God’s power is setting people free in Central Asia as doors to the gospel open through the simplest acts of kindness and compassion.
As Jesus was traveling from one place to another, every time he encountered people on his way, they were touched by the presence of the Lord in some way.
As his disciples, we want to shine his light wherever we go. In fact, we go to share his light with people. During a crisis time like these we have with COVID-19 now, we get the opportunity to access many communities, meet different people and share Christ’s love with people. Through relief work, we not only help people to survive through these tough times but also look for persons of peace and build trust in the communities. We believe we are building a foundation for future churches and evangelistic groups.
We are very encouraged because we see that God is at work, and he is willing to help and touch these people with his mighty hand. Christ is restoring people who might’ve seemed fallen for good.
There are no insignificant meetings!
Love for the Fallen and Ashamed
Zora* had gotten herself into deep trouble. She had become pregnant by her boyfriend but in a culture where shame for this kind of situation is significant. Women who have had relationships outside of marriage are considered fallen. Their families are ashamed to have such daughters; their communities turn away from them, and if they’re acknowledged at all, it’s only with contempt.
As soon as her tribal family found out about her condition, they abandoned her, and her boyfriend disappeared into the woodwork. She was all alone, and worse yet, it was in a society where women are often very dependent on the men in their lives for provision and protection.
Out of desperation, Zora approached our partners. She knew that they would not share the common tribal attitudes toward women. The heart of the ministry and their community sewing center is to help women find their value in Christ and to show them love and forgiveness of God. That was precisely why Zora came to them for refuge and found exactly what she was seeking.
Abigail*, one of the team members, told her stories from the Bible, particularly how God loves and values every person, how he can restore and forgive those who are lost and hated by everyone.
This was vital, good news for someone who had been shamed and cast out of her family.
God touched Zora’s heart, and she confessed her sin. Eventually, she was accepted back by the tribe, married a young man and was accepted into his extended family. For a woman to practice Christianity in tribal communities is very challenging, but the team keeps visiting her and praying with her. She knows that God is alive and wants to live a better life in him.
A Power to Break Chains
Ekiya* had perhaps the very opposite problem of sweet Zora. She had been married in the traditional way, and all seemed well enough for several years, except that there were still no children. In that culture, women who struggle with infertility are considered useless. Everyone turns away from them, almost as if they were cursed.
This practice looms over younger women and can put a burden of extreme stress on women who are having difficulty getting pregnant.
Ekiya did everything she could. She grew so desperate that she began seeking the services of local magicians. She spent all the money she had for their “help” and ended up being possessed by an evil spirit.
Eventually, her husband left her because she still couldn’t bear a child. Heartbroken and spiritually tormented was how the team found Ekiya. They shared the biblical story of the women who was ill for 12 years with her, illustrating how Jesus is undaunted by the length or depth of our suffering.
Then the team prayed for her, and she was released from the demonic spirit’s oppression. Now Ekiya is at peace, defined by a spirit of gentleness.
In this corner of the world, Jesus is palpable demonstrating his power to break the heavy burdens and bondage that holds people captive. Please join us in praying for the church here and in Central Asia where sharing the good news can be perilous but where people are longing for hope, peace and freedom.
*Not real name. For our ministry partners’ security, we don’t release names or locations in highly sensitive areas.