Mission group heads to Kazakhstan

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 5, 2003

Most people have never heard of Kazakhstan, but for 12 Troy State juniors and seniors, it's all they can think about because nobody in Kazakhstan has heard of Christ.

May 18-July 17, these students, their director Bryan Kelly, his wife Delta and their 13-month-old son Bryce will travel to the country located south of Russia and west of China to teach business English and spread the gospel at two universities.

The group was able to fund the $64,000 trip completely through donations from Troy, Dothan and Montgomery area churches, private citizens and family members.

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They raised the money in three months.

"Our goal is to build relationships to share the gospel with Kazakhs," five-year director Bryan Kelly said.

To do that, the group will live with Kazakh students in campus dorms and learn what they can about the culture and the language.

Lucky for them, most of the students at the universities speak English.

At one university, knowing the language is a requirement.

"By the year 2030, the government wants everybody to speak Kazakh, Russian and English," Kelly said.

"There's a big educational push for that."

He said the country is divided between Kazakh and Russian and that the language spoken depends on geographical location.

Kelly went to Kazakhstan earlier this spring for a few weeks to make the group's dorm arrangements and become familiar with the area.

He traveled on all the public transportation, checked on security and even managed to learn a few key Kazakh phrases to help him get around.

When the team arrives in Kazakhstan, they will assist a full-time team who has been over there for two years teaching business English.

The full-time team is over there through a business organization called PIED.

Kelly said the mission trip has a two-fold purpose.

First is to build relationships with the Kazakhs so they can spread the gospel and second is to train the TSU students who are participating.

"They will have life training, Bible study training and ministry training," Kelly said.

"They will learn how to apply Bible principals to the culture they are in.

He also said the trip will give the students experience and exposure.

This is not the first mission trip the group has participated in.

Kelly said they go every year to places like New Zealand and Thailand.