No American missionaries have ever traveled to the eastern mountain region of Tajikistan which is just north of the Afghanistan border. It is too dangerous, and Americans are not welcomed. However, through an unlikely source Akbar now believes in Jesus:
Growing up in the eastern mountain region of Tajikistan, just north of the Afghanistan border, Akbar only knew about one prophet whose name is Mohammad. Americans are not welcomed in this region and no missionary has ever traveled to his town because it is too dangerous.
However, through an unlikely source, Akbar now believes in Jesus.
Most teenage boys, including Akbar, who live in their town have three possible futures; drug addiction, migrating to Russia as seasonal workers, or fighting in Muslim holy wars. Muslim extremism is common among their neighbors, many of whom have fought alongside ISIS, the Taliban, and in other holy wars throughout the Middle East.
Akbar and his buddies met several Ukrainians this summer who arrived in their town and organized soccer games and Russian language lessons. Akbar was intrigued by the life of these Ukrainians. His new Ukrainian friends invited him to a week-long youth camp in the mountains. Attending camp was a big adventure for him. Akbar and his friends arrived at the mountain camp where they continued to play games, study more Russian language, and started learning about the teachings of Jesus.
Akbar wanted to leave the camp mid-way through the week because he didn't like the camp rules. He could not smoke and thought the curfew at night was too early. He called his mom to pick him up but before he walked to his mom's car, he told his Ukrainian friends that he was leaving. When the Ukrainians explained how sad they would be if he left the camp Akbar decided he did not want to disappoint them and so he stayed.
During the remaining days of the camp Akbar learned more about Jesus. On the last night, Akbar and his friends were sitting around an evening fire having a conversation. Akbar kept getting up from the fire to ask the Ukrainians questions about Jesus. He would return to his friends and explain the answers. Finally, he went to one of the Ukrainians and said, "I now believe in Jesus and I must help my friends believe." That night Akbar helped four of his friends to believe in Jesus.
These Ukrainians are short-term missionaries and were sent from a Ukrainian church that is mobilized and supported by Storyline. Storyline exists to help the global church accelerate missionary sending to the unreached. We are mobilizing non-Western cross-cultural workers to go to the hard to reach places in the world where there is no witness for Christ and Westerners are not welcome. We educate, inspire, and resource mission's movements in Latin America, the Caribbean islands, Africa, and Eastern Europe to join God's global mission to the unreached. These Ukrainian missionaries in Tajikistan were funded, prayed for, and sent in partnership with Storyline. Praise God for the emerging global church and far reaching places they can go to share the love of Christ with young men like Akbar and his friends.
-Thank you to 2019 BLESS beneficiary, Storyline
Category: Mobilizing Cross-Cultural Workers