The Hemshin are primarily found in Central Eurasia. In the 1890’s through the 1920’s their ancestors converted to Islam, and to this day the Hemshin community is predominantly Islamic and Turkish speaking. Though they are practicing Muslims who speak Turkish, there is a major cultural divide between their Armenian ethnicity and the majority population. Most Hemshin occupations consist of cultivating tea and maize and raising livestock. There are Christian resources in their language, but there are no known Christian Hemshin and few Christian workers among them.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
Many of the Hemshin woman work cultivating tea in the fields while their husbands leave the villages to work either in Europe or in larger cities. A couple of global workers who were passing through a Central Eurasian town met a Hemshin woman, Nur*. Nur immediately invited them into their home and began to share that she had a growing tumor on her stomach and no way to see a doctor. The global workers asked her if she would allow them to pray for healing in the name of Jesus. Nur agreed and as the workers began to pray for her the tumor began to minimize in size to the point of disappearing and no longer being visible.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Omar, the Central Eurasia director shares the needs of this region. He states, “Our prayer is that God-called people will come to the region, start church plants and translate God’s word into the local languages. Perhaps they will stay for a lifetime, or they may be called to another place that is void of the gospel. But in this unique environment, they can receive vital training to go out and be even more effective. It’s going to change their entire perspective on what it means to work in an area that has no access to the gospel.”
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for:
- Pray teams will go and witness to the numerous Hemshin who have never heard the gospel.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would stir the hearts of believers in the region and bordering countries to reach out to the Hemshin.
- As God calls and empowers men and women to share the gospel, pray that in their ministry to the Hemshin, people will see and experience the love and power of God.
- Pray for Hemshin women that they may find their value, worth, and identity in Jesus.