While many people around the world celebrate Halloween, we don't acknowledge it in Turkey. For several years in our church, we have celebrated Reformation Day on October 31. We usually have a big dinner and have a bit more classical atmosphere.
It was surprising that on Reformation Day this year a few of my Islamic theology students joined us. Some of these young man struggle with their faith. Some of them desire to learn more about our church. One of them came to the church with the purpose of declaring Islam to me and to show me the errors of my Christian faith. We are now good friends with all of them. Just last week seven of them came to one of our weekday gatherings. Many of them expressed incorrect assumptions about Christian faith. However, as they continue to come, they better understand who we are and what we believe. Recently one of them said to me smiling, 'Kerem, I didn't go to Friday prayer but I came to church this Sunday. That should count, right?' These men don't know Christ and this is a great opportunity for us to share about our faith. Remember these men in your prayers.
Here are few prayer updates from our ministry.
- Pray for security of Turkish Pastors. Many Turkish pastors have received threats from ISIS.
- Pray generally for Turkey. In the last few months we have experienced chaos in our country with the election of the Islamic party, conflict with Kurdish nationalists, and with ISIS.
- Pray for Hakan. Pray for continued growth in his faith and development of his leadership skills. Pray for wisdom as he seeks to serve our Lord and function as a church leader.
- Pray for Cagatay and Tugce. As they move to Houston, Texas this month they face many challenges with language, housing, and employment. Pray for God’s provisions for them and for encouragement.
- Praise to our Lord book publishing ministry. We are thankful for our strong and faithful publishing partners who are helping us publish and provide, free of charge, Bible centered books in our language. Pray that we will be able to respond to the increasing demand and meet this need.
- Praise the Lord for opportunities to share the Gospel lately. We have experienced repeated visits from Islamic theology students. During informal conversations we openly share with them the Gospel. Pray for the work of the Spirit in their hearts and our dialogues with them. We hope that they will give their life to Jesus.
There is good and bad news from Manavgat. As you can see from the photograph (on the left), we continue to go Manavgat regularly and encourage brothers and sisters there. This meeting was held in the home of the Ornekoglu family and was very encouraging. We studied the Word, prayed, and ate together.
But there is bad news as well. The Ornekoglu family (Cagatay and Tugce) will be moving to Houston, Texas this November and we will miss them very much. There are few believers in this small town and it will be difficult to lose some of our members. We are encouraged for this new opportunity for Cagatay (green t-shirt) and Tugce (black t-shirt). Join us in prayer that they will both be blessed and be a blessing to those with whom they will build new relationships in their new home.
Please continue to pray for the Manavgat Church plant and the challenges they face.
Here is more info about Manavgat.
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