Live Dead Silk Road encompasses nine countries in Central Eurasia: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We currently have nine church planting teams strategically located throughout the region plus three training teams, called Launch Teams, focused on training new missionaries in Turkey, the North, and the Southeast of the Silk Road.
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.
We use training teams to build fundamental skills and practices and to shape character and devotional patterns so that we can flourish and be fruitful among these millions of lost. Currently our training teams, called Launch Teams, are in three locations: Launch Team Turkey, Launch Team North, and Launch Team Southeast.
The Launch Teams
To realize a movement of churches among our region’s 729 unreached people groups, we need many more church planting teams.
To this end we have three Launch Teams that cover three different core language families. With 729 people groups, we have a great variety of languages that are mostly related in at least three different groups. In order to better prepare people for the location they will eventually serve in on a church planting team, we have strategically placed our Launch Teams among the various locations.
The Launch Teams exist to prepare new workers for the harvest fields of Central Eurasia by helping new missionaries 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 passion for crossing cultures to proclaim the gospel to establish the church where it does not exist.
Launch Team Locations
Istanbul, Turkey, is a city of 17 million people representing dozens of Central Eurasian ethnolinguistic groups. Most of the people groups we aim 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 in 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.
A country of soaring mountains, breathtaking vistas, and peoples scattered between up-and-coming cities and villages isolated by high mountain passes, the North represents the unique peoples who have lived in the Central Asian steppes for thousands of years. Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are countries with border lines that were drawn in recent history with fierce cousin ethnic groups interspersed throughout. They have deeply rooted pride, are fiercely loyal to their own clans, and work in harsh environments in effort to establish their belonging and care for their families.
This part of the world has unique challenges with high migrant populations, significant poverty, and rugged living for all. With one foot in Islam and one foot in ancient ancestral worship, the peoples of the North offer an opportunity to understand and reach the precious peoples across Central Asia. Learn practices in team life, navigational skills for either an urban or rural context, and establish life and ministry along the Silk Road.
Launch Team Southeast sits nestled in the mountainous beauty of Central Eurasia. The Persian-speaking inhabitants of our land are a fiercely independent mix of ethnicities and tribes. Hospitality, tradition, and honor are evident at the open tables of all who venture here. Although both poverty and war are normal for this part of our world, generosity and laughter abound.
These 7-10 day trips expose you to a new perspective on work and life among the unreached as you participate in intense learning, focused intercession, and bold proclamation.
March 8-15 (Istanbul; FULL)
March 15-22 (Istanbul; FULL)
June 21-28 (Istanbul)
July 5-12 (Istanbul; FULL)
July 12-19 (Istanbul)
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; 2-3 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.
- What is life like on a team in LDSR?
- What can I expect to come away with from a Launch Team?
- 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 life like on a team in LDSR?
- Fast and Pray for Many: In addition to daily personal abiding, we commit to extra seasons of prayer and fasting for mass movements of the unreached world to come to Jesus.
- Equip and Encourage: We place a high priority on language learning, cultural acquisition, and missiological training.
- Sow Broadly: We commit to share the good news of Jesus as broadly as possible—with neighbors, friends, shopkeepers, strangers—with everyone.
- Sow Intentionally: We will endeavor to learn where people go when they are spiritually hungry and go there.
- Invite a Response to the Gospel: Rather than relegating conversations about the Jesus to an interesting exchange of religious ideas, we commit to gently but boldly encourage the hearers of gospel to respond.
- Follow-Up Immediately: We commit to follow-up immediately with those who have responded positively to the gospel.
- Cultivate Active Participation in the Faith: We commit to teach those on the journey of faith to not just be hearers, but to put His words into practice.
- Model Church Well: We commit to model what it means to be a Christian community of faith in a way that is simple, natural, and culturally relevant so that believers can “be church” even if we are forced to leave or led to go to another pioneering context.
- Be Patient and Gracious: We commit to being persistent in patience and generous in grace with believers and the newly forming church.
- Assess and Adapt: We commit to continually assessing our role in the process of church planting and adapt appropriately.
What can I expect to come away with from a Launch Team?
Regardless of where you go, we have seven primary goals for those who join a Launch Team.
- Learn to abide in Jesus while living among the unreached.
- Work towards linguistic and cultural fluency.
- Study missiology and have the opportunity to study towards Assemblies of God credentialing, if needed.
- Learn to live together and work in a team from many backgrounds.
- Create a rhythm of life with the desire and ability to balance a lifelong commitment to live and work among the unreached.
- Establish identity in country.
- Plant the church.
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, or 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 Teams focus 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 Teams’ 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 Teams to continue ministerial education, learn new skills, and glean wisdom from godly mentors.