An answer to praise

Dear praying friends,

Praise God for 850 applicants for the GProCongress, and for the new one-step registration system implemented this week! We are asking Him for at least 1,500 registrants this month and 5,000 in total. Please also pray for travel mercies, wisdom and favor on Dr. Richard as he leaves today, the Lord willing, for a conference of leading theological educators in the Middle East. He hopes to make significant progress in mobilizing Congress attendees and presenters there.

Almost daily we receive news from GPA grads and other believing friends around the world who are suffering the effects of natural disaster, broken systems, and persecution. Yet they hold on to the Lord Jesus Christ. One wrote, Please I would like to express my deep request to you uphold us in your daily prayer that our God is a God of provider and in Him everything is under control. In His everlasting love…. Let’s intercede, with gratitude, for our brothers and sisters.

Finally, GPA Thailand is scheduled to begin Nov. 8. Pray for a good group of 25 pastors, for organizers and master and peer coaches, and for life-changing connecting, uniting and strengthening.

Pray as persecution increases; Praise for vision-casting reception and GPA Lebanon

Dear praying friends,

By the time you read this, the Lord willing, Dr. Ramesh Richard will be finishing two super-charged weeks in South Asia. Response to his GProCongress vision-casting has been tremendous. Pray for the ongoing blessing of safety and health as he travels back to Dallas.

GPA Lebanon is being “amazingly received,” reports national GPA coordinator Rajiv Richard. The closing session is Saturday, after which many will return to ministry in highly dangerous areas. RREACH has recently received reports from GPA pastors in a number of different countries facing increased persecution. Their concern is less for themselves than for their families. Please pray for God’s mighty hand to cover them, for His peace and wisdom to fill them, and for their lives to be a radiant testimony to the Lord Jesus.

groupWhile efforts to spread the word about the GProCongress among pastoral trainers are highly visible, behind-the-scenes efforts to find the right people for speaking/discussion-leading/presenting roles are no less intense. Please ask the Lord’s provision in selecting, asking and hearing from each candidate, and for schedules to clear to permit participation.

Urgent prayer for Christians in the Middle East

Dear praying friends,

On the first day of Ramadan one year ago, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS, officially began its campaign of terror. The atrocities they have committed, primarily against followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have dominated news reports. Many in the Middle East expect the group to escalate violence during Ramadan, June 17 – July 17, 2015, in celebration of their one-year anniversary.

This morning, the 2015 class of Dallas GPA delegates from 26 different countries gathered around Pastor AA, their brother from Syria, to cry out to the Lord about the imminent threat. Dr. Richard wishes to ask all of us, also, to pray urgently and fervently. Please pray

  • That God will give His people the strength to endure and be at peace.
  • That those being persecuted will deepen in faith and love, and be glorious witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • For God’s miraculous deliverance
    • Of the persecuted from earthly evil, for the glory of His name.
    • Of the persecutors, from heart evil, that they may be transformed to glorify Jesus’ name.

GPA Tanzania underway; Dr. Richard set for “nonstop” 2-week trip through SE Asia

Dear praying friends,

God continues to sustain Dr. Richard through a demanding schedule (that is only going to get more so!) Over the past week he made strategic progress toward the GProCongress—now only 449 days away. He also prepared a deeply thoughtful piece on grappling with the atrocity of terrorism. Look for this important article in your upcoming RR Crossing newsletter, and pray for not only those undergoing appalling persecution, but also that testimony to the Savior will reach and transform the persecutors.

We also want to let you know God is granting favor to your (and our) prayers:

  • 14 Dallas GPA candidates have received visas, including one previously denied; eight more have appointments. We continue asking the Lord for the right 25 pastors, at least five from new countries.
  • Despite one car full of pastors breaking down on the way, GPA Tanzania has begun with 34 delegates. Pray for special connections, unity and strengthening. These elements are strategic to the uniqueness and effectiveness of all GPAs.
  • Dr. Richard is scheduled to speak at multiple events and has important GProCongress engagements over a two-week, three-country, four-stop sprint through Southeast Asia.
  • Intercede for a Program leader to join the GProCongress team at their on-site meetings March 30 – April 2.
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GPA Tanzania delegates in class

 

Terrifying, heartbreaking and urgent request

Dear friends,

You no doubt are following the news reports of the persecution against Christians happening in the Middle East. We recently received this report from the front lines. Dr. Richard and RREACH are committed to joining in the effort to mobilize prayer for this region. Please join us not only in praying, but also in sharing this request with your praying friends.

Also, Dr. Richard is to be traveling to this region over the next two weeks. Please pray for God’s divine protection, wisdom and resources over Dr. Richard during his time in this region. Also pray that God would use him to bring encouragement and hope to Christians and Christian leaders there.

Greetings in Jesus name.

The situation for the Christians has being deteriorated badly within the last 36 hours, as ISIS has overtake new areas:

Sinjar ( North west of Mosel) and around = 30,000-plus being scattered around and on mountains as they were fleeing for their lives.

•Telkeif; Batnai; Tel Esquff ( I.e. Bishops hill); Bartella; Qara-quash; Al Gure; Ba’ashiqa; Bahzani.

Apart from Sinjar which is a mix of minorities, all the above mentioned cities are mainly Christians. ISIS has attack churches and raise their flags on churches; and call upon their gods inside our churches.

There was a massive exile yesterday and all night as the the Kurdish army have left their position and fled for their lives, thence people walked out leaving every thing behind just fleeing for their lives – I mean everything.

I was on the phone all night on the phone with brothers and sisters trying to help them find some sort of shelters as Erbil and Duhok were over-occupied. Families covered streets; kerbs; schools & parks. All churches ground being occupied with families. It’s a symbol of the abomination surfaced and emerged recently in this land.

We have called for urgent fasting and prayers. I believe it’s a spiritual warfare more than a ground battle. During my personal prayer and the intercessory group’s prayers I found it’s the old days monster, the old stingy serpent filled with hate and poison.

In Sinjar, they kidnap young girls and women and sold them as slaves. Kids and seniors died of thirst and hunger on the mountains.

I trust the Almighty for a Divine intervention, yet we need an urgent move of the Holy Spirit to turn the scale & balance of the situation on the ground.

We need all sort of help:

We need you pressing on your government and authorities to step foreword and get involved.

We need NGO to mobilise their gears and move into the country to save life and treat the injuries.

We need supports to provide: food; medications; shelters; clean waters; baby milk, etc.

Your prayers and intercessors will make a big difference.

May the Almighty bless richly always, Amen. Thank you

Sincerely Yours,

Rev. F. H.

Senior Minister/ Baghdad- Iraq

For His glory,
Edie Ross
prayer coordinator

 

P.S. One thing you can practically do is to replace your picture on social media accounts with the following picture as a sign of solidarity. This is the Arabic letter “N” painted on the houses of Christians (marking them for destruction), which is the first letter of the word Christian.

Persecution

Urgent requests from friends

Dear friends,

Thank you for partnering with us not only in praying for RREACH, but also in praying for others. We have two urgent requests from friends to share with you:

1. Dr. Richard recently received the prayer request (below) from Dr. Hormoz Shariat with Iran Alive Ministries. Please join us in praying for Amir and persecuted Christians around the world. Also, please share this post with others who will pray.

This week, we received a distressed call from one of our Church 7 members who lives in Iran. Her 32-year-old son, Amir*, has been in prison for the past two years after being caught with a truckload of Bibles.

Recently, an execution date was set for the week of August 11th for his crimes against Islam and government.  

Understandably, she is very upset. Her only request is for prayers of deliverance for her son.

Pray:

  • Pray for Amir and his family. Pray for deliverance from this death sentence for Amir and for his frightened and grieving family.
     
  • Pray for his jailers, his judge and his fellow inmates to encounter the love of Christ and receive Him as their personal Savior.
     
  • Pray for the countless other brothers and sisters, like Amir, who are suffering persecution for their faith in Christ in Iran and around the world right now.

*Pseudonym used to protect identity. 

2. Dallas GPA 2014 grad Pastor A from Nepal recently sent this request:

A big river that flows throughout my district which comes all the way down from Tibet, China was blocked due to a huge landslide that came from both sides of the river. There are many smaller towns throughout the river bank that are affected. Now the river water level is growing and going upward, and people in the affected areas are being evacuated. 

nepal

Praying that our God, under his sovereignty will take care of things. Many houses are wiped out and hundreds are missing, it is known that a believer’s family was also victim of the landslide. I will appreciate your prayers.

Here and here are news updates on the situation. Please continue to pray.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator

Connect, unite, strengthen

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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…”

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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

Requests from the pastors we serve

Dear Friends,

Please take a moment to pray over these situations, sent to us by pastors ministering in very difficult places. It has been Dr. Richard’s great privilege to serve these pastors and others like them through Global Proclamation Academies or pastors conferences throughout the years. Names have been withheld for protection.

DR Congo pastor:

Aug. 30: “The security situation in and around Goma has worsened. We have cancelled our day of prayer because of the bombing going on in Goma. Pray for the protection of the town of Bunia, where a rebel movement is at war for the last week. We have the Ugandan army that has invaded the country in the North, 180 kms from Bunia. All of this is threatening security around us.”

Sept. 18: “Thank you so very much for praying for us. I am well and my family too. We are busy. Of late I have been raising food to feed the displaced people because of the war 25 miles away from my town. I was able to raise seven tons of rice, 2.5 tons of beans and cooking oil to feed 2,500 people. Tremendous needs, keep praying.”

Syrian pastor:

Aug. 27: “Last week was so hard on Damascus. More than 60 mortars fell on the city of which the majority fell on the Christian Quarter in Damascus after being sent by the Opposition gangs of Islamic Radical Groups.

On Thursday August 22, a mortar fell near my uncle (My mother’s brother), an old man of 76 years. The Mortar fragments hit his legs and he was bleeding for 4 hours. After spending two days at the ER, uncle George passed away.”

Sept. 5: “Maloula is a Syrian village located in the rocky mountains 60 km north of Damascus city. It is one of the only three villages in the whole world that its inhabitants – Christians & Moslems – live peacefully together and still speak Aramaic the language of Lord Jesus Christ.

On September 4, 2013 Maloula was attacked by opposition armed groups in order to put under their control. Its Ancient Churches, Monasteries, Christian heritage & people, all are threatened of being destroyed after being harmed by the attack.

We appeal to all sisters & brothers around the world to raise the awareness of the danger facing ancient heritage & people in Syria. Please try to do something to save it.”

For His glory,

Edie Ross
prayer coordinator

P.S. RREACH recently was able to disburse funds to Syrian pastors through the Pastor’s Family Care Fund to help with children’s school fees and other needs. Please join us in praising God for the provision of these funds and the opportunity to minister to pastors serving in difficult areas.

National GPAs -praise report

Dear friends,

Thank you for your faithful prayers for Dr. Richard and RREACH. I’d like to share some praises with you that we received from two recent national GPAs.

GPA Bangladesh:

In early August 30 pastors from around Bangladesh attended GPA Bangladesh. RREACH staff at the national GPA reported how grateful the pastors were to be connected and united with one another. Most live in very difficult situations, and as Christians in a predominately Muslim and Hindu society, they are looked down upon. To fellowship and pray with a group of Christian brothers and fellow pastors was so refreshing and encouraging.

As one pastor noted “We made lifetime relationships with each other.”

The highest-rated session was a practical work session in preaching expository sermons. One pastor said, “The impact of this training will last forever since the sessions were very much practical and addressed us on a personal level.”

Praise God for the pastors who were able to attend GPA Bangladesh and pray that they would apply their training in their own churches and multiply it by sharing it with other pastors.

Also praise God for his protection over GPA Bangladesh, which took place amidst heightened political unrest in that region. In fact, some pastors had to stay two extra days because of a political strike and countrywide shutdown. The organizers added some extra sessions to redeem the time.

(To be as sensitive as possible to safety concerns, we won’t post pictures of GPA Bangladesh. Please continue to pray for these pastors as they minister in difficult situations.)

GPA Nigeria:

At the same time in a different part of the world 27 pastors from across Nigeria were attending GPA Nigeria. RREACH staff who attended reported that this was the most boisterous group of pastors at a national GPA yet. In fact, during worship at a local church the pastor asked everyone to “make a joyful noise to the Lord,” and the pastors grabbed chairs and waste baskets and started dancing and singing. DSCN0035

The pastors had the same zeal for learning, and some of their sessions went on until 11:30 at night. The group also beseeched organizers for additional sessions to address problems prevailing in the Nigerian churches and those sessions were reported to be “awesome and transforming.”

In some Nigerian churches pride is celebrated and hierarchy is encouraged in ministry leadership. This was a concern for organizers.

However, they reported that they were overwhelmed when pastors publicly confessed their errors in humility rather than let pride reign—a testament to how the teaching and fellowship at GPA Nigeria had influenced them.

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Please join us in praising God for His provision of these 27 pastors and His sanctifying work in their lives. GPA Nigeria organizers already are discussing the possibility of regional GPAs within Nigeria, at the request of the pastors who attended.

For His glory,

Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator 

Urgent request: Pastors and Christians in Egypt

Dear Friends,

Greetings on behalf of Dr. Ramesh Richard. You have no doubt heard of the violence taking place in Egypt, a country in which RREACH has been blessed to minister over the years. We have received requests from some of the pastors there, which are listed below.

Please join Dr. Richard, the RREACH board and the RREACH staff as we pray for Egyptian pastors and Christians – including those who have touched and been touched by RREACH (550 pastors from 19 denominations at a pastors conference a few years ago and 18 young, lead pastors at GPA Egypt last year.)

The situation: 

Amidst protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, churches and Christian businesses and homes are under attack in multiple cities in Egypt. Protestors are throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at churches, and there are reports that Christians’ homes have been burned.

The police and army are trying to maintain safety for all people and to disperse the protestors peacefully. In some areas these protests have been going on for up to six weeks, blocking roads and causing a great amount of suffering for people in those neighborhoods and those who commute through those neighborhoods.

Please pray: 

That the situation will calm down and violence would cease

For wisdom for the police and army

For the safety of all churches and congregations

For strength and protection for Christians in Egypt, especially for pastors there

For His glory,
Edie Ross
RREACH Prayer Coordinator