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Notes from Central Asia

Apr 10, 2011 at 20:26
Category: Central Asia

 

Friends, Some notes from Central Asia:

"Thanks to those who helped with funds to get the papers for the girls who came out of prostitution.  They are learning to read and we have gotten them the New Testament on CD.  We are helping them all we can but wondering what skill we can teach them since they have nothing and often need bread.  We are seeing more and more girls come out of prostitution.  The heart breaks on hearing their stories and we are thankful that Jesus gives grace to serve them."  (One of the girls who came out of prostitution has died but the others go forward.  Many have Aids and TB.)

"We have already started the wood shop (to build hives for honey bees) although we still need a circular saw and a planner/joiner.  I thank God that He has given us a good teacher named Nurod Aka.  He is not yet a follower of Jesus but I have never met anyone who is so skillful.  He is teaching the brothers and me carpentry skills."  (The land for the wood shop was donated to the team by a young man who came to Jesus while in prison.  Sergey is a skilled bee keeper and he continues to raise bees and train others to do so but it is great to see them pressing ahead to create new business opportunities!  Anyone want to donate seed money for the power tools needed here?)

"Through sharing with a group of 15 drug addicts, one repented who is an ethnic Tajik from the Pamir mountains.  He is also HIV positive so we ask that you pray for his healing.  Another man who repented has many relatives.  We trust to see many of his family become followers of Jesus."  (Rates of HIV and TB are very, very high in Tajikistan, indeed across all of Central Asia.  Bishkek recently became the world capital for MDRTB.

"The cafe church is getting crowded but last night three asked about beginning in their homes and another three committed to become followers of Jesus.  The interesting thing is that this church is all guys."  (From Bulgaria)

"We also have sad news.  Remember Gocha who came to Jesus with the first group of addicts in our community?  He was killed.  They (a certain denominational group) drew him in to be their member, put him through seminary , appointed him a pastor in Kaskelan, bought land, started building a building and gave him a car.  From drug addiction to pastor- a great future for him from God!  But he started drinking again and now he is gone.  Since he used to be with us  the police came to question us, took our finger prints, threatened us and tried to attack our faith.    We preached to them and finally they left us alone.  Out of those first four addicts who came to Jesus only one is still alive."   (Some report rates of addiction in Kazakhstan  among men 18- 35 to be as high as 80% and unfortunately it is still common for ministries to try and "buy"  workers.)

Yes, the money thing!  There is so much begging and so much abuse and misuse of relationships when it comes to money that we struggle to find the balance in this one.  However, some friends asked us what we needed and when we evaded the question came back with, "Are we not friends and partners with you?"  OK.. here goes!

With your help and partnership we support 10 apostolic teams in 6 nations  to help put the "GO" in the Gospel.  This is for travel, communication and acts of mercy.  Our monthly faith goal for this averages $200 per team.  Would you pray about partnering with us in that faith goal?  We have not met the goal the last couple of months.

The Luke 10 Manual  is now available in Russian, Kyrgyze, Bulgarian and German.  The Norwegian, Dutch and Spanish will be out soon.  Burmese, Arabic and Romanian are in the works with Tiden (a Burmese tribal language)  and Tajik planned.    So far we have invested about $2,000 in translation and publishing with about $2500 to go to complete what is planned.  Would you pray about investing in these projects?

We are part way through translating a DVD into Russian, Kyrgyze & Uzbek of testimonies of several who have come to Jesus from Muslim background.  Printing & burning costs for the first run  will be about $1,000.  This will be a powerful tool to share with families  as they consider Jesus.   Would you or your community consider funding this project?

Both Marilyn and I are now in Canada.  Marilyn has had one eye operated on to deal with cataracts and she is now seeing better from that eye than ever in her life.  The next surgery is scheduled for May 24.  My plan is to spend most of May in Central Asia but that is dependent upon finances.   How can they go unless they are sent?  Your help is appreciated.

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