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Matt Braun’s Turkey Trip Update – December 2022

See what God is doing in Turkey:

Joy in Culture

It was such a privilege to accompany this group from West Portal to Turkey. I loved seeing each of them engage the culture fully as we tried new foods, learned Turkish greetings, explored ancient culture, and experienced local hospitality.

There is something that happens when we remove ourselves from the normal where we can start to see things more clearly. When you have to order food but what is written on the menu means nothing and you rely on someone else to help you try new things. When you have to navigate a whole new style of driving or public transit as you travel around. When you see ancient historical sites where biblical characters would have walked the same ground. When a church service has a different format and in another language but you can still see the Holy Spirit filling the room. It was such a joy to experience the Turkish culture through this team from West Portal.

God at Work

It was so good to be back in Turkey and reconnecting with people and the culture. During this trip we got to connect with both the church in Istanbul and Kayseri and I was moved to hear how God is at work in both of their settings. Here are just a couple stories that I was encouraged by.

First, we connected with the Church in Istanbul. As part of our time we had arranged with the church to support them in prayer wherever we could. They shared with us that they were praying for two cities that they were wanting to plant new churches just a few hours away from Istanbul. So as a group we went to prayer walk the streets.

One of the cities was named Bergamum, ancient Pergamum one of the 7 churches mentioned in revelation. Unfortunately we arrived at the city too late to explore some of the ancient ruins but as we stood atop a hill overlooking the city and spending time praying for the city a couple local boys came up wanting to show off the snake that they recently killed. As we continued to pray for this city, which in revelation is referred to as the place where Satan has his throne, we were struck by the idea of these kids killing the snake. Pray that for this city of 300,000 and no known believers that a new generation will raise up to crush the head of Satan.

The second story took place while we were visiting the church in Kayseri. As part of our time there we travelled to Cappadocia, ancient day Galatia. This area is unique with so many cave cities and an area where early Christians were persecuted and had to hide in these cave cities.

Throughout the landscape of Cappadocia there are many churches built into the side of the hills. We visited one area that was an old monastery with many small churches and places of prayer and worship. In talking with our local Multiply worker he mentioned that the area of Cappadocia was probably one of the most peaceful and receptive areas to the gospel. He believes that the prayers of those ancient cave churches and Christ followers laid a seed that is still evident. May we have a culture of prayer that can lay seeds of faith and peace for many years to come.

Support our Ministry

We first want to thank all of you that have supported us and make all that we do possible. It has been a great year with a SOAR program in both Winnipeg and Calgary, Focus Interns trained and now around the globe, a trip to Turkey and many great connections with people wanting to engage mission.

We are still in need of more partners in our ministry. Please pray about joining our support team. You can donate at the link below.
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Please Pray for:

    * Pray for the church in Turkey as they continue to disciple new believers. Pray for the community as many of these believers have had to count the costs and lost their family and jobs.
    * Pray for these new church plants south of Istanbul.
    * Add your prayers to the many seeds of prayer over the years that will lay a foundation for the gospel.
    * Pray for the group from West Portal as each of them experienced God’s call through this new experience. Pray that they would have clear discernment to what God is calling them to next in their own journey of missions.
    * Pray for our family as we continue to recover like many others from what seems like endless sicknesses.