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Focus on Tajikistan

Jul 16, 2009 at 15:33
Category: Yeah God Files, Central Asia


Marilyn and I had a great time with our friends in Central Asia over the first part of July.  The water melons were wonderful,  the shashlik was  amazing and the fellowship rich.  

The stories  from Tajikistan were especially challenging. One man came to their community from the Aids clinic.  He had been sent back out onto the streets to die.  They received him.  Jesus healed him and six weeks later he walked back into the clinic to share his story.  They reacted like they were seeing a ghost.  Today the man is married and a radical follower of Jesus.

Story after story of long term addicts, prisoners, street people, prostitutes healed by Jesus.  Sergi says they make the best apostles to send to the villages since they fear nothing, having nothing to lose.

Some time ago I wrote about Sergi's friend, also named Sergi, who was shot while worshipping Jesus.  When they went to wash the body and prepare it for burial they realized his material poverty in that he only had one pair of underwear  (thus no clean pair to burry him in) and his spiritual riches in that his knees were raw from wrestling in prayer for that region to know Jesus.  When the village realized how much he had prayed for them several wept, including the leader of the local mosque,  and began their own journey towards Jesus.

Through the generosity of many we were able to help Sergi set up a bee farm as the foundation for  a self sufficient, multigenerational, rehabilitation, discipleship,  community church for men.  He has seen the failure of rehabilitation which does not include work disciplines and self sufficiency and which pushes residents out the door after a period of rehabilitation.  The vision is to multiply communities where the disciples can stay and continue to be and make disciples.   Each bee farm should multiply to create one new bee farm per year.  I like those dynamics!

Will you help us set up a  community for women?  The economic foundation will be mushroom growing and bees.  The need is for $4,000. That will establish a self sufficient community for around 20 and provide the financial basis to create another similar community in one year.  With increasing poverty, family and social breakdown the number of women and children on the streets is growing.  

During our last conversation with Sergi at the Bishkek airport at 5:30 in the morning as we waited for his flight to Dushanbe, I felt impressed to ask if he had any personal needs.  Elena said she had asked the same question with no reply.  Well maybe he did....  The apartment where he, his wife and their three children live is on the top floor of their building and the roof leaks.  There is no property management and those in the apartments below feel no need to help since they are not getting wet so winters are miserable.  Living in Dushanbe is a challenge enough when the electricity only comes on an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening!  

They can repair the roof for about $400 if they do the work themselves.  Your generosity makes things happen and if this or the women's community project are over subscribed we will invest the funds in other ongoing projects in Central Asia.

A BBC link regarding migrant workers in Tajikistan news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8129851.stm

This link regards the plight of brides in Tajikistan news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8049981.stm

Harvest Now Steve & Marilyn

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