CENTRAL ASIA UPDATE

September 2015

HEY FRIENDS!

These might be some of the most significant updates we've had and we can't wait to share them with you guys. As always, we really do appreciate you investing time and energy following our ministry as we prepare to go overseas.

MAJOR MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS

The Lord has truly been pouring out his power and grace on our ministry here in College Station. There are 4 major updates from our local work in September.


1. After 14 months of building a relationship and sharing the gospel, we've finally begun reading the bible with Duygu and Ceylan! The Lord answered hundreds of prayers by allowing us to begin studying the entire bible with them. We are currently at the story of Moses and God has already flooded them with interest, curiosity, and excitement about His word. We've been thankful for opportunities to clearly connect each story to Jesus and we're looking forward to continuing with them this week. (*** more details at the bottom).


2. We've been really laboring in prayer for our good friends Yusuf and Zeynep, as we have a great friendship with them but have seen very little receptivity towards the gospel. However, a day after we specifically asked God to break down spiritual walls in Yusuf, David had a chance to talk with him and he began showing a sincere interest in coming to church, an openness towards reading the bible, and was vulnerable with his insecurities about Islam. This was a dramatic change from his previous skepticism and we're eagerly trying to pursue a bible study similar to the one we have with Duygu and Ceylan.


3. We had a chance to attend a Turkish holiday celebration at the beginning of the month, and the Lord opened up relationships with many new Turks. On top of this, we felt like it was the first time we were able to hang out with our Turkish friends and truly feel like we could completely relax and enjoy the community, which was a huge blessing.


4. Our Turkish language classes begin this week! We decided to opt for the intermediate level class based on our previous experience and we can't wait to begin formally studying the language. We also should be getting conversation partners which will be great for language acquisition as well as gospel opportunities.

PRAYER POINTS

1. That God would use His word to soften the hearts of Duygu and Ceylan towards the gospel.

2. That God would make a way for us to begin reading the bible with Yusuf and Zeynep.

3. That God would use our local ministry, our life group, and our church to equip us for our ministry overseas.

4. That God would help Kennedy to sleep well.

5. That God would actively work through the ministry of our future teammates who are already overseas.


DUYGU AND CEYLAN CONTINUED...

For those who are interested, we wanted to add a few more details about our time with Duygu and Ceylan. We're studying the entire story of the Bible through something called a "Discovery Bible Study". It's basically a process in which we read a specific passage of the bible then answer the questions "What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about humanity? What does it look like for us to obey this passage? and Who can we tell this story to?" The system is designed to help people learn to study the bible in a way that is reproducible, emphasizes obedience to the word, and helps people learn for themselves instead of being dependent on a formal teacher.

In our first session with Duygu and Ceylan, we finished the story of Adam and Noah and were amazed at their curiosity and eagerness. As we were getting to the end of the session, they had many questions about how Jesus' sacrifice could cover the sins of other people. As I explained how the next stories would help clarify it more, they asked if we could go ahead and read those too! So we studied the full story of Noah as well and had more great conversations about the Lord's provision and salvation. The following week we read the story of Abraham and God paved the way for great conversations about sacrifice and how Jesus was the Lamb of God. We're really looking forward to reading through the story of Moses this week and talking about how the blood on the doorpost during passover points to the blood of Jesus.

All in all, we're amazed at seeing how the Lord is drawing this couple to himself. They were fairly resistant to the gospel when we first met them, but we've seen God soften their hearts and create a receptivity for His word.

Faces of Turkey