Archive for the ‘News’ Category

New Website

February 19, 2011

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

Advertisements

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

Healing for Haiti

November 1, 2010

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

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

Here Comes the Bride

September 23, 2010

On Friday, September 10, I walked my daughter down the isle to present her to a young man as his bride. She had a special glow on her face as we walked arm in arm. For a brief moment I thought about the times I would take her by the arm as a little girl and pretend with her that she was walking down the isle to be married. We would giggle and laugh and then go on to some other silly game. This time it wan’t pretend. This was the real moment when she would become the bride of someone else. She was a radiant bride and she will be a wonderful and godly wife. Her mother and I have prayed for 20 years that the Lord would prepare her and us for this special moment. In His faithfulness He did prepare us all for this blessed event. Thankyou for your prayers and special wishes for her and her husband Jay Ezelle. Jay is studying to be a youth pastor and still has a semester of college left.

One day our blessed Lord will return for His bride, the church. May we be as ready for His return as Joy was on her wedding day. May we be a radiant church, godly and faithful unto Him alone.
Here comes the bride!

After Joy’s wedding our family headed off to the beach for a much needed time of vacation and family connection. Now that we have so many grandchildren, it is quite a crowd when we all get together. There were 29 of us Via’s who invaded the beaches of Nags Head, NC. I’m pretty sure we left a few sand castles still standing when we left. We even got to see the newlyweds for a brief time. Outside of my own relationship with my Savior, the relationship I have with my wife and children is the most important part of my life. How grateful I am that they all know and love the Lord Jesus and are using their lives to honor and serve Him. It’s time to go back home to a busy ministry and busy fall preaching schedule but I carry the special memories of these days together at the beach. Hallelujah. God is good.


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.

A Tragic Bombing and An Urgent Gospel

July 13, 2010

I was shocked and saddened when I received the news about the terrorist bombing in Uganda. It appears that a terrorist group associated with Al Qaeda bombed two establishments in Kampala on Sunday evening. These establishments were filled with people watching the World Cup soccer match. At the last count there were 74 people killed, including one young American teenager, and many others wounded and injured. There was also an American mission team that was injured in the explosion. This attack has become very personal to me and my family. As you know, I was just in Uganda 2 weeks ago with our team of 28 volunteers. On the last day of our mission, we ate lunch at the mall in Kampala located just next to the restaurant that was bombed. Please join me in praying for all of our missionaries and our Ugandan friends who have been impacted by this tragic event. I’ve been going to Uganda for the last 20 years and these are some of the dearest people on the face of God’s earth. Also, please remember to pray for those who were a part of this vicious bombing. The people who believe in this kind of violence are in deep spiritual darkness. It is a reminder to me that there are always ricks involved in taking the Gospel around the world. Even more reason to take seriously our purpose on this earth. We need a fresh urgency for the Gospel. We live in a dark and dying world, and the mission we have been given by God can’t be taken lightly. I’m so proud of Arise Africa International and our Ugandan believers and missionaries who model this type urgency for the Gospel every day.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
(1 Corinthians 1:3-5)

To all of our Ugandan friends – we want you to know that you are in our prayers and in our hearts. You are not forgotten at this time of sorrow and we are confident that our Lord is still on His throne. As long as He is on His throne, He will bring something good out of this senseless attack.