Please urgently join us in praying for the necessary paperwork to arrive today in order to apply for a visa to a turbulent country (13000% inflation) listed in the current US travel ban where Dr. Richard has ministry opportunities in the beginning of August. The visa could take up to 15 days or longer so the window in receiving a visa is closing. Thank you for joining us in prayer on this important matter.
Dear praying friends,
On a beautiful spring day, the last day of last month, my beloved Bonnie and I sat in a park to talk and pray. As we thanked the Lord for His mercies in travel safety, health, ease and use, she described the month as “You went, and then went, and then went!”
First, I went to Cyprus, to speak for the Lindell (you’ve seen the My Pillow guy on TV?) Foundation. RREACH has given them fast growth potential through offering our GPA grads to be in-country validators as they seek to provide economic help to pastors’ families and more. The Lord used me there and it is always great to see our pastoral leaders anywhere.
And then I went to speak on behalf of my mentor Fred Smith’s (breakfastwithfred.com) legacy. A “millennial” audience filled the Illinois university chapel and was deeply attentive and responsive. I did not diminish their future potential by stereotyping them.
Before I went off again, the RREACH Board met for 24 hours of deep reflection and decisive action on this transition year of “proclamation reclamation.” How much I appreciate the wise counsel and wide perspectives of multiple voices which speak into my life.
I didn’t realize that I was on a seven-day around-the-world tour till a colleague pointed it out. Bonnie called it a whirlwind. In Bangkok for 28 hours with three different and lengthy speaking engagements, one of which was the first anniversary of the death of the one Thai leader without whom the GProCongress would not have happened last year.
Then I traveled all the way to Eastern Europe to attend the grand finale of GPA Romania—pastors’ wives attended, too! It was fabulous. And simultaneously GPA Guinea Conakry (West Africa) and GPA St. Vincent/Grenadines (Caribbean region) were also happening. Oh! All that God is doing!
Thank you for your terrific and timely prayer support, my friends. Please be our guest at the June 24 celebration banquet of the 2017 Dallas GPA. Keep us in your prayers.
Dear praying friends,
The post-GProCongress reclamation of the proclamation portion of Dr. Richard’s ministry is progressing. During a short trip this week, he spoke to a packed college chapel. When he invited attendees to new or renewed relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ, many responded!
The RREACH board is meeting today and tomorrow, and next week Dr. Richard heads to Thailand, the Lord willing, and then to Romania for the final days of the national GPA there. Please pray for the Lord’s special sustenance through a demanding itinerary and a number of speaking engagements.
Two other national GPAs are underway right now: GPA Guinea (Conakry) and GPA St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Pray that delegates in all locations will be powerfully connected, united and strengthened.
We rejoice that 20 pastors now have visas to attend the 2017 Dallas GPA! Thank you for praying, and please continue to intercede for the visa process. We also appreciate your prayers for getting good flights for the pastors. God is providing–ahead of our schedule.
Dear praying friends,
Dr. Richard has just completed his time at GProCongress Indonesia, a follow-up event from last June’s GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers in Bangkok. He spoke twice on aspects of the critical need for more and better-trained pastors to the group of 600 pastoral trainers representing many different denominational backgrounds.
An estimated 300 delegates stepped forward to commit themselves to train 20,000 pastors in the next four years. Not only that, GProIndonesia plans to do its own follow-up with its own budget. Praise God! Pray for them! Pray, too, for Dr. Richard and a number of formal/non-formal pastoral training colleagues as they prayerfully consider strategic next steps in more efficiently and effectively training pastors around the globe.
As GProIndonesia wrapped up, GPA Vanuatu commenced 6,000 km/3,700 mi to the southeast, in another nation of islands. Thank God that the materials shipped there arrived safely. Pray for these national GPA delegates as they meet through March 11, connecting and being encouraged to preach and live biblically.
Back in Dallas, the RREACH team is rejoicing over 14 pastors accepted to the 2017 Dallas GPA who have visas. We’ve booked four of their flights already. Seventeen accepted pastors still need visas, however. Please intercede for the following as they apply:
- Pastor C (SE Asia): March 8
- Pastor M (Africa): March 9
- Pastor E (Africa): declined for visa earlier; applying again March 14
- Pastor S (Africa): also declined; encouraged by consulate to reapply
Pray for the pastors’ spiritual, financial and physical preparation to come to Dallas. Pastor T (Africa) is having difficulty finding someone to fill the pulpit while he is away.
This weekend, the Lord willing, Dr. Richard will close his six-cities-in-12-days trip by speaking at a church in SE Asia. Please ask the Lord Jesus Christ to sustain him, in order to proclaim Him!
Dear praying friends,
Dr. Richard is in the midst of a 12-day, five-city trip across SE Asia. The Lord willing, he is to speak twice at GProCongress Indonesia this week. Pray for this major follow-up event to the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers held last June in Bangkok. Pray for energy, wisdom and good times of connection for Dr. Richard as he forges through a tight schedule.
GPA Vanuatu is also set to begin this week, on March 2. Specifically ask God to direct the materials we shipped for this national GPA to the right people at the right time. Also ask His blessing on each organizer and attending pastor over these 10 days of targeted training and connecting.
For the Dallas GPA, please continue to intercede for the 27 accepted candidates (three from new countries) planning to attend. Pray for favor, as 15 of them have yet to apply for visas, and for good options and costs as we begin to book their travel.
Finally, Dr. Richard desires to carve out more time in his schedule for study and for writing new talks and materials. Please ask God to provide good opportunities for this, and for insight and creativity during those times.
Last month began with Bonnie’s and my 40th wedding anniversary trip to Costa Rica—on award mileage! We had not spent uninterrupted time away together since December 2015. That was not fair to my beloved, who sacrificed time with me for last year’s GProCongress. Having been born ocean-side in northern California, Bonnie enjoys the beach—the sights, smells and sounds. She is presently stuck with me in topographically-challenged North Texas.
While in Costa Rica, I also enjoyed time of extended spiritual reflection. God has confirmed the re-balancing of RREACH with personal proclamation as the original core from which the rest flows. Not given to just vacationing (send me pointers!), I met with over 50 Costa Rican trainers of pastors, who came together for the first GProCongress follow-up event in 2017. One said, “You lit a fire in Bangkok, and it is spreading all over.” I hope that was a metaphor for flaming enthusiasm, rather than destruction!
2017’s first national GPA began in Romania. Our staff could not go due to health reasons, but I was able to interact with them for extended times by Skype. Pray for the complex national GPA project. We are attempting to more than double the number of in-country events in 2017.
It’s always great to preach at Dallas Seminary, the future of Christian ministry, especially in the US. About 40 guests joined us mid-January for chapel and lunch. In God’s will, I look forward to returning “home” to DTS this fall.
2017’s LifeRocks media theme is “STOP FINDING PEACE.” Jesus says He will give us peace, so it is best to find Jesus instead. I have recorded three talks: The Peace Plot, The Peace Prize, and Stop Finding Peace. Pray this Facebook initiative will have wide, far and big impact—one million users have “liked” our page.
Finally, last month included a trip to Panama for the Lindell/Encircle Foundation, which benefits from the credibility of our trained pastors, who identify economic needs, allowing the foundation to help with monetary support. RREACH helps pastors’ families in zones of persecution, natural disaster and oppression, so God’s shepherds are prioritized in this joint exercise. A dinner in Panama drew 300 guests, 200 of whom were pre-Faith. Before the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and actor Stephen Baldwin shared testimonies, I gave a full-length evangelistic talk. At least two dozen professed a response to Jesus that night; a Dallas GPA graduate’s church is following them up.
I am filled with reverence that God’s people pray for me toward the vision of changing the way large numbers of individuals think and hear about the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for this gift and for the onward journey together this year and beyond.
Dear praying friends,
In less than two weeks, the Lord willing, the GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers will begin. Thank you for your faithful, focused prayer for Dr. Richard and all involved with this event. God is moving. Please keep praying!
- Program – the core vehicle for the Congress vision
o Spirit-led final planning and excellent implementation
o Presenters/Coaches: pure hearts, clear messages, safe travels
o Development and execution of the strategic four-year follow-up plan
o God’s powerful intervention on behalf of those facing visa challenges
o Outpouring of resources for those unable to meet travel expenses
o Heart and mind preparation, health and safety
o Praise for the generosity of many who have helped us keep in step with obligations
o Completion of funding – $2.5 million by Dec. 31
Currently, more than 2800 have registered for the Congress. Pray against obstacles that cause cancellations. We also continue to hear daily of new interest. Pray for the right 3000 attendees!
Dr. Richard and Bonnie are leaving for Thailand early this week. Please pray for total protection and global provision as they travel and make final physical, mental, spiritual, relational preparations. Thank you.