New Website

February 19, 2011 by

Rick Via Ministries and our ministry blog have moved to an all new site – www.rickvia.org. Check it out.

Fast & Pray for Sudan

January 8, 2011 by

If you’re not aware of recent developments in Sudan, please see this news article from CNN. Tomorrow, Jan 9, Southern Sudan will vote on whether to declare independence from the northern government dominated by Arab Muslims. As a country stained by decades of civil war, this vote could mean a great victory for the south or it could mean a bloody genocide. We don’t know what the outcome will be. But even with the recent blessing from Sudan’s president, the North may still attack the South, who holds the majority of the country’s oil. If war breaks out, then we can expect Sudanese refugees to flood into Northern Uganda by the tens of thousands, joining the already over 170,000 Sudanese refugees in Uganda currently. There is a huge need here.

Please pray for Rick Via Ministries as we plan & pray about taking an additional trip this year to Uganda to minister specifically to the refugees in the north. Pray for direction and safety as we seek the Lord’s face.

By His Grace,
Jacob Via

Also, please take a moment to read this exerpt from the blog His Voice for Sudan:

__________

I have been involved in Sudan for 10 years and I have seen many victories and defeats in this time. Tomorrow is a monumental day in the history of Sudan. Here are several thoughts and ways that you can pray for the beautiful Sudanese.

1. It is a foregone conclusion the South will vote for independence. Please pray that violence would not break out during the next six months. Even with the vote, it will not go into effect until July. Therefore, THE NEXT SIX MONTHS ARE CRITICAL.

2. Pray for the North. Many believers and also many Southern Sudanese live in the North. Pray against any type of persecution. Also, pray for the souls of all the Northern Sudanese. One thing that many people forget is the North. THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! Every man is created in the image of God. Therefore, our burden for the North must be immense.

3. Even in the face of Southern independence it is important to remember the North would be an immediate neighbor of the South. Please pray for working relations that would promote peace.

4. Both the North and the South have big obstacles to overcome internally. It is a viable option for different rebel groups to try and overthrow the government. Please pray this does not happen and that a modern day Somalia does not come to fruition.

5. Pray for a profound work of nation building to happen in the North and the South. It will take a variety of areas of expertise to help in this process. This can be an incredibly exciting time for Sudan and the Sudanese people. Please pray the Lord awakens the hearts of people to invest in the needed areas.

Year In Review

December 15, 2010 by

Two thousand years ago God gave to this world the greatest gift ever given. The world has never been the same since Jesus came! “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:15). The Lord has given us a very fruitful year. We traveled nearly 50,000 miles to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus in Uganda, Oman, Romania, and along the U.S. east coast.

We took our 15th team to Uganda, Africa in June. Our medical team treated 4,000 people in remote villages. One hundred twenty Ugandan pastors attended a pastor’s training event to further their ministries. Throughout our week in Uganda, we had the privilege to present the message of salvation to over 10,000 people. Nearly 1,500 people made a confession of faith in our Savior.

In Oman, I worked with a team to give Bibles and Christian literature to muslims under the cover of darkness. It was literally a secret mission that enabled us to give 1,200 Bibles to muslims who have never heard the Gospel.

Locally, I had the privilege to preach church revival and evangelistic meetings in over twenty churches throughout Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. I spoke to encourage eighty pastors and their families at the West Virginia Baptist Convention. I was also able to team up with Josh & Tasha Via for several youth camps and youth crusades. We saw twenty high school students make a decision for Christ at the Chatham Youth Alive event.

Because of your support, thousands of people have heard the Gospel message this year. Hundreds of souls have confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Thank you for standing with us through another exciting year of missions and ministry. Janet and I send our love to all of you this Christmas season.

The end of every year is a great time to make special donations to missionaries and other Christian ministries. As you prepare to give that extra year end gift, would you prayerfully consider investing it in this ministry? Your donation will enable us to take the Gospel to people all over the world. Remember, all gifts are tax deductible and you can also donate online via our website. Thank you for helping us reach so many with His love.

Tampa, FL

December 3, 2010 by

I’m in Tampa, FL to preach my elderly uncle’s funeral. He was very sick for some time and now is home with the Lord. This trip to Tampa reminds me of a trip I took there in 1974.  I was a college student on Christmas break. My elderly grandmother lived in Tampa at the time and was very close to death.  I made a quick trip to see her for the last time.  I had never talked with her about her relationship with the Lord but I  had doubts about her salvation.  I asked the family to let me have a few private moments with her before I went back to school.  In those few minutes we talked about her need for Jesus Christ. I still remember portions of the conversation.  After sharing the Gospel message I asked her to put her trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.  She bowed her head in prayer and confessed Jesus as Lord.  As I turned to leave I said, “Grandma, do you know what this means?”  I was expecting her to say something about now being saved and ready for heaven.  Instead, she answered,  “Yes, I know it means a lot to me!” Hallelujah!  It means a lot to me too.

Supporting Jacob & Keesha

November 9, 2010 by

In two months, my son Jacob will join RVM as our Communications Director. His efforts in media, marketing, and administration will allow our ministry to expand its reach to a lost and dying world. We will have more opportunities to preach the Gospel and have a greater impact for Godʼs Kingdom. Jacob will be entirely dependent on the financial gifts of people like you. They still have a ways to go in raising their needed support. Would you prayerfully consider being a part of their financial and prayer support team for 2011? Thank you so much.

You can give to Jacob & Keesha online at rickvia.org/donate.html

Healing for Haiti

November 1, 2010 by

In January, I will be joining my missionary friend Jim Hambrick for a mission to Haiti. Jim has been taking teams into Haiti almost every month since the earthquake. They have been providing aid, medicine and building supplies for this devastated county. I will have the opportunity to join Jim in taking the Gospel to the multitudes of lost people who survived the earthquake. Jim tells me that there is a deep interest in the Word of God in the midst of their sorrow and loss. Thank you for supporting our ministry as we take the Good News to a broken world.

New Book

October 28, 2010 by

Dear friends,  I sure would appreciate your prayers as I attempt to write a book on the effectiveness of short term missions. The purpose of the book will be to help churches and individuals prepare for short term mission projects.  If all goes well, I hope to have it released in 2011.  It will be a practical, hands-on book written from 15 years of leading mission teams and doing mission work in more than 30 countries. Thanks so much for your prayers. – Rick

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

October 26, 2010 by

I was on my way home yesterday from Raleigh and had to stop and get some gas.  The little store where I stopped had a man from Nepal working the counter.  We spoke briefy about his country and he seemed to enjoy someone to talk to.  I gave him an All that Glitters evangelistic CD and his face lit up with a smile.  He followed me all the way to my car to ask when I would be back in to see him.  I assure you that my next trip to Raleigh will take me right by his store.  I have a New Testament in his language that I plan to give to him next week.  I was amazed at how a little kindness toward this man opended doors to share the Gospel.  While we are busy running from place to place, remember to take the time to show kindness to someone.  It just may be the door God uses to give them the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God Speaks Every Language

October 8, 2010 by

I walked into a store in South Carolina and noticed that the man behind the counter was from India.  As I payed for my items, I asked him if he was from India.  His eyes lit up and he began to tell me about his country. “I’ve been to your country several times,” I told him.  “In fact I think I have something in your language.” I went to my car and started looking through the materials I had with me. I try to keep Bibles and other christian literature in several different languages. The only thing I could find from India was a language that he would not know very well.  I took the booklet and went back to the counter. I said, “I’m sorry. I thought I had something in your language of Urdu.  All I have with me is this booklet in Hindi.” He looked at it  for a moment and with a broad smile said, “This is not Hindi, this is Urdu!” I walked back to the car rejoicing that the Lord had provided me an opportunity to give this man the Gospel in his own national language. What an encouragement to know that our God knows every language and every tongue. Revelation 5 tells us that there will be people in heaven from every nation and every tribe proclaiming the glory of the Lamb of God. I have had the opportunity to preach the Gospel in 38 different countries around the world. We must reach the nations. But sometimes God brings the nations to our door step.  Let’s be ready to give the Gospel to people at every opportunity the Lord gives us.

More Opportunities in 2011

September 30, 2010 by
In 2006, I spent the summer in Uganda helping Arise Africa International in any way I could. It consisted of leading Bible studies, fixing computers for their ministry office, building structures for new churches to meet in, and spending time encouraging the small village churches. In my time there, I saw a handful of churches come through Arise Africa’s Guest House for their week of missions. One team came for over a week but spent little time doing actual ministry. What they called “missions” consisted of a short Bible study and a cute puppet show in a small village for three days. The rest of their time was spent sightseeing, white water rafting on the Nile River, and a three day safari. I’m sorry, but that is not missions. That is not the Gospel.

If I’m going to spend thousands of dollars to go overseas on a mission trip then I want to spend every ounce of energy I have to proclaim the Gospel. I want to fly home to the States absolutely exhausted. You wouldn’t expect anything less from this ministry. You give and you sacrifice so that the Kingdom can expand for God’s glory, not for us to go sightseeing. RVM is solely about the advancement of the Gospel.

As I join the RVM team in January, one strategy we want to implement is to partner more with you and your church. I believe that the American church is embracing anew the Great Commission and regaining an urgency for the Gospel (see the Great Comission Resurgence). However, so many churches do not have the resources to take their own mission trips. That’s where RVM can be a blessing. We want to partner with your church to train your team, handle the logistics, plan for the trip, and have Rick Via lead the team. Administration in missions is extremely important for your time overseas to be the most effective. We can help by organizing travel itineraries, booking flights, transportation and lodging, assuring passports, visas, and shots are all in order, assembling interpreters, planning ministry activities alongside missionaries,  and budgeting for travel and ministry. All of these things (and more) go in to a taking a successful, safe, short term mission trip. We believe, by the grace of God, and through much prayer that we can partner with more churches, train more pastors, reach more people, and see more souls come to salvation in Christ in 2011. With your help, your giving, and your prayer, we will see God continue to do amazing things around the world for His glory.

Please continue to pray for Keesha and I as we diligently raise our support in order to come on staff with RVM. If the Lord leads you, we would ask that you commit to support Keesha and I on a monthly basis for one year. You can donate online here. Please pray about how you might partner with us for the sake of the Gospel.

By His Grace,
Jacob Via