EMPOWERING FRONTLINE LEADERS TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION
AN UPDATE FROM GLOBAL ADVANCE
WHAT CAN ONE WOMAN DO? HOW GOD IS MULTIPLYING THE ESTHER INITIATIVE
or years, women had come to Global Advance training conferences around the world, hungry for more of what God intended for their lives. Recognizing a growing need, in 2014 we surveyed these women and found a theme: they lacked a personal sense of worth and identity. They longed for personal mentoring relationships and needed resources and leadership. We listened, prayed, and responded by using this information to create our Esther Initiative training conferences and mentoring track. We began to see communities transformed by the power of God at work through 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 their home, church, marketplace, or community, women are being inspired to rise up as modern-day Esthers in their nations and to courageously say yes to bold faith in action right where they live. 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 has now expanded into twenty six nations. 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).
2018 is another groundbreaking year of expansion for the Esther Initiative. In 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 will move them one step closer to greater impact in places that have yet to hear the Good News of Jesus. 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 forming a kingdom coalition to reach South Asia. God is faithfully multiplying the Esther Initiative, for His
glory and for the advance of the Gospel. 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 have confidence that her unique kingdom contribution can even change the course of an entire nation.
“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.” – Suchitra, Esther Initiative national leader in Bangladesh
F ROM T H E PRESIDENT
Dear Friends and Partners, I have been thinking lately about the power of seeds. The old saying rings true that you can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you never know how many apples are in a seed! Since the beginning, Global Advance has been a seed planting ministry. Hundreds of churches have been planted, and thousands of people have come to Christ in the former Soviet states because of seeds sown in the 1990s. Last week we heard a report from pastors in Senegal; “Tell Global Advance that the churches planted in the past 12 years were a result of God’s Spirit awakening us at the Frontline Pastors Conferences!” I think about a letter we received from a native missionary in India where he stated, “I still remember hearing Dr. David Shibley preach when I was a young man. The message changed my life, and I have been planting new churches and sending missionaries to the unreached ever since.” Vivian, a businesswoman from Vietnam, shared with me, “Global Advance was the seed for me to engage in kingdom business.” Today she owns and operates a major hotel resort and uses her influence to point others to Christ. Many of you reading this newsletter have planted seeds in God’s Kingdom by supporting Global Advance. I want you to know your prayers and financial gifts are making a profound difference throughout the world. One of the most strategic investments we can make in furthering the Gospel’s impact to the ends of the earth is to sow into frontline indigenous leaders. This year we are partnering with the global Church in 35 nations. We are a junior partner, empowering indigenous leaders to do the work of the kingdom. Thank you for helping us plant seeds worldwide. May God’s Spirit water and nurture those seeds for the glory of His Son. Gratefully commissioned,
GLOBAL ADVANCE ANNUAL D I NNER
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Global Advance ambassadors pray for a frontline pastor
AWAKENING HOPE IN NORTHERN NIGERIA orthern Nigeria is known as a hotspot for ethnic and religious conflict. Corruption and violence have created divisions so profound and devoid of compassion and understanding that the unity of Africa’s most populous nation is severely threatened. The solution is Jesus, and the Church must be positioned to have an impact in this nation. N
In May, three of our Global Ambassadors traveled to the city of Kaduna - where religious tension between Muslims and Christians is prevalent - to train frontline pastors from the northern states of Nigeria. As a state capital, trade center, and major transportation hub, Kaduna is a strategic northwest location to establish a strong training foundation for the multiplication of influential Christian leaders. There is a tremendous need for pastoral training in this region. The persecution of Christians is strong in Northern Nigeria. Many of the pastors we spoke with expressed that Christians face challenges even where they constitute a significant percentage of the population. The faithful suffer discrimination, and the Church is struggling to advance. Global Advance is training pastors to plant churches among the 113 unreached people groups in Northern Nigeria, which are under intense Islamic oppression. In the midst of the Nigerian conflict, hope is rising. The presence of Christ ushers in peace, and when the Church thrives and grows, the peace of God fills the land. Well-trained and equipped pastors can help heal the division. When the Church is spiritually healthy, it perseveres under the stress and burden of persecution. Over 220 pastors convened for our three-day Frontline Pastors Conference in Kaduna. We spoke with pastors who expressed gratitude to Global Advance for coming to encourage and equip them with vision and tools needed to strengthen the Church in its mission to advance the Gospel and fulfill the Great Commission. One pastor testified: “This training is very revolutionary and instructive. God is creating a powerful movement - a movement of pastors making disciples.” Please continue to pray for Nigeria, and specifically for a robust church planting strategy to emerge. Another dear pastor shared these precious words with us: “I love Global Advance because you equip others, watch them succeed, and celebrate them.” Your missions gift to Global Advance helps launch more training for pastors in Nigeria. Together we can make a difference for the spread of the Gospel across the Islamic rim of Northern Africa, and help ignite hope, healing, and revival in this divided nation.
Charles Ikutiminu is the Senior Global Ambassador for Nigeria with Global Advance. Charles helps lead the vision for Nigeria by engaging and building relationships with local Nigerian leadership for the development of a national strategy. He also provides oversight for ongoing training and helps discern the practical and spiritual needs of the country. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Master of Arts in Communication from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is also a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has served as a pastor for over two decades.
THE GLOBAL ADVANCE ALPHA RELIEF INITIATIVE: THE SUPPLY LINE TO THE FRONT LINE
lobal Advance stands with Christian leaders around the world. They are pastors, marketplace leaders, and women who are transforming their communities for Christ through business and spiritual mentorship. They are on the front lines ministering to the unreached, but too often they are limited by persecution, poverty, and a lack of training. A rural pastor may care for two or three congregations in neighboring villages, walking hours every day to visit homes and pray for the sick. How much more effective would he be with a motorbike? A local church shares a copy of the Bible, dividing it into sections and taking turns. How much stronger would they be if every family owned a Bible? Global Advance is committed to supporting frontline leaders who have dedicated their lives to the Gospel and to reaching their communities with Christ’s love. The challenges these impoverished communities face so perfectly displays the need to empower local leaders from a holistic approach. Yes, they desperately need training. However, they also need care and support to effectively accomplish what they are being trained for: the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The Global Advance Alpha Relief Initiative is a supply line to the front line, fueling the work to which these leaders have heroically devoted their lives. “I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:36). 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, and persecution of Christians in these areas is common. Paul’s letters often reminded early churches of the very real war that is underway. Though as Christians we do
not war against flesh and blood, the attacks frontline leaders face are often physical. Through the Alpha Relief Initiative, care is given to persecuted believers and their families, rescue operations are arranged to relocate families, and safe homes provide short-term sanctuary from attacks. In Laos, village leaders perpetuate a Communist culture of fear. Heads of Christian households are arrested on false charges, and are both threatened and offered bribes to try to convince them to deny their faith. Global Advance partners can often secure their release through legal negotiations, but the families are then evicted from their ancestral land and forced out of the village. The Alpha Relief Initiative provides a safety net of care through local church leadership to meet their immediate needs and connect them to an established Christian community in another village. “Devote yourself to the reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13). The Bible is the single most vital tool for church growth, leadership training, and spiritual maturity. In fact, the Alpha Relief Initiative was founded on this very premise and has channeled almost 1.2 million copies of Scripture to areas that lack access to the Word of God. As India becomes more radically anti-Christian, Hindu groups intentionally attempt the reconversion of Christians among poor and illiterate communities. These reconversion efforts are successful in those communities where believers do not have Bibles and therefore lack a strong spiritual foundation. Supplying these marginalized groups with Scripture in a language and format they can engage with is crucial to the sustainability and growth of the Church in India. Hindi-language audio Bibles strengthen the discipleship processes of local churches and create firm believers who are rooted and grounded in Scripture.
“Stand firm then...with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:14-15).
Zin Ma Swe’s house on Inle Lake
Zin tutors children and teaches them about Jesus
“Equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). Our resources go farther when we equip indigenous leaders who are culturally prepared and ready to reach their own people. They can go where Western missionaries cannot. They speak the language and understand the culture. They carry the heart of God for their nations. Zin Ma Swe lives on Inle Lake in eastern Myanmar. She doesn’t live by the lake; she lives on it – her house, which also serves as the local church, literally sits on stilts above the water. Cars, bikes, and mopeds give way to long canoes with outboard motors in her Venice-style village. As a young, single woman, Zin lives in her father’s house, where she returned after attending Bible college in the nearby capital. She pioneered the first church in her village among the Innthar people who have made the lake their home and livelihood. She tutors the children of the most impoverished families and holds regular Vacation Bible School-type events to teach them about Jesus. Inevitably, parents accompany their children to learn more about kind Zin and the love of Jesus she always shares. She is also working to translate the Bible into the local dialect. Global Advance helps Zin purchase supplies and Gospel tracts to continue reaching her neighbors for Christ.
What a privilege it is to stand with believers throughout the world as together we carry out Jesus’ Great Commission! Your support of Global Advance is the front end of the supply line, fueling the work of the Gospel. Will you invest today to advance the Gospel around the world?
A rural pastor in Laos receives a new motorbike
“Please pray for the Gospel to advance more quickly in my village!” - Local missionary in Myanmar
Many today are concerned, even distressed by the pressures of today and the uncertainties of the future. But an old Stuart Hamblen song reminds us, “I know not what the future holds but I know who holds the future.” Atrocities against Christians continue to rise. Terrorists may have their short day, but they do not own the future. The future belongs to Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom! Global Advance remains committed to helping leaders worldwide disciple their nations for Christ. During these summer months, together we’ll equip thousands of God’s servant- leaders in 21 training events in 14 nations. Are you concerned about today? God promises, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). Are you concerned about the future? “The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Where is history ultimately headed? “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
Global Advance team praying over store owners in Mexico
eople are Lost - The marketplace is a ripe harvest field for evangelism through everyday customer, vendor-supplier, and workplace relationships. We carry the light of Christ into every situation. Marketplace Christians carry the Gospel through word and deed. Poverty Prevention - Throughout the developing world, jobs are needed to reduce poverty. Global Advance’s marketplace training expands the vision of leaders and teaches skills that result in capital growth and job creation, which is vital to the economies of developing nations. Christ is Greater than Corruption - Believers in the marketplace can raise the standard of integrity through honest business practices. We can influence the spiritual and moral capital of a nation one person at a time. Talent Gain over Brain Drain - Emerging marketplace leaders in developing nations are eager to learn, understand and apply Godly business principles to everyday life. They have the potential to bring solutions that will impact their nations. Blessed to Be a Blessing - Christians in business can create capital that will bless churches, ministries and bring help to social issues. It is vital that Christian-run businesses flourish throughout the world. God can powerfully use marketplace believers. God has called Global Advance to awaken kingdom vision and build up the skills of Christian business people throughout the world. You can be a part of a move of God through Marketplace Missions! Knowing - Connecting us to passionate businesspeople with a heart to change the world, giving referrals, and making introductions. Going - Using your time and talents to teach business skills and biblical principles to emerging business leaders in other nations. Sowing - Global Advance helps underwrite conferences, curriculums, and training events worldwide. WHY THE MARKETPLACE MATTERS P
Jesus shall reign! -David Shibley
Restaurant owners Luis and Nilma regularly hand out Bibles to guests
DR. SHIBLEY SPEAKS AT THE ORU CHAPEL SERVICE On April 4th, Global Advance Founder David Shibley challenged over 4,000 students at Oral Roberts University to be the generation that will fulfill the Great Commission. Dr. Shibley holds the distinction of having spoken in the chapel service at ORU in four different decades.
MEN’S AMBASSADOR NIGHT Global Advance ambassadors gathered for a night of baseball, food, and missions talk. These brothers in Christ were able to enjoy a relaxing evening while celebrating God’s goodness and power manifesting around the world.
3rd ANNUAL ESTHER INITIATIVE RETREAT Global Advance ambassadors spurred each other on at the 3rd Annual Esther Initiative Retreat through worship, training workshops, a cross-cultural panel, small group discussions, a prayer walk, and more.
GLOBAL ADVANCE PO BOX 742077 DALLAS, TX 75374-2077
Global Advance is on a mission to see the Great Commission become the Great Fulfillment. Your monthly or one-time gift helps us move one step closer to that day! Here are examples of how your partnership is far-reaching and could impact God’s Kingdom for eternity: • $50 Provides a family with an emergency pack bringing relief for the persecuted • $100 Provides Scripture for 14 individuals who lack access to God’s Word • $250 Provides monthly support for two frontline undercover missionaries • $500 Provides focused development and mentorship for a woman in leadership
WAYS TO GIVE:
GIVE BY MAIL Use enclosed donation envelope
GIVE ONLINE Visit: www.globaladvance.org /donate
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support! If you have any questions, please feel free to call our offices at 972.771.9042.
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