NEXTGEN RISING IN BHUTAN
Global Advance recently held our first NextGen Conference in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. A total of 103 leaders were trained in their identity as sons and daughters, equipping them to become Great Commission leaders for Bhutan.
Bhutan has one of the youngest populations, with 60% of its 763,092 inhabitants below the age of 25. This represents a positive force with enormous potential to influence the Great Commission. However, there are challenges to overcome. Bhutan is faced with high youth unemployment and social and health challenges; about one-third of the HIV cases are found within the 15-24-year-old population. Bhutan has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the region as well, with 15% of the girls already having given birth before the age of 18 years old.
Bhutan is less than 1% Christian. Article 7 of the 2008 constitution guarantees religious freedom, but also forbids conversion “by means of coercion or inducement.” According to our leaders in Bhutan, this hinders the ability of Christians to evangelize and makes embracing the call of Christian leadership daunting.
During our NextGen event, we saw such hunger and passion for God. The manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in the opening worship time was touching lives and preparing these young people to have a profound God encounter. In our closing call, we were overwhelmed by the number of young leaders stepping out to a commitment to take the gospel to every unreached people group of this massively unreached nation. The uniqueness of our event and its impact was highlighted to us in their responses. A young girl shared, “We were never taught that we could be Great Commission leaders.” A young man said, “I am the school captain, and I have learned great leadership principles that I am going to apply in my role.”
I am encouraged and touched by the genuine passion and hunger for God in these young Bhutan leaders. Truly, Bhutan’s future is safe with our NextGen rising to their identity and calling as Great Commission leaders.
Would you PRAY for these 103 leaders?
Would you also consider partnering with Global Advance to train thousands of NextGen leaders in 2020 and beyond? With your help, leaders in the toughest parts of the world can receive vital training and tools that will impact God's Kingdom for eternity!
Dr. James Chacko
Global Advance Field Director to South Asia