“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” – (Romans 10:17)

“Your broadcast is like a light in a dark place for many of us,” writes a listener from Kyrgyzstan. This small country in Central Asia has approximately 6.7 million people and 93% of them are Muslim. There are 28 unreached people groups. It has a lush, mountainous landscape, nestled between China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and boasts a rich culture, yet inequality remains rife in the country today.

Sons, not daughters

The Kyrgyz culture considers men far more important than women. Parents fervently hope for sons, and if only daughters are born, it might lead to divorce. Boys are given every opportunity to study, while girls must do chores and take care of the family. Should they wish to pursue a career, it must be one in service of others, such as a teacher, doctor or nurse. While some women face up to the challenge and achieve success, many are trapped in loveless marriages, without the means to support themselves, should they wish to escape.

N*, a FEBA Kyrgyzstan listener, shares: “Like the stories of many listeners in your broadcast, I too live in an abusive relationship. All the promises of a happy life are gone. We are fighting all the time… looking around I see many, if not most, women struggling with similar matters. Please, keep on challenging our men to grow up, and accept responsibilities.”

A light in a dark place

Over the past two years, FEBA Kyrgyzstan has shown encouraging growth. The team broadcasts in the Kyrgyz language all day, every day, via the internet, social media, and a network of six FM stations that covers about two-thirds of the country. In 2021, FEBA Kyrgyzstan received 1,922 listener responses; in 2022, they received 43,628. They count Muslims and Christians among their listeners, of whom roughly 65% are female. In 2022, there were more than 88,000 Instagram followers and more than 13,000 on TikTok, where FEBA Kyrgyzstan is building a lively ministry among young people. Their podcasts also attract attention, with more than 148,000 listeners at the last count.

One of the most well-received streaming programs to date is Immunity, which discusses physical health. Its program on preparing for pregnancy, which includes a discussion on why girls under 18 are not physically ready to bear children, has proven particularly popular.

FEBA Kyrgyzstan’s willingness to tackle tough topics is bearing fruit. “My wife is 35 and got pregnant with our third child,” says M*. “Due to economic challenges, we were considering abortion. However, after listening to your broadcast, we have changed our minds. Your discussion about abortion was very convincing… Now we are looking forward to the new life given by the Almighty. And we don’t have to be rich to have a happy family. God will provide daily bread for us… Keep up the good broadcast.”

A message from another listener reminds us that while we cannot always escape a bad situation, the situation can change by God’s grace. A* had been married to a good man for seven years, but she couldn’t bring herself to love him. She always thought he was the problem until she listened to FEBA Kyrgyzstan’s broadcast and realised she was at fault. “I thought that I must change him. After listening to you I can see that he is exactly the man I need. All I need is to accept him and even enjoy his great company. Wow, you saved my life … It has been a few weeks since my new outlook on life. Amazingly, my husband is becoming a happy and gracious man. I am really falling in love with him. I also will look into the teaching of Isa (Jesus). It looks like there is real life in Isa.”
Amen.


*Names left out for safety reasons.

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