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Dear Friends,

This year our numbers are way up from the last few years at this time. We will share more in our May update about some of the reasons for the increase.

This month I thought we would share with you *Yeşim's story:

Growing up, Yeşim's father gave her a New Testament and told her to read from both it and the Quran in order to decide for herself what she believed. She speaks of him as a very merciful and kind man and someone she greatly admired. She read off and on and was exposed to some foreigners who would come to a yearly religious conference. She worked as a server and tried to understand them during their meetings (in English). Looking back, she said even though she read the NT she didn't understand it very well.

About 3-4 years ago her dad passed away and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors gave her a very short time to live and aside from surgery she didn't receive any further treatment. She was angry and claimed Atheism. One day as she was browsing the internet, in anger and desperation she remembers saying, "God if you are really out there show yourself to me!" Shortly after a facebook ad popped up with an offer to receive a free NT.

A worker initially spoke with her on the phone and met up with her December 2015. In the months following workers met with her to read. As she began to read the word she says she learned how to be thankful for life and began to understand and believe in a Creator and a God of great love. She is an avid reader and researches all of her questions. Her friends and family began to see great change in her life and she pointed back to the NT as the reason. Even before believing she was encouraging others to read the word and sharing what she was reading.

She began to slowly make statements of profession and believed sometime mid-late summer 2016. She is reading daily, sharing with her family and identifies and shares with her co-workers.

When she tells her story she says: "First God healed my body then he healed my soul."

In addition pray for *Muhammed who has been in contact with on our chatline. Here is a part of a recent conversation:

Muhammed: Me and my friends would like to meet you.

*Oğuzhan: We are Christians

Muhammed: We would like to spread the word of God and give New Testaments to all those who would like to read it. We are a group of 10-15 students who want to know more about Christianity and become Christians.

Oğuzhan: Wonderful! Have you ever read the Bible before? Where are you living?

Muhammed: I am from Urfa and while I was there and visited your website and received a New Testament and some other booklets. I was also able to meet with some of your friends there. Presently there is a group of us studying here in Ağrı (Ararat).

Oğuzhan: Great!

Muhammed: There is now a group of us here and we would like to meet and talk more.

Muhammed and his friends live in a very isolated area and there is no church in their province (Ağrı, on the Iranian border in far Eastern Turkey). Next month a BCC follow-up worker living in the city of Van (3 1/2 hours from Ağrı) will be visiting them. Pray that God will prepare their hearts and give Muharrem the right words to speak to them.

Thank you for your prayers,

* Names changed

Blessings

The BCC Team

Dear Friends of the BCC,

The Bible Correspondence has an online chat line that people from all around Turkey, talk on with our chat operators throughout the day 7 days a week. There are approximately 20-30 people who chat with our operators and/or sign up for our correspondence course every day. I thought it would be interesting to give you snippets of some of the conversations and then you can pray for the different chat operators and the people in each individual snippet of conversation. The person who are calling in will be the first name and the chat operator will be the second name:

*Fatma: I would like to know about the parts in the New Testament that talk about Job

*Musa: Job appears in the Old Testament, not in the New Testament

Fatma: OK who is the Paraclete?

Musa: It talks about him in John 14:14 in the New Testament and says after Jesus after ascending to heaven that he would be a helper to followers of Jesus

Fatma: So, He is the Holy Spirit.

Musa: Yes, he is from the same essence as God and is the existence of God that is together with us to help us follow God the Father and Jesus and lives in our hearts. So, something that lives inside every believer?

Musa: Yes, one is with us to empower us to act according to God's will

*Ali: I want to read the 4 Holy Books (The Torah, Psalms, New Testament and the Koran) and thought I would start with the New Testament.

*Barış: Wonderful! In the Bible God says if you search for me I will cause you to find Me. To search for God is to search for truth.

Ali: What religion do you follow and how old are you?

Barış: We are followers of Jesus and our Holy book is the Bible that includes the Torah, Psalms and New Testament. I am 43 years old.

Ali: Did you become a Christian later in life?

Barış: Yes, I was a very religious Muslim for many years.

Ali: I also am a Muslim but in order find the truth it is necessary to search.

Barış: When I read the New Testament I was greatly touched, especially when I read John chapters 13-17. The last supper of Jesus Christ and his disciples really had a great influence on me. I did a Master’s degree in America and lived there for 15 years. Read and pray and the Lord will help you find the truth.

Ali: How beautiful. I hope so.

Barış: Hanging around experienced/wise people and getting their advice helps people to grow and find wisdom.

Ali: Yes, but unfortunately I have no people like you that are anywhere around me.

Barış: In Ankara we have some very good churches and will take a deep interest and help you in your search.

Ali: I would like that but first I would like to read the New Testament.

Barış: That sounds great. Read the New Testament and then as you have questions are friends can help

*Cem: I was defending Satanism on a website but something happened. I had a vision and in the vision someone said to me, "You can't see the Lord when you look at Satan. This was in the afternoon at my work place while I was wide awake. I heard the voice as clear as if it was someone talking directly to me and then ın a very dıfferent tone the voice said exactly the same thing to me again. I want to believe in Jesus Christ but I used to be a believer in Lucifer.

*Ayhan: Yes, the Devil is the enemy of the Lord and of mankind.

Cem: OK, if I repent will I be forgiven?

Ayhan: Certainly

Ayhan: Totally reject the Devil and his works and surrender yourself totally to Jesus Christ

Cem: Thank you so much. I will try.

Pray for our chat operators Musa, Barış, Ayhan and our other chat operators. Pray also for Fatma, Ali and Cem and many other seekers like them, that they, as they search for truth find it in the only one who is truth - The King of Truth.

*Names changed

God bless you,

The BCC team

Dear Friends of the BCC,

In December the new BCC building was packed with BCC staff and volunteers for our annual Christmas party. Over 50 people gathered together to celebrate Jesus's birth with a carol service, sharing a meal and exchanging gifts, and theatre. It was a special time in this country where people do not know about Jesus and where Christmas Day is a normal work day. Many said that they felt the presence of God and remembered that Christ is the only way to true peace.

 

A story from our office

Last month we had a focus on praying for those in prison in Turkey. We received such a wonderful story in the last weeks, also connected to a prisoner, we thought it would be good to continue that thread with the following story:

"Jesus said, Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19

Since Musa* became a believer, he never felt his prayers had the power to lead people to Christ. He prayed with his family, but that was only for their own blessing and protection. He did not feel able to pray with other people, for them to be healed from their pain and sorrow nor could he invite people to receive forgiveness of their sins. Last year he took early retirement and he began working at the Bible Correspondence Course office where he answers the telephones, offers free New Testaments, and prays with seekers for their salvation through Jesus Christ.

Every day, whether through online chat or phone calls, he talks to people about his faith. He feels that he is more and more able to depend on God and sees his faith become stronger as he shares the Gospel with lost people as a lost sheep who now is found.

He often shares his testimony how he became a Christian. It happened on a Saturday morning in 2000 when he went to the local shop to buy bread and a newspaper. He could not believe it when he saw Christian propaganda in the newspaper, offering a free New Testament. That was the start of the road which led him to start attending church and becoming a Christian with his family.

One day Musa spoke with a blind man on the telephone who is married and has two daughters, one of whom also has weak eyesight she inherited from her father. He is in an open prison serving a five year sentence, because he was involved in dealing with drugs. He had heard about Jesus Christ the Messiah who could save his life and asked his friend to help him to phone our office to find out more. While he was on the phone, Musa invited him to pray the Sinners’ prayer of repentance. His friend reads it to him every evening from the Bible we sent him and all the prisoners sharing his room listen to the word of God. Every two months he gets a break to go home and he invited Musa and Yesua from the BCC to his home in a small village. His wife and two daughters listened carefully and were full of joy to host the believers in their home.

God gave a breakthrough in this family's life and used Musa's testimony and obedience to bring more people into His Kingdom!

Blessings

From the BCC Team