Archive for the ‘The Gospel’ Category

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

October 26, 2010

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.

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God Speaks Every Language

October 8, 2010

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
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.

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

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.

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

Every Knee Shall Bow

May 18, 2010

I was standing in line at JC Penny’s to make a purchase.  The sales lady recognized me as a preacher and began to talk about the Lord.  Suddenly, a man standing behind me entered the conversation.  Without any introduction or explaination he began to attack the Bible, the Christian faith and followers of the Lord Jesus.  I tried to respond to him several times but he continued his attack without giving me an opportunity.  The sales lady waited on other customers while my new friend filled the air with his doubts and unbelief. Finally, after listening to this man for about 15 minutes, I said, “I need to go in a moment, so why don’t you give me one statement that you want me to take away from this conversation.  Then I will give you a statement that I want you to take with you.” After thinking for a moment he said, “Just live your life according to reality.”  I thanked him for his statement and then said, “Now I have a statement for you.  The Bible says that one day every knee will bow before Jesus Christ and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!  Nice to meet your sir!”   I have thought about that man a number of times since that conversation.  I pray that the Spirit of God will convict his heart of that truth and that he will come to our Savior.  But even if he doesn’t, the truth remains the same.  You can bow now or you can bow later, but make no mistake about it: Every knee shall bow!

The 4th Quarter

May 12, 2010

I had a visit today with a dear pastor friend. (He is barely younger than I am). During our conversation he said, “Do you realize we are in the 4th quarter of our lives. Whatever we do for the Kingdom we better do now!”  His statement reminded me of Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Regardless of what quarter of life you are in the point is this:  Every day is a gift from God. We only get so many days. We have one day less to serve our Lord than we did yesterday. I want every one of those days to honor my Savior.  The clock is ticking. It’s time to run another play!

Light in Darkness

May 8, 2010

DubaiThe city of Dubai has been in the news a lot recently. I was just there in March on a mission. We had the opportunity to take the Gospel to many muslims living in that area. We had to operate under the cover of darkness and be extremely cautious in our approach. We were able to distribute the Jesus film and other materials to present the gospel to those in spiritual darkness. I just learned from our missionary living there that they have had over 50 phone calls from people who want to know more about our Savior. The Light of the Gospel message continues to shine in the darkest places on the earth. The next time you hear about Dubai in the news please remember to say a prayer for our brothers who are serving the Lord in that part of the world. They are risking much everyday to bear witness to our lord.

Blessings,
Rick