In the above video, Dr. Hal Ostrander, chair of the Division of Religion and Philosophy at Brewton-Parker College, (blue shirt, on the right end in the third row) listens in as youth of the Baptist Church of Astana, Kazakhstan join in song as a special presentation. Dr. Ostrander visited the church in May 2008 to prepare for a future trip for Brewton-Parker College students.
Dr. Ostrander and a team of BPC students and faculty returned to Astana in March 2009. A story about the trip will be published on the BPC website under the News and Info pages next week. In the meantime, here are some pictures from the March 2009 trip, and another video from the May 2008 trip.
Some interesting facts about Kazakhstan:
- There are over a million people living in the capital city of Astana, but only 1 Baptist church.
- The country is named after a nomadic tribe of people called the Kazakhs who lived in yerts, tent-like homes, on the steppes.
- Allows freedom of religion, the diversity includes Sunni Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2% and other 7%. (U.S. Dept. of State website)
- Government: Republic. Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country on December 16, 1991 - the last of the Soviet Republics to do so.
- Language: The "state" language is Kazakh but official is Russian. Russian is the language of business.
- 98.4 % literacy rate
- Ninth largest nation in the world
The BPC Team includes Dr. Ostrander, Caroline Hegerich (sophomore Christian Studies major), Luis Gonzalez (sophomore Christian Studies major) and Tony Higgins (adjunct faculty at BPC Norman Park).
Caroline Hegerich, second from left, and Luis Gonzalez, third from left, speak to two Russian young ladies at the "Be On Fire" Youth Conference, held in the Baptist church in Astana, in March 2009.
One of the largest mosques in Astana, Kazakhstan
Dr. Hal Ostrander, left, Caroline Hegerich, Don and Diane Combs, and Luis Gonzalez, enjoy a delicious meal in the Combs' home. The Combs are missionaries to Kazakhstan.
Luis Gonzalez puts his hand in the handprint of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the top of the tower Baiterek, called the Tree of Life.
Caroline Hegerich dances the traditional two-step with two Russian youth and a missionary.
To learn more about participating in a mission trip to Kazakhstan or other foreign locale with Brewton-Parker College, please contact Dr. Ostrander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2008 video
Go to BPC's YouTube Channel to see more: www.youtube.com/brewtonparkercollege or click the link.