Ministry and math

Dear praying friends,

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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.

 

In his words: Ramesh Richard July update

GPA graduation standing ovation

The Dallas GPA Class of 2017 receiving a standing ovation

Our annual highlight is the amazing Dallas GPA which absorbs our energies and energizes our activities. For three weeks, RREACH hosts this fruitful project at Dallas Theological Seminary. This year 29 pastors from 29 countries were immersed in Scripture, in classes, and in fellowship with one another.

That the 2017 Dallas GPA happened was a miracle indeed. Two months prior we didn’t know if we would have enough pastoral leaders. The US visa environment had changed, and we wondered if our model of bringing fine, younger pastoral leaders to Dallas would have to be changed, too.

“But God”—the powerful phrase which moves earth from heaven—became a reality. Our aim was 25 pastors from 25 countries, and God gave us 29. Target exceeded, with five new countries represented. Here’s one of many letters we received from them recently to encourage you:

By God’s grace I arrived safe-and-sound back home after one of the greatest experiences of my life, participating at Global Proclamation Academy in Dallas. I want to express my gratitude for your leadership and for how God has used you in my life and ministry. God used the GPA, the teaching of master coaches and the fellowship of pastors to clarify my vision and rekindle my passion for the Gospel. I am in-debt to the grace of God and pray that God will continue to make the changes He began to do in my heart that will affect, God willing, both my family and my ministry for His own glory. 

You know we have a 100% return rate! All have arrived in their homelands to strive on!

One major memory was the Dallas GPA delegates’ Skype call with GPA Honduras (June 8 – 17). Pastoral leaders spanning the whole globe encouraged 20 younger pastoral leaders in that deprived Central American land. The connection and multiplication continues deep and wide, near and far, slowly and speedily.

I had to make a quick trip to Wittenberg, Germany, where 70 global strategists (apparently, I am one) met to consider breakthrough ideas for Christ’s cause over the next 3 to 5 years. It was a relationally rich time. Best of all, RREACH emphasis was again confirmed, because almost all impactful and workable ideas in every context go through pastoral leaders.

Each year at this time, RREACH assesses all our ministries and activities, strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities, resources and lacks. I have dedicated July to move from a year of listening and waiting to asking and receiving in view of planning and acting. Please pray for me.

Mission-critical opportunities; overcoming obstacles

Dear praying friends,

New and exciting opportunities for personal proclamation knock on Dr. Ramesh Richard’s door almost daily. He appreciates prayer for clear direction toward the most mission-critical assignments. His newest Media Outreach message, themed #StopFindingPeace, launched mid-month. Ask God to speak to many through it.

Thank you for continuing to uphold the massive Global Proclamation Commission vision, which is advancing at intense pace and focus. The national GPA in Vanuatu has concluded; GPA Senegal is scheduled to begin March 23; GPAs Guinea Conakry, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Romania-part 2 are coming in April. Pray for God to work powerfully in and through the RREACH ministries team, local organizers, and each pastoral delegate.

For the Dallas GPA, visas remain a critical concern. We have 16 pastors with visas. Ten have been rejected; some plan to reapply. Please intercede diligently for open minds and softened hearts, and for encouragement for the pastors not approved.

The GPro follow-up team asks prayer for extra capacity and great teamwork as they implement pastoral trainer/training multiplication plans. Two current projects of emphasis, country launches and data tracking, require creativity and discernment.

Finally, please lift the RREACH board and staff and their families before our Father God. Several are going through serious health challenges or loss of loved ones. Thank you for being vital partners in ministry with Ramesh Richard and RREACH. We pray God’s goodness will abound to you.

Greetings in the name of the Most High One, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear praying friends,

Greetings in the name of the Most High One, the Lord Jesus Christ! That’s how Dr. Ramesh Richard greeted attendees the first evening and every morning of the GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers held June 15 – 22 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thank you for your earnest prayer for Dr. Richard, the RREACH and GProCongress teams, and the GProCongress itself over many months. God received glory, and many participants are testifying to how He blessed them.

Our prayer now turns to upcoming action. Please pray for:

  • Dr. Richard, as he now prioritizes his personal proclamation gifting expressed in so many ways, and undergirds his global proclamation calling—facilitating the multiplication of proclaimers
  • Total protection and global provision as Congress attendees implement accelerated pastoral training plans
  • The GProCongress follow-up team as they grow GProConneXt, the strategic Congress follow-up platform.
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The RREACH board and friends praying over Dr. Richard and Bonnie following a GProCongress debriefing.

Also remember believers around the world as we live for the Lord Jesus amid turmoil. RREACH receives new reports almost daily of shrinking religious freedoms and rising persecution. Overnight last night violent conflict erupted in South Sudan’s new government. Here in Dallas, close to home for RREACH, multiple police officers were murdered. As Dr. Richard tweeted this morning, ”July 8, 2016 is as much a day of badness, madness, & sadness in my city of Dallas as Nov 22, 1963.”

Of course, he has also said, “Pastoral health affects church health, and church health affects societal health.” This is a day when healthy pastors can minister to those grieving, angry and even cynical.

Your prayer and encouragement for Dr. Richard and RREACH are invaluable as we seek to strengthen pastors, the leaders on the front lines of this war, for God’s glory and the very best of many everywhere.