“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
March 1, 2020
Spring is on the way!
Greetings from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. I’m writing from my little Airbnb as I prepare for the final service of a 12 day stay in Hermosillo. In just a couple of hours I will be telling the folks at Amistad Los Olivos just how much their father loves them. That message has really struck a nerve after God gave it to me fresh during Congreso in January. If you haven’t checked it out, visit www.pastorvirgil.com and look for “Healing Help.” I have been writing on the subject as God continues to help people receive their healing. (Update: when I got there, the Lord changed my message to a teaching on safety from pestilence and plague from Psalm 91. Good message for folks scared of the latest virus)
To all who have prayed for us and been so generous to support our efforts, thank you. It is apparent that God is allowing us to help people with the gifts He has given us. Without the entire team of prayers, workers, and givers this would be impossible. February was a very busy month. It started with a bang as I spent three days with Living Faith Christian Center and Pastor Randy Winkles. The Fresh Fire Weekend was surely that, as God touched lives in wonderful ways.
Recovery in the Pines
I spent two days in Prescott, Arizona visiting the good people at Recovery in the Pines. They do a tremendous job of helping addicts live free from their addictions through an intimate and committed relationship with God. My primary purpose was to do some serious planning for a project in Panama later this year. Doug Dolan, COO of RITP, is working with me to educate and train lay people and leaders in th
e Darien concerning addiction and recovery. It’s going to be good. We will be with Dennis and Jeanne cook in August to begin the implementation of the program. Please pray for this endeavor.
February began our final course for the first Level of Instiuto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe (IEMFe) here in Hermosillo. Rev. Joyce Hughes joined me to teach
Practical Ministry Skills. Joyce taught on preparing ourselves to minister to others effectively. I followed with practical instruction on leading people to the Lord and helping them receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Good stuff!. Thanks, as always to the team at Iglesia Orabes and Pastor Jose Santos Ramos. Great job.
The next week, on February 26 and 27, I taught the 2nd Level class on “Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.” More than 70 students registered, and I counted 9 pastors in the class, along with many of the leaders from their churches. It was so quiet, I began to think I wasn’t connecting, but the conversations afterward indicate that they were absorbing new ideas. This is the third of our upper level classes that I have taught here and we plan to continue teaching several each year. The students seem to be receiving and applying what they learn. These classes bring expertise in specific areas of ministry that will aid these leaders in being more effective. Thanks to Pastor Alberto Flores and his team for hosting us at Iglesia Vina Nueva.
Planning for the Future:
My time between classes was spent meeting with pastors and ministering in churches. Our goal is that the local churches will work together to continue IEMFe First Level
classes after we finish in April. We will have taught all 8 first level courses over a period of 32 months by bringing teams from Tucson. We have developed a team here of able teachers and trained administrators who will take up the torch beginning in September after the graduation ceremony for the current group. It is an exciting and challenging time. Please continue to pray for this endeavor. God is doing something in this group.
At the Pastor’s Breakfast on Saturday the 22nd, we discussed the core reasons we are doing the bible school and organizing as a group. The legal processes are still ongoing, but the spiritual reality of our fellowship seems very solid. I shared again that no one needs to, or should, do ministry alone. Our group, because of the bible school, has a core of common beliefs, and a common purpose to carry the message. I identified the things that are our doctrinal distinctives as Faith Christian Fellowship ministers. We visited ideas like believing the Word is true, I believe I receive when I pray, the Holy Spirit is free to move, we have authority over the enemy, the Kingdom works by sowing and reaping, and that our good God isn’t making people sick. He is healing them.
In addition to meetings and classes, I ministered in three churches, and at a prayer meeting of the local pastor’s alliance. Thanks to Pastors David Aleman, Teodoro Belmonte, and Martin Leal for receiving us in their churches. Special thanks go to my new friend, Pastor Daniel Moreno, president of the pastor’s alliance. He received me and gave me the microphone on the recommendation of three pastors who are part of our group. I believe God touched the men who were present. We had a great time of prayer and making new friends.
REMINDERS: You can help
Please continue to pray. We are doing very well, but with so many projects, we need strength and wisdom. I am moving along on writing, and you will be seeing more shortly. Keep checking the webpage to see what’s coming out. If you feel you want to help financially, you can do so by going to the www.fcftucson.org or sending a land letter to FCF Tucson at the address below. Be sure to designate the gift to Pastor Virgil.
Two other ways to be involved:
· Visit www.pastorvirgil.com and read stuff, then share it. You can also visit the Facebook page and do the same thing. Share the articles on your timeline so your friends can access them.
· If you’re a pastor, you can invite us. I try to organize jaunts to an area to keep expenses down, but my commitment is that if God says “go,” then I go on my own dime and the pastors do what they can. God is good. He has been very faithful to show up in our services and help people.
Judy and I are ever grateful for the friends and co-laborers God has given us. You guys are the best. Thanks again for all you do. We can and will get this done together.
- March 14. FCF West Region Conference. Cambria, CA.
- March 15. Living Waters Christian Fellowship, Cambria CA. Contact: Pastor Judy Templeton (805) 440-0105
- March 26-27. IEMFe Practical Ministry Skills. Hermosillo
- March 28. Pastors Breakfast. Hermosillo
- April 23-24. IEMFe Practical Ministry Skills. Hermosillo
- April 25. Pastors Breakfast. Hermosillo
· May 31. Glenville NY. Believers Church @ Glenville. 10 AM
· June 2. Johnstown, NY. Believers Family Church. 7 PM
· June 3. Palatine Bridge, NY. Valley Alliance Church. 85 E. Main St, Palatine Bridge, NY 7 PM
· June 5. Canajoharie, NY. Faith, Hope and Love Church. 7 PM
· June 7. Oneonta, NY. Living Water Faith Fellowship. 10 AM
Don’t forget to visit www.pastorvirgil.com. I post stuff there every few days. Share it with your friends. This message will help them.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes