We go in the Power of the Gospel:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
We find it difficult to explain what it is like to minister in an area of the world where there are so few believers. Most of the people we speak to have no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ is.
Pray for the Lord to open doors and hearts and to lead us to those He has prepared to receive the gospel.
Pray that each of us will boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ with great compassion.
Below are some updates for the last three days:
MONDAY: Praise God our team arrived safely in Istanbul on Monday evening. God provided exciting witnessing opportunities for some of our team members during our long journey from Seattle to Frankfurt to Istanbul. On our way out of the airport we needed to pass through “passport control”, where we found ourselves caught up in a huge maze of travelers from around the world. Many of the women wore colorful hijabs. We were welcomed at the airport by our missionary David Byle, who was easy to identify, as he towered over a large crowd of people waiting outside the baggage claim area. Istanbul has a population of over 12 million people. We landed on the European side of the city, and it took about 1 and ½ hours to reach David’s house, which is on the Asian side of Istanbul. Modes of transportation required to reach their house included bus, subway, and taxi. At one point we traveled via subway through a recently constructed tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait. Upon arrival, Ulrike Byle served us a tasty dinner at about 9 PM. We then sent out team members to the different host families. Leyla is hosting Sarah and Elaine. She is a public school teacher and was a teacher for one of the Byle’s daughters. Leyla is a Kurdish Muslim and is open to the gospel. Sarah and Elaine reported on Monday that Leyla, who has never attended church before, would be coming to David’s church this Sunday. Please pray that God would open her heart to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Linda and Deanna’s host is a relatively new believer and will be baptized this Sunday at David’s church.
TUESDAY: This morning we went through orientation, which included training on street evangelism. One of our trainers was a missionary that has ministered to prostitutes in Istanbul. She is equipping us for later in the week when our team will be ministering in one of the red light districts. After orientation, we headed for the streets of Istanbul where we ministered along side of David and another missionary (Steve). Our team handed out gospel tracts and helped draw crowds together to hear presentations of the gospel by David and Steve. It was right out of the book of Acts. After each presentation of the gospel, some responded favorably and wanted to hear more while others rejected the truth of the gospel. After spending the afternoon on the streets, we rushed back to David’s house for a quick dinner before heading off to the airport for our flight to Sanliurfa, Turkey. We arrived in ancient city of Sanliurfa at about 12 AM. Sanliurfa is believed by some to be the birthplace of Abraham. It has a population of over 800,000 people and there are fewer than 20 known evangelical Christians in the entire city.
WEDNESDAY: First thing this morning we traveled to the home of a dear missionary couple that is working on planting a church in this city of over 800,000 people. There is not even one evangelical church and it is believed there are fewer than 20 believers in the entire city. We had a wonderful time of worship with other Christians from Turkey. We then had an orientation and training session for our ministries in Sanliurfa.
This afternoon we will be dividing our team into three groups to minister in the following areas:
1) Syrian Refugees;
2) the University of Haran;
3) Evangelism follow-up.
God continues to provide many divine appointments each day for us. Please pray that each of us will boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ with great compassion.