April 22, 2021 | View All Stories

Beekeeping Business a Sweet Spot for Central Asian Missionaries

Yusuf* and his family of seven took a drastic step in their lives because of their desire to minister. 

“We are originally from [a large city in Central Asia],” Yusuf said. “God called us here to live among the village Muslims. My wife and I want to see healthy families and communities here.” 

The village is near a once volatile border with another country, where people deal with a lot of trauma from past conflict. Yusuf and his wife received training in counseling for emotional healing and are working toward certification as counselors. They are normal people working normal jobs but thinking strategically about ways to impact their community with the gospel. 

Yusuf worked as a mechanic and plumber in the large city, but in the small village where he now lives those skills would not enable him to support his family of seven. Yusuf was noticed by the leader of another mission group that identifies and trains indigenous Christian leaders so they can reach Turkic peoples unreached with the gospel. Yusuf was invited to a training session in Turkey to learn how to start small businesses for income while evangelizing and planting churches. 

This training was the catalyst for Yusuf starting a new business: beekeeping. ANM’s regional director for Central Asia was at the conference in Turkey where he was introduced to Yusuf and interviewed him for a potential ministry partnership. Yusuf was approved as an ANM native partner.  He then shared his desire to start a beekeeping business to support his family.

Yusuf with the Beehives - Advancing Native Missions Blog Image
Yusuf with the Beehives

This new beekeeping venture made it into ANM’s 2020 Gift Catalog, and you could say that it caused quite a buzz. Yusuf needed $150 to begin his business. That amount would allow him to buy bees and necessary materials to raise them. However, generous donors did far more, raising $4,500 for beekeeping. “That was the best Christmas gift I have seen in a long time,” our regional director said, knowing how much the investment would enhance Yusuf’s ministry among his unreached neighbors. 

Yusuf has already started investing in the business. He has begun selling honey in his neighborhood to friends and relatives. In the future, he wants to expand and sell honey in the local markets. His mentor in the beekeeping business has been a valuable connection to the community as he and his wife are working to grow relationships. The more businesses Yusuf is involved in, the more relationships he can develop and the more opportunities he has to lead people to Christ. 

The small investment in beekeeping has led to Yusuf making a lasting impact in God’s kingdom. Other Christian workers are eager to start a business with bees. Click here to help them get started.

* Name changed for security reasons.

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Sue Morris is a writer with ANM's Marketing team.

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