With missions festival upon us, I can’t help but think of Gökhan Talas, a Christian who is publishing a Christian magazine in Turkey. I met him at LittWorld 2015. He came to our prayer for the persecuted church group a few months back. (The picture is of Gökhan and me after the prayer group.) In anticipation of this week’s prayer meeting I asked John Maust if he had received any recent updates, so he sent me some. I’ll share a few with you now.
Gökhan describes 2016 as “a blessed, grateful, harsh and chaotic year. It was a complete disaster for our country.” As a Christian, he has never felt more of a minority than now. People are nervous, anticipating some kind of regime change in April.
News reports have covered the struggle of Turkey in handling or not handling the flow of refugees. For his part, “We are planning to make a digital Arabic/Kurdish version of Miras magazine. This is very important for reaching the refugee society in Turkey. The government has blocked physical services to refugee camps five months ago, and most of the Christian aid organizations are under pressure. We want to share the gospel in a direct way.”
Besides planning for this, his publishing team is also working on two book projects, developing gospel-focused seminars for the spring, continuing publication of the magazine, and Gökhan is also visiting churches in unreached areas, preaching in some of those churches and making connections for evangelism services and outreach.
“Our magazine and publication team is still in need of an office,” he reported. “We are still under the budget and praying for new possibilities.”
How does someone do all of that with no office space, in a country where everything seems to be in upheaval and his evangelical faith is greeted with hostility and violence? How do you move forward on projects and outreach with no office space or budget?
Personally, I don’t know. It's so not me, so not United States. So foreign. But I find inspiration and encouragement that even when Gökhan is facing a chaotic country and a hostile world, he is still praying for new possibilities. As we look ahead for whatever we face today and in the days ahead, may we have that kind of faith!
Gökhan’s update ends with words of thanks and gratitude and says everything they do depends on God’s purposes and the prayers and support of his people.
Watch the short video I made at LIttWorld where Gökhan talks about his magazine and pray with me for him and his heart for the people of Turkey.