The Sad Old Man
Day after day, a sad old man wandered up and down the streets of his town in Azerbaijan. At night he slept in a shelter for homeless refugees.
The old man used to live in the part of Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh. When fighting began in Nagorno-Karabakh, he was driven from his home. His wife died in the struggle. His children and grandchildren were scattered all over the country. So the man wandered the streets, sad and lonely.
A New Friend
The old man didn’t realize he was being watched. Every day, a young Christian saw him walking. The Christian could see how sad and lonely the man was.
One day, the Christian invited the man to drink tea and talk with him. The man was happy to have some company. He and the Christian began meeting every day for tea.
The old man cried and talked. He talked about his wife, his home, and his land. The Christian listened to the man’s hopeless tale.
Jesus, the Savior of Everyone
Jesus offers hope for the hopeless. But many people in Azerbaijan don’t want to hear about Jesus. They think Christianity is a religion for people in other countries, not them. Most Azeris call themselves Muslim, but many don’t follow Muslim practices closely. But they still don’t want to hear about Jesus.
There are restrictions on Christian activities in Azerbaijan. Some Christians meet in small groups in homes.
The Christian tried to give the sad old man some hope. One day, he showed the man a video about Jesus. Then the old man could see that Jesus is the God of everyone in the world.
Later the Christian looked for his new friend in the streets, but could not find him. The old man was sick and had gone to a hospital. The Christian never saw him again. But perhaps he had given the old man new hope.
Old People in Azerbaijan
Not many Azeris live to be older than 65. But some of those who do live longer have very long lives. Scientists have tried to figure out why some people in parts of Azerbaijan live to be well over 100.
Many old people in Azerbaijan lead active lives because they are needed to help their families. Some people think that this is one of the reasons they live longer.
To Think About
- Like the Christian in Azerbaijan, we don’t always know the result when we tell others about Jesus. Give some other examples of situations in which a person who shares the gospel with someone may not know the result. Can you trust God to bless your efforts to tell others about him?
- In more modern communities, older people are usually not needed to help raise crops or chop wood. We may forget that they have wisdom and guidance that we need.
You may want to ask your parents or teacher to help you find an older Christian adult to visit or write to. If you hope to be a missionary someday, maybe you can visit a retired missionary. If you feel led to pray for persecuted Christians around the world, your parents may know an older adult experienced in intercessory prayer for you to talk to.
Keep a journal of things you learn from your visits, letters, or emails. The older person you talk to may have insights that could be lost if you do not write them down, use them in your life, and pass them on to others.