I arrived in 2015, serving with Syrians. I didn’t come to stay… but God had other plans. This was the first time in my life that I saw Syrians accepting Jesus. They had seen the effects of war and ISIS claiming true Islam, and they didn’t want any of it.

Changing questions

Turkish people did not seem as open. They heard the same stories and saw the same effects of war, but they did not want to change. I wondered if there was any hope for the precious Turkish people.

Local people would walk into our church situated on a busy street. They were openly curious asking, “Hmmm, is this what a church looks like?”

In 2016 the country experienced an attempted coup. Many lost jobs and others were imprisoned. People were afraid to talk to neighbours or even to relatives. As the country promoted a more Islamic future, more questions were asked.

Now people came into our church confessing, “I’m searching. Can you tell me more?”

A year later, after a referendum vote, and continued Islamic rule, hearts were being awakened. They were now questioning what they had believed for years. The visitors to our church now asked a different question, “I’ve always considered myself a Muslim. Is there another way?”

A Harvest Starting

In the eight years I have lived in Turkey, I have seen history in the making. I am so thankful for those who have prayed over the last 50, 100, 2000 years for this beautiful, precious, strategic land.

I now see Turkish people reaching out to Turks. Syrians are sharing with Syrians. Afghans, who were so afraid to share of their new life, are now posting testimonies on YouTube. And Iranians! There are more Iranian believers in Turkey now than Turkish believers. And they are reaching out to their own people in this beautifully blessed land.

The shakings have continued with an earthquake, economic challenges, and more elections. Who were some of the first to respond in the earthquake area? Who were the ones who stayed? The local church of local believers.

The name of Jesus has become a word more readily spoken. It’s exciting to see change. We know it’s because of those who have come before us, sowing without reaping. We also know that it’s just the beginning. Our prayers… your prayers… are vital to see a continuation of God’s glory spread across this thirsty land.

Future expectation

Every week in Turkey, over 500 people are requesting a bible for the first time. There are thousands of literal seeds in people’s homes. May they be read, shared, and the Truth be known. May this fruitful land see a harvest of Jesus followers raised up for a bright future.

In just eight years, I have seen so much change. I honour those who have come before us. I honour those who pray. We will share in the great harvest that has begun. Let’s pray together for more… for increase in this welcoming hospitable land!