West Asia has a rich and ancient history – stemming from a cross-roads of cultures along trade routes for centuries. Along with its naturally beautiful landscape and cultures with a passion for hospitality, it was the center of the Christian world for over 1,000 years – including many early churches in the first century. The majority faith today is Islam – which this area has in common with both Central Asia and with the Arab World. Still, its history includes influential waves from other world views.
In some parts of this region the church faces severe persecution and pressure. Millions of refugees, internally displaced peoples, and voluntary migration mark the people movements to and through West Asia, and are the result of some of the most heartbreaking humanitarian crises in modern history.
Historically the economies in this part of the world have been agrarian, but the global trends of urbanization are creating larger cities with new employment opportunities and a broader range of social dynamics. Interserve has responded by working alongside local efforts to serve and address the demands created by refugees and migrants – and through that loving people, offering support and a hope that is an attractive fragrance. Local churches are often more than a partner in this work, they teach us and open to us greater understanding of the love God calls us to extend.
Central Asia generally refers to the former USSR republics that gained independence since 1991. The cultures of this area are influenced by northern and western Chinese and Mongolian cultures as well as by Persian and Turkish cultures from the south and west. The result is a strong sense of community, warm hospitality and a love for education. Their rich history includes poets, scientists and social arts. While the area is rich in resources, they face a number of common challenges – to which the international community has both helped and exploited in the past 2.5 decades.
Economic crises, social concerns, political strife and limited means to address health issues have eroded their post-independence exuberance and joy. Interserve, through our personal, serves the disheartened and disenfranchised to offer hope and a future.
- Community development
- Medical, dental and nursing practitioners
- Church ministry
- Providing front-line care for refugee families, from trauma relief counselling to sharing cups of tea, stories, tears and Jesus
- Discipling local and refugee believers and equipping them to serve the marginalised
- Enabling special education programs for refugee children
- Providing trauma recovery treatment planning for refugee children
- Initiating new programs at the refugee centre, and handing these on to local and refugee leadership
- Using technology to make relief efforts sustainable
- Hosting short-term workers and teams to have most meaningful impact
To learn more about service opportunities in this region, please contact one of our National Offices.