In his words: Ramesh Richard April 2018 update

Well, I must finally start … 2018.  I needed to find a day to begin and Resurrection Sunday/April Fool’s Day provided a definite marker. Between grief and travel recovery (I actually slept two full nights on the 31st and 1st), I told Bonnie I’m beginning a new day, week, month and … year!

Last month blazed with a two-week, five-country, six-city presence and proclamation.

  • I count all Dallas Seminary opportunities a stewardship and ended my recent chapel talk there with a 1972 photo of two heroes of the Faith together, Billy Graham and John Richard. They both flew to heaven in February, much like they did on an Indian Airlines flight in 1965. Ongoing classroom involvement at DTS has been a wonderful outlet for me to personally proclaim God’s Word.
  • In Singapore, I roomed with a believer who had just lost his beloved Hindu mother. We grieved differently—with and without hope. He has hope for himself, but not for his mom; unlike myself with hope for both me and my dad. I so overlook biblical riches.
  • Two cities in India hosted the final services for my dad. The Lord empowered me for His glory, my father’s honor, the strengthening of believers, and Gospel advance through testimonies to an extraordinary life. I got to preach at a church in Chennai from which I have childhood memories of my father as a lay-leader and where I was spiritually shaped. That experience strangely strengthened my resolve to do all I can until I no longer can to serve Christ—like my dad.
  • I took an overnight flight to Hong Kong for pastoral calls—a couple fighting her cancer; a man fighting Parkinson’s; a man fighting his wife; a couple fighting his health challenge—caring for friends in life’s fights.
  • Finally I wrapped up with 40 hours in the Philippines with key encouragers, the head of the Philippines Council of Evangelical Churches (who has suggested a GProCongress Philippines), and a wedding, before a 36-hour journey home.

In the multiplying of proclaimers of God’s Word, RREACH accomplished the second GPA Zambia, since the first one in 2013 was mostly a failure. Also, GPA El Salvador graduated 19, who met at a beautiful place within 300 feet of a gang murder. God protects.

And God provides … through you … for me to carry on in proclamation and leadership into the rest of 2018. Our Lord has created time before and I am counting on him to do so again, or at least to compress 12 months into nine. Maybe I will get to share how next January. I intend to start the next year on time, the Lord willing. Thank you.

In the Inexhaustible One,

RR

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!

 

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.

A new RREACH acronym

Women's GPA

RREACH board member Shelby Barnette (front row, second from the right) with the first class of women’s national GPA (WGPA) delegates in Manila

Dear praying friends,

RREACH’s first national Global Proclamation Academy for women, WGPA, is taking place right now in Manila, Philippines. Praise God! Of the 28 taking part, 20 come from the Philippines and eight from areas around the world where we hope to hold future WGPAs. Please cover the organizers, Master Coaches, and delegates and their families with the shield and blessing of prayer. We’re excited to see where God takes this!

Just one week after RREACH gathered pastors from a war-torn country for a retreat, a group met within their country for prayer and encouragement. A few of their concerns include unity and better relationships, wisdom amid chaos, government relations, and more people following the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s pray with and for these pastors and their families.

Dr. Richard has had a number of opportunities recently to talk with individuals about the Lord Jesus. Rejoice! Intercede for many to trust and follow Him. RREACH is looking at ways to free more of Dr. Richard’s time and focus for personal proclamation. Pray as we implement strategies.

We also appreciate your prayer for financial resources to meet ministry needs as we move toward the end of the year. Please ask that we will manage them wisely for maximum Kingdom effect, for God’s glory. Thank you!

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.

Hong Kong, the Philippines, now Thailand—praying Dr. Richard through his trip

Dear praying friends,

We’ve prayed him through hectic schedules in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The Lord Jesus graciously granted him numerous meaningful contacts and opportunities to proclaim His name. Now, Dr. Richard has landed in Bangkok for onsite GProCongress meetings. Much is yet to be done in the 441 days until June 15, 2016!

  • Please ask the Lord to streamline the team’s discussion, decisions and action directly toward extending, expanding and intensifying pastoral training efforts worldwide.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit’s confirmation of the right person/s for and clear understanding of the critical role of Program leader.
  • Logistics—whether spreading the word about the Congress, running the application process, negotiating contracts, maintaining program security and viability, and many other nuts-and-bolts aspects—need total protection and global provision so that the entire GProCongress experience honors God.
  • We are deeply grateful for key leaders and organizations of the faith who are giving of their time, expertise and affirmation to this undertaking. Please pray for the Lord’s favor to be upon each.

New applications have been received recently from pastors in countries never before represented at the Dallas GPA, and several pastors already accepted are applying for visas in the next few days. Let’s continue to remember them and the entire upcoming Dallas GPA in prayer. Thank you!

 

Spiritual warfare in Dallas GPA and GProCongress preparation

Dear praying friends,

You’ve been praying with us over the devastation of physical war all over the world. Please also pray against the insidious spiritual warfare we face. Each year as the Dallas GPA nears, RREACH experiences a surge in challenges. This year, obstacles are compounding as GProCongress preparation intensifies. Would you ask the Lord’s total protection and global provision for Dr. Richard, RREACH and the GProCongress team in the following areas?

– Smooth operation of office equipment, computers and programs, Internet services, and communication systems

– Physical, spiritual, relational and mental endurance; travel mercies; safety

– Christ-honoring relationships – in ministry, family, organizational and public contexts

– Dallas GPA candidates – visa and travel arrangements, families, ministries

Dr. Richard is in South East Asia—right now in Manila, Philippines—for GProCongress vision-casting and several speaking engagements. On Monday, the Lord willing, he will head to Bangkok, Thailand, for GProCongress planning meetings. The team is excited to be meeting on-site.

Do also remember GPA Tanzania, which wraps up Saturday, March 28. Pray that these pastors will continue to grow in connection, unity and strengthening one another, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you!

Urgent: Global Pastoral Trainers Congress

Dear friends,

Thank you for your continued prayers for Dr. Richard and for RREACH. We urgently need your prayers today as important meetings take place regarding the Global Pastoral Trainers Congress. 

As you know, a super typhoon has devastated parts of the Philippines. While Manila, where the Congress is scheduled to take place in 2016, has not been affected, much of the Congress’ national leadership team now must turn their attention from preparing for the Congress to the urgent need for physical care resulting from the typhoon. 

Dr. Richard and the RREACH team have been in prayer over the matter regarding how God would have us proceed in terms of the scope, location, venue and staffing of the historic event. 

Please pray for Spirit-led meetings, effective communication, strategic ideas and efficient implementation for mobilization of participants and prayer worldwide, along with follow-up considerations.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator

This, that and a gift idea

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued prayer for Dr. Richard and RREACH! I have some prayer and praise updates and a great opportunity for you to get some Christmas shopping done.

Prayer update: Philippines

Thank you for praying for all affected by the super typhoon that devastated parts of the Philippines. RREACH is working to get aid to pastors there through the Pastor’s Family Care Fund. To hear about the situation in the Philippines directly from Dr. Richard, please see the video below, which was sent out to RREACH friends as a Thanksgiving message. (If you didn’t receive it and would like to be on RREACH’s e-mail list, please email me at edie@rreach.org.)

Please continue to pray for the recovery effort in the Philippines, and specifically for the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, which is inundated with requests for help.

Praise update: Dr. Richard’s Southeast Asia Trip

Before traveling to the Philippines, Dr. Richard spent time in Singapore. He wrote this of his trip there:

In dynamic Singapore, I addressed a denominational convention whose leaders were in great discouragement. Their heyday was in 1978, around the time of Billy Graham’s visit to their ascending city. One member mourned that the committee comprised the same people from 35 years ago!
 
God used me at a preaching clinic for about 50 pastors from seven countries and at a private, pre-evangelistic meeting of about 30 people, half of whom were unbelievers. Three (20%, they noted!) welcomed Jesus, and there was triple joy in heaven. The climactic talk of the week was to 400 church leaders at a pastors’ appreciation dinner—a fine concept for any pastor, any church, any denomination, in any city.

Please join us in praising God for this wonderful and beneficial trip. Pray for great fruit.

Prayer request: Please be in prayer for the RREACH board meetings, which were scheduled for today and tomorrow but have been delayed because of the weather. We are thankful for every member of our board as they faithfully serve RREACH in unique and wonderful ways. Please pray specifically that board meetings later this month would be Spirit-led and that the board would seek God’s wisdom to set the direction of RREACH.

Praise update: Thank you for praying for GPA Ghana. Information about that GPA is rolling in and we’ll have a full update soon. Enjoy this picture of GPA Ghana delegates!

GPA Ghana

Gift idea: We received word from the publisher of Dr. Richard’s acclaimed sermon preparation series that they will be offering the e-book of Preparing Evangelistic Sermons for $3.99 today through Dec. 12 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ChristianBook.com as part of a special promotion.

Preparing Evangelistic Sermons is the partner book to Preparing Expository Sermons (Scripture Sculpture), which in 2009 was named one of the 25 Most Influential Preaching Books of the Past 25 years by Preaching Magazine. In Preparing Evangelistic Sermons, using principles rooted in his seven-step Scripture Sculpture method, Dr. Richard guides the reader through the foundation, framework, method and special issues of preaching salvation.

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator

Urgent: Philippines request

Dear friends,

Please take a moment to pray for this urgent request.

As you likely have heard, on Friday Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in recorded history, decimated parts of the Philippines leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

RREACH is in contact with various evangelical leaders in the Philippines and today received a report from Rev. Philip Tarroja, the executive director of the Conservative Baptist Seminary-Asia. Rev. Tarroja later this month was to be officially commissioned as the national director of the Global Pastoral Trainers Congress (GPTC), set to take place in Manila in 2016.

Below is an excerpt from Rev. Tarroja’s report. Please be in prayer for Rev. Tarroja, Bishop Ef Tendero, who serves both as the national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and as national chairman of the GPTC, as well as for other Philippine pastors who are ministering in spite of their own loss and heartache.

Many are still missing and unaccounted for and worse, efforts to bring the supplies (which are coming in abundance), are NOT reaching those direly needing them for reasons beyond our understanding. The Evangelical Church is badly affected as many, really countless among the victims, are our brethren. After 6 days, the situation is NOT easing up. If you are able to watch international news, you won’t miss the pathetic scenario.

I truly appreciate your fervent prayers for us, the Evangelical leadership and our country. May His unfathomable peace and comfort cover us all in this dark hour of our nation.

In His unfailing love and mercy,

Rev. Philip C Tarroja

Dr. Richard, who currently is ministering in Singapore, was scheduled to visit Manila later this month for important meetings regarding the GPTC and to commission Rev. Tarroja and the national team. That trip is now cancelled as all involved turn their focus to the recovery effort. Please continue to pray for the GPTC.

Please also pray for Dr. Richard’s time in Singapore, including the following opportunities that he has to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ.

Nov. 14-15: Singapore Baptist Convention

Nov. 16: Evangelistic event with business leaders

Nov. 17: Teaching at a church in the morning and speaking at a Pastor’s Appreciation dinner in the evening

For His glory,
Edie Ross
Prayer Coordinator