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Dear kids,

July 3, 2011

I imagined we would all be here together and that I would see Turkey again through your eyes. I wanted to experience your reactions to the loud Call to Prayer from the Mosques, and the crazy driving, and the tea… memories we talk about frequently but which have become distant and hazy. We would have had fun.

But I probably wouldn’t have been told the kind of stories I have heard had young ears been present.

You remember when our friends were killed? You remember they died because they were Turkish, and they were Christians? Remember how sad Dad and I were? I have heard many more stories of how badly Christians are treated here. I have heard so many stories, I could write a book.

Jesus said we would face persecution because of him; that people would make fun of us and that some would be angry. Many of the first Christians died for their faith and many through the years have suffered, been put in prison, and treated very very badly. It is hard to imagine this still goes on in our world; that people would be so mean and cause so much pain because of Jesus!

Today I met an Iranian who is a refugee in Turkey because he was persecuted in his country (and yes, I practiced my Persian!). But when he became too involved in his Turkish church, the government moved him 6 hours away to a town with no church. He had to hurry from our conversation to catch a train to get back to his city so he could sign in with the police in time!

Yesterday I learned of a woman tortured for partnering with the Christian I am here to work with! I heard of a girl arrested and tried for giving a Bible to her college roommate. I was told of one of the girls in a wheelchair in the orphanage who became a Christian. When she started talking about it, they moved her and her roommates to another city to keep them away from the others. And in the new city they were hurt by mean men every night, but they couldn’t escape because they are paralyzed.

My heart hurts to learn of so much pain that our Turkish brothers and sisters face. Yes, Aidan, I have cried! And Ella, you may cry too. It is sad, and we are allowed to be sad. We are allowed to grieve with them and God. We are also allowed to be angry, as God is angry, at the injustice and evil. And we should pray. Much more than we have been praying!

Because I have also heard many many stories of God’s answers to prayer. So many stories, I could write a book about that too!

You see, the thing is, God is at work in this land. He has not left. And He is still good; still in control; still loving people into His kingdom. For this we must praise Him!

Did you miss my dinner time talks!? 🙂 I miss you!

Pray and praise.
Love Mom

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