In the Mountains of Central Asia

Lyn, now Interserve’s Regional Director for East Asia and the South Pacific, worked for many years in Central Asia, and helped to establish a TEE programme in that region. She sent us this story of God at work, moving mountains…..

M was a righteous young man who was a Muslim Mullah. He often used to scold the older men for drinking, because being a devout Muslim meant that followers were not supposed to touch alcohol. He himself was studying to be better equipped as a teacher, and he took his faith seriously. In his Central Asian homeland everyone was meant to be Muslim and only traitors turned away from this way of life.

One day whilst he was saying his prayers in Arabic, he suddenly found himself saying, in his mother tongue, “Jesus is Lord”. He cursed himself for such blasphemy, not knowing where it had come from. He thought he was losing his mind! He did it again, and again felt the pangs of guilt. Then, in his dreams, he met a man in white and the experience changed him profoundly. In the past he had been witnessed to by a Christian friend, and now he felt he must go to church with him. There he heard, and soon came to know and understood, that indeed Jesus is Lord.

M grew in his new-found faith and was asked to go and study theology at the Bible college. During this time, and immediately afterwards, God used him to plant two or three churches. But he found it both challenging and problematic that, in such a mountainous country, he could not get to visit his groups to nurture them. They would wait for his return, as their teacher, but it was not easy to get there, and it became all the more difficult when he started a family and had young children.

After some time, he was introduced to TEE and realised that this was just what he needed. Here was a way to help his groups grow in faith and practice even when he was not there! The book is the tutor and so, if the leader/facilitator of the group could be helped to use the material, then the group could grow and mature to be effective disciples of Jesus.

M now leads the TEE programme in his country, and he is convinced of its importance to help people, especially in isolated areas, to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Lord.