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Dear Friends,

This month I would share 2 short stories of a man and woman in Istanbul who have been searching and have entered the "way" of faith in Jesus. Please pray that this search may come to the point of a lifelong obedience to the Master.

One day several months ago during one of our TACO street outreaches a fellow by the name of *Erhan picked up one of our tracts. He had been interested in Jesus, and as is common in this part of the world, Erhan had a dream about Jesus. After watching our street performance he called into the BCC from the tract that he had taken and received more information. He was followed up by *Ertin, from our BCC office and one of our TACO members. After 5 weeks of studying scripture together Erhan gave his life to Jesus. He now meets regularly with other believers and shares his faith with others.

*Nilgun is a 48 year old woman who has gone through some hard times in her life. She was losing any belief in a caring God but at that time she found a church from the BCC Website. She went to the church and slowly started to find hope in her life. She did a few courses from the BCC and started to understand better what is Christianity. We met and had a few cups of Turkish tea and talked two hours about Baptism and communion and it was explained to her that actually Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with God. I shared my testimony with her and explained to her that God doesn't always change our hearts in a month, but slowly the Holy Spirit makes our hearts softer and we are able to forgive faster and thus have more love to share with others. She is on the path of faith and we hope she will continue the way of Jesus in the future.

Blessings

The BCC Team

*Names changed

Dear Friends,

Recently, 2 of our BCC Team visited a neighbourhood on the far side of Istanbul to share about God’s love on the street. They couldn’t find a place suitable to draw a crowd and preach using their sketch board, so they prayed for God to guide them.

They saw a group of people standing and talking together outside a café. They approached the group asked: “I’ve heard that there are believers in Jesus in this neighbourhood. Do you know any of them?”

A man gave him an odd look, went to the shop next door, and then came back quickly.

“I know someone who might know such people, but he is not at work today,” the man said.

They continued to talk to the man, and a few minutes later he called someone on his phone—it was the man they’d been speaking about. After talking for a minute, their new friend handed the phone to one of the workers.

At first the man on the other end was very suspicious, but he explained clearly who he was and the man opened up and said he’d come to faith recently. In fact, at that very moment he was meeting with a Turkish pastor, whose church is near the OM Bible Correspondence Course office on the other side of Istanbul.

“Please don’t tell anyone there that I’ve become a follower of Jesus,” he said. “Because I haven’t even told my family yet, and the only other person who knows of my newfound faith is the guy whom you asked.”

In a neighbourhood of 200,000 people, the BCC worker asked a question he’d never asked before to the only person who knew the answer.

The man who’d made the phone call invited the 2 workers into his café to continue their conversation. They’d only been talking a few minutes before men sitting at a nearby table interrupted them.

“All of us here at our table would like to have New Testaments,” one of them said. “Could you give each of us one?”

They didn’t have enough New Testaments to give to all of them, but the men gave their names and addresses, and the New Testaments were sent by the Bible Correspondence Course within a few days.

Pray for more divine appointments like this!

Blessings,

The BCC Team

One of the ways course contacts are generated every year is through TACO creative outreach tours. This month we will send you a report on the Anzac Tour that happened in April. Many people filled out surveys asking for information about Jesus Christ and the Bible.

THE ANZAC TOUR

10-24 April, 2015Check out the tour videos here (3:10) and here (3:48)

On Friday the 10th of April, the guest artists from overseas arrived, and our ANZAC team reached its full count of almost 40 people!

Our team was a fun mix of mostly Aussies, several members of our TACO team, and some "TACO-extension" members including Dustin and Katie Kelm and Rob Carter.

During World War I, soldiers from Australia and New Zealand (called "ANZACs") were sent to take control over Gallipoli and the Dardanelles. There was much loss of life on both sides for both ANZAC and Turkish forces. 2015 marks 100 years of peace between the ANZACs and Turkey since the battle near Çanakkale, Turkey. They now came together in peace instead of war in a show featuring music, unicycling, dancing and live painting. Our two street shows in Istanbul attracted over 500 people. The team was able to have some great conversations and meet Turks and others from Serbia, Bali and China.

After the weekend, our team took off for Bursa. A crowd of approximately 500 listened intently as we shared the gospel. After the show many people filled out surveys and took home "More Than Dreams" DVDs. There were a good number of Syrians and other Arabic speakers that were prayed for and able to receive some literature in Arabic. Let's pray for the workers and church in Bursa, as there are a lot of interested people to follow up.


The following day our team headed to Bandırma for a show in the city square for a crowd of around 150. At the beginning of the show some local police showed up and were very suspicious of our activities. Our local organizer, was able to talk with them and they stayed for part of the show but disappeared conveniently just as Dustin was about to share the gospel. We then had more openness to share and hand out materials.

A special moment happened after this show. One of the team was talking with an older man who used to be a government official - but was a bit hesitant to share with him because of his government background. Finally the man got very close and whispered that many years ago he had received a cassette tape about Jesus. He said this cassette had really touched his heart, but he had lost it, and wanted another. He was overjoyed to receive a Bible and "More Than Dreams" DVD.

There was still more excitement after this show. The police wanted us to follow them to the police station. We were a bit nervous about this, because many of us hadn't been to a police station before in Turkey. We found out that the local Police Chief was soon to be married, so his officer friends just wanted to film some foreigners congratulating him. So now we are great friends with the police force in Bandırma!

We moved on to Çanakkale for a series of FIVE shows. Our first concert in Çanakkale was at the Onsekiz Mart University for a crowd of about 80 students. The message during the concert was more focused on peace than God at the university because of past problems and issues that TACO has had at strongly secular universities.

After the show, a spontaneous dance party broke out. Surveys were filled out and one student in particular really liked our message, performance, and group. A small group from our team met up with this student, Alibaba, for tea closer to the hotel. Alibaba brought his friend from Baghdad, Mohammed, along and they had a meaningful conversations about Jesus. Mohammed especially wanted to go to church, but was worried that if he became Christian in the future, his family would kill him. The two men attended our concerts the next days in Çanakkale. Both Mohammed and Alibaba attended the local church with our group on Sunday! They had a great experience and they want to keep attending. Pray that they may actually come into a strong relationship with Jesus in the coming days.

The rest of the week in Çanakkale we had four more official shows. We had great weather and between 1500-2000 people attend these shows with many more interesting conversations. After this exciting week in Çanakkale we traveled on to do shows in Izmir, Selçuk and Kuşadası. The weather was very rainy, windy and cold most of the time and two of our four shows were canceled and in one some of gear was literally blown away by the wind. However, on our last day, our team was able to do a street show in Selçuk right next to the central police station and there were no issues as Dustin shared the gospel openly. Eight people asked to meet with someone and  talk more about Jesus.

On this tour between 250 - 300 people filled out surveys and received "More Than Dreams" DVD's and many asked to meet with someone to talk more about Jesus. Praise God for how he brought this team together and touched many lives through the ANZAC peace message and His truth!

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Blessings

For the BCC Team