Frontline Leaders

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 

 

God Breaks Through Barriers in Loni, India

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The state of Uttar Pradesh lives under a radical Hindu priest as its Chief Minister, appointed by the Hindu ruling government. Christ followers in this state have experienced more persecution in the last year than any other state in India. Uttar Pradesh has one of the largest concentrations of unreached people groups in the region. For this reason, Global Advance International Coordinators have been strategically training native leaders for tribal, rural, and urban church planting.


Loni, a primitive town with nearly 50 villages and a population of over fifty thousand people, is just a two hour drive from New Delhi, the capital city. One of our International Coordinators has been engaged in evangelism and community transformation initiatives for over two decades in this little town amidst great opposition and challenges. Christian missionaries have been under great threat for their very lives. In spite of various attacks, our leaders faithfully continue the work. As a result, earlier this month, Global Advance hosted the first ever Frontline Pastors Conference in Loni with 125 pastors and their wives. The atmosphere during the entire conference was one of great joy and celebration. Joyful, not only for the opportunity to receive high quality training and resources, but also for the opportunity to come together under one roof for the first time as leaders of the churches in Loni. Celebratory, to know that the church in Loni is growing and to know they are part of a wider and bigger community of believers. Our conference has provided a platform for unity and support for these leaders as they return to their villages and serve under great persecution and trials. 

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 Here is what excites me about this training event…

114 leaders have committed to daily personal time with God in prayer and study of the Word; 64 leaders have committed to plant at least one new church among unreached people groups of Uttar Pradesh; 10 leaders have responded to the call for cross cultural mission work.

This commissioning was a solemn and reverential time before God and the witness of His people. God is breaking through barriers in Loni, Uttar Pradesh.

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While encouraging and equipping are major focuses of our trainings, the distinct outcome is always the exponential church planting movements birthed as a result. The uniqueness of these new church plants as a result of our training is that they are evangelistic in nature. A tragedy of today’s missions’ paradigms is the focus on church planting and acts of service with a neglect of verbal witness of the good news of Jesus Christ. We praise God for the vision of Global Advance to bring a passion for evangelism that would result in the planting of new churches.

From its inception, Global Advance has invested heavily in equipping, training, and resourcing frontline leaders to reach unreached people groups and to plant new churches in Asia. I am thrilled to see a kingdom coalition consisting of high capacity leaders from across seven South Asian nations: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Together, we are working in the unity of the body of Christ to see 15,000 new churches planted among unreached communities.

We need your prayers and support; what we are attempting through building a regional kingdom coalition has been never done in our history of Asian missions. We need prayers to overcome the hurdles of cultural, denominational, and world view differences. We are beginning to see God breaking through the barriers and uniting national teams in each of these nations to birth something in our church history that “no eyes have ever seen; no ears have ever heard.”

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Join the Global Advance force in Asia and become part of making history as we work to fulfill the Great Commission.

 

In His Team,

Pastor James Chacko, Ph.D.

Global Advance Field Director to South Asia

Stones of Remembrance: How God is Multiplying the Esther Initiative

Our Esther Initiative team in Bangladesh celebrates the launch of our very first Esther Initiative training in Dhaka this month!

Our Esther Initiative team in Bangladesh celebrates the launch of our very first Esther Initiative training in Dhaka this month!

THINK ABOUT WHAT GOD HAS DONE

“Fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” –1 Samuel 12:24

In 2014, Global Advance followed the Lord’s leading to a next-level development of the Esther Initiative. For years, women had come to Global Advance training conferences all around the world, hungry for more of what God intended for their lives. 

We conducted a Global Needs Assessment for Women with 103 leaders in 48 nations to gain greater insight into the needs of women. We found that while cultures, specific circumstances, and challenges may vary from nation to nation, basic needs remained the same. Women lack personal worth and identity. They need biblical resources and leadership training. They’re made for community and long for personal mentoring relationships.

We listened, we prayed, and we responded. 

By God’s grace, we took this information and developed a leadership training resource for women. We intentionally built our Esther Initiative training conferences and mentoring track on our findings, and we began to see communities transformed by the power of God at work through ordinary women all around the world. 

The Esther Initiative elevates women to the areas of leadership for which they are gifted and created. Whether it be in the home, the church, the marketplace, or in their communities, women are being inspired to rise up as modern day Esthers in their nations – to courageously say yes to bold faith in action right where they live. We believe that one woman can make a powerful kingdom difference when she knows who she is in Christ and walks fully and freely in her calling. We believe that her unique kingdom contribution could even change the course of a nation.

Young women in Bangladesh gather around our “Esther Manual,” as they dig deeper into lessons such as My Identity in Christ, Nurturing My Relationship With God, Servant Leadership, and Leading Where God Has Placed You.

Young women in Bangladesh gather around our “Esther Manual,” as they dig deeper into lessons such as My Identity in Christ, Nurturing My Relationship With God, Servant Leadership, and Leading Where God Has Placed You.

THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE

 “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” –Psalm 9:1

We’re grateful.

Grateful for clear direction from God, grateful for a strong foundation laid, grateful for the inspirational frontline women leaders He has brought in our path, and so very grateful for your partnership that has allowed us to answer such a great need. Our goal was to start small and dream big. But God is multiplying our original projections for a higher impact than we could have ever dreamed or imagined. The Esther Initiative mentoring track is just one example of this. What began as a pilot mentoring group of ten regional women leaders four years ago has now expanded into 27 nations. 

One Esther Initiative national team leader in Bangladesh told us, “They don’t welcome our message, but nothing stops us. We will not waste any opportunity to share Christ. We understand that time is precious.”

One Esther Initiative national team leader in Bangladesh told us, “They don’t welcome our message, but nothing stops us. We will not waste any opportunity to share Christ. We understand that time is precious.”

TELL OTHERS WHAT GOD HAS DONE

“When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.” –Joshua 4:21-22

2018 was another groundbreaking year of expanded vision for the Esther Initiative – this time through the strategic development of select national women leaders. Last May, Global Advance convened NINE high caliber women leaders from South Asia who are pioneering the Esther Initiative vision in their nations. These women come from some of the most unreached places in the world and have sacrificed much to advance the gospel. They engaged in strategic leadership discussions and created practical action plans that are moving them towards greater gospel impact in their nations. The intentional training they received was absolutely vital; equally meaningful was the deepening relationships that have formed as a result of our quality time together. God is strengthening a kingdom coalition to reach South Asia, and these women are playing crucial roles in that initiative.

Surrounded by gripping poverty and a population that is 99% Muslim, the physical and spiritual needs in Bangladesh are so great that ministry leaders often feel isolated and overwhelmed in their work. Last year, we began strategizing with the national team about next steps to train women leaders in their nation. This month, that dream became reality!

Surrounded by gripping poverty and a population that is 99% Muslim, the physical and spiritual needs in Bangladesh are so great that ministry leaders often feel isolated and overwhelmed in their work. Last year, we began strategizing with the national team about next steps to train women leaders in their nation. This month, that dream became reality!

With 15 Esther Initiative training events in 10 nations on the docket for 2019, this is another year of expanded reach. God is faithfully multiplying the Esther Initiative, for His glory and for the advance of the gospel.

Friends, what a privilege it is to remind you that YOU are a crucial part of this story. 

Thank you for praying, going, and giving as we lock arms with these frontline leaders in the hardest, most unreached regions of the world. There's nothing better than knowing, loving, and serving Jesus together.

WHITNEY D.

2019: THE YEAR OF UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS!

2019: THE YEAR OF UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS!

As we embark on our 29th year of ministry, God has given Global Advance unprecedented access to advance the gospel in 2019. See what amazing opportunities await…

To Know Him and to Make Him Known

Through our combined Church Planting and Esther Initiative training conference in India in November, new church plant teams were inspired and resourced to boldly lock arms to fulfill the Great Commission in some of the most unreached areas of the world.

Through our combined Church Planting and Esther Initiative training conference in India in November, new church plant teams were inspired and resourced to boldly lock arms to fulfill the Great Commission in some of the most unreached areas of the world.

It’s a common tag line adopted by local churches and ministries today, but as I scrolled through pictures from our recent training event in Vijayawada, India, this evangelistic creed - placed front and center on a banner where courageous frontline leaders gathered - stood out to me with profound depth and meaning.

To Know Him and to Make Him Known

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Maybe it’s the Christmas season that has me reflecting with greater intentionality on the immense privilege of knowing, loving, and serving the One who was born to die so that I might live.

Maybe it’s the news of a martyred missionary that has me more humbled, introspective, and prayerful regarding the reality of the number of unreached people groups around the world.

Maybe it’s because when I take time to look into the eyes of these brave frontline leaders, I’m reminded of their great sacrifice and commitment as they take the gospel into the darkest and riskiest places.

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It’s because we know Him that we are compelled to make Him known.

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What Child is This?

What Child is this

Who so impacted history

that the calendar of time itself

is dissected by His birth?

To the atom

He is fusion for by Him

all matter is held together.

To horticulture

He’s the Rose of Sharon

and the Lily of the Valley.

To the animal kingdom

He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah

and the Lamb of God.

To astronomy

He’s the Star of the Morning

and the Sun of Righteousness

rising with healing in His wings.

To the seeker

He’s the way

To the philosopher

the truth

To the penitent

the life.

He is Joshua’s captain

Moses’ smitten rock

Isaiah’s majestic sovereign

Saul’s blinding vision

John’s revelation.

What Child is this?

He’s the poet’s greatest theme

the composer’s sweetest music

the sinner’s dearest friend.

He’s the healer of broken hearts

the mender of broken relationships

the restorer of broken dreams.

To the weary

He is Wonderful

To the confused

Counselor

To the weak

Mighty God

To the orphaned

Everlasting Father

To the distressed

Prince of Peace

In His life

He is humanity’s only perfection

In His death

humanity’s only Savior

In His resurrection

humanity’s only hope.

What Child is this?

He is Jesus

God’s love gift to you.

- David Shibley

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WHAT ARE FRONTLINE LEADERS?

In every nation, God has positioned influential people to advance His Kingdom. The front line of the gospel is where the Church is taking root in new areas and people groups. Persecution of Christians in these areas is common.

WHY FRONTLINE LEADERS?

Cultural influence and knowledge enables community leaders to introduce the transformative power of the gospel more effectively than outsiders. This also instills value and ownership in their communities. 

HOW CAN YOU EMPOWER FRONTLINE LEADERS TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION THROUGH GLOBAL ADVANCE?

To be most effective, frontline leaders need resources, training, and tools. Global Ambassadors go to the front line 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 tools, Scripture, relief, and economic empowerment.

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“And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” - John 17:3

To Know Him and to Make Him Known.

May this be the cry of our hearts this Christmas season, and all year through.

Whitney D.

Piercing the Darkness Through Prayer

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When God called us as a family from South to North India in 2001, we were immediately confronted by the spiritual darkness of this massively unreached region. Here, only .05% of the population of over 600 million identify themselves as Christians. Our city, Chandigarh, is named after the Hindu deity Chandi, who is popularly known as the “goddess of power”. The second part of the city’s name, Garh, means “dwelling”. In similar fashion - be it a road, a mountain, or a river - everything in this part of the world was dedicated to or attributed to some form of spiritual darkness. No wonder Paul admonished the Ephesians in chapter 6, verse 2 that, “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Before we could expand Global Advance initiatives to train pastoral leaders in this region, it was crucial to pierce the darkness by mobilizing massive prayer walks and prayer movements. From 2001 - 2005, we were intentional in organizing prayer walks that covered thousands of miles in North India, as well as twice through the entire nation of Nepal. Easter week of 2003 found our team conducting prayer walks in the Himalayan Mountains over an eight day period. Our team felt that we should make it to a church on Easter Day to worship, but our local guide informed us that the closest church was another four days’ travel away. To our disappointment, we wouldn’t make it by Easter Day. But today, thanks to years of prayer and Global Advance training initiatives, we now have a church in every district of these regions that were once absolutely closed to the gospel! We are grateful to the Lord for the many Global Advance prayer partners who are covering us in prayer as we continue to pierce the darkness. Today, through the Global Advance South Asia Coalition, we have a prayer network that covers eight nations through intentional, ongoing prayer initiatives. We who are on the front lines can feel the power of God at work as Global Advance prayer partners join forces to pray with our prayer coordinators in South Asia. 

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We are seeing breakthroughs, open doors, and miracles as a result of prayer. The success and the progress we are making through the Global Advance South Asia Coalition is the result of much prayer. Prayer alone gives power and wings to the gospel.  

“The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.” – Andrew Murray

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You and I have the greatest resource for advancing the gospel through our ability to come before God in prayer to plead for what is already on His heart - the fulfillment of the Great Commission. While advancing the gospel is the work of the church, prayer is the engine that fuels its momentum. God’s decree for the advance of the Kingdom is dependent on prayer for its fulfillment: “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” – Psalm 2:8

Will you pray with us?

Pastor James Chacko, Ph.D., Global Advance Field Director to South Asia

Hope Is Rising: Our 2018 Global Advance Light the Nations Dinner

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” - 1 Peter 1:3

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HOPE IS RISING was not only the theme for our Global Advance Light the Nations Dinner last week; it is also the reality for believers in some of the most persecuted nations in the world. There is a great need to resource these hidden heroes. But there is greater HOPE! Your partnership enables us to empower frontline leaders to spread the gospel around the world.

Many of our Global Ambassadors, Advocates, and Partners joined us on October 4 for an evening of gratitude and praise as we shared stories of how HOPE IS RISING in the hearts of God’s people around the world. Enjoy a glimpse of our night together!

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Friends, in the midst of hardships and challenges we cling to this unchanging truth: the Light of the World has come! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness HAS NOT overcome it. The gospel is still GOOD NEWS!

Thank you for standing with us as a supply line to the front lines of the gospel’s advance. When you partner with Global Advance you are helping empower the Global Church to fulfill the Great Commission!

Walk Down the Street: Lighting the Darkness in Quito, Ecuador

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Two streets over from our hotel in Quito, Ecuador was the “Red Light District.” Armed with hot chocolate and crackers, we split into two teams and walked a couple of blocks to a whole new world.

Once a week for the last twelve years, our Ecuador friends have walked these streets with a very simple goal in mind: Love the people who are there. They simply keep showing up, week after week, with hot chocolate and crackers. They continuously ask them one question: “Can I pray for you?” That question is usually answered with a very quick, “Yes.”

Every prayer request involved their families. Some asked for prayer for their health. Another, a prayer for a job so she could get off the streets. We talked to her for a while and she said she loved to cook. We heard story after story until we were out of cups and crackers. I stood in the background mostly, pouring hot chocolate and observing, while prayer warriors prayed over women, and men who were dressed as women. They were all very kind. They all received us with joy.

They all simply needed us to walk down the street. 

As we walked back to the hotel, I realized how close we were to all of the people we just prayed for. It dawned on me that I’d been there for three days and didn’t even realize it. I was safe, warm, and comfortable in my hotel room, and there was so much need just around the corner.

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God has not called us to meet EVERY single need of EVERY single person. But, He has called us to do work that He’s already prepared in advance for us to do.

What streets do you need to walk down?

What people are you bypassing who need prayer? It doesn't have to be in the streets of Quito; it could be at your workplace, in your neighborhood, or at the ball field. The Church is not just a building… it’s you. If you can’t get them to come to your church, take it to them. Hot chocolate and crackers have been opening doors to minister the gospel in Quito for quite a while. But, they had to get out of their normal routine and take a bit of a risk.

They are fearless.

They are consistent.

They keep it simple.

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As a result, they’ve been shining an amazing light in a very dark place for many years. 

As God leads, will you take the risk, refuse to be “normal,” and walk down the street?

Leslie James

Global Advance Ambassador to Ecuador

 

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Our Esther Initiative team was recently in Quito, Ecuador to train frontline church, community, and government leaders, many of whom are involved in the restoration, education, and empowerment of women who have been exposed to sexual exploitation. Ongoing partnerships with frontline women leaders reveal how they are creatively gifted to address the needs of their communities. The Esther Initiative provides practical and spiritual support to these standout leaders, empowering them to build relationships, identify local assets, and own the dreams God has given them in order to advance the gospel and transform their communities for Christ. 

 

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God Raises Up an Army of Kingdom Women in Pakistan!

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It has been an audacious dream of frontline leaders for years, and in August it became a reality. Over 350 women gathered for our first ever Esther Initiative conference in PAKISTAN! Words can't describe the JOY in our hearts as we see God building an army of kingdom women who are boldly saying YES to accelerating the gospel's advance in this Islamic domain.

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As a Muslim-saturated nation (96%), the culture in Pakistan is becoming increasingly influenced by radical Islamic militants such as the Taliban and the Islamic State. This fundamentalist Islamic rule has contributed to escalating violence, widespread corruption, and the persecution of Christians. Sadly, Pakistan is known for the abduction of over 700 Christian girls per year, who are abused and then forced to marry Muslim men and convert to Islam.

With over 350 tribal groups in the Sindh Province of Pakistan who have never heard the gospel, there is an alarming need to train leaders and plant churches in this region.

This is where Global Advance comes in.

Following the momentum of our Church Planting conference in May, and in collaboration with our ongoing Alpha Relief water well project, the timing and location of this Esther Initiative conference couldn’t have been more strategic.

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“Women were so much encouraged and on fire to take the message to others. They were restored, touched, and are now mobilized to impact other women living in Sindh and all over Pakistan.” - Pastor William, Global Advance International Coordinator

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At Global Advance, we believe that one woman can make a powerful kingdom difference when she knows who she is in Christ and walks fully and freely in her calling. We believe that her unique kingdom contribution could even change the course of a nation…

 

…for such a time as this.

 

Empowered with a vision in their hearts and tools in their hands, hope is rising for the Church in Pakistan! Thank you for praying, going, and giving as we lock arms with these frontline leaders in the hardest, most unreached regions of the world.

Whitney D.

Pressing Forward in Great Faith: The Esther Initiative Launches in Bhutan

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We first met YC* at our Global Advance Frontline Pastors Training Conference in the small and beautiful nation of Bhutan. Bhutan is nestled in between China and India in the eastern Himalaya mountains, and is categorized among the least reached people groups with less than 2% of their population identified as Christ followers.

Living under a Buddhistic dynasty, local pastors face persecution and social ostracism, and are mostly severely limited in their gatherings in this restricted access nation.

In spite of these challenges, God is raising up passionate frontline leaders in Bhutan who are pressing forward in great faith.

When YC was a young girl, her family planted a church in their village. Immediately, they faced intense persecution. But young YC was not deterred from serving her Savior. When she was just seven years old, God led YC to start a Sunday school class for kids her own age. Today, she serves full time in their growing church network, and is part of an influential leadership program in her nation. 

God has placed the same dream in YC’s heart as that of her mother; to disciple and empower the women of Bhutan to become intercessors and leaders who will impact their families, the marketplace, their communities, and their nation for Christ. Equipped with personalized training through Global Advance’s Esther Initiative Mentoring Track, we partnered with YC and the Global Advance Bhutan national team to host an Esther Initiative training conference in June of this year.

Over 60 women leaders from nine key cities gathered shoulder to shoulder for our first Esther Initiative conference in Bhutan!

Over 60 women leaders from nine key cities gathered shoulder to shoulder for our first Esther Initiative conference in Bhutan!

"The Esther Initiative has just encouraged me so much. Going through the Esther Manual was just so uplifting and encouraging in my personal life, which helped me commit to this national vision of taking the Esther Initiative to every church; to every woman... getting them mentored and coached with what the Word of God says. We were blessed to host the first Esther Initiative conference here in my church, and I was in tears as I was listening to the testimonies. Many of them left so encouraged, and they have been begging me; asking me when the next Esther Initiative program will be."
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YC’s commitment to raising up modern day Esthers in Bhutan, combined with Global Advance’s practical leader multiplication strategy, is a powerful force for the advance of the gospel in South Asia. From remote villages to large cities, YC is on the move with a vision in her heart and tools in her hands across the borders of the most unreached region of the world. 

 

Whitney D.

 

What Does it Take to Transform a Nation?

What Does it Take to Transform a Nation?

In the commissioning of his followers, Jesus made it clear: we are to be nation-disciplers. What an immense privilege – and responsibility – to partner with the Holy Spirit to propel the transforming message of the gospel throughout entire nations and regions! But what does it really take?

Doing What Has Never Been Done: The Global Advance South Asia Coalition

July 2018 Frontline Pastors Conference in Sahiwal, Pakistan

July 2018 Frontline Pastors Conference in Sahiwal, Pakistan

One of the biblical assurances we have before the second coming of our Lord is that there will be a great spiritual harvest. Many people will become followers of Jesus, and there will be a great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God. The gospel will be preached to every nation, and people will be saved out of every nation or "people group" before the end comes (Matthew 24:14). The book of Revelation tells us about a multitude of people worshipping around the throne from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9).

 

What God is doing in the nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives through the Global Advance South Asia Coalition is exactly the fulfillment of the above promises. God is enabling our leaders in these nations to present to the Father redeemed people from among 3,218 unreached people groups.

 

This massive undertaking by Global Advance is something that has never been done in the history of the church in South Asia.

 

Raising up modern day Esthers in Sikar, India

Raising up modern day Esthers in Sikar, India

What makes this initiative unique is that it is national leaders led, powered by the training and equipping provided by the proven ministry of Global Advance. As a result of the huge investments of finance, Global Ambassadors pouring into the lives of the national leaders, and backed with valuable training resources, today we have the best of the best, top-level national teams collaborating in unity to reach their own nations. This has resulted not only in the development of strategic national strategies, but also a regional Kingdom coalition that is now set in motion to reach over 2 billion people. 

Women leaders sit shoulder to shoulder to receive vital training at our Esther Initiative Conference in Thimphu, Bhutan

Women leaders sit shoulder to shoulder to receive vital training at our Esther Initiative Conference in Thimphu, Bhutan

 

 

Some of the challenges and threats we face in this region are radical religious groups persecuting Christians, political instability, corruption, poverty, caste discriminations, natural disasters, population explosion, forced re-conversions, sex trafficking, child labor, civil war, laws to hinder or stop Christian activities, the burning of churches and Christian establishments, imprisonment of pastors on false charges, and threats to our very families and personal lives. Amidst these challenges and more, our leaders in South Asia are laser focused on our vision of planting at least 15,000 new churches within the next five years.

 

Empowering church planters to fulfill their vision to plant a church in every district of Nepal at our Frontline Pastors Conference in Kathmandu

Empowering church planters to fulfill their vision to plant a church in every district of Nepal at our Frontline Pastors Conference in Kathmandu

Over 600 leaders gathered for our Frontline Pastors Church Planting Conference in Karachi, Pakistan in May 2018

Over 600 leaders gathered for our Frontline Pastors Church Planting Conference in Karachi, Pakistan in May 2018

Prayer is needed for the following nations classified as Restricted Access CountriesAfghanistan and Maldives under Islamic rule, and Bhutan under a Buddhistic dynasty. God is providentially and supernaturally providing creative access to bring the gospel to these nations.

Our second classification of nations is Limited Access Countries: Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both of these nations are Islamic domains. God has made it possible for our leaders and Global Ambassadors to travel to these nations to provide in-country training and equipping to hungry leaders.

Our third category of nations is Cautious Access Countries: India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. India - a predominantly Hindu nation, with the second largest Islamic population in a country - is now leading the way for the world’s fastest church planting movement. God is also raising up key apostolic leaders from this nation to advance the cause of Christ, not only in this region, but throughout the world.

“This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” - Psalm 118:23
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This groundbreaking South Asia Coalition continues to make tremendous gospel advances, but we're not done yet. May Jesus Christ be known, loved, obeyed, and worshipped by every tribe, people, and nation so that the Great Commission becomes the Great Fulfillment! Thank you for your partnership that provides frontline leaders in the toughest parts of the world the vital training and tools needed to impact God's Kingdom for eternity! 

 

Dr. James Chacko

Field Director, Global Advance South Asia Initiative

Dr. James Chacko and Global Advance team arrive in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a Frontline Pastors Church Planting Conference in July 2018

Dr. James Chacko and Global Advance team arrive in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a Frontline Pastors Church Planting Conference in July 2018

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Dr. James Chacko with representatives from the Global Advance Sri Lanka national team

Dr. James Chacko with representatives from the Global Advance Sri Lanka national team

Enlightened Newsletter: A Summer 2018 Update from Global Advance

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At Global Advance, we're passionate about telling the inspiring stories of how hope is rising in the hearts of God's people throughout the world as together we carry out the Great Commission. Don't miss our most recent Enlightened Newsletter, where you'll find just that:

 

  • Learn how God is multiplying our original projections for a higher impact through the Esther Initiative beyond what we could have ever imagined. 

 

  • Hear testimonies of how our recent Frontline Pastors Conference in Kaduna, Nigeria is making a difference for the advance of the gospel across the Islamic rim of Northern Africa.

 

  • Read about how our resources go farther when we equip indigenous leaders like Zin from Myanmar through our Alpha Relief Initiative.

 

  • Review why the marketplace matters, and how YOU can be a part of a move of God through Marketplace Missions!

 

Click the button below to take a look at the highlights of how your support is impacting lives for the kingdom of God:

Global Advance in Vietnam: Shining the Light of Christ through Marketplace Missions

We are “the light of the world,” said Jesus, like a town on a hill or a lamp on a stand that cannot be hidden and whose light shines in the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16). The marketplace ministry of Global Advance equips business leaders to shine the light of Christ in their spheres of influence.

For more than 10 years Global Advance has engaged with believers in the marketplace of Vietnam. Most of the time they are first-generation Christians. The Holy Spirit has set them ablaze to be His witness in the factories, the board rooms, and the back offices.   

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, bursts with economic progress.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, bursts with economic progress.

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In Hanoi, some estimate that there are only several thousand Christ-followers among a city of millions. On the 72nd floor of the highest building in the city, we sat down with Bernard. “I am the only Christian in the office. People are watching how I deal with stress, family, and temptations. I know God has put me here to be a witness.”  

 

 

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In Ho Chi Minh we met Lucky, a young owner of a fashion clothing outfit. Together we prayed for God to use Lucky for His glory. “I have a passion to bring young people to Christ and run an excellent business.”   

Lucky owns a high-end fashion store. He wants to use his influence for the Kingdom.

Lucky owns a high-end fashion store. He wants to use his influence for the Kingdom.

Diep owns an audio equipment business in Saigon. Before turning to Christ, she trusted in the hundreds of idols and shrines that lined her office. She struggled with an illness of bleeding, much like the woman in the Bible. That’s when she met our friends from LEC church. The pastor and his wife prayed over Diep and the Lord healed her. From that moment Diep rid her idols and surrendered her life to Jesus. She is now active in helping youth and recovering drug addicts find hope.     

Global Advance has sponsored many Marketplace Leaders Conferences, impacting hundreds of business leaders in Vietnam. A team of 20 businesswomen from the financial district in Taiwan also joined in the marketplace ministry in Hanoi. Seminar topics included Kingdom Entrepreneurship, Dealing with Stress, Building a Kingdom Corporate Culture through Vision and Values, and a call to join in the Kingdom Business Network our Father is building.

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Business women from Taiwan flew to Hanoi to participate in the conference.

Business women from Taiwan flew to Hanoi to participate in the conference.

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The harvest field is ripe for souls. Years of war and devastation are being overtaken by investment and growing prosperity as the people are diligently responding to greater market freedoms and opportunities. A great door has opened for the Gospel through "pastors in business" and leaders influencing their businesses and culture through their faith in Christ. Please join us as we continue to pray for and invest in Vietnam and other countries through Marketplace Missions.

 

Gratefully commissioned,

Jonathan Shibley 

 

Ti runs a print shop which produces 90% of the Christian literature for Vietnam.

Ti runs a print shop which produces 90% of the Christian literature for Vietnam.

When God Moves in a City...

"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” - Jeremiah 29:7

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Our team of seventeen had been preparing for months to train leaders in the city. From a large Esther Initiative conference, to Marketplace Missions workshops, to training in a local social community, there would be many moving parts to our ten days of strategic ministry together. To say that we were fired up to get on the ground and get to work would be an understatement.

But a week before we were set to depart for Porto Alegre, an unexpected truck drivers' strike was paralyzing the nation.

In twenty-four of twenty-six states, trucker roadblocks shut down highways in protest against rising fuel prices that took yet another hit to Brazil's suffering economy. Airport transportation was halted due to lack of fuel. Supermarket shelves became sparse. A massive loss of livestock resulted from lack of animal feed, and procedures in some hospitals were suspended due to lack of medicine. It is estimated that the strike resulted in a loss of over seven billion dollars of economic production over just five days. All the while, tension grew between a frustrated people and its government. 

And so we hit our knees and we prayed.

Our Global Advance international coordinators in Brazil have become more than beloved ministry partners; we have a deep heart connection that truly feels more like family. For the last five years we've dreamed God-sized dreams with them, lifting their arms as together we train leaders and pray for the transformation of their nation. In this time of historic economic crisis, political corruption, crime, and the poverty of millions, we know that the answer for Brazil is Jesus. There's no denying that Brazil's recent challenges have opened the door to bring the hope of Christ to this hurting nation like never before.

We felt strongly that the time to GO was now, and God answered our prayers.

The weekend before we were set to travel the truck drivers' strike was lifted. We were on our way to witness MORE of the powerful move of God in this city...

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Three years ago we launched our first Esther Initiative training conference in Porto Alegre. One church was represented and 400 women gathered, hungry to know more of who they are in Christ; to know of their calling and capacity to be used by God to advance the gospel in their city. 

Two years ago the Lord captured the hearts of the Brazil team to help bring unity to the city by inviting multiple churches to our second Esther Initiative conference. South Brazil - with only 11% of its population identified as evangelical Christians - had long been known as the "pastor's graveyard" due to a rejection of the gospel and the disunity of its people. A powerful moment during that conference came when representatives from 26 churches came forwardhumbled themselves, repented, and committed to serving God better together. Over 700 women in one auditorium proclaimed that together their focus is Jesus, the message is the gospel, and their task is the Great Commission.

When God moves in a city, the beauty of multiplication is evident.

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Last month we partnered for our third Esther Initiative conference - this time in a university campus auditorium in order to accommodate the 1,200 women who flocked together from 65 churches! From one to sixty-five churches. Only God!

These women know without a doubt that God has called them to work together to shine His light in their city... for such a time as this.

They joyfully accepted our challenges to recommit to daily time with God, to pursue intentional mentoring relationships, and to boldly step into their calling to reach the unreached in their city and beyond. 

But the impact doesn't stop there. 

In between conferences church leaders have begun meeting monthly to build relationships, pray, and seek the Lord together for the welfare of their city. Their unity and momentum has caught the attention of additional leaders throughout the marketplace, social, and government sectors.

As God continues to move in hearts across Porto Alegre, city leaders are now asking how they can work together.

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When God moves in a city, it has the potential to transform an entire nation. We believe that in Brazil He is doing just that.

Please PRAY for our additional training conferences in Brazil yet this year: for our large NextGen event that kicks off next week, and for our much longed for Marketplace Missions conference in November. Lord willing, we're already strategizing about how our holistic approach to Global Advance trainings can impact even more cities in Brazil in 2019. 

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The harvest is plenty, and the workers in Brazil are multiplying thanks to your partnership. Just look at what God is doing around the world as we empower frontline leaders to fulfill the Great Commission... together. 

Whitney

The Unstoppable Gospel Marches on in Guatemala

“How good and pleasant it is when

brothers dwell together in unity….”

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Recently in Guatemala we had the opportunity to come alongside pastors and church leaders to provide training and encouragement. The Holy Spirit ignited the hearts of these leaders to see their nation transformed. Dozens responded to plant new churches and send Guatemalan missionaries out!

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“This week has been like a refreshing river in the midst of a desert!” exclaimed one pastor who oversees multiple churches. 

 

“Most of the training for pastors occurs in Guatemala City but in the region of TecPan it is a rare thing. We’ve never had anything quite like this!”

 

Later in the week Global Advance had the privilege of convening entrepreneurs and business people in the region. Our team of company owners from the States toured several businesses owned by Christians to offer advice and prayer support. 

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Energetic anticipation filled the room at our marketplace conference as they were taught principles from God’s Word related to business. Eighty-two committed their work life and businesses to advance God’s Kingdom purpose in Guatemala. 

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Christian entrepreneurs and business people are crucial in nations like Guatemala to prevent “brain drain” and to bring blessing to the local churches and communities. Many times developing nations lose their best and brightest to opportunities in more developed economies.   

 

 

 

Thank you for praying for frontline pastors and marketplace leaders worldwide! The unstoppable Gospel of the Kingdom marches on.

 

Gratefully commissioned,

Jonathan

 

A Kingdom Business Network in Croatia!

There is a move of God in Zagreb, Croatia to see His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven. At Global Advance we are empowering Christian business leaders across the globe to impact their communities. We believe that the Marketplace and the Church sanctuary working in partnership can transform a nation and advance the Great Commission. Each year we train business leaders in the nations while providing an opportunity for U.S. Christian business leaders to go with Global Advance to impact their peers internationally.

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Recently Global Advance was in Zagreb, Croatia to engage marketplace leaders and share biblical wisdom to help them succeed in business and life. These events include business consulting, conference training of biblical business principles, and even business mentoring. We also work with our international hosts to develop a long-term business mission strategy to see local Kingdom Business Networks established.

When you partner with Global Advance, your investment has a Kingdom return. With your support we are taking critical steps to see nations transformed. Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of the nations.

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But change doesn’t happen without a champion.

At each Marketplace training event, we are strengthening leaders and building Kingdom Business Networks to engage stakeholders (marketplace leaders and pastors) early in their Kingdom work. By doing so we continue God’s work of forming, filling, and subduing. Whenever marketplace leaders bring order out of chaos, whenever they draw out creative potential, and whenever they elaborate and “unfold” creation beyond where it was, they are advancing the Kingdom of God. 

This year in Croatia we began the development of a Kingdom Business Network that will cultivate ongoing ministry to the marketplace and cultivate a rich environment of relational equity and trust. In this environment, viable business ideas connect with seed capital, and Christ followers begin to see their business work as sacred. When this happens the Kingdom of God draws near and the Kingdom Business Network begins to catalyze community transformation. These KBN’s will provide a systematic approach to entrepreneurship and business growth with a Kingdom focus.

This is a powerful process for raising the spiritual and moral capital of a nation...

 

Pastor Ken

 

Advancing the Front Lines in Udhampur 

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This month, nestled in the highlands of the Himalayas in far Northwest India, Global Advance is training frontline leaders with one passion, one vision, and one cause – to advance the Gospel and expand the Kingdom.

As the training was set to begin we received this request: “Friends, let us continue to uphold one another in prayer and to encourage one another with words of affirmation and prophetic declarations - we just can't do this alone!”

Sadly, the day before this training we were informed that a Bharat Bandh - a nationwide shutdown - was implemented in this region. During the previous nation-wide strike, protests across the country had turned violent after agitators resorted to stone pelting, damaging public properties, and blocking rail and road traffic movements.

Some pastors traveling to the training were stranded on the roads for hours.

Once the delegates arrived at the Frontline Pastors Conference, they went through four security checks to enter the church area, all as a precaution to protect them from violent protesting. Through all of this, they made their way to be encouraged and to receive the much needed training for their work.

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The front line of the Gospel’s advance is littered with painful and difficult opposition to God’s purpose. 

Hate does not surrender easily to love. 

Evil does not submit quietly to good.

When pastors and leaders gather to be trained, often they are overwhelmed by the struggle to push forward as they bear the burden and overcome the daily fear of spiritual collisions. These training events lift these hidden heroes as they respond to the Great Commission. 

Regardless of security obstacles and impending persecution, these pastors are seeking a sovereign move of God in their region. Please pray for these leaders, and consider giving to Global Advance to help bring more training to the frontline leaders of the Gospel’s advance. They need our help more than ever.

 

Pastor Ken