Tag Archives: Migrant worker

My first and last visit with Dilya

Redeem the time . . . Ephesians 5:16

The nature of migrant workers is that they are migrant. We often notice an ebb and flow to our work here. Sometimes there seems to be a great interest in what we have to share and many visitors in our homes; other times it seems as if everyone is busy working or out of the country.

Vital Part of the Mall's Food Court, Moscow, Russia
This travel blog photo’s source is TravelPod page: By train to Moscow

My brief acquaintance with Dilya reminded me that we must make the most of every opportunity. She actually approached me at a food court where she was working. This was unusual. I was eating a meal with family and friends, and she started up a conversation. Every so often she’d walk away to pick up trays or wipe down a table, and then she’d return and share more about her life. In 15-20 minutes I learned more about her life than I know about some of my closer Central Asian friends.

Right before I left, I found a Mary Magdalene film to give her. I told her it was in Uzbek, and she excitedly took it. She told me to make sure I came back to visit here and so I asked her schedule. “I’m here every day from 12-10,” she said. Again, she asked me to come back.

I was leaving soon for a 1-month trip to America, so the very next week I went to see her. I wanted to see how she liked the film. I wanted to ask more about how she was doing, but she was gone. I waited around the food court for a while, grabbing some lunch, and hoping to see her pop around the corner. She never appeared.

Maybe she was sick that day. Maybe she found a better job. I don’t know, but I do know I need to “redeem the time.” We never know here when our first meeting with someone may be the only chance to leave them with the message of truth.

“Can you help me sell my kidney?”

Clinging to a thread of hope, Rahim called Tom late one night, “I need money. I’ve been kicked out of my apartment. I have nowhere to go. Can you help me sell my kidney? My friend sold his for $1000.”

Rahim is one of more than three million Muslims in Moscow, the majority of whom are Central Asian migrants in search of work, hoping for a better life and a future for their families. Rahim and his wife each work long hours making very little money, live in separate places and are lucky to see each other once a month.

taken from http://tajikam.com/forum/index.php?topic=3711.0 For many months, Tom had been visiting Rahim. Rahim had shown an interest in the truths of the Bible, and together they discussed verses in his little bread shop, pausing for customers. The night that Rahim called Tom in desperation, Tom called to try to find a place for him to sleep. Rahim went on the streets, selling bread and trying to make a living on the $6/week he earned. Still, his interest in the Scriptures continued.

One day Tom visited Rahim at the market. He noticed a new joy evident on Rahim’s face. “Who is Jesus Christ?” Tom asked Rahim. “He’s the Son of God, of course!” responded Rahim. With joy, Tom realized that Rahim had finally understood the Gospel and had believed. 

Today, Tom visits Rahim, bringing him cards with Scripture verses on it for him to read as he sells bread in the marketplace, giving quick words of truth and trying to strengthen him in his new faith. Finding time to meet with and disciple Central Asian believers is difficult; they often work all day, every day just to scrape out a living.

Pray for the millions of Muslims in Moscow, that they might be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they will hear and believe. Pray for Central Asian strong leaders among Central Asian believers here, who might be able to lead house churches in their heart languages. Pray for more workers to reach out to the millions of unreached, unnoticed and often unloved Muslims in Moscow.

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