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 Imagine thousands of Muslims streaming to a church for prayer...

One of the most exciting outreaches of the whole BCC year is April 23rd when tens of thousands of Turks travel to the ‘Big Island’ in Istanbul, climb the hill to an ancient Greek monastery and pray for a blessing. Folklore has it that if you visit the monastery and light a candle or run an unbroken piece of string from the bottom of the hill up to the monastery, you will receive an answer to your prayer.

Every year the number of Christian volunteers who join this outreach increase – this year nearly 300 believers from more than a dozen churches across the country came together to distribute Bibles, do creative evangelism, preach publically and offer prayer for people.   It was a blessing to have so many because good weather brought out more than 70,000 people to the island.

The requests for prayer were predictably the same: Good luck, marriage, richness, and health. Sometimes it was a mother who brought their son or daughter for prayer, either for blessings, good grades, or for a particular health problem.

Andrew, one of the volunteers writes:

“I started off at one stall we had set up near the jetty offering bibles to new arrivals. Many rejected, but then many also accepted. The police came, but amazingly our pastors had all the right paperwork and after checking our papers they left us alone for the day. 10am our stall had given out all its Bibles, so we walked up the hill past 6 more of our stalls, each also giving out Bibles and a simple tract entitled "The kind of prayer God will hear." By the time they reached our final station, the Muslim pilgrims seemed more acclimatized to Christians playing a central role in the day and more likely to accept things. At the final station we had a big sign offering prayer. People began to respond – and a queue suddenly formed as they lined up for prayer.  I prayed for one boy who was mostly blind in one eye, a girl who had some serious problem with her head, a woman who had had two miscarriages, another who had neck problems and hand problems (perhaps arthritis).

I learned to pray for them that they would seek God's plan for their lives, and God would bless them with spiritual richness rather than necessarily worldly riches - the kind of richness that the world can never take away from them. That more than just worldly romance, they would discover what it means to have their hearts filled with God's love; and they would be a light as this love wells up and overflows from their lives.

When I finished praying for each one, there would be a crowd of locals all clambering to be the next ones to be prayed for. After several hours of praying, I began to tire, but how can you turn away a crowd of Muslims wanting prayer? They were amazed and deeply touched by our prayers, sometimes to the point of tears – they had just never heard prayers like this before. One of the pastors told us 10 people said to him “We've been looking for you all day. Last year you prayed for us and everything you prayed came true." Four said they wanted become believers and attend his church.”

More than 8000 New Testaments were distributed, thousands of tracts and other booklets and thousands of people heard the good news and/or were prayed for.

Not a bad day's work. :)


Video link of the event: http://youtu.be/yX0Z_BBW4sQ

Blessings

From the BCC Team

 Dear Friends,

As you see from many of our updates much of what the “Bible Correspondence Course” involves is a lot more than just sending out and grading correspondence courses.  Sometimes what starts as one e-mail or one phone call expands in ways that one would never expect.  It all started with a phone call in our office and a request from a professor at Artvin Universtiy in Northeastern Turkey.  I thought I would include the anatomy of some of the correspondence among our team to share how this one small phone call expanded into a much larger field of opportunity...

Dear All

Normally we do not send out bulk copies of the NT when people ask us. But we received a request from Prof. Muhammet Ozdemir at Artvin University. They are discussing or comparing between Kuran and the Bible.

They asked the religious department to get the free Kuran and YYY (publishing house) gave our contact details for free Bibles.

What do you think? I think we have designated gifts for NT and we can send to those who need to study the New Testament.

Thanks, *Sung min

Dear friends,

I unfortunately didn't get to answer this in time before they were sent but I liked *Erkin's idea - in the future let's say that we'll send them if we can do a seminar to present them. What a great opportunity!

Blessings, *Penny

Note:  Erkin’s idea was to say we would be able to send the requested books if we can come and give a talk or do a seminar

Dear Penny

We sent a New Testament and Jesus Film and Dinin Ötesinde (Beyond Religion Course) - 40 of each - together with a survey. I also sent one copy of 90 Questions. I agree with Ercü's comments and I spoke to the Professor Muammet and he said that if he needs it he will ask us. He also asked us to get the the whole Bible but I think it will be too expensive for us.

Samsun religion faculty also asked us for 10 Bibles. I think the Universities seem to be wanting to study the Bible. We should not ignore this opportunity. Praise the Lord - God is using this way.

Blessings, Sung min

Hello brothers and sisters,

Yesterday I went to Artvin University (In Northeastern Turkey). I met with Professor Muhammed and 4 other teachers in his faculty and the faculty president Esat. There were about 40 students in the class and with me was a group of believers from the United States. We spent about 3 hours in the class. The subject of the lecture that I was able to give was the Bible and the Christian faith. I was able to share the gospel totally openly and explain it in depth. At the end there was a question and answer time with the teachers and students. The Lord gave us a wonderful time and oppourtunity. We were able to start a warm and beautiful relationship. Muhammed is a bachelor and around 30 years old. He is studying Christianity and the history of religions.

Praise the Lord that he opened a beautiful door for future opportunities in Artvin. I am leaving here very encouraged. My prayer is that the interest in generated up until now will continue in there hearts and that through this process some will come to faith.

In Christ’s unequaled love, Erkin

Hello all,

We got a answer sheet from the Dinin Otesinde course back yesterday in the mail already from a female student there, PTL.

*Tom

Please pray for the results of this evangelistic opportunity and that we will be able to go back to this university on a regular basis.

Blessings

FromThe BCC Team

*Names Changed

Dear Friends

Starting next Monday, 9th April, and until 30th of April, the Bible Correspondence Course, for the first time, has an outdoor (poster) advertisement campaign. The ad asks the question “What if what we believe is false?” and invites people to send a keyword in a message from their mobile phones or to visit a specially built website. It will be posted at two of Istanbul's major metro stations in large back-lighted 2 meter wide boxes. It will also be in forty-five of the Metrobuses that run a very busy line from one end of the city to the other.

To automatically respond to the mobile phone SMS messages we have built a computer server which can send up to 10,000 messages per month. We are praying that we can break that number, that thousands use the "QR" code or type the web address on their smart phones, and that many will consider Christ as a result of this project.

Pray for genuine interest and curiosity, lasting fruit from this campaign, and that it might be just the first of such events that the BCC can do.

Blessings

From the BCC Team