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Feb 01, 2024
Central Asia
Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Central Asia.

This story comes from Elizabeth in Central Asia.  She shares with us about a woman, named Fotima, whose life was drastically changed after hearing the Gospel. Even with the hardships she has faced—being born into a Muslim family, her own past sin, and translation issues standing in the way—God knew the path to Fotima’s heart

Through a German woman ministering in the same town, a bond was being made through Bible reading and prayer. Today, God has continued to lead Fotima down a path that follows Him. Although still enduring difficult circumstances, bountiful growth is happening in her life journey. Please continue to pray for Fotima and her husband as they venture down a new road.  

From Elizabeth …

This comes from a city located in one of the former Soviet countries of Central Asia. Currently, there are territorial disputes in this region. This is the city where 19 years ago, a pastor was shot during a service with a guitar in his hands.. It was done by a radical Islamist who did not want believers to be in his radical city. But God has other plans, even for the darkest of places. And through the death of a minister in that city, a door was opened for Christ.

Fotima grew up in a Muslim family in a very radicalized village. Several mosques in the area have been closed due to suspicions of terrorism. Fotima had a difficult life—married several times, and she lost her eyesight. When she was left without her second husband, her family refused to take her back. Fotima could not work because of her poor eyesight and asked to stay with a friend for a couple of days, where she met her third husband, but she became a second wife for him. 

Fotima was very nervous. She ruined relations with everyone, she fought, she was not happy and took pills to calm down.One day she was visiting and there came a woman from Germany. They read the Bible and talked. Fotima realized that she needed help and after a few days she personally approached this German woman, they met, and she told her about Jesus. After that they began to meet and pray regularly. It was a very long road because Fotima was nervous and irritated by everything. But after a while she believed. At that time, Fotima lived near the church, but since there was no translation in our language, she did not come, and they met at home. 

A year later, this woman from Germany introduced me to Fotima as a language teacher. We began to communicate, and we also prayed and read the Bible together. When the translation came to the church, Fotima immediately started coming to the meetings. She really grew stronger in her faith because she not only studied the Bible in church, but also read and prayed at home every day. Because she came from a Muslim family, she did not tell her family that she was a believer. But they noticed how much she had changed.

She began to visit her relatives more often, she became calm, did not swear, smiled, and after a while she started to talk a little about God with them, but very carefully. Fotima is a very good teacher for children, although she does not have this education. She loves children and knows how to explain things to them and communicate with them. That is why we hired her to work in one of our villages. Her husband lives in Russia, he knows that Fotima is a believer and does not forbid her to go to church, because when they met, she also quarreled with him every day, but now he has seen a big change in her. Fotima recently went to Russia to stay with her husband, and he promised her that she could continue to attend church in Russia. 

When she became a believer, she confessed to herself that she had been taking pills and decided to quit. She prayed for a long time and God delivered her because it was like an addiction, she could not live without the pills. Many people saw a change in her … neighbors, relatives, and acquaintances. Even though she went to Russia, she still reads the Bible and was with us online at the group. Since she doesn’t know Russian yet and doesn’t have her documents, she doesn’t leave the house.

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