December 17, 2012 by stgilbertinkz
An open letter from Makset Djabberbergenov to all followers of Christ who assisted him during his imprisonment:
Greetings my beloved brothers and sisters!
I would like to dedicate this letter to my beloved brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ!!
Perhaps many of you who have been praying for my family and me do not know us personally, however, we are all bound together by the fact that we know our Heavenly Father and worship our Lord Jesus, making us his children.
First of all, I would like to praise our Lord Jesus Christ and also praise Him for you, my brothers and sisters. During my three months of imprisonment, you unceasingly interceded, fasted, and sacrificed your time and efforts on our behalf. For this I want to let you know that I’m forever grateful.
During these three months of great difficulty, we felt in a very personal way both your and God’s efforts on our behalf. The first two or three days I was in jail, I was unable to sleep. Actually, the only thing I could do was pray, and during that time as I was praying, I very clearly heard God’s voice speak to my heart saying, “I will not send you to Uzbekistan.” However, I must confess, that later I continued to doubt and worry. Satan was sending us all sorts of difficulties, trials and fears. His purpose is to tempt us to have no hope and a lack of faith.
From the beginning of this process, our lawyer told us that there was absolutely no chance that I wouldn’t be extradited. He spoke from experience, as his other four refugee cases (3 from Uzbekistan and 1from China) had all resulted in their extraditions back to their home countries, thus he didn’t want to give us any false hope. But, our hope was not in our lawyer. Our hope was only in God. Yet, all sorts of false fears were causing us to be afraid.
This was especially true after my 40th day in captivity. It was on this day that we were hoping that I might be released, as I was to appear in court. However, on that day they extended my sentence for 20 more days and gave us even more frightening news. Now, the judge said I faced two counts under the criminal code. So instead of the original 5-15 year term facing me in Uzbekistan, they said I faced an additional charge carrying a 10-year sentence on top of that. Upon hearing this, we had no peace and worry kept us from sleeping. Yet, we began to pray, using the Scriptures as our guide, verses such as Psalm 5:1-12, 31:1-5; Jeremiah 15:15. Then, in response, the Lord gave us comfort and joy through the promises of Isaiah 41:10-14; and Jeremiah 15:19-21.
When the prosecutor, the judge, the police, and even my own lawyer were telling me that there was no hope and that I was most certainly going to Uzbekistan, my heart was in turmoil, but with a pure heart, I prayed to the Lord that if it was His will, I was willing to go. I only asked that he would provide me with the strength to face the difficulties ahead and for Him to watch over my family. In this way, I was prepared for any circumstance that awaited me.
In Luke 13:33, Jesus says, “…I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day….” In the same way, I understood that I, too, had to do God’s will and keep going on His path. Also, in this place it was very important for me to share my testimony and I needed to speak of the eternal life found in our Lord Jesus Christ. For these three months, I prayed for and shared the gospel with those who were with me in jail. In the prison there was a very old copy of the Bible. Not only did I read it, but I also explained it to my new friends and they were quite receptive. I also told them about many stories and interesting situations as a way of encouraging and keeping up their morale. This was important, because all of them had hearts full of worry and responsible for some sort of criminal past. Many were facing no less than 3-5 year sentences and were quite concerned, they knew that, I, too, faced something similar but they were surprised that I had joy and was even singing. But, I told them God had taken my worry and that I should put my hope in Him.
God spoke tome often through the Scriptures and revealed many things to me during that time. Of course, I had peace in my heart, and the reason for this was that I felt the daily intercession of my brothers and sisters from all over the world. For that reason, God blessed me even while in prison.
At times we forget and ask why we have to face trials, but there is really only one answer. Jesus said that the person who flees from trials cannot be his disciple. But the one who bears up under trials is blessed.
We need to joyfully believe in God. Of course, sitting in jail joyfully was difficult! I had four children and a pregnant wife and here I was in prison, so it was no easy thing. However, God provided us all joy. HE gave us strength. No one could take our joy from us unless we fell into Satan’s faithless lies and he stole our joy. That is why we learned to trust God by drawing close to Him and putting our hope in Him.
God continually provided me with peace and comfort, yet there were times when doubts would creep in and I would ask: “God why are you not answering me? Will I not be released? But, once again He gave me an encouraging word, telling me that I needed to trust His words and above all he said, “I do not give false comfort nor are my promises false, just believe.” At that point, I deeply believed these words. Truly, our God does not give false comfort– if He says it, he will do it. Amen! When God gives us a promise, he doesn’t do so to provide false comfort, He fulfills his promises because He is the living God!
An additional difficulty we faced was the fact that even though according to the law my family should havebeen able visit me once a month, my wife never received permission to see me. However, praise the Lord, we were able to maintain contact via the phone. I also experienced God’s blessing in the fact that I built relationships with those I shared a cell with. Men from Azerbaijan, Russia, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Republic of Georgia were with me at various times. I was able to become friends with several and spend some good times with them. I believe that they were able to hear much about Jesus and I prayed for them every day. In faith, I believe that one day I will see them in the Kingdom of Heaven, Amen!
God also answered my prayers through the work of the United Nations when Sweden agreed to receive us as refugees. This is extraordinarily miraculous due to the fact that in 2008I decided to refuse an invitation to resettle there. At the time, the UN told me that if I turned that offer down then, according to their laws, I could not be re-invited. So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that Sweden had agreed to take us. When God commands something, no one can say no.
On December 4, 2012, I was released from prison and taken to the airport. The reunion with my family was a very joyful experience and my children, having missed me so much and not having seen me for 90 days, never left my side. They told me they had been praying for me every day. I rejoiced in the Lord because I realized that while in prison, He had been close to my children. For the next hour while we were at the airport, the brothers and sisters from our church–between 30-40 people– bid us farewell. We all wept together because they were the disciples that the Lord had given to me. In addition to all this, another young man whom I had been in prison with and had received amnesty some three weeks prior to my release was also at the airport to say goodbye. I was able to introduce him to my believing friends and now they have a relationship. Please pray for this friend as I believe that one day he will be our brother and believe in Jesus and be saved. Amen!
Praise God our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Victor!!!!!!!
Despite the words of man, God always fulfills his word. He not only kept me from having to go to Uzbekistan, buthe also delivered me safe and sound from prison and took me to Sweden. Just like Joseph of the Bible when God took him from prison to become a ruler, so I one day was taken from prison and had a new home in Sweden.
The only remaining issue occurred when we were held quite some time in passport control as we were leaving the airport. They told us that we had been blacklisted from Kazakhstan and would not be allowed entry to the country until 2017. While this is an unfortunate difficulty, we believe in asovereign God and trust His will.
Now, we have arrived in Sweden and it’s been a great start. We have quickly noticed that the Swedish people are wonderful, open, and kind!
Beloved brothers and sisters, your prayers have wonderfully blessed our family and we have been blessed so richly by God. Thank you all so very, very much. May God bless each one of you, may your families know the love of our Lord Jesus, and may the Holy Spirit strengthen your churches! Amen!
I would finally ask that you continue to remember us in your prayers. My dream is that I can obtain my travel documents so that one day I can come to your churches and share my story face-to-face and rejoice with you all. May the Lord bring these days to a quick reality.
Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for the holidays! May each of your families experience peace, joy, love, and faith. We love you all and I so desire to speak of the many miracles of the Lord and I know when that day comes, I will declare them to the whole world. Our God is a wonderful, loving God. He is alive! He is powerful and He alone is God. Amen!
Makset and family
We love you!