Sabbath, September 29, 2007
Islamic countries are the biggest challenge for Christianity. Twenty percent of all humanity is Muslim, fourteen percent are Hindus, twelve percent are Buddhists, and eighteen percent belong to no particular religion. 500 million people have never heard of Jesus Christ.
Turkey is a part of “The 10-40 Window,” a region that encompasses sixty-four countries that have not been evangelized and have heard very little of the gospel. I was privileged to take a trip to Turkey to see if a light could be lit in that country. In Thessalonica, I met Brother Josef Manov, who spoke Turkish, and he served as my guide around Turkey.
We visited the city of Izmir and saw that it was the best place to begin working. We had contact with a family close to the entrance to the ruins of Pergamus, and they invited us to their home without even knowing us. They gave us something to eat, and we could talk to them about the gospel in the Turkish language and give them literature in Turkish.
With the support of the General Conference, we rented a house in Izmir and Brother Josef began working as a salaried Bible worker. He looked very much like a Muslim with his beard and outward appearance. I admire his energy and his method of establishing contact with people, for speaking Turkish helps build a bridge and presents an opportunity to take out the Bible and speak about the wonderful truths of salvation. First he shows the people what is written in the ancient texts about the Injil (the gospel) and about Isa (Jesus). Then he shows them films about Jesus and draws them closer to a knowledge of God.
I returned for a second visit in July 2004 and found a wonderful group of interested souls and some who were ready for baptism. Let us pray for the work in Muslim countries, especially Turkey, and make an earest effort to contact people who are Muslim in our own countries. We can reach their hearts with sincere affection and a humble spirit. We also want to thank the General Conference for contributions sent to evangelize “The 10-40 Window,” an area of the world that desperately needs the message of Jesus.
Please consider seriously this appeal for financial help for Turkey. We need publications, salaries for workers, and funds for travel expenses. Turkey is a new field and needs a lot of prayer and spiritual support .
“As new fields are opened, the calls for means are constantly increasing. If ever we needed to exercise economy, it is now. All who labor in the cause should realize the importance of closely following the Saviour’s example of self-denial and economy. They should see in the means that they handle a trust which God has committed to them, and they should feel under obligation to exercise tact and financial ability in the use of their Lord’s money. Every penny should be carefully treasured. A cent seems like a trifle, but a hundred cents make a dollar, and rightly spent may be the means of saving a soul from death. If all the means which has been wasted by our own people in self-gratification had been devoted to the cause of God, there would be no empty treasuries, and missions could be established in all parts of the world.” –Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 290, 291.
Regional Representative, Eastern Europe