“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
April 1, 2020
What a great time to be alive!
Glory to God! What a month! I started March in Hermosillo by preaching on how to appropriate the promises of Psalm 91 in the face of the news of the covid-19 virus. Mexico was just starting to hear of such a thing, and fear was beginning to show its ugly head. Mid-month, Judy and I were in Cambria, CA for the FCF West conference. By the time we left, the state was in a lockdown. We got home just in time for Arizona to join in. We have been staying at home ever since. I’m sure most of you have, too.
A Word for the Lockdown:
I sent out some initial thoughts concerning how to respond to the situation in an “Out of the Abundance of the Heart” email on March 19. Rather than re-hash that here, you can read it by clicking the link. You can also watch a conversation on the subject I had with Pastor John Smith on FCF Tucson’s YouTube channel.
As Judy and I were praying one morning, the Lord spoke to her about our activities during this time. She said, “Use this time to get healthy. You just thought you were busy before. When this (the lock down) ends it is going to speed up.” We immediately adjusted our mindset. I believe the Lord wants to do great things and do them rapidly. My job is to “Get healthy.” No, we are not sick, but we were exhausted. I had also let down on some of my personal exercise habits, just because it was cold outside. We started setting a daily schedule – getting up and getting g ready as if we were going to work – during the week. It has helped us.
This is a time to make personal adjustments to increase your strength. God wants you to be physically healthy. Do what you know you need to do. It’s going to matter to others very soon. Take care of your mental and emotional health. Learn new things. Take classes. Read. Repair relationships. Most of all, feed your heart with the Word and exercise yourself by praying in the Spirit. It’s going to speed up. Be ready! I wrote some thoughts along these lines in a blog post on Sunday, March 29. You can access that here. If you’re having problems with your patience in this time, I encourage you to click the link and read it.
Because of the current restrictions, we have postponed all outside ministry until the end of April. Things after that will be decided as the time approaches. I have remained quite active, using the time to write and to stay in contact with the churches with which we have relationship. Here are a few items for your prayer full attention:
1. “Healing Help” is a series of brief teachings designed to help those who are struggling to receive healing, or who want to get better at helping others receive their healing. I am publishing them both as part of the “Out of the Abundance of the Heart” email letters, and online at http://www.pastorvirgil.com. Videos are on the way, also.
2. “Man Alive!” is almost ready. For a year I have been compiling a series of bible studies aimed at men. We are in final edit stage, and the whole thing will be available for download soon. If you want to see the pre-edit versions, you can simply visit www.pastorvirgil.com.
3. Please pray. All our Latin American friends are in their own versions of lockdown. The situation in Mexico may be especially dire, as the government was very slow to act on the problem. In addition, the availability of quality healthcare is a problem for many. Panama and Peru are also under stay at home orders. Pray for churches and pastors.
4. We are proceeding with scheduling. Please, let’s get this thing over with so the show can go on. Pray for the churches in New York listed in the schedule below. It’s
5. Pray specifically for our interpreters and organizers, Eduardo and Rosa Andrade. Since I’m not traveling, they are losing work. In addition, their “tent-making” job is shut down due to the lock down. We are thanking God for provision to get through this lean time and continue to expand the IEMFe ministry. (We are putting plans in place to reach new locations in Mexico in the year ahead.)
· 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
· August 20-31. Panama
· September 11-14. Hermosillo. Leadership Training and IEMFe graduation. (New academic year begins September 17)
We are humbled by the faithfulness of our friends. Your prayers, encouragement, and financial support are essential to getting this job done.
Financial support can be sent to Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson at the address below, or given online at www.fcftucson.org. Make checks payable to FCFT, you can designate for missions or pastorvirgil and it will get where it needs to go. Thanks again.
Don’t forget to visit www.pastorvirgil.com. I post stuff there every few days. Share it with your friends. You can help by looking at the Pastorvirgil.com Facebook page and hitting follow. Whenever you see a post, share it. This stuff will help people.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes