4 Signs of God’s Providence in Haiti

Since the writing of the story below, Hurricane Matthew has devastated Haiti, taking the lives of an estimated 1,000 and leaving another two million homeless. Countless homes and churches have been destroyed, and disease and famine are spreading rapidly. Would you join us in prayer for our Haiti brothers and sisters and for the gospel to go forth in power? Come, Lord Jesus!


Dear friends and partners,

When you think of Haiti, what comes to mind? Crushing poverty…earthquake devastation…billions of dollars of aid that seem wasted?

Haiti’s future may look remarkably different because God loves Haiti and has raised up a people for Himself. And, in His providence, God is inviting Leadership Resources to equip the pastors of this Caribbean country. Here are four signs of God’s gracious providence…

  1. God brought us the right partner

Our ministry needs in-country partners who are like-minded and strategic thinkers. God led us to Dony St. Germain, a Haitian who runs a ministry which, in part, is dedicated to equipping pastors. Dony has the connections and the local smarts to make this gospel partnership take root and bear fruit.

  1. God speaks Creoleimg_5806

Haiti has two official languages: French and Creole. Everybody in Haiti speaks Creole, while speaking French is a status symbol used by some to look down on others. For the Word of God to flourish in Haiti, training must be done in the heart language of Haiti: Creole. The only problem is finding a translator who shares our passion.

Enter Edvard, a Haitian man studying biblical exegesis at Wheaton College. When he was a young Christian in Haiti, Edvard saw a preacher read from the French Bible in order to impress his congregation. Then, when the preacher tried to switch to Creole, he completely confused everyone, including himself! At that moment, Edvard felt a call from God to see Bible training and biblical resources available to all Haitians in Creole.

  1. God transforms hearts

In July, our team met with 34 exceptional students who were hungry for training and growth. When Haitian pastors realized the curriculum handed to them was in their heart language, their eyes lit up like five-year-olds on Christmas. “Look, it’s in Creole!!” God used the book of Jonah to transform hearts and show His mercy toward sinners and wayward servants.

One pastor confessed hating a man who persecutes him and looking forward to the day of his death. Now, he decided to pray for that man everyday and to try to reach him with Christ’s love. Another man, who once avoided thoughts of a lengthy journey to an unreached village, is praying for strength to walk the twelve hours needed to share the gospel where it has not been heard. 

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  1. God is already multiplying His Word

Very early one morning a TNT (Training National Trainers) student surprised a barely-awake Sean Martin (LRI Trainer) as he made coffee, “Can I have another booklet that summarizes the LRI principles of Bible interpretation?”

“Why do you need the booklet?” Sean inquired, curious to both the request and its timing. Our student replied, “I talked to the principal at our seminary about how powerful God’s Word was in TNT training, and he asked me to share the training with our whole school!”

This isn’t the only exciting avenue for multiplication. Two TNTers have been commissioned by their denomination to share the LRI training with the leaders of all 1,000 churches!

Our joy and expectancy for God’s continued work in Haiti is overflowing. Many Haitian churches are still influenced by voodoo beliefs and practices and desperately need to understand God’s life-giving Word. This month, would you invest in us so that we can continue this valuable training in places like Haiti? By God’s grace, your gift will not be like the billions of wasted dollars, but rather will bring about a movement of God’s Word that flows through every Haitian church, to the glory of God!

Thank you for your partnership,

Craig Parro

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PS: Our new translator Edvard told us the story of his wedding. Edvard violated the custom of Haiti’s elite by having his wedding performed in Creole rather than French. Some found this scandalous… after all, Edvard was a highly-educated man… of course he should have a French wedding ceremony. However, wedding attenders’ initial doubts ended with amazement: they heard a Christian wedding in their heart language! If God brings about a powerful movement of His Word in Haiti, it will be through gospel-centered men like Edvard. What a privilege to partner with a courageous man like Edvard!

What is the cure for man-centered preaching in Myanmar?

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Dear friends and partners,

Man-centered preaching scratches itching ears and fits the spirit of our narcissistic age. It is the theological equivalent of a “selfie”!

What this world needs is not an exalted view of itself (which causes so many problems to begin with), but an exalted view of Christ who will save us from our sinful selves. That is why Paul could write in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Tui DawnYe Zaw, a Burmese pastor and professor at the Reformed Theological College of Myanmar, understands this thanks to the Training National Trainers (TNT) program.Ye Zaw has taken what he learned in TNT and has reshaped his whole life and ministry around training others to exalt Jesus Christ while preaching the Bible.

Consider the wide-ranging impact Ye Zaw is having with God’s Word:

  • In his ministry as professor,Ye Zaw is training his students to produce Christ-centered sermons.
  • Another group of pastors in the Shan State had been preaching “their own ideas—whatever comes into their head” due to a lack of training, he started regularly traveling to train them in Christ-centered expository preaching.
  • Over on the other side of the country, Ye Zaw teaches students from his own denomination as well as several other denominations including Baptists and Assemblies of God pastors.

Ye Zaw shares that his goal for all of the training is the same: “Christ-centered textual preaching—the opposite of man-centered preaching.”

God is using Ye Zaw to strengthen pulpits and churches ­all across Myanmar with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise God! Would you join us in praying that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored in Myanmar (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
In grateful partnership,

Craig Parro

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Preaching the content of the Bible is not enough

Responding to Jeremiah 23

Preaching the content of the Bible is not enough. Content must lead to intent. The Scriptures are purposeful…they were written to a particular group of people with the intention of bringing about a necessary (from God’s perspective) change. Our noble task, as teachers and preachers of God’s Word, is to discern the original aim of the text. Of course, this requires a careful reading of the both the text and the context. Once grasped, the original aim or the shepherding intent of the text leads us to a biblically-driven application for today. God’s aim then fuels our application.

Unfortunately, we might miss God’s aim because of two blind spots.

Blindspot #1. Our Framework

Our framework is the set of assumptions or the pre-understanding that we bring to any given text. Our framework is shaped by a wide variety of life experiences including our education, our theology, our upbringing and family dynamics, as well as our church life and denominational affiliation. Each of us has a framework, which helps us communicate with others, and sort out ideas and experiences that we encounter throughout life. Our framework is an essential part of our lives, but occasionally it trips us up, for example when it collides with a biblical text.

We’ve all had this experience: we’re reading our Bible and suddenly we stop and say or think: “Hey, wait a minute. That’s not right!” Or “why did the author say that? I certainly wouldn’t have said that in that way!” Or “this is confusing….it seems to contradict my deeply-held convictions.” What’s going on when we respond in this way? …our framework is colliding with the text. The text is challenging some aspect of our framework, and we don’t like it!

Our vulnerability in moments like these is to force the text to fit into our framework. No!!! Let’s remember what we believe about inspiration: the biblical text is inspired, our framework is not. Though we might be tempted to give our framework an authority it doesn’t deserve, instead we ought do the opposite…allow the text to shape and re-shape our framework. The biblical text must rule!

…the biblical text is inspired, our framework is not.

When Jeremiah calls for the prophets to “stand in the council of the LORD”, he is underscoring the preeminence of God’s Word over and above our human framework. When God speaks in his council, he provides his perspective…his priorities…his framework. We, as faithful teachers and preachers, are to listen carefully and then subordinate our perspectives, priorities, and frameworks to his.

“For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? (23:18)

Blindspot #2. Our Agenda

Like the false prophets of old, we are vulnerable to teaching and preaching our own agenda. Jeremiah excoriated the prophets of his day for speaking “visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” (23:16b)

David Jackman provides a helpful illustration. If your car is your sermon, where is the Bible located? Is it in the trunk (or boot as David would say)? Perhaps you’ve moved it forward from the trunk to the back seat? Perhaps you’ve given it even greater prominence by placing it on the front passenger seat. But, is it in its proper place…in the driver’s seat? Are we allowing his Word to drive our sermon, setting the agenda for our teaching and preaching?

We may miss God’s shepherding intent either by clinging to our framework or by pushing a personal agenda. Consider these sobering questions honestly…

  1. When does your framework tend to collide with biblical texts? When this happens, which tends to override the other…your framework or the biblical text?
  2. What prominence do biblical texts have in your teaching and preaching?

The transformational intent of Jeremiah 23:16-32 was for the false prophets to repent. How might this text apply to you?


Read more in the series:

Why does biblical transformation matter?

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Our first training session in an eastern Asian country was about to begin, in the foothills of the Himalayas. We were waiting for one more pastor to arrive. As I walked up the footpath to the training center, I saw a man trudging up the road towards me. I stopped, thinking: this is probably him. I greeted him with one of the few words I knew in his language. Switching quickly to English, I said ,“we’re ready to begin!” In spite of the language barrier, I persuaded him to follow me.

During that first training session, the pastor, Tham, seemed completely disengaged, as if in a daze. During the morning break when all of the other pastors were greeting one another, Tham sat outside on a boulder staring off into the mountains. What was going on?

At breakfast the next morning I learned from Tham that he was exhausted. He had traveled 4 days to get to the training…2 days by bus and 2 days on foot. But there was something else wearying him…something in him that God’s Word confronted that week, resulting in a profound, personal transformation in his life. We’ll circle back to Tham, but first a question.

Does biblical transformation matter? Jeremiah thinks so…

“For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?” (23:18)

The responsibility of the teacher and preacher of God’s Word is both simple and clear. To see…to hear…to pay attention…to listen to what God says. Verse 18 uses four verbs of attentiveness to capture our attention. Creativity, persuasion, and cleverness are not are our primary responsibilities. Rather, listening is our fundamental calling.

If we listen well, we proclaim well. If we proclaim well, then the Spirit of God in sync with the Word of God does its incredible work.

But if they had stood in my council,
    then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
    and from the evil of their deeds. (23:22)

In Jeremiah’s day, God’s people could have been spared God’s judgment…if only they would have heard the unadulterated words of God. God’s people would have turned from their sin. They would have experienced personal and national transformation through God’s gracious gift of repentance. But it was not to be, because the prophets proclaimed their own words rather than God’s. The result: “Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth…” (23:19a)

Transformation is inherent to God’s Word. His words were given to bring about a transformational intent. God’s words were first delivered to his people by his prophets so that they might respond in a particular way and thus experience God’s blessing. God’s Word for the original audience was not merely informational, it was intentional. As we listen, study, hear, pay attention to God’s Word, we discover the aim…that original transformational intent which then drives the application of the text to our 21st century audience. The very nature of God’s Word is transformational.

Pastor Tham discovered this truth in an unexpected, yet powerful way. Our first training session with Tham and the other pastors focused on the book of Jonah. Pastor Steve Brandon opened the training time by preaching Jonah 1, the story of the disobedient prophet pursued by his gracious, but persistent God.

Just prior to that first training, Tham had decided to leave the ministry. Two factors drove him to this painful decision. First, he felt woefully inadequate in the ministry. Second, he was under terrible financial pressure. In his country, parents must pay for their children’s education. Tham simply wasn’t making enough to pay the school and university fees for his 6 children. He reluctantly decided to leave his church, move to a nearby city and get a decent-paying job. The decision was made by the time we met him…I’m not ever sure why he came.

However, Tham discovered that he could not escape “The Hound of Heaven”. As Tham sat listening to Jonah’s story, it became his story. Tham came under great conviction…like Jonah, he was fleeing from God and God’s good purposes for his life. Of course, we didn’t realize at the time the work that God was doing in his heart. Only later did Tham relate his story and then tell us that that he had changed his mind…he would continue pastoring his people, by God’s grace. Over the next four years, we were able to build into Tham’s life and encourage him along the way. Today, he continues to teach and shepherd his people and has even opened up a training center in his local church. Tham is flourishing because he personally experienced the transformational intent of God’s Word.

Does biblical transformation matter? Just ask Tham and the members of his church.

Does biblical preaching matter?

Leadership Resources - Missions and Expository Preaching Blog

Over ten years ago I was in Ghana, helping to equip a group of pastors from West Africa. My most vivid memory from that time was etched in my mind during a particular lunch break. The host pastor invited us into his home and while we were eating he turned the television on. Behold, a pastor from Texas was preaching up a storm! Unfortunately, he was railing for (or against?) a federal “flat tax.” At the time, one of our country’s political debates was whether the graduated federal income tax should be changed to a single rate “flat tax.” This preacher had an opinion and was expressing it forcefully.

I sat watching these West African pastors as they attempted to absorb what the TV preacher was saying. They assumed that this famous, international television personality must be speaking God’s truth to God’s people. Surely this pastor should not only be listened to with great care, but also emulated. I still wonder if those West African pastors preached about a flax tax the following Sunday in their churches?!?!?

Over 2600 years ago, the land of Judah was experiencing a similar crisis. While Jeremiah was preaching judgment and repentance, false prophets were preaching their own thoughts.

“They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” (Jeremiah 23:16b, 17)

These false prophets were likely thinking: it doesn’t really matter what I say, as long as I say something interesting and hopeful.

It mattered a lot, for God was listening.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’” (v.23-25)

The prophets thought that God was on the other side of the universe, too far away to hear and too disinterested to care. No. God is a God at hand. God hears every lie, every distortion, every foolish word spoken. God sees these false prophets promoting their own purposes rather than His.

Often when I prepare to preach, I imagine that God is sitting in the first row of the church listening to my every word. I remind myself that he is in the audience, in fact, he is the audience…I have an audience of One.

This realization sobers me deeply, because I realize that I, too, am vulnerable to bring my own biases and deceptions to the pulpit…not unlike the lying prophets of Jeremiah’s day.

“How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?” (v.26-27)

The pulpit is a powerful platform, but also a seductive one. To some degree, we can’t help but bring our own agenda to the pulpit. Each of us have our personal hobby horses that we’re tempted to ride across the platform. And then there’s the seductions of our audience…their attentiveness and their affirmations. Our preaching priorities and motives can quickly become mixed.

This shift in priorities or motives places us, as teachers and preachers, in terrible danger. Simply put, if our words and ideas form the centerpiece of our message, God sets his face against us.

“Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.” (v.30-32)

Woe to us if we speak our own words. Our words are weak, flimsy things that may actually lead people away from the things of God.

Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (v. 28-29)

Yes, biblical preaching matters!

Why does biblical interpretation matter?

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I became a believer in 1970 while a freshman at the University of Illinois. The early 70’s were a time of a great spiritual harvest on the college campuses across the country, and God, in his great mercy, included me.

A few months later, I began to receive postcards from Chuck, a young man who had lived with us. My mother was a high school English teacher with a huge heart. She ended up welcoming troubled high schoolers into our home….sometimes for a few days or, as in the case of Chuck, for several months. When Chuck left us, he was lost…trying to find his way in life. But then these postcards arrived, full of Bible verses. “Cool!” I thought. “Chuck has become a believer just like me”. One postcard brought me much joy. Chuck informed us that he was going to visit us over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Unbeknowst to us, Chuck had joined a cult, the Children of God. Upon his arrival, he began to explain that if I really loved Jesus, I would join their group. Remaining in school was not an option if I was going to be a serious follower of Christ. Universities and corporations were all part of the world’s system. Genuine followers should abandon the world and join with the only true believers, the Children of God.

I was confused, so I invited Gerry, a fellow student who was discipling me, to meet with Chuck. Gerry became confused as well and eventually we both became convinced that we should drop out of school and join them. When I told my mother that I was leaving to join the Children of God, it broke her heart. She later told me that it was the most painful experience of her life, almost as devastating to her as the death of my father a few years earlier.

But, what could I do? Chuck and his friends reminded me that Jesus said that to follow him we must hate our father and mother. The Children of God encouraged their new members to take from their families as much money as possible as well as a car and other valuables. After all, when Israel left Egypt, they took “the spoils of Egypt and plundered the Egyptians.” I left the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, telling my mother that I might never see her again.

The brainwashing began my very first night with the cult. They began to indoctrinate me with five different Bible studies. The next morning I awoke confused, exhausted and scared. I sought the Lord in the Scriptures and read, For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.” (Isaiah 9:16) Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure which leaders were leading me astray…was it my campus leaders or the Children of God???

God in his great mercy delivered me from the cult later that day. Miraculously, my older brother and a couple of my campus friends were able to find me and come to my rescue. But I remember driving back to the university with confusion and shame filling my soul. As a campus friend drove, I opened my Bible and discovered Ephesians 4:14  “…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

That long, sobering drive to Champaign, IL began to form in me a conviction that I needed to give myself to study, learn, and love God’s Word. God has used my experience with the Children of God to profoundly shape me…for good.

Does biblical interpretation matter? I can’t think of anything that matters more.

Read more in the series:

Why does biblical engagement matter?

Why does biblical engagement matter?
Let me take you back to 620 BC. Judah, the Southern Kingdom, had been in decline for almost a century, with only a brief revival under King Josiah. His sons proved to be ungodly leaders who abandoned the God of Israel. God, in his mercy, sent prophets to urge both the leaders and the people to repent. If they refused, Jeremiah, Habakkuk and others warned of a coming invasion and devastating defeat, followed by a bitter exile.

But other prophets contradicted these warnings with comforting words that only stirred false hopes. Jeremiah 23 reads:

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” (v.16-17)

These false prophets spoke lies, “the deceit of their own hearts”(v.26). They offered up their own dreams as a word from the Lord saying, “I have dreamed! I have dreamed!”(v.25). They would hear an impressive-sounding prophesy from one of their own, and then plagiarize the message and preach it as if it was their own (v.30).

God sarcastically prods the false prophets to keep what they’re doing in order to make the contrast crystal clear.

Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord”(v.28)

The contrast between the false words of the lying prophets and the words of the living God is sharpened even further. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”(v.29).

What can we say that will really make any difference in people’s lives? How can we help those consumed by anger? What can we say that would deliver people from jealousy or greed? Do we actually think that our words could free people for their enslaving habits? Our words are such weak things compared with the powerful temptations that our people wrestle. Our people need a word from God that is full of power…that brings life…that consumes the dross in their lives. We, as teachers and preachers of God’s Word, simply don’t have that capacity within ourselves. Only God and his Word have the transformative power that can change people at the core of their being.

In Jeremiah’s day, the faithful proclamation of God’s Word would have brought repentance and mercy.

But if they had stood in my council,
    then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
    and from the evil of their deeds.(v.22)

This is why biblical engagement matters today. Only God’s Word empowered by God’s Spirit can bring the salvation, the deliverance, and the freedom that our people need.

Read more in the series:

Help with the Practical Needs of Our Global Ministry Center

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Dear Partners & Friends,

Enemies are attacking our Global Ministry Center!!!

What an incredible gift this building has been for 19 years, especially to those of us who remember working in Bill & Karen Mills’ dark, damp basement. Our building is now the nerve center for a worldwide pastoral training ministry impacting 40+ countries and many thousands of pastors and churches. It is serving us well, BUT…

Untitled2Two “enemies”, Wear and Tear, have taken a toll on our carpeting. The building still looks new except for our stained, wrinkled, worn carpeting.

The Emerald Ash Borer is our other enemy. These Asian invaders have destroyed all of our ash trees. As you can see in the photos, the trees are standing on their last legs…they’ve got to come down and be replaced…soon!

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Would you help this month by

  • Planting a new tree? $850 would cover removal and replanting of one new tree. We’re asking 6 of you to gift us with a new tree.
  • Replacing carpet? $14,000 would pay for the removal and replacement of 325 square yards of new carpet. At a cost of $43 per square yard, would you gift us 1, 2 or more carpet squares?

I realize that this isn’t as glamorous or exotic as digging a well in Africa or supporting an orphan in Burma, but these are still urgent needs.

As you consider upgrading your home or yard this summer, would you please include these LRI “home improvements” as well, so that our team might focus in the fall on equipping and encouraging pastors around the world to teach God’s Word with God’s heart?

Thank you in advance for your generous support of these very real, very practical needs.

With gratitude for your generosity,

Craig ParroCraig Parro

PS: Even if you can’t afford to plant a whole new tree or carpet a full room, please send a gift which, when combined with others, will get the job done!

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When you donate through the button above, select “Other” under Designation and enter “ADM 7/16”.

A Historic, Precious, and Strategic Month for Leadership Resources

Dear Partners & Friends,

This month is historic, strategic, and precious for Leadership Resources. Our team will participate in the Global Proclamation Congress of Pastoral Trainers in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thousands of pastoral trainers from 100+ nations will gather June 15-22 to fellowship, grow, and network to advance Christ’s Great Commission.

Here’s why I think it will be….

Global Proclamation CongressHistoric

An event of this scale and focus has never before happened.

Precious

Forty key men we have trained from twenty-one countries are coming….the first time such an important cross-sampling of LRI’s ministry will be in one place at the same time. These dear men are the “cream of the crop”…the most effective pastor-trainers we know. We believe this Congress will build deeply into their lives and ministries of these men whom we treasure. And, they will learn from one another and see & hear the worldwide impact our ministry is having.

Strategic

We’ve been invited to help shape the program. The Congress will emphasize the faithful teaching & preaching of God’s Word, in part, through morning expositions of 2 Timothy, a book with the theme of not giving up in the ministry of the Word—a needed message for all in attendance!

We will also host the conference track on Biblical Engagement. This more intimate environment will foster discussions on achieving true biblical transformation and how to launch movements of God’s Word.

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Join us!

It’s too late for you to fly to Bangkok, but here are two specific ways you can partner with us in this Congress:

  1. Pray with us. Specifically, you can pray for:
  • Christ to be exalted and our understanding of his glorious Kingdom deepened
  • Safety and fruit for 65 LRI Staff and MTers attending from 21 different countries
  • Travel and visa mercies. (This has already caused some many headaches!)
  • Pre-conference fellowship of LRI leaders
  • Conference to fuel pastoral training movements around the Word
  • Our workshop track “Biblical Engagement as Foundation for Pastoral Training”
  • Divine connections with future partners to further God’s Kingdom work.
  • Spiritual growth and missional innovation for all in attendance
  • Pray that the message of 2 Timothy would encourage and convict
  • Trainers to commit to train 100,000 pastors in next 10 years
  1. Partner with us financially.

Sending so many pastoral trainers to Thailand is not cheap! We estimate that our cost will be $100,000 to cover airfare, registration, lodging, and more. But this is a small price to pay for what we are estimating will be one of the most impactful weeks in Leadership Resources’ history!

The fact that any of this is possible is a testimony to the grace of Christ and His faithfulness to build His church though the faithful ministry of the Word.

Thank you for the precious part you have played in this ministry!

craig1Craig Parro

President

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When you donate through the button above, select “Other” under Designation and enter “GPC 6/16”.


What One Global Leader Thinks about LRI:

Ramesh Richard DTSDr. Ramesh Richard is the Convener of this Congress for Pastoral Trainers. I’ve known Ramesh for many years and consider him a dear friend. He recently wrote these kind words: “The primary felt-fear of untrained pastors worldwide arises from having to preach next Sunday. However, the ultimate need of all pastors everywhere is godly character that will support their preaching ministry. Leadership Resources, served by experienced leadership, focuses on training pastors who preach biblically and live Christianly. The dire need for the twin emphases on the public and personal sides of pastoral ministry cannot be exaggerated. LRI, with its track record in training pastors and in training trainers of pastors, especially where Christ’s Church is growing, stands among the most effective organizations in pastoral training today.”

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Support Earthquake Victims in Ecuador

Ecuador Earthquake Relief

Update: Rebuilding After a Deadly Earthquake


Dear partners,

On Saturday April 16, the Pacific coast of Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Many houses or places of business are now piles of rubble.

Other buildings have significant damage and look like they could tumble at any moment. These buildings also serve as visible examples of the lives of many affected by the quake and the half-dozen aftershocks.

13051503_10153484762125079_5414554463200854496_nAt the time of writing this, about 650 people have died and hundreds of others are missing. Countless thousands are either injured or have lost everything (their family, house, job, etc.).

This news is especially heartbreaking for us at LRI. We have three training groups with dozens of pastors and leaders who live in one of the cities hardest hit—the coastal city of Portoviejo.

Ecuador Earthquake

The highway between Crucita and Portoviejo—a road LRI staff members have been on at least a dozen times.

Some congregants of the Fountain of Peace church, one of the churches responsible for multiplying our training in Portoviejo, have lost most or all of their material possessions—including their homes. Other church members are jobless because their places of employment were completely destroyed. Impassible highways and severely damaged hospitals make rescue and recovery difficult, if not impossible.

Oh, the pain our brothers and sisters are feeling!

13012622_10153412949997312_5340611267984310722_nBeing 3,000 miles away from the wreckage may leave us feeling helpless—but we are anything but helpless.

We have an all-powerful God who can comfort the hurting, build His Church, and bring glory to His Name through the worst of times. Ecuador’s devastation is of tragic proportions; but we can pray that the church and country would come to know God as their “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”—even when “the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2 NIV). Pray for Christ to minister through His Church to comfort the hurting, rebuild broken lives and property, and help many come to know that not even a deadly earthquake can separate us from the love of God for us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35).

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Oscar Paul with LRI trainer, Kevin Halloran.

In addition to prayer, we have an opportunity to provide tangible care for our hurting brothers and sisters in Portoviejo. We set up a relief fund in partnership with the Fountain of Peace church, where one of our pastor trainees, Oscar Paul, is the Senior Pastor. This fund would provide the poorest and most devastated in the congregation with necessary food and shelter, and help up to 50% of construction costs to repair/replace homes that were damaged or destroyed in the quake.

This is our chance to respond to the pain the Body of Christ is experiencing in Ecuador. Will you consider making a relief contribution to help our devastated brothers and sisters? And will you pray with us for God’s comfort for the hurting and the building of Christ’s Church during these tragic days?

With a broken heart and much anticipation,

craig1Craig Parro

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PS: We believe this relief support can have the most impact during these next several months. As you consider your response, we ask that you join with us with a generous gift during this crucial period of need. Funds that exceed the relief needs will go to train pastors in Ecuador.

     

    Launching Pastoral Training Movements Worldwide

     

    The mission of Leadership Resources is to launch pastoral training movements worldwide. This blog shares articles, resources, and updates from staff of God’s work around the world through our training. If you’re new to our blog, start here.

     


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