“From the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
September 3, 2019
I trust you are well and passionately following Jesus. Judy and I are continuing in our adventures, and we are grateful for all your help in doing so.
In direct opposition to my nature, we actually took some time off in August. Judy assures me I needed it. I tend to overestimate my resilience in recent years. In my mind, I have the same stamina I had in 1980, but reality catches up with me if I don’t mind my rhythms. Because of some health issues for our dog, we canceled two trips and spent some time just doing nothing around home. I smoked a lot of meat and had my annual physical checks. Everything is good because the Word works. With the advent of September, life is about to get very, very busy.
Just a couple of things I want to specifically ask you to pray for in the coming month:
· “Man Alive.” Beginning a little more than a year ago, I started sensing a need to help men. We live in a time of significant stress for the average male. The culture has shifted. Definitions of masculinity are being blurred. We are surrounded by sexual stimuli in ways never experienced by any other generation. The culture has created a hyper-sensitivity in relations with females. Even the economy no longer runs on testosterone. It seemed to me I was constantly talking to Christian men who were struggling in one way or another.. I was hearing voices of anger and of despair.
Sometime last Fall, I was reading one more article in a seemingly endless stream of articles about how awful men are, especially white men. It seems there is some new crime revealed every day and attributed to the male essence: toxic masculinity. Being a man and having appreciated the qualities of what I consider real manhood in others for a lifetime, I decided to do a little non-scientific research. Words paint pictures in our minds. If a person has not been brainwashed by the media and the academy, what is the picture they have of the term “manhood?”
I took a survey of friends and acquaintances, asking the question, “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term manhood?” The results were interesting. With only one exception, the responses described aspects of character rather than physical prowess. I am currently writing essays on each of the characteristics that were most often mentioned, correlating that gut-level description with Bible instructions. My hope is that it will be helpful in growing better men and in making good men more comfortable with their masculinity.
I’m about halfway through the list, and the drafts of completed chapters are posted on my blog (www.pastorvirgil.com) under the title “Man Alive.” Would you pray with me for revelation and inspiration to get this project done in September? I appreciate it.
Big week in Hermosillo. This month begins a new phase in Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe. September 13-14 I will be teaching the Level 2 course, “Planning for Success.” This will be open to all who are interested. The plan is to teach these more advanced ministry and leadership courses once per quarter. All the registration and clerical responsibilities will be handled by our Hermosillo team. I will be the sole “foreigner” involved. This is important because of what’s happening the next week.
September 19-20 begins the 7th of the 8 courses that comprise the first level of IEMFe. We will conclude the first level in April. At that time, the grads and their churches will be entirely responsible for the ongoing teaching and administration in Hermosillo. Toward that end, we are allowing more and more of the legwork to be done by the local team. The plan is that the local churches can teach the first level courses in their own churches, with help and direction from us.
Please pray for this endeavor. We ask that God raise up a team of dedicated and capable teachers and leaders who have the vision for building people of substance for works of power. I will be in Mexico from the 12th to the 23rd. Pray for the grace to get the job done and direction to make the right decisions.
IEMFe classes began in Nogales, Sonora in August. Eduardo and Rosa Andrade are teaching there. They had 15 students for the first classes. They did a fine job and will be having class again this week. I have been in regular contact with them and helped them prep for teaching. Keep praying for them as they continue on this new adventure.
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Please stop by www.pastorvirgil.com to keep up to speed what I am writing at the moment. I also have a Facebook page for the ministry. Search on Facebook for @contendforthesupernatural or go to Pastorvirgil.com. If you want to be a big help, hit SHARE while you’re there.
- September 1. FCF Tucson. Home sweet home!
- September 8. Ministerio Zoe-Tucson. Pastor Abel Leon.
- September 13-14. Hermosillo, Sonora. IEMFe Level 2 – Planning for Success
- September 19-20. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class begins
- October 6. Living Faith Christian Center. Tucson, AZ
- October 17-18. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class continues.
- October 26- November 3. Upstate New York.
- November 8-9. Southern AZ Pastors and Leaders Gathering. Living Faith Christian Center. Tucson
- November 14-15. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class concludes.
- November 24. FCF Tucson.
- November 26-December 4. Peru. Bible School graduation. Pastors training.
Thank you for your prayers and contributions. You make it possible for us to continue. Please pray for grace to travel. Also, wisdom concerning finding time to write.
Pray that I will connect with the churches and pastors that need the grace that’s on me. I don’t just want to go because I can, I want to go because I should. This is the hardest thing for me, as I don’t want to be a salesman, hawking the gift and leveraging relationships. On the other hand, I don’t want to miss God because I am bashful. Anyway, thanks for your prayers.
Now Scheduling for 2020: Contact me to schedule something at your place. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-403-7184
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes