Tomorrow, July 18th, marks the third trial appearance for Pastor Andrew Brunson in Izmir, Turkey. Andrew has been in prison on fraudulent charges for a year and a half. By President Erdoğan’s own admission, Andrew is being held to put pressure on the United States to extradite the man Erdoğan holds responsible for the attempted coup of summer 2016.

While it might not be directly connected, is interesting to note that after the NATO summit in Helsinki the Turkish government reported yesterday it is considering ending the emergency rule within the next few days. You can read more about that on the Hurriyet Daily News. We are not sure if this will directly affect the trial, but it has been reported by the same newspaper that holding Andrew Brunson has become too costly and is negatively affecting the U.S.–Turkey relations. You can read more about that in the Hurriyet Daily News by clicking here.

After the last trial, on May 8, a pro-government Turkish newspaper indicted several co-conspirators in Andrew’s case. These three are part of our ATC network (two are Turkish nationals) and live and serve in Turkey. As a response, they were advised to sue the newspaper in question for their allegations. Pray that the media source will retract the story and that our brothers will be vindicated, and the Lord’s name in Turkey will be held in high honor.

For Andrew and Norine, this has been a very difficult season for them and their family. Since the trial began, he seems to be doing better but the conditions of his imprisonment are still taking the toll on him physically and emotionally in the most recent Facebook post Norine wrote:

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for persevering in prayer with us. I pass on your comments to Andrew from time to time. YOU, the body of Christ, are truly amazing! Where else do people love and pray for others they’ve never met? What a testimony YOU have been.

The summer heat means Andrew can’t sleep well as he is constantly drenched in sweat. He makes a point of offering that up as a sacrifice. He is not wanting to exaggerate the discomfort of heat – he knows that many have been in much worse conditions.

He has been calmer recently as is trying to see things through the lenses of demonstrating the value, the worth of Jesus – that those whom He loves and who love Him are willing to suffer for him. He often prays “Father, cause to burst into flame in me the love you have for Jesus, that I may be a fervent, ardent lover of Him, willing to undergo whatever is asked.”
Please remember the next hearing date – July 18.”

 

How to Pray:

1. Please pray with us that God will grant Andrew’s release on July 18th.

2. Pray that it will be clear to everyone that Andrew is on trial for the Gospel and his faith in Yeshua. Pray for him as he gives testimony during the trial. (Philippians 1:12-14, Matthew 10:19-20)

3. Pray for Andrew’s lawyer as he prepares his defense for the upcoming trial. This man has been very bold in answering the prosecution’s arguments and declaring the truth amongst many lies. Pray for his protection and that he will be instructed by the Lord and will stand on the truth.

4. Pray for the judge presiding over the hearing that he will decide in favor of truth and justice.

5. Pray for boldness and protection of the evangelical community in Turkey especially our coworkers in the Southeast of the country during this very difficult time.

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