Without fanfare, a native missionary of Turkey is bringing the gospel to his own people in western Turkey. Some 47 have already been baptized in the last year, and more than 100 others are waiting for baptism after receiving proper instruction and discipleship. And its all being done through the wholehearted cooperation of village authorities.
The story began nearly 30 years ago when a poor boy named Peter (last name withheld as a security precaution) could not afford to go to school. His father told him he could not afford the uniform. Walking home that same day, they found a school uniform discarded beside the road that was the boy's exact size. They took it as an answer from God-today they credit Jesus. Peter was the first boy from his village to graduate from a university. Then he spent some time in the Turkish military and later moved to the U.S. through some contacts with an American military officer. He gave his life to Christ at a conference for Turkish believers in Florida. Transformed by the gospel, Peter led his father to Christ.
In September, 2003, Peter returned to his village to preach the gospel on the invitation of his father. Busloads of villagers welcomed him at the airport, startling local security guards. About 700 came to that introductory gospel meeting while government officials sat in the audience. Nearly all in attendance expressed a desire to have a personal relationship with Christ. Peter then began to disciple dozens of the new believers. He also helped the local community, providing school children with uniforms and book money and replacing the collapsed roof of the local school. Now a community development center is being built, and residents are working together to spruce up their community.
Recent rulings by Turkish courts have affirmed the right to freedom of religious expression for Turkish citizens. However, there is always danger of trouble from other authorities and Muslim extremists.
Assist News Service via MissionNet