Dear Friends of the Mordecai Project:
The apostle Paul asked the Colossians to pray for him and his team “that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ” (Col. 4:3). It is obvious that the Lord has opened up a wide door for The Mordecai Project. I was never more convinced of this than during my recent trip to Central Asia. Thank you for praying for me!
Below you can see me with the three young Slavic men I traveled with on this trip. I have mentored Alex and Alex for several years, and Timothy served as my Russian translator. The Lord used these guys powerfully, and He gave us supernatural strength to endure the 10-hour time difference, the unusual food (we ate a lot of horse meat!) and the rigorous schedule.
Below you can see me with my hosts, Ulan and Asil, who organized this trip to their native Kyrgyzstan. I have known them for about five years, and they are precious followers of Jesus who have experienced some persecution for their faith. Now they are helping to encourage the church in this nation.
Ulan and Asil had told me about the horrible abuse that women endure in Central Asia. In this part of the world there is a common practice called “bride stealing.” Tradition says it is acceptable for a man to kidnap a woman, take her to his house, rape her and demand that she be his wife. In most cases the girl’s parents accept this, so the girl basically begins her marriage with domestic abuse. You can imagine the level of pain that women experience in this environment.
We began our trip by hosting a men’s Bold Venture-style retreat. Men came from different churches to hear teachings about how to treat a woman, how to stay sexually pure and how to be healed from father wounds. These topics are never addressed in this culture, so the men were astonished to hear sermons addressing their deepest needs. By the end of the event grown men were sobbing in our arms and repenting for the way they have treated their wives. It was revolutionary. Below you can see a group photo of our gathering.
As you can imagine, women in this part of the world have buried their pain. Some of the women who came to our women’s retreat had been gang-raped. Others had been kidnapped and forced into violent marriages. Still others ran away from the abuse, but were then stigmatized by their own families because they did not submit to this mistreatment. I have never in all my years heard so much gut-wrenching pain from women. This area of the world is in serious need of a spiritual reformation. Below you can see some of the women who attended our event. By the end of the evening they were sobbing at the altars as Jesus came to heal their hurts.
Not only did the women find healing, but they were empowered to take their place as Deborahs. In this oppressive culture women are expected to stay in the background and submit to male domination. I challenged them from Scripture to arise and discover their God-given destinies as women who can change society. It felt like we were at the ground floor of a spiritual reformation!
After the meetings for men and women, I led a pastor’s event at a beautiful retreat center on a lake in the mountains. We were only 8 hours from the border of China! In that place God showed up and changed many hearts. I spent a day teaching on marriage, because even pastors’ marriages are struggling in this abusive culture. On the second day I taught on healthy leadership, and prophesied over many of the couples. It was like two days of heaven in that place.
One special highlight of that retreat occurred on the first night, when Ulan and some of the men came to the altar and repented before God for the way women have been treated in Central Asia. They wept and repented for the bride stealing, the abuse and the rape. It was a somber and holy moment, because I know God heard this humble display of sincere repentance. I am expectant that Kyrgyzstan and the region will change because of the power of the gospel.
After this retreat, my team and I ventured into the nation of Kazakhstan, where a dear pastor is begging us to come back next year. I preached as his church on Sunday and we have made a strong connection for future ministry. The door is opened! Please pray that God will show us how He wants The Mordecai Project to serve these people in the future.
I will be honest: This trip took a lot out of me emotionally. Being around so much trauma, and listening to the stories of abuse affected me deeply. It took me a while to recover—in fact I am not sure I have! I do ask for prayer to help me regain my strength.
I am leaving on Wednesday, April 11, on a short trip to Guatemala, where I will be checking on the status of our women’s shelter, Casa de Ester. We are almost completely finished with the construction.
Below you can see my friends Otoniel and Ilma Morales, who are pastors of Iglesia Nueva Vision in Rio Hondo, Guatemala. They have been my faithful partners since I took my first trip to Guatemala in 2002. Thanks to all of you who gave sacrificially to buy the land and build the shelter. Soon we will be able to protect and counsel many women who are struggling with the effects of abuse and neglect.
I do have one special request: We are looking for a team of women, preferably from the same church, who could raise the funds to come to Guatemala to paint and decorate the inside of our shelter. This building needs a “woman’s touch” to make it feel safe and comfortable for the many women who will seek refuge there. If you are open to such a trip, please contact my assistant Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also pray for us to raise the $15,000 we still need to complete our women’s shelter in Tarapoto, Peru. We also need an additional $300,000 for our projects in Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Thank you again for your prayers and your faithful financial support. We are indebted to all of you.
Lee and Deborah Grady
The Mordecai Project
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241
The Mordecai Project is a Christian ministry devoted to empowering women, confronting abuse and transforming nations through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
All gifts are tax-deductible. Secure online donations can be made at our website themordecaiproject.org/donate
Checks can be made out to The Mordecai Project and mailed to:
The Mordecai Project / Bold Venture Ministries
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241: