Ministry partner update: ICOMB – January 2022

Introducing the Global Family:  

Maschayaktyn Jamatty (Disciples of Christ) – Kyrgyzstan

ICOMB emerging conference 

Our Mennonite history in this country goes back to the 19th Century. After World War II, Kyrgyzstan became a place of refuge for many of the forcibly displaced German Mennonites as well as other Germans. However, missionary outreach among the indigenous population was slow, beginning only 20 years later. By the end of the 1980s, almost all ethnic Germans had taken the open door of emigration to Germany. 

Just a few years later, missionaries like Heinrich and Annie Rempel (originally from nearby Tajikistan) returned to the region to plant churches among the natives of Central Asia. Heinrich’s engagement in the area is now approaching 30 years (14 years in-country). To this day, the peoples of Central Asia are among the least reached in the world. Heinrich’s vision was to start new church planting efforts, as well as help scattered churches to join in mission together as a family. 

As an MB mission with a shared history of over a century with other evangelicals, we decided to wait to be invited and blessed by the Kyrgyz Evangelical Alliance leaders. One day Heinrich was reintroduced to Timurlan Abdyldaev, whom he had known as a child. Timurlan and his wife Irina are a respected pastor couple and recently ordained. A few years ago, MB Mission/Multiply was blessed to come and work toward forming a family of faith on mission. Pastors and mission workers have a strong relationship with the Kyrgyz Alliance leaders. 

The young MB conference is named “Maschayaktyn Jamatty” (Disciples of Christ). There are five churches, two church plants, and other home groups that wish to become churches. They are in different towns throughout the country, including the capital Bishkek. The church in Tokmok is the first-ever MB church in the country, planted by Timurlan and Irina. Victor Wiens recently served there and noted, “If the other churches are like Tokmok, the future looks promising - some very gifted and devoted young adults are leading.” Some of the church-related ministries include pandemic relief, a rehabilitation center, youth work, and a ministry to the blind. Timurlan is excited to know about ICOMB and to see the MB church of Kyrgyzstan in the near future at that round table of the nations. 

In November, a team visited this emerging conference to further build relationships, celebrate the ordination of pastor Timurlan, and offer instruction. They came from Germany, Ukraine and Canada. The seeds planted as far back as the 19th century over the decades have been watered, and it seems we have now reached harvest time. 

The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is made up of 22 national churches in 19 countries. ICOMB also has associate members in more than 20 countries, all at different points along the pathway to full membership. ICOMB exists to facilitate relationships and ministries to enhance the witness and discipleship of its member national churches - connecting, strengthening and expanding.

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