Media Makes a Difference for Volunteer

Alma maintains the GHM database.

HEARTS AFLAME:  ALMA DIXON KNOWS DATA MATTERS

Alma Dixon is a volunteer we can’t live without.  Our database of donors, volunteers and partners is critical to our operation and she’s the one who keeps it percolating along.  Because of her, our supporters get their their newsletters, e-news and records of their donations.  When we pick up the phone and call someone, the number is available because Alma keeps the database humming.  It’s a huge job and its one she volunteers for.

When we asked how she became involved with GHM, her answer was a smile and one name: Steve Sharp.  Steve was worship minister at Alma’s church when he started his ministry in Central Asia.  When he asked her to help, she “really had no choice – he never takes no as an answer.”

Sermon Tapes Put Jesus in the Driver’s Seat

Alma knows the effectiveness of media when it comes to the Gospel.  She had been brought up in a Christian home, but admits “Jesus was a passenger in [my] life.”  After she was married her brother sent her some sermon tapes which caused her to change drivers.  “The Lord began to soften my heart, I started reading the Bible, attending church and eventually I relinquished the driving to Him.”

That’s the kind of life-changing message GHM brings to The Middle East and Central Asia.  Religious leaders there promote a monotheistic belief system, but that system does not satisfy the hearts of the men, women and children of the region.  Alma reminds us, ” The people in that part of the world are eager for spiritual answers and they are responding to the Gospel message.”

Zafar, Umida and Feruza, Musician, Host and Co-host of Shukur Aytaman, Our Uzbek Women’s program

Through satellite broadcasting, GHM delivers the Gospel into the living rooms of countries like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iran and Kazakhstan.  When a viewer is touched by the message of our programming, there are hundreds of home pastors, trained and spiritually mentored by GHM, who can bring the viewers into their hidden churches.  As Alma pointed out, these home churches are not filled only by our viewers, but many in those areas are encountering Jesus in visions and dreams.  Even as many here in the Western World are turning their backs on Christianity, the Lord is moving in The Middle East and Central Asia.

“Think eternally, life passes quickly,” is the message Alma wants to pass on to others.  She knows her work for GHM is for the Lord and she’s happy to be a part of reaching others so far away with the Gospel.  Wouldn’t you like to join Alma and many others in supporting GHM with your time, talents and money?

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Set Your Heart Aflame

Like Alma, 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of the Word

Women in Central Asia traditionally look to black magic, spells and witchcraft to solve their problems and ease their burdens.

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: THE HOLY SPIRIT CONFRONTS MAGIC

Galina Touches a Bible

In Turkmenistan, Galina invited Mahira, her friend, to visit her home, but was dismayed when Mahira arrived with a Bible.  “This is an evil book.  I cannot read it,” Galina said in alarm.

Mahira knew the Bible was a life-changing book, but realized the change was for the better and nothing for Galina to fear.  Mahira wanted her friend to have the same hope she herself had found in Jesus Christ.

With a warm smile and a tone of assurance Mahira said, “Just pick it up, pick any page and just read.”  Galina managed to read only two verses out loud when she was overcome with tears and ran to her bedroom.

The Power of Conviction

Mahira was dismayed.  What had happened?  Should she leave, wait, or follow Galina into her room?

The answer came quickly.  Galina walked back into the main room and in her hands was a massive book full of magic spells.  How amazing Galina feared the Bible, which offers her the Hope of Heaven, but was not afraid of dabbling in black magic.  How Satan twists us up when we have no access to the Truth.

The Power of Salvation

“I repent of this magic.  I ask God to forgive me for leaning on my magic to live,” Galina announced to Mahira.  She went on to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior.  Now Galina and Mahira are more than friends.  They are sisters-in-Christ, Children of the Most High God.

We are amazed at how the Holy Spirit works.  The Spirit used the two verses Galina read at random to convict her of her sinful nature and her need for a Savior.  Isaiah 55:11 assures us, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Mahira has been shepherded by one of home pastors GHM trains and mentors.  Now this pastor will also shepherd Galina.  The Kingdom will grow as these faithful servants minister to the lost lambs in The Middle East and Central Asia.

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.