More Regular Attendees
There are 5 people who seem to have started coming to our church on a more regular basis. 2 of them are believers, 3 are not. We need to faithfully preach the Gospel to all of them. Both of the believers who started attending our church have no idea about membership. So, there is a lot of work ahead of us in terms of lovingly calling them to a lifelong commitment to the body of Christ.
As for unbelievers, I will never stop to marvel about how God draws people to Himself. I asked one of the unbelievers about the reasons why he comes to church (Don’t worry I didn’t ask him that question right away. I have been meeting with him for about 3 months now). Here is how he responded: “I don’t know. It comforts me. I feel at peace when I am participating in the services. Besides that, it just occurred to me that I hadn’t done any of the bad stuff that I used to do for almost two months now.” And yet that person doesn’t trust Christ still. How mysterious is that! Truly we don’t know how a seed of faith grows. Our job is to stay faithful in planting and watering and pray to God that He will grow faith in men.
My co-pastor, Timur, is back from his honeymoon. I am grateful that he and his wife, Amina, made it back to Kazakhstan safely. They are a good couple and it’s fun to watch them grow in faith, now as a family.
This week we had some people over from church for dinner. We invited my sister and brother-in-law and one single guy. My wife made some amazing lamb chops. It was delicious. We played “Ticket to Ride” afterwards. It was a lovely evening. But what I liked the most was what my brother from church said to us.
He couldn’t understand why we would invite him for dinner along with our family members. He is not a part of our family. We didn’t celebrate anybody’s birthday. There was no special occasion. When we explained to him that the blood of Christ is thicker than our shared bloodlines, he said the following: “I don’t have brothers or sisters. I am the only child in my family but tonight I really felt that I am a part of a bigger family.” Those words served me so much. I love him. And I am ready for more ‘family’ dinners, lunches and breakfasts.
That evening I was freshly reminded that we cannot help anybody unless we love them. And I also want to say that hospitality is a much bigger gift to the hosts than it is to those who are hosted.
Kazakh Translation Project
The translation of the first book, that is Seeking God by Peter Jeffrey, is finished. Now it is being edited. We hope to be able to publish it by the end of this year. We hope that by the time we have Seeking God in Kazakh in our hands we will have had a procedure in place when a translator, editor and publisher will work in unison to supply Kazakh-speaking believers with solid theological books in their own language. Please pray that God would bless our efforts.
Please pray that:
- We would be patient and wait upon the Lord
- God would bless our partnership with Bagid and brothers from Taraz
- I would pray more
- We would be bold in sharing the Gospel with the unbelievers (here are the names of some: Daulet, Alexander, Danil, Bahytzhan, Mark)
- God would be glorified in our conversations and meetings with others (Zhanibek, Aisulu)
- God would bless our discipleship efforts (Nurmuhan, Oleg, Ilya)
- God would be glorified through our translation project
- God would build his church in Kazakhstan