May is a time for changes. Jon, my co-conspirator in all this Holy Spirit mischief we do here in Central Asia, has returned to America. We held our last large group Gathering of the semester two weeks ago (and had over 70 people come!). Soon, the rest of our team is leaving the country as well, meaning that Elisa and I may actually be the only personnel with our organization in the whole country! Crazy to think.
But when all things seem to be ending, for us who are still here, things continue business as usual. I’m excited about the summer when many of the students will stay in the city but have nothing to do but learn about Jesus. ;] We’ll continue having Bible studies, meeting with students, and we’ll soon begin a summer study of the book of Acts with our leadership team.
Yesterday, I met with a new friend named Marzhan that Jon met only a month before he left. She has the hand of God all over her life. Her mother is Christian, while her father is Muslim, so she’s had quite a bit of exposure to the Bible. (She’s one of the few here to be able to identify my “Love Your Enemies” tattoo as a quote from Jesus.) Then, she won a contest to study for two years in America for high school, and her host family took her to church every Sunday. There have been some bumps in the road in her faith journey (but then don’t we all have those?). I’m excited about the opportunity that Elisa and I have to pour into her life this summer.
On the other hand, there are many other students who will be returning to their home villages and cities for the summer who we will not be able to pour into. Others will be travelling to America with a program called “Work and Travel” that helps students get work visas to experience American culture for a summer. While we carry on here with those who remain, we have to do what is often the most difficult thing for anyone in ministry: trust that it’s truly not us that are doing the work in people’s hearts, but that it’s the Holy Spirit who will carry on even when we’re not with them.
Please pray for us as we carry on with the work God has blessed us to do, and for us to trust that the Holy Spirit is more than able to carry on with the students who we may not see again before we leave in the fall.