16 Feb 2009

The DVD about Kazakhstan has been finalized. Distribution will began March 2, 2009!!

The videos on the DVD provide a variety of information concerning the people, their environment, and their culture as well as how you can become involved in reaching the peoples of The Republic of Kazakhstan for Christ. A brief introduction to each of the chapters is provided below.  

  See additional information at the bottom of this page.

 1. Introduction Video and Maps  2:07  This short chapter includes video calibration charts. Kazakhstan is located in central Asia and was once a part of the former Soviet Union.  China is to the East and Russia to the North and the West.  Kazakhstan has an area of approximately one million square miles, one half that of the continental United States but with a population of less than 16 million.  It is a country endowed with abundant natural resources and a multi ethnic people with a long history of cultural traditions and the ability to survive in the harsh environment of the place they call home.  It was also a place and a people where exploitation, slave labor, mismanagement and oppression were all around.  Yet, today they take pride in an exuberant free market economy and a constitutional democracy. 

NOTICE: The dual layer DVD disc used for the files may not play on older DVD players; however, it will play on most computers.

Filmed September 2008

Note: All chapters are available as High Definition video.  Find out more.

DVD case cover   PDF file  5.3 mB   Print on 11 X 8.5 inch paper and trim to 7.2 X 8.25 inches to fit in DVD case.

Flyer insert   PDF file   16.5 mB   Use 14 X 8.5 inch paper, print on both sides and trim to 14 x 7.2 inch. Fold to fit in DVD case.


2. KAZAKHSTAN: Following a New Path  10:10  It has only been 17 years since the Republic of Kazakhstan declared its independence.  The fall of the former Soviet Union in 1991 allowed this country to follow its own pathway to the future … a route not dictated by the authoritarian Communist powers of Moscow.  Much has changed in this country in the past few years and, more is to come.  3. Seeds for Fallow Soil  7:10  Sheep and goats are still common in the rural areas of Kazakhstan as a lone herdsman cares for animals that once represented the resources of an entire village.  The solitary rider looks after cattle and horses in a similar manner as his herd browses on the feather grass growing in the eastern regions of the steppe. A century ago the lifestyle was much different. 90% of the population of Kazakhstan lived off of the land.
4. The Wanderers - The Narrow Path, Part 1  3:41 The ebb and flow of history has brought together a multitude of peoples to form what is now known as Kazakhstan.  Religious beliefs, political affiliations, lifestyle and physical appearance remain as guide posts for the pathways that individuals, families and ethnic groups follow. Originally this vast country was inhabited by nomadic tribes that traveled from place to place in small groups taking all of their possessions with them.  5. The Pathway to Survival Narrow Path, Part 4:59  The legend associated with the Baiterek Tower in Astana symbolizes a mystic time when a dragon continually destroyed the hopes and dreams of the Kazakh people.  But, 400 years ago there were many real dragons facing the steppe nomads as they searched for the pathway to nationhood.  This search turned out to be littered with destruction, disappointment and exploitation.  It was a time when survival was uncertain, when the future was in the hands of powerful dragons. 
6. The Path of Sorrows - The Narrow Path, Part 3  11:30  Loads of coal, minerals and produce are common on these tracks that stretch across the Republic of Kazakhstan. This train is on its way to Astana and Karaganda in the central part of the country.  In contrast, there were many trainloads of people following the same pathway during the reign of terror begun by Lenin and continued with an even greater vengeance by Stalin. Prison labor camps known as Gulags were set up to purge the Soviet Union of political decent.  7. Choosing a Path - The Narrow Path, Part 4  7:00  The citizens of Kazakhstan have much to sing about as they experience the benefits that freedom brings.  In the 17 years since achieving independence, major changes have been made which have forever altered the culture of this country.  The people, for the first time in their lives,  have been given unprecedented freedom; freedom from the domination of the former Soviet Union.  The government, social life, housing, transportation, the money they use, education and their primary spoken language have all changed over the past few years. They now have many paths to choose from. 

8. Kazakhstan: Going Forward with Pride  7:13  The nomadic lifestyle of the Kazakhs is no more. What once was a resilient and resourceful lifestyle, molded by the harsh environment of the steppe, became only a dream of the old way of life, which was eventually put in chains by forces outside the control of the people.  Kazakhstan is a country that was devastated by many decades of powerful centralized control from Moscow. 

9. Astana: Slaying the Dragons  8:42  For Astana to reach this point in time many problems were overcome … problems appearing as dragons that were slain.  The Baiterek Tower, meaning "tall poplar tree" in the Kazakh language, symbolizes this feat.  As the legend goes, Samruck, the mythical bird, would lay an egg each morning in the Baiterek tree and late in the evening an evil dragon would eat the egg.  Finally, the Kazakh people killed the dragon and the egg burst forth with eternal brightness. 

10. A View From the Tenth Floor  10:56  It is a long way down to the street from Ivan’s tenth floor flat.  At 8 o’clock in the morning there are only a few people up and about.  For most, their work does not start until 9 o’clock.  Of course, the construction cranes are silent now and they will probably not work today.  Construction has slowed to almost a standstill due to financial problems and mismanagement.  Ivan’s 14-floor apartment building is located on the right bank of the Ishim River and was built four years ago.  His flat has three rooms with a total area of about 500 square feet. 

11. On a Clear Day in Temirtau 4:13  On a clear day, smoke stacks can be seen pumping soot, ash, sulfur and other chemicals into the blue sky above the city known as “Iron Mountain” or, in the Kazakh language, “Temirtau”.  It is iron that defines this city, its people and its purpose.  The first iron smelter was put into operation in 1944.  The following year the town name was changed from Samarkand to its current name and granted city status. 

12. Meeting at the Bench  4:00 The favorite meeting place for these three gentlemen is under a shade tree with the large heating pipes for their bench.  Their grandchildren are nearby … all enjoying the sunny afternoon.  This is also a good place for the grandmothers to sit for awhile and share time with the young children as their parents are at work in the smoke shrouded metallurgical factories of Temirtau. 

13. Karaganda: Overcoming a Tragic Past  7:16  Karaganda of today is much like other large cities in Kazakhstan.  The new imported cars making their way along the main street,  as well as the large mural on the old apartment building, point to the present as well as to the future; except, the tragic past of this city is hidden from view, a time that shaped it’s destiny.  

14. Saran: Changing Lives, One Heart at a Time   6:36  The 30-mile drive from Karaganda to the small city of Saran is a vista of discouragement and lost dreams.  All along the way, surrounded by the scrub vegetation of the steppe, are old decaying mines that once supplied coal to fuel the manufacturing and power generation for the Karaganda Oblast.  The low efficiency and poor quality coal of these Soviet era facilities proved to be unsustainable in the free market economy.

15. The Celestial Mountains  5:55   It is only about an hour’s drive south of Almaty to the Tien-Shan Mountains, "The Celestial Mountains”, a 1500-mile long mountain range that borders China to the East and Kyrgyzstan to the South.  This is a place to get away from the crowded city, a place to rest, a place to enjoy, a place with memories of the past and promise of the future.  The high peaks, the deep valleys and the cool crisp air are an invitation to all. 

16. God Makes Miracles!!! 11:57  This could be almost any small city in Kazakhstan or possibly in the United States or Europe.  Japanese, Korean and European made automobiles are all around and most are new.  People are coming and going as they finish their shopping or their work.  Others stop along the highway to catch up on the latest happenings of the day.  There is a special place for kids to play on a small merry-go-round and, nearby, some barbeque chicken to take home.

17. Pravda Avenue  5:33  This street in Almaty, Kazakhstan once had the name of “Pravda”.  The old street sign remains but the letters have long since faded.  “Pravda” in the Russian language means “truth”.  Pravda Avenue was so named during the time the former Soviet Union controlled this land and Almaty was the capital of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.  During those times, the traffic was much different.  There were fewer automobiles and still fewer foreign imports.

 18. Bazaars: A Crossroads of Time and Space  6:24  The bazaar has long been the tradition of the peoples of Kazakhstan; a place to buy and sell goods, often crowded, noisy and,  sometimes, smelly but still it endures. It has grown dramatically since independence; since a true market economy came into being.  The old days of Soviet “Pravda”, of their form of truth,  are gone.  The days of bare shelves are no more.  There were few choices then but now the bazaar is all about choices, competition, barter, and full shelves with options among the many vendors.  This has the effect of sifting out the good from the bad products.

19. The Hands of Man  4:40   Standing high, at the entrance of Republic Square in Almaty, Kazakhstan, is the Independence Monument with a reminder of the Golden Warrior, a symbol of the ancient civilization that once lived here.  At the foot of the statue are two ponies with young riders symbolizing the future of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  Surrounding the backside of this large monument are several stone relief carvings depicting the Kazakh history beginning with the time of the Golden Warrior. The focus, however, is an imprint of a hand, the hand of President Nazarbayev and a favorite place for young people as they attempt to feel the presence of this visionary leader of the Republic.

20. Guardians of Tomorrow's Freedom  5:10  These students at a major university in Almaty grew up in a free Kazakhstan.  It was their parents and their grandparents who endured the repressive control of Moscow.  They will soon be given the responsibility to protect as well as expand the hard won freedom they now enjoy.  Will they be up to the unknown challenges of tomorrow?  The high schools are preparing the students to be responsible and informed. Their classrooms are in the same or in similar buildings that were used before independence.  But, the classes are more open now.

21. The New Life for Almaty  7:33  For some, the recently completed apartment buildings represent a dream come true.  All the more, they are located in an upscale district overlooking the city of Almaty.  A large department store is nearby and a well-equipped playground is for the kids.  Those living here are experiencing a new life of comfort, convenience and prestige.  Other new apartment buildings are located throughout the city, not as tall but still they are new and much better than the drab, monotonous and crowded structures of the past.  Gone are the weeds and trash, the cramped parking spaces and the laundry always hanging in the small balconies. 

22. The Legends of Borovoye 6:25   Borovoye, sometimes called the “Pearl of Kazakhstan”, is a place where legends are made.  Where it is said that when God was creating the world one of the nations was given rich forests, another got fertile fields with green pastures, another a large tree-lined river and a fourth received beautiful mountains, blue lakes and streams flowing down the steep ravines but, all that the Kazakhs received was the steppe, a huge desolate expanse of flatland stretching for hundreds of miles with only feather-grass and scrub.

23. Kokshetau  6:06  Grain elevators are a common sight along the highway leading to the city of Kokshetau.  On this highway, during the wheat harvest, huge combines make their way from one field to the next.  The north central part of Kazakhstan is the grain belt of the country.   The city of Kokshetau was founded in 1824 as a Russian administrative outpost to extend their power over the Kazakhs.  

24. Winter: The Familiar Path 7:03  Winter in the northern part of Kazakhstan is a time of unparalleled beauty as the snow and ice hangs on the trees and lakes and rivers freeze over.  It is also a time of danger as the relentless winds and below zero temperatures threatens the exposed skin of those who venture out.  Astana, at 51 degrees North Latitude, is further north than the continental United States but the temperatures are more like the Arctic. 

25. Wedding Traditions  3:18  For this bride and groom, their wedding would not be complete without a professional videographer choreographing the sequence of events.  Things that are included in the script are:  the symbolic “heart to heart”, the walk to a famous monument and the ride to various places in a long white limousine decorated with large wedding rings, and of course, accompanied all the while with rock music in the background.   

26. Atyrau: East meets West 11:28  Cars and trucks stream across the bridge that spans the Ural River, a river that separates the East from the West,  Asia from Europe.  But, this is only a river, a place to fish, a place to ride an excursion boat, a place that looks the same from either direction.  Those making the daily commute across the river are not concerned about whether their homes or jobs are in Asia or Europe.  Instead, they look to the oil and gas industry, an industry that is fueling the economy .

27.  Oh Isa!  Oh Isa!  Oh Isa!  5:39  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!… You can hear the words, the adoration for their Savior.  Sometimes they sound near,  and, other times, distant.  Where are those who know, trust and follow Jesus?  Would it be possible to join with them as they sing praises to God and to His Son, Jesus?  Atyrau is a large city, a wealthy city.  About 90% of its residents are ethnic Kazakh and, therefore, Muslim.  Yet, worship songs, the praises, the prayers are in the Kazakh language.  Yes, THERE ARE KAZAKH BELIEVERS in Atyrau! 

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