I am evangelist Jean Claude Chaffra, Advance Ambassador for the Ivory Coast with a wider focus on French-speaking African nations. I first joined the Advance team in September 2021 and since then have often witnessed for myself, and heard stories from others, about how Jesus is working through this ministry and have seen the impact it’s had across French-speaking Africa.
At one church in Ivory Coast, through the themes addressed in the Advance training, God sought to heal broken hearts, leading a woman to reach out to her estranged daughter after several years of quarrelling, bringing forgiveness and peace to their relationship. For, according to 2 Corinthians 5:18, we have received the ministry of reconciliation. This same church doubled in number two months after the Advance training.
In early 2022 we were able to bring Advance to Chad, where training has allowed us to experience what people of faith have wished to see there for many years, as the Lord has ignited a great fire of unity in the body of Christ. Since March 2022 there’s been a real shift, with the Church speaking with a common voice, working together to win souls throughout the country. The capital city, N’djamena, which has been split into six zones, now sees Christians from each zone meeting regularly to pray and encourage evangelism.
A further blessing has been that women are feeling liberated to express their faith publicly—something that they were previously not able to do because of being in a context dominated by Islam. Today, following our Advance training in Chad, we have a group of men and women who are on fire for evangelism.
From Brazzaville, the capital city of Congo, we can share very powerful testimonies of what God has begun to do following the introduction of Advance. I have met men and women of God who are thirsting to learn more of the Lord and who are being transformed as they return to him. Session five on the power of the evangelist created, through prayer, such a thirst for the unity of the body of Christ that at the end of the training I was asked to return to Congo to set up a house of prayer for the salvation of souls there. The impact was so strong that Brazzaville has begun to be divided into a grid of ten sectors, in order to have ten Advance Groups which will cover the whole city.
The Holy Spirit is enabling me to stand firm in the work that we are doing. I believe we must hold fast to the model which I presented to the others in Advance training; that we must share our faith simply, enduring any hardships which might arise from that. The word of God in the bible is encouraging me to endure and so I will continue to share Advance. Those who have already been impacted by it are unanimous in their desire to be united and to share the gospel so that souls might be won for Christ in their country.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a vast country where the Lord has used Advance training as a catalyst to light a fire of revival. The fire is such that people travelled around 100km to come and participate in the training, and to allow the Lord to change their lives. Each session was challenging. The Lord restored lives and ministries and called his church to unity. The pastor-evangelist who is the assistant director of the department of mission and evangelism of the Assemblies of God approached me to say, ‘If I get together 1000 evangelists under the auspices of the Assemblies of God would you come back to train us?’ I replied that I would do so with the greatest of pleasure.
Through Advance I’ve seen Jesus igniting a great fire amongst many. We have seen men and women equipped and ready for the challenge of evangelism. May all the glory be to God.
Written by Jean Claude Chaffra. Chaffra works as the Coordinator for French-speaking Africa with the Luis Palau Association. Alongside that work he is the Advance Ambassador for Ivory Coast.