Here is ministry report from SGA’s vice president of ministry operations Eric Mock, who recently travelled to Central Asia. We are grateful for the opportunity for our U.S.-based staff to see God’s work in person, and to bring encouragement overseas to our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Please pray for SGA-supported pastors, churches, ministry leaders—and new and growing believers in Central Asia —that they “will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10b).
I finally can get an update out to you all. There really has not been a moment of rest since I landed last week. Just finished eight hours of teaching today, and have a small break now to send you an update.
Saturday was with Larissa, along with her son Alexei and his wife Diana, and was a true joy. The first stop was a ministry to orphans in their remote village. They bought an old home in a remote village in the mountains, so that they could minister to kids—many of the social orphans. They also have purchased an old, run down home, fixed it up a little, and orphans from other orphanages stay there. Really an amazing ministry. Some of the kids were there, and taking guitar lessons. The have a vision for a soccer field—and more—to reach as many kids as possible.
While we were there we also took SGA-provided food aid to a poor family. The father is suffering from head trauma, and here is why. His wife is a drunk who seldom lives with him and their three boys. One night, one of the men she spends time with came to the home drunk. He broke in and beat the husband terribly, and beat the three young boys. He suffered traumatic brain injuries. His little boys cannot imagine not being with their dad.
So in these pictures as we were in the home, the boys were peeling potatoes and trying to help their dad prepare dinner. The wife came home on occasion to still anything she could sell for drugs. They finally have a restraining order, so she does not come around. Even with this, the boys cry and pray for their mother. They take care of their dad and their dad does his best. The aid to them is a life saver. You can see Diana helping the boys peel potatoes and cook. They brought canned meat to add to the potatoes. For them, that was an amazing meal.
And then to an orphanage. You will notice many boys. It seems the families are okay with adopting a girl, but few want boys. As such many of these boys, who already feel forgotten and cast aside, also see girls get into families and feel no one wants them. So Larissa is mom, and the boys stayed very close with me. It was a joy to spend time with them. And WE MUST keep helping Larissa and her son and Diana visit these kids. They absolutely loved them.
And then Sunday morning was at Emmanuel Church, where I was asked to preach. This church was planted by Alexander, who is the president of the SGA-supported Almaty Bible Institute. This church has many converts and is one of the fastest growing churches in the Baptist Union. There are a few fun videos of children singing. Last month the church celebrated “Woman’s Day.” So the ladies decided this month to have “Man’s Day.” They prepared a program for them after church, made fried chicken and had a few games. The men were blessed greatly.
And then in the evening we went to the more traditional style of worship, and was again asked to preach there. It was quite a bit more subdued, but beautiful and many of the staff at ABI attended the service.
And then this morning I was teaching from 1 Corinthians. I included a picture of the class, and also a few songs they sang during the break.
I teach tomorrow morning for four hours, and then head to the airport for a flight to my next stop. So the next updates will be from there. Thank you so much for your prayers and your faithful ministry to the churches here in Central Asia!