First Sabbath Offering for a headquarters in Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Republic of Kazakhstan is a nation of 18 million people in the center of Eurasia, the smaller part belonging to Europe, and the larger to Asia. Kazakhstan is the world’s 9th largest country by territory, bordering Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea. The national language is Kazak and the main religion is Islam, professed by 70% of the population, followed by 26% Christian (mostly Orthodox), with the remaining 4% being Jewish, Buddhist, or atheist. The capital is Astana—but the largest city of 1.7 million is Almaty, formerly known as Alma-Ata or Verniy.
The message of reformation in Kazakhstan started in the 1920’s, yet faced serious difficulties behind the “iron curtain,” and the brethren had almost no connection with the General Conference. After the collapse of the U.S.S.R., most left for Russia and Germany.
Now it is time to revive God’s work in this part of the vineyard. Despite the vast challenges, the work never stopped here. Besides the isolated members, most of our believers, together with the worker, are located in Almaty, where for years we have rented various facilities for worship services. Recently, the government passed laws forbidding religious denominations from renting facilities for worship, thereby forcing our group into a hard situation. So, the Russian Union and East European Union have purchased a parcel of land for building a house of worship to be the headquarters for this area.
Almaty is at a crossroads, located along the famous Silk Road from China to Europe. Besides the fact that the Chinese are now investing many billions to revive that highway, the strategic site of Almaty makes it a tourist center as well. “We must not hide the truth in the corners of the earth. It must be made known; . . . Christ in His labors took His position by the lakeside and in the great thoroughfares of travel where He could meet people from all parts of the world.”—Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 35.
Dear brethren, we are on the threshold of eternity. Very soon Christ will come to take His people to a better land. The time is fast approaching when we will not need our material goods and are urged, “Get your means where you can handle it for the benefit of the cause of God. Send your treasures before you into heaven.”—Ibid., vol.5, p. 465.
Your brothers and sisters from Kazakhstan