Visits, visas and vision-casting

Dear praying friends,

In brief:

  • The Lord Jesus blessed Dr. Richard’s trip with deep connections and re-connections.
  • LifeRocks is getting an update to better engage pre-Christians.
  • We’re celebrating the completion of GPA Zambia and a 14th Dallas GPA candidate visa approved!
  • The GProCommission is developing connections across Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

The bigger picture:

Dr. Richard is en route back to the U.S. after a swift, five-city trip through Singapore, India, Hong Kong and the Philippines. He visited long-time friends, made new friends, cast vision, spoke several times and participated in two memorial services for his dad. He reports that his heart and mind are beginning to adjust after the initial period of grieving. God is using your prayers and expressions of love to help the whole Richard family heal.

RREACH is migrating and updating LifeRocks, our Media Outreach website. Please pray for technological mercies! Also pray for the production and release of the newest LifeRocks video next month. Continue to intercede for more pre-Christians to think more clearly about the Lord Jesus Christ as they view and read our materials.

The fourth national GPA of 2018 is in session. Please ask God to watch over GPA El Salvador attendees and organizers and their families and ministries back home. Praise Him for the 28 young pastors who completed GPA Zambia (2) last week and ask His blessing on their ongoing ministry.

Also thank the Lord for a 14th Dallas GPA candidate who has received a visa. Sadly, another brother who applied this week was rejected. We are waiting to hear results from three others and praying for upcoming appointments for Pastors K from Togo (second attempt), K from Lesotho, and T from Myanmar.

On the GProCommission front, our colleague in Latin America is pursuing partnerships for Spanish pastoral training resources and a mentoring program. Our colleague in the Middle East plans to speak and cast vision at an upcoming conference. Our colleague in Europe is developing alliances with organizations in French-speaking Africa. Please pray for these and for ongoing provision and protection of colleagues and pastoral trainers in all areas.

Thank you!

 

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!

Follow-up, fruitfulness, family

Dear praying friends,

The brief:

  • Dr. Richard’s ministry in two difficult countries was fruitful
  • Five Dallas GPA candidates now have visas; 23 others will be applying/reapplying
  • Dr. John Richard (95), Dr. Richard’s father, is ill
  • GPA St. Lucia is in progress
  • High-level security issues forced the cancellation of a national GPA

The bigger picture:

Dr. Richard’s meeting with friends of friends in a restricted area led to good discussion and ongoing interest. He also had a somewhat impromptu opportunity to speak with young entrepreneurs. Praise God and pray for good follow-up and transformed lives.

We thank God for five Dallas GPA candidates with visas. Five have been declined, although four plan to reapply. Pray for the pastor wrestling with the disappointment of not being able to come. Also pray for these pastors with upcoming appointments: T, Cameroon; K, Liberia; E, Brazil; S, Gabon; A, undisclosed.

Dr. John Richard (95), Dr. Richard’s father and “spiritual hero,” is having health issues. Please ask the Lord to watch over him and guide the family in caring for him.

GPA St. Lucia began February 1. Pray that the young pastors attending will be specially connected, united and strengthened. Also pray that a shipment of books they need will arrive in time.

The international events team is aiming for 25 national GPAs this year—a large undertaking. Pray for new ways to establish connections for national GPAs. One scheduled for pastors from a closed country had to be cancelled because of high-level security issues. Please pray for the brothers and sisters courageously proclaiming the Lord Jesus there.

For the very best…of many…everywhere.

Some items on our minds…

Dear praying friends,

Thank you for remembering RREACH before the Lord Jesus during this extra-busy season! Praise and thanks to the Lord Jesus for His unfailing goodness!

Some items currently on our minds and hearts:

  • A major consideration for the RREACH board (meeting today) and our executive team (meeting soon) is how to expand Dr. Richard’s personal proclamation ministry. Please pray for creativity and capacity in the planning and the implementation. Also pray for wisdom as Dr. Richard thinks and prays through 2018 speaking opportunities.
  • RREACH is establishing another Chair of Biblical Preaching and Pastoral Ministries, this time at ESEPA Bible College and Seminary in Costa Rica. Dr. Richard heads to Costa Rica next week, the Lord willing, to speak at ESEPA’s graduation ceremony and the Chair installation.
  • The GProCommission team is on an ambitious deadline to launch a pastoral training resources Web site at the New Year. They are also training to implement an improved customer relationship management platform. Ask the Lord to grant them efficiency, energy and keen minds.
  • We have 19 approved applicants, five from new countries, for the 2018 Dallas GPA. Much prayer would be appreciated for a full cohort of 25 next June with at least five new countries represented. Intercede also for the right 25 delegates at each 2018 national GPA.
  • Many, many pastoral leaders and trainers around the world are tired, discouraged and facing tough circumstances. Pray for our Sovereign God to refresh their hearts in Him, and to protect, provide for and unite them.

The RREACH staff prays together daily. If we may pray for you, please let us know: rreach.org/contact-us.

A few things we’re thankful for

Dear praying friends,

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season in the U.S., here are just a few things for which RREACH thanks God:

  • During a recent trip to New York State to visit his dad, Ramesh had an impromptu, informal opportunity to share with 32 foreign service officials of a strategic country, some of whom had never before heard of the Lord Jesus
  • That unexpected opening to talk about the Lord Jesus arose at a point when Ramesh was fatigued from fighting a couple of concurrent illnesses; God answered his cry and gave him supernatural strength for the moment
  • The first women’s national GPA concluded successfully; attendees included 20 from the Philippines, the host country, and eight from South Africa, China, Tobago, India, Panama and Argentina
  • The GProCommission team is nearing the launch of a special online learning platform featuring more than 4,300 (and increasing) pastoral training curricular resources they have curated from around the world and in various languages
  • We have accepted 15 outstanding young pastors to the 2018 Dallas GPA; they are proceeding to obtain visas and raise their portion of the airfare
  • The blessing of you who care, pray and encourage.

We so need God’s sustenance through health and through sickness, through progress and through challenges. Thank you for lifting Dr. Ramesh Richard, the RREACH team, and this ministry before Him.

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!

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.