April 22, 2021 | View All Stories

Beekeeping Business a Sweet Spot for Tajikistan Missionaries

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

“We are originally from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan,” Rahim said. “God called us here, to the south, to live among the village Tajik Muslims. My wife and I want to see healthy families and communities here.” 

The village is near the Afghan border, where people deal with a lot of trauma from past conflict. Rahim 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. 

Rahim worked as a mechanic and plumber in Dushanbe, but in the small village where he now lives those skills would not enable him to support his family of seven. Rahim was noticed by Eno, the leader of Global Nomads, a group that identifies and trains indigenous Christian leaders so they can reach peoples who have not been reached with the gospel. Rahim is working with the Tajik and Uzbek people. Eno invited Rahim 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 Rahim starting a new business: beekeeping. Warren Stewart of ANM was at the conference in Turkey and was introduced to Rahim. He interviewed Rahim to become a ministry partner with ANM. After Rahim was approved as a ministry partner, he shared his desire to start a beekeeping business to support his family.

Rakhim with the Beehives - Advancing Native Missions Blog Image
Rahim with his beehives

This new beekeeping venture made it into ANM’s 2020 Gift Catalog, and you could say that it caused quite a buzz. Rahim 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,” Warren said, knowing how much the investment would enhance Rahim’s ministry among his unreached neighbors. 

Rahim 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 he 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 Rahim 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.

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Sue Morris

Sue Morris is a writer with ANM's Marketing and Church Relations teams.

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