I have been wanting to write to share some big news. We recently have had an unexpected answer to prayer. I have been asking everyone I know to be praying that God would open a door and allow us to return to full time ministry and missions.
Long story short, we are going to be moving to Truckee, California. If you have never heard of Truckee, it is a few miles west of Lake Tahoe. I was asked to take over as the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Truckee.
The founding pastor has retired and the interim pastor, from Poimen Ministries, asked if I would be interested in talking to him about taking over the church. He told me that they were also talking to others. I thought, “Sure, why not? What could it hurt?” I actually didn’t think anything would come of it. He asked me to send him a few pastoral references, some recorded teachings, and a resume. After he received them, we talked and emailed back and forth. About a month later, he asked Tina and me to drive up and spend an extending weekend with them and share Sunday morning. So, we drove up. I shared February 9 on Revelation 4, “Our Future Home” and afterward we met with the elders, the board, and their wives. They interviewed us for about 3 hours and we returned home.
Quite honestly, we were really amazed by the church. The people were so loving and friendly. We felt as if we had known them all for a long time.
Interestingly enough, the Saturday before I was to teach, pastor Trent from Saving Grace World Missions and Calvary Chapel Saving Grace texted me from the Middle East and asked if I was teaching in Truckee Sunday. I said yes and asked him how he knew. He told me a missionary from Truckee, serving in Belize, asked if he knew me. Pastor Trent went on to tell me that the church was looking for a pastor and I should tell them I was available.
Days after we returned home, I received an email offering me the position. We were very excited, but we still prayed. We didn’t want to have to walk away from the work in South Asia. We were concerned that Saving Grace World Missions would think that it would be too much for us to do both.
When we shared the news with pastor Trent, he was so encouraging. He was excited that now, since I would no longer be working for the US Government, we could launch a greater effort in South Asia and we could get Calvary Chapel Truckee involved in the work also. It was exactly what Tina and I were praying about. We will continue to be SGWM missionaries, sent out by Calvary Chapel Saving Grace and Saving Grace World Missions, to reach the unreached of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Well, we’re in the process of packing right now. It’s a big chore. My sister, Sharalynn, has been helping us pack. She is a force to be reckoned with. She has been such a blessing to us.
We don’t yet have a place to move into, but we trust the Lord that He will provide. My first Sunday in the pulpit at CC Truckee will be Easter Sunday.
Now for the other news.
Our grandson, Noah, will be 2 March 20th. So we are going to go to Washington for his birthday. We’re so excited to see him. He is so cute and getting so big. He mixes in both German and English when he speaks. I never thought being a grandparent would be so wonderful.
This April is the 1st graduation for two of the colleges in South Asia since I have taken the oversight of the teaching. During my last trip, pastor Trent asked me to sign all the diplomas as the “Director of the Bible Colleges.” It was such an unexpected privilege. I had no idea at the time that God would open the door for me to return for the graduation ceremony to hand out the diplomas. I will be in South Asia for the graduation on April 4th, and the day I return, we will pick up some rental trucks and move up to Truckee.
So, as you might think, we need your prayers.
- Please pray for a house for us in Truckee. Pray that God would give us a house that would be a complete blessing for our family.
- Pray that God would bless our move and give us His sure mercies for the move.
- Pray that God would equip, enable and anoint us for this next adventure in ministry. For me in leading the church and Tina in leading the women.
- This move means the boys will have to find new jobs. Pray that God would bless them with new jobs quickly and help them continue in obtaining their degrees.
- Pray for Calvary Chapel Truckee. My prayer is that it would be known as a church that loves Jesus Christ, one another and those on the outside, grounded in the word and has a heart to reach the lost and dying of the world. Pray that we would grow in grace and God would add to the church.
As always, we are so thankful for those that have stood with us in the ministry over the years. Your love, prayers, friendship, and support mean more to us then you could ever imagine. We humbly thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Gary and Tina
PS. Here is a link, if you are interested in the official announcement made on February 17.
Posted in Uncategorized by Gary Barrow with 1 comment.
Let me start by saying there are no words. There are no words that could adequately convey all that God did. I have been a missionary for 18 years now. I have been on many trips as a leader and team member, and I can say without a doubt, this was the best team I have ever served with. This was the best trip I have ever taken. I have never seen more fruit born from a trip than I saw born out of this trip.
We started out by visiting our central campus first. We taught a three day mini conference on church planting there.
Currently there is estimated to be 7.6 billion people in the world. Roughly 42% or 3.19 billion people have literally never heard the name of Jesus. They are unreached. That means they have never heard the gospel and have no access to the gospel or even a Bible. Imagine that. It is estimated that, on average, each person in America who has surrendered their life to Christ had heard the gospel at least 7 times before they made a decision to follow Christ. These people have not heard even 1 time.
Many of these students are hearing the call of God on their lives to take the Gospel to the unreached. I had the privilege of teaching the last session at our church planting conference. My teaching focused on answering and staying true to the call God has placed on your life even in the face of persecution. Many of these students have been ostracized from their families and their villages because they openly profess faith in Jesus Christ. They have already paid a cost unimaginable to us and they are on fire to take the gospel out to a dark and dying world in spite of certain persecution.
We were able to take money to purchase property to build a new school at this location that will allow us to increase the number of students we can accept.
On our next stop we held the first ever All Calvary Chapel Ministry Workers Conference. We paid the traveling expenses to have all the Calvary Chapel workers in the country, and the students of our 3 campuses attend. Many traveled by train more than 60 hours. So many of the students were excited to attend, if only because they had never been on a train before. In fact, some had never seen a train before. We taught through the book of 1 Timothy. We also ordained 8 of our ministry leaders. We challenged and commissioned the 120 in attendance to continue in the work, even if it means persecution, working without American support, working and walking alone. There was a serious charge given to them to continue in the face of hardship, to take the gospel to the dying, to those without any hope, no matter the cost.
From there we went north, way north, to the foothills of the Himalayas. We visited our northern campus and some of our remote church plants. The above picture is the site where we will soon start construction of the first church ever in this part of the world. Not only did we bring funds to start construction of a church here, but we also brought money to start building a second church in a neighboring village about 30 kilometers away.
These are two of the 380 people in this village that will worship and learn about Jesus in this church. The woman on the left was the first convert in the area, coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ about 10 years ago. It is her son that is the pastor in this village, one of the first graduates of our program.
Think about how easy it is for you to attend church. Just think about how many churches are within a short drive from where you live. Some days you might even choose to stay home because of something that came up. Until now these women, and the 380 people of this village, never had a choice. There was no church to attend. To think that now they are going to be able to raise their hands and worship our Lord, their Lord, in a building protecting them from the elements. How much is that worth? I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be part of a work like this.
We traveled across the country again to do another 1 day conference. One of our pastors which works in this area has identified and targeted 108 villages that are totally unreached. Unbeknown to us, God had greater things planned than what we were expecting. He made it clear to us that we are to start a fourth Bible College in the middle of these 108 villages. He did it by having the owner of the property where we held the conference, deed land and buildings to us for the purpose of a Bible College. He wrote a document explaining what he was going to do, being prompted by the Holy Spirit, two weeks before we arrived. The girls above are the first students of this college, eagerly waiting for school to start. The first semester will start for them February 2020.
As I said from the outset, there are no words to convey what God has done. I am so frustrated by my inability to communicate to you the amazing, the wonderful work of God that we witnessed. I could go on and on. The people that were moved by the teaching, how our team was blown away by the love of those we ministered to. I couldn’t begin to describe how the kids stole our hearts, everyone we met hungry for the Gospel, drinking in every word.
Please pray us. Pray for the schools. We just started the 4th semester at our central campus. I am currently teaching through the book of Revelation on Wednesday night via Skype. The other classes offered in the 4th semester are: The Minor Prophets, The Gospel of Matthew, The General Epistles, and The Book of Daniel. We also have an evening chapel every Thursday night. This semester’s topic is “The great Doctrines of the Bible.” All the classes and chapels are taught by Calvary Chapel Pastors across the country. This semester we have pastors from Oregon, Idaho, Alabama and California. At the end of this semester we will be graduating 10 men and 4 women. Please pray them. Pray for the schools.
We will start our 4th semester at our Northern Campus in February 2020. It is a smaller group of men, but no less hungry and excited to answer the call of God on their lives.
Also in February, we will start the 1st semester at our newest campus. There is a big outreach planned in the area just before the semester starts. The college will invite new converts to enroll in the college and go deeper in their walks with the Lord.
Each of our four campuses cover all the costs, asking nothing from the students. At the end of the program, those men who have an obvious call on their lives as pastors and church planters, then serve a 6 month internship; 3 months at two of our other campuses. At the end of the internship, our leaders get together to discuss bringing them on as missionaries and raising support for them so they can devote themselves to the work of the ministry and church planting.
Also please pray for the construction of the two churches we are building and for the funds to start construction on the property we purchased for the central campus.
Pray that more and more Calvary pastors will catch the vision of going into all the world making disciples of the nations, never leaving their studies, teaching in our colleges via Skype. I am always trying to enlarge our teaching pool.
Tina and I are so thankful for you faithful prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us. The work of organizing and overseeing the teaching, communicating with the leaders and staff of the colleges, is a full time ministry. Tina and I believe the Lord is leading us to stop working for the Army and return to full time missions and ministry. Pray that God would link us with people who are called to serve as senders, as we are trusting God to provide the finances we need to step into this work devoting ourselves to it.
Please share this update with your friends, repost it or retweet it. We would like to as many people as possible praying and getting involved in all that God is doing among the unreached of the world.
Gary and Tina
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In less that a week, P Trent and I will be leading a team to South Asia. All of us on the team would appreciate your prayers.
The country we are going to is one of the top 10 worse countries to live in if you are a believer. A vow has been made by the leaders of this country to eradicate Christianity from within their boarders.
While we are there, we will be visiting 3 of the 4 Bible colleges, some of our remote church plants, and we will be holding 3 conferences for leaders and workers. Because of the current climate in the country, these conferences have to be held securely and somewhat secretly. There is a certain danger for those who are attending.
This picture was taken last year. It is a picture of a couple I met in the middle of the jungle. That is their house behind them. This man and his wife had been living there, with not another soul in sight, no running water, zero creature comforts, for the last 40 years.
One of the things I think the Lord has been impressing upon my heart recently is, “How far it too far to Go?” How far is too far to go to bring the gospel to someone who has not heard that there is Salvation in the name of Jesus? What inconveniences to us are too many, too much, that would keep us from going to those who are lost? What price is too high of a price to pay to see souls saved and our Lord glorified?
Isaiah wrote, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” I am certain, without any doubt in my mind, the Lord is still asking “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Just like Isaiah, my heart immediately cries out, without hesitation, without a second thought, “Here am I! Send me.”
Would you please be praying for us?
Of course, we need you to pray for us for traveling mercies, that each of us on the team would not get sick during the trip, that would would have God’s protection as we travel. But would you also please press in for us and pray for divine appointments, the ability to speak into the lives of those we will meet. That each of us on the team would have a unique anointing that would allow us to minister effectively and prophetically to those we meet, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
You may have noticed Tina in the team photo. She is going with me on this trip. It will be her first trip to South Asia. She is a seasoned servant, but like most people going on a trip like this one, she is wondering what the Lord has for her, what her role will be? I am looking forward to seeing Jesus shine through her like never before. You may be aware that Tina has had some health concerns recently. I’d ask you to hold her up in your prayers. Pray for good health, strength, and for that special ability to minister to women the way only another woman can.
One thing I am looking forward to the most may not be what you think. I certainly enjoy teaching the word in a conference and classroom setting. That is always great. I trust the Lord will show up and speak His heart through me. But what I am looking forward to the most is hanging out with the students I have been teaching via Skype for the past 2 years. I looking forward to spending time with them, playing games, getting silly, having fun and loving on them in the name of Jesus. I am looking forward to those one-on-one discipleship moments that are God appointed.
I am also looking forward to sharing with you great things that God will accomplish on this trip. I’m looking forward to bring back fruit we all will rejoice over. I want to thank you for your prayers in advance, knowing that you are with us in spirit.
All for His glory! No matter the cost.
Gary and Tina
Posted in Uncategorized by Gary Barrow with 2 comments.