A New Believer On the Run...

One of the many mosques found on the streets of Ethiopia, where less than 2% of the population are Christ-followers.   Photo credit

One of the many mosques found on the streets of Ethiopia, where less than 2% of the population are Christ-followers. Photo credit

As a part of the Global Advance mandate to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:2), our Alpha Relief initiative supports some thirty-three undercover missionaries world-wide. One of these missionaries runs a rescue center in Ethiopia. Just a short time ago, a twenty-one-year-old woman came to this center in desperate need of help, on the run from her father, brother, and uncle. She had become a Christian, and the “shame” she had now brought upon her Muslim family, in their minds, made her no longer worthy of living.

Here is her story… 

Zemzem (name changed for her protection) grew up a Muslim. In fact, her father sent her to a Quranic school where she was brilliant enough to memorize the entire Quran, even though she could understand little of it. One special day, Zemzem was celebrating her thirteenth birthday with a party when a beloved family member joined the celebration. He arrived by car, accompanied by another man Zemzem had never met. After witnessing some hand shaking between this man and her father, and some crying from her mother, Zemzem was told to leave this festive occasion in the car with this relative and stranger. This extended family member had always been so loving and kind to Zemzem, she had no apprehension whatsoever in agreeing to this request from her father.

Upon arriving at the stranger’s home, Zemzem was now informed that she had just become this man’s wife. Zemzem was thirteen. It was her birthday. Zemzem had little understanding of the concept of marriage, and no understanding of what was expected of her in this new role. This was the beginning of what Zemzem described in a drastic understatement as “a sad journey.” While she served this man for many years as his wife, Zemzem never considered herself married. Zemzem had three children and was “divorced” by him once he grew tired of her, while she was still just a young woman. 

It was in this time of despair that a different stranger, one with different motives, introduced Zemzem to Jesus Christ. Out of desperation, Zemzem had returned to her parents’ home to live, and this gospel messenger warned her not to tell others of her new-found love for Christ, as repercussions would certainly follow. But, in short order, Zemzem’s family noticed the change that had taken place in her. When Zemzem’s father asked about her transformation, she could not hold back from speaking the gospel message of salvation to her family. From that day forward, Zemzem never spoke with her father again, as she barely escaped his presence with her life. Her family has now vowed to hunt Zemzem down and execute her.

Today, Zemzem, a new believer, is on the run. Thanks to your support of Global Advance through our Alpha Relief initiative, Zemzem has a place to which she can run – a refuge from those who hunt her. 

This is What Unity Looks Like

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I’ve been serving and traveling with Global Advance for five years now, and I’m rarely short on words. There’s always SO MUCH to share when it comes to how God is using this incredible organization to empower and mobilize frontline leaders to advance the gospel around the world.

But I’m just back from Brazil, and what God is doing there has left me nearly speechless.

It was my fourth time to return to Porto Alegre. Several years ago Global Advance locked arms with a small team and one church there, and we began to listen to their stories. Stories of disunity. South Brazil had long been known as the “pastor’s graveyard”. The Church and her people… divided. Though South Brazil is often perceived as developed and gospel-reached, still barely over 10% of the population claims evangelical Christianity. Corruption, economic depression, distrust, and inequality have been words used to describe this beautiful South American nation - the 5th largest landmass country in the world.

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But God…

For the last six years, He’s used a team of passionate local leaders and a progression of Global Advance conferences to unite, empower, and resource leaders (you can learn more here, here, here, and here). As I scroll through pictures of our Esther Initiative conference in Brazil earlier this month, tears again fill my eyes. In person and through the photographer’s lens, I have witnessed a different Brazil.

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  • Instead of one church, I saw eighty-eight churches come together in one place. Eighty-eight.

  • Instead of divided, I witnessed them stand together in purpose and resolve to fulfill the Great Commission where God has placed them.

  • Instead of distrust and inequality, I saw revival.

  • Instead of corruption and depression, I saw His Kingdom come.

A Brazilian pastor’s wife in her seventies said she’s waited her entire lifetime to see this kind of unity, and now it’s happening right before her very eyes. How incredible that we get to play a strategic part in lifting their arms in this historic season.

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“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” - 1 John 4:12


You’ve heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I say these pictures are a glimpse of God’s Kingdom coming to earth; the Word speaking loud and clear and making Himself known like never before in this place. A city is now seeing God more clearly because of their love for one another, and that love is changing everything.

What started with a handful of leaders from one church has multiplied into a kingdom movement, and we’re just getting started. As a junior partner, Global Advance is committed to empowering more and more leaders in Brazil for the fulfilling of the Great Commission. Thank you for your partnership that is helping change lives before our very eyes… one leader, one city, one nation at a time.

Whitney D.

One by one the women of Brazil stand and SHINE their light as a declaration of how, through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, they are going to use their God-given talents and trades to bring about social and economic change in their nation. These women are supporting the local church in the task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

One by one the women of Brazil stand and SHINE their light as a declaration of how, through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, they are going to use their God-given talents and trades to bring about social and economic change in their nation. These women are supporting the local church in the task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

A Desperate Call for Help: Reaching the Rohingya in Bangladesh

Pastor Bony and the Taleb family (wife not pictured)

Pastor Bony and the Taleb family (wife not pictured)

The Rohingya people group have suffered for decades under ethnic and religious persecution. Now, after enduring fighting in Myanmar, many Rohingya - who are both Muslim and Hindu - have fled their home country for refugee camps in neighboring nations. Pastor Bony, a Global Advance and Alpha Relief initiative partner in Bangladesh, has felt the burden to ease the suffering of this community inside his home country, while at the same time sharing the love of Christ with them.

While working in one of the two official Rohingya camps inside Bangladesh, Pastor Bony was requested by a friend to check on the well-being of a few specific families inside the camp. One of the families Bony visited was that of a Muslim named Abu Taleb. Bony spent a good portion of the day with them, discussing their situation within the camp and distributing some much-needed aid to them. As he departed, Bony gave them his contact information in case they might ever need his assistance again.

Little did Bony know that he would receive a desperate call for help just two days later. It was Abu, who, in a panic, shared with Bony that his elderly mother had been missing for two days. They had searched everywhere within the camp to no avail. Bony was their last hope.

Bony was heart-sick with this news. Immediately, he informed his team within the camp of the situation, as well as the appropriate army and UN camp officials. Then they began to pray, and everyone began to search. For over a week they prayed and searched without success.

Eight days after this discouraging news, Bony visited Cox’s Bazar, a city some thirty-five kilometers from the Rohingya camp. At approximately 5:30 in the evening, Bony was walking the street about ten minutes from his hotel. There, in the mass of humanity, he saw what appeared to be a woman lying in the road. Bony immediately asked a local rickshaw driver to come and help him attend to this lady who, for all intents and purposes, appeared dead. 

Bony with Abu’s mother

Bony with Abu’s mother

As Bony approached the woman, he recognized her clothing. Bony took out his cell phone and looked at the recent picture he had taken with the Taleb family – it was Abu’s mother! Bony immediately attended to her urgent physical needs and informed camp officials of the situation. Within three hours, Abu’s mother was back in camp and reunited with her family.  As it is impossible for a refugee to leave a Rohingya camp, everyone recognizes that what happened on the evening of May 25th, 2019 is nothing short of a miracle. 

Because of these events, Bony now leads a house church inside the Rohingya camp, and the Taleb family are members. When asked how and why something like this could have transpired in their family, Abu’s reply is this: it all happened so they could know the one true God.

Our Global Advance national team of leaders in Bangladesh is strategizing to see churches planted in every village, and we are lifting their arms to help them accomplish the task. Through our Frontline Pastors initiative, local pastors are convened and trained in church planting. Fueled by the Alpha Relief initiative and gospel-compassion in their hearts, local leaders bring food and water to the Rohingya, along with health supplies for nursing mothers and children. They also provide Bibles and collect mobile phone numbers as they go so they can follow up and encourage seekers and new believers in the Word.

The Massive Harvest Fields of Southeast Asia: Training Leaders in Taiwan and Vietnam

God’s Spirit is moving throughout Southeast Asia. As trade wars have intensified between China and the United States, nations like Taiwan and Vietnam are poised to prosper.

Global Advance is engaging with marketplace leaders who are passionate for God’s Kingdom in both Taiwan and Vietnam. “I want to commit my business to God and to blessing others,” says Vu, a hotel owner.

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This hairstylist in Saigon has evangelism tracks in her studio and is passionate about sharing God‘s love with her clients.

This hairstylist in Saigon has evangelism tracks in her studio and is passionate about sharing God‘s love with her clients.

In a upscale hair salon in the heart of Saigon, Hanh is booked throughout the day, engaging clients with a smile that lights up the room. Unashamedly, she has placed tracks about how to know Jesus right there in the studio waiting area. “Every day I share the love of God with my clients.”

Vietnam is the fastest growing economy in the world, yet only 2% of its people are Christians. This massive harvest field is ripe as much of the new Church in Vietnam represents young, entrepreneurial millennials.  

Young church leaders soak in the training.

Young church leaders soak in the training.

Global Advance is committed to coming alongside the Church by providing training and resources for pastors and church leaders. Pastors have received training and tools on church planting, evangelism, leadership, and discipleship. Most importantly, they’ve received a touch from God. One touch of God’s Spirit can revive a soul and reignite passion and purpose. That’s what we want to see happen at every Global Advance conference.

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Our Taiwan marketplace conference brought together top business minds to help shape and equip global Christian entrepreneurs. Those in attendance came from backgrounds such as banking, insurance, securities, financial consulting, education, media, and high-tech industry firms.

Our Taiwan marketplace conference brought together top business minds to help shape and equip global Christian entrepreneurs. Those in attendance came from backgrounds such as banking, insurance, securities, financial consulting, education, media, and high-tech industry firms.

We’re also committed to growing believers in the marketplace. Since 2008, Global Advance has had a presence in Vietnam by providing training to thousands of business people and visiting dozens of businesses that are run and operated by Christians. They are taught business skills and presented with a challenge to commit their businesses to God’s purposes. People leave our marketplace conferences with a new perspective and a sense of calling to the marketplace that wasn’t there before.

Marketplace leaders in Vietnam are taught business skills and leave empowered to impact their nation for Christ.

Marketplace leaders in Vietnam are taught business skills and leave empowered to impact their nation for Christ.

Pray for God’s work in Southeast Asia!  There are still millions who need to find their hope in Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and support of Global Advance!

 

Gratefully commissioned,

 Jonathan Shibley 

 

Refreshed to Refresh Others: Training Regional Women Leaders in India

“…whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” - Proverbs 11:25

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Encouragement is a huge need for ministry leaders all around the world, especially in regions where lives and livelihoods are on the line for those who identify themselves as Christians. In addition, many face physical and resource challenges that often leave them feeling discouraged and alone.

Global Advance is on a mission to empower these frontline leaders; to come alongside them as a junior partner to train and resource them; to lift their arms and encourage them to keep going in their commitment to fulfill the Great Commission.

We had the privilege to do just that in New Delhi, India just a few days ago.

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In a highly strategic gathering, over 40 regional women leaders came together from six states to be trained, refreshed, and sent back out into the often challenging mission fields of North India. These women are bold.They’re faithful. Some are literally risking their lives every day to advance the gospel in their nation. They’re generous. They’re determined to take what they’ve learned and multiply it, so that together they can transform their nation for Christ.

They received valuable training.

They worshipped together.

Learned from each other. 

Encouraged each other. 

Strategized together.

Prayed for each other. 

Spurred each other on, and so much more…

They were refreshed, so that they in turn could go back to their families, their teams, their churches, and their communities to train and refresh others.

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Our partnership with frontline leaders helps propel their vision for their nation forward - farther, and faster - when we do it together. YOUR partnership with Global Advance enables us to be a supply line to the front lines: to these regional, high capacity women leaders, and to thousands more each year. 

THANK YOU… for giving the gospel.

The Power of Prayer

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 “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:8

Prayer is powerful. It is the undergirding of our faith and our connection to God our Creator. Hebrews tells us to draw near [with confidence] to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

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Global Advance knows the power of prayer. Many years ago, Global Advance Founder Dr. Shibley and his wife, Naomi, enlisted the “covering” of Roger and Charlotte Merschbrock for Global Advance and for themselves. The Merschbrocks committed to prayer, intercession, and leadership of the Global Advance Prayer Force for over 20 years. In 2017, the leadership of the prayer ministry was passed to John and Lisa Redd.

 

The Prayer Force

Currently, our “Prayer Force” is comprised of approximately 250 individuals who have committed to pray for Global Advance on a daily basis.  Each month, they receive a “Prayer Force Update” that covers how God moved throughout the nations in the previous month of ministry. They are also informed of the ministry activity scheduled in the month ahead.

Why do our initiatives need a Prayer Team? As Christians, we can experience all types of spiritual warfare. Christian leaders are particularly vulnerable if they are not supported and protected through prayer. The mission of the Prayer Team is to pray for the purposes, promises, and plans of God into, over, and through the lives of the teams they serve. They pray over the specific prayer needs of Global Advance training teams, with special insight provided by the team leader and team members.

The Prayer Team Goals and Objectives

At each training event, a “Global Ambassador” has the potential to impact hundreds of Christian leaders. The Prayer Team serves a vital role in securing God’s protection and provision over everyone involved. Desiring God’s name and kingdom to reach earth is by far the most excellent prayer we could ever pray

 “We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world and can bring its power down to earth.” – Andrew Murray

Would you join us in prayer, standing in the gap to intercede for the ministry of Global Advance as we literally train and equip thousands of indigenous leaders each year to fulfill the Great Commission? How we thank God for you. Click here to express your interest in our Prayer Team. 

- Vivek S.  

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KINGDOM WINS: BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS FOR GOD’S GLORY IN NIGERIA AND BEYOND

KINGDOM WINS: BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS FOR GOD’S GLORY IN NIGERIA AND BEYOND

In Northern Nigeria, just over 38 million people belong to the Fulani unreached Muslim people group. Less than one percent of the population professes to be Christians. This month, outside the city of Jos, Global Advance delivered urgent aid to persecuted Christians living in an Individually Displaced People (IDP) camp.

Go and Make Disciples!

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Jesus told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” - Acts 1:8 (MSG)

Picture it… a handful of His disciples, mostly uneducated; certainly not powerful or wealthy or well connected. As they gathered one last time with the risen Savior before His ascension, Jesus declares that they shall receive power from above to be His witnesses and make disciples of all the nations.

What did they do next? They spread out over the world.

How did He charge them to carry on? His directions were quite simple. But like all of Jesus' teachings, within His simplicity lies a depth of profound meaning. Jesus told his disciples to GO. He told them to make disciples from ALL nations. He let them know that His vision was not just local, but encompassed Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.

Modern Day Disciples | am·bas·sa·dors

Modern Day Disciples | am·bas·sa·dors

 

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)

 

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Jesus' command to go and make disciples is as fresh today as it was 2,000 years ago. What part might you play in this Great Commission? For the last 29 years, hundreds have partnered with Global Advance to train and empower indigenous leaders in over 100 nations. The task is not yet finished. Is there an “ends of the earth” city, country, or region God is laying on your heart? Boldly ask God to reveal to you the role He that wants you to play in fulfilling the Great Commission throughout the world.

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BECOME A GLOBAL AMBASSADOR, ADVOCATE, AND PARTNER!

Global Ambassadors go to the front lines to train and mentor leaders. Advocates pray regularly for, and share with friends about, the needs of frontline leaders. Partners of Global Advance give financially to provide discipleship training & tools, Scripture, relief, and economic empowerment. 

Please click HERE to indicate your areas of interest.

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Now through the end of June, your gifts to Global Advance will be matched up to $100,000! We’re grateful to God for you!

God Writes Eternity in Our Hearts: One Ambassador's Testimony from the Front Lines

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This is my new friend Daisy. She and her husband founded and oversee an amazing work in their nation.

At the end of every Global Advance Esther Initiative conference, there is always a commissioning. This time, I had the privilege to close out the conference. I referred to India as home to the world’s largest concentration of unreached people groups. I felt led to share what God was laying on my heart as it related to the specific position of these women, and then I asked if any of them would commit to being missionaries to the unreached and least reached in their nation. 


The Spirit of God moved powerfully in that moment, and twenty-five of them stood up to say yes. They lined up in the front, and Daisy began to pray. As we stood there together, the presence of God was so overwhelming that neither Daisy nor I could stop the massive tears from flowing. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. 


I have seen God’s Spirit move in incredible ways, but this was uniquely different. The only way that I can describe it is that it was like God’s heart, Daisy’s heart, and my heart all collided at the response of these willing women; at the call of God on their lives in their nation. It was one of the most special moments of my life, and one I will never forget. I’m so thankful that God allowed me to be there to experience it, and I’m so inspired and thankful for my sisters who know sacrifice like I may never know in my lifetime - and who are still willing to say yes to advancing the gospel, even in the midst of major hardship.

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I’m humbled and filled up.

I’m thankful for Global Advance, and for all who prayed for these women as I went! I’m thankful most of all that our God writes eternity in our hearts, and that we get to be a part of advancing His Kingdom together.

Cherice Stoltzfus

Global Advance Ambassador to India

Responding to the Great Awakening Among India's Next Generation

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)

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God is at work in a powerful way all across the nations. I have just arrived back from India, where our team is preparing for our upcoming NextGen Engagement training in Mumbai. I particularly see and sense the sovereign move of God across this nation among the next generation. During this trip I was able to visit and speak in ten different cities: eight in North India, and two in the south. It is really incredible to witness these authentic pockets of revival. They are not man-made. Young people are coming to the altar and just laying their burdens down. Hour after hour, day after day, individual reports of God's supernatural working in these young hearts have brought tears to my eyes. I lift my heart to praise and give thanks to God for this dramatic demonstration of His supernatural harvest throughout the entire nation of India, and the continent of Asia at large. 

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Thousands of young people are praying and fasting throughout the world for a new Jesus Movement. If we study the significant movements of the Great Awakenings, there are common threads of increased prayer and people repenting to God and each other. God is moving in these ways, and what I have personally seen and heard is beyond my comprehension. I humbly bow in reverence, awe, worship, and praise to God. This is His doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Will you stand with us for this generation and help us win and empower them into the next wave of His army? The Lord will use what the enemy intended for evil to bring about a generation of young people radically committed to loving Jesus and changing their world. You can count on it. We are headed to Mumbai to train NextGen leaders soon - don’t miss out on this opportunity to partner with us!

Vivek S.

The Church Without Walls: Cultivating a Kingdom Business Network

One of the greatest transformational movements in modern missions has been the cultivation of marketplace ministry. Marketplace leaders are business professionals who add value in their nations by creating jobs, bringing salt and light to the workplace, and raising a standard of righteousness and integrity in the market. This movement represents a growing intentionality in the global Church to fully integrate business leaders in the marketplace with the biblical mandate to take the whole gospel to the whole world. 

At Global Advance, we have been working to establish Kingdom Business Networks in key cities around the world. A Kingdom Business Network (KBN) is a collaborative enterprise managed by godly leaders who use their time, talent, and resources to meet the spiritual and/or physical needs of the community around them to advance God’s purposes. A KBN is a door into the marketplace for the gospel’s advance. Through business we can intentionally tackle poverty, increase quality of life, bring positive social change, and as business leaders we carry with us the message of eternal life.

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For three years, Global Advance has been working in Croatia to create a KBN that would be led and sustained by national leaders. Croatia has a small but complex business culture. Despite progress in economic reforms, challenges remain. These include non-transparent bureaucracy, the country's relatively high cost of living, and both real and perceived issues of corruption. By training and equipping Christian marketplace leaders, we are helping to transform the market. We are teaching business leaders to run their businesses according to biblical principles, to occupy their places of influence, and to work together to strengthen the market. The KBN helps equip business leaders to become faithful in their callings, and to together steward their resources to bring the shalom of God to others. 

One of the Croatian business leaders that we have worked with for three years told us, “As an entrepreneur, I appreciate Global Advance’s investment in the Croatian business market. For some business owners, Global Advance was their first introduction to learning the great news that God can use them in the marketplace. Now we know that it’s God's will for every person to use their talents in the marketplace for the glory of God. This message is very important for me and for other people in our network. Thank you for everything you are doing here.” - Dajana (Croatia KBN Coordinator) 

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Our KBNs are providing practical and spiritual support for business people to learn biblical business principals. Our KBNs are growing. The measurement of success in reaching a city and its nation is the empowerment of all of its leaders seeing their work as sacred and understanding that their work has the potential to expand the Kingdom of God.  

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When marketplace leaders begin to mobilize together to serve the market and to strengthen one another to be God’s servants in their businesses, a Church without walls begins to form. The marketplace that was once a sleeping giant is now partnering with the Church to help her people step into their kingdom assignments. Your partnership with Global Advance is helping form Kingdom Business Networks that help leaders create healthy and sustainable businesses. Together, we are helping business people integrate their faith into their lives, their business practices, and the mission of their business.

 - Pastor Ken