A trip to Uzbekistan 17-24 Oct 2018 “LOOK and LISTEN” (4 Nov 2018)

Uzbekistan is progressing economically. Many businessmen and tourists are entering on business or tourist visas respectively. Singapore was recently added as another country that does not require a tourist visa.

17 Oct: At Changi Airport, three groups of passengers boarded Uzbekistan Airways. One was a group of young Kyrgyz sportsmen, the second a group of Malaysians, and a small group of Uzbeks. The Uzbeks were staff from a consulting company that returned from Bali. The plane was from Kuala Lumpur enroute to Tashkant.

On the plane, an Uzbek man saw that I was struggling to open the plastic-wrapped cheddar cheese. That began our conversation. He said he has learned a little Chinese. I gave him a piece of paper and he wrote “我” that looked like “找”. Then I shared with him the meaning of the Chinese word for “listen” (听 simplified, 聽 traditional).

He began to open up. I learned that his name was Shernivoz. It means “Big Heart Lion.” I introduced my name as “Long Life Bear.” He works as a chief accountant in a consulting company. He is about 32 years old, married and has two boys, ages 8 and 2. Uzbeks marry early.

At the arrival hall, the luggages took about 40 minutes to appear on the belt. During the wait, we continued to converse. Sherniyoz invited me to have a dinner together. Outside, my Singapore friend was waiting in cold of 2-5 degrees in the early morning.

19 Oct: So two Singaporeans met Sherniyoz at Dunyo Family Restaurant for dinner. The conversation topics ranged from family, work, culture to life’s goals. His father had passed on at the age of 55 years. He slept and did not wake up the next morning. I shared that my father passed on from pneumonia at the age of 75. Both of us are in the same situation – without earthly fathers.

That’s the opening to introduce to him the topic of a heaveny father. Other topics that opened the windows to share spiritual truths were: family, Adam & Eve, the salad and food on the dinner table. He shared that his elder son waited daily to show his school assignments. That’s the opening to converse about father’s love. That of the earthly father’s limited love and the unconditional love of the heavenly father.

There were many other stories and testimonies that I heard as I met some local Uzbeks and several Chinese who were on work visas.

Then there were unique sights, tastes and sounds as I went around Tashkent by taxis and to Samarkan by train. At the bazaar, I saw promenades, grapes, apples, figs, strawberries and melons.

Would you consider planning a short trip to Uzbekistan in the springtime from mid-March to May or in the autumn from July to October in 2019?

You will get to look at the scenery of Uzbekistan and see faces of Uzbeks, taste the foods and listen to the history story of Uzbekistan.

An Uzbekistan friend asked, “Why is Singapore 🇸🇬 so well-known?” As Singaporeans, let us listen to stories of different foreigners working and living amongst us. They need to know that God who recreated the heavens and the earth loves them. And that He has given us a Mediator who will listen to us.


Elder Yoong Yuen Soo