Wednesday, June 21, 2017

JazzerCycle Roadshow hits Kyrgyzstan

Moving right along from Albania via Turkey, we landed in Kyrgyzstan, joining a couple from Australia and 6 others from the arts team in Istanbul for 2 weeks of outreach. This was our 5th time ministering in Kyrgyzstan but first time in the southern, more unreached Osh region where people are more devout. Laws are strict preventing anyone from sharing their faith in a public setting.

From June 8-18 our team of 10 presented our JazzerCycle Roadshow to 2,470 people in 12 events. With Jazz music, unicycling, dance and drama we creatively shared a message of hope and encouragement to our audiences. Usually we could not talk about God from the stage but we were able to share openly one on one and pray with people.

Three of our shows were in the Jalal-Abad region. For each of these shows we jostled along potholed roads for 6 to 8 nauseating hours round-trip from Osh. We presented in 2 city squares 3 times and invited people to a follow-up meeting after the third show.

After our first show, the pastor and church members were gushing with excitement. They were so thankful the city could see "Christians presenting such a wonderful, beautiful, professional show". They sensed Dustin's sharing was from his heart and saw girls crying, overcome with emotion as Katie danced. Though we were very restricted in what we could share, the pastor's friend who's been in prison 7 times and was recently released gave his life to Jesus that night!

After our third show in Jalal-Abad, a guy came up to Katie saying, "You have a positive in your life. Pray for me to have that positive, too." Then a lady asked, "Is there a reason you do these shows?" Through these conversations we were able to share about the Hope that we have in Jesus.

From Osh, we drove through the village of Communism to get to Uch-Korgon for a special show at an orphanage. Dustin shared with the kids that God is a Father who loves them and will never leave them.

Then we had 3 shows for students. Two of them were 5 blocks from Uzbekistan in a village called VLKSM (stands for All-Union Leninist Young Communist League).

Unfortunately, one of our audiences was 200 preschoolers who came crying, cried throughout our show, then left crying. They didn't understand why their breakfast was interrupted to come out and sit in the hot sun for an hour. It was a new, almost comical experience for us to hear their dull wailing fill the school courtyard. All was not in vain however, since hundreds of mothers also came and listened intently to the message.

After each of the schools shows, our local partners handed out Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to the kids.

A local English club ministry invited us to join their informal cafe meeting 3 afternoons where we had the opportunity to share testimonies and the Gospel with students.

To wrap things up, we did a show in a church where we could share openly. This was a last minute event so wasn't very well attended but thankfully at least 10 non-believers came and heard the Gospel as Dustin shared then led in a prayer of surrender to Jesus. We were also able to encourage and pray with many new believers.

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