Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
My name is Karligash.
I am Kazakh and I was born and grew up in a small town near the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I was only eight years old when my father died, and I started having heart pains. When I was 12 I attended a Mongolian church's children's program, where I learned about Jesus for the first time. Every time I left the house to attend church, my mother would worry about me because of my heart problem. However, when I went to church my heart felt better. It was starting to heal.
I continued to go to church, where I was involved in children's programs, youth programs, and Bible studies. My character began to change. My health was better too and my heart did not hurt anymore.
My family is Muslim.
They always say, "Since we are Kazakhs, we are therefore Muslim." They were not happy with my decision to attend a Christian church. However, when my mom saw how I was changing for the better, she continued to let me attend church secretly because she felt it was good for me. Though she tried to keep it a secret, her friends and relatives all knew, and they made it hard for her. But I was on fire for the Lord and I continued to go, even though I knew it was difficult for my mom.
I wanted to know more about Jesus, so my pastor suggested I study at a Bible school.
I left my town to go to the city of Ulaanbaatar, where I studied for four years at the Union Bible Theological College. During this time, my mother passed away. Life was difficult because I had to look after my three younger siblings while working and studying. One day, one of my younger brothers got into a fight and had to go to jail. I prayed daily for my family's salvation and for my brother's release from prison.
Before receiving my diploma from the Bible College, I had to write an essay about a topic close to my heart. I wrote about God's sacrifice and how it is for all people, even for my Kazakh Muslim relatives.
I prayed for God to send someone to tell my people about Jesus.
Soon after that, my college professor introduced me to an American pastor working among the Kazakh people. My professor had told him all about me: "You have to meet this young lady! She is Kazakh -- and a Christian -- and she has a heart for her people!" After meeting that American pastor, I prayed for God to show me what to do. I did have a heart for my people, but I knew it would be very difficult work.
For three years, I ran away from God's calling to work with them. "Send someone else," I prayed.
Then, I was offered a job with The Lutheran Hour. I knew God was providing me with a way to share the Gospel with Kazakhs, and I agreed.
Since then, two of my older sisters have believed in Jesus, as well as one of my brothers-in-law! My brother was released from prison on my birthday, after only three years! I praise God for these joys.
I still live among Muslims. I don't have many friends and many of my relatives have rejected me. Still, I will not forget what the Lord said to me long ago: "Karligash, your friends and relatives cannot love you with an everlasting love. Only I can love you that way." These words strengthen and encourage me through persecution and difficulties.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we pray for Karligash today. Increase her faith, Lord, and continue to use her to further Your kingdom among the Kazakh people of Mongolia. Strengthen her and give her Your courage to share the Gospel so more Kazakhs will be given faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Karligash Daadai. Karligash has been the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries in Mongolia for two years. She continues to live in her hometown, and daily commutes to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar where the LHM office is located. She also travels to Western Mongolia to visit the LHM station there as well as making exploratory trips to other areas of Mongolia.
The Lutheran Hour in Mongolia started just over two years ago. A radio and television ministry reaching out to Kazakhs in their own language was begun in Western Mongolia, and now there is a second station opened near Mongolia's capital city of Ulaanbaatar. This year, LHM also began to support a local prison ministry in Western Mongolia. Soon, LHM hopes to start Lutheran seminars and the distribution of MP3 players to the nomadic Kazakh people of Mongolia.
Known in-country as "Voice of the Nation," LHM-Mongolia works in partnership with Lutheran pastors and missionaries, using Kazakh-language radio programming to proclaim the Gospel and give basic Christian teaching. Listeners who respond to broadcasts will be invited to study the Bible with us. This ministry center publishes other Kazakh-language resources to supplement its radio programming and Bible courses.
Situated between Russia and China, this country of less than three million people has as many as 100,000 Christians today, up from next to none in the late 1980s. Listeners responding to radio broadcasts are invited to study and learn more about Jesus and the Christian faith by participating in Bible listening groups that use the Who Is Jesus? Bible study.
You can check out the LHM-Mongolia blog by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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