The Lord did such amazing things while we were in Turkey! It was so exciting to be a part of What God is doing! This was one of the best trips that I have been on. Knowing a little bit of the language was very helpful and I believe the Lord used this to enhance my experience there as well as to facilitate some of the breakthroughs I experienced there. The prayers from our community and all of you who were lifting us up in prayer was extremely felt and results seen in every aspect of our trip. The Lord really blessed us.
I want to thank all of you who gave financially and partnered with the Lord in making this trip possible! Also I want to thank all of you who prayed for us! Your prayers were heard and as you read on you will see some ways in which the Lord answered them, though there were so much more than I am able to write!
The purpose of our trip to Turkey primarily was to pray and strengthen the Lord’s servants there! We participated in a worship and prayer meeting that went around the clock for 121 hours. Out of the context of continual worship and prayer outreach overflowed and God moved with power! We visited 4 different cities in Turkey and connected with believers in each to pray, worship and encourage. We were in Antalya for a week and briefly went to Izmir, because Ephesus was close by we visited the ancient ruins. After Izmir we went to another city where we ministered to youth and led prayer meetings; we were there for about 3 days. Finally we finished our trip in Istanbul where we met and prayed over the city; we were there for a day and a half.
I made many connections both with local Turkish people as well as with people that are ministering in that nation! One of the Turkish people that I connected with that was not a believer, told me via Facebook after I had left his city that he had become a Christian!!! I’m going to tag along some updates that I wrote throughout the trip and will finish with a summary for the rest of the trip!
Update from Antalya
I am presently in Antalya, Turkey! A city through which the Apostle Paul traveled! This is a more westernized city in Turkey and is a place where many people go on vacation: to drink, party, see some sights and swim in the Mediterranean beaches.
The Turkish people are very friendly and open to conversation! As long as I start a conversation people are willing and delighted to engage in it. Sometimes the language barrier prevents us from continuing in a conversation, I will then say to them “gule gule” which is a way to say goodbye or another appropriate phrase :) But amazingly I have been able to communicate the things that I need to and sometimes even more! It has been such a blessing to be able to communicate with people even just basic things in communication. I have been studying Turkish since the end of April and it has certainly payed off!
I have written a few updates via Facebook about the different power encounters that we have had on the streets!
Jamming in Turkey!!!
One of the fun experiences I have had was when my friend Peter and I were walking to the harbor, the one that Paul about 2000 years ago traveled through! On our way we passed by a man and Peter felt that we should pray for him! We found out a little later that he was actually a “fortune” teller! We engaged him in conversation in Turkish since he spoke very little English, though I also speak very little Turkish :) The Lord showed me that he had pain in his shoulder. I asked him in Turkish if he had pain in his shoulder and when he confirmed that he had significant pain in his shoulder, asked him if he wanted the pain gone! When we prayed for him all the pain completely left!!! He called his friend to come down and told him what happened. His friend needed healing in his back and so we prayed for him once and the pain decreased. After we prayed for him a second time all of the pain was gone! He knew English and asked me why we were doing that. I said to him, “Because Jesus told us to go heal the sick! He told us to go and preach the Gospel and heal the sick. This is the Gospel, Jesus came to the earth…!” I proceeded to preach the rest of the Gospel to this man!! Somehow he left before I got to invite him to surrender his life to Isa (Jesus). I tried to speak with the first man we had talked with about giving his life to Jesus but had a hard time communicating so we left.
We continued on our way. I stopped at a shop selling natural dried apricots (not like the dried apricots that we have in the states) and the guy was trying to trick me into buying more than I wanted. Finally I said to him, “If you let me pray for you I will buy these from you.” And he allowed me to pray for him! It was fun. On our way back from our venture we passed the man that was a fortune teller again and he wanted us to pray for a young man who was Muslim! He also had pain in his shoulder and when he asked who we would be praying to I said “Tanrı” which means God in Turkish, I did not want to say Allah :) I prayed for him in the name of Jesus and he was healed!!! I told him that Isa healed and then he said in a questioning way, “No, Muhammed…” So I told him again with motions to move his shoulder, and asked him again if there was any pain. When he said “Yok (no more)” I again reaffirmed that it was Jesus who healed him!!! Hallelujah!!!
Update from Izmir
As I begin to write this update I am presently on a bus leaving the ancient city of Ephesus. In between our ministry commitments we have taken 2 days to rest and decided to go today to Ephesus! It was such great time seeing the ancient city and being aware thatwe were in a place where the Hoy Spirit had moved powerfully during Paul’s ministry, so that thousands of witchcraft books wereburned and all of Asia, that is modern-day Turkey down to Syria – ish, heard the word of God! Handkerchiefs were put in contact with Paul’s skin and they were used to heal the sick! Acts 19 records that God performed great miracles through the hands of Paul!
We finished the “Mega-Burn” in Antalya! Over 100 hours of continual worship and prayer of which our team helped to facilitate and participate in. We are in Izmir and will be praying with some believers before we go to a conference where we will be ministering to youth!
This whole trip has been an amazing experience! Knowing the little bit of Turkish that I know and many from the team also having studied before coming has helped us to engage with the culture as we have been able to talk a little with people that we have met on the streets and with young turkish believers. Being able to engage better with the culture has given us a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment, which has been very helpful for our hearts. Last year, being hindered by the language barrier when I went to Turkey, I often questioned why I was there and if my ministry there was important. Praise God, it was important and God did a lot through our worship,praise,intercession and ministry to believers that are laying down their lives to serve the Turkish people! However again, being able to communicate with the people has been such a blessing to my heart.
How The Lord moved in Antalya also was an encouraging experience! many were healed on the streets and in the church! There was such a grace to evangelize and see God move!!! The wisdom of night and day prayer was being justified! As praises were going up,truly blesings were coming down on the people of Antalya! I have been able to keep in touch with some of the ones that experienced The Lord’s power on the streets through Facebook! I hope for some of those to be continuing friendships and even family as they come to believe in Jesus Christ! One friend that I am not sure if he is yet a believer thanked me in a message for praying for him!
The harvest is ripe! “Lord! Send Laborers!!!” Seeing thousands and thousands of people every day as I walk through the streets has been gripping my heart recognizing that the vast majority of them do not know Jesus, maybe one or two had a dream and are secretly following The Lord but most have no idea! And it’s not just in Turkey but all over the world and even in the United States!
Izmir, the city we are in, is ancient Smyrna! One of the Seven Churches addressed in the Book of Revelation, and a church that was not rebuked by Jesus in His address!
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’ (Revelation 2:8-11 NKJV)
A great promise was given to those who overcome in this church!
We stopped by a house of prayer in Izmir and got to pray with precious believers there! The presence of God fell on us powerfully in the short time that we had with them! They had a beautiful blue banner on the wall that said in Turkish “Welcome King of Glory!” I wanted a picture of that banner mainly so that I would remember the text. I forgot to take a picture of it before we left but found out that somebody else had taken a picture of me with that banner on the background! That is the picture that I put on this Newsletter :)
A summary of the rest of the trip
The day after we went to Ephesus we rode out to a city close to Izmir where we participated in a conference for people that are serving the Lord in Turkey! We had a great time there and were able to lead several times of worship and prayer in which the Lord met us and those who were there! At the conference one of our primary assignments was to minister to the youth! It was such a powerful time and the Lord did so much. We would have loved to be with them for a longer period of time! Our last night there we listened to one of the young guys play some of the songs that he had written and they were amazing! We found out in that time of fellowship that he had not yet received the gift of tongues. So we prayed for him and he received it! We talked about singing in the Spirit and he later affirmed that he had felt that he should sing in the Spirit, so we all begin to sing together and the presence of the Lord was so sweet! As we sang in the Spirit he felt a sensation of water and wind coming on him at the same time. It was a beautiful experience!
We then headed out to Istanbul for the final part of our journey! In Istanbul we did some sightseeing. We went over to a mosque called, “The Blue Mosque!” It is a beautiful structure, though a little menacing from the outside. The atmosphere was pretty intense and almost intimidating. I began to sing of the beauty of Jesus and by the time we finally made it inside I could feel things shifting in there! The oppressive atmosphere did not immediately disappear but I could sense it shifting! That was a fun experience! We also visited the “Hagia Sophia” (Picture is below) which used to be a church.
Lastly we met with a house of prayer in Istanbul and had an amazing time of prayer with them! A couple of dreams were partially fulfilled that night. The house of prayer overlooks the city of Istanbul, it was great to pray over the city as we were looking right over it! In one of Ronnette’s (one of our team leaders) dreams some months back we were over the city of Istanbul! Also somebody had had a dream of a prayer meeting that mirrored all that we did that night, even down to children drawing and coloring on paper! Randy’s kids were drawing and he had used their drawings as an object lesson while he taught!
The prayer for us were definitely felt and experienced on our trip!!! So many other fun things happened but for the sake of space I will not put them here! I will however update the 2013 Healing Testimonies and will include the testimonies of healing that we experienced on the streets in Turkey!!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this extensive summary. Let’s continue to lift the church of Turkey up in our prayers and pray that the Lord will add to them!!!
To the Fame of His Name!