Despite Government Set-backs, Christianity Is Alive in Central Asia
Central Asia – Pastor Yousef (not his real name) is one of the many people Open Doors has been able to help with micro-credit; now he has his own business packaging and selling spices. Please pray for much wisdom for all those who are involved in Open Doors social economic projects. There are far more requests than we can possibly honor.
Afghanistan – Pray for a poor Afghan family who left their country and settled somewhere else in the region. They are new believers and their young daughter has cancer and is hardly able to lie on her back as it is extremely painful. The doctors have said there is no hope for her. Someone who was visiting them wrote, “As I saw her and her family, my heart was crying. They are new believers. As we opened up the Bible in their house to study together, it was hard for me to say anything. What can one say to encourage someone in this situation? But praise God, we were able to study the Bible together and I wish you were there to see them and their desire for the word of God. Please pray for them.”
Uzbekistan – Christian activities in Uzbekistan are often held in spite of the pressure and persecution. Christians there are thankful to God for His protection during various study seminars and youth events, though sometimes training sessions must to be held at night and sometimes are cancelled for security. One of our contacts wrote, “God protected the youth camp and all was very good. People heard the call to serve God and responded. All 5 days we were protected. Half an hour after we left, security police came for a check up. It was a miracle, because according to the program we were to stay one hour longer. God saved us from arrests.” Another Uzbek Christian wrote, “Of course, it is a little bit difficult to arrange youth meetings, but during our recent event young people… promised to pray for each other. Teenagers were filled with the Holy Spirit and became as one family. We could not sing loud or clap our hands. We tried to be very careful. But despite all the difficulties God was taking care for us and filled us with peace, joy and courage to follow our Saviour. Thank you for your prayers and support.”
Central Asia – Thousands of copies of children’s materials are distributed in Central Asia. The following letter was sent to us; “I am Elano, I am 13 years old. Since I was five years old I have believed in God. I have grown in my faith and I want to continue to grow through your literature. Therefore I ask you to send me spiritual literature. I have many sisters in Christ. If it is possible please send me literature for these older sisters too. Thank you in advance. Goodbye.”
Azerbaijan – Give thanks that in Azerbaijan, despite increasing restrictions against Christian activities, a Bible study seminar was organized with participants from various churches. Azeri Christians ask us to stand with them in prayer for their country. “We would like to thank you so much that we had a chance to take part in the seminar, that you helped us financially and made it possible for us to study God’s Word. There is a great need for training of leaders in our country. Please continue to pray for us.”
Central Asia – Pray for those staying in our safe houses, especially for this family of new believers. The man used to be addicted to alcohol and lived in a very difficult situation. The change that Jesus made in his life was a powerful testimony to his relatives. Many people heard the Gospel from this couple. Recently the woman was suddenly paralyzed in her legs and couldn’t speak anymore. The doctor thought it was a result of stress and ordered a quiet place for a while. After a few weeks in the safe house she can walk again, but at this time of writing she still cannot speak. Please pray for them.
Tajikistan – Christians in Tajikistan have asked us to pray with them that they will be united and brave in preaching the Gospel to their countrymen. Many people are quite hostile to Christians, especially when they are Tajik or Uzbek.
Kyrgyzstan – Christians are giving thanks for a Christian lady, Aisul (a pseudonym), who was able to participate in a Biblical Training Session. She wrote, “I fell in love with the Word and now I understand what it means to believe in God, trusting Him in all the situations of life.” Please pray for Aisul that she may be able to continue meditating on the Word in her daily life with all its pressures.
Afghanistan – Pray for all those involved in Christian radio and TV in Afghanistan and for the production of more video materials to be made available. According to statistics about 55% of Afghans watch TV regularly. Although fewer Afghans watch satellite TV, thousands of urban and rural Afghans own a satellite antenna, and this business is growing. Nearly 13% say they have access to satellite TV. There are many requests for videos with good values and even for Christian videos. Please pray for those involved in follow-up of Christian radio and TV programs. This is an area of intense spiritual warfare and there are often verbal assaults. One team member said, “We never get discouraged when people swear at us. We get discouraged when people ask us for Bibles and we can’t give them one.”
Father, we lift up your work in Central Asia today and thank you for the countless believers who serve you faithfully in those countries. We pray for those who worship in secret, who suffer persecution, who have had to flee their homeland, that they would be equipped with Bibles to know you more and more through your Word. We pray for their safety and for opportunities to share the good news of your gospel with neighbors and family. We pray for those who are ill and suffering that they might be healed and that it would be clear to all that You have done it. Thank you for the radio and TV ministries in Afghanistan and many other countries where access to the gospel is restricted. We pray for all those involved in this ministry. We give thanks for the many people who respond to these broadcasts and we pray for those who talk with them. Please give them wisdom, love and patience, and that they will be equipped with Bibles for those who request them. Thank you for your faithfulness to Your people in these countries. In the name of Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer, Amen.