CAUGHT IN BETWEEN: The Peoples of Bashkortostan
06 Dec 2007
SCROLL BEGINNING OF ABSTRACT
The Peoples of Bashkortostan, Russia,
are caught in between
the hope of the Gospel
and the barriers of:
lack of trust,
and spiritual apathy
caused by generations
Most seldom think
of matters of eternity or a
personal relationship with God.
Along the western slopes of the Ural Mountains some 700 miles east of Moscow in a land known as the Autonomous Republic of Bashkortostan, lives a people who are truly caught in between.
They are a people caught in between the continents of Europe and Asia, … a hybrid culture possessing a curious mix of eastern and western traditions. They are a people caught in between two monuments -- one commemorating one of the many bloody uprisings of the Bashkir indigenous people group against their Russian overseers and the other commemorating the oft times uneasy friendship that they forged with Moscow.
They are a people caught in between the antiquated and the modern, between grayish, soviet-style apartment blocks and modern luxury cottages, between traditional markets and trendy malls, between street vendors and modern supermarkets.
They are a people caught between their urban, multi-cultural capitol of Ufa and the decidedly rural, provincial villages found in the rest of the Republic, … between the city’s brick and mortar and the countryside’s invariably wooden structures, … between the running water and tiled toilets one generally finds in the capitol and the more rustic accommodations found outside Ufa.
They are a people caught in between the crushed soviet dreams of senior citizens who live dreary lives on a pittance of a pension and the budding entrepreneurial aspirations of 90,000 college students, … between simple, heavy, dark clothing and mini-skirts with stylish European boots, … between the ballets and orchestras favored by older folk and the throbbing techno beat at the bistros and discos favored by generation now, … between Rachmaninoff and Madonna.
They are a people caught in between the life-style of the average wage earner and that of the new Russians,
between the average Ivan’s daily commute on Bus #31 and the chauffeured white Volga’s of the elite.
They are a people caught in between their great desire for societal control and the shadow economy, … between a myriad of Ministry of Internal Affairs officers and most business’ common practice of keeping two different sets of books kept by most businesses.
They are also a people caught in between a public mask and a private openness, … between the expressionless, unapproachable faces that one finds on the streets and the open, generous demeanor that one discovers in a Russian home, … between the smiles of foreigners and the local’s oft asked question -- “What is there to smile about?”
And tragically, they are people caught in between the spiritual wasteland of scientific materialism and the ritualistic emptiness of both Sunni Hanafi Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church, … between the false notion that one’s ethnicity determines one’s faith and the equally false notion that one can earn one’s way to heaven via good works, … between a mile wide religiosity and an inch deep spirituality, … between hopelessness and despair.
That is why they so desperately need people like you, … people willing to live Christ-like lives in their very midst, … in between, … in the gap. If you desire to make an eternal difference by investing anywhere from a week to several years of your life in what God is doing among the peoples of Bashkortostan, … if you wish to bring hope to every heart and a church planting movement to every people group in Bashkortostan, … then please contact us today.
Are you willing to stand in between for Christ?
(fade to song BLESSED ASSURANCE Verse 2 and the Chorus English translation of Russian words in subtitles)
(Fade to contact info during song)
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