Friends & Partners
We have much to be thankful for this past year. A home for women at risk became a reality in Tajikistan. So far as we know this is the only home for women in that nation of seven million people. It came about as two young prostitutes came to Jesus and immediately began seeking to help other girls on the street. There are now six women in the home (which can accommodate twelve) but two are very sick. The reality is that, apart from healing miracles, this home may provide hospice care for many due to high rates of aids and TB infection.
Also in Tajikistan we are thankful that one of the homes for men, where they were building bee hives for sale, has moved near to Dushanbe. The former location was very small and about three hours away. This location is larger and comes with over a hector of land so they are talking about gardens and raising rabbits as well as raising bees. This is one of two rehabs for men led by our friends in Tajikistan. They are small, simple and stress prayer and work as the primary means of recovery and there are dozens of graduates all over Tajikistan. Some who return to their home villages in the remote mountains are the first followers of Jesus in their communities.
Over the past couple of years we have been disappointed to see that much of what took place in Kyrgyzstan since 2002 in terms of the multiplication of disciples and simple communities, has faded. Some active disciple makers moved to Russia to be able to work and support their families. Several active brothers and sisters returned to their old life styles of substance abuse. Some others were drawn into more traditional church expressions. (Unfortunately some groups still actively recruit other believers. Of course the truth is that recruitment as a means of finding leadership is a death strategy. For any movement to succeed, it must grow its own!) However, several friends do continue to work in Kyrgyzstan and one sister is actively involved in reaching out to the Dungans, an unreached people group of Chinese Muslims that number about 100,000 in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The friends in Kazakhstan continue to make disciples. A former leading Kazakh Muslim has found a community of support and friendship with our friends there as he continues to share Jesus across Kazakhstan. They have one large community that lives in a former Soviet era bath house in a very bad part of their city and are in process of building another community on land outside the city. Rehabilitation communities are very important in Kazakhstan where a high majority of young men are substance abusers.
The Luke 10 Manual is now in ten languages! The Burmese edition was just published last month and that brother is now working on a version in Tedin for a tribal group of about 100,000 that live in Burma/Myamar. He hopes to have that published in May of 2013. (All ten versions are available on our website under the Luke 10 tab at the very top of the opening page. Let people know!)
This year was also a transition year for us from partial support to providing for our own living and travel expenses so that we can invest all that we receive in our friends in Central Asia and other parts of the world. We also moved from southern Ontario to Manitoulin Island in the north near to Marilyn’s parents. Our new mailing address is Box 352, Mindemoya, Ontario, P0P 1S0
While waiting in the airport terminal in Dushanbe last May I struck up a conversation with a man who was with the world bank. He was a very interesting individual who had started his career in finance and business with Ikea. He was seeking to invest money in development in order to promote job growth and stem economic migration from countries like Tajikistan. He asked me what I was doing and I explained a little but then began to talk about our investment in small projects like bee keeping and bee hive making. His comment? “What you are doing actually works. What I am doing only fuels corruption.”
The video here is to a very interesting Ted Talk about helping the poor :
Thank you for helping us help some of the least and the last.
Would you pray about partnering with us in the year to come?
Steve & Marilyn