Bringing encouragement and a fresh vision to pastors in France.

By January 6, 2006

France (MNN) — Equipping. Training. Encouraging. That’s what Global Advance is preparing to do as they launch this year’s round of Frontline Shepherd’s Conferences in Paris, France, next week.

France has been a hotbed for riots recently, primarily among the immigrant community. The plight of immigrants is one of the driving points of the Paris Frontline Shepherd’s Conference.

Dr. David Shibley of Global Advance says, “These individuals came to Europe some 10 or 15 years ago to experience a better life, and yet many times they find that the living conditions are even worse than what they had left in Africa.”

The conference will be training pastors who are primarily pastoring churches made up of minorities, says Shibley, “These courageous pastors, at this particular time, especially need encouragement and training and resources, to help them in the task of reaching these precious people for Christ.”

While racial issues and hopelessness fuel tensions in Europe, Shibley says that the Gospel speaks clearly to both issues. And they’re reaching out to help pastors be that voice of hope. Shibley says that most of the pastors who will be attending the conference are themselves immigrants to Europe.

“There are courageous pastors throughout Europe, mostly minority pastors, who are not European by background, who are courageously holding the line and endeavoring to win people for Jesus Christ.”

Those pastors are the reason these conferences are held, says Shibley, as they face many obstacles to ministry in Western Europe, “I believe they are truly frontline shepherds. They’re living in a culture that has been drenched both in the rationalism that has been prevalent in Europe for so long, as well as now a radical form of Islam that is vying for the allegiance of many people.”

Shibley asks people to pray that God would, “create fresh vision, new encouragement, clear focus in the hearts of these pastors, that they would literally go away with a vision in their hearts, with tools in their hands, and that once again there would be a strong flame of the clear Gospel of Jesus Christ that would just make these churches a new citadel of hope all throughout Europe.”

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