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3-14 September 2015

For almost a year, TACO had been working with No Longer Music to organize a large stage truck tour of Turkey. The teams were planning at least 10 major concerts reaching thousands of people in a country that is 99.9% Muslim. Unfortunately, there was tense political unrest and violence in different parts of Turkey this summer and so all of the planned concerts were cancelled! The teams were VERY disappointed because there was a great vision of reaching thousands of people throughout Turkey - a country that so desperately needs to hear the Gospel. But, unfortunately, it was beyond their control.

After a lot prayer, the teams decided to still go and that canceling the tour was not an option. Everyone agreed and so a show was developed for an unplugged "street" version of the show that could be performed in parks and other crowded locations multiple times in a night without permissions. The team included three entities (No Longer Music, Come & Live, and TACO teams) and totaled about 35 people. Considering the potential for disunity and issues dealing with unscheduled, spontaneous street shows the potential for problems was very clear. Possibly the biggest answer to prayer throughout this tour was the amazing unity that prevailed and the synergy of the three teams working as one. So, after NLM's last concert in Bulgaria, their stage truck and trailer was parked in a secure lot and the NLM team left for Turkey unsure of how the tour would go.

In the end, the team was able to do 14 street shows all over western Turkey. There was no violence and no shows were shut down by the police. This was a HUGE answer to prayer especially during the volatile times in the country. In fact, the police were always very respectful and often wanted information themselves about Jesus. It was truly amazing how powerfully God moved!

For example, in Izmir, a group of young nationalist, racist men rallied against the street performance, chanting and trying to stir the crowd against the team. But, miraculously, after hearing the Gospel message and talking and praying with Şafak the organizer and Chad Johnson (from Come & Live), the ring-leader of this group knelt on the rough ground and genuinely surrendered his life to Jesus! (See Top Picture)

And in Canakkale, Elise, one of the girl's on the team said:

"David had just finished preaching and I looked out into the crowd and immediately one girl stood out to me. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper 'Go right to her; it's time for her to meet me' I invited my translator over and we delved into a conversation about the world and about what it was like for her being a teenager in a Muslim country and about Jesus. Initially she was quite shy and reserved, but I felt Jesus telling me to keep pushing and going deeper. She opened up more and we had a great conversation. At the end I asked if I could pray for her and she nodded, so I put my hand on her arm and poured my heart out over this beautiful girl. In the middle of the prayer her hand suddenly grabbed mine tightly and I knew that God was touching her heart. As I finished I looked up and she was crying; she said that she felt really warm inside, and that she had never felt such peace and love in her heart. She said that she knew that God wanted me to talk to her that night, and that it was exactly what she needed. We're going to stay in touch and I am confident that she will come to know Him as her Father and as her Lord. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life, and this is just one of countless testimonies of what God did in this vastly Muslim country!"

Remarkably, during the tour:

• Approximately 3000 people came to our shows

• 200 raised their hands publicly because they wanted to know more about Jesus. 

• People from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan prayed with us after the concerts

• Over 300 filled out surveys, received the powerful DVD "More Than Dreams," and received the Turkish Bible Correspondence Course.

• All those who responded are presently being followed up personally by the local churches and TACO.

Despite the fact that the team could not use the stage trailer, some on the team thought that this was one of the best tours NLM/TACO has done in Turkey in ten years of ministering together.


The BCC Team

Dear Friends,

This month I would share 2 short stories of a man and woman in Istanbul who have been searching and have entered the "way" of faith in Jesus. Please pray that this search may come to the point of a lifelong obedience to the Master.

One day several months ago during one of our TACO street outreaches a fellow by the name of *Erhan picked up one of our tracts. He had been interested in Jesus, and as is common in this part of the world, Erhan had a dream about Jesus. After watching our street performance he called into the BCC from the tract that he had taken and received more information. He was followed up by *Ertin, from our BCC office and one of our TACO members. After 5 weeks of studying scripture together Erhan gave his life to Jesus. He now meets regularly with other believers and shares his faith with others.

*Nilgun is a 48 year old woman who has gone through some hard times in her life. She was losing any belief in a caring God but at that time she found a church from the BCC Website. She went to the church and slowly started to find hope in her life. She did a few courses from the BCC and started to understand better what is Christianity. We met and had a few cups of Turkish tea and talked two hours about Baptism and communion and it was explained to her that actually Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with God. I shared my testimony with her and explained to her that God doesn't always change our hearts in a month, but slowly the Holy Spirit makes our hearts softer and we are able to forgive faster and thus have more love to share with others. She is on the path of faith and we hope she will continue the way of Jesus in the future.


The BCC Team

*Names changed

Dear Friends,

Recently, 2 of our BCC Team visited a neighbourhood on the far side of Istanbul to share about God’s love on the street. They couldn’t find a place suitable to draw a crowd and preach using their sketch board, so they prayed for God to guide them.

They saw a group of people standing and talking together outside a café. They approached the group asked: “I’ve heard that there are believers in Jesus in this neighbourhood. Do you know any of them?”

A man gave him an odd look, went to the shop next door, and then came back quickly.

“I know someone who might know such people, but he is not at work today,” the man said.

They continued to talk to the man, and a few minutes later he called someone on his phone—it was the man they’d been speaking about. After talking for a minute, their new friend handed the phone to one of the workers.

At first the man on the other end was very suspicious, but he explained clearly who he was and the man opened up and said he’d come to faith recently. In fact, at that very moment he was meeting with a Turkish pastor, whose church is near the OM Bible Correspondence Course office on the other side of Istanbul.

“Please don’t tell anyone there that I’ve become a follower of Jesus,” he said. “Because I haven’t even told my family yet, and the only other person who knows of my newfound faith is the guy whom you asked.”

In a neighbourhood of 200,000 people, the BCC worker asked a question he’d never asked before to the only person who knew the answer.

The man who’d made the phone call invited the 2 workers into his café to continue their conversation. They’d only been talking a few minutes before men sitting at a nearby table interrupted them.

“All of us here at our table would like to have New Testaments,” one of them said. “Could you give each of us one?”

They didn’t have enough New Testaments to give to all of them, but the men gave their names and addresses, and the New Testaments were sent by the Bible Correspondence Course within a few days.

Pray for more divine appointments like this!


The BCC Team