Romania (MNN) — For many churches, the pastors are the leaders, the up-lifters, or the doctors, in a way. So what happens when a pastor is in need of someone, well, like a pastor? Global Advance has taken on this task to serve pastors worldwide.
The international ministry is reaching out to help assist global leaders in sharing the Gospel in multiple ways. One recent way has been by providing a time of relaxation for the evangelical pastors of Romania.
In this recent event, Global Advance teamed up with Serving HIM, a ministry focused on international healthcare, to give these pastors a break from the exhausting but fulfilling work of giving to others, with a retreat to the Black Sea.
“Eastern Europe is a difficult field,” said David Shibley, founder of Global Advance, as he expresses the challenges pastors face in Romania. “It’s entrenched in long-standing historic traditional religion. Even though they shook off communism a quarter of a century ago, there are still many of the residual effects of that.”
Not only is Eastern Europe a difficult ministry field, it is also economically difficult. It’s so difficult that many pastors in Romania need to have additional jobs along with their ministry work to support their families. Because of this, family vacations, group retreats, or even just a time of rest are not possible.
This retreat and partnership provided 175 couples and families in Romanian ministry with a time for learning, as well as a time of refreshment.
“It was a tremendous time. It became family vacations, honeymoons, a wonderful time of refreshing” says Shibley who then recalls a particular couple who were unable to have a honeymoon because of duties to their ministry.
The fellowship among the wives, pastors, and families–despite denominational differences–was extremely encouraging not only to the staff of Global Advance and Serving HIM, but also to the families and pastors themselves in knowing they are not alone in their work.
“I was greatly encouraged by the vision for church planting. Several pastors came and told me how God has personally placed on their heart an individual area of a city or perhaps a town that had no evangelical church, no gospel witness, and how they and their family had just courageously gone…. They were simply obeying the call of God.”
Speaking of church planting, Global Advance is looking to continue their work in being the doctors for many pastors in hard ministerial places, particularly for those of the Persecuted Church.
Now, Global Advance has created a “Persecuted Church Fund” through their merge with ministry Alpha Relief, which has been known for their long-standing support and ministry to the Persecuted Church.
Through Alpha Relief, Global Advance is able to give humanitarian relief and bring the Gospel through cooperation with pastors in these harsh environments. This allows those who are in the area to meet the needs of refugees.
“Many times, [pastors] are mobilizing their church to assist in humanitarian relief,” says Shibley. “Often they simply run out of food, they run out of blankets, they run out of bottled water and just the very basic needs that people have who are literally on the run.” In giving the basic needs, the pastors and church members in these areas are also able to provide for the spiritual needs of the refugees.
But just as with the pastors in Romania, the pastors of the Persecuted Church also face danger of being burnt out. This is why multiple pastors from the Persecuted Church will be brought to the Global Advance International summit in October.
“Now we’re bringing these pastors and church leaders with whom we have very close contact. They are our key door openers throughout the world. We’re bringing 52 church leaders from almost as many nations to Dallas next month.”
The summit in Dallas is not only a chance to refresh church leaders and to help prevent ministry burnout, but also an opportunity for Global Advance to receive direct and up-to-date reports on what is happening in these ministry fields. It also gives these pastors a chance for refreshment and rest in efforts to help prevent ministry burnout.
For those looking to get involved, please consider praying for these pastors, their wives, and their families as they work in hard to reach places. Pray for their encouragement, their strength, and for the challenges the pastors’ wives and families face. Also please pray for the ministries to remain evangelical in their doctrine and evangelistic.
To learn more about The Persecuted Church Fund, click here!
To learn more about Alpha Relief,click here!