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Chicago trip

February 23rd, 2009 Posted in lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, Pastor's corner, travel

Hey everyone, we just returned from our Lost Boy weekend in Chicago. We had an amazing trip.

It all happened at Harvest Bible Chapel, which is pastored by my friend, James MacDonald. The funny thing is that James spoke at our church, while I spoke at his!

We showed the Lost Boy film followed by a message. My son Jonathan once again shared his testimony, which moved many, especially the young people.

We must have seen some 400 people come forward in all the services to make commitments and re-commitments to Christ.

I am back now in California. So thanks for your prayers!

A tragic loss

It is with deep sadness that I report to you that Ralph Arthur, an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, was suddenly taken to  heaven this last Saturday.

Let me say this as plainly as I can–Ralph Arthur was a man of God. I can pay him no higher compliment than that.

He was always there with a smile, hug, and an encouraging word from the Lord to those in need. He was a loving and compassionate counselor to those in his ministry who were suffering, to cancer patients, and to those who had lost loved ones.

Ralph is in heaven

Now, sadly, Ralph himself is the loved one lost. But, of course, he is not lost at all, for you have not lost someone when you know where they are, and we certainly know where Ralph is. He is in the presence of the One who promises “fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.”

Ralph is in heaven with my son Christopher and so many of our loved ones who have preceded us to the other side.

He will be greatly missed by our church and staff, but most of all by his family.

He finished well

But let me close by saying this—Ralph finished well as a follower and representative of Jesus Christ, and I know the Lord has said to him, “Well done, Ralph Arthur, my good and faithful servant. Enter now into the joy of your Lord.”

Let us all remember his wife Cheri and his children as they will need God’s special strength and comfort. As Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

10 Responses to “Chicago trip”

  1. Sheila says:

    Pastor Greg,

    Thank you so much for coming to Harvest in Rolling Meadows. It was wonderful to see so many souls come to, or recommit their lives to Christ. My son was so moved by your testimony. We had a wonderful conversation about your movie afterwards. He was so excited to meet you and he’s been showing everyone your signature in his book that you autographed for him. We were really blessed and inspired by your sermon. God bless your ministry.

    Sheila

  2. Kevin & Debby says:

    Thanks for coming to preach last weekend at Harvest. We went to your church in Riverside last year in February, but you were sick that weekend. It was nice to finally meet you. We brought our son Sunday morning to listen to you. Pray for him, he is in a homosexual relationship at this time. Lord Bless your ministry.

    Kevin

  3. Renee says:

    Hi Greg,

    I attended the Saturday night service at Harvest and made my mom drag my dad along. They attend another church in the area and my dad is a nominal Christian. I wanted him to hear your story since he grew up with an alcoholic mother who was not faithful in her marriage. I wanted so badly for him to make a commitment for Christ, but he never did get up and go to the front of the church. Though my husband did say that my dad raised his hand during the prayer time. I will keep praying that the truth of God will take root in his heart!

    Also, a special thank you to your son Jonathan for his awesome testimony. Ironically, that same evening, my two 17-year-old nephews (who have grown up in the church) were brought home by the police for drinking. I am purchasing a copy of Lost Boy and also your sermon to share with them. Jonathan truly has a ministry to share, especially for those raised in the church! Blessings to your family!

  4. Rick says:

    I attended the Saturday meeting at Harvest in Rolling Meadows, where Greg was speaking, with my 130year-old son (Scott, #7 of 7). What a blessing to bring my son and share this with him. He came to faith in Christ a couple years ago and said he enjoyed the movie and Greg’s preaching. But in watching him, I noticed him really perk up when Jonathan was talking. Scott said this was deep. He enjoyed the worship and we had some great conversation on the way home. Thanks for coming and throwing the net.

    Rick Landry

  5. Beth says:

    Dear Pastor Greg and Arthur Family:
    I am saddened for you, losing a dear friend, and especially for Ralph Arthur’s family, losing their beloved husband and dad. How I know full well the sudden loss of a husband/daddy and all the grief that surrounds it. Our comfort is that Ralph is in the everlasting arms of God with your Christopher and my husband, George. Praise God that his family are blessed with a fellowship of believers that will surely envelop them with love and prayers as they walk this journey.

  6. David & Sharon says:

    Pastor Greg and Jonathan,

    It is with great joy that I write to you to tell you thank you so much for coming to Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. My wife and I spent our 24th wedding anniversary weekend bringing people we have prayed for to the Saturday evening service and the 11 o’clock service at Harvest this past weekend.

    We are so happy to report that two of the nine people we brought went forward to accept Jesus Christ and five of the people who stay seated with us prayed the prayer!!

    I asked my wife’s cousin, who went forward and who I have witnessed to for years, what was it in Greg’s speaking that spoke to you? She said, “When he asked the last time, he said, ‘What if you never have another chance to make this decision and why are you not making a decision now…for what?'” She said, “I knew I had to make that decision today!”

    I spoke also briefly, with Jonathan while you were signing books. I told him what a blessing he had been to us, but also our family. Our two teenage boys, Benjamin (17) and Zachary (13), were really impressed with Jonathan’s testimony and it resonated with them. We have raised them in a Christian home, and by God’s grace have made a decision to follow the Lord, but it was a good reminder that we are all capable of wandering.

    In closing, we will pray for you and your family Greg, and will look forward to partnering with you, Lord willing, for your Chicago Crusade in ’10. We are regular Harvest Bible attendees so we will look forward to more info. Thank you.

    In God’s Grip,
    David &Sharon Chow, Illinois

  7. Donna says:

    Thank you, Pastor Greg, for coming to Chicago on a cold winter weekend and preaching at Harvest Bible Chapel. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It was amazing to see how many people came forward. God is awesome.

  8. Teri says:

    I’m so glad that you’re back! Pastor James MacDonald was awesome yesterday! He was actually quite hilarious! God is truly an awesome God! I was so sorry to hear about the loss of Pastor Ralph Arthur, though. I am praying for his wife, Cheri, and their five children.

    Blessing, Teri

  9. Cameron says:

    Dear Greg,

    Thank you so much for speaking at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago this past weekend. I was deeply moved by your story, as it is quite parallel to mine. In fact, I also shared my testimony on the same stage last September. It has been one year since I accepted Christ into my life, and it was such a blessing to see so many commit theirs to God on Sunday. I was crying like a baby! I pray that God will bless you, your family and your ministry as you carry out His will.

    Your brother in Christ, Cameron Lee Starc

  10. Carol says:

    Hi Pastor Greg,

    We attended the Saturday service at Harvest Bible Chapel. Many thanks to you and Jonathan for coming to share your stories on such a cold and wintry weekend. It was so wonderful to see all those who came forth to make commitments to the Lord. We continue to pray for the entire Laurie family.

    Blessings,

    Gary and Carol Wingels

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