“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
Eric Sonera and I enjoyed our time with Pastor Mario de Armas and his church family. The church is thriving in a place that is not particularly friendly to Christianity. I was impressed by the work God is doing there. (A tip of the hat to Pastor Orton Deans in Jamaica, who has been working there for many years) The church is multi-national because of the nearby medical school. Many of the congregation are from nations we don’t hear of much. When they finish school, they will be returning to Chad, or Surinam, or Venezuela, or wherever. Our desire is to assist in training them and send them home with a strong foundation in the Word of God. The next step will be to provide leadership training from our Leadership Level FMTI curriculum. Pray as we look to hear the voice of the Lord in guiding this endeavor, and pray for our new friends in Playa Baracoa, Cuba.
God is moving in Sonora.
I just returned from a 10-day stay in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. There is so much happening there it’s hard to keep track of it all. I attended a conference over Easter weekend at Iglesia Christiana Orabes, where I was able to connect with several new pastors from around the region. One pastor from San Luis, Rio Colorado is already preparing to start IEMFe classes there. He is inviting other churches from the community to join in as well. We will be making a visit to see him and encourage him along the way very soon. Pray for Pastors Miguel and Lorena Guerrero.
During the week, I had the opportunity to visit Pastor Luis Cota and his family. They are caring for children who are in Hermosillo for cancer treatment. What a blessing they are to these kids and their families! I also went to Miguel Aleman to hear Brother Eduardo (our interpreter) preach at Iglesia Metrocosta. It was an opportunity to renew acquaintance with Pastor Abram Jimenez. He is doing a great job there. They expressed interest in working with our friends at Iglesia Guerreros de Fe in having IEMFe classes. Pastor Abram is on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant. Please keep Him and his family in your prayers.
Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe.
On April 25-26, we finished up the IEMFe class on “The Holy Spirit.” Chaplain Joyce Hughes taught on the Utterance Gifts, and I taught on some of the practical aspects of leading a Spirit-filled congregation. We had a great time in the Word, completing the fifth of the 8 first level courses. We will begin the “Divine Healing” course in May, then finish out the year with “Money, Ordinances, and Music” beginning in September. Attendance continues around 60. Believe with us for an uptick for the Healing class. There is so much confusion on this subject, so much tradition that impedes the ability to receive God’s best, I am anticipating powerful times of ministry in these classes as revelation flows. (If you are interested in FMTI classes, please go to the website for info ( www.fmtionline.com )
Pastor’s Fellowship Breakfast
8 churches were represented by 18 people attending the monthly breakfast meeting. The pastors shared testimonies from their Easter celebrations. Lots of good stuff is happening. We are starting an emphasis on leadership development in these breakfasts. We had a good discussion of what it means to be a leader. The pastors shared ideas on characteristics of leadership. Using the Luke 6:39-40 teaching of Jesus, I emphasized the importance of identifying and training leaders, as well as becoming good examples for others to follow. We don’t want to be blind leaders who take everyone with us into the ditch. We want to grow up disciples who will be like Jesus.
The next step in expanding the program will come in September. Beginning September 12 and 13, I will be teaching the 2nd and 3rd Level courses of FMTI in Hermosillo. The plan is to do this quarterly to begin. This will provide new levels of continuing education for our students who have completed the first level, and give the current students the opportunity to accelerate their learning. The first course will be “Planning for Success.” The goal of this class is to help leaders take an idea, a vision, and turn it into a reality. It is a great course, and will help these leaders to be more effective immediately. Pray for us as we get the team in place to do this. I want to use local students to be the helps team for the upper level classes.
Pastorvirgil.com Blogsite and Facebook Page
Please stop by www.pastorvirgil.com to keep up to speed on the current teaching thrusts. I also have a Facebook page for the ministry. Search on Facebook for @contendforthesupernatural or go to Pastorvirgil.com. If you want to help out, hit SHARE while you’re there.
Headed to Panama!
A four-person team will be in Panama May 14-20. I will be teaching in the Bible school at Vida Ministries with Dennis and Jeanne Cook. The class is on Divorce and Recovery. Pray I have wisdom and hearts are open to hear. We will also be visiting one of our students in a village called Meteti. He has planted a church and a home for addicts in recovery in one of the most remote places you can imagine. Doug Dolan from Recovery in the Pines is accompanying me to see how we can be of help to these efforts. Eduardo and Rosa Andrade from Hermosillo are traveling with us to translate and help out. Your prayers are appreciated.
May 14-20. Darien, Panama. Classes and visit recovery facility.
May 23 & 24— Hermosillo IEMFe Divine Healing Class Begins
June 2: Believers Church at Glenville, NY. Call (518) 399-0039 for info
June 4: Believers Family Church in Johnstown, NY. Call (518) 762-0185 for info
June 6: Back in Glenville at Believers Church. Call (518) 399-0039 for info
June 8: Addictions seminar and evening service. Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Church in Canajoharie, NY. Call (518) 673-5128 for info
June 9: Living Water Faith Fellowship in Oneonta, NY. Call (607) 433-2234
June 20 & 21— Hermosillo Divine Healing Class continues
June 25-28 FCF Family Conference in Tulsa
Now Scheduling: August thru December. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-792-3238
As you can see, this season of life is quite busy. Thank you for your prayers and contributions and thank you for believing in us. You are making it possible for lives to be changed by the Word of God. The bottom line is that the Word works! I am in awe of what God is doing. He has been very faithful to strengthen me and provide for our needs as we step into uncharted territory. My belief is that the next year is going to be very busy and very fruitful. We can do a lot if we work together.
We are part of Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson. Financial support can be sent there or given online at www.fcftucson.org.
Yours in His service, Virgil and Judy Stokes.