“We are all going to hell!” Boris remembers his Yazidi grandmother in Armenia telling him this when he was a young man.
These words frightened Boris, who turned to a Yazidi spiritual leader for hope. But he told Boris that only a select few would make it to paradise and that even spiritual leaders like himself couldn’t escape hell.
Hopelessness and poverty surrounded Boris and led him to become an alcoholic.
Despair among the Yazidi people is not surprising, says Don Parsons, Mission Eurasia’s ministry director for unreached people groups.
“The Yazidis are a religious subgroup of the Kurdish people,” he says. “Most of them are animistic pagans who worship the sun and pay homage to Satan.”
But someone shared the Light of the gospel with Boris.
At first, when he heard about Jesus, Boris thought that Jesus was just the Armenian god. But he cried out to God and promised Him that he would stop drinking and would serve Him with his life. And Christ transformed his life!
Alcohol had a strong grip on Boris. In 1990, as he was about to take a sip of alcohol, Boris felt the Holy Spirit remind him of his prayer. After that moment, he never drank again.
Boris told his wife, Nazzeku that “Jesus is alive” and that God had saved him. Nazzeku became angry and afraid. Boris said she was his first “persecutor.”
One day Armenian Christians visited the couple’s home and began to pray. As they prayed, Nazzeku had a vision where she saw Jesus before her with blood on His hands and feet. As she looked at Jesus, He said to her, “I did this for you!” That day Nazzeku’s anger turned to joy and she accepted Christ into her life.
Today, Boris is a pastor and works with Mission Eurasia to help bring humanitarian relief and the hope of Christ to the Yazidis. This people group continues to struggle with poverty and must sometimes even use cow manure to heat their homes. Boris travels to different Yazidi villages to preach the gospel and disciple 140 followers of Christ.
Pastor Boris faces opposition on a regular basis, but our team has heard story after story about how he and the church continue to show the love of Christ to others. “No one cares about us except for the church,” one local said.