Advance Growing In India

Recently, Ben Jack and I went to India to share about Advance and to train Leaders and Pastors to facilitate groups. We knew that the trip would be a blessing as the Lord had continued to encourage us to go, even though the pandemic was getting worse in India each day; but I need to confess that I was still unprepared for what we experienced there.

Although we were only there for just over a week, we were able to meet thousands of Christians who are thirsty for a renewing touch of God in their lives, and we left with confirmation that more than 100 groups will start meeting on our Global Advance Day[1].

The key points that we took from the trip and the next steps in the Advance movement in India are:

  1. Christians in India do not have the freedom to evangelise, and persecution is a reality in many parts of the country. Nevertheless, I found a vibrant community who are looking for ways to express the gospel and who are motivated to learn about the mentoring groups. It was welcomed that the groups would exist to help everyone to be equipped, empowered, and encouraged to share the gospel in their communities.
  2. Our brothers and sisters in India felt so encouraged by our going there to talk about evangelism. They felt loved and that they were not forgotten in their persecution and problems. It is such a privilege to help hundreds of churches to know God and the difference that He makes, and to overflow His presence into the lives of everyone around us.
  3. Advance is partnering with a TV Channel to share about Advance and evangelism for the whole Telugu speaking world. During our visit we recorded many episodes and training sessions that will be broadcast, potentially to millions of people watching from all around the globe.
  4. As part of our ongoing commitment to encourage and train the new generation, we will receive a young person from India to study in our Academy gap year. He will also be trained to help prepare thousands of future group leaders when he goes back after his course.
  5. Through Advance, we believe hundreds of Christians will come together, share food, and be commissioned to go and proclaim the gospel together and in collaboration. One church leader told me that it was the first time that he had seen so many leaders coming together to work for the same purpose. Through his testimony we saw that the Lord is removing walls and barriers and bringing unity throughout and across denominations.

We believe that what we saw in India is only the beginning of what the Lord is doing there. A further visit is required to train more people to start groups and to share the vision in other parts of the country.

Please pray for the church of the Lord in India and pray too for our brothers and sisters who face discrimination and persecution in many places throughout the country. I invite you to pray for group leaders and all who will participate in this mentoring journey.

[1] The Global Advance Day happened on 29/01/2022 and has seen more than 1.000 groups launched around the world.