An insignificant country is rising up in Central Asia to become a doorway to bring the gospel to the 1.2 billion strong Muslims in the world, the largest group of people who has not heard of the gospel.
A California-based Chinese mission group Luke Service International (LSI) has been actively involved in some outreach projects in Kyrgyzstan, located 858 km west of China and next to Tien Shan. Through serving a unique group of Muslim Chinese minority "Dungan" people residing within the borders of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, many of them have learnt to trust and accept these services, the living witness of the Christian team members and the love of Christ.
The mission to "Dungan" people was first pioneered by the Great Commission Center in early 1995. In July of the same year, the Dungan Muslim Association and the Great Commission Center have signed a contract that invites Christians to enter two villages to offer assistance in medical clinic, education, computer science and agriculture to over 12 thousands "Dungan" people.
In 1999, LSI was established in Kyrgyzstan as a legitimate nonprofit organization with the base set in the city of Tokmok. The seeds of the gospel was not only planted among Chinese Muslims, but has also reached out to the other 80 tribes in Kyrgyzstan that consists of 78 percent of Muslim.
LSI serves all the people in the surrounding area, including the majority population of Kyrgyz and Russian. Many opportunities of cross-cultural missions are opened up. Two Russian doctors are employed working with short-term doctor missionaries, providing internal medicine, cardiology, pediatric, acupuncture, physical therapy and laboratory services to an average of 50-60 outpatients per day.
Since the economy of the society is very poor after the fall of Soviet Union, the unemployment rate reaches 60 percent. Many young people do not have a job, but LSI’s Youth Center founded in June 2001 has allowed them to study English and useful computer skills. In 2003, many other youth programs were developed and a library was built. 60 percent of the locals who use these services are Muslims.
With some bible study classes and house church gatherings organized for new believers in both Chinese and Russian, there are over 60-70 new believers until now.
As one of the five post-Soviet countries in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is the most opened country to religions and people enjoy religious freedom, therefore it is the best potential mission base for the other Muslims in Central Asia.
Meanwhile, the political situation in Kyrgyzstan is not very stable, so period of stay granted for the visa is shorter than before, causing much inconvenience to missionaries. LSI urges Christians to pray for the visa and for the country to open up a path of evangelism among Muslims in Central Asia.