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 It’s sad to think that because Neceti Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, two Turkısh belıevers and their German co-workerTilman Geske took seriously Christ’s command of the “Great Commission” Matthew 28 vs. 18 – 20, in sharing the message of hope and salvation from God’s word with the people of Turkey in Malatya and beyond that the “Pray for Turkey” Day began.

The tragic events of 18th April 2007 in the Turkish city of Malatya when the three men were murdered by Muslıms claiming they were seekers to the Christian faith. Makes me realise that following Jesus is not an easy stroll in the park, in fact Jesus tells us more than once that the cost of following him may mean we surrender our lives, just like Neceti, Uğur and Tilman have done.

A couple of years ago, I heard about the testimony of a student in another Turkish city, but who was originally from Malatya who came to faith in Christ because of the testimony of one of the widows. It struck me that even in the face of tragedy the hope of salvation can bear fruit.

Now as we approach the 18th April 2013, now marked as “Pray for Turkey” Day let us remember Neceti, Uğur and Tilman and their families, but also as believers in the “Body of the Risen Christ” let us stand together and call on our Father God to pour out His Holy Spirit on this vast country, to open the eyes, hearts and minds of the people to the message of hope and salvation within God’s word.

Let them discover that a saviour has been born to them who seeks relationship, and not conflict with them. Let us carry on and take the message of hope into market places, tea houses and homes of the people of Turkey, just as Christ commanded us to do.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4 vs. 7 – 9.

Prayer Points

Pray for the blessing and peace of Turkey in general, as the Lord desires us to bless and be a blessing to all.

Pray the Lord will display His love and mercy to the people of Turkey by pouring out His Holy Spirit upon our land, revealing His glory through healings, signs and wonders.

Pray the Lord breaks down the lies and the endless disinformation about Christ, the Bible and Christians that has blinded and hardened hearts in our land. Pray that God redeems the negative memories of history.

Pray that hearts and eyes are opened to see Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.

Pray for the Turkish believers who are always on the frontline to walk close to the Lord. Pray for refreshing, emboldening, strengthening, protection and encouragement.

Pray for more servant hearted leaders, for good role models, and for faithful labourers.

Pray for the on-going unity amongst the churches and for its increase and deepening.

 

So what are you doing on the 23rd April 2013? You could come and join other believers on the Büyükada Outreach. This is an amazing opportunity to reach out to Muslims, share the message of the gospel, pray for them and minister to them.

This event takes place every year on the 23rd April; thousands of Muslim pilgrims make their way to the monastery of St George on Büyükada (the Big Island) in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul to seek the blessings of the saint. Last year around 60.000 made the trip, seeking answers to life’s problems. Following a ritual, part of  which is that as the pilgrims climb the steep hill up to the monastery, sometimes barefoot, is to unwind spools of thread. The pilgrims believe that if their thread is unbroken when they reach journey’s end, their prayers will be answered.

                   

In 2012 nearly 300 believers from over 20 churches in Turkey along with believers from other countries, joined the throng to distribute bibles, do creative evangelism, preach publicly and offer prayer.

The Muslim pilgrims who would normally reject the Christian message, receive it eagerly and with curiosity at this event. People are touched and receive answers from our prayers. Last year a young couple approached one of the believers and said “we have been looking for you all day, will you pray for us again please”? It turned out that this believer’s prayers for the couple were answered so they sought her out again. Also four people said they wanted to become believers and be part of a fellowship.

Overall more than 8000 Incils (New Testaments) were distributed as well as thousands of tracts, DVDs and other literature.

So remember the date and the location, 23rd April 2013, Büyükada (Big Island) near Istanbul Come and stand with us to minister to the lost!!  

And if you cannot make it, then pray!!!

Pray that Muslims will come with open hearts and minds.

Pray that Muslims will hear the message of the gospel.

Pray that those Muslims who receive an Incil, DVD or other literature will read it and God’s words will speak to them.

Pray for good weather.

Zonguldak, Samsun, Karabük do you know where they are? What about Iğdır and Ağrı, Gümüşhane, Erzincan and Bingöl? Well they are all provinces, cities or towns in Turkey.

Turkey has 81 provinces; Samsun,Zonguldak and Karabük are located on   the north western Black Searegion, whereas Trabzon is north eastern Black Sea. Iğdır and Ağrı are situated very close to the Iranian border.

From the middle of 2011 through to December 2012, in a project called the “1881 Project” where various groups working with the Bible Correspondence Course took the message of the gospel to all 81 provinces across Turkey in 18 months.

The project is finished now, seeds have been planted all across Turkey all we need now ıs for God to pour refreshing “His Living Water” on them and make them grow into “Oaks of Righteousness”!

That doesn’t mean that the job is done, because even though each province has been visited, it may have only been one or two towns in a particular province, so there is more to do and places to go!

It may also be said that in some of the places visited it was easy to give away free Incils (New Testaments) and DVDs, but what about the eastern provinces like Iğdır and Ağrı, Gümüşhane, Muş and Erzincan? Would those places be too conservative Muslim to want to know what the bible says or discover God’s plan for salvation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?

Well the encouraging news from enquiries coming into the BCC in the past few weeks and months is that the people living in the eastern provinces of Turkey do want to know what the bible says and discover God’s plan for salvation and who Jesus is!!  Some of the places we have received enquiries from include Zonguldak, Samsun, Hatay, Diyarbakır, Karabük, Aksaray, Erzincan, Muş,  Gümüşhane, Trabzon, Şanlıurfa, Malatya, Ağrı, Iğdır and Bingöl and Kılıs.

Yes there have been enquiries from the Istanbul and Ankara, along with other towns in the central and western provinces also, but it is the eastern provinces which are responding since the visits in the latter half of 2012 which give me and others hope that God is not only working in one part of this vast country but He is also seeking to touch the lives of the people across the whole of Turkey, from the borders with Greece and Bulgaria in the west, to the eastern borders with Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Please pray for the people of the eastern provinces and ask God to water the seeds planted and bring them into relationship with Him.