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She Came for Dance

from a believer in Central Asia

The music, drums and dancing captivated her. It was Aygul’s first time to visit a church in her hometown, and it wasn’t anything like what she expected. Her only knowledge of Christian culture came from the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

Aygul is a 23-year-old Uighur* (pronounced we-gur) woman. Though her mother is Russian, she identifies with her father’s Uighur heritage, meaning she was raised Muslim.  

 

Because church was free to attend, Aygul began to visit weekly. She didn’t care about the gospel—she went for the dancing. She soon realized that the people of the church cared for her, and she found herself interested in everything—even the Bible.

 

 “I had disappointments in each sphere of my life,” she recalls sadly.

 

Her parents had divorced. Parties, alcohol and cigarettes no longer numbed the emotional pain. She had conflicts with friends and family.

 

“It was cruel for me,” she sighs. “I was just crushed.”

 

One night she fell to her knees in the privacy of her bedroom and cried out to God, “If you are alive, just help me…because nobody can understand me.” And the Holy Spirit moved.

 

“I gave all my life to Jesus, with all my mind, all my soul, with everything I am,” Aygul recalls with a smile. “I started to share the gospel with everyone. I told them that Jesus is God. If you give your heart to Him, He can help you.”

 

But they didn’t have the ears to hear. Her sister disowned her, and her friends were lost to their party lifestyle, but she knew that life in Christ was so much better than her “lost life.”

 

Since then, her sister and extended family have come around, accepting but disliking her faith.

 

“Though my family is Muslim, they see real faith in action. They respect it. We still have arguments sometimes,” she concedes. “They think that my family should be the most important thing in my life. I assure them that I love them.”

 

Aygul says that her people believe that to be Uyghur is to be Muslim. However, she is thankful for the part of her culture that is generous and hospitable. But in the end, there is one thing she wants most for her people.

 

“My greatest hope for the Uighurs,” she utters almost as a prayer, “is that they will come to Jesus. Jesus is for everyone. He is the meaning of life for all people.”

 

 

*The Uighurs are a Turkic people group found primarily in Central and East Asia. Pray for the harvest among them through expressions of Christian faith and worship (like dance) and the love of His people.

Download a free eBook with testimonies of many other Central Asian believers by clicking here

 

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