I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. “What is Turkmenistan and where’s it located?” Even more, “Why should I care?” Great questions! So, let me tell you a little about it and why.
This country is located in a tough neighborhood. It’s bordered by Iran to the south, Afghanistan to the southeast, Uzbekistan to the north and the Caspian Sea to the west. It’s got a population of 5.6 million, and, it has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. It has been the home of one of the great cities of the Islamic world and a key location on the famous Silk Road, which is a caravan route used for trade with China.
For many years it was a part of the Russian Empire, but over time began to pursue its own independence. It wasn’t until 1990-91 that it fully gained its own sovereignty as Russian Empire fragmented and then ceased to exist, creating a variety of new Nations in Central Asia.
This nation has one of the largest natural gas deposits in the world. It is so large that it provides this utility virtually for free to its people. Between the natural gas sales and cotton, its economy gets quite a boost. However, the level of poverty is no small thing. It lacks adequate export routes for the natural gas and carries a large debt load. Unemployment is runs about 11%. The country also is blessed with oil reserves, lots of farm ground, while hosting quite a massive land mass of desert.
Turkmenistan is 93% Muslim, made up of Sunni’s. The Baha’I faith is there, along with the Hare Krishna’s. Christians, as you can tell, are a very small minority. Most are connected to the Russian Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox church.
Enter Kirt and Susan Edwards. This couple serves as God’s Ambassadors to this interesting place. Their work there is young. You can easily imagine the challenges and difficulties that come with being a Christian in that environment. They have been watching God do amazing things, open doors with key leaders, physical healings of people, opportunities to share the gospel, and relationships being established.
We will be privileged to have Kirt and Susan with us this Sunday. You will hear their compelling story as they tell about what God’s Spirit is doing among the people of Turkmenistan. You’ll hear the stories of how God has been working miracles, and how hearts are being changed. It is so good when we get to hear what God is doing as He redeems the world to Himself in all kinds of ways and through all kinds of people. Here’s a chance for us to learn about some of our brothers and sisters. I’m reminded that Heaven will be filled with every tribe, every tongue, every people, every land – “He’s got the whole world in His hands!”
So, come expecting an unforgettable morning, and don’t forget…
One service, 10:30 a.m. – Memorial Day Weekend.
I can’t wait to see you!
Loving You and Him,
PS- VBS is just around the corner! Our theme this year is Let’s Go 2 Mexico. We’d love to have this place at capacity with all your kids! It’s an exciting time for our kids program as we go into the summer, and this will be the kick-off to it all! You can register online at deerflat.org/events.
We also need THOUSANDS of homemade cookies to feed the kids. Due to food allergies, we ask that you steer away from nuts or peanut butter. You can sign up at Guest Services or by contacting Larissa at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can start dropping them off anytime between now and Sunday, June 10th.