Reaching the Lezgin People
There are 10 million people representing 39 people groups living in the country of Azerbaijan.
According to the Joshua Project, 96.1% of Azerbaijan’s population is unreached, meaning there are 9.7 million citizens with limited access to the gospel. The majority of these people are followers of Islam.
One of the people groups living in Azerbaijan is the Lezgins.
Lezgins are a Northeast Caucasian ethnic group that live predominately in northeastern Azerbaijan and southern Dagestan (Russia). The total population of Lezgins is 700,000, with the majority living in Russia and just under 200,000 living in Azerbaijan. They primarily speak the Lezgi language.
The Lezgin mainly live among high, rugged mountains and foothills. These mountainous areas have an elevation of over 11,000 feet. The isolated canyons and gorges formed by deep rivers have created a difficult territory in which to live and travel.
However, these challenges have not stopped the team at the Caucasus Base of Crossover Global, who have spent countless hours praying for the Lezgins. With a focus on taking the gospel to unreached people and extending the Kingdom of God by planting multiplying churches, our team has established three churches among the Lezgin people. They long to plant more.
As part of their desire to see the Lezgin people reached, leaders at the Caucasus Base trained and commissioned the Aliyev family to move to the mountainous region, and to live among and serve the Lezgin people.
The Aliyev family has been learning the Lezgi language and forming new friendships as they live among their Lezgin neighbors. As they visit with their new friends, the Aliyevs have been able to share the gospel.
As the Aliyev family became more connected to their neighbors, they began to see a great physical need among these people. Many who live in the mountain villages were in need of food, especially as their winter food supplies began to run out at the beginning of spring. The Aliyev family asked the Crossover Global teammates for help, and together they were able to provide much-needed food and supplies to the Lezgin people.
Distributing food in the community has opened the door to many families, and has allowed the Aliyev family to build even stronger relationships with their neighbors. The Aliyevs are currently serving the Lezgin people in five villages. It is their hope and prayer that they will be able to establish five new churches by the end of 2021.
Will you join us in proclaiming this verse over the Aliyev’s church planting efforts among the Lezgin people?
The least of you will become a thousand,
the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the LORD;
in its time I will do this swiftly.
This story was shared by Idris Mammadov, Vice-President of Church Planting Networks