TAJIKISTAN – STANDING STRONG AMIDST CHALLENGES
Mike Ryan / Eurasia Regional Director
Many of you may remember Pastor Maxim and Pastor Volodya from Tajikistan who came and spoke at Highlands Community Church last January. Last year, they experienced significant challenges, but the Lord’s work continues.
In July 2016, a home adjacent to the church campus in the capital city caught fire. The fire rapidly spread to surrounding homes – and to a 3-story dormitory, classroom and cafeteria building on the church campus. The damaged building required substantial repairs. Thankfully, due to the generosity of the congregation at Highlands, our International Ministries was able to contribute $8,000 for the effort to rebuild.
In November, Pastor Volodya and his wife took their 2-year-old daughter Esther to St. Petersburg, Russia to have surgery on her leg. Esther was born with spina bifida and has had some development challenges. By God’s grace, Esther is now able to walk with the help of braces.
Throughout the country, the church has experienced an increase in threats from governmental authorities as they enforce rules prohibiting young people under 18 years old from attending church. This has created a tension that the church hasn’t had to deal with in many years. Highlands is committed to stand with the body of Christ in Tajikistan as they deal with this and other challenges.
In February, Jim Amandus, Simi Bilti and I will be traveling to Tajikistan. The primary purpose of the trip will be to identify specific areas where HCC can come alongside to equip and develop national church leaders. Additionally, we will explore how we can best partner with the local church to meet the very practical needs of the people in their communities.
Please continue to pray for the church in Tajikistan to be strong in the face of opposition, for the team from Highlands Community Church to follow the Lord’s leading, and for a great movement of the Holy Spirit to bring many into a personal relationship with Jesus.