Bringing Physical & Spiritual Hope

It is always a pleasure to report on SGA’s compassion ministries. Hope Centres fall under this category and are supported in the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia, by SGA and our mission partners in Bible Mission.

Hope Centre, Kolkhozobad

What may not always be understood is that these Hope Centres can lead to church planting opportunities. This is tremendous news! Each Hope Centre is an expression of Christ’s love to the local community and is Gospel orientated. They are very practical in ministry, and their testimony of good works as part of the living Gospel of Christ, has helped many Muslims to understand and accept God’s love for them.

This is important, because most people in CA are extremely suspicious of Christianity and Hope Centres provide excellent opportunities to build bridges of trust into local communities. In this way God’s truth is shared, believers added, resulting in church planting opportunities.

Bible Mission’s vision is truly ambitious and exciting. Today there are eighteen Hope Centres across Central Asia. Six have opened within the last two years in various locations across the five republics!

Several of them were built alongside local churches, like the one in Uzyn-Agash (Kazakhstan), described in SGA’s informative book ‘Out of the Depths’. More recently, some will have seen an SGA 70th sponsorship videos which introduced us to Ivan Dshanburshinov, ministering in Issyk, Kazakhstan. This year a new Hope Centre was dedicated alongside his church, and Ivan has reported how it is used for evangelising children, teenagers and others.

Sometimes a Hope Centre and church are built together! This happened last year in Tursun-Sade in Tajikistan, and both have since been dedicated to the Lord. Bible Mission reports: ‘The two buildings were completed within seven months! What a blessing! Tursun-Sade is a small town, and during the construction process one man came to the construction site to find out what was happening and to ask if Muslim children would be allowed to come to the Centre!’  Praise God, and let us pray that people like this will come to know the Lord and be part of the fellowship that worships next door.

Finally, sometimes a Hope Centre comes before the church building! The Bobkov family is supported by SGA. They have been involved in evangelizing the unreached Uighur people in the city of Chundza in SE Kazakhstan since 2017. Already the Hope Centre, dedicated in 2019 is bearing fruit.  We praise God for Bible studies now being held in the Bobkov home. A similar opportunity is taking place in a regional town in Turkmenistan. This Hope Centre is a vital missionary outpost in a country which is almost completely closed to the Gospel.

We thank God for compassionate ministries such as the provision of Hope Centres, which are Gospel focussed and established for long term witness. They are like beacons of light in places of spiritual darkness, and we praise God for the many who have found Christ and in turn become light-bearers themselves. It has said: ‘Pity can weep and walk away - compassion says we are here to stay’. Praise God for those serving in Central Asia with both ‘passion & compassion’.