In 2019, Global Advance is accomplishing much through the training and resourcing of frontline leaders in South Asia. But this year our commitment goes another step further…
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.
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.
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.”
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
Great things can come from remote and overlooked places! Within the Sindh Province in Pakistan, Global Advance has been developing a vision to reach the unengaged people who live in remote villages. King David came from the tiny village of Bethlehem. While Moses grew up in the corridors of power, the Lord sent him to do simple work as a shepherd before he returned to lead God’s people. Villages are full of people who need to hear the good news that Jesus loves them and came to die for them. The village vision is to see churches planted in the isolated, forgotten, and small places. We want to see Christ worshipped by all.
Recently, I visited one of those beautiful Pakistani villages. As the sun broke over the horizon, our car raced past roadside stands and carts being pulled by camels and donkeys. When we got to the first village, Pastor Guyan was waiting near his motorbike to meet us. The motorbike that he was using was purchased by Global Advance to help him traverse the network of villages that he oversees. He is passionate about evangelizing, opening doors for the gospel to advance, and identifying future pastors to be trained to plant churches in these villages.
Our first stop was at a village hospital. Pastor Guyan took me to the bedside of Pastor Matu, who was very sick from parasites found in unsafe drinking water. Pastor Matu is one of the pastors that Global Advance trained to plant churches last year. He is committed to the scattered villages across this highly populated province. I listened to Pastor Matu as he told me about his monthly routine, which includes walking from village to village 20 days out of the month to share Jesus with the people.
As we stood at his bedside, we began to pray for Pastor Matu to encounter the healing power of Jesus. He was healed immediately! He pulled out his IV and left the hospital to return to his important work. Pastor Guyan then led me to the village where Global Advance has been working to drill new wells that provide clean drinking water for the villagers. It was powerful to see the joy on the faces of the mothers and sisters who go to these wells to provide for their families. Clean water is a door for the gospel, so these wells literally bring living water to the villagers. Because of these wells, the gospel has been received and a church has been planted.
I often marvel at how God uses ordinary things to reach His creation. God’s strategies have always been different than ours. We are impressed by size, speed, power, and strength. We long for what seems glorious and impressive. Our God, by contrast, chose the way of the cross. He chose the way of rejection, isolation, and shame to come for us, save us, and forgive us. He was worshipped and welcomed by shepherds. These were the same kinds of men He chose to father nations, defy Pharaoh, and slay Goliath. Could it be that God could use simple people to reach all of Pakistan?
Ordinary things in the hands of an extraordinary God can accomplish extraordinary things.
A year ago, I was in Pakistan to conduct a Church Plant Training conference. In the year since, we have seen national believers engage poverty within their regions. We have seen dozens of baptisms. We have watched as pastors planted churches in 9 villages. In short, we have seen Jesus make Himself known to the people! On this trip I had the privilege to speak in one of those village churches. I prayed for their sick and dedicated and consecrated their homes to God. As the evening set on this anointed day, we gathered with the villagers to worship Jesus.
From drilling water wells, to supporting undercover missionaries on motorbikes, to training leaders to plant churches, Global Advance has been helping the gospel advance. With your support and monthly giving to Global Advance, we are seeing sons and daughters come to Jesus in Pakistan.
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
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.
It’s because we know Him that we are compelled to make Him known.
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.
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.
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
To the penitent
He is Joshua’s captain
Moses’ smitten rock
Isaiah’s majestic sovereign
Saul’s blinding vision
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
To the weak
To the orphaned
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
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.
“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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prayer is needed for the following nations classified as Restricted Access Countries: Afghanistan 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
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
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.
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.
They entered the room soberly and quietly - some cradling infants. Was that fear or sorrow in their expressionless eyes? I had been told that many of them had arrived in the back of a small truck – 43 men and women to be exact - counted as they walked through the front gate of the compound where we gathered. It was the faces of these women that captured me as they entered our “Upper Room"; not just their stoic nature, but also the painted black vertical stripes that were part camouflage, part defense against evil spirits, and part cosmetic beauty, I was told. And then there were the multiple silver-colored rings lining their ears and the pieces of what looked like bone in their noses. But it was the somberness of their facial expressions that drew me the most.
On my way to India I had asked God His purpose for my trip.
I did not want to miss what He wanted me to accomplish. The answer was clear: “To encourage them and share in their suffering. It is not just what you will say, but showing them My love that is important.” I later learned that one of them, a pastor’s wife with three small children, had recently become a widow; her husband shot by “Maoist militants” in their jungle village.
Father, show us how to love them.
We started with the story of Esther, an ordinary woman with courage and an extraordinary gift of beauty that God used to save her nation. They listened intently throughout the lesson and its translations: English to Hindi to Kui. Gradually their expressions softened as the lessons progressed, and soon there were hesitant smiles breaking across those beautiful faces as they sat for hours cross-legged on the blanket-covered cement floor. Yes, they were nursing their babies and tending to toddlers, but they were also beginning to believe who they were in Christ. They were loved, they were chosen, they were forgiven, they were accepted, and adopted by the King of Kings, and He had a calling on their lives to bring transformation to the women in their villages and their nation. They began to worship and even to dance before the Lord. Smiles lit up their faces, young and old alike, as they received God’s love and hope and in turn prayed for and encouraged one another.
And yes, very quickly we hugged them and prayed for them. We blessed their babies and laid hands on the sick. We shared our own life journeys of hardship and victory in Jesus. In small groups women shared their struggles and prayed for one another. They dreamed together about what they could do to bring hope and help to their communities, and how to encourage and support one another.
We laughed and cried together in that small room, sharing the “suffering” of the heat and crowded conditions, but rejoicing in the truth that we are one. Sisters. We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who sees each of us, and loves us, and unites us in service for Him and the expansion of His Kingdom. When the commissioning call was given in the final session of the conference, many of them responded. “Yes, we will go to the villages who have never heard, and share the good news of God’s love and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.”
Somehow, I believe that our lives will never be the same.
In an outcome I could never have anticipated, these humble, courageous women have challenged me to not fear suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
Lord, here am I. Send me.
- Connie Parker, Esther Initiative Ambassador to India
Global Advance is training frontline leaders with the call to reach remote villages in India where the Gospel still needs to go. In February, our ambassador teams conducted two powerful Church Planting and Esther Initiative conferences to provide training and resources in Chhattisgarh and Odisha States, where persecution for Christians is on the rise and only a fraction of 1% of the population professes Christ. Global Advance is on a mission to see the Great Commission become the Great Fulfillment. Your gift today helps us move one step closer to THAT day...
Building a kingdom coalition is hard work. At Global Advance, we have spent the past three years investing in high capacity leaders in eight nations located in South Asia known as SAARC. It came as a big idea from God to accelerate the Great Commission through partnerships and collaboration in this region. We felt God’s invitation to step out in faith and begin a massive Kingdom advance into the SAARC nations of Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, and the Maldives.
These SAARC countries represent a high concentration of unreached peoples, hostility towards the Gospel, and present financial and logistical challenges. Despite these challenges, a massive harvest potential of lives yet to be transformed by the power of the Gospel resides within South Asia.
In February of this year we convened these high capacity leaders in Sri Lanka. The 2018 SAARC Summit was a vital gathering to continue the work of strengthening relationships for the purpose of these leaders sharing resources and ministry strengths to fulfill our common vision. We recognize that this act alone goes against the tradition and culture of this region. However, we are seeing a powerful movement of God take place.
This big idea is rooted in our desire to see a spiritual breakthrough to the over 2 billion people in the SAARC region who have little to no exposure to the Gospel. In partnership with these leaders, Global Advance has made a 10-year commitment to train leaders, as well as to produce and distribute resources and discipleship tools for the advance of the Great Commission.
To accomplish this task, we are working with each national team to create deliberate, bold, and focused evangelistic initiatives in each of the eight nations. The indigenous national leaders are designing the strategies that are most effective. Together as a coalition, we want to see the planting of over 15,000 churches in SAARC over the next few years.
The opportunity lies before us and the groundwork has been laid. Now trust has been established. Synergy and passion is in play to boldly advance the Gospel throughout our SAARC network. A plan to equip South Asian frontline pastors and church planters has been formed, and the network has established teams that are already multiplying. In each nation, a multi-pronged holistic approach is being implemented to equip Kingdom leaders and Church planters, and our Alpha Relief Initiative has become a supply line for the front line of the Gospel's advance.
Your partnership with Global Advance positions you to participate in this big idea from God. Thank you for praying, giving, and sending us to empower frontline leaders for the Great Commission. Please continue to support the SAARC Initiative at Global Advance.