Story from the Field

Witnessing the Reconciling Power of God in Central Asia

The evening of March 9 was a special time. A few months ago, a group of local leaders and expat coaches began praying over the idea of gathering believers (an oppressed minority people group) together for a time of worship and prayer around the theme of reconciliation. On March 9, over a hundred believers from seven different city fellowships gathered together to sing, pray, and fellowship together. It was a sight to behold.

We had picked up our friends ‘Peter’ and ‘Grace’ (the believing couple we’ve known for years) on the way to the gathering. As soon as we arrived, they introduced us to another family of believers who actually live quite close to us! It seems that years ago when Peter and Grace lived near us, this family wasn’t walking closely with the Lord and were fearful of meeting with others, but that night they seemed joyful to be with other believers. J was surprised to see them there because they run the place that does the warrant of fitness for our car — “I thought that family seemed unusually happy!” he said. (We have plans to have them over soon and get better acquainted;

  • please pray for this family, father, mother, and two grown children in their 20s, to be filled with faith that conquers fear, and to become a shining light for Christ in our rural area.)

During the evening, a music team with members from several different fellowships led worship songs, accompanied by guitar and rhythmic percussion (on a tambourine-like hand drum), and the gathered voices sang with gusto. Some believers hadn’t seen each other in years, for one reason or another. Others had falling outs, or had broken off from each other’s fellowships. An elderly ****** grandfather gave an earnest message about unity, peppered with relaxed local humour,  from Ephesians 4:1-6. “Be completely humble and gentle,” he gently implored the room. “We are all ‘people of the Messiah’, we are no longer individual nationalities. We’re all one family, brothers and sisters — we need to love each other!”

We had to leave before the end of the evening for the two-hour drive home from the city, but Grace told us that after the message there was more singing, followed by a truly meaningful time of prayer and reconciliation — just what the group of  leaders had been praying for over the past few months. Grace said, “I felt so convicted by my older brother’s message [the speaker was actually her brother-in-law], I went and found so-and-so relative right away and invited her outside to talk. I apologised for my harsh words and she did too and we hugged each other and cried. All the ice around my heart just melted away, and happiness flooded in!” The believers stayed for fellowship together over tea and a lavish table of snacks, and many said they want to gather again soon. The leaders are talking of holding another large gathering in a few months’ time;

  • please pray between now and then there will be even more softening of hearts and moments of reconciliation, reparation and new growth between the believers.


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