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UZBEKISTAN: Sixth-Grade Evangelist

During the 10 years of intense government persecution, some church members in Uzbekistan cautioned their children to keep quiet about their faith. But two believers, Atamurat and Zamira’s oldest son, Samuil, could not help himself. “I just wanted to have Christian friends,” he said.

One day the sixth-grader told his parents that he had led a classmate to Christ. Seven more students placed their faith in Him in the next two months. Although some of the children’s parents complained, the teachers protected Samuil because he was the top student in the school.

After Samuil shared the Gospel with a new student, however, he began to face harassment from the police. The girl’s father, an army captain, had complained, so police periodically pulled Samuil out of class for questioning. It was an intimidating and fearful time in his young Christian life.

Atamurat spent hours praying for his son, and one morning he asked the Lord, “What should I tell my son?” The answer he received was, “Tell him I am training him.”

When Atamurat picked Samuil up from school that day, Samuil told him the police had interrogated him again that morning. He asked his dad why God was allowing this to happen, and Atamurat then told Samuil about his prayers and that God was preparing him. Samuil was reassured and emboldened by his dad’s hopeful message.

Now at university, Samuil continues to share his faith with his friends. He said he finds it more challenging, though, partly because his friends are older but also because people are not as open to the Gospel as they once were.

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