Saturday, January 2, 2016

God Is Good: A Sample of Communication


    Many of you have asked me what type of communication do I get from the partners that I work with overseas.  I thought I would share two of them with you.  The first one is an email I received less than a week ago (actually while I was sitting in church) and the other is from a recent project that occurred in the region, which was led by a dear friend and brother.  This is just a sample of the emails and communication that I receive.  Many of the names have been changed and places for their protection.  Please as you read them pray for them.

"I was contacted by folks in our church in the central region.  They told me that our pastor had been taken away, our church meeting place was confiscated and no one had heard from our pastor for over 24 hours.  The man that witnessed it was distraught and could not keep from sobbing.
As soon as I could, I contacted a man who deals with Christian media in the central region, and found a lawyer that would work with us.  I got ahold of the man from our church that was also roughed up by the police and he told me to call our pastor immediately.  I got ahold of our pastor and he told me he was in not in the country!  I was relieved he was safe, as we all though the worst.  Below is the story that I translated from our pastor. .  Here is our pastor's account of what happened: 

Before I explain what happened, I want to share something that I feel very certain of and something that I have determined from the last few attacks.  Whenever we have a ministry or project, within two days or less "someone" learns of it and comes to try to stop what we are doing. These people seem to be aware of even the smallest detail of everything that we do.  I believe that someone that has close knowledge of what we are doing and has a flow of information is making complaints about us.  I am not saying that it is someone that is from inside our church.  We have enough enemies and I suppose you maybe able to guess who these might be.  Because of our involvement in writing and participation in ....(name deleted for protection)  reconciliation, I know that there are many from within the larger church that still hate us.  As a result of this there are some that continue to make complaints about us and our church, they know all about us and they are sharing this information with authorities. 

The day that it happened our brother from the church opened the door.  I was about three feet away from the door.  Our brother from the church kept the door partially open and said to the men at the door, "what can I do for you?".  The men were in civilian clothing and we did not understand who they were.  The man in front grabbed our brother's hand, pushed him and forced his way into our church.  Our brother asked, what is going on?, as soon as he asked this they kicked him in the shin and all forced their way to the church.  I then yelled and asked them who they were. Because of all of the yelling and commotion our next door neighbors heard and came over to see what was happening.   They all came into our church.  One of the man took out his badge or identification and began hitting my on the sides of my face with it.  They pushed us both into our worship area.  There were four men and one of them was playing the role of the "bad cop".  He was continuously cursing at us and kept motioning to us like he would punch us.

 He started off by saying,

 "you bleep bleeps, you are such a trouble to us, why are you looking for trouble? Are you wanting a beating?, you ..... seeds,  Why are you always trying to dig up 'bleep'? Why can't you just keep your doors closed like the other churches and sit on your rears? What? you mean you are the 'crazies' of all the churches?  They have made you go mad that you will see your place."  We would let you alone if you would just not do anything, in fact you can stay here for years if you do not do anything more. 

Two other police were trying to calm this man down and tried to talk with me in a more sincere way.  They said,

"please look my friends, the things that you have done this country cannot put up with and will not give permission for. You also know the situation in this country.  It is a mere dream if you think you can just make a video like this and put it out there and go on like nothing will happen.  If it is not today, if it is not tomorrow, soon there will be a day that in this geography (Translator's note: meaning in Muslim/Islamic countries), that there will be no permission for videos and books like these, and they are not ready for them anyway.  And 'God forbid" that anything would happen, it would cause a lot of problems for us, and it will vilify our country's name.  Look what happened in Malatya and what happened to Hrant Dink.  Now you have put out a video like this....  Did you not go on YouTube to research if anyone had made a video similar to yours or a more "normal" video like it?  There is not one.  Well, have you wondered why there is nothing out there like it??  What do you think you are the world's bravest hero??  You think you can insult people's book (the Qur'an) and their prophet (Muhammad) and then you can walk down the street?? I don't think so.
Forget the police..., Allah will not even be able to protect you!  This is my advice, get lost and get out of here.  I don't care if you go underground, if you go to your village, if you go to the ...... that you love so much, you can figure it out.  This is a warning from us." 

The police did not confiscate any books, computers or anything. Every time I tried to reply to their questions they would tell me to shut up. Later that evening, I was called by a private number.  The man on the other end of the phone cursed and threatened continuously then hung up. I thought for safety reasons that it was prudent to get out of sight for a short period of time.  For that reason both I and our brother from church decided to get out of the country.  We plan on returning to Turkey as we evaluate the circumstances.  The biggest concern for me is not that I will be tortured or hurt, or be put into prison.  This is only the first book and first video that we have produced and I have plans on doing much much more.  My biggest concern is that I will not be able to finish my projects. 

For our church's safety I believe that it may be wise that we move from where we currently meet for worship.  Right now my family is safe and they have not been threatened in anyway.  But the video that we put on YouTube is still new and every day it reaches more and more people.  (Translator's Note: what he means by this is that there could be many more threats and issues the more viewers this has.). 

We are truly grateful for the people that are praying for us.  Before we began our ministry, we counted the cost.  Whatever comes from the Lord, may His will be done.  I have now almost reached my 50th birthday, I am not sure about how much I have to run the race, however, May it all be sacrificed for the path of the Lord.   We love you all."

A Project Report:

"My Brother Ron,
    Here is the report from our recent project:

PROJECT REPORT  Name withheld for protection

NUMBER OF PEOPLE CONTACTED: Approximately 40 persons

Here are some stories:

Some one her name is H....., she was 23 on October 2011 She decided to do not believe in God any more. She believes when man die as any animal, it’s over. She is smoking and drinking. Her target is making money and enjoying herself. I spend more than 2 hours talking about God’s love where All Religions around us man looking and try to please God, while in Christianity God who are looking for man and He died for him. And He have to do Salvation to balance between His fair and His mercy. After I evidence from the Holy Bible the God’s love and salvation doctrine, she prayed with me asking Jesus who die for her sins to forgive her and wash her heart with His Blood and accept Him in her heart as her Lord and Savior.

Also another story with Ka...., who accept Jesus from three years ago, he saw people who said they were Christians not acting like Christians and this caused him stumble and said to himself if Jesus likes those people, I do not want to be Christian any more. I believe this case is more difficult than any case else. So, we start to talk about Jesus’ love and how He was treating people including this woman who was bring her to Him while she command adultery. How he was nice, gentle and treat her with very nice way. In the same time we have responsibility towards ourselves at the front of God. and do not forget that the Satan are using his ways to let us loss our relations ship with our Lord. I gave him encouraging message and warning him in the same time. He cry and ask Him for forgiveness and renew his covenant. "

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