Celebrating Fruit of Ministry
I remember having traveled this road from Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, to a city called Kulyab, located in the very South close to the border of Afghanistan.
It was over 10 years ago. I was traveling with Alexander Vervay, pastor of the Dushanbe church (who is with the Lord today), on destroyed roads, crossing several mountain passes. It took us 5 hours to travel the 200 km to Kulyab.
What was it that moved us to go there? It was a dream – of bringing people hope!
Kulyab is a place full of mosques and radical islamists, and at the time there was no evangelical church in Kulyab. But the Gospel had come to this place, and the first family of missionaries moved to Kulyab with the God-given vision to establish a Hope Center for street kids and kids from broken families.
When I first saw the place they had chosen for the Hope Center, I was shocked. There were three deteriorating clay buildings, and that was all… But there were also their living faith in the living God, their faithfulness and complete commitment to the Gospel – and there was their great love to the Tajik people and their children – and that changed it all!!! Yes, it was their dream to have a Hope Center on these ruins!
Recently, I went to Kulyab again, this time with John Sandager, Executive Director of BMG USA. And again God allowed me to see: that which is impossible for men is possible for Him. He can make a dream come alive! Here is some of what we saw in Kulyab:
We met a little girl Samira (3 years) in the Hope Center. About a year ago, a Tajik lady had brought her and her brother (4 years) to Christian believers, asking them to care for the kids for about a year, because she had to go to Russia for work. But the Christians knew that she would leave these little ones for a long time. They don’t have a place to live, and their father had often beaten up their mother and the kids.
Sherali and Alisher – two brothers from two different fathers. Their mother was a prostitute. They also have a little sister who stayed with their deaf-mute grandmother. The kids were in desperate poverty, begging neighbors for something to eat. They would swear and throw stones at those who refused to help them.
Then it was time for Sherali to go to school, but their mother did not care for the kids. She used to disappear for days and nights. Finally, their old grandmother asked the Christians for help, and they brought the boys to the Hope Center. This year, Sherali finished his first year at school – with good results.
As I was listening to these and other stories of children, I remembered the day when I had come to Kulyab for the first time and become witness of a dream brought to God out of ruins. I thank the Lord for the privilege of being a witness and for the opportunity of being part of a dream He has made come alive.
Thank you for your prayers,
Your brother Paul H.