How Can the Lord Use One Faithful Pastor?

Dear Friends & Partners,

I first met Pastor Timothy* over ten years ago, so our reunion earlier this year was filled with joy. We both had a bit more gray hair! But his warm smile and gentle spirit had not changed – nor had his passion for God’s Word.

Timothy was part of the first training group in a country in Southeast Asia that is hostile to Christ and His Church. During that first training in 2008, a colleague and I taught the book of Jonah. I’ll never forget the response of one of Timothy’s fellow pastors at the end of the week:

“Pray for me. I hate the government officials who have persecuted so many pastors and churches in my country. I find myself hoping that they are all condemned to hell. Now I realize that my heart is worse than Jonah’s. I repent. Pray for me.”

We did pray for Timothy. And in the coming years, God changed his heart and gave him a love for his oppressors. He had a chance to emigrate to the U.S., but he turned it down to serve his people.

The truth is, we see this type of transformation consistently when pastors encounter the life-changing Word of God.

I asked Timothy how many groups of pastors he has taught over the past ten years. “About ten groups.” How many pastors are in a typical group? “It averages 22-25.” Amazing! That means that Timothy has personally equipped well over 200 pastors with our training. Impressive. Timothy went on to share that 30% or 40% of those have passed on the training to others.

My jaw dropped as I did the math. We’re talking about more than a thousand pastors and church leaders being equipped . . . and that’s just through this one faithful pastor.

Honestly, I never imagined ten years ago that we would see this level of multiplication, particularly in such a hostile environment.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself . . . God’s mercies upon this ministry are so evident. Rejoice! And realize that you are a full partner in this. We treasure your giving, your praying, and your encouragement to our staff.

Marveling in Christ,

Craig Parro


PS: Our in-country coordinator, on his own initiative, told us that he’s taken our training to a nearby country that is even more hostile to the Church. Please consider a gift today so that we may encourage in practical ways these bold proclaimers of God’s Word!

* Name changed for security reasons.

Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.