Live Dead Silk Road encompasses nine countries in Central Eurasia: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We currently have 9 church planting teams strategically located throughout the region plus a team focused on training new missionaries in Istanbul, Turkey, called the Launch Team.
Our Vision and Mission
Live Dead Silk Road exists to see the widespread presence of the church among every unreached people group in Central Eurasia.
We are accomplishing this task by deploying church planting teams among the UPGs of Central Eurasia. Our church planting teams are highly focused on abundant sowing of the Gospel, training new believers in evangelism, discipleship, and church formation, and raising up indigenous leaders who are faithfully fulfilling the Great Commission.
- The key to realizing the widespread presence of the church in our area is church planting movements.
- The key to church planting movements is deploying fruitful church planting teams among the unreached peoples of our area.
- The key to effective church planting teams is leadership.
- The key to quickly developing many new leaders is the Launch Team which is our training team located in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Launch Team
To realize a movement of churches among our region’s 728 unreached people groups, we need many more church planting teams. The Launch Team, our training center in Istanbul, exists to prepare new workers for the harvest fields of Central Eurasia by helping members learn to abide in Jesus within the Muslim context, acquire the tools and skills necessary to learn a second (or third or fourth) language, and gain an understanding of and passion for crossing cultures to proclaim the Gospel to establish the church where it does not exist.
Vision and Prayer Trip
These trips are for groups (not individuals) from churches or districts who want to come to Central Eurasia for a week to pray, meet the Live Dead team on the ground, interact with Muslims, and get a sense for what it would take to work in Central Eurasia long-term.
Our internships tend to run during May and June. In this period you will join in with team life and outreach, study some language, and have opportunity to interact with the local people.
Give a Year
Your primary roles consist in practicing abiding in Christ in the missions context, learning language and culture, participating in team life with a learner’s heart, and volunteering as needed. You build relationships with nationals, seek to establish circles of influence, and participate in wide spread sowing of the Gospel. Credentialing classes (for licensing with Assemblies of God) are offered.
This is the recommended entry point for most new members. With a lower budget, you should be able to get to Central Eurasia more quickly. You may be invited to return long term when the first term is completed.
There are two paths to long term service: apply as an MA (Missionary Associate – 2 to 3 year initial term) or apply for full appointment (3 year initial term). Budgets vary according to category.
We have five goals for the first term of those who apply for full time service:
- Learn to Abide in Jesus in the Muslim Context
- Work towards linguistic and cultural fluency
- Study Missiology, Islamics, Church Planting,and classes for AG Credentialing if needed
- Learn to interact with team members from multiple nations, agencies, and backgrounds
- Have the desire and confidence to do missions work in the Muslim world for the rest of your life.
“Study Abroad” 4-6 months
LDSR partners with an expanding number of universities to offer study abroad opportunities for those looking to add experiential cross-cultural training to their existing degree program. Ideally this would occur during the spring semester extending a month or two into the summer months. This allows the students to participate in increased ministry opportunities after their school work is completed. Contact LDSR to find out if this is available through your school.
- What is a church planting movement?
- What is an unreached people group?
- What is a team?
- How am I going to learn the language?
- What skills do I need to join a team?
What is a church planting movement?
A Church Planting Movement (CPM) is a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment. To be classified as a CPM, a movement must produce a fourth-generation church, meaning that the first group plants another, which plants another, which plants another.
What is an unreached people group?
In our definition, which comes from JoshuaProject.net, unreached means more than simply lost: “An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.” Joshua Project’s criteria for a UPG is less than 2 percent evangelical Christian and less than 5 percent Christian adherent. Unreached people groups account for 97 percent of the total population of Central Eurasia.
What is a team?
When we discuss teams in Central Eurasia, and across all of Eurasia, we use a precise definition: A team is a small group of individuals with complementary skills committed to a common purpose and a specific set of performance goals.
How am I going to learn the language?
The idea of learning a new language can seem intimidating – even impossible, but anyone can in fact learn a new language! However, many workers are not equipped to learn languages before coming to the field, and many run into various barriers to successfully developing “ministry fluency.” Ministry fluency means speaking a language well enough to feel confident sharing the gospel, praying for others, counseling, sharing your testimony, and operating in the heart language of the target people.
The Launch Team focuses a great amount of time in language acquisition, holding team members accountable for hours and progress in learning, as well as protecting the time of new members to actually pursue language acquisition wholeheartedly.
Through the use of the Growing Participator Approach (GPA), you will learn not only a new language, but also the skills to acquire a third or fourth if needed. GPA emphasizes interaction with native speakers as a growing part of their community, so time spent language learning can also be time invested in ministry. This approach fits with contemporary insights into how the brain works in processing language, and also fits with the Launch Team’s focus on equipping men and women to become proclaimers in the target people group.
What skills do I need to join a team?
Live Dead Silk Road hold to a values based philosophy. God can use whatever skills a person has for His glory if his or her heart is firmly rooted in Christ. The priority is placed on developing intimacy with God, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and Christ-like attitudes and traits. All that is needed to begin is a humble and teachable spirit and a desire to see Muslims know Christ. Opportunities are available through the Launch Team to continue ministerial education, learn new skills, and glean wisdom from godly mentors.
Launch Team Location & Timing
Istanbul, Turkey, is a city of 17 million people representing dozens of Central Eurasian ethnolinguistic groups. Most of the people groups we are trying to reach in Central Eurasia are in restrictive contexts—but we can interact with many of them as they spend time in Istanbul before moving back to their own countries or other contexts. This combination of mobility into and out of a megacity creates an excellent training ground for our future team leaders and team members. Before they step into more challenging environments throughout Central Eurasia, they will be able to learn the language and culture of their target people groups and make plans to engage their contexts once their training is complete.
The Launch Team calendar is made up of language blocks, vision and prayer trips (VPTs), intensive workshops, rest, and an annual area conference. New participants in the Launch Team can arrive at several points throughout the year. Summer interns should plan to come in May. Those coming for a one- or two-year assignment can arrive in May, September, or January.