways. A meeting with a dear friend just weeks ago resulted in an introduction that turned into a generous gift of kind to RREACH. Your prayers, introductions, financial support and encouragement carry us. I entreat your generous fellowship for the journey ahead.

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR

P.S. Stay tuned for updates on our international pastors and families retreat and GPA Mexico 2. They’re happening right now!

Pray for pastors!

Dear praying friends,

A vision several years in the making is being realized! The Lord willing, next week RREACH will host an international retreat for about 40 pastors and their families from one of the most turbulent regions in the world. “I am going to be with heroes of our Faith, who have faithfully served God’s purposes and people in their great land during a time of turmoil and need,” Dr. Richard says. He is to fly out this weekend.

They have set a day of prayer and fasting (over at least one meal) for the retreat. We welcome you to join in this. Please ask the Lord Jesus for travel mercies and a deep and rich time of spiritual encouragement and personal refreshment.

The GProCommission team reports similar prayer requests on behalf of pastors around the globe. They desperately need spiritual refreshment and protection, provision, and unity to do God’s work most effectively. Pastors in Mexico are even now gathering for their second national GPA. Would you join us in praying for the health of pastors, churches and societies everywhere? And pray for more individuals from every culture and conviction to come to know the True, Good and Chief Shepherd. Thank you!

Ministry and math

Dear praying friends,

Calvary Temple screenshot

Sunday service in one of the fastest-growing churches in the world

People are hungry for God. The picture above shows Ramesh Richard’s view as he spoke in one of the fastest-growing churches in the world during his recent South Asia trip. He spoke in two of five services which average 20,000 to 25,000 attendees each. At a mega youth conference of 15,000 the church held the next day, around 10,000 responded to his invitation.

From there he went to teach at the first pastors conference held in conjunction with RREACH’s first Chair of Preaching and Pastoral Ministries, established at SAIACS a year ago. The attendance–55–was but a fraction of that at the mega-church. But for Dr. Richard, it was more strategic. The reason is simple: multiplication. Those pastors, by God’s grace, will lead many future churches.

This last week Ramesh gave several “heart message” talks to about 200 church planting leaders from around the world at a Global Alliance for Church Multiplication Forum in Minneapolis, Minn. Their goal is 5 million churches planted by 2020. The corresponding challenge: Who is going to pastor those church plants to long-term health? RREACH’s Global Proclamation Commission is working on that. At the same time the forum was in session, 36 pastors and 18 wives were finishing training in Cuba’s second national Global Proclamation Academy.

That, dear prayer partners, is how God is multiplying the effect of your prayers!

The response has been encouraging. “Your talk was superb today. Superb. Much positive feedback. We thank God for His provision.” And from a media conference in South Asia, “I could see the Holy Spirit working in every word you spoke. I clearly see God’s hand in hand picking you for this year’s conference, and from the feedback we are getting, I am seeing God igniting hearts to move forward in the area of the harvest.”

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate you. Please keep on praying. The Lord willing, RREACH’s board of directors meets this weekend, GPA Mexico begins next week, and we are planning a retreat for pastors and families in a desperately dangerous region.

 

Connect, unite, strengthen

IMG_1055

GPA Mexico delegates

Dear Friends,

GPA Mexico, Nov. 7-16 , was a huge success, and we are happy to share some praises and pictures with you!

RREACH staff who attended GPA Mexico called it one of the best-organized national GPAs with some of the highest caliber pastors. Although only 21 pastors attended (four who had committed were unable to come), RREACH staff members were pleased to see the delegates were younger – many under age 30 and most under age 35.

GPA Mexico

Attending pastors represented churches of various sizes (from 35 members to 1,000 members) and different denominations. They traveled to GPA Mexico from all over the country, some riding buses for 10 to 12 hours just to attend.

“Many of the pastors are missions oriented, both internationally and locally, and several had faced harsh persecution in some of the villages where they minister,” said RREACH special projects coordinator Robby Richard, who attended GPA Mexico, adding that some had been threatened with stoning or being burned alive. “We had a session from an organization that currently is in Mexico with the express purpose of stopping religious persecution.”

Because of Mexico’s cultural diversity, including many different indigenous tribes, Bible translation was another important topic for GPA Mexico delegates. For example, Pastor Rolando (Dallas GPA 2011 grad and GPA Mexico organizer) teaches and preaches in Zapoteco and has only the New Testament in his language. Wycliffe Bible translators taught on that issue at GPA Mexico.

IMG_1009National GPAs are intentionally designed to combine training and fellowship. Delegates are strengthened by training that revolves around pastors’ weekly and primary felt-need for effective preaching undergirded by their basic, daily need of a vibrant biblical spirituality.

At GPA Mexico, one pastor remarked “GPA Mexico has changed totally my vision to the work of God, it has refreshed it and has given me a worldwide and eternal vision…”

IMG_1141

GPA Mexico pastors playing soccer

To connect and unite pastors, national GPAs are designed to keep pastors in near constant fellowship with each other – over meal time, through team-building activities and even in intentional room assignments. Ultimately, pastors are connected to each other and therefore peer-nourished. Christ’s church is unified where denominational and personality differences might have, in the past, caused dissension.

One GPA Mexico delegate commented, “Praise the Lord for RREACH and GPA. Thanks to God that I was elected to participate and have now a network that will be with me during the next 30 years. Now I am not alone.”

Please continue to pray for GPA Mexico delegates as they carry on in their ministries. Pray that the training and friendships they received at GPA Mexico would undergird their pastoral health and that they would multiply the training by sharing it with other pastors.

Also, please pray for GPA Ghana delegates, who just finished up their national GPA. More on that to come!

For His glory,
Edie Ross
prayer coordinator