The Silk Road Heartbeat February 2021

Feb 18, 2021

THANKS once again for being with us on our journey! This morning we read about “breaking up your fallow ground” from Jeremiah.  We paused to ask the Lord if there was any part of us that was lying fallow and needed to be dug up ready for planting.  Two hours later we were interviewed on zoom by one of the leaders of a church we are just joining.  He enthusiastically welcomed us with a list of things they would like us to participate in.  And so the digging commences!

Our translation team has just signed off on Acts of the Apostles. Now we’re about to go to press, publishing LUKE & ACTS under one cover. The Bulgarian Bible Society in Sofia have enthusiastically partnered with us in an unexpected way. Pray with us for their director, RADOSLAV who is going out of his way to get Luke & Acts published in the best format at the lowest unit cost. Because Bulgaria is part of the EU, our books can cross borders freely into 27 countries. Pray with us for the gospel to reach Turks in every part of the EU. ÇAĞDAŞ (Cha-dash), a brother from Istanbul has set up a Bible correspondence course in Brussels to follow up readers of our gospels. Pray with us for him and his team to see lives transformed. 

Last month we illustrated with an outline map of Turkey how pastors on each coastline, Black Sea, Marmara & Mediterranean are expanding their vision to plant multiple churches. Let’s bless these efforts with our prayers. Meanwhile in the southeast of Turkey a pastor writes us that 47,000 people are watching his online Sunday services! Other pastors share similar stories. Is this the beginning of a great harvest?

Since 2006 Turkey has allowed NGO’s, local & foreign to operate. The law was framed in such a way that Christian congregations could legally form as ‘Nonprofit Organizations’. This led to a proliferation across the country of legal churches under NGO law. At the same time the government insisted that these were not ‘real churches’. Worried by the increase of these churches the government is now reframing the law to put an end to them. Some Turkish pastors are petitioning in the courts for recognition as VAKIF (religious charity). Pray for a righteous outcome. One way or another the church of Jesus Christ is proliferating  in the land of the Seven Churches, HAMDOLSUN! (PTL!) 

STOP PRESS—Some ten days ago our dear friend and colleague, ENO, suffered a serious heart episode.  He has had stents put in one of his main arteries, but is struggling to recover well.  Please pray for him and his family in Bulgara. 
 We just got a confirming word from Pastor ‘O’ who is planting multiple churches along the Black Sea coast (You will have prayed for him based on last month’s letter.) THERE IS NOW A CHURCH IN SINOP, the ancient Roman Black Sea fortress where a friend of the Gospel and myself spent three weeks as prisoners the  summer of 1971!

With our prayers, blessings and love, George and Alison