Monday, April 4, 2011

We have no idea...

Ten years ago I attended a DTS (discipleship training school) through YWAM in Scotland.
For the outreach portion of the school I went to Izmir, Turkey for two months. We worked alongside a missionary couple there who spent a lot of time working in the slums of Izmir.

I spent a lot of time with one family in particular. They were very poor. They had a two room apartment where the grandma, grandpa, mom and three little girls lived. The Grandpa had throat cancer and could no longer speak, and he made a bit of money selling balloons on the waterfront. The mom had to prostitute herself out when they ran out of money. I had never been around such poverty before. And the family accepted me as one of their own and loved me to bits. They were so friendly and loving. They always made me cay (chai tea) and always wanted me to eat whatever little bit of food they had. They had so little and shared it so willingly.

The missionary couple were from Denmark and moved to Izmir with their two small children. They learned Turkish and gave up their comfy life in Denmark to move to Turkey to share Jesus with the people in Turkey. They are an amazing family.

I have received updates from this family for the past ten years. They have gone through some very tough times. Yet, they stay in Turkey and serve the people there because that is what they have been called to do.
I received an email from them today. They have been working with a church in the red light distract of Izmir and the other day a man attacked the pastor.

This is an excerpt of the email:
"This Friday there was an evening of worship, and unfortunately we couldn’t be there. But at some time during the evening, our pastor was standing in front of the church, talking to a Turkish man, when a young man approached them, pulled a gun and started firing it at our pastor. The gun was shooting with blanks, but since they didn’t know that, they were shocked. Then the man pulled a rifle and wanted to shoot at them with that, but after they got over the shock they jumped upon him, tackled him and held him down. He managed to fire the rifle once, and it was loaded with real bullets, so it was only in the last second that they saved their lives. Besides the gun and rifle, the man also had pepperspray, smokebombs, a knife, and two guns with rubber bullets. They police came and took him away, and now we have a guard in front of the door when we are gathering. Every Sunday, since we started joining the meetings, there have been people making problems and noise in front of the church. This is a reality we face every day here, we never know when we can be attacked by a religious fanatic, but we pray to God for protection and boldness."

Reading this made me so thankful for the freedom to go to church on a Sunday and not to have to fear for my safety.
We have no idea how dangerous it can be in other countries. We are so blessed.

And we need to remember to pray for those who are living in other places...

Slum in Izmir

1 comment:

  1. Wow.
    Thanks for sharing this Dana.
    I know in my head that these things happen, but it often does not strike my heart as it should.