O, Isa! O, Isa! O, Isa! 
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                       13 Nov 2008


“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!  Are they wealthy like those who live in the new apartments?  Do they drive a new imported car?  Do they live along a dirt road in a small wood frame house?  Do they ride a bus or walk along a sidewalk to get to work?   

Where did these believers come from?  How did they learn about Jesus?  Some say it was from the German Baptists who were exiled to Kazakhstan nearly a century ago or perhaps it was from the Mennonite missionaries.  It is unlikely that they would have learned to trust Jesus from attending the Russian Orthodox Church.  People there are taught prayers to God must go through icons viewed as “windows to heaven”.  They do not know about Jesus as a personal savior, … as someone with whom you can directly communicate. 

The Muslims know about Jesus.  They also call Him “Isa”.  He is respected as a great teacher, as a good man, but not as God.  Muhammad is much more important than Jesus.   

As a part of the cultural heritage of the Kazakhs, Islam forms a bond with past, present and future.  Due to the understanding that Kazakhs are born to be Muslim, the few followers of Jesus in Atyrau must meet in secret.  For a Muslim to worship Jesus, they would become an outcast, … disowned and persecuted.  Because of this persecution, followers of Jesus fear for their jobs. …  They fear police raids.  … They fear for their family.  … Yet, they meet regularly.  … Often, this is in out of the way places; … places where suspicious neighbors will not be aware of their worship songs and praises.  Life is precarious but more believers are added to their number as the underground network reaches out to those who want to know the Truth; … the Truth that will make them free. 

In Almaty and Astana, … as well as other cities in Kazakhstan, … Evangelical churches are often easily identified.  Believers are able to lift their voices in praise to God.  They can listen to and study God’s Word and fellowship together regularly.  Believers in Atyrau, on the other hand, may never be free of the bonds of secrecy, … of openly worshiping God.   

Your prayers are imperative for those who proclaim “O Isa! O Isa! O Isa!” … the name that is above all names.

·        Pray for strength and grace to stand firm.

·        Pray that their faith in Jesus will become even stronger.

·        You can cry out, “O Isa! O Isa! O Isa!” on their behalf!

The great teacher, Jesus, said in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18 verse 20:

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name,

There I am in their midst.”

 No narration only background music for approx. 30 seconds before

OVERLAY: You can share Jesus with this one!


Atyrau AH-tur-ow

Isa                   EE-sah


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