Without Jesus I Wouldn’t Have Any Peace

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans5 Minutes

Suyunshi is a sweet tradition in the Kazakh culture that reflects the prophet Isaiah’s words: “how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news” (Isaiah 52:7). In this tradition, anyone who brings glad tidings to a Kazakh home receives a generous reward.

But in Bota’s Kazakh world, the greatest Good News didn’t exist. The idea of God or even a spiritual world was utter foolishness to her family. The harshness of life in Central Asia – no water, gas, or electricity – blotted out any thoughts of a good and loving God.

Raised under a Communist regime, Bota had been taught that people must develop and rely on their own strengths. The collapse of the Soviet Union revealed that message as propaganda – but Bota did not know where else to turn.

As a teen, she had a deep longing to understand truth – to find a meaning and purpose in life. She had an odd feeling of having wandered from God even though she did not really believe He existed. Some family members believed in Allah because her culture had Islamic roots, so she tried attending mosque. When she learned that females could not be discipled, her spirit could not accept the Islam God as truth.

In Bota’s words, she was in a very dark place. “I became unkind even as I tried to understand why others were cruel. It was a time of emptiness. I was hating on people, hating on myself — self-absorbed.” Bota looked everywhere for answers — in fortune telling, in self-help and pop psychology books. The world seemed full of pain and there were more questions than answers.

“I had heard about Jesus through the Orthodox Churches, but it seemed like a foreign religion. Then someone came to the door and told me about Jesus, but I still did not understand. One night a brochure about Jesus’ life mysteriously appeared in my house. I don’t know where it came from. It was so simple in its explanation. It told me how sin came into the world, and how it separates people from God. It told me that Jesus came to change that. A simple printed prayer showed me how to accept eternal life as a gift of grace.”

There was no crashing thunder or supernatural strange events, but there was a miracle. Peace came into Bota’s soul, and she felt her burdens lift off of her.

“Something changed when I read that prayer and invited Jesus in. It was a beautiful moment when I understood the real nature of Jesus. I found out I didn’t have to earn my way to heaven. Unconditional love and grace became accessible to me!”

Bota’s life did not become instantly easy. Christian literature and the Bible were not commonly available in her language. But God knew her need and met her need!

She soon met other believers who knew, spoke, and prayed in her language. Bota was amazed to find the Psalms and Proverbs in her Kazakh Language. “I was so excited that God knew my people and spoke my language! Having faith in Jesus changed me 100%.”

In God’s wonderful grace, Bota’s parents and her sister came to know the Lord, too. Her mom recently had the joy of a river baptism. And Bota now serves with a Bible translation ministry helping others hear God in their own language. If you would like to watch a video interview with Bota, you can do so here:  https://www.wycliffe.ca/member/d-bota/.

If you do not have the peace Bota describes we invite you to to find Jesus, through this video: The Love of God.