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Thursday 14th FebruaryA trip among nomads in Central Asia - from a Frontiers worker (continued)“Eighteen young people spent five weeks trekking across barren deserts and high mountain pastures on this five week trip.A total of nineteen mentors (including three Central Asian Muslim background believers) dropped into the teams for a few weeks each.On one memorable day in Kyrgyzstan, a Kyrgyz pastor invited six trekkers and four mentors to his sister’s village home. As we arrived, our hosts seated us in order of our age and served a grand spread of tea, dates, apples, plums, dried apricots, prunes, biscuits, varieties of flaky pastries, and berry sauces to spoon in to the tea.Afterwards, as they gave us a tour of the compound, we noticed a sheep grazing near the kitchen building. After some introductory explanations, two men laid the sheep down, cut the sheep’s throat, and drained its blood. One of the students commented on how silently the sheep approached its slaughter.Some men began skinning and gutting the sheep and the women took internal organs away to clean. As the butchers and cooks carried on with their messy work, our hosts explained the significance their culture gives to the way the sheep is cut into parts and how and why it would be divided among certain families in the community.Several hours later, they ushered us to the dining area, then seated us (in age order again, of course) for a great feast of lamb. A pitcher of water, a large bowl, and a towel were brought in. Water was poured over each person’s hands while we rubbed and then carefully squeezed water off our hands without shaking or splattering just as the pastor demonstrated. Portions from the fat tail were served to the oldest man, the oldest woman, and the youngest among us. The final dish was finely chopped meat with noodles, and it was all washed down with a fermented mare’s milk or a greasy broth.After we had expressed our appreciation for very full bellies, we were ushered into another room for yet more tea and snacks!Experiences like this gave our truck trekkers a taste of life among Central Asian nomads – helping them learn to think like a nomad so that they can learn to “put the church on the back of a camel.”After the trip as we debriefed, tears, anxious facial expressions, frustrations and fears poured out. The students admitted that the trip was very hard – “at times too hard.”But joy and hope poured out, too. Participants emphatically said that it changed them for the better and they were very glad they came.Six are now praying seriously about how God might use them among nomads in the future. All participants said they were at least considering long-term service or will advocate on behalf of nomads in their churches at home.Praise God, just in the past few days we’ve heard from one of the participants, an existing Frontiers member, who has started working among nomads in Northeast Africa.As a result of all this, I and others have committed to another trip in the future, this time across the Sahel of Africa.”• Let’s pray for all the young people who went on this trip, that they will see how God is using this experience in their lives for the cause of reaching nomads.• Pray for the six young people who are seriously seeking God about the path He has mapped out for them regarding nomads. May they know his leading and guidance.• Let’s pray for the Frontiers worker who has started working among nomads in Northeast Africa, that he will know God’s protection, favour and blessing in his ministry.• Let’s pray for the planned trip across the Sahel of Africa, that God will go before it and prepare the way.
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