Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The rest of the week was full of soulwinning, amazing Cypriot hospitality, great food, and yes, the occasional beach visit. And the most consistent thing throughout all of this was the incredible amount of laughter! Who said missions trips aren't fun?? P.Chris Moore is an amazing man of God with more spiritual vision that he can handle and we were honored to be a part of this pioneering trip with him. We traveled to at least four different cities, driving on the left hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the other side of the car, with the hand of God preserving us!
Needless to say, Cyprus needs Greater Grace. There are small evangelical congregations with beautiful believers who opened their homes and hearts to us. But the island needs a Greater Grace church and Bible School. We really believe that the grace-oriented Finished Work message can transform this island into an amazing place where great disciples and missionaries are born!
There is so much more I could say about this trip...we came back overflowing with joy and gratitude for the amazing opportunities God continues to give us.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
One of the many sacrifices we saw on the way...
The men hang up the animal (cow or sheep) to bleed it out.
Part of the ritual is that there should be not one drop of blood
left in the animal. Then they butcher it and the ladies prepare it.
Vineyards and farmland
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Gulshoda, wonderful wife and mother
Umid and the birthday boy, Emmanuel
The latest trend on Team Istanbul - knitting!
Emmanual - King for a day.
Liz with Lael and her big sister Deborah.
As you may of heard, last week our beatiful team members the Irgasheva's moved their family of 5 to a small town 4 hours outside of Istanbul. Yesterday the Istanbul team took the day to visit Umid and the family for the first time since they left. Umid and the family are known as great pioneers here in the church and in their past mission fields in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This seemingly sad move is seen in all of our eyes as a great opportunity to reach futher into the heart of Turkey. Yesterday was the "Kurban Bayram" which is the scarifice holiday in the islamic calendar. All the way on our train ride to Bilecik we saw small villages, one after another making their scarifice to God with cows and sheeps. Men crowded around a bloodly field or street center, gathering the meat from these animals and making feasts and giving the meat to the poor. You could sense the very short excitement of it all but within hours as we enter the streets of Bilecik there was no joy and singing in the streets. Only a sense of dissatisfaction. A secret emptiness without any promise of change. Nothing that could be used to carry people through their lives. It was business as usually. The blinds were back on all of the eyes. And there we walked the streets buying gifts for Emmanuel because it was his birthday. Knowing full well in our hearts of the Joy of our Salvation and the Promise of eternal life through the eternal sacrifice Jesus the Son of God. We celabrated Emmanuel's birthday, prayed, fellowshipped, laughed together, and some crying and then left the same night to return to Istanbul. As we left that night we all sang Christmas songs at the train station knowing of our beautiful Savior and what He is and can do for this great country, Turkey. Keep Umid's family in prayer as they have already begun to reach out to their neighbors with the Gospel. Also for the government's acceptance of all their papers and for permission to put their kids in a Turkish school.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Hello dear friends,
I am coming to you again to urgently ask you to consider donating money to help Umid and his family! Last night was their last service with us and we prayed for them with joy and sadness. In faith, they have packed up everything they can and moved to Bilecik today. They do not have any money and they are trusting God to prepare the way for them.
We have had very little response to the last request we sent out (only $50) so this is one more attempt to stir your hearts. Any amount that you can give will be a blessing. We have seen how God uses individual Body members to provide in the past and He can do it again!
Thank you so much.
Monday, November 8, 2010
This past week we as a church have had the great blessing of having Yilmaz and Auli, an amazing couple, come and visit us from their home in Berlin. Yilmaz is from Adana, Turkey and Auli is from the east of Finland. They lives clearly show that they love people and have been a great encouragement to all the young believers in our church. Their time here has been full of evangelism, prayer, fellowship, and preaching, oh and a lot of eating!! It is so great to see how God uses a godly couple to reveal His plan for reaching, encouraging, and loving people. For Yilmaz, Turks are his people. To see a man clearly have God's burden for his country and people is quite a powerful thing. There is a great sense and understanding of the vision here that has come through his preaching and fellowship with us. Please pray for this couple and their plans for the future. We want them here! It is very clear to all of us, so we are praying for God's will in these matters.
Saturday night dinner after Bible Class on the book of Romans
Sunday night after the rap with Yilmaz
Beautiful mother and daughter - real Bible students!
Birthday party at Tiina's
The birthday boy - Yilmaz, visiting from Germany with his wife Oulli
We are coming to you again with another urgent need. As some of you may know, Umid and Gulshoda (originally from the Greater Grace church in Samarkand, Uzbekistan) have been in the process of applying for refugee status here in Turkey. During that long process, they have been tirelessly serving in the church. Umid deals with most of the practical details of running the church as well as being an amazing translator and leader of the church whenever P.Matti is not in town. Their family, now three children, have brought nothing but joy and laughter to our lives! We were all happy to hear that the process for obtaining refugee status was progressing, but unfortunately, the downside is that they have been assigned to a less crowded city called Bilecik. The government allowed them to stay in Istanbul until after their child, Lael, was born (October 1st). Now they must move within a week. Umid and his family have been an amazing example to us of a family trusting in God for their daily needs. Although they do not have any financial support and cannot legally work here, they have made ends meet. Now they will have to start fresh in a new city.
We are praying that God will use them in this new place to be an extension of our ministry into the countryside (three hours away). While waiting for the next step in the process, they could be in Bilecik for one to five years. Umid has a vision to share the Gospel with the people of this town and we are excited to see God's hand reaching beyond Istanbul.
So, we are coming to all of you because we know your generous hearts and trust that God can use this. They need money for appliances, beds, cost of moving, etc. If, with all of your help, we could raise $2,000 for them, it would greatly ease the stress and uncertainty that lies ahead of them. Please consider helping this wonderful family that has and is serving God so selflessly in this amazing country of Turkey!
If you would like to donate to them, please let me know. You can easily donate by sending money to our account (Roger Robbins) through the GGWO Missions Office by mail or online (www.ggwo.com/cms). Please be sure to make a note that the money is for Umid so that there is no confusion.
Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support. God is so faithful and we look forward to seeing Him do miracles once again!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The world is a hard place to live, full of evil and injustice, crawling with sinners just waiting to disappoint us or betray us - and yet we are happy! How can this be? Are we naive in our worldview? Do we ignore the facts that are all around us which tell us that there is nothing to be happy about? No, far from it. We see beyond the natural to the spiritual world in which we are already victorious! We have carefully read our Bibles and come to the conclusion that God is good and loving, there can be eternity with Him and salvation is free. That is why we are happy. Not because this earthly life is full of pleasure, but because our lives are lived for Him and He is faithful to do it! It is a genuine joy that comes from within - not the temporary happiness given by external experiences or pleasures. So when we walk into a cafe, someone's home, or our workplace, there is a joy overflowing from our countenances because we know the Truth and the Truth has set us free.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Hello dear friends,
We just wanted to pass along the wonderful news that Lael was born on Friday, October 1st to very happy parents, Umid and Gulshoda. Everyone is healthy and doing great!
Thank you so much to everyone who gave and prayed for them! Because of the amazing generous Body of Christ, they were able to pay all the hospital costs. God was so faithful!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Hello dear friends,
Roger and I have been back in Istanbul for about two weeks now, but we already feel very settled and at home again. The church here is doing well but has suffered from the lack of team members present during the summer months. We are really praying for some amazing spiritual momentum in the next few months!
We are coming to you with an urgent request. It is not for us, but for our dear friends and team members from Uzbekistan, Umid and Gulshoda. They are refugees from their own country right now with very little help from the government to survive here. You may know them by pictures we have put up over the years. Umid is the longest permanent team member that Team Istanbul has had! Right now, Gulshoda is pregnant and expecting their baby girl to arrive any day. Unfortunately, although they have found a clean and safe hospital and the right doctor, they do not have the money to pay for the hospital fees. Incredibly enough, all they need is $1,500 for everything! In comparison to delivery costs in other countries, this might seem like nothing to you, but to them right now it is a huge burden that they cannot bear.
Please consider giving Umid and Gulshoda an opportunity to have their child in a safe clean hospital. If you are willing to give, please send it to the Missions Office either by mail or through the ggwo website (http://www.ggwo.org/index.php?module=main&action=supportus) and give to Istanbul and make it clear that the money should be sent to Roger Robbins. Also, if you have given, please let us know immediately so that we can be expecting it.
I cannot stress how important this is and I know that each of you will prayerfully consider what you can give. God has been so faithful to us and we have great confidence in the amazing generous hearts of the Body of Christ.
We look forward to hearing from you! God bless you,
Friday, September 17, 2010
Hello dear friends!
Roger and I arrived safely back in Istanbul earlier this week. We were overjoyed to walk into our apartment and unpack our things and get settled in.
The day after we arrived, a group of young Finns arrived for a week-long visit. We are having a great time with them and they have been a great blessing to us and the church!
Please continue to pray for us and for the church here in Istanbul. We will be faced with some difficult decisions in the coming months and we are asking for clear guidance from God. We are so thankful to be in God's call for our lives and we are calmly resting in His plan, trusting Him for all the small details that loom so large in front of us.
Pastor Matti's message in our first church service back was about suffering in the will of God. It was an amazing message and surprisingly full of joy! He was encouraging us that suffering can be a part of the will of God and if it is from God, suffering is actually the most beautiful and precious expression of His love for us. I Peter 4:12-16 describes our suffering as a glorious thing that has eternal value. We could go through life without any pain or suffering for the sake of Christ and God would still welcome us into heaven with open arms...but from what we read in the Bible, its very clear that this "suffering that worketh patience" is of great value to God in eternity. That cannot be denied. P.Matti also pointed out that in comparison to the eternity we will spend with God, our earthly lives are like a tiny drop in a huge ocean of time. So we can either choose to run away from all pain - which would mean to keep every relationship distant and never allow God's love to make us vulnerable to betrayal, disappointment, manipulation, etc... Or we can choose to glorify God in His will for our lives - which we are promised will most certainly involve pain and suffering. God will love us matter what we...So which will it be?
Friday, August 27, 2010
We are getting excited about heading back to Turkey soon. We have a couple more weeks to work hard, enjoy our families and savor the amazing Body of Christ in Baltimore - and then its back to reality! There is so much to look forward to and we are so thankful for our lives and the amazing God who holds us in every situation.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
If you are one of those people, please email me so that I can start to make this list.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Its been a long time since we've posted anything on here. I apologize to all of you who faithfully check our blog! While we are in America, we do not post as often. But please continue to check in on us and we promised to be more consistent once we're back in Istanbul.
About that, our plan is to continue working full time and saving up money here in Baltimore until the first or second week in September. Please keep our finances in prayer - that is the only thing keeping us from going back right now! We miss our home, our church, our friends, and our pastor!
For all of you who know and love Kubra (and Kemal), please keep praying for her. She has already had the heart surgery, and it went well. She is recovering now and will have the main brain surgery in early August if all goes well. Pray for miraculous recovery of damaged cells and organs in Kurba's body, for Kemal's strength and endurance, and for Kubra's mother and siblings who are back home in Istanbul waiting anxiously for their safe return.