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!