Building good relationships in a tough place
New relationships surprise an anonymous central Asia SIM worker.
By Anonymous Central Asia worker,
It’s difficult to share the gospel in places where no one has heard of Jesus. That was true for SIM's founding fathers, and it’s still true today. This story has been written by one of our workers in central Asia, who has been living there for a little over a year and is concentrating on building relationships, while working out how best to tell people about Jesus.
I have many interesting conversations with the people we meet, especially the drivers who take us around the region. After peppering me with questions for hour after hour, one man finally declared: “If everyone was like you, there would be no wars in the world! There wouldn’t be the need for country borders or for wars.”
On one journey, while I was taking an evening walk in town with visiting tourists, we were approached by numerous people on the street. Eventually, one new acquaintance insisted that we go to her home the next day, even though it was several hours’ drive away. Her persistence was unmatched.
By 10 p.m. that night, less than two hours after our first meeting, she had become the one quickest to have told me she loved me. The following day, she had assembled a house full of people milling about to throw us a feast. So many of them showed us great acts of kindness, both in word and deed.
On walks to and from the workplace, people continue to stop me, asking if they can talk for a while. These are tremendous blessings of love showered upon me. I pray that I can reciprocate their love through his God’s Spirit in me.
One visible act of love was noticed and commented on by people living nearby, when some visiting tourists who were concerned about my short-term lack of access to water, carried water to my home. This type of expression of love means something here, and I thank the Lord for visiting folks like this, ready to display it in action. The bottom line is that I really can’t wait to see what God has coming up next.
* In gratitude for all the workers who have shared Jesus in Asia.
* For God’s word to spread among the huge numbers of people who have never heard of Jesus in central Asia.
* For many more courageous workers to be raised up for this challenging but rewarding long-term mission work.
* For all the workers in central Asia to build good, firm friendships with local people, who might then be inspired to ask questions about faith, about belief and about who God is.