Spring 2018 Global Advance Newsletter

SPRING 2018

A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL ADVANCE

EMPOWERING FRONTLINE LEADERS TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION

FROM DEATH, LIFE FOR THE ROHINGYA

Normally guarded closely on both banks, the heavy rain had given them a window of opportunity to escape. Asia’s most urgent humanitarian crisis has displaced hundreds of thousands of stateless Rohingya refugees from Myanmar (Burma) in recent months. Camps are overrun, and supplies are low. Families are fractured, leaving women and children especially at risk in the fragile environment. Death is the theme of every story. Yet the life-bearing truth of the gospel is meeting the open hearts of the Rohingya people. Global Advance’s commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission in South Asia includes the nation of Bangladesh, where a combination of leadership training and relief aid is empowering frontline leaders. A national team of leaders is strategizing to see churches planted in every village, first by convening local pastors for training in March, followed by targeted church planting training later this year. Fueled by the Alpha Relief Initiative, local leaders are bringing 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. Some of the team met Amir and his daughter the day after their harrowing swim to safety. Sick and traumatized, they were afraid to accept help from Christians. As they were comforted and given food, medicine, and shelter Amir admitted, “I never expected help to come from Christians. Now I know that you are a different kind of people, who love us.”

A

mir and his family cleaned up after a peaceful dinner. As conversations wound down, they prepared to sleep. Suddenly, they heard screams from all around the small village. Amir ran outside and was confronted by flames leaping from every hut. Soldiers were shouting and running toward them, and the family who had followed him outside scattered. Amir and his daughter hid in the nearby bushes until all was quiet. The rain started to fall, and the sky grew dark as the flames extinguished. They began searching for the others. Found bodies at least provided some closure from that tragic night, but there was no chance to grieve or bury their loved ones - they heard the soldiers returning and quickly fled into the jungle. The strong currents of the River Naf are as effective as any border fence between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and Amir and his daughter swam for six hours to reach the other side unseen.

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, ESV).

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