Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
Your prayers have availed much
We are so grateful for praying friends! This last month has been a season of battle for Judy and me. The night before I was to leave for Indiana, Judy had an episode with her blood pressure that disturbed me to the point I felt I had to cancel the trip. The next day, my doctor’s office called to tell me I would have a skin cancer removed from my head the next morning. What a joy to know everything’s gonna be alright!
So the condensed version is this: We win! Judy had some med changes that brought the BP back where it belongs, and she’s doing much better. They are still evaluating some blood work to look for causation, but every day brings progress. I spent 4 hours having my head explored, but they got all the cancer. I now sport a bandage most of the time to protect a skin graft that is still in the healing process. To quote the surgeon after he finished: “Mr. Stokes, you win the prize for the largest tumor of the day!” God is good.
Growing men: In spite of the bandage on my left temple, God gave me the opportunity to keep moving. Pastor John Smith and I traveled to Forest Home, California for a men’s retreat sponsored by Water Walkers 520, a men’s ministry from here in Tucson. It was a powerful experience as we saw many lives changed. I thank God for being able to help men in this day when the idea of manhood has been twisted beyond comprehension. We need strong, faithful, loving men to redeem a culture gone crazy.
Along those same lines, I just returned from Recovery in the Pines in Prescott, Arizona where I was able to spend time with men in recovery from addictions. This was my first opportunity to visit RITP since the pandemic. These folks do a great job and I love the chance to help out when I can. If you know someone who needs help with addiction, give them a call. You might also want to invest in some information we have prepared on this subject: “7 Principles of Recovery” and “God Help Me…I Can’t Stop!” If your church needs info on helping folks with addictions (They are in your service every week), please contact me at email@example.com, and I’ll help you.
I was again struck by how our culture makes recovery difficult. The picture of what makes a man has become distorted. In what I believe is a demonic attempt to destroy families and churches, men are pushed toward one of two twisted extremes. First, there is the “hard man” image which takes natural strength and drive, and pushes it toward cruelty, violence, and domination. By contrast, the feminization of our culture has driven many men into a passive, effeminate position which leaves our homes and institutions lacking the masculine essence they so desperately need.
Paul said it this way: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV)” We are called to be wide awake, resolute in our faith and strong, but always guided by the love of God. That is acting like men. For a longer take on what it means to be a masculine but Christian man, check out Man Alive! Christian Manhood in a Twisted World.
Great news continues in Hermosillo and beyond:
We continue to do monthly Zoom calls for leaders. Attendance has been excellent and consistent. Currently, I am addressing some things Paul showed us in his apostolic role. September 29 and 30th, I will be in Hermosillo teaching the first half of our course on “Victory Over Addictions.” The problem is at least as prevalent there as it is here. I hate addiction and do whatever I can to break its hold on people. We expect great things!
On Saturday morning October 1, we will attempt to live stream our pastors breakfast meeting for those who can’t be personally with us. Hopefully, our upgraded technology will win the day! Please pray for this endeavor.
- September 18. 10:30 AM Living Faith Christian Center. 4108 E. North Street, Tucson, AZ
- September 29–30: IEMFe 2. Hermosillo, Sonora, México
- October 1: Pastors Breakfast. Hermosillo, Sonora
- October 2. Amistad los Olivos. Hermosillo, Sonora
- October 23. 10 AM. Living Water Faith Fellowship. 7 Lewis St. Oneonta, NY
- October 23. 5 PM. Mountaintop Christian Church. 7687 County Highway 33, Bloomville, NY
- October 25. 6:30 PM.Faith, Hope and Love Christian Church. 63 Cliff St. Canajoharie, NY.
- October 26. 7 PM. Believer’s Family Church. 150 S Comrie Ave, Johnstown, NY
- October 30. 10:30 AM Believer’s Church @Glenville. 304 Swaggertown Rd, Glenville, NY
- November 23. His Presence Church AZ. 4108 E. North Street, Tucson, AZ
- December 1-2, IEMFe 2. Hermosillo, Sonora
Help Wanted: I’m still looking for some help with getting our written material ready for publication. Thanks to those who have come forward to help with translations. We are going to touch many lives. There’s still plenty of need for help in Spanish translation, so don’t be shy!
Thank you for your prayers and support. As you can see, we are going forward. We are very grateful for those who help carry the load.
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. We pray consistently for your financial blessing as you obey God in giving.
PLEASE!!!! Don’t forget to visit www.pastorvirgil.com. There’s 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.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85745