Missions March 2010

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alp Baptized in the Red Sea







One of our first blog posts when we moved to Turkey in January was about Alp, who got saved shortly after we arrived here. He is a Jewish Turk, so it was really amazing to see him get baptized by Pastor Matti and Roger in the Red Sea - where the Jews were delivered from certain death by the hand of God!
Please continue to pray for Alp and his spiritual growth. We believe that Egypt was just the beginning of a great work of God in his life!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unbelievable

video

We witnessed - by far - the most unbelievable sight we have ever seen. This is a video of a Coptic Church service that we went to with the group. As you can see, this is no ordinary church. Not only is the architecture stunning, and the layout unique, but it is its location that makes it so incredible. Around the 1960's, the government banished all the trash collectors to a certain area of the city, now known as the Garbage City. Muslims refuse to do this job, so all the garbage collectors are of Coptic Christian descent. There are over 50,000 people living in the Garbage City. Some time in the 70's, a Coptic priest was called by God to preach to the "untouchables" there in the midst of the garbage - and there was a huge revival that took place there! Since then, they built a church into the limestone rock cave that is in the middle of the Garbage City. As you can see from the video, its a huge outdoor auditorium and can seat up to 20,000 people! The singing that you hear is in Arabic. Even though it was in a different language and even though the Coptic church has much different doctrines and traditions - you could see the life and joy in this place, surrounded by filth and poverty! It was truly life-changing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pastor Matti's Art Exhibition at Zamalek Fine Arts University

The exhibition turned into quite a politcal event - with ambassadors, camera men, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and alot of people! It was really cool to see Pastor Matti honored in such a way.
In addition to all that, something else very interesting happened to me... I was the only person this TV crew could find that spoke French well enough to do an interview in French for their French news channel...so I did an interview about my thoughts on the exhibition - in French! I still can't believe it actually happened because I really don't know much French. Until about 3 weeks ago, if someone had asked me if I spoke French, I would have just said no. But since then, I became friends with an Iranian woman who speaks only French and so I was forced to try out what little French I have kept from my childhood...and I was shocked at how much I could understand! So I gained a little much needed confidence from that friendship. Who knew I would be using it in an interview fro Egyptian television!
We go to the Giza pyramids tomorrow and to the Red Sea the day after that! So please keep us in your prayers. God is faithful and is protecting us at every step, of that I am sure.



First looks at Cairo


Monday, November 16, 2009

Art, Music, Pyramids, the Red Sea - and FAITH!


Please keep us in your prayers as we go on a faith adventure to Cairo, Egypt! We fly tomorrow morning and will be there until Sunday. Our prayer is that Pastor Matti's art exhibition would be a huge success both spiritually and financially. We also will be having a classical music concert and we are hoping that will attract alot of people. Egypt promises to be a new and exciting experience, with lots of unforgettable moments! But we don't just want to be tourists - we want to leave a lasting eternal mark on the country!
So thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

There is so much LIFE in Istanbul!







These are just a few pictures from the past week or so. As you can see - Roger is quite the entertainer!...and I am quite the cultured art enthusiast! No, not really. But I met my friend Asli (at the same place we met Murat) and she invited me to her art exhibition. So we made it a girls night out! It was such a great time - being with Gulshoda and Chirin, sharing about our lives. We are from three very different worlds - and there is no doubt that God has brought us together!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome Murat!


This past weekend, we went on evangelism at a very old and famous Catholic church on the popular walking street. We chose this location because its a good place to find people who are sitting available to talk, and perhaps are spiritually searching. This church is mainly a tourist attraction, with very few active services. But the building is breath taking, and to Turks it is something different and interesting. Most Turks know very little about churches in general, and the only knowledge they have of it is from the older Orthodox churches that remain in the city. So it is to these locations that they know to come if they are searching for God.
On Friday, Umid and Roger noticed a young man named Murat out on the steps of the church while Umid was speaking with a young couple. Murat waited patiently to speak with us until we were finished with the other conversation! First he asked Umid if this was his church and then said that he came to this church because he has questions about God and no one has been able to answer them. He worked at a mosque as a waiter serving tea, but he never was told about God. So Umid eagerly proceeded to share the Gospel with him! Afterwards, Murat was so interested and wanted to come to church. Umid promised him that if he came to church, he would hear about a God who loves him from the Bible.
The next day, we went back to the same place, and lo and behold there was Murat again! He was so thirsty for God and for the truth. Umid spoke with him for almost an hour on the steps of the church. Then then today, he came to the Sunday morning service and listened attentively to Pastor Matti's message. At the end of the service, P.Matti ask if anyone wanted to receive Christ as their personal Savior and to raise their hand if they wanted to. But Murat didn't raise his hand. Then afterwards, Roger was speaking with him and we understood that Murat DID receive Christ, but he was afraid to raise his hand in case there were any muslims there. When we assured him that he was surrounded by fellow believers and it was safe, he said he wanted everyone to know about the decision he has made! So during the rap, he told everyone that he was now a Christian and thanked Umid and Roger for bringing him to God. Everyone clapped, and many of the men came and embraced him. It was quite a sight to see.
We bought him lunch and shared more with him about what it means to be a follower of Christ. He has many questions, specifically about the difference between the God of Islam and the God of the Bible. For instance, he wanted to know if the God of the Bible considered His followers as slaves or as children. He wanted to know if God thinks its a sin for a woman to uncover her head in public. He wanted to know if he had to change his name to a "Christian" name. It was sheer joy to be able to reveal to him a glimpse of the awesome loving gracious God we serve!
Please pray for Murat, that he would grow in knowledge and faith and also that his family would come to know the God of the Bible as well!