Turkey Wrap Up-Nice To Be Home!!!
So here I sit, getting ready to tell you about the Turkey trip, how we saw God work, how He protected us and how the Kingdom was expanded. I apologize it has taken me a few days to get this written, but the jet lag seems to get worse with each trip. I still haven't rebounded but oh well, I need to exclaim what the Lord has done.
The whole God's provision and protection started from the minute we were boarding the plane to head to Turkey. As we were boarding our flight to Turkey from Chicago, 3 of us were pulled aside and told it was a random inspection check. It is fantastic that Passport Control Officers were doing their jobs and protecting our great country but wow does it ever do wonders for your nerves. By the way I think we were the only three that were questioned. The questions ranged from just about everything. God allowed us to share exactly why we were going. That we were sharing the Lord and that we were going to be encouraging the small number of new believers also. They were just doing their jobs (Praise the Lord) but again we got nervous.
Once in Hatay, Turkey we shared with everyone. On the first day we attended a small House Church (churches are illegal) of about 14 people and worshipped the ALL MIGHTY in such a very special. This day was spent primarily encouraging the Lord.
As the week progressed we were able to see 9 people make professions of faith and be able to baptize 2 more. I found out later in the week that 3 new believers wanted to be baptized also but their schedules of school and work didn't work out. 9 people through this trip have now been assured an eternity with our Lord and Savior.
One last story to share, which definitely is an example of God's Provision and Protection. The team deemed this story, "63 Seconds." On Monday evening we were told that there was a Kurdish Children's Refugee Camp where we could deliver winter clothing to. The team was thrilled to be able to do this since it was only about 15 miles east of where we were. This was suppose to happen at 2:30 on Tuesday. Tuesday arrived, the van was loaded with clothing, toys and Bibles. Soon after leaving we were told that instead of 2:30 it was going to be 4:00pm for the meeting and heading to the camp. So we got to the meeting place at 4:00pm to find it was moved to 5:00. So we had some coffee and got into a very deep conversation about demons, the enemy and how our God works. Soon it was 5:19pm and we started our journey to the camp.
Quick note: In Turkey, all stop lights are timed and the time is shown below the color. Example: green lights are 43 seconds long and red lights are 63 seconds long.
We approached the last light before the camp on the inside lane, just as the light changed to red. The countdown had begun. As we watched the time count down, we noticed on the other side the light about a hundred feet ahead was a checkpoint. Checkpoints mean identification checked and a visual inspection. With what was with us, this probably meant a full on inspection. But we knew that God was going to protect us. The light counted down to 20 seconds and the phone rang. It was the people we were meeting in the camp. The Civil Police (CP) were there in the camp. The CP had torn apart their car looking for anything. In Turkey, it is wrong and not supported by the government to assist the Kurdish camps. They had been questioned for about an hour. They had nothing, we had everything. The pentility for working in the camps has been severe. Over the last few months, many of the workers have been told to leave the country and not return, the one thing in common is that they were assisting the camps. So the light changed green and we did a U-turn and headed back to the hotel. Here is where God's Provision and Protection was demonstrated to us. If we would went at our first scheduled time, we would have been there when the CP came. If we would have been there at 4:00pm, we would have been there when the CP came. If we would have left at 5:00 pm and not 5:19, we would have been there when the CP came. If we would have been there when the CP came, our contact would have been immediately kicked out, we would have been given 48 hours to leave the country and all the winter clothing and other stuff would have been confiscated. Obviously God wanted us to finish the work in the country last week. The great thing is that another way was opened, just we would not be able to assist.
Our prayer was simple. God we trust you and we will do whatever you want. If anything else would have been different, within 63 seconds we would have been kicked out of the country. Amazing how God took care of us and protected us. The 63 second story is only one of the many stories where we saw God work things out and protect us. The great thing about this story is that we all knew you were praying with us and lifting up our safety on this whole trip.
It was an Amazing God trip. Each of the team were a blessing not only to each other, but especially to the people of this area who are truly seeking the Lord. Thank you for supporting us, praying for us and loving us on this trip.