Rejoicing in hope
By Savannah Brewer | Central Asia
Representative photo via Unsplash.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in Tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Lina* lives with her ten children and struggles to get by. Emotional trauma from the past and the daunting needs of the present cloud her days.
Marina* occupies a house that reeks of alcohol and blocks out the sun. Dark days led to a relapse into alcoholism and a mental breakdown.
Hope is hard to come by for many of these women and children living in Central Asia, but the building of a new crisis centre gives reason for rejoicing.
Laura*, a worker in the region, says, "This crisis centre will be a safe house for women who want to escape the domestic violence they suffer at home or face any other form of anxiety or trouble.”
The centre aims to provide holistic care for those living in need.
This project is the inspiration of Central Asian worker Mary* and her two friends. She has lived in the country for many years and has seen first-hand the trauma inflicted by homelessness, street life, abuse, and helplessness.
While only Christ can provide ultimate healing, Laura and the team aim to care for the physical and emotional needs of vulnerable women and children in their community.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to talk about the gospel and Christianity in this region and Laura has been able to share and discuss Bible passages with some of the women in her community, “If I have the chance I take it,” she said.
The organisation set up to build this centre was founded in 2018, and it has taken many years for all the official documents to be finalised. But is now all approved and the centre is taking shape brick by brick.
Just as this crisis centre aim is to support and encourage these women and children, the construction of the building itself has come with unexpected encouragement and blessing.
There have been many obstacles along the way. Financial struggles, the war in Ukraine and staffing needs have all presented challenges, but God has provided help. In his faithfulness, the funds for the centre roof were provided and that is now being built.
The centre aims to provide practical advice sessions on how to save money and pay back debts, trauma healing, health concerns, job training, and job searching among others.. The staff will also offer school activities, childcare, medical and psychological care, as well as an office space and kitchen.
The goal is for women to become self-sufficient. The centre will support them as they learn skills, search for a living space, and find schooling for their children.
Laura currently makes home visits to many of the needy women in her community. Once the building is complete, it will provide a safe house for some of these women and their children. It will also be a shelter for a kids’ club and project days.
Lina is just one of the women who could be helped at the centre. She left her husband because it was no longer safe for her and her children to live with him. Emotionally exhausted, and financially depleted, Lina is hard-pressed to provide for her children.
“Lina would benefit from the courses we would offer at the centre,” said Laura, “because she needs to find a job once the younger children are a bit older.”
The centre would also offer Lina* companionship, in place of the loneliness she suffers from staying at home most of her days and not having friends in the city.
“The centre would offer her new friends, new conversations, and community,” Laura said.
Marina is a mother and wife but was drawn to alcohol as a quick fix to the problems and darkness in her life. Marina’s health declined, and she had to spend a few days in a clinic.
Laura has formed a friendship with Marina as well, and talks to her about her emotions, fears, hopes and wishes.
“Marina would really benefit from this centre,” said Laura. “Especially from the education training and the job training. A few months ago, she told me, that she wants to go to work and find a kindergarten for her son. This would be something she could work on in the shelter house, preparing the documents and the application, learning how to find a job and a kindergarten for her son.”
Although it may be slow, construction continues, “When I came, I thought, nothing happened on the construction”, Laura shared, “but now I can see, how He provides and takes care.”
-For the financial resources needed for construction to continue. The team hopes to finish building in December.
-For the team, that there would be cohesion and growth despite different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
-For the families, who workers like Laura currently visit and encourage.