“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
July 5, 2021
Don’t forget the Message!
I trust you are well and serving the Lord with your whole heart. You’re a blessing! In fact, you are touching lives in a number of places.
June was extremely hot here in the Sonoran Desert. That includes Tucson as well as our friends to the south in Hermosillo, Sonora and its surrounding area. On my last trip to Hermosillo, we actually cancelled a video recording session because it was just too warm in the house to do it. As temperatures have regularly exceeded 110°, a little caution seemed appropriate. We went back to online recordings until the weather breaks.
On Saturday morning, June 19th, we had a pastors and leaders meeting at Iglesia Viñanueva. Thanks to Pastors Alberto and Nelly and their team for taking such good care of us. The turnout was excellent, and included our prospective Bible school teachers for the Fall. Though it was very hot and the sound on our live transmission was very bad, we accomplished a great deal.
Teacher training/leaders meetings: We dug into the Word concerning what it means to be a “Word of Faith” people. A bible school is a great thing. Training ministers is part of winning the lost and discipling the found. On the other hand, it’s a huge pain. If we are going to do it, I want to be sure we know why we are doing it. There are other bible schools in the city. Why do they need ours? What makes us, us?
Like most of us, these folks have come from diverse backgrounds. They will have to do exactly what you and I did: overcome tradition with the Word. This meeting was aimed at being sure they understand the challenge and the importance of getting the message right. Tradition is tricky and sticky. Watch out! On the other hand, our faith crowd has produced some genuinely bizarre doctrines and practices that we need to be aware of as well. With that in mind, I addressed the importance of good bible interpretation principles, along with the things that really define our movement, our doctrinal distinctives, as they say:
- The Bible is truth. Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17) If I can dig in and find what God says about something, then I can count on that to be true. His Word is His will.
- Faith is now. The prayer of Faith is the prayer of the Word. The whole concept of believe you receive when you pray is a foreign concept to most Christian people.
- The power of the tongue. James 3 is a primer on the importance of what comes out of my mouth.
- The authority of the believer. In Eph 1:15-2:6 Paul prayed for a revelation of the power released toward us in the resurrection. We are seated with Christ in a position of eternal authority over all the forces of darkness.
- Seed plant and harvest. The whole Kingdom works on this simple principle. The Scripture says “seed” can be the Word, money, good works, or even people. Plant them, water them, be patient, and harvest comes.
- God is good. This may be the greatest thing the “Word of Faith” folks have given me. I thought God had it in for me. I knew I deserved it. But the truth of His positive attitude toward me still brings tears to my eyes.
You can find my most recent post on the subject here.
And more Mexico:
- We enjoyed Father’s Day at La Senda Antigua with Pastor David Aleman and his crew. Wonderful service, and God showed up to touch lives. We are still hearing testimonies.
- Monthly Zoom calls with leaders are still enjoying good attendance. The leadership material is so valuable as we look to expand the work in Latin America. (We did learn how not to do Facebook Live for our in -person meetings. The sound was rough. Constant improvement is our goal. July will be better.)
- I got to ride in our Hyundai Santa Fe, and it was great!!! In addition, it is allowing Eduardo and Rossy to be available for ministry in other venues. Eduardo is teaching discipleship classes at a drug rehab, and we are looking at the possibility of visiting other cities where there is an interest in our training material.
The next Leaders meeting is July 17th. We will meet at the new facility of Grupo Amistad Los Olivos with Pastors Martin and Rosa Leal. They took the shutdown as an opportunity and have rebuilt their building, this time with AC!!! It will be an honor to dedicate the new facility. We will be with them Saturday for the leaders meeting and then Sunday for service. (I love seeing the progress these folks have made in the middle of the shutdown. God is still God!)
- Panamá: The Ayuda Para Sanar radio broadcast continues en Estereo Vida Darién. We are now doing the recordings on video so as to post the videos to the Institute de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe Facebook page. You should check it out.
- Peru: On July 7 we begin our next 4 week seminar on Facebook Live for FCF Peru. The subject is “The Spirit on the Inside.” It will be good.
- July 17 : Leaders and Teachers Training at Grupo Amistad Los Olivos. Hermosillo, Sonora.
- July 18: Service at Grupo Amistad Los Olivos. Hermosillo, Sonora.
- August 8: 10 AM Service at Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson.
- August 15: 10:30 AM Living Faith Christan Center. Tucson
- September 17, 18, 24, 25: “Life in the Spirit”. IEMFe Level 2. Hermosillo Sonora.
- October 24: 10 AM. Living Water Faith Fellowship. Oneonta, NY.
- October 31: 10:30 AM. Believers Church at Glenville. Glenville , NY
Please notice: I’m still filling in the week of October 24 -30. I’ll be in the Albany-Schenectady area all week.
To keep up with all that is happening with us, please visit our internet outposts at IEMFeonline, www.pastorvirgil.com, and the Pastorvirgil.com Facebook page. You will find materials that will help you to help others. I do my best to post all services that are available online to the Facebook page. Pastorvirgil.com contains reams of printed material to help you and help you to help others. Check it out.
Pray for us:
- Please continue to pray for helpers. I still need help with computer work, social media, and copy editing. I could also use some help with translating books and course materials into Spanish. They don’t have to be in Tucson.
- Pray for the ongoing preparations for the Bible school in Hermosillo. We currently plan to teach the 2nd level course, “Life in the Spirit” at the end of September. First level classes with our new group of teachers are scheduled for October.
- Keep Peru and Mexico, and all Latin America in your prayers, as the virus seems to keep coming back.
Support: You are truly special. Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Please send gifts to Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson at the address below or give 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. We are constantly amazed at the faithfulness of God and you, His people. Again, thank you.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes