It’s Planting Season!

It’s hard to believe…but the season is finally changing! We are anticipating spring here in Rockford. The change of season allows a natural checkpoint for people to take inspection of their lives. The slightest change can cause self-focus to barrel out of control. Likewise, a renewed focus on Christ and others can propel ministry opportunities. There are seasons mentioned in the Bible. There is a time to sow and a time to reap. We are approaching the spring planting time…

In my backyard is a pile of remains from a small garden last year. My plan is to mulch those remains, till the ground, and plant new seed for new fruit. I have no idea how my garden will grow this year. Last year I had a banner crop of tomatoes, but my cucumbers were few and far between. I had some sweet peppers, but my hot peppers did not do to well. (Special thanks to Bro. Jackson in Rolla, Missouri who gifted me some fresh jalapeño in a jar!) The results of my garden are out of my hands after I put forth the effort to plant, water, fertilize, and repeat the process.

God gives the increase, however He has commissioned us to go by faith and reach out to the ends of the earth. Many chapters may have just come out of a barren season. I think of a good director in Michigan who did not get visitors to stick for nearly 2 years! The flood gates have now opened and they are one of the most successful chapters. What if Bro. Avery had quit? No doubt there was some discouragement he had to endure, but he stayed the course! Recognize the season and give God the glory for the fruit…but just keep on planting the seed!

Observations about growing an RU chapter in your community with season in mind:

1. Seasons come and go, just don’t quit. You may never know what could have been if you quit. I often wonder where Barry, Amy, Will, Kathy, Dan, Randy, Tony, Jeremy, Andrew, Mike, Hannah, Ramona, Tom, Sue, and a host of others I have seen this week would be if their chapter director had given up the idea of reaching the addicted?

2. Seasons prove there are things beyond our control. We cannot control when spring comes, or fall, or summer. No matter how much wealth or power one may have, he cannot prevent sorrow, sickness and death. God is in control. I can trust Him. I can believe Him. I can call on Him for reinforcements.

3. Pray for rain while it is raining. When you see fruit on the vine or results that are intended to produce fruit, pray for more of it! Motivate others in the same work you are doing to produce the next crop of fruit.

4. Man’s duty is to recognize and accept the circumstance beyond his control. Many get discouraged and refuse to plant again. Many get discouraged and refuse to invest again. Man cannot fully appreciate the beauty of God’s overall plan, because they cannot see the finished product. Don’t let discouragement stop your forward progress.

5. We have a time to work. By this I mean, a time to serve God. The work of God is everything that we do to advance the kingdom and the glory of our God. Nothing is small if we do it for the Lord with a right motive. Souls are still on the streets addicted to sin, selling themselves to survive; not understanding the hope they can have in a place where God’s Word is alive.! O, by the way, going after sinners to give them the gospel is always in season!

We are laboring here in Rockford on your behalf. I trust you’ll see the season and will recruit and work accordingly!

Here are some recent results of some of the calls we have received in Rockford. Reaching individual addicts and sending them to you for help is exciting for us in Rockford. If you have experienced some of these blessings at your chapter, please share them with us so we can give God glory for what He is doing.

· 6 Salvations over the phone,
· 11 Personal Recovery Kits through 866 calls
· 47 Calls from friends/family concerned about someone.
· 93 Calls looking for a chapter.
· 62 Calls wanting personal help.
· 45 Calls were about someone in jail/prison.

Our help line is now available 24/7. Please pray for us as we continue on this path. I look forward to sharing more specific testimonies with you as we receive them. Send chapter blessings to

Prayer request
1. Pray for new chapters to start. We are off to a great start for 2011. Our goal is 100 new chapters this year. Join us in prayer for this goal.
2. Pray for hurting chapters to begin again and see the fruit of their labor!
3. Reformers Recovery Homes have more students than we have in a long time. Pray for Chris, Bryan, and Joy and the staff as they develop these students spiritually for the glory of God.
4. The RIP ministry is going through some improvements. Pray as these upgrades will give greater support and structure to chapters and churches utilizing this arm of our ministry.

Sharing is Caring

God led Ben and his family (wife, Wendy; and three children, Josh, Caleb, and Hannah) to Rockford, Illinois in 2003 to become the International Director of the fastest growing addiction ministry in the United States. Bro. Burks is now privileged to travel and train others how to help the addicted within their communities.

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