What an opportunity we were afforded to bring the love of Jesus to a people group who knows very little about Him. I went with my 2 oldest sons, and watch them grow into leaders before my very eyes! I can not thank you enough for your part in sending us! Here are some “God sightings” from the trip:
Financial provision – it was a daunting amount of money, and we had
exactly what we needed THE DAY before we left. He showed up big and He showed up right on time!
Energy – each day was A LOT of work and A LOT of walking (as soon as we hit the ground. No time to adjust time zones). I had several presentations to prepare for that were difficult (not knowing the people and the culture). God provided the time and think space in just the right moments to prepare and execute. He gave me the energy and the words.
Team Unity – even though we all follow Christ, team unity isn’t always a guarantee. There were a few conflicts we had to work through (especially when tired), but even through those – humble hearts, great communication, our commitment to Christ, and the mission caused us to become a fast family.
Ability to speak with Muslims – most of us had not done this type of ministry before. We had some training, but we had no idea how we’d be received in these conversations. The majority of conversations we had were with Muslims, and they were very open to talk about Jesus and His claims to be God!
Boys’ leadership growth – Both Gabe and Jake were challenged to lead group games, personal stories, small groups, and share the gospel one on one with students. It was stretching, but they saw God use them.
Increased contacts for the local team – one of our highest objectives was to draw students to the center so the local Cru team could have new contacts to follow up. Hundreds of new students showed up!!
Personal conversations– Jamala, Anara, Aidai, Nurbubu, Zhibek, Islam (yes that’s his name), and Bek. These are all people who are Muslims who are now considering the claims of Christ. Jamala and Anara accepted Bibles from me and were challenged to read Luke & Acts. Please pray for these dear friends (and many more that the rest of the team had these conversations with). I will keep in touch with them and continue these conversations over Whatsapp and Instagram, and the local team is following up with more conversations and Bible studies as well.
From Gabe: This trip was really cool for me. I really enjoyed seeing the country and how different yet similar to America it was. During the camp, I had great experiences leading games and a couple of small groups. I think I really grew in leadership during this time. Outside of the camp was really fun. We spent time with students, talking and sharing with each other. I got to help share the Gospel with a few students there, and made a couple friends, too. Although the people I talked to about Jesus were not interested in accepting him just then, I was encouraged to hear that other students at the camp did. Overall, this was a very interesting experience and I’m glad I decided to go.
From Jake: This trip has been very fun and exciting, and I’m glad I went. I have really enjoyed spending time with all of the friends from Central Asia, as well as sharing the Gospel with them. During the camp, it was fun to see how much their English improved as time went on, and outside of the camp, it was great to change people’s lives by sharing the gospel with them. I think that I grew in my ability to share important things with people, and I now have more experience sharing the gospel with people. I think that I am now more prepared to go out into my school and my life and share the gospel with confidence and the love of God.
Simple joys for our family – ping pong, sand volleyball, swimming, dance parties, karaoke, board games… these are all things we love, and ample opportunity to bond with the students over these things. Thanks, God!