Sunday, November 8, 2009
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!