We Will Plant New Churches Where There Are None or Nurture Churches Where They Do Exist
I recently had an interesting opportunity with a mover in our city. To provide some context, my family and I live and work in a city in Turkey and have intentionally planted our lives among Turkish people, one of the largest least-reached people groups in the world. I wanted to move some furniture to our church building, and then move some items from the church building to the home of a lady from church.
The mover’s name is Sayit, and I've had a mediocre impression of him as a trustworthy mover of heavy things. He had even previously helped me take things to the same church member’s home, so for this reason alone (knowing the location of my house and her house), I decided to use him.
To be honest, I wasn’t thinking at all about how I could share my faith with him, I just wanted to get the job done and off my to-do list. As we were heading to the church building, I had the thought, How do I explain to him what our church is? But again, I confess I never said a prayer or had any intention of sharing with him.
After carrying in the first load of chairs he asked, "Is this a school?" to which I replied, "No, we are at a church.” He looked at me and said, "Like with a priest?" This gave me the opportunity to say, "No, we are Protestant. We believe in the Bible and that Jesus is our Savior."
As we moved furniture, he asked some follow up questions including if the church was only for foreigners. When I explained that a lot of locals attend, he asked if he was allowed to visit. Once we finished moving everything in, I gave him a tour and showed him where we have been meeting because of the pandemic. I explained our service times and again invited him to visit.
Before leaving, he stopped at the bookshelf and asked, "What are all these books?" Again, I had not even thought about offering any of our free and displayed items. I told him about the books and he asked if he could have some. He ended up taking a New Testament as well as two 9Marks books: “Who Is Jesus?” and “What is the Gospel?” He also told me that he wanted to come on a Sunday and see what church is all about.
That day, I walked away humbled. I went into the situation solely focused on getting a task done so I could move on to the next item on my to-do list. Then, this mover became the one prompting me to answer questions, ones that I so often pray for the chance to share with people. I am thankful the Lord used these resources to draw Sayit to Himself.
The Global Offering provided for the translation and distribution of the resources mentioned in the story above. Through your generosity and in partnership with believers in Turkey, these resources are primarily being used for the equipping of believers in Turkey to better care for one another as they seek to walk by faith in Christ through the struggles of life in the context of a healthy church.
In the case of Sayit, God is also using these resources to get the message of the gospel to those who are seeking after Him. Through your generosity, the translated resources included a master's level theology course, books on life transformation in Christ, devotionals for life, translation of 136 Core 9Marks articles, and the 9Marks book series including “Who is Jesus?,” and “What is the Gospel?,” which now reside in Sayit’s home.
- Pray that Sayit would read what he was eager to take, and that he would in fact visit the church and join in on a Sunday gathering in the near future.
- Pray for God to stir Sayit’s heart towards Christ as he reads the New Testament and other books that he was given. Pray that God would open Sayit’s eyes to see his need for a Savior and to believe in Christ.
- Pray for God to bless these resources so believers in Turkey will grow in their faith, be convicted of their sins, and become more like Christ.
- Pray for healthy churches throughout Turkey that are making disciples and boldly proclaiming Christ to their neighbors and the nations around them.
Other Ways the Global Offering Has Been Used in 2020:
ENGLAND – The Global Offering supported the infrastructure for a network of healthy evangelical churches in Birmingham, England, specifically for the mobilization of churches towards the least reached in their area. Through the Global Offering, a group of leaders are training believers on how to engage their Muslim neighbors with the gospel and to mobilize as a church for the advancement of the gospel.
NEPAL – Through the Global Offering, we are able to help believers engage unreached ethnically Tibetan tribes through church mobilization, remote community outreaches, and community development projects. The programs and projects help to engage and reach five specific people groups that are completely unreached with the gospel. Through a multi-faceted engagement approach the gospel is being spread and churches are being planted.
THAILAND – In partnership with BH Long-termers Dwight and Mary Kay Martin, the Global Offering helps provide resources for the eSTAR foundation which translates and produces all of the discipleship materials for a network of churches that are church planting throughout every village in Thailand. The eSTAR foundation also provides current data and research on all churches in Thailand and makes this information available for strategy and disciple-making purposes.