October 2023 Trip to Kazakhstan
Recently, Pastors Derrick Ross (Celebration Church, Lakeville) and Kyle Peterson (River of Life, Sauk Center) were able to visit Kazakhstan with members of their churches. God is moving powerfully, and the national church is growing under General Superintendent Yerkin Khaidarov’s leadership. Most of their pastors are Teen Challenge graduates, and the trip was filled with testimonies and encouraging believers in various locations near the major city of Almaty. Kyle shared, “Kazakhstan is definitely a special place for me and my church family, as we sent our former staff pastors there to be missionaries. It was incredibly impactful for our team to spend time with them. To see them finally get where God has been leading and to watch as they interacted with the Uyghur people. It was truly a powerful moment for us all! We have a vision to continue to send missionaries from our church, and this is just an example of God working in hearts!”
Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country in the world and the largest Muslim nation (according to land mass). It is conveniently located in the middle of Central Asia with over 130 different people groups represented. The Uyghur people are 99.99% Muslim. Opportunities for biblical training and ministerial education have recently opened through Central Asia Theological Institute, which began in September 2023 through Global University.
Every person on the trip returned with an increased passion for global missions, a deeper understanding of spiritual needs in the region, and gratitude for the opportunity to serve in the Kingdom of God both at home and around the world. We know global trips are essential to move missions from our heads to our hearts; this trip proved that to be true once again. May the Lord continue “to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:38).