God Answers Prayers in Big Ways and Small

A younger Steve Sharp being filmed for Turkmen TV

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: CENTRAL ASIA ON THE WORLD STAGE

What-i-stan?

Years ago when God first gave Steve Sharp a burden for Central Asia, most people wouldn’t have been able to name five of the countries in the region, much less find them on a map.  Steve’s first call was to create praise and worship music in the style and languages of the region.  How much the mission has grown since then!  The music and culture of The Middle East and Central Asia are still at the center of what we do, but our programs, broadcast via satellite reach many more millions of people than Steve ever dreamed of touching with a worship CD for Turkmens.

In those early years of the ministry, Steve would explain over and over that Central Asia was the part of the world between Europe and China, where the names of the countries ended in ‘stan’.  “Like Pakistan,” was a frequent question in reply to his explanation.  Steve would direct their focus further north and begin to share the needs of the Most Unreached Region of the World.  As our mission spreads across The Middle East, we have found more ministry partners in countries like Iran and Afghanistan, but Central Asia continues to be almost invisible to mainstream mission organizations.

Central Asia Coming Out of the Shadows

Though Central Asia has been a dead-zone for Christian ministry, for so many years, there have been many people lifting the area up in prayer – those of us currently ministering to the area, our supporters and the Believers in Central Asia.  Among our prayers, have been the plea that God would pave the way and open doors for the Gospel in this part of the world.

We are beginning to see God easing open those doors in ways we never imagined.  New regimes are coming to power in some of the countries.  This does not mean these nations are suddenly open for us to freely minister in them.  That day is still far away, but as their leaders become more and more open to ideas and assistance from the West, it gradually opens small spaces within which we can operate.  We could tell you of small, tiny steps which simplified operations for us that were once all but impossible –  even though to accomplish them in other countries would not require so much as a second thought.  However, to mention these improvements would be to end them.

These changes are small, incremental improvements rarely noticed by the outside world, but invaluable to us.  There are even more exciting events on the world scene.  For instance, in recent weeks King Salman of Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh Summit, a series of three summits attended by the American president and leaders from all over The Middle East and Central Asia.  The theme of the summit was, “Together We Prevail.”  For the first time, a group of Arab countries acknowledged radical Islamic terror groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas and al-Queda were not just an enemy of the West, but were also a threat to the entire Arab world.  This was a ground-breaking event of global proportions.  This is real change.

Image of summit attendees from http://www.thesundaily.my

Among the 55 nations represented at the Saudi Arabian event were the large players like Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan, countries we are accustomed to seeing on the world stage, but it thrilled our hearts to see the nations below send their presidents and other high officials to such a pivotal event:

 

  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

These are the stepping stones God has paved into a path.  We can begin to walk the path as we reach out to the hearts and minds of the lost in this troubled part of the world.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

 

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Bring Uzbekistan Home and Invite Your Friends

Chef Abror and his guest Aziz

HEARTS OVERFLOWING: SHARE THE GHM MISSION IN A FUN, TASTY EVENING

Your Friends Will Be Talking About This For a Long Time

Imagine inviting your friends to enjoy an Uzbek feast prepared by the host of a popular cooking show.  It’s easier than you think!  All you have to do is invite your friends, open up your home for an evening and then enjoy the honor of being the host or hostess of a party your friends will remember and talk about for years to come.

Abror and Umida

The chef will be Abror, the host of Hayot Noni (Bread of Life), GHM’s Uzbek Men’s Testimony and Cooking Show.  Your friends will enjoy delicious dishes from Uzbekistan which have been featured on the show and have the opportunity to chat with Abror and his wife Umida, host of Shukar Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek Women’s Program, about their home country, their programs and their lives.

In the past few weeks, a member of our East Texas Network test-drove this concept at her home.  Her guests couldn’t get enough of the food, loved chatting with Umida and Abror, and then learned a little more about GHM’s mission and our needs from CEO/President and Founder, Steve Sharp.  The guests were enthralled by the work of GHM and the only problem was getting everyone to head home.

Is Your Home Next?

If this sounds like an evening you’d like to host, we encourage you to contact us and reserve a date for your very special event.  We promise to help make your event a breeze to host, a joy to attend and a memory you will cherish.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Share the Overflowing Joy

Hosting an Uzbek evening in your home is just one of the ways you can partner with Global Heart Ministries to Fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to explore this vision and consider being a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor.  Contact us today by phone or email.  Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the most unreached regions of the world.

Coming Events

Global Heart – Get it?

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: WHAT’S UP AT GLOBAL HEARTS MINISTRIES

A Trip to Israel

In early June, Steve Sharp and several GHM’s supporters will be traveling to Israel on a trip led by Israeli archaeologist and friend of GHM, Moshe Bronstien.  This amazing journey will visit several recent discoveries which are believed to be the actual sites of wondrous Biblical events.  The trip is highlighted by the opportunity to attend rare Jubilee of Jubilees ceremonies and visits to sites which are usually unavailable to tourists, but have been opened for this Jubilee of Jubilees year.  While there, Steve and a cameraman will be capturing footage we hope to use in future programming.  Please be praying for travel mercies for these adventurers.

Co-hosts Narmin and Tarana interview Sweet Conversations guests

Sweet Conversations Film Shoot

At the core of everything we do is the Christian programming we create for The Middle East and Central Asia.  We will begin setting up for the filming of our fourth season of Sweet Conversations, our Azerbaijani Women’s Program, after church on Sunday, June 25th.  The shoot will go on throughout the week and when we’re through, we’ll tear it all down again, because our “studio” is actually a conference room that we temporarily transform into a sound stage.   No film shoot is ever finished at GHM without the help of many volunteers and we love the coverage our prayer partners blanket us in.  GHM supporters are welcome to come observe us as we film, we’ll just need to arrange your visit into the shooting schedule, so call us.  This shoot is particularly exciting, because we have some very special guests from Azerbaijan who will be traveling to us to share their testimonies and talents with our viewers.

Free Azerbaijani Concerts

Among the guests planning to come to the Sweet Conversations film shot are a trio of Azerbaijani award-winning, chart-topping musicians.  Until their visas are cleared we have to keep names under wraps and we can’t even announce a date until we know the exact travel itinerary, but while the musicians are visiting the States we hope to have three free concerts to celebrate the culture of our beloved friends in Azerbaijan and the joy we share in Jesus Christ.  With the Lord’s help we’ll have one concert at The Hope Center, one in Houston and another in New York.  You may think we’re crazy to announce the concerts when we can’t tell you the names of performers or the dates of the events, but we’re so excited we can’t keep it to ourselves any longer.  About all we can tell you is their visits will correlate with the Sweet Conversations film shoot and the concerts will probably be after the shoot is over, but keep an eye out for more information.  This might be the time to follow us on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and make certain you’re getting our Global Heart Beat newsletter and Pulse Newsletter, because when we’ll use these tools to communicate the details.

GHM TV Personalities at 2016 Night of Dreams

A Night of Dreams

You’ll want to mark your calendars and save the date of Friday, November 10, 2017 because that’s when we’ll host the second annual A Night of Dreams, a evening of celebration and generosity.  We’re still in the planning phases for this special event, but we can promise you great entertainment, a delicious meal and a heart-warming look at GHM.  Table sponsors will be needed to make this event a reality, so please contact us if you’d be interested in participating in this way.  We’ll share more details as they become available.  Watch your mailbox (electronic and physical) for your invitation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries, you are helping to Fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor.  Contact us today by phone or email.  Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

A Touch of Turkish

A Sample of Early Turkish Writing, from turkishculture.org

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: FOLLOWING THE TURKISH LANGUAGE ACROSS THE MAP

Mongolian Beginnings

Like the people for whom the country is named, the language of Turkey originated in Mongolia and migrated to Turkey during the Persian Empire.  Linguists have identified roots of the language from as early as 8500 years ago.  Some linguists believe the languages of Korean and Japanese also may have the same roots. Linguists call those roots the Ural-Altaic language.

Hearts represent GHM target countries

Though the roots of the language are ancient, it is very much alive today.  Dialects of it include Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Tartar, Uzbek, Baskurti, Nogay, Kyryz, Kazakh, Yakuti, Cuvas, and others.  Add a “stan” to the end of some of these modern day languages and you’ll have the names of many of our target countries.

We rejoice at this Ural-Altaic root, because it makes our job here at GHM a little easier.  While our goals include dubbing all of our programs into the various heart languages of The Middle East and Central Asia, where the Persian culture of our programs is shared, many Turkish-speaking people in these regions have already tasted the joy of the Gospel through our broadcasts.  They can do this because national boundaries in the area do not necessarily follow the same pattern as the use of languages and/or their own languages share enough similarities with Uzbek or Azerbaijani (the languages in which we create original programming) for them to understand the message.

From an 11th Century Dictionary of Turk Language

Borrowing from Others, But Valuing Its Own Integrity

Over the millennia of its existence, the Turkish language has been an important one for the regions of Mongolia, Central Asia, and The Middle East.  Much literature–poetic, pious, philosophical and scientific–has been produced in it.  The Turkish language vocabulary has been enriched over the centuries, by both the Arabic and Persian (Farsi) languages.  At the same time, there have been conscious efforts to keep Turkish a separate language and not let it be swept up into either of its neighboring tongues.

Sitting at the crossroads of world, Central Asia and The Middle East have a rich history embracing the Great Empires of the Past:  Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and more.  The languages of all these cultures have had some influence on the Turkish language, giving it a rich vocabulary, but Turks resisted having their native tongue obscured to the point of its disappearance.

In early writings, Turks would borrow from neighboring languages and place the foreign words next to their own versions in the text.  However as early as 1072 the fight for their own language had begun.  In that year, a Turkish dictionary was produced to assist Arabs in understanding Turkish.  This effort, along with other measures, helped Turkish remain a language independent of those around it.  However, by the 16th century, as with many languages, the written language of the intelligentsia became separated from the common tongue of the people and renewed efforts were required.

This struggle to keep the Turkish language intact continued into the 19th century, when suddenly there was also an onslaught by western cultures as well.  The Turkish Republic was declared in 1923 and integrated the Turkish language in practical ways into the nation over the next five years.  During this period, President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,  Latin-ized the Turkish writing system and in 1932 the Turkish Language Society was created.  Before 1932, the use of authentic Turkish words in written texts was 35-40%, but today that number is 75-80%, proving their efforts to save the language has been successful.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation in countries like Turkey. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

A Invitation to Serve

On the Set with Sweet Conversations

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: SWEET CONVERSATIONS FILM SHOOT JUNE 25-JULY 1

Be Part of the Fun!

Come join us in June for a Sweet Conversations film shoot.  If you’ve been a part of one of our previous shoots, then you already know the excitement involved in filming a season of shows.  If not, then why not let June be the month you change that?  We’ll be filming Season Four of our Azerbaijani Women’s Talk Show, Sirin Sobat (Sweet Conversations).

Narmin and Tarana, the lovely co-hosts of Sweet Conversations, bring a mixture of Azerbaijani culture, current topics for women, beautiful paintings, and the Good News of the Gospel to Azerbaijani speaking audiences throughout Central Asia. For one long grueling week, they abandon their lives in other cities and come to our temporary studio to film an entire season of programs.

Global Heart Ministries
Sweet Conversations hosts Narmin & Tarana encourage Azerbaijani women all over Central Asia.

Thirteen Shows in One Week

It is necessary to film thirteen episodes because our satellite providers require that number in order to air our seasons.  We set up for our shoot in a conference room at The Hope Center and then take care of everything–set-up, filming and break-down–in one week so the other ministries at The Hope Center can utilize the space for their events. With only one week available our talent, technicians, and volunteers are in for some intense work. The call sheet assignments start very early each day and often go on until late in the evening.

Our goal is to have at least one guest per show and this season our guest list will include several visitors from Azerbaijan. Shuffling personnel in and out for the various episodes, finding them a place to stay, and transporting them to and from the airport is a huge logistical nightmare.

Just one of many jobs on the set

So How Can You Help?

First, you can start praying – right now. We’ve been lining up our guests for months.  For this season the task includes dealing with bureaucratic red tape in Azerbaijan for the necessary visas.  While that’s going on, we’re not free to share exactly who our guests will be, but we can tell you the list is exciting.

Like other Christians in Central Asia, Azerbaijanis face persecution for their faith and that makes the visa process more difficult.  The Spirit is moving and doors are opening, but for every joyful success for our believing friends, there is another story of violence, incarceration, and loss of property.  

And There’s More

We also need other kinds of help from our faithful volunteers. Here are a few of the ways you can help:

Transportation – Whether you can help out with one trip to the airport or are available all week to help move people around and run errands, we sincerely need your help.
Hosting Talent – In the Central Asian culture, guests expect to be hosted in a home, rather than in a hotel, so all of the talent will need a place to stay while they are here. Some will only need to stay for one night, while others will need to stay all week.
Providing Food – Each day we have to feed all the people working on the set. We need help in a variety of ways.

  • Each morning we have donuts. Whether you’d like to pick them up yourself and visit the set, or just underwrite the cost we’d really appreciate it.
  • Each midday we have lunch and some days we need dinner. You can help us by underwriting the cost of feeding the crew at The Hope Center’s Cafe 6:19, you can order pizzas to be delivered, pick up your favorite fast food, or if you like to cook, we’d love for you to bring us a meal.
  • We keep a table full of healthy snacks for breaks. Whether you’d like to donate individual snack items, underwrite our shopping trip to Costco, or have an organization that would like to take over the whole job, it would really be a blessing.

Prayer – This is something we always need, but most especially during our shoots. You can lift us up during the day as you go about your routine or you are welcome to arrange a visit to the set and pray as you observe.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries during our film shoots you are helping to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.

Turkey, A Conundrum of History and Culture

Turkey bridges Europe and Asia

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: A QUICK LOOK AT TURKEY

Across Two Continents

Turkey is a land without a continent or more correctly, a nation spanning two continents:  Europe and Asia.  This alone is enough to make things complicated, but it gets even more confusing.

The Turks, the people group for whom the country is named, don’t come from the area.  Instead, the earliest records of the Turks can be traced to Mongolia.  Various tribes, like the Khazars and Seljuks, came out of the Mongolian steppes and over time converted the Persian Empire into their own fiefdom.

Meanwhile, the area which became Turkey is comprised of a distinctly Asian eastern part, once called Anatolia, which developed a completely different culture than that of the more European western part, which was called Thrace.

The Confluence of Cultures

The country that is now Turkey acted as a land-bridge between ancient kingdoms.  Persia reached out across this land to attack Greece.  Alexander pounded across it in the other direction to conquer Persia.  Then along came Rome and established Constantinople.  In time, the Turks came.  What had been the Byzantine Empire  became part of the Ottoman Empire.

Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, stood at the crossroads of the world.  Like the Hagai Sophia, the control of the area flowed back and forth between various powers over the centuries.  Also, like the magnificent church building, the various controlling powers added their flavorings to the modern city now called Istanbul.

Until the end of World War I, Turkey was a multi-ethnic state whose people groups did not mix with one another and thereby retained separate ethnic and religious identities within the empire.   The nation was dominated by a Turkish and Southern European ruling class, but there was no effort to unite the various cultures into one.

After World War I efforts were made to create a national and cultural identity, but instead of cultural homogenization the traditional Muslim culture practiced in the East clashed with the more cosmopolitan West creating a confusing yet enchanting mosaic.  The result was one of the most westernized Islamic nations that ever existed.

Tokapi Palace

Turkey Today

Today the culture of Turkey is dominated by its Islamic past, even though its deepest roots go back to the the Bible.  Many cite the most important literary contribution as Ottoman Divan poetry, a highly ritualized and symbolic art from inspired by the Persians.  Ottoman architecture is seen in the famous Tokapi Palace and beautiful onion-domed  buildings throughout the country.  Oiled wrestling, another Ottoman contribution, is the national sport.  In food, Turkish coffee, a sweet called Turkish Delight and other dishes enjoyed in Turkey trace their roots to the Ottoman Empire.

According to many sources, such as US News, Turkey’s President Erdogan has completely abandoned the practices of his predecessors, which once made Turkey among the most westernized of Islamic countries and has “flooded the country’s politics, education system and foreign policy with Islam.”  Opinions differ in their assessment of Erdogan, some call him a tyrant while others believe he is merely fulfilling the wishes of his people.

Whatever the truth of the political situation is, there are people in the nation of Turkey, even in this season of Islaminaton, who seek out the Author of Truth, Jesus Christ, in spite of the efforts of those who promote Islam and regardless of the personal danger. Through a network of hidden churches and bold Believers, the Gospel is gathering Turks into Christianity.  One of the ways Turks come to know our Savior is through the programming of GHM.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation in countries like Turkey. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

 

 

Hagai Sophia – A Cradle of Christianity

Photo of Istanbul with Hagai Sophia in the background from Encyclopedia Brittanica

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE TO MODERN LANDMARK

Since the Time of Legends

The site of Hagai Sophia has been a site of worship since the Emperor Constantine the Great built a cathedral there in 325 AD, but legend tells us people may have been worshiping there for even longer.  Constantine’s cathedral was reportedly built on a site which had traditionally been used for pagan worship.  This sort of geographical practicality is a familiar theme throughout the world and it continues until today.

In ancient times, pagan worship was often associated with hilltops, and, as you can see in the picture above, Hagai Sophia certainly dominates the horizon.  However, the cathedral Constantine built is not the building you see today.

Architectural Aggravation

Constantine the Great

Constantine built his cathedral as a permanent testimony to his Savior, Jesus Christ.  He overturned the religious status quo after Christ came to him in a vision and he was determined to spread the Gospel.  Sadly, his human determination did not protect his cathedral.

Within 80 years (404 AD) the cathedral was damaged by fire.  The population of Constantinople rioted because, after a flurry of political machinations, their archbishop was banished for a second time.  The riots resulted in a fire.  After the fire, the cathedral was rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Constans I and the restored building was rededicated in 415 by the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosis II.

Justinian I

But the cathedral’s woes did not end there.  It burned again in 532 under the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian I.  It was Justinian I who envisioned the beautiful building we see today in Turkey.  His masterpiece only took six years to build, being completed in 537.

Justinian’s vision had been a little too grand.  The dome collapsed in 558 and was restored in 562, only to collapse twice more.  The determined Byzantines kept at it and eventually made it smaller with enforcement added to the outside.  While Constantine’s cathedral building did not last, his efforts did live on in the succession of buildings occupying the hilltop on which he chose to build.

Political Insults

Since the time of the Byzantine Empire, Hagai Sophia has overlooked the city, but almost as soon as the architecture of the cathedral became stable, the city itself became unstable.  Constantinople played a key political and religious role throughout  the Crusades, which began in 1096.  Power ebbed and flowed between Constantinople and Rome according to who was in charge.

 In 1204 the city became a political ploy.  A group of Venetian Crusaders on their way to free Jerusalem were persuaded to help a king regain control of Byzantium.  The Crusaders did their job, but the people rejected their restored monarch, and after he was deposed, he was murdered.  That left a lot of unpaid Venetian Crusaders, who preceded to extract their payment out of the city by looting Hagai Sophia, only leaving the building intact.  The cathedral continued to stand, though it required rebuilding refitting until the arrival of the Ottomans

Enter the Ottomans

Mehmet II

Due to a prophesy by Mohammed, the Hagai Sophia was a very special target.  Mohammed said the first Muslim to pray there was promised a place in heaven.  When Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453, he went directly to Hagai Sophia where he found a local man looting.  Mehmet was having none of that and he began a 470 year long occupation of the building as a mosque.

Like Christian predecessors, the new Islamic caretakers continued to build and rebuild the edifice adding ever more magnificent accoutrements to the venerable old edifice.

Secularization

After the end of World War I, Turkey was divided up into bits and pieces and the mosque within Hagai Sophia was not its greatest concern.  However, by 1934 the building had been secularized and a year later it became a museum.

Though not being used for worship services, for over 80 years (the lifespan of Constantine’s original cathedral) the world visited Istanbul to admire Hagai Sophia. Careful restorations were carried out during this time and Sophia returned to her former countenance.

Artisans painstakingly coaxed the Christian decorations out from behind the Islamic “improvements”.  Admired by all, the museum was particularly loved by Christians who were amazed by decorations originally applied in the days of Byzantium.  

In 2006, worship returned to Hagai Sophia, but the worship did not match the architectural restoration’s devotion to Christianity.  A small prayer room for staff members, both Christian and Muslim, was opened.  In 2013, the Muslim call to prayer returned to the minarets.  Then, on July 1, 2016, Muslim prayer services returned.

A Christian Landmark No More

The tide has turned against the Christian attributes of Hagai Sophia.  In 2017, the Turkish government limited tourist access to the museum to Mondays, and even that access is only available until October 31.  Rumors suggest it will be closed to tourism and like in the days of the Ottomans, Christians will have to receive a special permit to enter the mosque.

Though precious to Christians for its history, Hagai Sophia is only a building.  The Christian Church is the Body of Believers.  Whatever happens to Hagai Sophia, the Spirit is moving in Turkey.  Even now, in rebellion against the privations imposed by Islamic politicians, Muslims are seeking information about Jesus Christ.  Expatriate Christians from Central Asia and the Middle East have communities with hidden churches.  Satellite TV and the Internet are used to ferret out the Good News.  And GHM is there.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey in the Bible

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST:  FROM NOAH’S ARARAT TO PAUL’S ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA

Ancient Ties to Biblical Stories

When people think of countries which are related to Biblical stories, Turkey isn’t usually at the top of the list.  Israel, Egypt, Rome, and even Babylon may come to mind, but many people don’t realize places famous for their roles in the New Testament, like Ephesus, Laodicea, Philadelphia, Smyrna, and Tarsus, are now part of the country we know as Turkey.

Artist’s conception of Noah’s sacrifice on Mount Ararat

But Turkey’s ties to the Bible go back even further than that.  Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, which is tucked into the eastern most tip of the nation.  From there Noah’s sons spread out to re-populate the world and their heritage can be found in any history book.  Take for instance Shem’s son, Asshur, who was the seed of the Assyrian Nation.

Even those who already knew Mount Ararat was in Turkey might be surprised to discover that 60% of the places mentioned in the Bible are located in Turkey, according to the Biblical Tour Guide.  Even Abraham himself came from Ur of the Chaldeans, now Hurran.  A list of the Turkish places listed in the Bible and the references to them goes on for several pages.

Turkey and the Church

Once you realize Turkey’s ancient ties to the Bible, especially the various mission trips made by Paul and his companions, it is not so amazing that Constantinople was one of the early centers of Christianity, rivaling Rome with its power.  Today, the city called Istanbul is a very different place from the ancient Constantinople.

Hagai Sophia (Holy Wisdom), originally Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral and an architectural wonder of the Christian faith, now hosts Muslim prayers.  The country which served Noah when his family left the ark and was also the home of St. Paul’s friend Lydia, the seller of purple, is not so friendly to Christianity anymore.  The Turkish government allows tourists into the mosque on Mondays, at least until the end of October, but what then?

In July of 2016, there was a failed coup by military leaders.  Opinions vary as to the reason for it.  Some have even claimed it was a false flag operation designed to expose those who were against the government’s policies of Islamization.  Others  claim an exiled cleric living in the US instigated the conflict.  Whatever the reason, thousands of people were arrested after the attempt and many are still imprisoned.  Of those imprisoned, many were journalists.  New laws limiting the freedom of the press have been enacted, making it more difficult than ever to get a true picture of life inside the country.

Turkey is one of the many countries in The Middle East and Central Asia with access to satellite broadcasts of GHM programming.  Some members of our audience there are ex-patriots from Central Asia and Middle Eastern countries.  In the past, Turkey enjoyed more religious freedom, and when persecution made it impossible to remain in their home country, Christians from countries like Turkmenistan and Iran would escape to Turkey.  Since the coup, life has become more difficult for these Believers, but GHM programming is there to encourage them.

Turkey is officially becoming more Islamic, but its population is still filled with people looking for hope and they share the cultural heart of our programs.  Some also share heart languages with our hosts, while others speak these languages as their secondary tongue, and others just enjoy the fact that the Turkish language is so similar to those used on our programs.  Whatever the reason for their access to our heart languages, they are tuning into our programs and finding the hope the official religion of their nation does not offer.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.