Friday, October 21, 2011

Turkey: world's largest unreached people group?

It's called the largest unreached people group in the world. It's a country that was the focus of the Apostle Paul's writings in Scripture, yet today it's a spiritually dark place. We're talking about the country of Turkey. It's a country in which being a Christian can cost you your life, or at the very least can cause you to be an outcast of society.

The Evangelical Alliance Mission, or TEAM, operates the government-approved St. Paul Cultural Center in Antalya. It had been closed because of bureaucratic red tape. TEAM Missionary James Bultema says, "The issue with our architect has been fully resolved, and SPCC Antalya is advancing by the day toward full operational mode. Each week, the number of activities picks up, and by the end of October we will be, Lord willing, back into full swing. One final permit is yet to be obtained, but no significant barrier stands in the way of our getting it, just a bit more work."

Pastor Koc came to Christ through the Cultural Center. "I went there to meet with a Turkish pastor and heard the Gospel; I quickly changed my life and came to Christ."

As he was discipled and received Bible training, Koc started only the second church in Antalya with a couple of people. In 18 months, 10 people have given their hearts to Christ. Now he's the pastor of a church of about 20 families. Pastor Koc says it's a challenge being a new Christian in Turkey "because all of a sudden, everything changes. One of my friends who is a lawyer came to Christ, and he said, 'Now what am I going to do? If I can't lie, I cannot be a lawyer in Turkey.' In many jobs, they ask you to lie in many situations. So, it is very difficult for Christians to find a job."

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