Our team has recently been encouraged by a report from some of our international planters of how they're navigating a "new norm" in light of COVID-19. We invite you to read the following report and join us in praising God and praying for the church in Istanbul.
From church planting leaders in Istanbul:
It's an interesting time as we try to figure out as a church how to address this "new norm of life" with wisdom and also be a light of hope and love. We see throughout history that in difficult times, it has been Christians who have reached out to the sick and needy, even when it was dangerous to their own health. While we yearn to be a blessing to people here at this time, we also need to be cautious not to endanger those we are trying to serve. Thus, we have started taking steps towards this in practical ways like offering help to the elderly people in our buildings.
In a non-individualistic culture in which our biggest asset is developing relational trust with people, we are seeking ways to stay in community and support one another spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We made the difficult decision to start having our Sunday services and small groups online. We've had great digital meetings, sharing how we are doing and praying for one another.
We are recognizing that while we may listen to a sermon on Sunday, we are constantly being preached at by social media and the world around us, including many messages that can stir up fear and uncertainty. To help combat this, we want to be a voice of hope and truth, daily reminding ourselves and others that there is One who is in control, is not surprised by the current situation, and who tells us not to be anxious about anything. Using social media we are posting what we're calling a daily dose: a 3-5 minute video on Instagram sharing what the Bible says about relevant subjects like fear and loneliness.
Reasons for Thanks
Your prayers are very important. We experience daily the power of prayer here. Also, we want to share with you how God has answered prayer requests from the past months. We are very thankful for:
- New people attending our various services and events
- Developing new leaders and sharing responsibility
- Protection and health for our team
We ask you to join us in further prayer for:
- God to use this pandemic to awaken people to eternal realities
- Being a source of hope and love during these days, weeks, and months
- Protection physically and spiritually for our leaders and the whole church body
- That the new believers in our church would continue to grow in their faith and that we would disciple them well even if it is from a distance now
- Godly wisdom to make the right decisions
Interested in hearing more?
The above was taken from a monthly update from our partners in Istanbul. If you're interested in learning more about their work and serving as a prayer partner with them, drop them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also support them through increasing awareness of their work by following their social media channels: