Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Year In Review

December 15, 2010

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.

Supporting Jacob & Keesha

November 9, 2010

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

More Opportunities in 2011

September 30, 2010
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

His World on My Heart

September 27, 2010

This past week I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with people from three different countries. One was a young man from Macedonia, a young lady from Romania and a student from Jamaica. It was such a joy to put the Word of God into their hands and pray that the Spirit of God will draw them to our Savior.

All of us are familiar with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” But verse 17 says, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In two verses of Scripture, the word “world” appears four times. God has a world on His heart. He has also put that world on our hearts. Will you partner with our ministry to help us take the Gospel to the world that Jesus died to save? We can’t do it without your help.

The Attitude of Gratitude

August 24, 2010

I have recently been convicted of how little I pause to thank the Lord for all of His goodness in my life, family and ministry. I was reading about a pastor who was preaching to his people on thankfulness. He was preaching from Phil 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.”  He said the more he preached the more he felt convicted of his own lack of thankfulness.  By the end of his message he said he could not wait to tell everyone good bye so he could get on his knees in his study and repent!  I can relate. Even as I read this account, I had to put the book aside and give some thanksgiving to my Lord.

It didn’t take me long to come up with a long list of things to be thankful for. Here are a few things found on my list:

  • My salvation
  • God’s calling on my life
  • My faithful wife
  • My children loving Jesus Christ
  • The privilege of preaching the Word
  • Precious friends who support our ministry
  • My health and strength
  • For souls saved through our ministry
  • For prayer partners who constantly lift me up to God’s Throne of Grace.

So I am asking you…have you stopped to thank Him lately?

Answering God’s Call

August 6, 2010

I wanted to take a moment and share my heart with you about a new venture that God is leading my family and I to. For the last 6 months or so, we’ve been fervently praying about going on staff full-time with Rick Via World Reach Ministries. After much prayer and counsel, my wife Keesha and I feel strongly that this is where the Lord is pulling our hearts. So as of January 1, 2011 I will be stepping down as Communications Director at Richland Creek Community Church and embarking on this new adventure. For those who have been asking, we will not be moving from Raleigh. We don’t feel that God has called us to relocate, at least for now. Serving with RVM allows be to be completely mobile. I could work from home or from India. But for now, we will remain heavily involved in our local church, as every believer should be. We believe in the local church.

Our Family
If you don’t already know us, let me introduce you to my family. I have been married for 3 years to my wife Keesha, the most beautiful, amazing, godly woman I have ever known. She has always faithfully supported and shared my call into ministry. We have 3 beautiful children (yes 3…in 3 years). Ilijah will turn 2 next week, Izabella will turn 1 in October, and we are expecting number 3 to meet us in January. Before you ask the question – No, we don’t know how many children we want. All we know is that we love our family beyond belief and that God continues to bless us with children.

I Believe in Rick Via Ministries
I’ve seen God’s hand at work in this ministry. I’ve seen lives changed, churches planted, pastors trained, and people saved. Rick Via has a heart for the nations and a passion for the Gospel. I have been involved with Rick Via Ministries in some capacity for about 10 years now and have served full-time at my local church here in Raleigh for just over 3 years. With the little ministry experience I have, I have yet to meet a single man with more passion for the lost and more urgency for the Gospel. He is my mentor and my hero. The chance to get to serve in ministry along side him is very exciting for me.

Communications Director
I will come on staff with RVM as Communications Director, developing and organizing all of the marketing and advertising strategies for the ministry as well as continue running all of their website, blog, social networking, and media development. In conjunction, I will begin taking on more administrative responsibilities for the ministry, such as bookings, calendar, public relations, trip planning, etc.

The Strategy
I hope by now you know the heart and vision for RVM is not to be another parachurch ministry pleading for your money. Our heart and vision, as it always has been, is to partner with the local church, not compete with it. We want to partner with your local church in all of its missions and evangelism efforts. RVM is a means by which your church can be trained, equipped, and lead on a short-term mission trip, as well as a means to help you reach the community around you. Rick Via Ministries wants to partner with you in spreading the Gospel to the world, from the neighborhoods to the nations.

This is Nothing New
I’m not coming on staff with RVM with this great new plan to reach the world with the Love of Christ. By the Grace of God, that is what RVM has been doing for 15 years now. I’m merely joining the team to help them do more of that, more of what God has called us to do.

The Days Ahead
My family and I have a long 4 months ahead of us as we strive to fulfill God’s calling on our family. We have the large task in front of us to raise our financial support. We know that God is faithful and know that He will provide for all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with us as we continue to make Him known among the nations.

By His Grace,
Jacob Via

Adding New Staff

August 3, 2010

The Lord continues to open doors for us to advance the Gospel in many places around the world. At the same time, I am aware that it takes a larger staff to get the work done the Lord has called us to do. I have been praying for several years about the possibility of bringing my youngest son Jacob on our staff. After much prayer and counsel, he has agreed to join our ministry full-time beginning January 1, 2011. He will be assisting our ministry in communication, outreach and evangelism. He has specialized experience in ministry development. I am so excited about having him partner with us in advancing God’s Kingdom.

He will have the responsibility of raising the financial support for him and his family just as we have had to do. Please join us in praying that all of his needs will be met as he becomes a part of RVM. If you are able to help financially with this new venture, we would be ever so grateful. Let’s take the Gospel to the whole world while we still have time. Matthew 24:14 says, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world…and then the end will come.”

Fifteen Years and Counting

August 1, 2010

Today, August 1, marks our fifteenth anniversary for RVM.  August 1, 1995 was my first day as a full-time evangelist. It is hard for me to believe that fifteen years have come and gone. What an amazing ride it has been. When we first started,  I had no idea that the Lord would open the doors for us to preach the Gospel all over the world. In those early days, I was actually wondering where our support was going to come from. But during the years, the Lord has raised up an incredible support team for our mission.  We have been able to partner with preachers, missionaries, churches and other mission organizations to take the Gospel into thirty-nine different countries.  We have been able to share the Gospel with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists,  and Atheists.  I have preached in churches that have ranged from 20 members to 2000 members. I remember one particular week I preached to 17 people in a small country church and the following week I preached to 1700 people in a large growing community.  In every case, the Lord has been faithful to supply our needs, to open the doors and give us the opportunity to proclaim His love and forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I know who holds our future.  I am excited about the possibilities of taking the Word of God into new and unreached areas in the days ahead. May our Lord be greatly glorified and His Gospel proclaimed in the next days of this ministry.

Why Uganda?

June 14, 2010

I have been to Uganda, Africa 18 times over the last 15 years. I have often been asked, “why Uganda? Why do you keep going there?” Here is the story in a nut shell.

In 1982 I was a young seminary graduate just starting out in ministry. My mentor professor Roy Fish recommended that I read a book called A Distant Grief. I didn’t know what the book was about but eagerly started to read it because of his recommendation. The book not only challenged my life but also broke my heart. A Distant Grief is about the suffering church in Uganda during the days of Edi Amin. The book told of countless stories of brave pastors and other christian leaders who gave their lives for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I finished the book, I knelt down by my couch and I prayed a simple prayer “Lord, if you will let me go I would like to go to Uganda some day and bring help and healing to those broken people.” Fast forward 5 years… in 1987 another one of my mentors Dr. Sumner Wemp, called me from Liberty University, He said “Rick, I’m going to Africa this summer and I want you to go with me.” I was thrilled at the invitation and I said “Bother Sumner, where exactly are we going?” He Said “We are going to Uganda.” I had no control over those events, but God honored the prayer from 5 years earlier and sent me to Uganda. That trip would revolutionize my heart and life. And now when people ask me “Why Uganda?” My mind goes back to a simple prayer, a broken heart, and a desire to bring help and healing to a shattered nation. The rest is history…

Pray for us as we lead 28 people to Uganda this week. Pray that God will continue to work in the nation of Uganda, that we will see many saved this week.

Stay updated with our ministry in Uganda this week by following us on Twitter. http://www.twitter.com/rickvia

Who Are Your Mentors?

May 27, 2010

In I Corthinthians 11:1  Paul said “be followers of  me even as I am of Christ”.  That is the statement of a real mentor. A man who’s life so reflects the Lord Jesus that others can safely follow his example and lifestyle and be better because they did.  If I know who your mentors are,  I can learn volumes about your character and the focus of your life.  I have been blessed by the influence of some godly mentors in my own life over the years.  These men were used of God to challenge, encourage and correct me when I needed it. Most of the time I needed It!

Two men in particular who God used in my life are both retired now.  Dr. Roy Fish, Professor of Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. Sumner Wemp, Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Evangelism at Liberty University have had a powerful impact on my life.  They helped shape the calling and direction of my life and ministry. I learned much from these men in the classroom, but I learned even more from just following their example.  Their own personal walk with God always left me wanting to Love my Savior as much as they did.  It was more than a lecture or a sermon.  It was the impact of a life surrendered  completely to the Lord Jesus.  At this point in my own journey I am wondering: “Will my life impact others the way these men have impacted mine? Will there be others who want to follow closely to our Lord because they saw and felt the grace of God demonstrated in my life?”

Take a moment and think of the men and women who have been your mentors.  Who are you going to mentor in return?