by Gerry Roarty on Unsplash

Miracles in the canteen

Pioneering student ministry in Central Asia

I walked into the canteen, already rejoicing. This wasn’t my university, but I had managed to walk on to campus without being stopped. I found a place to sit down, opened my prayer notebook and wrote: if You send someone to come and sit with me, I’ll tell them the gospel.

After one hour, I heard someone ask, “Can I sit with you?” We started chatting. The student wasn’t a believer. I showed her what I’d written in my notebook and explained how she was the answer to my prayer. She opened up about her struggles at home and in her personal life. She joked that she didn’t believe in prayer. But she let me pray for her, there in the canteen.

A few days later, my new friend rang me. She wanted to tell me that the situations I’d prayed for had totally changed!

Born a Muslim, die a Muslim

I started going to the canteen every week. It is pioneering work. I have met eight believing students over a few months! We gather during breaktimes and try to share the gospel with their friends.

Most students are nominal Muslims. If they convert to Christianity they will face opposition from their family. Like I do. I am the only Christian in my family. If you’re born a Muslim, you should die a Muslim, they say.

I first heard about Jesus as a first-year student through the IFES movement here. After studying the Bible for a few years, I decided to follow Jesus. During my Master’s degree I became a student leader, and then after that, an intern. Now I am doing a PhD in Biophysics and serve as a staff-worker part-time. Long-term I would love to go to an even less-reached country in Central Asia and do ministry full-time, if God opens the door.

Why they need Jesus

The students I’m meeting in the canteen really need to know Jesus. In this country there is a spirit of depression. Many come from broken families. They feel unloved. Everyone wants to leave the country because of the poor education here and lack of job opportunities. Bribery and corruption are big problems too.

This university has its own unique challenge. It’s an arts university and the students don’t have good relationships with one another. They compare themselves, compete with others and feel jealous.

Please pray for us as we look for an office space here, for a male staff worker, and for opportunities to pioneer in other cities.

And pray for revival among the students.


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