*Names changed for security
Reading the book of Revelation brought the revelation that Jesus is God’s Son to a Central Asian man. He lives in a town where Christians are told not to waste their time.
Six months ago, Daler* received a Bible from local Christians who were ministering in his village. Christian worker Brent Dorsett* has made several visits to this town, and he recently accompanied his national partner on a follow-up visit.
Dorsett and his national partner sat in Daler’s home and learned he had been poring over the Bible.
“They knew he’d been reading it, but they didn’t know how much,” Dorsett said.
“He said, ‘I’ve got some questions,’ and he opened the book of Revelation, and my national partner said, ‘You probably ought to start somewhere else,’” Dorsett recalled.
Daler said he didn’t start reading in Revelation, he was finishing there. He told them he’d read the Bible in its entirety and had just finished. Revelation is a challenging book for Christians to digest, much less a non-Christian, Dorsett said.
“He literally just opened and started at the beginning of Revelation and started thumbing through and saying, ‘What about this? What about this?’ Sometimes people ask questions, and you can tell their intent is to find fault. He really was just curious, and he wanted to understand.”
After several hours of peppering the Christians with questions about Revelation, Daler closed his Bible and told them, “I read Genesis; I read the Gospel of John. Now I’ve read the Revelation of John, and I believe Jesus is God.”
Dorsett and his national partner were caught off guard. It was almost too hard to believe.
“My national partner looked at me, and I looked at him, and we’re like, ‘Did we really just hear what we thought we heard?”
Dorsett said people in Central Asia often claim to believe that Jesus was a good man but are hesitant to claim Jesus as the Son of God. After questioning Daler, they determined his decision was informed and genuine.
“He stood firm by what he was saying that Jesus is God’s Son,” Dorsett said. “In this context, people are often happy to elevate Jesus to a very powerful prophet, even somebody that we should listen to. Certainly, they’ll say He’s somebody sent by God, but to find somebody very quickly, within just a few months of hearing the Gospel for the first time, proclaim Jesus as being God is just amazing.”
Dorsett said it is not uncommon for it to take two to three years for people to believe in Jesus’ divinity.
Two other families in Daler’s village have family members who became Christians in the time since Dorsett and his national partners began ministering there.
Dorsett’s national partner recently made a follow up visit and studied the Bible for several hours with Daler’s family. His national partner was excited about the progress made during the visit.
The boldness of Southern Baptists
Church partnerships and volunteers are a fixture in the ministry in this Central Asian country. Churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Utah, Virginia and Texas partner with Dorsett and his family in prayer and through volunteer trips.
In November, three volunteer teams came to minister, and more teams will travel to the country in the new year. Many churches and individuals have made multiple trips to the country, devoting their time and resources to seeing Central Asians accept Christ as God and Savior.
In the past, teams and individuals have come to partner with local pastors and partners, to lead discipleship seminars, provide emotional and mental care for Christian workers and work with missionary families.
Here are ways to join Dorsett and his national partners in their ministry by praying, giving and going.
- Pray Christians in Daler’s village will commit to study the Bible and worship communally.
- Pray the believers will grow in their knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is.
- Pray for boldness for the Christians to share with their neighbors.
Because Southern Baptists give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, Dorsett and his family can continue to serve alongside Central Asian Christians to share the Gospel.
Short-term positions are open to serve with the IMB in Central Asia. Learn more about serving with the IMB: https://www.imb.org/go/
This article was written by Caroline Anderson for baptistpress.com.