A few days ago, some news was placed online from one of the radical Islamist newspapers about our church and one of our members. The title of the article is, ‘Not a Church, But a Terrorist Training Office’. The information placed in this article is saying that ‘One of our American brothers has a connection with the PKK (terror organisation) and that he trains terrorists at our church’s office’. Of course this accusation is unfounded and simply not true. I have known this brother for more than 14 years and he has helped and supported me in my faith boldly for many years. I can clearly say that he, and our church, have not had and will not have anything to do with terror organisations. Unfortunately, this news has spread all over the internet, thereby creating many damaging and threatening reviews related to this news article. The news article also shows a photograph of me, and our church service, that was taken 5 years ago.
This newspaper has previously produced similar news articles about other churches in Turkey as well. So at this time we go to our Lord in prayer and seek legal council from lawyers. We greatly appreciate and give thanks for your prayers for us, and this situation. This news has been very stressful and discouraging for us. However, we know that these kinds of times are the best for our sanctification and we rejoice for our Lord and his disciplining and strengthening of us. May the Lord use this in His good and perfect plan.
Here is some exciting news from our church. I wrote a few weeks ago that a baptism service was forthcoming. We had a great day to celebrate the baptism of our brothers Ahmet and Levent last week. It has definitely not been easy for these two men to follow Christ. They have been subjected to pressure from family members and friends and even struggles within their own heart to push them away from our Lord for years. Through the work of the Holy Spirit to change their hearts and to express their desire to follow Christ, they declared their faith before the church and received the sign of baptism in the name of our Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was truly great moment to baptise these men and have them in our lives and in our church.
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