Thursday, September 25, 2008

Prayer Requests

I am so glad that God cares for His children and knows exactly what they need. The Lord knew I needed some encouragement and this week has been just that. I visited the area where we first lived when we came to this city. It's about 40 minutes from where we live now. I have some friends there. We began talking about how life was going. We made our way around to what Christians believe about fasting. I explained what the Bible says. My friend told me I was number 1, and the only thing that would be better was if I were Muslim. He told me he didn't want me to burn. I told him the same. It sounds weird but were friends we can talk like that. Anyway, I explained to him and the man listening that what I tell them is not my own theory. It is from the Bible. We talked about many things. In the end, my friend asked me if I could give him a Bible as a gift. Of course I told him I could. That is the prayer request. I'm praying that he will be willing to meet regularly to study what he will read. So that was just God reminding me that He is still at work.

I had another great opportunity today to explain why we needed Jesus to give His life for our sins. My language helper started asking me all kinds of questions about what is different about the Bible and the Koran. What an opening. I wish I was articulate enough in Turkish. He repeated to me what I was trying to say. So at least he understand. Pray for this also. He's one of my language helpers. So we spend a lot of time together.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More from Our Trip

So just to remind you this is news about a trip my partner and I took to the south of the country. Just as God was with us when we went and visited our first city, he was with us on the second. At first, I thought we would not get to meet anyone on the second leg of our journey. I couldn't contact anyone who was actually in the city we went to visit. We decided to visit Tarsus. The home of the Apostle Paul. The information they gave about Paul was very accurate. We visited his well and the supposed area where he lived. Don't ask me how they know this. So it wasn't until the morning that we were on our way to the next city when I got a call from a man we wanted to talk with. Our friend from the church we had met in the previous city had given a local pastor my number. He met us in the city we visited and talked with us and answered our questions. This city probably has a population over 650,000 people and has a university that has 23,000 students. Many people migrate from the east of the country, so the culture is a mix of ethnic Turks, Kurds, and even Arabs. This is definitely a city that needs more work in it. The highlight of the trip was to be able to sit down with 3 young Turkish believers. These were teenagers from 17-19. We sang hymns, prayed, and even played UNO with them. Talk about so weird UNO rules, they had them. We asked them some questions. I asked particularly if they thought there was a fear among their countrymen to even ask questions about the Gospel, Bible, and Jesus. They said that there is fear. Fear that they will lose their job, be disowned, or general persecution. This fear can be so hindering that they feel it is better if they just don't talk about it. The exciting thing is that there are those who despite fear, God has gripped their heart and they step out and find the truth that is in God's Word. Pray for us. We desire to be in the city where God wants us.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some News from Our Trip

Ok so five days ago my partner and I got back from a trip down south. The Lord was really with us. We tried to set up meetings before we left but nothing worked out. We arrived in our first town at 6:30 a.m. It was about 95 degrees with what felt like 100 percent humidity. At that hour nothing was happening. So we got a ride to the city center and begin walking around. Blindly we walked. Come to find out we were walking in the right direction. We had some news that there was a church in the area so we made our way there and the door was open. We walked in and they were meeting were prayer. Great timing! We met the believers there. We prayed with them and then we talked for quite some time. There pastor was the first Latin American to come to the country. He's from Mexico. He has been here fifteen years. God has used him to establish three churches and help build another one. I was really excited to meet him because a Peruvian pastor has been in contact with me. He has a huge burden for this country. This is a matter of prayer. It was a huge encouragement to see God using people from the Latin American culture to reach this country. The pastor we met with feels that people from Latin and South America can more easily adapt to life here than Americans. Isn't it great to see God using people who were influenced by missionaries and now they are taking the Gospel to other countries. The pastor answered all our questions and was quite encouraging. The city he works in has about 1.5 million people. There is good work going on, but plenty to be done in this area. There are many details, I will try to write about the rest of our trip soon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Excitment and Disappointment

My partner and I just got back from a whirlwind tour of some of the southern part of the country. It was quite a trip. One city included Tarsus, the birthplace of the Apostle Paul. I hope to get some pictures up and share some more information with you. Needless to say we learned a lot about the region. We also met some men who are doing good work. One city we visited has a population approaching one million with a university of 23,000 students. There is quite a need there. This is a matter of prayer for us. We want to be where God wants us. I'll share more later.

The disappointment. I finally found a Turkish pastor who was willing to let us attend his church. I was really excited about this as it is really hard to attend a Turkish church if your a foreigner. This is one of the few churches I know that is rather conservative in this city. Unfortunately I received an email saying that someone with a church that helps them is coming to work in the country and for this reason they don't want to many foreigners. So we got the boot so to speak. Of course, we are disappointed. We rest in the fact that God knows what's best. I don't know what He is doing. He is working though, because a door that I thought was open He shut. Please keep us in your prayers.