Our Dreams in God’s Hands
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” - 1 Peter 4:9-10 (ESV)
This week I attended two incredible church services in the only “registered church” in Nuuk, Karakalpakstan, led by Pastor A and Pastor J. The people are so gracious, kind, and caring.
Although the government in this autonomous republic of Uzbekistan does not permit “open worship.” Similar to former Soviet times, religious activity is restricted, unless approved by the government.
Both Pastor A and Pastor J are men of vision with a heart for the people of Karakalpakstan. God is using these brothers (and their wives) in unique ways. Their personalities are different, but they are united in a common purpose. What a beautiful demonstration of God’s Church.
Pastor J and his wife shared how God had given them a dream to create a school to prepare young men and women for ministry. “We need theological training to be available for our people. We want them to have a solid foundation to go to our districts and plant home groups,” they said.
Pastor J told me that when he shared this “dream” with some of the other pastors, they openly laughed. “I laughed as well,” he said. “They were not being cruel, but we all knew that the Government would have nothing to do with this dream.”
The Uzbekistan leaders are encouraging tourism to help the economy, which is severely affected by a lack of water supply from the Aral Sea and other rivers. Thus Pastor J has been able to construct a 3-story hotel on a major road in Nukus. The hotel will serve guests on the first floor, and have the school plus housing for students and teachers on the upper two floors!
Connected to the hotel is another building they have been renovating to be used as their church, once Pastor J, like Pastor A, can receive government registration. It is nearly complete, and is clean, attractive, and beautiful!
Pastor J told me that God gave him the idea of the hotel as a catalyst to provide a school and to encourage the government to register his church.
As I toured the facility, I couldn’t help but think of how God sees before we see, how God moves in the hearts of government officials, and how God doesn’t lose sleep over impossible situations! The hotel will open in October, 2023!
This week, I will be ministering to pastors and wives as they gather in our “secured location.”
Thanks for joining me on this journey.
Are you looking for a place to receive spiritual direction and encouragement in these challenging times? Please consider joining my mailing list. Each Wednesday you’ll receive my latest blog posts with practical content designed to support you in your life and faith.