Thursday, April 17, 2008

Über Christ Follower Bill Ritchie

I'm reposting this article from September 2006. It just came to my attention, again through Phoenix Preacher, the best source of Calvary Chapel news, that Pastor Bill Ritchie of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington, has cancer. Please join me in prayer for this man of God, his family, and his flock in Vancouver, WA. He'll never fully realize how greatly used of the Lord he was at a crucial time in my life and ministry.

Your big ministry plans often turn out to be training ground designed by God for ministry yet to be discovered.

That’s what I found out when I went to plant a church in Southwest Washington. I diligently served and taught a small handful of people for two years while I worked as truck driver. My efforts never produced a church. That was a hard pill to swallow. Maybe I didn’t stick it out long enough. Maybe I wasn’t the right guy for the job. Maybe I didn’t hear from God. Maybe God took me to the backside of the dessert for a while like He did with Moses before he started his life’s work at 80 years old. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

I probably won’t have the true answer to my questions this side of Heaven. Here’s what I do know: the Lord used the time strengthen an already great relationship with my wife and birth in us a willingness to go anywhere and do anything for the Lord. Even back to South Florida. Even South Sudan.

During my years in Washington, Pastor Bill Ritchie, Senior Pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington, encouraged me and mentored me. His church was an oasis for my family during a “wilderness” time.

Bill probably doesn’t remember me, but I remember him. He took time – made time – to invest in me even though he had a huge church to run.

One thing I’ve learned about God is that He has strategically placed the men that have shaped and will continue to shape my life everywhere my foot falls. God is faithful to use the faithful. I need to be faithful to Him by being teachable in every situation.


Kat said...

Praying for a big miracle for Bill Ritchie. He's a wonderful man. He's been through so much. God has to bring him through this one, too. In Jesus name.

Anonymous said...

"Your big ministry plans often turn out to be training ground designed by God for ministry yet to be discovered."

I needed to hear that. Thanks.

And Jesus, please heal pastor Bill...