When we first met Orhan he was an angry man who, disenchanted with the received majority faith of his homeland, had chosen to ‘side with’ Christianity and claim that faith as his own. Slowly and patiently we introduced him to the Jesus of the gospels.
Over the next two years, under our care, he became strong in his new faith, baptised, filled and empowered by the word of God. Then his job finished and, unable to get work, he returned to his home town 20 hours’ drive away, the only believer in the entire area.
He argued with, and prayed for his neighbours, work colleagues and friends and very quickly, as he openly shared his faith, a small group of new believers gathered round him. Now Orhan and his new wife Elnara pastor a small but growing church.
Church without walls
Sitting chatting round a breakfast-table, or over an evening meal, we share our hearts – reading scriptures and applying them to the experiences of life. Everything we do and say should have a relevance that is both practical and meaningful to those we are speaking with.
Church without walls means being the church while in a place with no buildings, hierarchy or religious trapping – by sharing our lives with those around us and bringing new life to them faithfully every day. Weeping with those who weep, and rejoicing with those who rejoice, taking every opportunity to plant the seed of hope.
Seeing is believing
When a young woman came to visit friends who had recently moved to our city, she found a friend who will never leave her. Amina had grown to love her American neighbours, she had helped them with their language learning and had grown fond of their blond haired children.
She came and spent ten days with them, and met Muslim Background believers for the first time. She enjoyed a beach picnic, chatting with our believing friends, and experiencing the love that is found amongst us. Now returned to her home town she has joined a local fellowship and is growing in her new found faith.