Carrla and I want to thank all of you who have been so faithful to pray and to sow financially into the work God has called us to do; for nine years at Hope for the Hungry and the past 9 months through Hands Held High (www.handsheldhigh.info) . During this ten-year period, we have been blessed to minister in 19 nations, some of them multiple times.
Lord willing, in less than two weeks, my beautiful wife and I will leave for South Asia. This will be my 11th ministry trip to Incredible India! but Carrla’s first.
This trip is unique in many respects.
FIRSTLY, we have purposely not sent newsletters or used other devices to raise support recently (except for one blog that we believe was “God inspired”). We believe that the Lord has been leading us in a new direction concerning trusting and believing Him and His Word. We will be walking a similar path to Hudson Taylor’s, Amy Carmichael’s and George Mueller’s. (Look them up) Bottom line, we will be trusting THE LORD with our finances on a deeper level than ever before. And our trust is NOT misplaced. HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH and HE WILL meet ALL of our needs according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS. Period. Note: This blog, our website and Facebook page will be our primary resource for ministry updates.
SECONDLY, when Carrla returns to the USA on July 28th, I will remain in South Asia for a season to continue the work. This extra season may last a few weeks or it may be for a longer time period. The Lord has given marching orders, but not a specific date to return to Texas….yet. Like Abraham (my hero), as described in Hebrews 11:8 NKJV
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
It will not be easy to be away from my family and USA friends during this time but Jesus said this in Matthew 19:29 NKJV “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”
Even in the natural, soldiers go and serve for months at a time hoping to return home as soon as possible. Dear friends, THERE IS NO GREATER WAR THAN THE WAR FOR THE SOULS OF MEN. And South Asia is my battleground. The LORD has not sent us to go as Generals or “brass” but as servants to lay down our lives for pastors and church leaders who are on the front lines of supernatural warfare.
Many years ago the Lord spoke to me and made it clear that He didn’t call me to a comfortable place…and I am very aware of my weaknesses. But where I am weak…He can show Himself to be strong. As Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NKJV:
“7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Going into new territory involves risk. Everything Abram needed was in Ur. Nothing he needed was in this unknown place. Except for the presence of the LORD, which was really all he needed.
Faith releases ability. Sarah believed God’s promise even when it was impossible. But even this happened in the promised land, not in Ur.
Several times over the past few years it has been clear that the Lord has called me to a “pioneer-type” faith walk. (So I guess it’s a little humorous that I married a Nebraska gal! Right?)
The lyrics to a Rick Pino song sums up this part of the Call pretty well, so I’m going to share it with you. It is worth a listen if you can grab it off of iTunes or the Amazon Cloud:
“Pioneer, Pioneer Keep pressing onwards beyond your fears And only your Father goes before you to your own frontier You’re a Pioneer
Uncharted wilderness stretches before you And you thrive on going where no one has gone Still it gets lonely when darkness rears So sing by the fire until the dawn
You travel light and you travel alone And when you arrive nobody knows But your Father in heaven, He is glad you can go Cause those who come after you will need the road
And what you have done, others will do Bigger and better and faster than you But you can’t look back, you gotta keep on pressing through There’s a wilderness pathway and it’s calling you
[Last chorus] Calling you, calling you Keep pressing onwards beyond your fears And only your Father goes before you to your own frontier You’re a Pioneer”
And so…we go in faith…with a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions. But He who has called us is FAITHFUL. Please pray for us as we step out and follow the next step of our LORD’S plan for our lives. If you believe God is calling you to join us in this adventure by sowing financially, here is the direct link through our Cooperative Ministry partner, Hope for the Hungry: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VNBKQQ8SSZM8J
CJ and Carrla Rich