Master of Arts, Intercultural Studies, 1998, Columbia International University
Sharing God's Love in Central Asia
Since I graduated from Columbia International University, I have had the privilege of serving in various cross-cultural ministries, such as teaching English, Scripture translation, emergency relief, community development, story-telling evangelism, small group discipleship, literacy programs, leadership, and skills development.
Studying at CIU was like a dream come true for me. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and my parents are divorced. However, I sensed God’s call to full-time Christian work and, therefore, wanted to pursue graduate studies to better equip myself for ministry. After completing my master’s degree in Intercultural Studies in May 1998, I was so inspired to declare His glory among unreached people groups that I missed the graduation ceremony to go on a survey trip throughout Central Asia. For me, the two-week vision trip turned into a long-term commitment to share God’s love among those who have never heard the Good News.
My favorite place in Central Asia is Afghanistan. I have so many memorable experiences, such as sharing the Christmas Story while implementing Afghanistan’s first Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution just months after 9/11, watching the Jesus Film with many first-time viewers, seeing Afghans read or hear the Word of God for the very first time, witnessing the transforming power of the gospel and gathering in house-groups to worship the Messiah. However, one of the greatest events of my life in Afghanistan was a Christian wedding – my own. Yes, in God’s sovereign plan, I met my wife in Afghanistan. God allowed us to have several local Afghan-style celebrations and joyous wedding ceremonies, where thousands of our Afghan friends heard the Good News of our Father’s love in their own language.
Looking back, my time at CIU was paramount to helping me confirm God’s call on my life and further develop God’s passion for unreached people groups. God loves Afghans, and it is a privilege to work among them. I am so blessed and grateful for my training at CIU, the friendships formed and the daily interaction with godly men and women who faithfully teach from a biblical worldview. May God continue to send students to CIU who, after a season of study, can be sent out all over the world to share His love in both word and deed.
If you would like to read more, my latest book is “A Flame on the Front Line.”