The republic of Tuva-

First, I need to tell something about the place where I live. It is in the very centre of Asia, which is located in Republic of Tuva (Russia). To find the place one has to go north from Mongolia and search for the Enisey River and Sayany Mountains. There it is. The native language of the people is Tuvan which is related to Turkish. Also most of the population speaks Russian as well. They call themselves Buddhists, by birth, even if they are not practicing Buddhism. There is one Russian Orthodox and a dozen growing Protestant churches, most of which are located in the capital – Kyzyl (in Tuvan – Red).

Map of Russia - Tuva RepublicMap of Russia - Tuva Republic

 

Now my story: In one of these churches a few years ago a friend of mine and I were doing cleaning. No one was around us, we were on our own. After a while a guest came in – a man dressed smartly and with an air of authority about him. He seriously asked where we were hiding his wife. Of course we were not hiding his wife. (There are some, including well-educated people, who still think that Protestants perform human sacrifice). After he received our answer he told us what position he held in the government and showed us his documents to prove it. From what he was saying we understood that his wife, against his will, started to go to our church a few months previously and once she did not come back home. In this man’s wife we recognized a young lady who had just became a new believer and was suffering a lot of physical and mental abuse from her husband.

The man threatened us by saying that he had the authority to close even the Orthodox Church here. He said that he would blow up the building and scatter our ‘sect’. Although we bravely responded to him, saying that he could do only what God would allow, my body began tremble in fear. In my mind I knew God was with us, but what I saw and heard was doing its work inside my body – I was quaking. To conceal the tremble I had to squeeze arms of the chair I was sitting on. I do not remember how long we talked, but I do remember the pain in my muscles afterwards.

The man left us being very angry and we did not hear of him for several months when I met the lady in question. She told me that she had been in the mental hospital for a long time and that was why she could not contact anybody. Yet in those difficult circumstances she was able to keep her faith and trust the Lord. Then she said that her husband died not long after he had visited our church...

By sharing this story I would like to encourage those who are in difficulties, in a struggle and who are oppressed by fear – God is with us all the time, even when our bodies tell us the opposite. Thank the Lord that we are not on the other side for “the Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5), but pray for those who are still there that they may have a privilege to become God’s loved people.

This article was submitted by a woman whose name we are unable to reveal at this time – she has asked to remain anonymous.