Breaking New Ground

The vast majority of the twelve million Uighur live in Western China, but there are significant communities in Central Asia. They are an unreached people who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Overwhelmingly Muslim, only 0.01% Uighur are Christian and even fewer are evangelical believers.

Nikolai Bobkov trained at Almaty Bible Institute, and after experiencing God’s call to go to evangelize the Uighur, moved with his wife Olga and three children in 2017, to the city of Chundza. Chundza is the centre of the Uighur in south-eastern Kazakhstan, only 80km from the Chinese border.

The Bobkovs are sponsored by SGA.

The Bobkov Family

This is hard and unfertile soil for the Gospel. Unsuccessful attempts have been made in the past to establish an evangelical church. The house in which the Bobkovs now live was provided by SGA[UK] back in 2004 for an earlier missionary family. They are seeking to build relationships and trust.

Local Uighur are suspicious of Russians who have a reputation for being lazy drunkards. They have further suspicions about Baptists who are rumoured to sacrifice their children!

Through Bibel–Missions' Child Sponsorship project, they are seeking to support low income and dysfunctional families, but even this has proved difficult. One woman had to quit her job to care for her ill son. She needed money to buy medicine but was still unwilling to accept help!

The Uighur are superstitious and believe that in receiving help they will also receive evil energy and something bad will happen.

To overcome the impression of laziness, Nikolai has acquired an allotment and started to grow potatoes. Forty bags were produced last year and these were distributed among neighbours. Olga has also been supporting a woman with a disabled teenage son. The woman herself had suffered a stroke.

There have been some encouragements. The Bobkovs praise God that a small Bible study group has been established. Regular studies are held around the meal table. Friends and neighbours are also beginning to open up to spiritual conversations.

In the second half of 2018 work commenced on a Hope Centre next to their home. Various teams visited to help demolish an old building and construct the new Centre. This would be used to develop the Bobkov’s ministry and to serve children and families in need, especially families with disabled children.

On 30 April 2019, they opened that Hope Centre with a service of dedication!

PRAYER

  1. Pray that the Lord will open the hearts of the Uighur to the Gospel.
  2. Pray for success as the Bobkovs build relationships and share about Christ.
  3. Give thanks for the provision and completion of the Hope Centre.
  4. Pray that it will be used for Christ’s glory and the salvation of many.