Two weeks ago was able to get through passport control in Istanbul with hardly a hitch with a simple tourist visa (the kids have residence permits). Ulrike arrived safely three days later.
Turkey is a very exciting and heart-breaking place to be these days:
- The BCC office is receiving dozens of calls each week from people very interested in following Jesus (an increase from before), not to mention the various emails and those requesting free New Testaments. One wrote recently, “I’m excommunicating myself from Islam.” Another wrote, “I was so moved by what I read in the NT that I’m now believing in Jesus as Lord and God, and although I’ll keep this a secret from those around me, in my heart I’m loving and following Jesus.”
- Two BCC course contacts came to faith about the same time this past spring in a smaller city in central Turkey. Over the summer, without visits from believers in nearby bigger cities, they led four more to faith.
- A lawyer came to faith through our local church this last year; since then his relatives in two other parts of Turkey have made decisions for Christ.
- The flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq continues. The churches in Turkey are working together to help with the crisis and the church in Diyarbakir (in SE Turkey) is leading the work. Because the church there is well established and has a good relationship with the local municipality, the authorities themselves have come to them asking them to help, as they’re overwhelmed and can’t cope with all the needs.
- The new Turkish leader of the BCC’s registered charity has been wanting to start a church for a year or more, and just recently have rented facilities in downtown Istanbul, and are about to start meetings there!
- This last weekend was the annual retreat for our home church and its daughter churches around Turkey. Several people got baptized, still more have believed or are (we hope) about to believe.
A Team from Immanuel Bible Church (WA) are currently with us:
A team of seven believers from the States arrived earlier this week for two weeks of outreach and ministry. I (David) am with them now in Sanliurfa, a religious city near the Syrian border that Muslims believe is the birthplace of Abraham. Pray we’ll encourage the handful of workers that live here (no real church yet in this city of 800,000 inhabitants). Yesterday we had wonderful conversations with various people as we spread out around the city, openly speaking about Jesus and inviting people to believe in Him. Today also we plan to do still more outreach. We plan to help do outreach for a couple other churches in and around Istanbul in the upcoming. Pray for God’s spirit to fill us with His power and courage and love.
Future BCC Plans forthcoming:
I hope to send out another email update soon with more about what we’re planning for the upcoming months with the BCC, family news and much more.
Love in Christ,
David & Ulrike