The yurt has no door, or how we visited God’s dacha
There is a well-known joke in Kyrgyzstan about how God divided the land between nations. The Kyrgyz were late for this important event and did not get their own land. They began to ask God for mercy for them, finally He took pity and told them – “Okay, live at my dacha*”.
*Dacha – kind of soviet small rural villa, maison à la campagne.
This joke can be made as the motto of the trip of Vladislav and Elena Valakhovich in late March 2021 to Kyrgyzstan to hold a workshop on ecology of matrimony and the training for NFP (Natural Family Planning) teachers. During these 8 days that we spent in this amazing country, there was the feeling that we were preaching the Gospel among the biblical landscapes around the Sea of Galilee overlooking Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights.
Since 2019, thanks to recommendation of wonderful pro-life gynecologist Lyudmila Barakova, it was the third trip of Open Hearts to Central Asia. This amazing region has unexpectedly created fertile ground for the preaching of the Gospel of life on the basis of various Christian churches, which are minority of population with the traditional Muslim majority. Two trainings were held in Kazakhstan and two trainings in Kyrgyzstan, but only Kyrgyzstan began to give the first results, perhaps because here the trainings were organized out the city, with full immersion in the topic of the ecology of matrimony and NFP. This once again proves the thesis of our inspirer and teacher Galina Maslennikova, that the training brings the best results in the form of spiritual retreats “in the desert”, when people are not distracted by their family problems and household issues.
The organization of the Kyrgyz seminars was selflessly taken up by Guljan Matniyazova, head of the pro-life center “Cradle” in Bishkek, who twice found the opportunity to organize trainings near Issyk-Kul, a huge lake at an altitude of 1600 meters with brilliant water and a view of snow-capped mountains. For the second time, she managed to involve to cooperation the Catholic mission Caritas in Kyrgyzstan, which has its own center for spiritual retreats a hundred meters from the lake. In a cozy room with a brightly burning fireplace and views of the snowy mountains, stories about the ecology of marriage were perceived as an elven epic from Tolkien's books.
The result speaks for itself – at the second training, 6 Christian teachers of the Symptothermal fertility awareness method were successfully trained under the second level program, who now сan carry on to preach the Gospel of life in Kyrgyzstan.
In Soviet times, this mountainous republic was considered one of the poorest among the 15 USSR republics, because it never went through the stage of industrial revolution and capitalism. The deindustrialization in the 90th influenced the fact that today ordinary Belarusians can consider themselves quite prosperous if compared to ordinary Kyrgyz, especially because in recent years we become accustomed to good roads, low levels of corruption at the everyday life, but in Kyrgyzstan these problems are still pressing and painful.
But what really shocked us was that we did not see gloomy, tired and worried faces there; on the contrary, we saw children everywhere, even in remote villages on the south side of Issyk-Kul. Indeed, despite all immoral efforts of international organizations, the birth rate in Kyrgyzstan today is still 3.3 children per woman! Compared to 1.5 children in Belarus, this is just a bomb, despite the fact that there is practically no state support for motherhood in this country. Because of so high birth rate, the country’s population has grown from 3 million in the 1970s to 6 million now, despite poverty, labor migration and a bunch of problems in education, healthcare, etc. Children are everywhere in Kyrgyzstan – on the streets, on donkeys or on a cart, they play or help their parents in the garden or pasture. And there are cows, horses and sheeps everywhere – everything is like in the Bible. There are even camels. We saw a country full of life – and it really filled us with optimism, which became the background for us during the days of the training.
I realized that I accustomed to Belarusian and European villages, which are clean, but empty, filled only with old people. And Kyrgyzstan became an incredible journey for us in the 1960s, to the poor but sunny world from old soviet films. So are also the people – a little naive, but in fact, very open. Perhaps this is connected with our common post-Soviet love for foreigners, although, to be honest, we did not feel like foreigners there, we were just far from our home, but still in a close and understandable environment. Already at the previous training, before the covid, I asked the Kyrgyz why they are so open. I received a completely disarming answer – “the yurt has no door, so there is nothing to close”.
So, hurry to see the unique country, which is still alive, where people still speak Russian, where the air is crystal clear, and the ice water flowing from the mountains has not been poisoned by hormones yet. The place, where people keep 18 cows on their small garden in village in order to survive, and no one complains that 40 neighbor’s сocks crow in the morning. The place, where people when meeting you, still shake your hand, or rather, your two hands, despite the covid-19. The place, where no one humiliate eight-child parents with the phrase “to spread poverty”, and girls still keep their chastity until marriage, unless, of course, they go to study to the capital. By the way, brides are still being stolen there, but now only by agreement in advance, so that the UNO does not scold.
Yes, we can say that all these things are good, but at the same time there is a lack of progress, violation of human rights and freedom of expression. But looking at this blooming life, which is flourishing in nature and in people, one can ask the question – do we really need all this freedom, progress and rights? Have we not exchange our humanity for comfort and progress, finding ourselves at the broken trough of indifference and loneliness in the end?
I hope that the ecology of matrimony and the Gospel of life will take root in fertile soil at the “God’s dacha”. That the Kyrgyz teachers of the NFP, despite the peculiarities of their mentality, will manage to find the key to the hearts of their people. This country deserves to become an oasis of life for those who have withered in the civilizational dash for material well-being.
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В рамках деятельности Фонда проводится психологическое консультирование по вопросам семейной жизни, а также организован курс экологии семьи. Одной из важных составляющих деятельности Фонда является проведение лекций и встреч в разных аудиториях о демографических проблемах современного мира, трагедии отказа от деторождения, о вреде контрацепции и абортов для духовного, психологического и физического здоровья супругов. С декабря 2008 в Витебске и Могилеве организовано ежедневное молитвенное дежурство в отделениях неотложной гинекологии
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