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Mission sees unprecedented numbers, as well as obstacles

By April 6, 2010

International (MNN) — For over 100 years, Avant Ministries, formerly the Gospel Missionary Union, has served in missions.

This year, with a new president and methodology, they hope to reach more people with the Gospel than ever before.

"We are a church-planting mission agency, focused on unreached people groups," said president and CEO, Jack Elwood, who joined the team on January 11 of this year.

Based out of Kansas City, Missouri, they are an international ministry. However, most of their influence has been in the Midwest region of the U.S. Elwood wants to change this and expand to national and international recognition through contacts he has made in the past.

That's not the only thing he wants to change. Formerly a pastor and missionary, he hopes to use his experience to bridge the gap between churches and international missions caused by various cultures and miscommunication.

With this new perspective, Elwood and Avant hope to make more of an impact than ever before, especially with their new methodology, established a couple years ago.

"Short-Cycle is a methodology that we have been using for the last five years, focused on sending teams of gifted and united believers into unreached countries with the goal of establishing churches, with a sense of urgency toward proclaiming Christ, discipling believers, and seeing a local church established," Elwood said.

So far, this method has been a success, and they have seen more people looking to get involved with missions this year than ever before. Currently, Elwood said they have over 60 people who would leave for the field tomorrow if they had the resources.

Funding is just one obstacle Avant and other ministries are now facing. Quoting the apostle Paul, Elwood said, "The doors for effective service are wide open, and there are many adversaries."

However, Elwood remains hopeful, knowing the work God is capable of.

Pray for Avant in this season of their ministry. Pray that God will supply the needed resources for effective ministry, as well as the wisdom to effectively equip new missionaries.

Visit avantministries.org to become a partner and to find out more about the work Christ is doing through Avant.

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