“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
March 5, 2021
Spring is almost springing, Friends!
It’s the time of year when things start coming to life, and that includes us. As the restrictions imposed because of the virus begin to be lifted, I believe that the things God has been doing in each of us will burst forth.
Judy and I received our first injection of the Moderna vaccine last week, and will be receiving the second later this month. I know some probably think this is unwise, but we are perfectly at peace with the idea. I won’t debate the science, but the practical aspect is that it will enable me to travel with much less impediment from local restrictions. If believing God to take the shot without ill effects is all that is required to get me going, then let ‘er rip!
I’m not sure how I got so busy, but my days are filled from sunup to sundown, and then some. I have the privilege of filling in some for our friend and FMTI grad, Pastor Randy Winkles while he is attending to the passing of his parents, so my in-person preaching is getting a refresher course. (Last Sunday, then March 14 and 21 at Living Faith Christian Center here in Tucson. Streaming live at 10:30 AM, Arizona time. View Last Sunday’s message here.)
It seems to me that there is a full court press against pastors and churches at the moment. The first part of every year, I get to attend several church board meetings. (Thank God for Zoom!) I’ve also been talking with pastors in many different places. This last Sunday I was moved with compassion for men and women who are pastoring flocks during this challenging time. Their heartfelt desire to navigate this season with integrity and compassion is an inspiration to me. I am taking the liberty to include a bit of what I wrote on that subject: Thank you, Pastor, for your service!
- IEMFe: We are meeting weekly in planning sessions for the on-site version of Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. As soon as the health officials deem it possible, we will be ready to go. That should happen very soon. We (my IEMFe team and I) are preparing to do faculty training via Zoom, or, maybe even in person!!!!
- In addition, our IEMFe team is learning to respond to contacts from pastors in other parts of Mexico and the world. Our concept of training regular people in practical ministry seems to have legs. Thank God for our Hermosillo-based team: Pastors Alberto and Nelly Flores, and Ministers Eduardo and Rosa Andrade.
- Leaders training: Our Zoom meetings for pastors and leaders are growing! Attendance has been quite consistent. We started bi-weekly Zoom meetings for our pastors in Hermosillo in May, two months after the shutdown. We have added others from several places. The average attendance has been 15 besides me. We make the video recording available to those who can’t make the meeting, and we average almost 10 views per week. We are adding new people, and I expect that to continue. Each session consists of a time of sharing and praying, followed by a teaching with a .pdf outline for each participant and a PowerPoint presentation of the content. It’s good stuff.
- Mexico City: Our Zoom students in Nezahualcoyotl (Mexico city suburb) are doing very well. They are halfway through the first level material and are flourishing in it. As I am writing this, we are preparing to begin the “Redemptive Truth” class this very afternoon. As part of this process we are developing a replicable method for increasing our reach through distance learning. So far, so good!
- IEMFeonline is very active. We are recording and posting “Ayuda para sanar” (Healing Help) video teachings weekly. Check them out. You will also find testimonies from our students and graduates that are really inspiring. This Word is changing lives. We also do audio teachings for a weekly radio program in Panama. Check out Estereo Vida Darien. 105.1 FM. www.vidaministries.com. https://www.twitch.tv/stereovida .
- “Healing Help: Filling the holes in our doctrine of divine healing.” Progress continues on this project. I am posting chapters now on the almost forgotten subject of submission. You may not know this, but a haughty or rebellious attitude will hinder your ability to tap into healing grace. Take a look at “The Power of Submission.” I have also been getting great feedback from folks who are watching the short videos that are also available at www.pastorvirgil.com. People are getting healed, and that’s why we do this.
- Don’t forget, The men’s book is doing well. This old world needs good men! “Man Alive: Christian Manhood in a Twisted World” is available in paperback and Kindle. I think you will find it unique in the genre. Not just ought to, not just what to, but, thank God, how to.
Don’t forget to check in at www.pastorvirgil.com. Check it out and follow us. There is one particular button you should click entitled “Real Disciples Study Guide.” If you’ve never been through a basic discipleship course, try this one. If you know someone whose foundations need shoring up, this is the place to go. No kidding, it’s good.
Pray for us:
- Help needed: I am buried. I need good help with computer work and social media. Some copy editing for books would be great. All these things can be done online. They don’t have to be in Tucson.
- We still need reliable vehicle for use in Mexico. We are about to be busy, and I don’t want to be broke down by the road in cartel country! The funds are coming in. Keep praying.
- We are booking again. Pray with us for open doors and divine guidance.
Support: You are great! It seems obvious, but we can’t keep going without you who obey the Lord and help us. 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.
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 grateful for connecting us with such a wonderful bunch of people. Thank you!
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes