Just before LONG travel to Kyrgyzstan

Bishop Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
Sequoia National Forest

Dear Friends and Family,

            It is three o-clock in the morning right now and only five hours from the beginning of my long journey to God’s people in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan.  I am too excited to sleep because I have the awesome opportunity to obey God, fly around the world, and take part in fulfilling the Great Commission.  Mark 16:15Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” Including the predominately Muslim country of Kyrgyzstan.  I will not have easy access to internet or communication in Naryn in two days, so I thought I’d take advantage of the accessibility of email now and write an update…a praise-be-to-God update!

            Once again, through God’s awesome power and perfect timing, I received all the finances, down to the penny, needed to finish my Discipleship Training School in the outreach phase during the next three months in Kyrgyzstan.

Arches National Park
  Praise God!  Thank you for your prayers and support.  With the logistics completed, I’m now on to changing the world and being a light in the darkness by allowing Christ to live through me. 

            Because of the brevity of my previous letter, I did not include any specifics on what I’ve been doing in the past three months and what is to come in the next three months.  I’ll start with a quick testimony of how my life has changed because of God’s love and blessing.  Bear with me as I am writing this letter in the wee hours of the morning.  Many of you have known me for my very quiet attitude and shyness.  I always thought my timidity was just a part of my character, but through God’s recent revelation to me, I was allowing the enemy to use my introversion as a barrier from reaching out to people and proclaiming the Gospel.

A week at a remote cabin in Nevada.
  By attending this Youth With A Mission Wilderness DTS, God has pushed me way outside of my comfort zone, and because of it, I am a new man in Christ.

            I had the glorious opportunity to fly from the YWAM base in Bishop, California back to Idaho for thanksgiving week, and boy was it a confirmation that I have changed.  I actually talked with the lady sitting next to me on the flight about YWAM and God’s love for her!  I even unexpectedly gave a quick speech to the four hundred people in my local church.  Things I would have never dreamed of doing before.  My change is all due to God pouring down His love and blessing over me as I commit myself to His will for my life.

At top of Dark Canyon

            An exceedingly moving experience occurred after I struggled with God for days about giving up my right to mountain biking.  As most of you know, I have a passion for mountain biking and have moved up in the rankings in the racing world of cross country and downhill.  I loved it…too much I found…after God revealed to me during the mountain bike week of the DTS.  I had been waiting for the brief week since day one of the school and was ready for some crazy climbs and descents, yet God had a different life-changing plan in mind.  I awoke Monday morning ready to have some fun loving the sport of mountain biking to find myself with an agonizing headache, grumbling stomach, and debilitating cold. Noooo.  My cold lasted all week, and every day the rest of the students took off riding into the mountains as I stood and watched and sniffled.

At Bottom of Dark Canyon

            It wasn’t until the second to last day of mountain biking I began to wonder if God was trying to tell me something.  I fasted dinner and breakfast to give God time to speak to me as I lay in my sleeping bag watching the flickering stars above.  God revealed to me I had subconsciously put my love for mountain biking above my love for living for Christ alone.  I was shocked.  I was committing idolatry because I loved something more than God.  I confessed and God asked me to give Him my right to biking, to never bike again.  Once again, shocked.  I wrestled with God all night and finally gave up my right to biking.  I thought I would feel terrible and depressed because I lost something so precious to me, but God filled me with a joy that I was living solely for Him.

Headed off to Kyrgyzstan...
  To my surprise, all God wanted was to see my willing heart.  As I watched the sun rise in the distant White Cloud Mountains, I noticed all my sickness was completely gone! God healed me in an instant.  Praise Him.  Not only that, as the rest of the DTS team was preparing to leave on a new bike trail, God told me to join them.  For the third time, I was shocked.

            I was in the place of Abram when God told him to sacrifice Isaac.  God wanted to see his willing heart, then He provided the lamb.  After only a few minutes of riding, one of the DTS students, Mary, crashed, broke her left arm, fractured her right collarbone, put a dent in the bike, and cracked her helmet!  Olan, another student, was behind me and as he braced Mary, he told me to race ahead and tell the others what happened.  God provided the lamb by giving me a new reason to bike, not selfishly and for my pleasure but as a messenger!  We were able to safely transport Mary to the hospital where she has undergone arm surgery and is now in recovery learning several life lessons herself.  Who knew that an agonizing cold could produce so much fruit?  With God, all things are possible.

            For the next two and a half weeks, I examined my heart in different areas of my life and one by one gave my rights here on earth back to God.  Another outstandingly moving experience occurred at YWAM’s annual GO Conference in Estes Park, Colorado.  Once again, I was completely out of my comfort zone as the music was blaring and five hundred youth were dancing and screaming.  I asked God to give me the strength just to get through the week, and He had another life-changing plan in mind.  During one of the loud worship songs, I had a breakthrough in truly praising God.  As I sang “Whether I live or whether I die, it’s all for Christ,” I heard God ask me if I was willing to die for Him.  Once again, being the human that I am, I wrestled with the idea, but eventually came to a conclusion that if I was giving other areas of my life to God, why not give Him my entire life truly.  I lifted my hands and said “God, I give you my right to life on earth; I am willing to die for You from the depth of my heart.”

            God met me in the most powerful way during that night of worship.  He filled me with the Holy Spirit so much so that I was overflowing with tears streaming down my face.  I’m not an emotional guy by any means, but I was sobbing tears of joy for over two hours knelt down on my knees with my hands lifted high worshiping God.  It was my first experience of really feeling the presence of God in my life, and I tell you it is better than anything else in the entire world.  I am still being fueled by that experience.  God fanned my little flame of a Christian living in mediocrity into a roaring blaze.

            I am on fire and passionate about living for the King of all kings, the Almighty God, and it won’t happen by sitting on a couch watching the television.  I am committed to a life of international missions and obeying God wherever He tells me to go.  Right now, I am called to the torn country of Kyrgyzstan of all places.  The country has recently been in a lot of political turmoil and unrest as the people want the president to step down.  Riots have broken out, nothing violent yet, but it is on the line.  In Naryn, the school our DTS was intended to work with is currently under KGB and Muslim interrogation, so we will stay clear of them not to intensify the situation.  Although a lot is going on, I will not react with fear. 

I am going over with my blazing fire of outward focus and am ready to build some relationships. Our team cannot hand out Bibles or have public presentations because of the KGB and high percentage of devout Muslims, yet that doesn’t stop us from reaching God’s people there.  To be more subtle, we have a little different approach to proclaim the Good News.  I am specifically in charge of the snowboarding, summiting, and ice climbing ministries.  I have gathered several snowboards, boots, and bindings as well as ice climbing gear to take to Kyrgyzstan and use as tools to reach the people.  Only a few more hours, and we begin the long journey.  We first drive to LA which will be about 6 hours; then fly from Los Angelas, CA to Moscow, Russia �" about 16 hours; then a 4 hour delay; then another 6 hour flight to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; a few days stay there; and finally a 6 hour drive into Naryn.  I can tell you right now, we will need your prayers for all that time traveling.

Well…here I am babbling on and on and on to page 3.  I don’t really have time to edit, re-edit, and put out a final copy, so this will have to do.  Sorry about my poor writing and grammar mistakes, it happens when I’m awake longer than 12 hours…and I’ve now been up for 22 hours!  The bright side is I’m so tired now, I will have no problem sleeping on the drive to LA or the flight to Moscow! No matter what, I’m still on fire for the Lord, even when I’ve been up for 22 hours.  I’m off to change the world, and I’m starting with the Kyrgz people in Naryn.  Please keep me in your prayers.

In an ever-deepening relationship with God,

Zach Hooley

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sequoia National Forest
Sequoia National Forest
Arches National Park
Arches National Park
A week at a remote cabin in Nevada.
A week at a remote cabin in Nevada.
At top of Dark Canyon
At top of Dark Canyon
At Bottom of Dark Canyon
At Bottom of Dark Canyon
Headed off to Kyrgyzstan...
Headed off to Kyrgyzstan...
Bishop
photo by: bluemarbletreader