November update from Pastor Virgil

“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

December 1, 2020

A time for rejoicing, Friend!.

I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Judy and I stayed home and enjoyed smoked turkey and some Serrano Sweet Potatoes. Like most folks we have been in a state of continual adjustment since March, and November was no different. The election came and went, then came and went, then came and … I heard a psychology guy say that the one thing that makes people anxious, angry, and depressed is uncertainty. We have been uncertain about many things for months. I’m happy to report that Jesus remains the rock of our salvation, and the future for us is certain. For this, I am grateful.

In the midst of the mess, we have made good progress on God’s assignments. I was able to attend the Faith Christian Fellowship Representatives meeting in Ft Worth, and it was good to fly on a plane, hang out with other ministers, and hear what’s in the works for our organization from Cookie Brothers and the team. Good stuff. In addition, Dr. Dean Radtke imparted his wisdom on leadership. He is a gem.

A few updates:

“Man Alive! Christian Manhood in a Twisted World” . I am unbelievably bad at promoting my own stuff, but this is good, really. At the outset, I just wanted to encourage a few guys in our church who were struggling with some issues. Being a man in this hour is not easy. It’s easy to make fun of prissy boys in skinny jeans playing on their phones in their parents’ basements. It’s more difficult to

define a masculinity that is confident in its strength, committed to its God, and willing to serve the weak and weary. We need something to reflect that macho is dead, but manhood is forever. We need men! To that end, I asked God for help, and He helped me.

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians to “act like men (1 Cor. 16:13 ESV).” He knew they would understand that language. God planted in our hearts an image of what manhood was meant to be. We know it when we see it. I surveyed my Christian friends, asking the question “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term Manhood? Their responses all had to do with character, not physical prowess. Collectively, they gave a good description.

I knew that another book of “You oughta’s” was not enough. Our problem is not lack of information. We need information that results in transformation. Many of us have struggled for years knowing what we ought to do, resolving to do it, then failing and fading until the next crisis or men’s “retreat.” This book is filled with biblical information, but it also contains a lot of practical advice and direction on how to move toward transformation. We will never consistently do what we ought to do until we become who we need to be. Only God and His Word can do that. My hope is that “Man Alive!” will help some of us make progress in that direction. Rant ended. Enjoy.

Graduation time for Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe. Our next class of first level students will graduate Saturday, December 5 atIglesia Cristiana Orabes in Hermosillo, Sonora. This will be preceded by a Pastor’s Breakfast that morning at Iglesia Vina Nueva. All this will be done with virus precautions in place, as Sonora is experiencing the same spike that we are here in Arizona.

I am so enormously proud of our team in Hermosillo! In the midst of the quarantines and lockdowns, they have persevered. Our pastors have continued to communicate and meet together. The last classes were taught in two different locations to make them available to all. A big “atta-girl” to Pastor Nelly Maldonado, who has almost single-handedly collected and graded all the homework, including people catching up on previous classes. Thanks to the whole group. Good job!!!!!

Please pray for our journey. Joyce Hughes, Brenda Mangen, and I will be leaving Tucson on Friday the 4th for Hermosillo. The virus situation is bad on both sides of the border. Pray for all who will attend these two events. We are not afraid, neither are we stupid. Both churches have well-trained cleaning teams and are well-prepared in their handling of the situation. Our goal is that everyone involved be safe. Thank you!

@IEMFeonline is continuing to serve our Hispanic constituency. We are working to provide more content. Special thanks to Vanessa Navallez who is helping us with interpretation for Ayuda para sanar videos, as well as our “Líderes en Crecimiento” Zoom meetings every other Saturday. Eduardo Andrade is helping me do a radio series on divine healing for Radio Vida in Panama.

Mexico City Students: I am continuing to meet online with three students/ministers in the Mexico City area. They are progressing rapidly, having completed their second course, “Carácter Cristiano Para El Ministerio,” in November. This pilot project in exploring new ways to reach people with our practical ministry training is going well. Please pray for our students and the staff we are training to handle this type of outreach in the future.

The travel schedule is still in flux due to spikes in virus cases. Pray that we can travel in the United States as well as Mexico.

Please Pray:

  • For our nation. This is God’s country, and He will deliver. It’s revival time!
  • For our ministry:
    • Physical health, financial provision, lots of good help with computer work and social media.
    • The vehicle fund is growing. Agree with us for the rest we need for a reliable vehicle for use in Mexico. We are about to be busy.
    • I have three more book projects in the mill. Pray for me to get ‘er done.
    • Open up ways and doors to get where we need to go. God is able.

Support. “Thank you!” You have been so faithful to help. You are great! 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. Lots of new stuff every week. You don’t want to miss it. 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 will help us reach more people.

Judy and I are so grateful for you, you can’t imagine. Some of you have been with us since the 80’s. Others are newcomers. You are all precious to us. If we can serve you in any way, please let us know. Thank you!!!!!

Yours in His service,

Virgil and Judy Stokes

3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.

Tucson AZ, 85745

520-792-3238

www.pastorvirgil.com

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