“I’ve got questions,” Daler said with a solemn and serious look on his face. He held up a Bible and raised an eyebrow. In Central Asia, the Bible is not popular. Christianity is even less so.
The two men sitting with Daler looked at each other, not at all surprised but mentally preparing for the rebuttals that are so common in this Muslim culture when discussing Scripture. International Mission Board missionary Brent Dorsett and Arman, a local believer and national partner, watched Daler thumb through pages of the Bible — a Bible your financial gifts provided him six months earlier.
The Muslim man flipped past Genesis, Psalms and Matthew. He didn’t stop until he reached Revelation. Arman hid a grin and reached over to help.
“You probably ought to start somewhere else,” the national partner said. He suggested John might be a better introduction to the Bible and gospel message.
“No, no,” Daler said emphatically. “I’m not starting at Revelation. I’m finishing here. I’ve already read all the books before it.”
The two Christians looked at each other surprised. They knew Daler had been reading the Bible, but they didn’t know how deeply he had delved. Revelation is a challenging book for Christians to digest, much less a non-Christian.
“What about this?” Daler asked about the seven stars referenced in the first chapters of Revelation.
Barely pausing for an answer, he moved on to the next passage and question. The two-hour exchange felt different than normal for Dorsett. It wasn’t a debate. He saw this was a genuine seeker trying to understand the entire gospel message.
This was an answer to prayer. Daler lives in a town where Christians are told not to waste their time. Spiritual lostness — the greatest problem in the world — was evident so the missionary asked you, his prayer partners, to open the way for gospel-sharing opportunities. Your financial gifts allowed Dorsett’s team to be present among many villages like this one in Central Asia. Churches from seven different states sent mission teams to work alongside IMB missionaries and national partners to get the gospel to peoples and places who haven’t yet heard.
Even with all the prayer and effort leading to this moment, sitting around a table and studying the Bible just wasn’t supposed to happen here. Dorsett and Arman couldn’t believe their ears when Daler closed his Bible and said, “I read Genesis; I read the Gospel of John. Now I’ve read the Revelation of John and I believe Jesus is God.”
Their shock was not an overreaction. People in Central Asia often say they believe Jesus was a “good man.” Many are happy to elevate Jesus to the status of a very powerful prophet — but people are hesitant to claim Jesus as the Son of God.
“To find somebody, within just a few months of hearing the gospel for the first time, proclaim Jesus as being God is just amazing,” Dorsett said.
Central Asians often take two to three years to believe in Jesus’ divinity, if they ever do at all. To see a life transformed in six months is an answer to prayer. This story only gets better, though. Members of two other families in Daler’s village have also become followers of Jesus.
Together, we seek to take the gospel to every nation, all tribes and peoples. Together, we pray for a gospel belief that results in lives transformed. We give ourselves to this mission.
Some names may be changed for security.