There’s a story in the Old Testament about the prophet Elijah. Elijah prayed and God stopped the rain for three and a half years. When it was time for the drought to end, Elijah looked out at the sky, and it was empty—not a cloud in sight. But he had faith and he prayed. And slowly a cloud no bigger than the size of a hand floated out of the sea. Soon it consumed the entire sky and, for the first time in three and a half years, the rain began to pour.
KazGU, the university where I’m studying Russian, is a clear, blue sky. Between 15- and 20,000 students study here, and in the last seven months I have met exactly two Christians. Two. One is a Catholic transfer student from Spain, and the other is an evangelical from China, who, like me, is only taking language classes and isn’t enrolled in a major.
I have met ZERO locals on campus who follow Jesus.
It’s an empty sky.
But when we came here, we had faith that that’s not the way it needs to continue to be. Out of the sea, began to rise a little cloud, no bigger than a hand—and her name is Rimma. Her newfound faith is an inspiration to our whole team as she has already begun to step into leadership roles and talk of wanting to reach her fellow students with the Gospel.
I see this little Rimma cloud, and I think of the clear sky that was here not long ago, and it gives me faith that that cloud can become an enormous storm. I see a little Alisher cloud beginning to form; a little Madina cloud; a Tanya cloud; a Masha cloud; and on and on. A storm is brewing, and it’s filled with Living Water.
This coming weekend, we’re inviting believers and those who are close to making a decision to attend a retreat. Please pray fervently that nothing will prevent these clouds, who are still forming, from attending. In a culture where it is frowned upon to become Christians, especially for ethnic Central Asians, a retreat like this is a safe haven for people to make decisions apart from the judging eyes of others who don’t yet fully understand. Please pray that many decisions are made—and that the rain begins to pour.