International (MNN) — "The Bric nations, B-R-I-C, refer to Brazil, Russia, India and China, and these are known as the world's largest, fastest emerging economies," Jonathan Shibley, President of Global Advance told MNN.
The BRIC nations make up a huge part of this world. According to Foreign Policy Magazine, "In terms of population, landmass, and economic size…they make up 40% of the world's population, 25% of the world's landmass, and about 20% of global GDP."
With China forming a new development bank comprised of $240 billion, the BRIC nations represent the future of developing economies. This is one of many steps the nations have taken to become more economically powerful. Global Advance is staying connected with the leaders in these countries.
Jonathan Shibley said, "At Global Advance, our heart is to see the Gospel extended through indigenous national leaders throughout the world. And so we have been praying and looking at the BRIC nations and saying, 'You know what? We need to have a kingdom strategy as well, not just by the world's standard of investing but how can we invest in what God is doing in those countries?'"
Global Advance works with key leaders by strategizing and encouraging them. They also build future plans to equip and train leaders. Through the change going on in the BRIC nations, Shibley sees hope. "I think the hope for India and China and other nations is the fact there are so many young people. India is 75% under the age of 30. So that opens up tremendous opportunities for the Gospel, as the younger generation looks for new and better ways to live. And they are searching for truth, searching for answers."
Jonathan said, "In some places it's true that there continues to be persecution, but also there are silver lining signs of broader, more tolerance for religious freedom."
There are three primary areas where Global Advance sees value to equip leaders to go and make a difference: schools, the marketplace, and the church. "We want to look at holistic ways that we can advance the Kingdom of God and the Gospel through raising up leaders. So that means quality church leadership, church multiplication, and also penetrating the marketplace with Kingdom leaders that are doing business as mission, being salt and light through all the different aspects of culture and society…. We expect to begin to see fruit even now."
Russia, one of the countries in the BRIC nations, seems to present more challenges for traditional mission activity. Shibley says, "There have been recent reports of harassment and the bulldozing of a prominent church in the mosque area. So these things are happening now: all the more reason to equip indigenous national workers who can be there, who continue to do the work. Even if those of us from the West can't go, they're there 24/7 to build God's kingdom and extend His message."
Jonathan Shibley calls people to pray. "Pray that God will use us to continue to be light, encouragement, to equip and train the leaders of the church and these nations, the leaders in the market place, and we will be able to receive from them as well."