Pray with us for Marcus, serving the Lord in Uzbekistan.
Our partners who are training the next generation of workers for Central Asia held a graduation ceremony earlier this year at which a new cohort of students were released for ministry in their home nations where churches are few and those that do exist are often dominated by out–of–touch leaders. Marcus is just one of these graduates who has started ministry.
Marcus is 23 years old. His father is an Uzbek whilst his mother comes from Kazakhstan. He has an older sister and two brothers. Both his parents are Muslims.
When Marcus was three years old, his father went to prison. He didn’t see him for seven years. His father’s parents did not accept his mother, as Marcus’ parents were unmarried. Culturally, to have children out of wedlock is seen as shameful and so Marcus’ paternal grandparents blamed her for the family’s troubles. As a result, she returned to Kazakhstan when Marcus was 13 years old.
Marcus didn’t know any Christians, but he began reading a Bible which a neighbour had gifted them years before. It had sat on the shelf all that time. His sister also came to Jesus, but when Marcus’ father left prison, he discovered their faith and disowned them. He didn’t even attend his daughter’s wedding, although it is reported that he prayed to Allah for five days according to Muslim tradition.
Marcus later returned to Uzbekistan came across some believers, including a UDG graduate, who led a church. This leader wasn’t sure that a ‘street kid’ like Marcus was suited to UDG, as he’d come back with no job, no family, and no support. The leader wrote a terrible letter of recommendation, but Marcus was accepted to UDG anyway! The whole time Marcus was at UDG, the leader did not contact him once. There was no support or prayer from the church, and during this time Marcus realised that the church, while faithful, were hard–hearted.
Marcus graduated from UDG and returned to the church where ministry has been difficult. There are tensions between people of various nationalities in the valley, with political and war spilling over into and among the church. He still serves among the church even though tensions remain, and under his pastor’s lead he is trying disciple sportsmen and reach out to young people.
He is grateful that God has used him to change attitudes to prayer within the church, having shown the believers that it is important to pray not only for yourself but also for one another.
Praise God for saving Marcus and for raising him as a worker for the harvest in Uzbekistan. Pray that his ministry would bear much fruit for the Kingdom. Pray too for his church, that it would bind together as one and become ever–more like Christ.