Joy and Blessing in Almaty

Almaty Bible Institute

At a time when so few nationals are coming forward for training in the west, it is encouraging to hear that Almaty Bible Institute (ABI) presently has its largest intake of students during its short twenty-eight year history.

Over 200 students are studying one of its seven courses, namely Leadership, Youth, Leadership Ministries in Kazakh, Children’s Ministry, Music, Biblical Studies at Masters level, and finally the regular Evening Bible School. The evening school is the most popular course, with 100 students enrolled, twenty-one of whom study at ABI for six evenings (Monday to Saturday) over a period of nine months. The remaining seventy-nine study in three ‘outpost’ locations in Pavlodar, Taraz, and Tashkent (Capital of Uzbekistan), over a two-year period.


Alexander Karyakov, Principal of ABI, reports:

‘The most pressing problem is the lack of teachers and huge distances to cover. Two other locations were under consideration: Chimkent (Uzbekistan) and Astana, but we are not able to do this at present. All of this requires effort and time – please pray.’

Twenty-five students are part-sponsored by SGA. This brings a three-fold blessing: for sponsors in the UK who faithfully pray; for those supported who have enough pressures without money worries to contend with; and for ABI with its privilege of training them, knowing SGA supporters stand with them in prayer.

Alexander’s responsibilities have also expanded into Eastern Russia. Once a year, in December or March, he travels 4000 miles to ‘Yakutsk Bible School’, and teaches eighty academic hours in a two week block.

This initiative is part of ‘Reach Russia Now’, a huge project to equip and provide for missionary pastors working among some of today’s neediest people groups such as the Yakuts, the northernmost Turkic people in the world. There are about 400,000 of them and their language is similar to Kazakh.

SGA already sponsors five men in this region.

Emmanuel Church in Almaty, which Alexander pastors, is developing well. Over the past four years, around forty new converts have been baptized. Every Sunday 80 to 100 people attend the meeting. There are ministries for all ages, as well as practical care in the form of fifty to sixty freshly baked loaves given to needy people on Sundays as they pass the entrance to the church.

Believe and be baptized

Pray for Emmanuel church as they plan the construction of a new building within the ABI grounds.

The church members are mainly working-class people who live simply and do not have much by way of extra funds.

For Alexander, ‘the church is a source of special joy and blessing, and an atmosphere of warmth and friendship is evident during the services. Locals love our church. Thank God!’