When Innovista ran Leading For Life in a location in Central Asia in 2010, it represented the first meaningful training experience for many of the fifty young leaders in attendance, some of whom were leading churches.
Over 60 million people inhabit the Central Asian Republics – yet most have never heard the good news of Jesus. Innovista have been working on the ground to help the young Church there take the gospel relevantly to young people, in contexts where sharing the gospel or even owning Christian literature can be deemed illegal, and punished with a fine or even imprisonment. We feel privileged to work alongside young leaders who are relentlessly showing courage in the face of such persecution, seeking to bring the hope of Jesus to those around them.
The Leading For Life training conference provided participants with a practical framework for effective leadership in their context. One-on-one coaching enabled the leaders to solve significant leadership issues. Seminars on Innovista’s evangelistic tools (Zerro, Glad You Asked and Contagious Christian) introduced the leaders to effective mission resources that are proven in the Central Asian context.
Some of the young leaders we support are leading underground churches. Others are pioneering mission that connects with the deeply-felt needs of the emerging generation. Wanting to provide ongoing support to these courageous young leaders, when Innovista launched in Siberia in 2010 we strategically established our base in Siberia in Omsk, only 100 miles from the border with Kazakhstan.
And after building a relationship and trust with local leaders, in late 2012 Innovista's Dilya* was asked by churches to move to a Central Asian country for a year, to encourage young leaders and equip them to pioneer mission in their very unique contexts. Dilya says, "When under pressure churches in Central Asia asked us to train their leaders for local mission, I knew that if I didn't go, I'd regret it for the rest of my life."
Innovista help young leaders to engage with their context, and think about how best to lead mission boldly in places where they are often being watched by the authorities.
*We can't tell you Dilya's real name because it's too dangerous.