Deanna is a graduate student that loves to compete in equine sports and shows. Please read as she shares about her short term trip to Central Eurasia.
A region of the world I never thought I’d go. Through the American perspective, I only knew a negative view. I had no idea about the landscape, language, culture, or people and never had an interest to know.
But God decided He wanted me in Central Eurasia and placed a longing in my heart to see part of the world I had never dreamed of going. He broke my heart and put it back together with an immense love for these people. I so desperately wanted to get to know these people even though I had no idea what they looked like or what language they spoke. So, when I finally arrived, I felt at home.
One city completely changed my American perspective on Central Eurasia. I was in a bustling city with more forms of transportation than I thought was possible, but filled with the most loving and generous people I have ever met. They were soft spoken, but curious and full of life. They want to engage in conversation, drink coffee and tea, and talk about faith. But this city is so broken. From our balcony, we could see 20 mosques looming in the distance. We heard the call to prayer happen and witnessed the people flock to the mosques, especially on Fridays.
My initial reaction was this city was doomed, but that is not the case at all. This city is like a lost sheep who so desperately wants to come home but has no idea where home is, so it keeps wandering farther and farther from home. That is the case for all Central Eurasia. They so desperately need people to love them enough to meet them where they are and have the courage to share their faith. To show them how to get home.
Courage is so difficult though. My first day of sharing my faith the locals scared me to death. How am I supposed to talk to people who believe something completely different and not cross any lines? Well, there is a beautiful story of this in the Old Testament. In the book of Jonah, Nineveh was a massive city full of very violent sinners. After a quick detour, Jonah, with a lot of help from God, told the Ninevites that God would smite their city if they did not repent. Once Nineveh had heard of their sin, an entire city repented and turned to God immediately.
Imagine people who love the Lord so much that they have the boldness to openly share their faith with those who long for it… Hearts get changed.
Now, in my week, I did not witness changing hearts. But I did witness seeds being planted and eyes start to be opened. I know God is in control and has already started tending to those seeds.
What happens in short-term mission’s trips is insanely important because seeds are so eagerly planted in people. And short-term mission’s trips are immensely important in Central Eurasia because these people need Jesus.
All it takes is three seconds of bravery to be obedient and say yes, and God will take care of the rest.