Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — In nations of oppression and
persecution, believers must be instruments of hope and change in society.
Russian Ministries says an international pastor's conference held in Kyrgyzstan
focused on this role, as well as transformational leadership.
Conference participants heard from specialists and keynote
speakers; among them was Dr. Michael Cherenkov, vice-president of Russian
Ministries' national partner. He emphasized that the church must not only warn
the lost, but also treat the wounded. He says the former Soviet Union's church
body has "warmed the bench" for far too long; it needs to get
involved in humanity's suffering and moral decay.
Specialists at the conference spoke about effective
leadership, community and media relations development, and working with
Also presented at the conference was the strategy behind
Russian Ministries' "School Without Walls" (SWW) program. SWW trains
and equips young Christian leaders to renew the church and transform society.
Russian Ministries is committed to expanding this program in Central Asia.
One SWW student, Madi, previously led many people in Central
Asia to Christ through small groups. After a brief time of burn-out, her passion for Christ was remndled through SWW. She passes on the knowledge she gained through SWW to
fellow believers in Central Asia.
"After a year of studying at SWW, I was re-energized to
get involved in ministry again," Madi said. "I started two new groups
— one for believers…and one for non-believers (Muslims) whom I carefully lead
and show through the Koran (that I know well from my Muslim background) that
Isa is the Messiah."
SWW exists to bridge the gap between the local community and
church. This spring, 812 students graduated SWW programs, and around 80% plan
to continue active ministry in their communities. Next fall, 40 students are
scheduled to study through SWW in Kyrgyzstan.
Although Kyrgyzstan remains open to missionary activity, it's
headed in the repressive direction of its neighbors. Last fall, Kyrgyzstan's
president signed a new law increasing restrictions against non-Muslim
religions. Included was a ban against the involvement of children in religious
organizations, distribution of religious materials, and a promise of more
"aggressive action" against evangelism.
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the next generation of Christian leaders.