“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.” – Psalm 67:3-4a (ESV)
For a number of years, the leadership team in one Central Asian country have been praying for a specific region—“a difficult place, spiritually, with a proud and aggressive tribe of Central Asians,” described Kevin*, the OM country leader. “Very few churches exist in the three major cities, and these churches face significant persecution from authorities and the community.”
OM in Central Asia is seeking to mobilise existing churches to reach beyond their walls and recognise their role in reaching people in their region who have never heard about Jesus. One of the most strategic tools for introducing Central Asians to missions is OM’s annual Central Asian outreach, where participants gather for centralised training before being sent out in small teams for short-term outreach trips.
When one local pastor was asked about participating in the Central Asian outreach this year, he said that God was leading his church to engage the same area of the country that OM had been praying about. In fact, the church already had some contacts in one of the cities and wanted to send a team there.
“Their vision was to open a church there although they hadn’t even visited the place yet,” Kevin said. “The team went [on outreach], shared the gospel and experienced God working in amazing ways, opening up situations for spiritual conversations and opening eyes to see Jesus.”
When they returned, the short-term team shared about their experiences, and “their enthusiasm was infectious,” Kevin explained. “As their pastor of 20 years listened, he was touched by their experience and said, ‘We should send more people, maybe everyone, to everywhere… to share the gospel!’”
OM’s Central Asian outreach aims to see the gospel going out to every village and city of Central Asia and to see the lives of those participating in the outreaches changed for His glory. This church team’s eager participation—and their pastor’s subsequent response—encouraged OM leadership to continue pressing forward in the ministry.
“Not only did we see God drawing people to Himself, not only [did we see] participants transformed as they experienced God work, but also the pastor and the sending church have been challenged to be declaring Jesus to the unreached parts of their country and beyond, and seeking to reproduce their vibrant community of Jesus followers across Central Asia,” Kevin said.
Praise God for the short-term team’s fruitful time in an unreached area! Pray that God would continue to open doors into this region for OM and local believers to share the gospel of Jesus with those who have never heard.
*Name changed for security
Nicole is a world traveller and writer for OM International, based in the US. She’s passionate about partnering with believers to communicate the ways God is working across the globe. In her free time, you’ll find her biking, paddle boarding or curling up with coffee and a good book.