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Reaching Gypsies in Romania & Prisoners in North America!

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2021 12:29 pm

Reaching Gypsies in Romania & Prisoners in North America!

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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April 14, 2021 12:29 pm

Stu is with two men from the Wednesday in the Word Bible Study, Pastor and Prison Chaplain John Priest & Pastor and missionary Rick Reynolds - talking about reaching both Gypsies and prisoners for Christ!

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Woodrow Kroll here. When you train one pastor in Ecuador, some donor friends are standing by to train a second pastor. Call 833-443-5467 or go online at trainaposter.com.

Every gift counts and now every gift is doubled. trainaposter.com. This is the Truth Network. Traveling to reach the gypsies in Romania and the prisoners in North America. With me in the studio on this special interview are two men of God who I love dearly, who are part of our Wednesday in the Word group. Pastor and prison chaplain John Priest and pastor and missionary Rick Reynolds. Guys, it's good to have you here today. Thanks so much for popping in. Thank you, Stu. It's good to be here.

Pleasure to be here, brother. John Priest, I love your name. Everyone wants to know how I have a personal priest and they don't. Well, that's his name, John Priest, so I should have set this up better. It's just an interview with a priest that was like, what in the world?

Where are we going to go? Go to the Vatican or something? But John Priest, 29 years old, something radically happened to you that changed your life forever. Tell everyone your testimony real quick.

I'd love to hear this. So, New Year's Eve, 1984, I was at Mass, had no intention of doing anything other than checking off the fact that I'd been at church, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me through the Lord's Prayer. And it was the Lord's Prayer. Our Father, who art in heaven, he's our God, he's our Father, he's holy, he wants us to forgive our brothers, and most of all, he has an eternal plan. And the Holy Spirit spoke loudly and clearly to my heart and said, John, quit playing. It's time that we have a real relationship. I bowed my head and accepted Jesus that night, and then the Lord had a road ahead of me.

He sure did. And kind of in summary, of course, you've been on before to talk about some other wonderful events and things like that. Thank you. But God's got you in a real unique space. And I even called you out today on Wednesday in the Word this morning earlier at our weekly Bible study going through the book of Luke. I said, what are you thinking? Why don't you go to the parks and recreation areas and resorts? What are you doing going to these prisons where these loser criminals are? Why are you going there? What are you thinking, priest? Tell everyone, though.

This is really cool. Well, so, I am a Gideon chaplain in Davidson County jail system, and it is a privilege to go in and share the gospel. You know, when a man is in prison, he is often at his very least, he's very lost in his very most desperate situation. But what we do find out is there is a heart ready to listen. And what matters the most is that it's not as much what we say, it's the fact that the Holy Spirit is doing the work. And so we recognize the fact that when Jesus was on the cross, his last human ministry as a full-blood, alive human being was to share the gospel with two criminals, one who would blaspheme the Holy Spirit and not repent, and one in his last dying breath would ask the Lord to forgive him. And Jesus confirmed with this young man in Luke 23 verses 39 through 43 that this man would be in heaven this very day with him. What a testimony. And God's given you a heart to go to the people Jesus went to.

He said that he came to set the captives free. And these are people that need the gospel, so thank you for your testimony. With you is a guy who has also been, by the way, a chaplain for the folks that are imprisoned, Rick Reynolds. And you're also more currently on your way to Romania. Tell everyone your story real quick, brother.

Wow. I was saved at 20 years old. The Reader's Digest version of mine is I was chasing a young lady and found Jesus.

A girl I used to chase around on the playground when I was in fifth grade and always liked her, but she didn't have anything to do with me. Then I found out when I was about 15 that she was a Christian, and that didn't mean much to me because I was raised in the Catholic Church, and I thought everybody was Christians. And at 20 years old, I went to church with her and heard the gospel for the very first time, and my heart was captured, and I've not let go since. More importantly, God's never let go of me, and he has changed my life. It's interesting to understand that when you hear the gospel and you receive it truly, it changes your whole life. It's not fire insurance. It truly is life insurance. It makes all the difference in how we approach things.

And it sets you off on a course. Of course, we've got decades of faithful ministry in all these different areas from prison to church ministry and missions, but for some reason, instead of chasing a little white ball in retirement, brother, you're on your way to Romania. Tell everyone real quick what's going on there. God is doing an amazing work amongst the Roma, the Segan gypsies, most commonly known as, and I'll give you one little illustration.

We were there in October, and we had already been teaching and discipling for about 15, 16 hours that day, and I was tired. And one of my leaders asked me, one of my gypsy leaders I've been working with for about 16 years, asked me, Pastor Rick, can we go see this village? I just want you to see where it's at.

That's all I want you to do. So we went to this little village on the border of Hungary in a little city called Tarchia, and while we were there, they wanted to hear what we were doing and why we were interested in their village. I preached probably the shortest and most simple gospel message I have ever preached in my life, and eight people accepted Christ that night. Since then, with no one there to train them or to teach them, those who accepted Christ continue to speak of God's glory and grace, and now there are over 60 people who have accepted Christ, and we're in the process of trying to build them a place of worship because there's no place for the church to meet. Praise the Lord. What a testimony. And you're going to head back there and take in the gospel, right?

June 1st. It's a privilege. It's definitely a call of God. It's not something I sought, not something I even desired. As a pastor, my elders asked me to go, and I told them I wasn't interested. I had already been to Russia, I'd already been to Ukraine, I'd already been to Hungary, and I'd taught enough overseas. I didn't really have a desire to go.

And they said, too late, we bought your ticket. And I've been going since 2003, and God has laid this on my heart to the point where I can no longer do it part-time. God's calling me to do it full-time and to continually get these guys to grow where they can be the indigenous leaders of this movement. Equipping them to the work.

They speak the language, they know the culture. You're building into them, and then God will help it spread that way, right? Discipleship and church planting.

That's exactly what happened in Tarchia. The Holy Spirit moving has led more people to receive Christ, and daily I'm getting reports. I have the privilege of, when I go in June, of being part of a baptism service for 45 people. Unreal. Praise God.

I love this. It can be 15,000 miles away, it can be in the middle of Eastern Europe, or it can be five miles away. We're just maybe a big birthday shot away from a prison right here in Forsyth County in North Carolina. Priest, what's it like when you share the gospel as you have done in the last 48 hours, and someone comes to Jesus and gets radically saved? Tell us, you go into these prisons and you preach, and what is that like?

Take our listeners here real quick. The most important thing to remember is that if not for God's grace, I'd be a cellmate with a lot of these guys. He has forgiven us for so many things that we even think about. With that in mind, we go into the attitude that everyone has worth, and we are all God's children. We go in and share the gospel with inmates for the simple reason that Jesus said, Look, you have an opportunity to lift somebody up, you have an opportunity to help them overcome. When we're at our least, we're at our lowest, go find somebody that needs our help. God uses that opportunity in a big way every time. Amen. One guy whose name is John Priest, who just shared, he's in the prisons, pray for him as he reaches inmates of all over the place and shares.

And then another guy, Rick Reynolds. Rick, thank you for being here. You're challenged, everyone out there, about going and sharing the gospel wherever they are. Maybe they can't get to Romania, they may not even have a passport, but what they can do today to take Jesus to someone?

Well, a lot of people think that they don't have the ability to do such a thing. The thing that I learned a long time ago, it's an old adage I've not heard for a long time, but the greatest ability that God wants from all of us is availability. The way to be the most successful in sharing Christ is just to be faithful in your witness, not only with your words, but with your life, because people need Christ no matter where they are. God does not call everyone overseas, sometimes he calls you to the house next door.

I love it. And so pray for John Priest, he's my own personal priest, pray for Rick as he goes to Romania, as John here ministers, and thank you for you guys. And I love these guys, because when I'm in Wednesday in the Word, and I get stuck or I need some feedback, these guys pipe in with profound things. I told a guy this morning, I said, it's so honored to have smarter theologians than me in the room when I teach the Word. God bless you guys, thanks so much for your ministry. Thank you, buddy, appreciate it. Thank you as well, Stu. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-02 03:32:59 / 2023-12-02 03:37:41 / 5

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