Greetings from the Middle East!
As a part of our At The Crossroads ministry in the Middle East, we focus each year on helping to equip believers from different countries. Today, we are writing about an exciting ministry opportunity that we believe will have a long-term impact on Turkey and throughout the Middle East.
Foreign nationals serving in Turkey are being evicted from Turkey and even imprisoned right now. The future of the church in the Middle East depends on equipping Middle Eastern believers for leadership going forward, and we would like to invite you to help us do that.
The Middle East is filled with some of the worst fighting the region has ever seen. The unrest is religious at its core. The great majority of those living in predominantly Muslim countries today are ignorant of Biblical history, misinformed about Christian teachings, and prejudiced against Jews. Turkey is seen as a modern, Western-leaning society, but even in Turkey today, books sold nationwide accuse the Jews of responsibility for everything from 9/11 to the rise of the Islamic State. These ingrained attitudes present an obstacle to true understanding of God’s saving work in history through Jesus, including his Jewish heritage. If there is to be any lasting peace in the Middle East, all groups must overcome their prejudices and let God’s Spirit help us understand that Jesus “broke down the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14).
We have the opportunity to help make this happen. In March 2017, we are planning a study tour specifically for Turkish-speaking, Muslim background pastors and church leaders to see the lands of the Bible and study the life of Jesus in his true geographical, cultural, and historical context. We already have pastors signed up to participate from churches in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antakya, and largely unreached areas around Turkey, including some active in leading the Turkish Association of Evangelical Churches. These leaders are mature, born again believers in Jesus who have been serving the Lord for years. However, as laborers in a country that is 99.7% Muslim, most have never had a seminary education. They carry the burden of defending a Biblical view of the Jews while surrounded by negative views of Israel, even though many have never met a Jewish person. This tour is designed to further equip these pastors and leaders for ministry, imparting deeper Biblical understanding through sound, on-site teaching while instilling genuine appreciation for God’s work among the Jewish people through positive encounters with their culture today.
Our goal is to help 20-30 Turkish-speaking pastors and leaders participate in this 12-day study tour, but we need help to make this possible. We want to make the tour affordable for Turkish believers, but to do that we need to raise $1500 of support for each attendee. Please pray about whether God would have you give financially to help make this ministry a reality.
Turkey, the non-nuclear superpower of the region, is at a tipping point in its history. The direction Turkey takes can and will affect the whole Middle East – and beyond. Thank you for helping us bring Biblical hope for love and reconciliation to the people of Turkey at this crucial time.
We are partnering with CMJ (The Church’s Ministry Among Jewish Peoples) to provide this ministry based at Christ Church in Jerusalem’s old city.
To contribute, please click here and then specify the “Christ Church – Jerusalem” fund. IMPORTANT: Please also write “Turkish Pastors Scholarship Fund” in the memo space provided.
Thank you again for your prayers and support for our ministry in the Middle East!