Greetings from Central Asia, the place of mixed cultures and traditions, rites and customs, plus those of the State. We are seeing how God moves people to His Kingdom. This ministry of the Kingdom demands lots of patience, as it is a work of the heart.
The groups of people who settled here centuries ago still try to keep their traditions and customs. They live together as one big family, 3 generations together under one roof. Family isn’t just a husband, wife, and children. It is grandparents, brothers and sisters, uncles, cousins, aunts, nephews, etc. Among them, they have an elder. It is like a complex organism. When you go to meet with one family member and serve him or her, you are meeting with and serving the whole lot.
The younger generations humbly obey the elders who make decisions for them. Some of the elders are educated and encourage the younger to get knowledge, but most of them did not go past the 5th grade, occasionally they make it to 9th grade and then they work the farm.
One couple we have befriended are Elina and her husband Ilyas. Zamir is the oldest of their children. He helps his mother resolve daily matters. The father Ilyas stands for family when they have a really serious problem. At that time all family members obey him; nobody argues with him.
The families have their own beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation. When we bring the Gospel to them, we must be very careful and remember their understanding of God who is far from them but is looking after them and their failures.
But they have thirsty souls and open hearts to hear and accept the Gospel. Even if they say that they are Muslim, they want to hear the Truth. It is easy to tell them stories from the Old Testament; the prophets are more acceptable to their ears. They like to hear about Abraham, about heaven and hell, about the holiness of God and His omnipotence. You never know what questions they will ask. But the Spirit of God helps us to answer. He knows their hearts and their history.
We praise the Lord for the privilege of serving different people and nations. God is moving in our encounters with them, breaking down barriers and helping them see Truth. We are so appreciative of your prayers and support to help build the Kingdom in Central Asia.
All names have been changed for security.