Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This will be a brief post. Its past midnight, so officially we fly back to Baltimore today!
This month has gone above and beyond our expectations! God used the Christmas concerts in an amazing way and we have met some really amazing young Turks that we are really looking forward to getting to know. We are sending out our December newsletter now with more details, so I will keep this short. Please please keep us in prayer these next few weeks while we are away from Istanbul, the team and our missionfield. We will be in Baltimore for a month, to spend some time with family and then to focus on working full time to save some money and head back where we belong!
"Let every heart prepare Him room!"
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Friday, December 18, 2009
We did our first Christmas concert performance tonight. It was great to see all the practice pay off! I put up this video because I am so proud of Roger for doing such a great job! This is a Shane and Shane song that he learned to play in about 2 days. We really liked the message of the song. The last verse says it all: "We came here today, to celebrate His birth, but let us not forget why Jesus came to earth - He was born to die."
We'll put more video up later on, along with pictures. Please keep the next two concerts in prayer! We are praying for good attendance, with alot of new people hearing the Christmas message for the first time. We have already had two salvations and we are expecting much more from God!
Oh, and if you are wondering who all the other people are...they are a team of Americans who have been with us for this month, helping us in any way they can. They have been a huge blessing! They are with "The World Race" which is part of Adventures in Missions.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Murat received Christ not long ago, maybe a month ago. Since then, he has never ceased to amaze us with his simple but sincere questions and his humble but truly anointed comments!
Last night after our church service, a spontaneous question & answer time happened. Murat raised his hand - as he often does to ask a question - and said he wanted to share something. Usually, he asks a question and then humbly receives the answer. But this time, he started to explain how he had been curious about what the Koran said about Mary and Jesus. He told us how in the Koran, it says that Mary was a very old woman when she had Jesus, along with many other things that contradicted the Bible about the virgin birth and Christ's early life. He said that after reading this, he realized once again that the Holy Bible is the true book of God. He realized that Mohammed came long after Christ, and that Christ's true life is recorded in the Bible. This may seem like a small revelation, but for a former Muslim to return to the Koran to examine it for what it really is and to come to the conclusion - on his own - that the Bible is the only book to be trusted is truly a miracle from God! Roger and I were on opposite sides of the room when this happened, and our eyes connected and we just praised God together!
Murat has been with us almost everyday since he received Christ, always listening, always learning, and always asking questions from a pure heart. He is such a blessing to us!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It was a bittersweet moment when we said goodbye to our fellow classmates and the teacher we had grown to really appreciate. The past two months, Roger and I have been taking Turkish classes at a branch school of Ankara University. We has 3 hours classes, three days a week. It was so great to do it together and to keep eachother focused and motivated to learn Turkish. We still have alot to learn, but we had a small feeling of accomplishment as we walked home that day. It was great to think back to two months ago and see how far we have come.
But we are not done yet! We plan on taking the more intensive one month course starting in February. Please keep this in prayer! Pray that we would stay focused and disciplined during this time when we are not in classes so that we do not lose what we have learned. Pray that we find the funds to pay for the next course. Lastly, pray that God would give us a supernatural capacity to learn and speak Turkish!
We also would like to thank the ones who made it possible for us to afford these classes! They have been invaluable to us and we are so thankful for your support! Because of you, we are getting closer and closer to being able to reach the Turks in their own language.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Jesus is visiting the seekers today. In the Middle East, its difficult to give any numbers to who is really seeking for truth or not; but we see that Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible is closer to people than ever before. In these last days the Gospel message is winning hearts and minds with the historical account of the Bible that God became a Man!! Wisdom became flesh. Through this story of history people see 2 eternal things. 1. That God loves this world and 2. That God gave His Son. We know that this whole world lies in darkness and there are people that are not satisfied with it. God has given everyone the ability to think and choose for himself, and for that reason people in this world today are seeking. That is why it is our great privilege to be New Testament believers. Its the most exciting time to live and believe in the only One who came and paid for the corrupting and relationship-separating problem of sin. So the question today is: are we ready to have Jesus come into our life settings? The seekers are all around us, but are we ready to be about the Fathers business, just as Jesus told His mother? "Don't you know, I must be about My Fathers business?" The Lord gave us a promise that, "If I be lifted up from the earth all men will be drawn unto Me." This is what we plan to do this Christmas season here in Istanbul, Turkey. 75 million people in a country that is almost 99% Muslim in background. There are Seekers! So please pray for us as God leads us to them!