January 18, 2006|
Silk Road Stories
Amazing tales of God’s work in an Ancient Land
Review by Pendra Lee Snyder CCN-USA
Published by Onqrd Books, Inc. ISBN: 1-880689-13-8
Compiled and edited by Mark and Lynda Hausfeld with Ken Horn
It may be a small paper back, only 207 pages, but Silk Road Stories boldly declares on every page God’s power as told by missionaries working behind the veil in the ancient lands along the Silk Roads.
Mark and Lynda Hausfeld are Assemblies of God World Missions Area Directors for Central Eurasia and have served there with their three children since 1995.
In the opening pages of Silk Road Stories Mark explains “Centuries ago, multiple routes crisscrossed Central Eurasia, linking a variety of eastern and western termini. One branch crossed the Pamir Mountains to Samakand, Uzbekistan; another crossed the Tien Shan range, went through Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and eventually reached the shores of the Caspian Sea. The Silk Road linked the Yellow River Valley of China with Byzantium (later Constantinople, today Istanbul, Turkey), a city that sits astride Asia and Europe.”
He continues, “The Church of the East has a rich history, yet it remains relatively obscure. The Silk Road countries were once home to a thriving Christian movement, but warfare and persecution caused the worship of God to be replaced by an array of false deities, pushing the church to near extinction.”
Hausfeld explains that Jesus’ earliest Disciples took the gospel to the Central Eurasian nations of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “During the first 700 years the Church of the East, as it was called then, spread from Mt. Zion to beyond China. From the age of the apostles to the time of Muhammad cities along the routes that would become known as the Silk Roads became bastions of the Church that sent missionaries to people who had yet to hear the gospel.”
Islam, in the eight century, dealt the Asian Church a crushing blow. Added to the dark veil of Islam is centuries of geographic isolation, persecution, battling ethic groups, and Asian religions vying for dominance. It is still a tough place and a struggle for missionaries of the Gospel, but thanks to the internet and satellite communications, places once totally isolated are staring to open.
What follows the introduction is a compilation of true stories as told by Missionaries along the Silk Roads. Many of the names have been changed for their safety. But one cannot read these short stories without having renewed faith and hope in a God whose eyes roam the earth for people whose hearts are toward Him. And there are many coming to Him along the Silk Roads in some of the most amazing ways, in spite of the danger to themselves and to their families.
Silk Road Stories is a true inspiration. Easy to read, but will fill your heart with joy as you learn how God’s message of Salvation is traveling to the ends of the earth…or rather, back to the place of its earliest beginnings.