International (MNN) — It's summer, school's out, and for
many it's the beginning of vacation season. Global Advance's David Shibley says
otherwise. "There is no vacationing
from the Great Commission. The advance
of the Gospel goes on."
Shibley's team takes that to heart with a summer schedule
aimed at empowering national church leaders to minister in their own nations.
"Global Advance has conducted 40 conferences, both Marketplace Missions
Conferences (MMC) for business leaders, and Frontline Shepherd's Conferences (FSC)
for pastoral leaders. We have another 57
conferences scheduled for the rest of the year."
Specifically it helps men like Pastor Ilya. GAM recently held an FSC in Nobokuznetsk, Siberia, a secondary city situated in the remote northeast part of the
country. Over 400 pastors and church
leaders attended the conference. Before he came to Christ, Ilya was a convicted felon.
About 14 years ago, he and his wife planted a church that
began to grow. Local authorities suspected
Ilya of being a spy and thought his church gatherings to be suspect. As a result, the church had a very hard time
finding places to meet as a church body.
Today, that church has over 1000. It is planting other new churches
and has finally won the respect of the city authorities.
The connection between GAM and men like Ilya, notes Shibley,
is that their training sessions helps them encourage the unsung heroes of the church
as they work toward expanding the reach of the Gospel. "We continue to
partner with these brothers, providing ongoing training, providing resources
for them, helping them in new church plants, and continuing
to have this ever-growing network around the world."