Istanbul Mission’s Update September 2017

 In #NoFilter

Hello OB1,

the summer break has ended and even here in the beautiful İstanbul, people have returned from their summer houses. A lot has happened since the last newsletter …

“You just cheated death!”
With these words, the doctor greeted me after a complicated, four hour long surgery in the intensive care unit on Saturday, September 9th. What had happened?

It all started very encouraging, as I wrote in the last newsletter.

– the car drive and import of the car with Titus: smooth,
– preparing the apartment in the rough: smooth,
– our move and our belongings passing custom controls: smooth,
– more and more people interested in the CP work,
– the arrival of Silvia and the children: exhausting, but without incidents.

All of these have been prayer requests, heard and granted by our Father God in Heaven. Thank you for praying!

It started with the fact that we deliberately left our beautiful apartment in chaos, to head for Ayvalık (see photo above) to enjoy our long-awaited family vacation on the Turkish Aegean. After only a couple of beautiful days by the sea I got sick by what we thought was a gastrointestinal infection. To our suprise there was no improvement of my health after two weeks and the local medical care proved to be extremely unsatisfactory, probably because the time of my illness was the time of “Bayram”, two Turkish holidays following sequentially during which all doctors are on vacation. The staff who is left at the hospitals are medical assistants or paramedics, and thus hight quality medical treatment not granted. Confronted at night with my abdomen convulsions, constantly high fever and pain in the abdomen a fast radiograph was made, an IV serum was administered and the patient sent home again.

After consultation with a doctor friend in Germany we cancelled our holiday. and headed back to İstanbul in order to get better medical assistance. Long story short: It took another week until the doctors diagnosed a “very serious problem” after a CT scan. A stomach reflection turned into an emergency surgery, as my stomach had to be “cleaned” of several large inflammation areas, which had meanwhile led to a blood poisoning. In the meantime, two plus weeks have passed since the surgery and I’m feeling better. I still need strong antibiotics to counteract increased inflammatory levels in the blood. Also, I have lost a lot of weight which I work on regaining. It will probably take some months before I get back to normal, Lord willing. Pray for  the full restoration of my health, would you please?

Another challenge is that we had to cover nearly 10,000 euros for the surgery and hospital treatment. We are just trying to clarify from whether and to what extent the German health insurance will reimburse us. Please pray for the return of our expenses in full.

A dramatic turn of events
We as a family are deeply grateful to God for his saving last minute intervention. It is a gift to be alive and to let Silvia and the children discover the beauty of in İstanbul with. Certainly, this was not the start we hoped for here. In his sovereignty, God has decided to slow down the progress of our plant, contrary to our plans. And we are remembered daily that it is not our time and plan, but God’s. Everything depends on Him. And we take this unexpected turn of events with humility, patience and trust from His hand, even though at times this can be hard.Further, however, this shows us the extent to which spiritual warfare rages here, and that we must surround ourselves daily with prayer and regardless of how mundane things look on the surface (like a family vacation). After my surgery, many long-term workers have witnesses to me, that this is not unusual. Also friends from the US, who visited and established plants in very challenging countries, witnesses extreme attacks on their life, family and health, immediately after arriving at the target destination. This strengthens our conviction even more, to ask: Please pray earnestly for our protection and preservation in all our steps!
How’s the family?
Without a doubt these first weeks have been extremely challenging for Silvia because of my absence. These are things that you can hardly prepare for.- the language barrier, not being able to communicate fluently,
– three little and lively whirlwind “kids”, who constantly generate chaos,
– a chaotic apartment with several dozen unpacked boxes,
– a household which must also function in a foreign country,
– nights with little sleep, as Taylan cries for hours and is awake again,
– and all this without the partner, who can support you  and shares the responsibility.Pray therefore for strength, health, and preservation for Silvia, and that God blesses Taylan with more sleep at night.As expected, the first days at school and kindergarten were very hard for Yunus and Leyla. Initially, Yunus was very reluctant and his teacher called to express strong doubts as to whether Yunus can do it. He simply did not communicate with her at all. Meanwhile, we realize that through your prayers, Yunus has just been given the right primary school teacher. She seems to like him a lot now and appreciates his creative and sensitive personality. Meanwhile, Yunus also communicates in Turkish. But there are still hard days full of tears ahead, so please pray for Yunus, his language learning, finding friends and school life.Things are a little more challenging with Leyla. But first of all, the great thing: another prayer request has been answered and Leyla has been accepted at the nursery that we wanted. Thank you God! However, she communicates very clearly, that she does not want to be in this country and does not want to have Turkish friends but German ones. She does not want to stay in the nursery, and the “delivery” is accompanied by crying, screaming and drama. We also heard very mixed opinions about their tutor, whose program design seems more monotonous and less creative. Pray for Leyla please, that she quickly learns the language, finds friends and integrates well here.
What about the Start Team?
The last few weeks have not passed without a trace on the start team. During this time, God has grown a strong prayer community that stands for one another. In these last weeks, Silvia had to cope with the school start of Yunus and Leyla, as well as the life here, without me. But there were always kind helpers who have prayed and supported us practically in various ways. Pray for the team that we as believers can share this strong community with our spiritually open friends and use it for the good of the city.Simon and Christiane, who has been with us since the beginning of September, are another great blessing. Feeling totally at home here, Simon within just fie months of language learning talks to every one here in Turkish and just loves every day he’s living here. He passed his first language examination close to flawless and now takes the advanced learning level. Christiane and Silvia are also looking for courses to signup. Language is important! Pray for good tutors and success in learning.
Please pray for:
  1. Protection and preservation for us as a family and team,
  2. Residence permit here for Silvia and Christiane,
  3. My rapid and complete recovery,
  4. Yunus and Leyla to feel at home here,
  5. Wisdom and the right choices,
  6. Simon, who makes many good contacts here,
  7. Christiane, who is currently adjusting and settling,
  8. The start team and the right timing and pace,
  9. Good teachers and educators at Yunus’ school and Leylas kindergarten,
  10. Good success in language learning,
  11. Reimbursement of our medical expenses in full.

We know that God’s grace and mercy precede us, guide our steps and open doors. In this, your prayers are instrumental and important. Thank you for praying!

In the past year, we set the goal of winning 500 people across the globe praying for us before moving to İstanbul. With currently 503 people who committed to pray, we’re blessed. And this is not just numbers! In any aspect and at every step we took, we sensed you interceding and praying for us. Which explains why things have been going well. And you share in who God is building his Kingdom ere. Thank you.

The next important step for us while being in the launch phase of the plant is to add another 500 in order to then have 1000 people who commit to pray for us.

Thus, here’s the challenge to prayerfully consider the next question:

      Will you commit to pray for us
over a period of one year? 

When you commit and enroll in our prayer letter, you’ll be provided with more updates and prayer requests between the regular newsletter. Give us a short notice by answering to this newsletter and let us know. Thank you!

Please feel free to forward this mail to anybody who might be interested in God’s kingdom in Turkey. If you are a pastor, would you please consider asking your congregation to join in prayer.

Thank you for all your interest, prayers and support!

Prayer Request

Please continue to pray for:
– residence permit for Silvia and Christiane
– Simon, who’s spelled well and is networking
– unified vision among the start-team
– 1000 people who pray for the launch
– my parents to know Christ
– health of my mother-in-law- stability in Turkey
– improved ties between US, Europe and Turkey
– preserving of human rights
– religious freedom
– soft hearts for the Gospel
– peace within the country
– prevention of global terror


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