For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14 ESV
Paul wrote these words in the context of Jews and Gentiles. Where there had formerly been hostility and division, Christ's death and resurrection created a new people united into one structure built on the foundation of the apostles' teaching.
Central Asia is filled with people hanging onto ethnic hatred. Governments maintain expensive propaganda campaigns to fuel anger among their populations and to keep citizens from noticing their own internal problems. Graphic film clips and photographs of atrocities are aired regularly to keep tensions just high enough to benefit politicians. In this climate, believers often struggle with loving their enemies. Still, we have long prayed that the Gospel would transform people as they submit to God's Word. This month we saw this happening.
Randy attended a partnership meeting for workers trying to evangelize among a specific Central Asian ethnic group. Attending the meeting were Americans, British, Koreans, Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Chechens, Kazhaks, and others. Several of these shared with the group how Jesus Christ brought them out of darkness and into the light, but the one which was most captivating was that of an Eastern European woman. When her country went to war just after the Soviet Union fell, her ambition was to get a gun and fight against Muslims on the front line. However, God graciously saved her and she ended up moving to another Eastern European country. There, as she came into contact with Muslims, she was filled with a love for them and a burden to see them come to know Christ also.
Like the disciples, Christ could easily say to me, "O ye of little faith." We've prayed to see these sorts of people standing up to reach across ethnic barriers to share the Gospel, yet it seemed impossible. I'm so thankful that with God, nothing is impossible!