Anara (name changed for safety) is one of our current School Without Walls (SWW) students in Kyrgyzstan and a university professor. He uses his influential profession, and the cultural respect he commands as a teacher, to share Christ with his students and their families in this largely Muslim country:
“My parents teach at a local university in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and I knew from a very young age that I also wanted to be a professor,” shares Anara. “This is a very honorable profession in Central Asia, and teachers are often called ‘Mughal,’ which means ‘honorable person.’
“After I accepted Christ as my Savior, I started going to church, where I got involved in SWW. I was particularly impressed by the courses that focused on talking with Muslims about Jesus, and I started questioning how I could possibly share the gospel with my students and still be regarded as an ‘honorable person.’ I was afraid, because I thought I would be fired right away if I talked about my faith at work. My parents also warned me that it would be impossible for me to share the gospel with my students.
“I was so discouraged that I considered pursuing a different profession so that I could share my faith more easily. However, during this time, God revealed to me that He was still calling me to teach at university, and I realized how important it is for teachers to share the gospel with their students, especially in Muslim countries. Therefore, after graduating from university, I started teaching at the same university where my parents work. I decided that I would stop at nothing to share my faith, so I talked about God in all of my lectures. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my students appreciated my teaching.
“The population of students at the university has changed a lot during the past few years. Many wealthy parents in Bishkek started sending their children to study in other Muslim countries, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, so our university started accepting students from remote cities and villages. Sadly, our students from Bishkek are often unkind to these new students. However, for me, I know that I must be salt in these students’ lives by sharing Christ’s love with them. More importantly, I must also be light by witnessing to them about the salvation and eternal life that only He offers.
“Now I am teaching my own SWW course to train and equip students to share the gospel in their workplaces. Some of my university students have even started studying at SWW! Not long ago, I thought it would be impossible to use my role as a teacher to share the gospel in a Muslim country, but today, my students call me ‘Mughal!’”
You can help train more Next Generation Professional Leaders like Anara to reach their countries for the Gospel! To support School Without Walls and NGPLI training programs for these leaders, you can give online here: