Our Story

Every year, since 1971, young people — just like you maybe — have come to Mexico City through Avance. Not for vacation. Not to pad their resumes. Not to earn a salary. They come because Jesus Christ has called them to serve.

Over 20 million people in Mexico City have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The needs and brokenness of the poor and those suffering injustice are seen everywhere. Jesus took on flesh and dwelt among us in our broken world, becoming a servant. As you take classes to understand the language and culture, participate in a local body of believers, and serve in ministry under Mexican leadership, you will learn how to eat, speak, and live like Mexican people do in order to reach them for Christ.

Our Mission Statement:

To facilitate and model incarnational living, focused relationships and practical ministry experience alongside local churches and ministries through cross cultural immersion.

Our Vision:

Our vision is to see every person transformed by and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the fruit of focused relationships that are initiated and cultivated alongside Latin Americans.

Our Community Values:

  • Love
  • Humility
  • Discernment/Wisdom
  • Intimacy with God
  • Servanthood
  • Mentorship


Get Started



Paul Johnson / Director
Paul Johnson



Paul and Nydia serve with Avance (formerly Spearhead). Paul has served as Director since 2004 and Nydia as Spanish Coordinator since 2005. Nydia was born and raised in Mexico and first came to know about Avance as a young person nvolved in a church that hosted Avance participants.

Later, her family hosted a number of young persons who have served with Avance in a variety of
capacities from team members to leaders. Together, Paul
& Nydia lead the Avance program.

Paul & Nydia Johnson work with the Avance Missions Immersion Program of United World
Mission. The Avance Missions Immersion program, based
in Mexico City, mobilizes young adults in cross-cultural
mission service.

We accompany our participants as they serve in Mexico City, the largest city in Latin America, over
a period of two months, a semester, a year or two years.
All of our participants live with Mexican families, learn
Spanish and serve under national leadership.

Our passion is that our participants will gain perspective on what their role is in God’s call to the
nations. Whether this is serving Christ cross-culturally, or
back home, in “Christian” or “secular” contexts, our hope
and prayer is that all will be missional – actively seeking to
share the love of Christ wherever they are.

We also desire to see our participants deepen in their love and intimacy with Christ and to live and
minister out of this reality.

Carolyn Deemer / Avance Coordinator
Carolyn Deemer

Avance Coordinator

Avance Coordinator

Caro has been involved in Avance on and off since 2009, for various summers, as well as two years on the YearOut program. During that time, she was able to be involved in Mexican ministries with community development, local church ministry, an outreach English club, discipleship, and even two short-term trips to Honduras. In addition to her Mexican ministries, she also had the opportunity to be involved in leadership and discipleship within Avance. Through the encouragement of her leaders, she returned to the States after her secondyear to study counseling. In May of last year, she graduated from seminary and has since been eagerly working towards moving down to Mexico long term. She finally made it to Mexico and is thrilled to be serving as the Summer Program Director! One of her favorite aspects of all of her time in Mexico is the sweet relationships that she has made with her Mexican host families.

About us:

Serve in Mexico City with Avance for a week, summer or a whole year. Immerse yourself through language and culture while living with a host family, taking Spanish classes, serving under national leadership and participating in a local church. Help Mexican Christians reach out with compassion and love in one of the largest cities of the world, and grow and learn about God’s will for your life at the same time.


Ciudad de México, Mexico.

Email: info@avancemexico.org