Thank you for providing Christ’s transforming love and Word in Central Asia.

Sergei O.
SGA-Supported Missionary Pastor in Central Asia

Last year, our church held a seven-day Christian vacation, which was based on a program called “Believe like Paul.” God entrusted us with 27 children, 14 of whom were of Muslim backgrounds. 

It was an unforgettable time! Talking to children about God is a great mercy from the Lord. Our church has held camps for 20 years, and for us 2023 became a jubilee year! At first, we were nervous in starting a seven-day program because of the aftermath of COVID. But God led, inspired, and gave us a wonderful group of children and a team!

Among the Central Asian children, eight of them did not understand the Russian language at all! Since saving children is God’s work, God also took care of the translators! With great pleasure, we sang with the children in both the Russian and local languages. From the first days of our vacation, the Name of Jesus sounded in two languages. Each morning and evening, we all praised the Lord like King Jehoshaphat in the Bible (2 Chronicles 20:21).

By the sixth day, the children began to change. Their faith and love for each other began to grow. Their hearts began to open.

On the sixth day, we hiked, and my wife was honored to walk with an 11-year-old boy named Arsen. All the way they talked about spiritual issues. He said that he heard about Jesus five years ago, when his dad brought him and his brother to our church for the Immanuel’s Child Christmas outreach. 

Later he learned more through the Internet. Arsen asked, “Is there a sin that cannot be forgiven? Why should we go to church? Who should I talk to—the Father or Jesus?” My wife was surprised to hear such serious questions asked by a boy who looked so ordinary, just like any other boy. When they returned from the hike to the base, my wife invited Arsen to pray and ask God to help him understand the truths. 

To her joy, Arsen accepted the invitation and they prayed together. It was also a great joy to give the Bible to a Kazakh boy named Madi, who is 14. Previously, I was told that Madi, while talking to other boys about the gifts that were given on the last day, said that he did not need any other gifts but a Bible!

In August, I took our teenagers to a rural recreation area where there was a camp. During the next six days, we talked about fears—fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of people, and finally, fear of the Lord. In the evening, there was a service where the same topics were discussed. On the fourth day, there was a call to repent. Many children hesitated and did not come up in front to repentance. But toward the end of the camp, teenagers began to go forward asking God for forgiveness for their sins. The teams were small, from six to 11 people. All six people from my group repented. 

Praise God! They were able to overcome human fear in order to gain the fear of God. Then there was a wonderful farewell party. Three guys from my team were given a Bible, and encouraged to testify about their decision in their churches. It is amazing to watch how the Lord works with hearts and transforms them!

Please remember us in your prayers. May God richly bless you in His mighty ways!

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