Feature

Called to the Kingdom

GCF in ACTION

By Anonymous

Double-digit unemployment and underemployment plague north and central Asia. Millions from this vast region have migrated to find work. “The migrants are strangers, looked down upon and taken advantage of in this country,” writes the author, an Alliance worker. Your gifts to the Great Commission Fund help his team share the good news with these marginalized people from one of the last unreached mission frontiers.

Sami* is from a small village in central Asia. The economy is depressed, and the village’s 200 residents have no access to gas or electricity. In this mountainous region it can get miserably cold. There are few trees, and villagers must scavenge for wood to burn in order to stay warm.

When Sami was 19 years old, he fell from a bridge onto some rocks and sustained life-threatening injuries. After his recovery, he recalls someone telling him God had spared his life.

About 15 years later, Sami was selling cell phone SIM cards in our city and making little money when Zhanuzak,* our ministry partner, befriended him. He invited Sami to join him in delivering meat pies, which are popular here.

Zhanuzak invited Sami to a Bible study that he, another team member, and I had begun several weeks earlier. Sami was the only one who attended that night in early December. We told him about Adam and Eve, briefly describing how sin entered the world. We then told the story of Cain and Abel, explaining how God is just and must punish sin, and shared how Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb pointed toward the sacrifice God later made when His Son, Jesus, died to take away our sin.

“I never heard anything like this in my home town,” Sami said. “No one has ever told me things like this before.”

I strongly sensed we should invite Sami to follow Christ. We talked with him about our need for forgiveness and what it means to repent, explaining that we can’t do anything to earn forgiveness from God and that there’s no need to “be a better person” before accepting Christ. I asked Sami if he wanted to follow Jesus and receive forgiveness for his sins. He said “Yes,” and Zhanuzak led him in prayer.

Since then, we’ve continued to share Bible stories with Sami to draw him deeper into the Word. He likely has some cognitive damage resulting from his fall, but Zhanuzak and I believe his conversion is genuine. Sami shows openness and a desire to meet with us and listen.

We know that as Sami continues in his new faith, he will be faced with his family’s resistance to his decision. Our prayer is that God will prepare him, and that through him, others in his family and his village will also come to Christ.

As we share the good news with north and central Asians through our ministry here, preparing them to return to their homelands to share the gospel, I’m encouraged by this New Testament passage:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him (1 Cor. 1:26–29).

Sami is not one of the wise or the strong. Could it be that God will touch an entire village through him? It would be like the Lord to do just that and glorify Himself! This is why we long for people to pray—so God can do the impossible.

—An Alliance worker serving in the North and Central Asia Region

*Name changed

1 response to Called to the Kingdom

  1. Praying for Sami to be mightily used by God to articulate his new found faith to his people!

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