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!