The plans are all set and in place. I leave on my first overseas trip of 2010 to preach the Gospel on January 29th returning on the 11th of February. I will be working with three great churches who have welcomed our ministry. I have ministered in two of these church briefly before while in their area ministering for other groups but this time will be different. They will receive my undivided attention, support and encouragement for a period of three to four days each. One of the cities I will ministering in – it will be my first time to that city and to that local church although I have ministered prophetically to the pastor (unknowingly) while ministering in another local church. His invitation to come and minister was a direct result of him being touched by the Lord during that morning service.
These were not the original plans. There were two other churches we were going to be ministering in where we have served before and given our best for the Lord to them and one other new location we had been invited to minister in. However, they have been told by their “denominational” leader to not welcome our ministry into their pulpits at this time. So, we were placed “on hold” in two of three of these churches (and the others within this Union or denomination) thus making our original plans a “no go”.
Attempts to deal directly with the person who heads this group have failed. Emails are not answered. Arrangements are not made – proposals re. meeting and dates to meet simply ignored. Rumors continue to spread over four nations deeply effecting our work and yet we still do not know their “actual issues” with our ministry other than we have become unknowingly involved in an internal conflict between leaders and so have become collateral damage in someone else’s war.
Be that as it may we are still heading out – we will simply “run with those who will run with us”. That’s good advice received from a prophet who sits as one of the members of the Advisory Council for this ministry. We have done all we can do to work with those who have some concerns (yet to be expressed directly to us but spread as rumors among many) and have waited for dates to meet as per their request. Now it is time to move on with the work the Father has given this ministry to accomplish worldwide.
So, we will count the time we spend in these churches in 2008-2009 (the ones that no longer welcome us in spite of how well we served them at no financial cost to them) as invested for the Kingdom and simply pray for them and believe God will bring a return on His investment. Not my concern – as He has opened many doors where this ministry continues to be welcomed and appreciated … in fact, we are booking late into 2011 at the present time with a number of other locations (and countries) still waiting for us to say “yes” and offer them some potential dates.
In each place we will be ministering in 2010 we will be asking the host church to take up love offerings at the services. These offerings will not be used to cover the costs of the trip as we expect the local churches to do that out of their budgets and Sunday offerings. These love offerings will be managed by our Eastern European office and half of it will be designated to those who minister the Word of the Lord as a thank you for their labors. The other half will go into a Church planting fund as the Lord has directed this ministry to begin partnering with some of these local churches to plant new works in areas where the Gospel of salvation has not been heard – and there are many such areas in the nations we are called to serve in His Name.
So, we will, in 2010, begin plans to plant several new works for the Lord over the 12 months that are before us. The potential is great, the manpower is there, and with funding in place from the local churches we will mobilize our teams and send them out to do the work of the Lord and tell others about Jesus – planting new expressions of the Church by winning the lost, making disciples, equipping the saints, training and mentoring leaders, and then releasing these new works to continue reaching the lost in His Name.
That is what Ralph Howe Ministries is all about: “Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations.”