Category: Turkey

Turkey

Dear Brothers,

I wanted to give you an update on our time here in Turkey. It’s 6:30 AM, and the call to prayer echoes around the city, though it mostly still sleeps. We are departing for Istanbul in less than an hour.

Yesterday, we spent a significant amount of time with a few Christian leaders in this area. To them, the oppression from Islamic states is just a way of life. The main leader, whom I’ll simply call “Pastor,” is from Iraq and will be forced to return there and to his church after hopefully visiting us in Texas in the near future.

God has given us clear direction for aiding the persecuted church with our brothers gifted in communication technology. While discretion in describing such matters is advised, our prayer is that Christians will be able to safely connect with each other and find ministry of the truth in the form of introductory recordings and videos on the essentials of faith. In service to this cause, we have formed many meaningful connections with believers from around the world. Pray that God will allow us to meet this desperate need for the persecuted church, offering a full message and teaching of truth.

At one point, the Pastor seemed a bit confrontational, expressing a desire for clarity on our doctrine before further networking. Initially apprehensive about devolving into useless wrangling disconnected from the relational fruit in Christ, I nonetheless encouraged him to voice his most pressing questions. He immediately inquired about the incarnation and nature of Jesus. My response brought a huge smile to his face. He shared that he had been rebuked by fellow pastors for being “Jesus only.” Not understanding this label, he attempted to research “Jesus only,” hoping he would find like-minded people but had no success in learning about this group. Nonetheless, God had given him the revelation that people should be baptized in Jesus’ name. Though not fully versed or accurate in every theological detail, the Lord had shown him the essential difference between scripture and the traditional concept of the Trinity, and he has since baptized in Jesus’ name, having never encountered Oneness Pentecostals.

Over dinner, we had a beautiful time of shared food and fellowship. Some of us retired to our rooms, while Kash, Danny, and Teb met with a Kurdish brother from Iran. After a time of sharing hearts, confession, and seeking God, they prayed him through to the Holy Spirit, and he began speaking in tongues!

God’s goodness and grace have been tangibly felt throughout this brief season in Turkey. Seeds have been sown, insights gained, and direction received. Thank you for your prayers; it is the grace of the body of Christ that we channel into every conversation and encounter.

Thank you for your continued support in spirit as we prepare to depart from Turkey tomorrow morning for Entebbe, Uganda, to serve, strengthen, and establish the budding fellowship there.

With much love,

Asi

Turkey

It’s 9 AM here in Turkey. We had an excellent opening meeting last night with a house church full of people, opening their hearts to the message of the body of Christ and the necessity of the Holy Spirit. However, we’ve just received word that the authorities disapproved of last night’s gathering; the church group is only authorized to have one meeting a week and would have required a permit for both an additional meeting and to receive ministry from foreigners. At this point, it seems that the remainder of our corporate meetings will be impossible, but we will do our best to edify the leadership.
We request your prayers for God’s wisdom and guidance, and that he would multiply our efforts for his purpose.