Thank you for your prayers and faithful support. I’m sure most of you know by now about the tragic event that happened in Iraq. For those of you who are unaware, a missionary in Iraq was killed in front of his family. Please continue to pray for his family; they are back in the States. When we moved here, he gave me advice about serving in the Muslim countries.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take a guest to see the locations of all seven churches that are found in the first chapters of Revelation. These ancient structures have been rebuilt and demolished over and over again by major earthquakes. We first walked over the ruins where Satan’s seat was in Pergamon (possibly the Temple of Zeus), stood on the ground where the saints of Smyrna were faithful until death, sat in the amphitheater of Ephesus where they cried out, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,” and observed the Olympic sports stadium that made Laodicea very rich. Near Laodicea at sunrise, we climbed the hill where the church of Colossae met. We took advantage of an open door to share the Gospel with a tourist worker in Philadelphia and passed by the small brick building of the church of Sardis, which was right next to a massive temple. Then we traveled to the place where the church of Thyatira failed to give attention to the fornication of Jezebel. I didn’t realize how many temples there were and how massive they were in each of these locations. We think we have it hard sharing the Gospel now, but I can’t even imagine what Paul faced in his time.
By the end of this year, we are on track to have several of our goals finished and new ones started. Lord willing, we plan to have a complete translation of the New Testament available in text, audio, and video by the end of this year (we are about 70% done). Once this is done, we can create a Bible app for smartphones and a Bible module for e-Sword. We also plan to start an internet radio and begin producing and collecting materials for a future Bible institute.
It seems that lately there has been some spiritual resistance to the work here. One of our faithful members broke her foot and cannot leave home for a month. A man from a different city has been trying to visit us to hear the Gospel, but many things have interfered with his coming. Another faithful member has been dealing with unexpected circumstances on Sundays. Some of our opportunities to share the Gospel seem to face new obstacles of mental illness, Satanic delusion, and the inability to comprehend personal salvation. Please continue to pray for wisdom as we learn to effectively communicate the Gospel to those around us.
Please pray for an opportunity during this Thanksgiving to host some neighboring friends again. I am planning to add more opportunities to reach people by working at a secular language school four times a week. Because I am an American and in the position of an English teacher, this gives me a huge opportunity to reach the younger generation who already know some English. Plus, this enables me to give a little more toward missions and practice my Turkish. I have already been a guest teacher in some of these classes, and God has given me great favor and liberty to share my faith. One of the most experienced native teachers there expressed his love for Christ, and his favorite book is the gospel of Matthew. I look forward to investigating his faith. Pray that God not only uses us to see the lost get saved, but to see the saved get sanctified!