Have you heard the expression “Boots on the Ground?” Well our Live Dead Missionaries are the boots on the Silk Road. Here we’d like to take a moment and allow one of them to share a snapshot of their life with you. Some names and details have been changed, but this is a true story from this colorful, vibrant, and sometimes surprising region.
During my first term in Central Eurasia, I was on a Live Dead training team in a large, crowded city. I loved my experience there, but found it a bit difficult to make close friends my age. For my second term, God led my small team and I to a much smaller, less reached city in another part of the country. I knew that this new place would be lonelier in a lot of ways. There wouldn’t be several other English speaking foreigners to hang out with. The culture of this new city is much more traditional and religious than where I was living before. So, I expected that it might be a big adjustment, but as I prepared to move there I begin to pray very specifically for God to send me a good local friend.
Just a couple weeks after moving, my teammates and I were introduced to a local family who helped us with a few things. I found out they had a daughter my age, Anna, who was also single. I started to get excited, “Maybe this is the friend I was praying for…” I thought.
Fast forward some months and I am happy to say that this pray was answered in abundance! Anna has become such a close friend who I can share anything with. One night, I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to invite her over, because she had recently gone through a difficult situation. There came this moment after dinner where I knew I should share with her from Psalm 37:4-5, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
I shared with her that God loves us and desires what is best for us. He isn’t holding out on us. Instead, He protects us and leads us in the right direction. This led into sharing some examples from my own life in this area with her. How sometimes it’s so hard for us to trust, but we must let go of control. She was in tears, but left encouraged. As she left, she said,
I have friends here that I’ve known for 20 years and I can’t talk to them about any of these things. But you’re like my sister.
Anna has visited the local church with me, participated in some of our holidays and has heard about Jesus in several different ways and conversations. I know that the very fact that God placed her in my life and has drawn us so close together is reason enough to believe that He is drawing her to Himself.
Would you pray with me that Anna’s eyes would be opened to see the beautiful and gracious gift of salvation that is freely offered to her through Jesus?