An aggressive church planting plan sees a boost from Christmas.

By January 27, 2006

Central Asia (MNN)–Central Asia is a mission field of challenges. But not everyone is daunted by that.

Bible Mission International’s Malcolm Smith says this year, they distributed over 13,000 ‘Packages of Hope’ to families.

With this program, doors that were normally closed to Christians were thrown open. The kids who participated heard the greatest story ever told… the Gospel.

Of course, there were puppet shows, songs, a lot of laughter, and the joy of receiving a Christmas Gift Box from friends in the West.

Each Gift Box contained a Children’s Bible, a t-shirt, warm socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, pencils and a notebook, instant chocolate drink, fruit tea, cookies, chocolate and other candies, and a stuffed animal.

Working with partners, this project was another step toward laying the foundation for future evangelical ministry. Smith explains, “The Christmas outreaches that we just conducted are a significant part of the church planting strategy because we’re targeting not only the kids that have never heard, but their families that have never heard. And, we’re doing this in regions all across Kazakhstan and Central Asia as well.”

Smith says it dovetails with their larger goal of planting a thousand new churches in the next three years. “From Christmas to church planting, everything ties together because we’re working with the nationals, we’re working with the churches of the region that have a real heart to not only share the Gospel, but to follow up with the people after all the actions are completed.”

Bible Mission has more than 6,500 national missionaries in training preparing for ministry by studying God’s Word through their Independent Bible Correspondence School.

Teams with Bible Mission have translated 35 courses into the Russian language and five of the courses into Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Tajik.

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