Since Advance started in South Africa in 2019, like the rest of the world, we have experienced major disruptions in our planning. The worldwide pandemic forced us to think outside of the box when it came to growing the movement. Our immediate response was to take all things online, and we saw great fruit in this, as the movement stretched across four cities in Cape Town namely, Mowbray, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Worcester. We also hosted an online training alongside The Palau Association with key leaders of African Enterprise from across all of Africa. I believe this served as a great relationship builder between the evangelists and Advance.
Fast-forward to 2021, when South Africa started lowering many of its restrictions, and we took the opportunity to launch Cape Town’s first all-female group. We also launched our Academy Night School, where the Advance material was used in training nine different churches across the city. Later in 2021, we launched a nationwide group and were joined by two churches from Johannesburg and one church from Kimberley. We’ve already seen one group from Johannesburg multiply out into other groups.
By the end of 2021, the prisons opened their doors to spiritual workers and our proposal to do Advance was finally approved in one prison. I began to deliver the Advance material over six weeks with 17 inmates from the different sections of the prison. The vision for this is that each inmate starts a group within the room and section that they represent, with the hope that through this we’ll see a multiplication of evangelists throughout the prison. There were four spiritual workers that sat in on the training and they are looking to use the material within their different contexts.
One of the inmates that has since been released after completing the material said:
The ‘Message of the Evangelist’ chapter further encouraged me to live out my call, and to ensure that the message I’m sharing was according to Gods Word… We all have the idea that evangelism can and should only be done from the stage, but I learnt through the material, that it can also be done socially, on a one-on-one basis. I would recommend Advance to all people wanting to share their faith, as it helped me and further advised me on how to be and how to evangelize.
We’re excited to see what God has in store for 2022. As more restrictions are being lifted and we’re experiencing a sense of normality, we’re trusting to see further growth in Advance, but even more so an urgency for evangelism.
Written by Shaun Pretorius, Advance Ambassador in South Africa