LAURA and RICH are associate development workers jointly appointed with International Ministries and their nonprofit organization, Turkish Connections International. They serve in the establishment of new churches in one of the least-reached countries on earth: Turkey.
They work with Turkish pastors and key Christian leaders to accomplish three goals: first, identifying new potential pastors that are well-trained and highly respected; second, gathering needed financial support for these pastors; and third, maintaining ongoing contact with each new church, engaging and nurturing the pastors. In order to connect Christians in the United States and Puerto Rico with God’s work in this country, Laura and Rich provide a quarterly prayer newsletter and offer service projects in Turkey.
They write in their Spring 2021 Prayer Newsletter
THE PROBLEMS IN TURKEY
Open Doors Ministry just put out its 2021 World Watch Persecution Report. Turkey has moved up 9 spots on the list of Middle Eastern countries that persecute their Christian population. Turkey is now number 25 on that list.
Another report published by International Christian Concern and Middle East Concern states that during the period from 2016 to 2020, the civil rights of Christians in Turkey were “reduced to almost nothing”. This is also true of the legal status of religious institutes and buildings dedicated to worship.
The Pew Research Center’s 11th annual study of freedom of religion in 198 nations found that since they began this study in 2007, government restrictions on religious groups have risen 63% and social hostilities have doubled.
THE PRAISES IN TURKEY
Pastor Vahit and Pastor Emre are finding great interest in their online services during this pandemic. Between these two pastors, they have seen seven new believers seeking baptism in the last month.
Pastor Refik and Pastor Armanj are both very active in ministering to refugees and hurting Turks in this pandemic. They have been able to help in the distribution of 20,000 aid packages. Your support of Turkish Connections contributes to these ministries.
Pastor Orhan shares that 18 years ago, there was no church in the Black Sea region. Now there is a well-established church in Samsun and new churches are being planted in three nearby cities. In one of those new cities, six new believers were recently baptized.
The Jesus Film, which recounts the life of Jesus in a powerful way, was shown 57 times on 16 Turkish television stations during the Christmas season.
Turkish Connections International is connecting Christ’s love with the Turkish People. Sharing the love of Christ… one friend at a time.
Visit their website – Turkish Connections International Home
Visit Laura and Rich’s homepage on our IM website – Laura & Rich Freeman International Ministries