Hope Across The Nations - The Message
09 Apr 2024

Hope Across The Nations

With over 20,000 Advance Groups now equipping people around the world in their evangelism, it’s incredible to see how God is moving as men and women in different nations step out and share their faith.

As they do this, more people are catching the heart of the evangelist and wanting to share about Jesus, so we’re seeing groups starting in all kinds of places. We have 16 groups in house boats along the Amazon River, 32 groups in Chad with members who were all from Muslim backgrounds, and 57 new groups starting in the deserts in Peru.

In Uruguay, we’ve just had news that over 600 people met in a school to be spurred on in their evangelism through Advance, which was a total surprise to us. The group started because one of our Ambassadors from Peru met a pastor from Uruguay at an event who told him about Advance and shared the web address. Although the pastor was excited to hear about what God was doing in Peru, our Ambassador didn’t hear back from him about whether he wanted help setting up a group. Six months later, we hear that the pastor started an Advance group in Uruguay and was gathering others to encourage them to start more groups! And that’s just one story.

In Sierra Leone, one of our Ambassadors was recently visiting a village with a predominantly Muslim community. As someone who used to be a Muslim herself before finding Jesus, our Ambassador shared her story with the people in the village. As she talked about the peace that Jesus has given her, despite the hard things she’s had to face, many were moved by her testimony and gave their lives to Jesus. An Advance group has already started in the village and people there are encouraging one another with Bible studies and prayer meetings. They’re excited for the transformation that Jesus will bring in their individual lives and their community as a whole.

One person whose life has been totally changed since hearing about Jesus is Akash who one day met our Advance Ambassador, Rajesh, in India. Akash shared, ‘I’ve struggled with alcohol addiction for the past 12 years. My drinking was so bad that all the money I earned was being spent on my habit and as a result, my life was a mess.

‘One seemingly normal day in January, I was working in my roadside shop when a man, Rajesh, came past and gave me a flyer about Jesus. It told me who he is and that his death on a cross brought forgiveness for my sins. I asked him, ‘What, even are my sins? Can he forgive me even though I come from a Hindu family?’ Immediately Rajesh replied, ‘Yes, Jesus has the power to forgive everyone’s sins, even the worst things you can imagine.’

‘Later, when I was reading the flyer and something in me was stirred to find out more. So I decided to contact Rajesh as I wanted to ask him all of my questions.

‘When we met, I told him about my drinking and how it was controlling my life. I shared how much I needed hope and as we talked, I started to cry. Rajesh prayed for me, invited me to church and gave me a New Testament Bible which I started to read every night.

‘That Bible was life-changing for me. I learnt so much more about Jesus and I became more interested in going along to church, so went one week with Rajesh. In the service, I started to feel light in my heart and happiness about finding a community of people who so loved and accepted me. That’s when I decided to ask Jesus for forgiveness and to give my life to him. I also asked for help with my drinking habit and since then, I’ve been getting better.

‘I love learning more about God and I’ve also joined an Advance group to learn how to tell other people about what Jesus has done for me. I can’t wait to see Jesus do the same for other people as what he’s done for me.’

And that’s exactly what’s been motivating one of our Advance groups in Brazil. Desperate to bring the hope of Jesus to people going along to a festival in Ouro Preto, Ambassador Wes and his Advance group gathered together with other Christians from across the city to share the gospel to festivalgoers. In total, 300 Christians united together to pray and challenge themselves to step out and share their faith with the crowds.

‘We encouraged each other to speak boldly about Jesus and we really felt the Holy Spirit direct us on who we should speak to. I think everybody from our Advance group was deeply impacted by putting into practice what we talk about week after week. And it was great to meet people, and hear their stories,’ Wes said. ‘One person we met was Marcos. As the team got chatting to him, he shared some of the difficult things he was journeying through. Marcos said he was at rock bottom and that the night before he’d been drinking heavily to cope with his feelings and wanted to take his own life. He told them that he hadn’t had the courage to do it then, but that he was going to try again after the festival because he didn’t have any hope left. The Advance group listened to him and told Marcos that even though he might not feel it, there was a plan and a purpose for his life because of Jesus. They then offered to pray for him and he accepted. Marcos listened as the group shared the gospel and about the hope and peace we find in God. His face lit up and he said that’s what he needed! So there and then in the middle of the festival crowd, Marcos gave his life to Jesus and said that instead of taking his life, he was going to find out more about Jesus and find a local church.

And Marcos wasn’t the only person whose life was changed that night. The team also started talking with a group of 12 young people who were having fun at the festival. One of the group felt prompted to share their faith so asked if they could tell the group about Jesus. To their surprise, the young people said ‘yes’. Not only were the Advance group encouraged from being able to share their faith and have great gospel- filled conversations, but every single young person in the group decided to give their lives to Jesus! How incredible!

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Find out more about joining an Advance Group at advancegroups.org