Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
January 7, 2022
It’s gonna be a great year!
A new year is well under way. Judy and I are continually grateful for you. God’s highest and best to you in the New Year.
Rather than charge into a “to do” list for 2022, I want to share with you just one little vignette from December that blessed me, and I hope it lets you know the impact you’re having.
I made a quick trip to Hermosillo for a meeting of our pastors group there. They scheduled it on a Wednesday morning for breakfast. The purpose was to talk about the Congreso being planned for January, and to have a little fellowship as we looked back at the year. Our usual interpreter was out of commission, so I didn’t really plan to teach, but I just wanted them to know I loved them and looked forward to spending some time together. We had a good turnout for a weekday morning, and the three kinds of burritos and the grilled Serranoes were deliciosos.
The group asked me to share with them, so I rallied my best Spanish, and asked them a few pertinent questions about their commitment to the organization. Some of them have been with us for many years, all for at least 2 years. (We have some newer folks, but the odd scheduling didn’t allow them to attend) The key questions were: “When you first came to this group, what did you see or experience that caused you to come back?” and “What is it that keeps you coming back now?” I found the answers to be very instructive. There were three things that were mentioned repeatedly:
- Real fellowship. This was first on almost every list. They said they felt loved. First by the other members of the group, especially the leadership who took an interest in their lives. Second, by our American team. They took our commitment, consistency, and personal sacrifice as evidence that we genuinely care. We do.
- Sound Doctrine. This was a direct result of the bible school. These are all seasoned ministers from diverse backgrounds. The commitment to staying steady with the biblical text and finding practical life application was eye-opening and refreshing to them. One pastor said he had been forced to leave his ministry group after many years because of doctrines and practices he simply couldn’t overlook. That left him asking the Lord how to unite his church in a new direction. The bible school provided that vehicle and has brought great unity as people catch the vision for the Word and making disciples themselves.
- Freedom in the Holy Spirit (without being weird.) As I said, these folks come from different backgrounds. Some of them hadn’t seen the move of the Spirit, others had seen things that left them shaking their heads. One pastor’s wife said she was so grateful to learn that they could have the move of the Spirit and still have order.
I think those three things would just about summarize what I believe to be the keys to Christian life and ministry. Our goal is to nurture these things and expand our scope in 2022. There are several other issues on my heart for the new year, and I’ll share them with you as we go. Thank you for allowing us to do what we do.
- · January 27-30. Congreso in Hermosillo, Sonora.
- February 25-27. IEMFe 2nd Level. Hermosillo
- March 22-28. Panama Class
- April 21-24. Southern Arizona Leadership Conference. Living Faith Christian Center , Tucson
- May 13-22 New York. More info to follow
We are scheduling June and beyond. Let me know if I can be of service to you.
One of the big items on my agenda is doing more teaching and demonstration in the area of intercessory prayer. I’m convinced that the diminution of time in the prayer closet in favor of a more convenient and inoffensive faith is partially responsible for the decline in power in the American church. That is changing. Check out three messages on the subject:
- James 5 Healing Prayer The message begins at 1:01:00 (Pastor Smith and I worked in tandem on this one) This was potent.
- Intercession for the Sick The message begins at 52:00
- Prophetic Prayer The message begins at 43:30
Support. 2021 was a very effective year, thanks to you. “Thank you!” 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. 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. We also maintain a Facebook page in Spanish @IEMFeonline .
Remember, strong relationships plus sound doctrine plus lots of the Holy Ghost produces much fruit. Have a blessed 2022
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85745