RAVEN Ministry International Training Center
Restoring A Vision & Evangelizing Nations
To restore the vision of evangelism and the great commission to the local church through training, mentoring and mobilizing, and evangelizing the immediate world that we have been provided access to, whether that “world” consists of our neighborhood, city, place of employment, or foreign soil.
What do you think is the greatest need in regard to the Church today, “I was asked as we sat ther in Denny’s Restaurant on interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas that afternoon in early 1996.
Sitting there with a cup of coffee and paper napkin in front of me. I jotted down my answer as i also spoke it out loud. “We have got to restore the vision to the Church and then go and evangelize nations with the Gospel” On that paper napkin I wrote what would be the basis of the vision and mandate that the Holy Spirit would drop in my heart. From that came the acronym that would be used to describe this calling R.A.V.E.N or Restoring a Vision & Evangelizing Nations. “RAVEN” would then become the outreach ministry arm of our local church (Dayspring Ministries) as well as the vehicle used to ignite the fires of revival and a passion for the Great Commission in cities and churches across the Nation and beyond. Locally, RAVEN would reach into our community through our church each Saturday morning with free bread (1st Kings 17:6), servant evangelism and “front porch” discipleship. We would eventually start a free Jesus Cafe’ that would serve as many as 250 sit-down meals to the homeless and needy of lunch followed by a voluntary service afterwards that would draw 125-150 people.
Raven was also invited to participate in many local outreach events that needed evangelism-oriented praise and worship ministry and experienced soul-winners
It was February of 1996 though that truly established the ministry of RAVEN in what it is today. Pastor Troy was invited to bring a group to an outreach in New Orleans that was held in conjunction (and in response to the annual Mardi Gras). Having never been to New Orleans, he initially made light of the invitation but that soon changed when he was told, There are an average of 2 million visitors that attend this event and and they all need what we have: JESUS. That settled it! Nine soul-winners would climb in a borrowed van and make the 925 mile trip from Amarillo, Texas to New Orleans and they would never be the same.
Crossing in to Jackson Square that night, the RAVEN team was confronted with things not seen even in the seediest areas of their town: witches, warlocks, psychic, tarot card readers and tens of thousand of desperate souls. Pastor Troy recounts that he was felling overwhelmed at the sight when the voice of the Lord spoke to him saying, “When you see it like I say it, then you will do it like i did it”
The next year the team grew from nine to twenty. A year later it had doubled again and within a few years they were chartering buses and taking 90% of their congregation along for this annual mission trip. It was during theses times that Pastor Troy knew the Lord would eventually have them take RAVEN into New Orleans full-time. He and Melanie began to pray the Lord birthed in their heart a passion to have a place in New Orleans to host ministry teams year round, train people for ministry and stir the fires of true revival in the hearts of God’s people.
In 2003 Pastor Troy & Melanie and their two children moved to New Orleans and were soon joined by several from their church including Pastor Alex & Holly Hill, Pastor Thomas & Doree Derick, Nick and Cindy Castro and Elva Villa. The work continued and eventually would spread out across the United States and also leading teams of RAVEN’s into other Nations!