News From The Ranch – August 2001

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Baptism in Latvia, the healing power of confession, and prayer for a “real ranch.”

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Baptism in Latvia

I received an email a few weeks ago that began with these words:

Dear Eric,

My name is Andris. It was some four months ago (on April 7) that I confessed my sins and gave my life to Jesus. And the decision was in great part thanks to the encouragement I found at The Ranch! In fact, my conversion took place right there at the ‘Lover’s Leap’ [the prayer page on The Ranch website] . . . !

This is a direct result of your prayers that people would find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to God. Andris is from Riga, Latvia (south of Finland, north of Poland) and he had watched a message at The Ranch that featured one of my special guests, Bill Allison.

The message Bill gave that Andris watched was “How to Know For Sure That You’re Going to Heaven,” which you can still watch here. (Bill is a gifted communicator and has his own ministry which you can read about at www.cadreministries.com.)

I asked Andris if I could share a portion of the letters he wrote to Bill that night and again several weeks later when he was baptized. He wrote:

[April 7] “Thank you for the great message you shared with me! Having grown up in a Christian family, but never really having chosen to follow Jesus, I was deeply touched by God’s word tonight!! I prayed to him as good as I could and confessed all the sins I could think about. I wept for about an hour on my knees before God. I asked Jesus to be my Lord, to come and change my life and free me from all my sins.”

A few weeks later he added:

[June 10] … “What’s more, Bill, I was baptized last Sunday!!! That’s truly incredible, after all these long years of darkness. By the way, that man who baptized me was my brother (Peteris)! (Yes, I forgot to mention last time my brother was a pastor.) This was an unforgettable day for him as well!

Hallelujah! Those words are music to my ears to know that the work we’ve put into The Ranch has not been in vain. It’s amazing to think that even while we sleep, God uses a website to proclaim His message to people around the world.

Please continue to pray for Andris that the seeds planted will continue to take solid root and grow strong.

The Healing Power of Confession

Many of you prayed for my talks this month at the Exodus International Annual Conference. The conference gathered together 900 people who minister to others who struggle with homosexuality, as well as many who are themselves working through this struggle.

Thanks for your prayers as God is already using the talks to bring greater freedom to people working through this issue. In one of the talks I encouraged people to share their struggle with someone they trust, rather than just trying to deal with it on their own. The Bible says:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a, NIV)

The following Monday I heard from a man who nervously took that advice and set up an appointment to meet with his pastor later that night. Before the meeting, he wrote:

“This afternoon I have decided to meet with my pastor and share my past and present struggles with him. He will be the first and only person I have shared this with locally. I realize that I have come to the point where I just cannot continue to handle this struggle alone without anyone locally to support me.

“… I’m scared, anxious, fearful, worried, and most of all I feel very alone in all this. As I write these words, my stomach churns with the dreaded anticipation of taking off my mask and making myself vulnerable to someone face to face, locally. I feel that I have so much to lose. But on the other hand I have so much to gain. All that I know is something must change. I cannot continue to exist the way I have existed the past 4-6 weeks. Death itself could not be any worse.”

He wrote again the next day, after the meeting:

“Well, I did it! I met with my pastor last night and basically told him everything … start to finish! He was very warm and gracious. Showed no reservations at all, was totally comfortable with what I shared. He told me that he desired to be whatever I needed, a pastor, counselor, friend, etc. I told him what I needed most was a friend with whom I could talk to, meet with, pray with, and be accountable to. He was more than eager to do that with me.

“Well, you were right! God was faithful and I felt so good after sharing all this. … What was I waiting for! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement and how God used you to move me to the point where I was willing to take this next step. It feels good to be known and still be loved!”

What a great feeling, indeed! Thanks for your prayers that are already bearing fruit.

What God Says

Lana and I, along with the help of several friends, have created four more pocket CD’s in the “What God Says” series. I love listening to Lana read the scriptures on various topics, set to inspiring music by friends like Chuck Giacinto, Kent Sanders, Brent Mitchell, and even my own. The topics finished so far include what God says about Prayer, Healing, Temptation, Missions, and Ministry.

It’s an affordable (and “cool”) way to impress God’s word on your heart. I hope you’ll order some for yourselves and your friends. It makes a great gift to tuck into a card, too! You can read more about them and listen to samples at www.WhatGodSays.com and use the enclosed card to request copies.

A “Real” Ranch

Lana and I have been praying for several years for a “real” ranch where we could invite people to come and grow closer to God.

I recently met with a man who has a similar vision and some property nearby. Please pray with us as we discuss the possibilities that could make this vision a reality. We simply want to know God’s will and ask that His will would be done.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for touching the life of Andris Sprogis and giving him eternal life;
  • for touching people through the Exodus conference to free them from their sexual struggles;
  • and for putting desires on our heart and then helping us to accomplish them.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • that You would protect and nurture the seeds that have been planted in people’s lives so they will bear fruit that will last;
  • that You would “enlarge our territory,” both over the Internet and physically;
  • and that more people will find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

New! Pocket CD’s!

These beautiful CD’s play in most CD players but are small enough to fit in your wallet, pocket or purse. Each CD contains about 5 minutes of encouraging words from God’s Word read to inspiring music. The suggested donation of $8 each (all 5 for $40) includes shipping and handling. Visit www.WhatGodSays.com where you can listen to samples, read the scriptures, and place an order.

If you’d like to make a donation without ordering, just visit the donation page.

You will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Eric Elder Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

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