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Baptists of Tajikistan continued Young Tajik leaders are beginning to emerge who are trying to start new congregations. Indigenous church planters lead several groups under the oversight of the Baptist Church of Dushanbe. One person completed an Inductive Bible Study course and his goal is to start a new Tajik-speaking group. He has organized a church planting team which includes 25 people who meet in two subgroups and are members of the existing Baptist church. An EBF team traveled to visit an indigenous missionary who works in a Tajik city near the border with Uzbekistan. The distance we had to travel was relatively short, only about 300 kilometers, but the trip took nine hours and included passage over two mountain passes. We were in a jeep going through the high mountains, crossing a seven kilometer long tunnel and the most demanding mountain pass that is more than 3,500 meters above sea level. The highest part of the road is simply naked rocks and there are no safety barriers. The slopes are steep and deep. Finally, we met our guide who is a local Christian evangelist. He explained that the basic method of ministry is to share the gospel with members of his extended family. He usually starts with a man who is the head of a family and the others usually follow.


USA


Virginia Baptists Forge Multi-dimensional Approach to Reach University Students & Young Adults By Carey Sims


The Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB) of the Baptist General Association of Virginia is committed to advancing God’s Kingdom through innovation and collaborative partnerships. One such example is the new Kairos Initiative, which aims to connect churches, youth ministers, seminaries and interested lay people with local organizations and ministries on college and university campuses so that together, they might engage young adults in building God’s Kingdom as they grow closer to Jesus. The VBMB supports Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) at a number of campuses around the state, but realizes the need for a multi-layered approach to reach this age demographic. The initiative seeks to create a network of local partners to reach all types of young adults, including those who may be enrolled in community colleges, vocational or technical schools, or who are in the military or workforce. Through shared resources and mutual responsibility, Virginia Baptists hope to create a culture of discipleship that fosters a deep sense of community, where young adults will become equipped to serve their community and the world out of their unique gifts and passions. Virginia Baptist Collegiate Ministers, who staff the BCMs across the state, are encouraged by the VBMB to foster creative expressions of worship and mission to reach a generation of young adults who are less likely to have any contact or prior engagement with the Christian faith.


10 BAPTIST WORLD MAGAZINE Baptist


At The University of Virginia, students were encouraged to


act as missionaries on their campus. In doing so, they read the cultural context of the university and identifi ed the artist community as a group that was not only overlooked by other Christian ministries, but also by the university. The BCM began to pray about how they could use their building to create space for artists on campus and in the local community. Their prayers were answered when a Hindu student approached them with a desire to serve as a curator for what has become a student art gallery and performance space. Over the past two years, thousands of students and members of the local community have come into contact with the BCM through monthly concerts and gallery openings. Most of these people had very little knowledge or interaction with Christians prior to their experience with this collegiate ministry. BCM Collegiate Minister Evan Hansen observes that “by honoring an underserved group of people, this Hindu student has begun to make the connection between her participation with this project and the life of Jesus. She is being invited to walk the way of Jesus fi rst, rather than hearing about the Gospel fi rst as a disembodied concept.” Virginia


Commonwealth is incredibly University (VCU) is an urban campus, located in downtown Richmond, where the student population diverse and representative of many religious identities. Two years ago BCM Collegiate Minister Nathan Elmore initiated a Holy Book Conversation which brings Muslim and Christian students together for interfaith dialogue. His motivation for this is deeply theological, fi rst to recognize each person as created in the image of God and secondly, to demonstrate the Christian virtue of hospitality, where genuine friendships can be formed. Virginia Baptists empower their BCM leaders to view the campus as a mission fi eld, taking adequate time to observe the particular needs of students in their context. They have been encouraged to use their gifts and passions to stir the passions of others so that future leaders may learn to trust the gifts of God in them. New BCM leaders at The University of Mary Washington are focused on discipleship and leadership development. They have identifi ed a small group of students, some devoted followers of Jesus and others dedicated seekers of truth and meaning, but who display a desire to learn and the capacity to lead. The BCM leaders perceive the need to engage students at all levels of their spiritual journey by creating an environment of hospitality where questions are welcomed. Answers do not come quickly, but trust is built through honest conversations in hopes that authentic relationships will be formed for the sake of Christ. Carey Sims is the Baptist Collegiate at Minister Washington States. the in Virginia University in of the Mary United


The Baptists of Tajikistan are grateful for prayers and support for their ministry. They appreciate being part of a large family of faith. Please pray for the successful work of indigenous church planters in Tajikistan. Pray also for the spiritual openness of local people as they read the Bible in their own language. Pray too for the formation of leaders who will be able to conduct Christian ministry among the Tajik people. Daniel coordinator Trusiewicz for the is the European mission Baptist Federation and has responsibility for the EBF’s Indigenous Mission Project

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