Along the Pamir Highway | A Light in a Dark Place

Written By: Woodside Missions Team


April 30, 2024

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” – Matthew 5:14-16

Throughout the world, people are risking their lives to bring the Gospel to those who have never heard it before. Today, take a moment to hear a story from “Dennis,” one of our global partners serving in the Middle East. As you read, ask God to reveal to you where he’s sending you to go—whether in your own neighborhood or to the ends of the earth.

Last month, I had the joy of trekking with other believers along the Pamir Highway in the Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. The Panj River separates the highway routes along the border with Afghanistan and the two countries, a rushing white-water river. Surrounded by mountains, many of which are ten thousand feet higher than Colorado’s 14ers, our SUV raced along this rugged dirt trail, pitching and swaying. In the distance, we could see small Afghan villages along the bank of the river with children playing, women hanging clothes, and men driving trucks. Immediately, we had the same thought, “Afghanistan. It’s right there!”

As we continued along the highway, we stopped to wave to the children across the way, and some waved back! We prayed for specific individuals as we saw them across the river, saying, “Father, may your Kingdom come and will be done in this place as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name…” Occasionally, we would spot a white Taliban flag waving high in the sky at a border checkpoint. We prayed, “Father, please, bring even those serving in the Taliban to come to know you.”

As the sun set over the rugged mountain range, it didn’t take long for all the light to disappear. Soon, we were driving along the muddy trail in what felt like the darkest dark, far away from any major city. We depended solely on the two headlamps lighting the way in the front of our faithful “mochine” (the Dari word for car). As I looked out across the raging river (which could only be heard), I peered at what felt like a pitch-black land. There was no light in sight. I prayed, “God, where is the light in this land? Do these people even have a chance to know you?”

As we continued down the road, a small flicker of light appeared in the distance — a village! With electricity! Wow, what are the chances? Also, who even lives there? And how do they get their groceries? And their Amazon packages? First, it was one light, then another… and then another! The immensity of black that covered the land made even one light feel like an eruption of life. This prayer overflowed my heart in that moment, “Father, send your light to this nation.

“I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Acts 13:47

Maybe that’s you. Perhaps God is stirring your heart to be sent as a light to the nations. Ask the Lord why you should go to the least reach people & places in the world to bring the good news of salvation in Christ. Remember the words of Christ in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”