I just sent the following letter out, please consider it an invitation to you, the reader now. Pleae prayerfully read, and consider how you can help.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita KS, 67217
(316) 788-1961 or 316-258-3952
I am writing this letter with the hope that you will prayerfully consider the requests I am making. I am sending this to you because you are a family member, a dear friend, or a person who has in the past benefited from, possibly prayed for, or financially supported The Virtual Pew. As you may or may not know, I started looking at the development of this ministry mid 2006. What has transpired has been more than I would have ever dreamed or hoped for as the ministry we have seen has been incredible. From almost daily interaction with troops in Iraq, to online counseling of people dealing with drug issues, or sexual issues to face to face support and help of various people, ranging from those living on the streets to those involved in the wrestling community, my days are full, and blessed with ministry.
I have come to recognize that The Virtual Pew is a unique and different kind of ministry. We are a mission reaching out to the world through the internet in many ways. Sometimes face to face encounters have changed lives such as a lady who was sexually abused as a young girl in California and a young woman in Kentucky who is being physically abused by her husband. God has, and continues to open doors for us to reach out and touch, The Lost, The Last, and The Least with a hand of compassion and a hug filled with love.
The Virtual Pew has also been instrumental in the articles I have written over the last year. Whether looking at the need for Christians to love all people, even those considered unlovable, to the importance of looking for hope in the middle of despair, the articles put out by The Virtual Pew on our web site, www.thevirtualpew.com, or myspace at www.myspace.com/mikefurches, to Hollywood Jesus at www.hollywoodjesus.com have been read by millions. There is no doubt as to the importance of this ministry in the lives of people across the world.
Some of the brief testimonials of those people include things like:
I'm only 15, and I believe what your doing is a message sent from God.
I've been trying to muster up the strength to go back to church, have done it a couple of times....but can't get myself to stay. My last church went through a vicious split...I have no idea why it affected my life so much, but now when I think of going back to church and getting involved with "church" people again - I just can't right now.
I am divorced with two children. I lost everything to meth and heroin except my Faith in God. Thank you for helping me in that journey.
Keep up the good work Mike. Your message will help thousands of people.
These fields are ripe unto harvest, Mike. Now is the appointed time. This is the day. And maybe, just maybe, God has brought you here for such a time as this...
You give me such encouragement when I need it most.
Mike, as I read that I think you've spoke in such a way that we all agree. I really hope that us few that share your sincerity can help to try and change the world, and really see that to be a Christian = integrity.
Mike -- you took the words out of my mouth! People need to see real faith in action, not be preached at. Faith in action is not shoving what we believe down other peoples' throats, it's living a life of faith.
Just last night I shared Jesus with a young man we have been reaching out to over the last year. I am confident he will make a decision for Christ as he is so close. I also received this email, within 10 minutes of that conversation from another individual, “Mike please pray for me, I think I am bisexual and I need prayer. Thank you I know I can depend on you.” These types of things are a daily occurrence.
These are but a few examples of comments that came in over the course of one week. Imagine this multifold by the hundreds if not thousands and you can get a small flavor of the work The Virtual Pew is doing. This doesn’t include the seven or more individual counseling sessions a day, whether in person or on line.
Between writing for Hollywood Jesus, My Space, and The Virtual Pew, we also have a new radio ministry that includes a weekly broadcast across the globe at www.blogtalkradio.com/thevirtualpew the show airs every Wednesday for an hour live at 5 PM EST, 4 PM CST, 3PM MST and 2 PM PST. From promoting ministries like Compassion International to interviewing top film makers The Brothers Williamson, the weekly show features top notch guests. If unable to listen live, archived shows are available.
I love what I am doing; I have never felt God using me more than I feel Him using me now. I know that because of the massive response we are receiving.
Now for the reason I write this letter. I have tried to make it personal. First, if you have gotten this addressed to you privately it is meant to be private, and please know I am addressing you with our need. If you are getting this via our mail list, or via a posting on MySpace or some other web site, please understand, we still value you and want you to consider our request.
At this point the ministry is looking at drastic cutbacks and is in danger of being shut down. Over the last year and a half we have had some minimal support come in, and while some have been faithful others have not given at all. It is why some of you, possibly family and friends are getting this for the first time. This ministry needs your support. It isn’t that we are asking for a lot, but we are definitely asking, begging, and pleading, if you will, for a pledge of support for The Virtual Pew.
There are several ways you can support the ministry of The Virtual Pew.
One way of support is a one time gift that would provide immediate support. This could be designated if you desire, for wrestling related ministry or even the edit of the book The Keystone Kid. The book for example has several people who are interested and is in need for a final edit. I have a dear friend who would offer a final edit for $1,000 which substantially below the going rate. There are numerous people who have read the book that have commented that the completion and publication of this book is the key to the success of this ministry. Of course there are other areas that a one time gift may be appropriate such as counseling, or substance abuse help. I’ll let the individuals consider that.
I am also asking for individuals to consider supporting this ministry on a monthly basis. I am asking you to prayerfully consider what you can give on a monthly basis and then commit to that gift. I firmly believe that everyone I am sending this to can give at least $5 a month, and there are others that could easily give $500 or even $1,000 a month. The bottom line is we need it. So far this year, we have only brought in $6,000. Simply put, that is not nearly enough to survive and provide the ministry we do.
I am asking you to pray and consider, how much can you give to support the ministry of The Virtual Pew? There is no doubt this ministry has been incredibly effective. Are you willing to let it die? Are you willing to do your part and keep it going? I will assure you, there are few ministries doing what we are doing and reaching the people we are reaching. Please, help keep it going. Without immediate response and support, it is likely my family will have to consider other vocational positions which will take me away from the things I have dreamed of, and have enjoyed doing because I know it has touched the lives of people who would have otherwise not been helped. There is a high likelihood that we will have to relocate if this support does not start coming in immediately.
I’ll leave it at that for now, I’ll let you think about it, and consider the support of The Virtual Pew. My prayer and my hope is that you will be open to helping this ministry out. If able to give you can do so either online via check or credit card, or via sending a check to The Virtual Pew. If giving on line you can go to the url, http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html If giving via mail you can send donations to:
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita KS 67217
Blessings and thanks,
Matthew 25: 31-46