SGA-sponsored missionary, Ivan Dzhamburshinov, is serving God in Kazakhstan. A graduate of Almaty Bible Institute, Ivan has been serving God in Issyk, Kazakhstan, for the past ten years. He has seen steady church growth which he largely attributes to the Hope Centre ministry.
On the perimeter fence surrounding the church and centre hangs a banner advertising the activities in the Hope Centre. Ivan explained how religious, social and cultural barriers can hinder people from entering the church. He is convinced that much progress in Gospel ministry can be attributed to the Hope Centre activities. He feels that this ministry is vital in helping break down barriers in the community so that the Gospel can be shared.
When Ivan first came to the church there was no social ministry. The Hope Centre that was constructed in 2019 has developed into a hub of activity providing food, craft classes, developing skills, music lessons and much more. However, Ivan is very quick to point out the main purpose of these activities: ‘Our aim is not just to provide them with food but with the Gospel’. As a result, children and parents have started to attend church services.
Hope Centre ministries
In this centre, there is limited accommodation available for children and mothers who need a place to stay due to family breakdown or being ostracized due to their newfound faith in Jesus. Ivan explained his vision to extend the second floor to provide four or five more bedrooms for sleeping accommodation. Children attending camp can also sleep in this accommodation rather than in the church building. Ivan is very grateful for this facility which greatly enhances his ministry.
Ivan explained that he needs to be careful in public distribution of Bibles, but he can make copies available on the grounds of the church. When the church provides food, clothes, wheelchairs etc. for distribution, there is also a table with Bibles in the church yard. He openly invites people along to the church services.
Recently, an SGA team visiting Central Asia witnessed the blessing these centres bring to communities, not only by providing for the most vulnerable in society, but by helping to share the Gospel and establish churches.
SGA’s recent funding for four Hope Centres in Uzbekistan is deeply appreciated. Already one is completed and opened at the end of September. We hope to bring you updates about progress with the other centres.