The end of March and beginning of April was quite a busy time for us. Busy, yet at the same time really joyful. We had our second annual Church Retreat in Çıralı, Antalya. Located about an hour from the city, the pansion is known for it’s many bungalow style houses and is perfect for a quiet holiday. As a church we stayed for 3 nights. We were even able to reunite with some previous members who were able to join us. During our morning devotions we studied some passages from Ephesians and in our evening meetings we reviewed and studied the faith statement of our church. To complete our stay, we celebrated the baptisms of our new believer brothers. On Sunday we worshiped and baptized 3 brothers and welcomed them into the church family. Several friends were able to join us for this time of worship and for the baptisms. After many goodbyes, especially with our former members and friends, we returned to the city. Even though we were all a bit tired, it was a refreshing and blessed time for all of us as a church family.
This year, as in previous years, we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday at Antalya Protestant Church. We invited our friends, neighbors, and colleagues to join us for this celebration. The seasons of Christmas and Easter give us a great opportunity to share the Gospel in a place like Turkey. There is much wonder and curiosity as well as misconceptions about the celebration of Christmas and Easter in this culture. Overall, people are more willing attend our worship service at these particular times to learn more about them. It is during these times that our friends are more willing to accept our personal invitation to visit our church. After the church service we enjoyed a fellowship time with lots of foods prepared by our church members. It was during this fellowship time that we were able to build closer relationships with those who are not regular attendees and visitors. We appreciated having the chance to share the Gospel and explain what Christians believe. Once again we were blessed to be in our new larger facility in order to accommodate both our members and guests. Praise to God that he gave us these opportunities.
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