International (MNN) — Twenty-five years ago the Berlin Wall fell, gas in America was 97 cents a gallon, and opportunities for the Gospel were bright. It was when Global Advance first began its initiative to equip pastors in under-served nations.
Today, it’s a very different world. Millions of refugees are fleeing their homes in the Middle East as ISIS tries to establish a caliphate. The persecution of Christians is on the rise. And pastors in these areas are the ones dealing with the crises.
Still, this doesn’t mean Global Advance is walking away from what it set out to do years ago. Instead, in 2014 Global Advance merged with Alpha Relief, a new ministry under its Frontline Relief initiative, to better serve pastors’ needs. .
“So many of these pastors who we are training for evangelism and discipleship are also facing upfront and personal the social challenges of their time, particularly the upheaval of families and displacement of believers by the tens of thousands and now the millions all over the world,” says David Shibley with Global Advance.
Alpha Relief is a ministry mobilizing and educating the global Body of Christ to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people living in countries where Christians are highly persecuted.
And it fits in with Global Advance “the same way that the working out of the Gospel fits into the Gospel,” explains Shibley. “Now that we know Christ, we become…His workmanship created in Him for good works.”
So when the two ministries combined, Global Advance was able to equip pastors for not just ministry work, but also help to prepare them for the humanitarian crises set before them. Now pastors are receiving the food, supplies, Bibles, and more, needed to make the Gospel a connecting point with humanitarian needs.
This has opened the doors for pastors in the Middle East to minister not just to their congregations, but also to those fleeing their war-torn countries. Shibley says, “I’ve heard stories and read stories of refugees that are coming directly to churches and requesting Christian baptism.”
Global Advance can’t do what it does without the support and prayers of the Church. Even just donating $10 can help a lot.
“Maybe $10 doesn’t go that far. But thousands of $10-gifts do go very far. So we need to prayerfully give, asking God to sensitize the hearts of believers as well to respond,” says Shibley.
Please be praying for the growth of this partnership, the needed funds, and for the outpouring of God’s grace on both the refugees and the pastors. Also be praying for the European church to reach out to refugees.
To donate to Global Advance, click here.