The Price of Following Jesus in Central Asia
At our 35th Anniversary celebration last fall, one of our teammates from Central Asia shared a testimony of a young brother’s conversion to Christianity. As a result of following Jesus, this young man faced persecution from his family. His act of faith caused much shame for his family as they had not yet come to faith in Christ.
Sadly, it is acceptable in this culture to physically punish those who convert, and our brother suffered at the hands of his parents. They demanded he recant his new faith, but he stood firm and did not deny Christ even while being beaten. His family placed him under house arrest, took away his phone, and watched him closely. Our teammates lost contact with him for some time. Our global team and many of you have prayed for this young man.
We are happy to report that a leader at our base in Central Asia shared this photograph with the young man with the following update:
“He is now our guest at my house. We are having a good time with him. He hasn’t returned yet to his parent’s house. Tomorrow he’s going to another country temporarily to live and work. Please pray for him; he needs surgery for his nose. Thank you!“
While this news was very exciting, and we praise the Lord for this young man's safety, we also received word that another teammate from the region was brought in by the police for questioning. This serves as a reminder that many of our teammates live in areas where the Gospel is not welcome. As one teammate reminded us in our team chat:
“For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Will you continue to pray for the persecution of believers in Central Asia and around the world?