That was the news as I sat in my room in Istanbul last year prepping to do an extensive tour in many cities throughout the country. In the end, 301 deaths and a time of mourning. The results were a cancellation of nearly half of our events. We had to improvise, since music or “entertainment” of any kind in public would have been considered offensive during a nationwide grieving time.
In the end, we still had a fruitful time despite the challenges. There were even instances that the tragedy brought a very noticeable awareness of our mortality as I shared the gospel, making the message about the need for salvation for eternity all the more captivating it seemed.
Today, I’m on my way for my fourth visit to Turkey with the goal and hope to continue making an impact for Christ in one of the most un-reached countries in the world. I’ll be traveling with a world champion unicyclist (husband and wife team) as well as some other talented artists to do another national variety arts outreach tour, June 10-24.
I’ll be partnering with the same group, Taco, as I have in the past couple of years, whose focus is primarily on the Muslim world. After the gospel message at the end of our program, we always invite our audiences to enroll in a bible correspondence course specifically written for a Muslim audience. The follow up strategy is great!
As I’m prepping for the tour, I get an email from the tour director with this link to another headline:
Two dead, 100 hurt in blasts at Kurdish rally in Turkey
I’m seeing a trend here. I know the enemy is de-toothed and de-clawed, but, he still roams. Perhaps this is coincidence or perhaps there is more to it than that. One thing I know, our battle is not against flesh and blood. So, please pray for our tour as it starts on Thursday. Our first two days are, yep, you guessed it, DIYARBAKIR, where the bombings just took place.
I am not afraid, or even worried. I trust the Lord to keep us safe for the sake of the gospel to go out. I’ve not worked with a bolder, more faithful group in this part of the world. It’s always a privilege. However, as I said, the enemy roams… but our Lord God is on the Throne, and prayer is where a large part of the battle is.
- Venues would not cancel our events
- Health and strength for us performers
- For the follow-up teams to keep in touch with those who are responding to the grace and call of the Holy Spirit to come to faith
- And for clarity on how to connect and share Christ with our audiences.
UPDATE: The night before our first program, more violence occurred and we ended up having to cancel our first two programs in and leave Diyarbakir and head for our next city. Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for your support and partnership in making projects like these possible.