Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Our Church in Bilecik!
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.