Venezuela’s church leaders ‘make hay while the sun shines’

By November 14, 2011

Venezuela (MNN) — There's
a saying that goes: 'Make hay while the sun shines." It means: take advantage of a circumstance
while you can.

That's been true for
Global Advance. Venezuela has been
growing increasingly isolated, and there have been scattered reports of
harassment of Christians. Before the
opportunity was lost completely, the team helped sponsor a Frontline Shepherd's
Conference in Maracaibo, Venezuela. 

David Shibley with Global Advance says,
"Over 580 senior pastors and about 1700 other pastoral leaders and
church leaders came together for the first-ever conference. They came from 12
states. It was our very first Frontline Shepherd's Conference, and the response
was overwhelming."

Church leaders are overworked and
under-resourced. Many were discouraged
at the outset of the seminars. They came asking: "How do I continue?" and Global Advance answered. By
the end of the training, "Over 1000 leaders committed to go into
cross-cultural missions. 600 of those who attended committed to plant a new
church within the next 12 months." Hundreds
of young women leaders  also committed to
missions.

Given the tools and training, these leaders
have exponential capacity to reach the world.
Shibley explains, "I think we saw the desire for that in these 1000 Venezuelan church leaders who said, 'We want to go cross-culturally.' So
we need to be praying that the resources and the necessary political
developments will occur that would make it possible for them to access other
parts of the world."

The potential for fulfilling the Great
Commission is mind-boggling. "Even
if a quarter of them were to do that, that's going to be a major advance for
the cause of Christ over the next year."

There was healing of division between
churches as well as the promise of discipleship. Shibley notes, "We were able to hand out 1500 copies of a
Bible-school curriculum that is church-based (Joshua Nations two-year discipleship curriculum). All of these
leaders together said that there would be approximately 10,000 students
within the very first year of these Bible schools being handed out."

The president of the Pastoral Alliance
in Zulia State said,
 
"Never before
have we had a conference like this in our city or in our country where our
pastors and leaders were so open to receive the Word! We believe that this
conference and the visitation from God in our hearts will help us to change and
accomplish what God called us to do. Our lives were changed, and we will be
different!"

 
Aside from going, Shibley  encourages you
to pray for these rejuvenated leaders. There
is a sense of urgency that comes from shifting political winds. "Pray that
they will remain hopeful, encouraged, that they will have the resources they
need in a very devastated economy, and that they'll be courageous, loving, and
exude the spirit of Christ."

Global Advance has one more tool in
the tool belt. Generous friends of the
ministry have come together to offer a $200,000 matching grant challenge. From now until the end of the year, a gift to Global Advance will be matched
dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $200,000.  This is a great opportunity
to have a double impact! Click here if you
can help.

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