Kyrgyzstan is one of the five independent states in Central Asia. A great percentage of Kyrgyz population is Muslims. Nevertheless a missionary founded the first Christian school as well as its first Christian foundation in this country.
Elder Yang：The main purpose of this school is to lead people to Christ. Some people have tried to evangelize by organizing different relief programs. Personally, I am not keen to those. Why not? If you can't actually share the gospel, what's the use of saving the poor? They might have things to eat for a moment but eventually they are going to die. After death there comes the hell. What a waste of money and time! What we should do is to save their souls.
This man is Elder Yang. Since 1995, he has been in Central Asia, as a missionary in Kazahkstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Before Elder Yang became a missionary, he worked in freighter industry as a sea captain. Having been blessed with many grandchildren, he could have retired in the United States; instead Elder Yang and his wife have committed their lives in a remote and alien country and begun a long missionary career. Ever since they received the vision from God, they've decided to dedicate the rest of their lives in Kyrgyzstan.
Elder Yang："God clearly asked me to build schools, and bring the them before Me."
The word “them” referred to by Elder Yang are the Muslim children in Kyrgyzstan. In 2000, Elder Yang decided to open the first Christian school.
Elder Yang：“I didn't have a license. How could I start a Christian school? I asked the local pastors, and they replied, “We've already applied for two years, yet without any response.” I asked, “Does that mean a yes or a no?” They said, “it means no reaction.” So I asked them to scheduled a time for me to meet with the Minister of Religion. In July, I met the Minister of Religion along with a school principal and an interpreter. However he did not show up; instead the Vice Minister came. We talked for an hour, and she agreed to give us a license for the Christian school. That was definitely a miracle from God.
Why did she grant us the license? It was because we didn't try to hide anything. I said that I am Christian, God had called me start a Christian school here. I don't want start one secretly or illegally. That’s an offense to God, and to the government. So I beg you, please give me a Christian license.
She said, "we have never issued such a license before. We only issue them to seminaries, since the students there are all university students. University students are allowed to believe in Christ. But now you want our children to believe in your Jesus Christ. That changes our education system. So, of course, we'd oppose that. It's a very difficult situation."
So I began to pray.
She asked me, "Mr. Yang, what is your purpose in starting this school? What's the direction? What are your aiming for?"
I smiled and replied: "You are the Vice Minister of Religion, and you are asking me what I am aiming for?"
She smiled and said to me, "You want to bring our Muslim children to know your Jesus Christ?"
I said, "This is what God told me: bring these children before Jesus Christ."
She widened her eyes and said, "You aren't trying to cover that?"
I said to her, "why should I cover it?"
She said, "You don't cover it, and that is very different from other missionaries. We have a thousand missionaries in NGOs, non-government organization, we don't know what they are doing, but you told me, I know what you are doing."
So issue me a license, a Christian license. It’s the first one in this country, first one in Central Asia, first one in Muslim country. That's a miracle.
Valentina： Tokmok Christian School – School of Blessing (Principal)
“In this school we teach children to know God, and let them understand His grace, His love, and they can spread to their neighbors, and I believe that they can bring peace to the country, and the children will live in good ways and then they can contribute in the future.”
Renata is a student of the School of Blessing. The school life here not only gives her opportunities to develop her talents, but it also allows her to learn fluent English. But most importantly, the school gives her a chance to know Jesus Christ.
Renata: School of Blessing (Student) “I like studying in this school very much, you ask why, I think that it’s the best school in the town Tokmok, I like it very much because we have here very good lessons, we have wonderful teachers, I study here with great pressure.”
“I believe in Jesus Christ because He loves me, and I love Him, when I saw the film when He was sacrifice, I thought that Jesus He died for me and I am a sinner, I thought that I will be with Jesus, and I will tell everybody about Him.”
In August 2009, Renata was chosen by the U.S. government to study in a high school in Wisconsin. A year later, she graduated from the school with remarkably good results, and was thus awarded a full-scholarship to continue her study at a Christian college in Missouri.
Starting a Christian school is the first step in spreading the gospel in Kyrgyzstan. In order to open more Christian Schools, Elder Yang applied to the government in 2001, requesting to set up a Christian foundation – a charitable body. To date, the Mercy Charitable Christian Foundation has opened 8 Christian schools, orphanages and also a school for handicapped children.
On this particular day, Elder Yang is going to show us another school founded by the Christian Foundation.
Elder Yang：This is named the School of Faith. It’s in a village named Ivanovka. Ivanovka is about 25 minutes’ drive from here. We bought this school four years ago (2001) to develop it. Why did I choose this location? It’s because of the citizens here. About 70% of them are Chinese Muslims. The local people call them the Dongan people.
It’s because they are Muslims. They said it’s dangerous to go to a Christian school. But still, many people continued to come, including the local citizens. There are quite a few Russians. At the same time, the Russian Orthodox bishop told his congregation: “Don’t go to that school!” Christians are a cult, what they’ll teach you is heresy.” But three years passed, and last year, he brought his son to our school. Now, he tells his congregation, “It’s alright to go to this school. They believe in Jesus Christ, too.”
- how many of you believe in Jesus?”
- 3, 4…9..13… woo…”
- Yang: “80%”
Even an Islam sheikh came and asked me, “Can my son also go to your school?” So I replied to him, “They are more than welcome to study in our school. Your son may even enroll without the entrance exams.” So, you see, how can anyone resist God’s great power? Bringing their children to Christ is most important, because they will influence their whole family.
RAISA：Ivanovka Christian School (Principal)
“We open a school here, for children to know God personally, even they don’t receive Christ now, did not have Christ in his heart, they can hear about God, maybe when they grow up in the future, they can think about it.”
Olesya: Ivanovka Christian School (President of Student Union)
“I’m a Christian, and the Bible teaches me a lot about how to treat people, in the past, if I fight with people…but now I can forgive people, because it’s what the Bible teaches me.”
Olesya was chosen by the U.S. government to study in a high school in New York. A year later, she returned to Bishkek and continued her education in the American University of Central Asia.
Jarbashy is a small Muslim village. There was no school here until September 2008 when MCCF founded the first school in this area.
John Tsai：MCCF (President)
This is the hometown of Tokmok mayor. After he saw the successful model of the Christian school in Tokmok, he had the burden to start a school in his hometown. Later, he invited MCCF to open a school in his hometown.
All the villagers in this town are Muslims. In the beginning, they were very opposed to Christianity; however since the opening of the school, they’ve gradually come to accept Christianity. Though the school is not allowed to teach the Bible at the moment, the good testimony of the school has exerted its influence on this Muslim community.
DINARA : Jarbashy School (Principal)
“When my family first moved here, because we were a Christian family, the villagers did not want to associate with us in any way. Now, as they see how we’ve lived and what we’ve done for the village, they even come and visit us.”
Under the jurisdiction of the MCCF, there is a school for the handicapped. All the students enrolled here all have some form of learning disability. Some are autistic and some are orphans. They have all been abandoned by society. This school has become their home, as well as their hope for a new life.
Galina: Kemin Christian School for the Disabled (Principal)
“We try our best to let our students know about Christianity, our students know who is their best friend, the best friend is Jesus, Jesus Christ changes their lives and changes the lives of their parents, but we need help.”
Bianca Yip: MCCF - co-founder
When I came to this school four years ago, we saw it and was immediately moved by it. As you know, I also have an autistic child. I know the teachers here have a difficult job. Many people have asked me how I care for my child? I can only tell them two things: extra love and extra patience. They need extra love and extra patience. So very often, as parents, we give and give to the point where we just don’t have any more love to give. We endure to the point where we cannot endure more. So being a teacher in such a school is not easy. That’s why many of the teachers here are Christians. They really dedicate themselves, that is, they dedicate their entire being, for the sake of these handicapped children.
Galina: Kemin Christian School for the Disabled (Principal)
“ I was a simple teacher, but God saw my heart, and God lift me up, it was next step of my life…I try my best to make this condition better and better, because life is not in one place, life is not stay, life is moving…and I understood that these children should be involved in this life and not out of this life, they can take participation in their lives and they can change their lives too.”
Bianca Yip – MCCF co-founder
An example is this child, Alyosha, when I saw him four years ago, he had no facial expressions whatsoever, because he has Down’s Syndrome. He couldn’t learn anything at all. But today, take a look at him, didn’t you just film him? Running out here and singing so well. And he had such a wonderful expression on his face! When you speak to him, he understands. Even if it seems these children are hopeless, they do have hope. But it requires love and patience. That is, they need people to love them. So love is very important, very important.
Galina: Kemin Christian School for the Disabled (Principal)
“Our school is a charitable organization, today we have a few physical needs, we need new, young teachers…right now we need to renovate our heat system…we have limited electricity…in winter, we’ll frozen…we try to fulfill education in spiritual way… we don’t have enough volunteers, we invite volunteers with us, those who are really want to and energetic.”
Bianca Yip – MCCF co-founder
We came to Kyrgyzstan and saw this country, we saw their extreme poverty. Of all the Muslims countries, this is the poorest. The other Muslims countries have oil wells, but Kyrgyzstan has nothing at all.
After the Soviet Union dissolved, and so did the Communist party, the Soviets immediately returned home. That is, they went back to Russia. Their children, who grew up here, married, and had a lot of children. But they were very irresponsible, they took their possessions and left. So many of were not widowed, yet they were actually without fathers or husbands. They were in such a sad dilemma. There were orphans everywhere and the children didn’t have anything to eat. They didn’t have a warm house for the winter, they were living in the manhole.
Elder Yang had a lot of mercy for them. I felt that we had a lot of similarities. It seems we had no way of enduring such things. So I felt we should reach out to them.
Elder Yang’s hope is not just bringing the gospel to the children of Kyrgyzstan and the Muslims there. He also has a greater vision, which is to bring the gospel back to Jerusalem.
Elder Yang：Central Asia’s five countries, one, two, three, four, five. This is Central Asia, including Israel. My vision is to carry on going westward, going through Uzbekistan to Azerbaijan, arriving at Turkey, and going through Turkey to Israel.
To realize this far-reaching vision, Elder Yang is ceaselessly developing new ministerial strategies. In 2005, He met with the local officials and boldly presented his proposal for establishing a university in Tokmok.
Elder Yang：“we are going to build this area as a city of universities, one by one, the best university in Central Asia, this land is empty, with no use, we make them become a city of university.”
Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not think that it’s simple to build an university. Isn’t that right? Why am I so confident? I know God will do it Himself.
What seemed impossible in the past has become a dream come true. The Professional Institute Yraiyim was founded in August 2008, and later in November 2009, International University of Central Asia became its official name.
Elder Yang：“You should study hard and become leaders of this nation in the future. Your growth and future prospects are infinite. When you’re at your fortieths or fiftieths, you may tell your friends and the world ‘I was the first graduating class of IUCA.’ How honorable would that be! Therefore, in addition to your academic performance, good character is crucial. ”
IUCA currently offers five majors and has 30 plus lecturers. And is ready to enroll more than one hundred students. Its dormitory can offer boarding up to 60 students. MCCF hopes the university can foster outstanding leaders for the local people through higher education.
Elder Yang：“I wish after you complete the education and come back to serve with love, to encourage democracy and benefit your people.”
MCCF’s accomplishment in educational field is remarkable and obvious to every one; as a result the local government was willing to work in partnership with the Foundation. The government even went to the length of asking MCCF to provide the Tokmok children with a playground, so that the local children may have a recreation area. Through the construction of the Jesus House, the extracurricular activities and the evangelism programs, many children and their parents have come to know the Gospel. Now, both Tokmok and Kara-Balta have a children playground.
Through all the ministries, MCCF seeks various evangelistic platforms to change this Muslim nation. Even though there are several devoted Muslim teachers and a good number of Muslim students in the schools.
Gulsara: School of Blessing (Muslim teacher)
“We are Muslims, but we know that God is one…”
Christian faith has influenced them little by little.
Aiperi: School of Blessing (Muslim student)
“In this school, I learn many good things, first, to respect each other…our school is different from public school. Nothing’s changed in my life…but I’m not against the Bible and the people.”
The vision of MCCF is to spread the Gospel from Central Asia to the end of the earth; nevertheless, to fulfill the Great Commission is by no means easy. The needs are enormous, including financial support, pioneer workers, and intercessors in prayer. All these require dedicated brothers and sisters to share the burden and to carry on the mission.
Elder Yang：who are willing to surrender themselves and sacrifice their time, money and life. Everyone is different, but God can use every individual according to His plan. He did not create every person the same; yet use what He has given you. Do not merely listen to the word; do what it says.”
This is an enormous ministry, and it will certainly grow. It depends on when God will carry out His work. I just mentioned, we are only just starting. There will be many people coming in the future. They could come and replace the others before, because this gospel needs spreading, it must go to the very ends of the earth.
Are you willing to be fellow workers of this ministry? John Tsai：MCCF (President)
This year (2010) Elder Yang is 81. When he first came to Kyrgyzstan in 2000, God spoke to him through prayer: “let the little children come to me.” Therefore Elder Yang thought “what should I do?” God told him, “Establishing schools.” Within four months (actually five), the first school was founded. No one believes he could accomplish it in such short period of time. In fact, it indeed was a miracle.
Elder Yang：One day, when I’ll face our Lord Jesus, I hope He would say to me “the faithful servant, welcome home.” That’s what I’m waiting for.