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Meet Akim

02/22/2024 • Central Asia

In the heart of Uzbekistan, a local leader, Akim, learns a hard lesson as he navigates the tensions of faith and family in Central Asia. 

Over 28 years ago, Akim embraced Christianity, a decision that went against his culture and divided his family. Because of his faith in Jesus, Akim’s uncle declared, “You are no longer my nephew! You have betrayed our religion!” Despite the harsh words and severed ties, Akim and his wife persisted in loving his uncle and trying to keep peace. 

A few months ago, Akim’s cousin, the daughter of the disapproving uncle, along with her husband, unexpectedly visited them. As they were talking, Akim’s mother, a strong Christian, boldly questioned their faith, turning what was almost like a family joke into a profound revelation. 

To Akim’s astonishment, both his cousin and her husband expressed a readiness to embrace Christianity. The husband, who had not been exposed to the Gospel directly, said that he had been thinking about spiritual matters for a long time.  

Filled with remorse, Akim realized that his silence, meant to maintain family peace, had inadvertently hindered the expression of spiritual curiosity within his own family. On that transformative day, Akim took the opportunity to share the Gospel with this couple, and together, they placed their faith in Jesus. 

The journey of Akim’s cousin had been delayed out of fear of her father, Akim’s uncle. But a few weeks earlier, she had told her father she wanted to become a Christian, and surprisingly, her father nonchalantly said, “Go ahead. It’s up to you.” 

In the end, Akim learned a profound lesson – the importance of eliminating fear instead of remaining silent about his faith. His very silence meant to preserve peace in the family turned out to be a barrier preventing some of his family from placing their faith in Jesus.  

We hope this powerful story is a reminder that behind closed doors, individuals may be yearning to know Him, even when external appearances suggest otherwise. Pray for Akim and his family as their community of Jesus followers expands to new believers.  

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