News from the GProCongress frontline: “Just heard that 30 pastors just received visas in Kenya, with more to come. Twenty-two pastors from Benin received visas in Senegal, even though they were to go to Nigeria! Wonderful miracles are happening, praise God together.” However, we’re also hearing from pastoral trainers in countries where visas are being denied.
Your prayers are vital, please keep on. Many pastoral trainers long to attend the GProCongress yet face visa, financial, health, transportation and other challenges. Pray that the Lord will provide and protect in such a way that their faith will be strengthened and His name lifted up among any non-believing family members, friends, acquaintances—even in their nation. Additional needs in the area of Congress recruitment include participation from countries not yet represented and strong delegations from strategic countries, including a good response to an initiative in honor of the late Rev. Enoch Sirikul.
Dr. Richard and the Congress program team plan to meet next week. Ask God to give them wisdom and creativity in planning, and attention to detail, encouragement and patience in plan implementation. Dr. Richard requests special prayer for three main program elements—the opening and closing events and the mid-Congress Communion service. Also lift up the panel discussion addressing how to connect and enhance the worlds of formal and non-formal pastoral training. The Lord willing, Dr. Richard is to participate in this panel.
Dr. Richard is scheduled to fly home from Asia this weekend. Praise God for new connections and encouraging visits with friends who have stood by Dr. Richard from his early days in ministry. Please pray for his safe return and for his physical, mental, relational and spiritual health, which are being tested as never before.
Pray, too, for a young engineer Dr. Richard met while traveling. After sharing a meal, the young man accepted Dr. Richard’s invitation to join him for the church service at which Dr. Richard was scheduled to speak. With the church’s affirmation, Dr. Richard quickly shifted his presentation in regard for the young man’s need for eternal salvation. The man enjoyed the experience and has continued conversation with Dr. Richard via email. Please pray for him to trust the Lord Jesus.
Speakers and presenters have been secured for many key roles in the GProCongress; see this link for a partial list so you can pray for them individually, http://gprocongress.org/speakers/. A number of the right kind of presenters are still needed. Because this Congress is intentionally vision- and issue-driven rather than speaker-centric, we are interceding for the best people in every area, from case presenters and panel participants to discussion leaders and platform presenters.
This is a season of anniversaries for Dr. Richard. We all have just observed the anniversary of Christ’s incarnation. Dr. Richard also marked his 40th year in the United States (Dec. 21), Bonnie’s and his 38th year of marriage (Dec. 27), and has been invited to be a keynote speaker for the Union of Evangelical Students of India’s 60th anniversary conference, just days away. We thank God for His eternal goodness.
As Dr. Richard leaves for India, please pray for travel and health mercies, clear and penetrating proclamation, and moment-by-moment guidance. His schedule includes 10 flights in a little more than 10 days to engagements in several different locations. He will speak to students, business leaders and Christian leaders. Remember his family as he travels, as well.
Thank you for praying, dear friends! May 2015 shine with His promised presence.