Snowstorm By Mark J.H. Klassen



Tariq was on his way home when he got caught in the snowstorm. He and his son had traveled by car to share the Gospel in a very remote community in the mountains of Central Asia. They knew that they were risking their lives to bring the hope of Jesus to people who were without hope.

The two Gospel messengers found themselves stranded in the cold at 12,000 feet in a desolate mountain pass. Their little car was not able to get through the snow. With only a small amount of fuel, they were losing hope themselves. They knew that, without a miracle, it would not take long before they would both freeze to death.

Word about Tariq and his son first spread to Europe where our workers began to invite people to pray for the two men in the midst of the storm. Very quickly, others in North America heard the urgent news and soon the Church around the world was praying.

Without a miracle, they knew that
they would both freeze to death. 

Tariq and his son huddled in their car beside the road as the snow continued to accumulate. They also prayed desperate prayers, asking God to send them help. 

Finally, another vehicle approached them, fortunately with four-wheel-drive and a long rope. They attempted to pull the little car out of the snowdrift, but the rope was not strong enough. It ripped in half and the car remained stuck in the snow. It was decided that Tariq would stay with the car while his son was taken to safety in the other vehicle.

The road crews continued to work through the night to clear the road to the mountain pass. But the work went slowly and there were more setbacks due to an avalanche. The temperatures were cold and the winds were harsh.

Around the world, more and more people were praying. They gave thanks when they heard that Tariq’s son was safe, but they kept praying fervently that he would also be saved. Many of those praying were familiar with the story of Tariq’s dramatic conversion from Islamic background to faith in Jesus and his subsequent church-planting ministry in Central Asia. People knew that Tariq had sacrificed so much for the work of the Gospel in his homeland. Despite great risks and steady opposition, Tariq and his family had been faithful workers and effective partners for a church-planting movement that was gaining momentum across the region. It seemed unimaginable to those who knew him that Tariq’s life would be lost to a snowstorm.

Finally, word came to those who were praying that the road crews had reached Tariq. He was brought to safety and immediately began to give thanks to God not only for saving him and his son from the snowstorm but also for the effective ministry in the village before they became stranded. People were amazed at Tariq’s passion for preaching the Gospel among his people. In fact, even after he was rescued, Tariq quickly took the opportunity to visit another village where he was able to share the Gospel of Jesus yet again.

Tariq has been a shining example of faith and perseverance. In his commitment to multiplying the message of the Gospel, he is willing to risk his own life. Tariq is not living for himself, but for Jesus who said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).

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