Every time I come across something I want to draw your attention to via this blog, I leave it open in a tab, in hopes that some day I’ll have time to write what I really want to write about it.
…that hasn’t happened in a while though
And now my computer tells me that it must reboot to apply some security changes, so I’m going to throw a few links at you before I have to close my browser. I hope you’ll take time to look:
This is something I experienced first-hand while I was overseas. People are literally brainwashed as their own fearless (revolting excuse for a man) leader comes on national television and tells them that Christians are only in their country to steal away their culture. And it’s effective. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):
On Saturday 17 May state television broadcast in prime time a report describing such groups as a “global problem, along with religious dogmatism, fundamentalism, terrorism, and drug addiction,” actively involved in deceiving young people and minors.
The documentary featured Uzbek religious and political experts, state officials as well as representatives of the other religions, all of whom took a critical view of missionaries.
People are literally taught that the Gospel is as dangerous as terrorism or drug addiction.
I guess in a way it is…
The United Nations has decided that Uzbekistan has the 5th most corrupt government in the world.
And cotton is a big deal.
It’s a cash crop.
Farmers are literally forced to grow cotton and sell it to their government at substandard wages, while their families starve because of the essential foods that are not grown instead. University students are forced to take 4-8 weeks during the summer to pick cotton for the government, for free. And this guy was sent to jail for most of his life, why: because he made it work. That’s why there’s such a pervasive sense of hopeless in Central Asia. Because it seems like people are punished for doing anything but suffering…
Why do I share this? Because I want you to pray.
I found this on the Desiring God blog. If you don’t know who Adoniram Judson was, then you owe it to yourself to look him up. Desiring God has some great free resources, and I believe for a dollar or two you can buy a 1 1/2 hour talk by Piper about his life. The short version of the story is: The Gospel is alive in Burmha because of Judson’s amazing dedication and sacrifice. Here are a couple of his points to anyone who would be a missionary:
First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! for what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?
Fifthly. Beware of the reaction which will take place soon after reaching your field of labor. There you will perhaps find native Christians, of whose merits or demerits you can not judge correctly without some familiar acquaintance with their language. Some appearances will combine to disappoint and disgust you. You will meet with disappointments and discouragements, of which it is impossible to form a correct idea from written accounts, and which will lead you, at first, almost to regret that you have embarked in the cause. You will see men and women whom you have been accustomed to view through a telescope some thousands of miles long. Such an instrument is apt to magnify. Beware, therefore, of the reaction you will experience from a combination of all these causes, lest you become disheartened at commencing your work, or take up a prejudice against some persons and places, which will embitter all your future lives.
Eighthly. Never lay up money for yourselves or your families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you shall be fed.
Seventhly. Beware of pride; not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men — that secret pride which is apt to grow out of the consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good. This pride sometimes eats out the vitals of religion before its existence is suspected. In order to check its operations, it may be well to remember how we appear in the sight of God, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men, if all were known. Endeavor to let all be known. Confess your faults freely, and as publicly as circumstances will require or admit. When you have done something of which you are ashamed, and by which, perhaps, some person has been injured (and what man is exempt?), be glad not only to make reparation, but improve the opportunity for subduing your pride.
This is an article from the Moscow Times about the city where I spent a year. It’s funny to hear someone talk about the city from a tourist’s perspective, but it’s interesting none-the-less.
The idea was that major international rights groups — including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the International Crisis Group, and the Open Society Institute — would attend and contribute to a frank exchange on a topic that generally makes the region’s leaders squeamish.
At the last minute, however, Uzbek officials scrapped the plans for an EU-Uzbek conference on civil society. Instead they staged an “Uzbek version” of the gathering that participants and would-be participants said fell far short of Brussels’ goals.
This is how they role in that good ol’ corrupt country.
Pray for Uzbekistan y’all.