November 8, 2021
Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
Feeling grateful, Friend.
We have so much to be thankful for! Judy and I are both relatively healthy for such young folks. God has been faithful to meet our needs and enable us to continue ministry during a tough period in world history. We are grateful. Aside from the obvious, God provides fringe benefits that I never really expected when I said “Yes” to His call so many years ago. Maybe the best benefit has been the remarkable people we have had the privilege to meet and work with. Sometimes we focus attention on the difficult folks who provide God with opportunities to intervene on our behalf. The greater reality is that God has enriched our lives with sincere, loving, and faithful people. It humbles me to know them.
As we head into the holidays, Judy and I are thankful for you. So many friends have stayed with us and believed in us, it never ceases to amaze me. I just returned from 12 days in New York state, where I visited 6 churches. In addition to visiting with great pastors, I had the opportunity to see many old friends who have served the Lord with us over the years. I want to say a big “Thank you” to the folks who trusted me to minister to their congregations. It’s always a privilege. Thanks to Pastors Dan Runcorn, Don Yarborough, David Bowley, Gene Brown, Phil and Connie Carey, and Dianne Elston.
The theme the Lord has given me for the season we are in has been what I call “Healing Help.” In the NY meetings, I ministered something along those lines at every stop. I believe that God wants people to be healed. Not everyone is healed. God wants to help them. I get to help. There is a whole series of teachings at pastorvirgil.com that will help you to help others receive. Please check it out.
There are three specific areas where many folks need a bit of adjustment:
- Identity in Christ. From a “faith” standpoint, the number one issue (after not knowing healing is God’s will) is simple righteousness consciousness. People don’t get healed because they feel they deserve to be sick or they are not “adequate” in their faith.
- Faith fallacies. Without intending to do so, we sometimes leave people with a legalistic understanding of faith. Therefore, if my faith is not working, I am failing somehow. I just need to work harder, pray longer, read more, etc. This is faith in me (my performance), not faith in God.
- Loss of Christian community. You were never meant to live out your faith alone. I am convinced we live below our inheritance because we don’t connect and keep each other covered in prayer and in genuine fellowship. This is a huge biblical theme that gets little attention.
Holy Spirit emphasis:
The Holy Spirit spoke by prophecy in several of our services in New York. Two words seemed to be particularly emphasized in almost all the services. One was “No more drip, drip, drip. The stream is about to flow freely.” I believe this applies to many things, but in particular, I believe the manifestation of the supernatural in the Church is about to take an uptick. Not the goofy, side show kind of performances that we make up ourselves, but the genuine, God-honoring flow that touches people at depth and directs attention to God and His Word. Let it stream!
The other word that brought light to many was this: “There is a difference between darkness and blindness.” When people are in the dark, then the cure is to bring light. That’s us! We are the light, we carry the light, and we let the light shine. The entrance of His Word brings light. Some people just need light so they can see Jesus clearly and respond. Blindness, on the other hand, takes a different approach. No amount of light can cure blindness. The blind person has to be healed or delivered. That takes an internal work of the Spirit. If you perceive that you are dealing with a heart that is blinded, hardened and indifferent, the answer is prayer, not preaching. God will have to open the eyes of their heart before light can be perceived. They really can’t hear you or see what you mean. They’re blind! Quit arguing and nagging, and start praying.
Good stuff going on:
Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe, Hermosillo got off to a great start. Three of our Tucson team went down for the first night of the First Level classes on October 14. We laid hands on all the new faculty members as they set out on this new adventure. They started off with a bang. There were 45 students registered representing 9 different churches, as well as a number of graduates who came just to hear the Word and support the project. Congratulations to the whole team! Thanks to all who have been praying for this new endeavor. Don’t stop!
Plans are being made for the annual congreso that we had to cancel this year due to covid. As soon as the covid restrictions allow, we will be having a grand gathering of all the churches. When we know that date, we will plan the next 2nd Level IEMFe class. Please continue to pray for the end of the pandemic and the lifting of the occupancy restrictions.
I am overwhelmed to see our students growing and going and preaching the gospel with such confidence and grace. You have made this possible. Here are just a few preaching in their home churches, baptizing at the rehab center, ministering to a women’s conference, giving a charge to new Bible students, and teaching a new IEMFe class. These folks are doing it!
Peru: On November 3rdWe kicked off Zoom classes on the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. You can check it out at FCF Peru.
- November 3, 10, 17, 24. Facebook Live: FCF PERÚ: Iglesia “Eben-ezer”
- December 5 & 12. FCF Tucson. 10 AM. Covenant, Committed Prayer.
- March 22-28. Vida Ministries, Panama. Church Government class. (How to Run a Sheep Shed ) Pray that the pandemic is out of the way
- April 21-23. Southern Arizona Pastors and Leaders Conference. Living Faith Christian Center, Tucson International.
We continue to do regular Zoom calls with our pastors and leaders in Mexico. God continues to do really good things among them.
I’m finishing up with the Healing Help series this month. Hopefully, that will become a book shortly. The next writing project will be “Living in Goshen.” In the day we’re in, it’s imperative that we know where safety lies, and how to stay there.
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. Visit FCFTucson.org for access to all my books except the Man Alive! tome. You will enjoy them.
Pray for us:
- Please continue to pray for helpers. We have need of clerical and social media assistance.
- Pray for God’s guidance as we enter the new year planning season. I know things are changing, but am not entirely clear on the assignment yet.
Thank you for your support: Because of your faithful prayers and support, people are being exposed to the powerful message of faith in a way they can actually apply. You can 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 appreciate you so much! God is good and we are grateful. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85745