11 Jul 2012
Recently Innovista's Dilya* hosted a camp in a Central Asian Republic for under pressure leaders who she knows through training. It was a place for renewal and debriefing, away from the pressure of the regime's prying eyes.
Aziz, a young pastor, was there. He was just out from prison and needed refreshed. Aziz had been holding a Bible study when he was discovered by the authorities. Sentenced for 8 months, he missed the birth of his daughter.
It's not uncommon.
Tori is a young teacher in the same Central Asian Republic who has been facing persecution from the authorities. At her school a corrupt police officer planted Christian books.
It's illegal to be found with any Christian material in the country.
When he 'found' the books that he had planted, he fined the school on the spot. $5,000 is a large sum anywhere, but when it's around 20 times the average wage in your country, it's a frightening amount.
After much prayer, another organisation caught on camera the officer trying the same trick again. The fine has been dropped, but the teachers are still being closely watched.
So what does Tori decide to do for her summer holiday? She wrote to Dilya at Innovista who has been training her and her friends to lead mission: 'We can't spend our vacation just for rest. We really need to have a breath of freedom, but at the same time we want to spread His Kingdom! How can we help people in Ukraine to meet Jesus?'
So this week, Tori and two of her colleagues traveled from Central Asia to a small town in Eastern Ukraine to lead mission there at a children's camp. Dilya will be with them, helping them to think about how they can use what they are learning in their own local context.
Aziz and Tori* know what commitment is. They are bravely leading mission in the face of unrelenting persecution.
Innovista are committed to equipping them. Aziz and Tori already had a vision to reach their generation with the gospel. Enabled by our supporters, Innovista staff are providing the training needed to help them maximise their impact.
Would you consider giving a gift today and partnering with young leaders like Aziz and Tori as we equip them to lead mission where they are, bringing the hope of Jesus in difficult situations?
*We can't tell you Dilya, Aziz or Tori's real names because it's too dangerous.