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All articles in category Western Asia

Missionary Spotlight – A great work in retirement
September 2009
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – A great work in retirement

A great work in retirement   While serving Christ as missionaries with European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) in Turkey, in spring 1975, David and I were privileged to be the hosts to a retired Greek pastor from Piraeus, Athens.      Stavros Delianides had been invited to preach to the few remaining Greek Protestants in Istanbul over the Easter period. Seated around the kitchen table in our flat on the European side of the city, this dear gentleman, then in his mid-70s, told us his life story.      Stavros, ethnically Greek, had been born in Urdu on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, into a Greek Orthodox...

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Missionary Spotlight – Iran today
September 2009
Iran

Missionary Spotlight – Iran today

Iran today   In the Western world, even in our low times, we are never far from a spiritual oasis of fellowship that will revive the soul. The regular experience of our brethren in Iran is so different.      Here is a family who arrived late to our small gathering. The bus trip was planned to take 48 hours (not a comfortable, air-conditioned coach). In fact it took even longer because the only driver fell asleep at the wheel. The bus left the road and rolled over before coming to rest. The family arrived stiff and bruised but, by the grace of God, otherwise unharmed....

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Missionary Spotlight – Cyprus – meeting place of the nations
July 2008
Cyprus

Missionary Spotlight – Cyprus – meeting place of the nations

Cyprus’ meeting place of the nations   Cyprus, the easternmost island of the Mediterranean, is encircled by Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. It is a popular holiday destination for many Europeans and Middle Easterners, and is also a regional business centre.   There is much to see and do. Within walking distance of the John Calvin Centre (JCC), for instance, is the church which by tradition is the final resting place of Lazarus. A bit further on are the excavations of Kition, a settlement dating back thousands of years and founded by Kittim, the great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:4).      None of this...

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Israel after sixty years
May 2008
Israel

Israel after sixty years

Israel after sixty years   The State of Israel was founded on 14 May 1948 and recognised by the United Nations the same day. The new State was the focus of Jewish hope. Hounded, humiliated, abused and misused by the nations for 2,000 years, the Jewish people would at last be an accepted member of the family of nations — sharing mankind’s hopes, burdens and victories, and making its contribution to the resolution of mankind’s woes.   The State was founded in a largely depopulated land covered with malarial swamps, denuded hills and deforested mountains. Decades of coura-geous, sacrificial struggle resulted in a blossoming agriculture,...

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June 2007
Turkey

Martyrs for Christ

Martyrs for Christ Three evangelical Christians have been murdered in Malatya, eastern Turkey, as they met for Bible study at the offices of a small Christian publishing company. The victims, a German missionary and two Turkish converts, were tortured before being killed. Ten Muslim religious students, all aged 19 or 20, have been arrested. The victims were Tilman Geske, husband and father of three from Germany; Necati Aydin, a local church pastor and father of two; and Ugur Yuksel, a young convert only recently engaged to be married. On Wednesday morning 18 April the men left their respective homes to gather at the premises of...

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Missionary Spotlight – Gospel seed in southeast Turkey
April 2007
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – Gospel seed in southeast Turkey

We arrived in the early 1970s in Aintep (or Gaziantep) – Turkey’s eighth largest commercial city and a centre for the cotton industry. It was not long before we experienced its spiritual darkness. In Istanbul, the minority Christian population had substantially influenced the culture, so here it was a shock to see superstitious and occult practices mixed with Islam. Poverty was rife and many (both Kurds and Turks) struggled to survive, while a tiny minority, including our landlord, enjoyed great wealth. My husband David had secured a teaching post in the Super Lise School which this man had established for the elite. This enabled us...

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Missionary Spotlight – Gospel seed in southeast Turkey
April 2007
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – Gospel seed in southeast Turkey

We arrived in the early 1970s in Aintep (or Gaziantep) – Turkey’s eighth largest commercial city and a centre for the cotton industry. It was not long before we experienced its spiritual darkness. In Istanbul, the minority Christian population had substantially influenced the culture, so here it was a shock to see superstitious and occult practices mixed with Islam. Poverty was rife and many (both Kurds and Turks) struggled to survive, while a tiny minority, including our landlord, enjoyed great wealth. My husband David had secured a teaching post in the Super Lise School which this man had established for the elite. This enabled us...

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September 2006
Lebanon

MERF and Lebanon

In 1971 Lebanon was a prosperous, democratic multicultural haven in the Arab world — a centre for business, education and tourism. But sadly, the 50,000 Lebanese Protestants identified in an early 1950s census had dwindled to barely 3000 regular churchgoers. Three young believers in Beirut, of various nationalities, met regularly for prayer, Bible study and the discussion of Reformed literature. They were united in a desire to ‘proclaim the whole counsel of God’ and to serve and guard ‘the church of God which he purchased with his own blood’. Together they established a growing fellowship. They began to sponsor lectures, seminars and other Christian activities...

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