Hope and Joy in Central Asia

'His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me..'

Sadly, many children today are faced with growing up not only in a hostile world but in family homes which should be a safe sanctuary but are often dysfunctional and broken down. Poverty, drug addiction, abuse and fractious relationships between parents, are the ‘norm’ for many children. The outlook is bleak and hopeless; a downward spiral of depressing times ahead – even life on the street – is all that many young people have as their life’s outlook.

However, there is hope, light, even in the darkest of tunnels, and thankfully they are not forgotten. The God who knows when even a sparrow falls and the Saviour who exhorted His disciples to ‘suffer the little children to come unto me’ will not forget these little ones.

Through partnership with our Bibel-Mission friends in Central Asia, SGA[UK] is supporting believers in those regions to reach out to seemingly hopeless and joyless situations. Hope Centres or literally ‘Centres bringing Hope’ are springing up in many areas of Kazakhstan offering much needed practical help along with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ – places of refuge in a time of trouble.

In these centres many children who faced ‘life on the street’ are provided with a safe, secure place to live, good food to eat, and a daily routine that has structure and purpose. The care of believers from local churches has brought them ‘life-changing’ experiences. For mothers and their children, access to a Hope Centre with a playground, hot food, a wash and change of clothes once or twice a week is a real blessing. Here they also learn to pray and give God thanks for His provision.

Sergey Kadyrkulov, Director of one Hope Centre, says ‘We have a real burden for the Kurdish people in our area. We especially want to help children who may be in a difficult situation through no fault of their own. Food, clothes, dental and optical checks are all provided through our centre.’

Always the Gospel message is at the heart of everything that is done at these Centres, for this is the only real hope for the world. At the Hope Centres, children can come to know Jesus Christ. They can learn work skills for school and professional skills. They can just be children, who are loved, respected and protected. At the moment Bibel-Mission and SGA[UK] are helping to support about thirty-five such centres.

Joy of Christmas 2
Joy of Christmas 1

Many SGA supporters will be aware of ‘Shoebox’ appeals which are organised here in the UK for Christmas time ministry in Eastern Europe. In Central Asia the same sort of project is organized locally. BM/SGA provide funds for the C. Asia ‘Joy of Christmas’ project, through which parcels of essential daily items and children’s toys are given out to needy families at Christmas. Opportunity is taken to relate the Christmas story, to share the real message of Christmas with many who may not know the Bible’s story of Christ’s birth.

Please remember prayerfully both these Children’s Ministries especially as we approach this Christmas time.