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All articles in category Western Asia

August 2004
Armenia

Missionary Spotlight-Reaching the Ezids

It is estimated that there are 500,000 Ezids in the world today. Ezids are an ethnic group related to the Kurds, who live in Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. About 50,000 live in the Ararat valley of Armenia, where Hope to People missionaries from the Ukraine have been working for over a year. The Armenians view Ezids as wild and uneducated. The Ezids in turn eschew civilization and isolate themselves from others, only marrying within their own people. Many are illiterate and live without electricity, gas or modern communication. Their occupation is subsistence farming and stock-rearing. Pioneer work   Ezids are one of the...

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Missionary Spotlight – Women of Turkey
March 2004
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – Women of Turkey

  Millions of Turkey’s city-dwellers live in apartments. The doorman or kapiciis the caretaker of an apartment block, and every block employs one. He and his family usually live rent-free in a dark basement apartment, close to the central-heating boiler room.   His wife is responsible for cleaning the staircases and getting up early to buy bread, water and newspapers for all the families, on all the floors. To supplement their meagre income, she usually takes on cleaning jobs for the better-off. These kapici and their families are often uneducated villagers. They are low on the social scale, where scales are all-important. Affection   The...

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God’s peace in Bethlehem
December 2003
Israel

God’s peace in Bethlehem

The Baraka Christian congregation in Bethlehem held its annual family conference recently. Pastor Victor Atallah spoke on the theme: ‘In Christ — one people of God and one offspring of Abraham’. Most families participating are Palestinians from Bethlehem and the nearby towns of Beit-Jalla and Beit-Sahour. Some were able to secure Israeli government permits to come from the Jerusalem area. The Baraka congregation also includes international members from as far away as Korea and Sweden. Believers from other Palestinian communities, like Ramallah, Jericho, Gaza and Nazareth, were not able to secure passes to travel to Bethlehem. Participants in the conference prayed fervently that their testimony...

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Missionary Spotlight – Turkish memories
October 2003
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – Turkish memories

  Life was never boring when my husband David and I were living in Turkey. Difficult, eventful, yes — but never boring!   Waiting on the railway platform at Izmir, returning from my weekly visit supporting expatriate children being home-schooled, a friendly village woman chatted to me about the impossibility of her buying local high-priced meat and cheese. I felt a pang of guilt when, as the train approached, she slipped a bag of parsley into my hand. How often I had experienced the generosity of the poor. Train journeys But then to board the train! The second-hand rolling stock purchased from Italy did not...

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Missionary Spotlight – Scriptures for Turkey, Armenia and Lithuania
October 2003
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – Scriptures for Turkey, Armenia and Lithuania

Turkey, Armenia and Lithuania are three countries which today seem to have very little in common. However, as with so many parts of the world, these places are in dire need of sound and accurate editions of the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make their inhabitants ‘wise unto salvation’ (2 Timothy 3:15). The Trinitarian Bible Society has therefore been pleased recently to publish the Turkish Gospel of John, the Armenian Gospel of John, and the Lithuanian Gospel of Mark — with the prayer that the Lord will bless their distribution to the various peoples of these nations. Turkey The Turkish Gospel of John was...

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Special Iraq update
May 2003
Iraq

Special Iraq update

The Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF) has for several years provided regular support for six congregations in Iraq – two in Badhdad (Arabic and Assyrian), and congregations in Mousel, Kirkuk, Basra and Arbeil. This report relates largely to these fellowships. The MERF Arabic broadcasting team have produced a special series of daily gospel broadcasts on Radio Monte Carlo. These went on air about twelve days before the beginning of the war.   The main subject of the series is ‘Kingdom of Jesus — a kingdom of truth, peace, justice and self-giving love’. They include testimonies, Bible readings, comments and brief exhortations to the listeners to...

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Missionary Spotlight – Obeying God in Jordan
March 2002
Jordan

Missionary Spotlight – Obeying God in Jordan

‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29). This short but powerful quote kept coming to mind during a recent trip to Jordan. Much of our journey was spent visiting sites rich in biblical significance.   Jordan’s legal system is founded upon Islamic principles. Muslims are forbidden to convert to Christianity on pain of death. When I first arrived I wondered whether such a law was just languishing on the books without real enforcement. By the end of our trip, I received my answer. No apologies   While there, we met quietly with some evangelical Christian leaders. On our last night we met a...

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A Bible for modern Turkey
January 2002
Turkey

A Bible for modern Turkey

The date is 6 October 2001 and there is great rejoicing in a church in Istanbul. One lady puts it like this: ‘I have cried a lot today. Today the Bible is in my hands’. She expresses the feeling of the other Turkish believers when she says, ‘We are very happy … more than happy, we are proud. Today I feel myself closer to God in my own language, in my own being. For this is my language. The Lord speaks to me in my own language’. Lampstand removed This lady’s excitement is like that of those who heard the apostle Peter on the day...

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