(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Yklas Kabduakasov (left) and Yuri Pak -- Photo: VOM USA
Yklas Kabduakasov (left) and Yuri Pak
Photos: VOM USA

Following his release from a Kazakh prison on June 17th, Yuri Pak's family shared how the many letters that were sent to him and fellow prisoner of faith, Yklas Kabduakasov changed the quality of their lives behind bars. VOM supporters sent 1,225 letters to Yuri, and have so far sent 2,790 letters to Yklas (who remains in prison) by accessing the ministry's Prisoner Alert website.

Even though government restrictions prevented the letters from directly reaching the two Christian men, they were at least made aware of them. In fact, God had used these letters to prevent Yuri and Yklas from being mistreated in prison. As the letters began arriving to the prison, the two men started receiving the best possible care. Prison authorities grew fearful, realizing that people from other parts of the world were aware of the Christian men's situations. As a result, Yuri and Yklas were offered better food and medical care. Thankfully, the prisoners' wives received some of the letters which also served to greatly encourage them and their families.

In 2015, Yuri and Yklas were first sentenced under numerous false accusations. Yuri, a high school teacher who has a positive influence in his community, was falsely accused of making a bomb threat. Despite solid evidence proving to the contrary, he received a two-year prison sentence; likely because of his active involvement in the church, which the government considers a threat. As for Yklas, fellow Christians believe he was targeted for converting from Islam and sharing the Gospel.

After spending time in prison and under house arrest, Yklas is now serving two years in a labour camp. He currently receives an average of 150 letters a day from people around the world. With gratitude, Yklas conveys his greetings to everyone who is praying for him. While we can thank God for Yuri's release, please continue to pray that Yklas will be fortified with divine strength while serving at the labour camp. May he also be treated favourably by guards and fellow prisoners -- many of whom need God's love and salvation -- until his God-appointed time of release.