Advance Group leader, Grace, was recently in prison encouraging those she met with the love of Jesus. She got chatting to one man who was desperate to find out if God could forgive him for what he’d done. Grace was able to share the gospel and how, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have freedom and forgiveness. The man was so excited that he gave his life to Jesus there and then!
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Daniel leads an Advance Group in North America and he recently shared in a conference that part of his initial group, decided to go out to evangelise after one of the sessions. After one year of equipping people to share the gospel and putting it into practice, Daniel is now planting a church happening in the least reached region of his city with the gospel and we can’t wait to see what God will do.
Garry has been facilitating an Advance group for the last 15 months and three new groups have launched out of his original one because so many people are coming along and meeting Jesus.
Every month, they have a time where they pray for friends and family members. After 15 months they started to count the prayers that were answered and they were amazed to know that 11 of the people they were praying have received God during that time, and that 3 of them were part of a new Advance group!
David helps to facilitate a group in the United Kingdom, and was thinking about ending the Advance Group because there weren’t many people coming along. But the group members decided to spend time praying and being dedicated to inviting people along. Less than 2 months later, the groups has now more people and has seen 4 people give their lives to Jesus as a direct result of the group meetings!
Ricardo is was recently in hospital in Peru because of a motorbike accident. When he was there, he was visited by a group of people that he didn’t know who were from a local Advance group that decided to go to the local hospital and pray for people after one of the sessions.
As a result of the that visit Ricardo and his family met with Jesus and had their lives completely transformed. Now they are part of a local church and they facilitate an Advance group in the city of Chulucanas!
A lady coming along to an Advance Group in Portugal shared after session 6 that, although she’d been a Christian for many years, no one around her knew that she was battling deep depression for years and she felt a fraud as a Christian because of it. As a result of her struggles, she was planning to die by suicide before the end of the year. However, in that session, she opened her heart to her group mates and she found healing and recommitted her life to God. Now she has a support group around her helping her to get help, to encourage her in her faith and to share about Jesus even in the midst of her struggles.
“Since we started Advance groups in our church, I can see an enormous transformation in the life and mindset of the church. The church is more open to evangelism and seeking God and opportunities in a special way. As a direct result of the Advance groups in our church, just in the last year, we planted two new churches in the Algarve region of Portugal and we start eight more groups in our local church in Faro. Our target is to get to 50 groups in South Portugal by the Global Advance day in the end of January 2023. Praise God for all that He is doing through Advance.’ – A Pastor in Portugal
‘Advance is not what I thought it would be. It is a gentle journey where a group of Christians do life together. Thanks to this group, I am more confident to share Jesus with people around me.’ – an Advance Group member in India
We’ve started our third Advance group with the indigenous people of Brazil!
There are various indigenous groups in the remote areas of Brazil and one of these groups are called “Ribeirinhos” as they live along the rivers in the inaccessible areas of the forest. Our Ambassador there made a trip to share Advance with Christians that work in those areas in the beginning of the year and launched an Advance group with them, another ambassador reached a tribe in the northern part of Brazil and we’ve just start our third group with the indigenous people in the state of Pará. It’s amazing to see how God is using Advance so harder-to-reach people can still hear about the good news of Jesus!
Matilde* leads an Advance group in Brazil and as the group grew in number and in confidence sharing the gospel, they all decided to create a mission event in their city as a way to tell many young people about the hope of Jesus at the same time. Matilde said that the event and her involvement in it would likely never have happened if it was not for her journey with Advance, and that it was amazing to see all that God had done through the Advance group and the young people they met!
Antonia joined a local Advance group in Brazil to learn more about evangelism. She was so excited to discover that she didn’t need any ‘special’ qualities to share the gospel and that all the she needed, Jesus had already given to her. She is now reading her Bible more and has already stepped out in boldness and shared the gospel with 2 people!
Daniel* went along to an Advance group to see what it was all about. He was convinced that he would only go for 3 sessions and then he would stop. After session 2, something clicked for him that God has a plan for his life and ever since, Daniel has been growing in his faith, finding more about Jesus and sharing the gospel with his friends! He’s even going to facilitate his own group in February 2023!
At one Advance Conference held in Brazil, Maria turned up wanting to know more about evangelism, but also knowing that her chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome was a constant barrier to her being to use every opportunity to share the gospel. During the conference, Maria asked God to use her just as she was so that she could tell more people about Jesus, and she prayed saying that she would like to offer herself fully and wholeheartedly to God for his mission. She felt God’s presence strongly with her and ever since, she’s not had a problem with her IBS! Her doctor said that there is no sign of illness in her body and she is sharing her testimony with everyone around her.
Ben and Luiz were in at the airport recently as they travelled through Africa. As they entered a store, the cashier read Ben’s tattoo which says “There Is Hope”. Ben and Luiz explained that they were there encouraging and praying with people. She asked if they could pray for her, for peace in her troubled mental health and for healing in her arm, one of which was shorter than the other so she experienced a lot of pain. They prayed and afterwards there was no visible difference in her arm lengths, no pain, and no restriction of movement! Praise God! She was amazed at the love and power of Jesus and is getting plugged in to a local church.
After a long day of ministry, some of our Advance evangelists went to eat in a restaurant. At the end of the meal, they offered to pray for the waitress, who opened up to them about her struggles with alcohol and her desire to know Jesus. They prayed with her and she is now connected to a local pastor!
Having read through the Advance material, a pastor in Namibia invited all the denominations in his region to come to an exploring Advance session. The group of 60 pastors and leaders were so impacted by the material that they agreed that Advance would be the tool to help them to develop unity and purpose together in their area as they share about Jesus with those around them. Off the back of this, they are setting up an Advance group for all these different leaders to come along to as a mark of unity amongst the churches.
We’re now using Advance material in prisons! After one session, the chaplain from the local prison was so inspired by the material used and said to the team, ‘I’ve finally found something that can encourage and equip those in prison with their faith, and as they grow they will also be equipped to share the message of Jesus and the difference that Jesus made in their lives to other prisoners!’
Sarah is a mission secretary of 37 churches and after one of the Advance gatherings in Namibia she stood up in front of the gathered crowed and said: “It is simple, it is free and it is 100% biblical. This is a gift from the Lord to us!”
‘I’ve been getting to know a Muslim lady and we chat regularly about faith. A couple of weeks ago, she was saying she needed help as she was preparing for exams so I grabbed the opportunity to share with her about the love, hope and power of Jesus. She was so impacted that she responded to the gospel there and then.’ – Advance Ambassador in Zambia
Terry heard in one Advance Session that we are called to be “holy as God is holy” and on that day he asked forgiveness for the path he was taking and decided to pursue God and surrender everything to him instead. Since that decision, he’s deepening his relationship with God, sharing the gospel with more people and has seen two people accept Jesus into their lives!