By Yulia Malabayeva
For many years we have been praying for new volunteers in the FamilyLife ministry. One family from Astana contacted me last July; they said that God had laid on their hearts to minister to families there. I began to interact with them via Skype and Whatsapp, and in the beginning of September I went to Astana to meet them in person. It is a great couple—Yerlan and Masha; they have three children.
Their story is very interesting. As everyone else, they got married because they fell in love with each other, and they began their journey together. After several years, the feelings were not as strong anymore. Yerlan was working hard to provide for his family, and Masha began to feel emptiness since her husband was away most of the time. Each of them started having their own life, their own interests, and their own passions.
One day when Yerlan had a business meeting, he received a phone call from his brother, who said that he’d gotten into a car accident and was dying. But Yerlan was so focused on his work that he told him he was busy and hung up on him. Only later that night, he vaguely remembered that his brother had called. He called his brother and found out that their father had come to his rescue.
A few days later Masha said that she was going to divorce him and take the kids away.
Yerlan had always considered himself a great husband, father, brother, and son—his family was the main purpose of his life. And all of a sudden everything had collapsed. He decided to commit suicide, so he drove outside of the city and abandoned his car. He was wandering around and came upon a cross, and then he saw a church and went inside. He met a woman there and told her about his desire to die. The pastor of that church arrived, and they had a long conversation. Yerlan accepted Jesus Christ and returned home to tell Masha about God and their meeting.
Soon after, Masha met up with a friend and told her about her life, and the woman said she was a Christian and shared the gospel with her.
Thus the long period of transformation had started. They needed to forgive and reconcile with each other and form a new family since their old family had vanished. They decided to have a new start and moved to Canada. They started attending a church there and got healed.
A couple of years ago they felt God’s calling to return to Astana and start helping families there. A year ago they left everything in Canada and returned to Kazakhstan, and now they want to start ministering to families by sharing their own story and leading a family group. Currently they are leading a HomeBuilders group with seven couples. We pray that God uses their testimony to reach many other couples who are struggling!