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An Uzbek man and boy crouch by the side of the road, deep in conversation.

THE LORD’S FAITHFULNESS IN THE FORMER USSR

10 April 2018

We recently received a report from a TWR team member working in Central Asia, who wanted to remind us of the Lord’s faithfulness in difficult circumstances. He had recently revisited the city where he had served for two years in the army.

“During that time under the communist regime, there was no room for Christian convictions. In fact, it was quite the opposite as Christianity was harshly punished. The situation eventually grew more tense and I was arrested with the threat of a court hearing. But the Lord is faithful. He led the circumstances in such a way that I was dismissed after a few days. It was a moving experience for me to be able to visit this city after so many years. Not only that, but for many years I could share the Gospel of Jesus with these people of the former Soviet Union.”

During his time revisiting the city he met believers who had paid a high price for following Jesus.

One man’s relatives were so angry about his decision to follow Jesus that they gave him an ultimatum: Either your Jesus, or your family. He chose Jesus, so they took his wife and children, cleared out his flat, and left him there alone. It was very hard for him, but he prayed a lot. After a while, his wife got in touch with him and requested to continue their relationship. As time went on, one after the other accepted Christ and started to commit their lives to him.

Thinking about media ministry and looking back at how God has worked in TWR, we cannot help but proclaim loudly, “The Lord is faithful!” We are very grateful that the long series “Thru the Bible” in Uzbek has now been completed. TWR co-workers were able to record all the programmes despite travel restrictions. Last year, the translation of the Uzbek Bible was completed, and now the recording of the series is completed too. God is faithful! The team have experienced this truth in a very tangible way.

The team in Central Asia would love to record a dramatised version of the Bible and create what is known as an audio Bible: short radio programmes where the Bible text is read followed by short explanations. Programmes like this are very effective in these mainly oral cultures.

“It is a good thing to have these radio programmes,” is the consensus of local believers. The leaders of house churches have stressed several times how important it is to provide radio receivers for small groups of believers. The leaders are rarely able to visit them and fellowship with them, but the radios would be able to support the growth of believers in remote areas. These radio receivers are like messengers.

In addition to the radio programmes, TWR makes use of the opportunity to copy the content onto micro SD cards. Such mini SD cards can be discreetly passed around to friends and seekers, which has proved to be an effective way to reach young people.

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Hebrews 10.23

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