Turkish people are eager to hear the Gospel, but care must be taken in presenting it, Frank said. It is best, he added, to “show people the truth without openly criticizing Mohammed or Islam.”
It is important to remember that even the highly educated, secularized youth have been indoctrinated by the Imams on the “evils” of Christianity. As an example, Frank cited the Crusades of the mideaval ages.
While it is perfectly legal to become a Christian and practice Christianity in Turkey, those who convert from Islam to Christianity still face persecution. They are considered “infidels” by Muslims, and may lose their jobs. Some are completely rejected by their families, a costly sacrifice since the extended family is extremely important in Turkish culture and society.
Although they pay these costs for accepting Christ in Turkey, it is a far cry from 26 years ago when Frank made his first trip to this suffering nation. Back then, Christians could still be executed for their faith!
“Please Pray For My Daughter”
“We’re happy you’re here,” Frank said, welcoming the Turkish police who appeared at every conference meeting, carrying radios and taking notes. “Any one of us on the team would be happy to talk with you about any question you have about anything we’ve said or anything that’s happening in this service. We’re here to support the nation of Turkey. We’re not here to take anything. We’re here to give!”
The officers, though not unfriendly, were noncommittal.
“Please pray for my daughter,” he asked. “She needs to be healed.”
The team prayed for her, and Frank saw to it that “every one of those Turkish police officers heard the Gospel – several times!”
The Lord Is Drawing Them!
Even when there is no one to preach the Gospel to them, God is drawing people near in Turkey.
Pastor “John” (not his real name) is one of those people. Now a Turkish pastor, the young man was formerly a “thoroughly committed Muslim,” said Frank.
“He had become increasingly dissatisfied with Islam,” Frank explained. “Spiritually he was feeling terribly empty.” Like many Turkish Muslims, John eventually abandoned Islam and became agnostic, pursuing a secular lifestyle.
Yet he still felt that terrible emptiness….
He was exposed to the Gospel several times; finally he reached a point where he cried out, “God – I want You in my life!”
A short time later, a man gave John’s roommate a Bible. The roommate wanted nothing to do with it. But John remembered the visitor who had come and left the Bible.
Later, John met another man who told him, “I read my Bible every day!”
So John thought: “Here are two people who think the Bible is really important and read it all the time. Maybe I ought to read it….”
John began reading the Bible his roommate had rejected. Simply by reading the Scriptures, John was saved and gave his heart to Christ.
“It’s exciting what the Lord is doing in countries like Turkey to reach out to these people,” said Frank. “Even when there are few Christians witnessing to them, the Lord is still drawing them!”
A Recurring Dream
The Lord is drawing them in other ways, too.
We have heard reliable accounts of Turkish non-believers having dreams – often recurring dreams – about Jesus.