Prayers for Turkey: Mark 1:14-20
We pray this week, O God, for the people of Turkey. You know their needs as well as Jesus knew the needs of his own people. You know their sufferings in the recent earthquakes, and how their whole country rushed to provide aid. You know their anxieties over what the unrest in neighboring Syria will mean for the future and security of their own country. And you know their longing to be seen as a model for the nations of the Middle East. We ask that you comfort the hearts of the people and encourage them as they show care for others. We thank you that in Jesus you have shown us a faith that calls us to action for the sake of others. In Jesus you have shown us a life of ministry and outreach that recognizes and values the outreach and concern shown by the people of Turkey. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Turkey:
A village boy in Turkey -- let’s call him Murat -- was born deaf. His father is an unskilled day laborer, and the family income is limited. Murat is unusually bright and persistent. As a small boy, he worked out a sort of sign language that he forced his family to learn. They not only communicated with each other in this way, but family members could translate for him with outsiders. Murat was lucky because he was identified in a survey of the handicapped in local villages in his area. His pluck and skills enabled him to win a place in a special primary school for the deaf. There was only one catch -- it was a boarding school some distance from his village, and his family didn’t have the money needed to support him there. Our Turkish partners brought this opportunity to us. We responded by using some of the funds from our UCC-Disciples churches to provide scholarship help to Murat.
Over the years Murat showed his worth, graduating from primary school with distinction. This qualified him to win a coveted place at a vocational-technical high school for the deaf, where he continues to excel. His interest is earthquake preparedness from the standpoint of the deaf. For example, in rooms where hearing impaired persons live or work, there should perhaps be a system of colored lights to communicate emergency situations. We are glad that through our churches we have been able to support Murat. He is someone using his personal success to be of help to others.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Betty and Ken Frank)
Global Ministries International Partners in Turkey:
- Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program: Predecessors of the current Global Ministries personnel in Istanbul organized local parishes to serve the influx of refugees to that city during the First Gulf War in 1991. Hearing the continuing call to minister to the needs of economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees stranded in Turkey – they number at least 100,000 today – the parishes over the years have sustained and further developed this ecumenical program of Christian mission. The focus is on the most marginalized group of migrants, namely women with children. Services include food, clothing, health care, counseling, voluntary repatriation, adult education and emergency shelter subsidies. IIMP is a critical presence in the lives of those they help. Its work overlaps with NGOs that advocate for the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Global Ministries personnel are officers on the IIMP Board and in charge of the adult education program.
- Health and Education Foundation: The Health and Education Foundation, a Turkish secular philanthropy, began in 1968 to protect and renew the educational and medical institutions of the American Board, which represents the founder of these institutions more than a century ago. The Health and Education Foundation consists of volunteers who are the graduates of the American Board schools. There are three high schools in Turkey (Tarsus, Istanbul, Izmir), a hospital in Gaziantep (SEV American Hospital) and a printing press (SEV-YAY), founded by the American Board but now managed by the Health and Education Foundation, which has full responsibility and authority for them. The institutions exemplify the positive possibilities for bridging cultural divides and building trustful relationships that are needed in today's pluralistic world. Global Ministries follows with hope and interest the progress of these historical institutions through its office in Turkey, the American Board.
For more information on Turkey, click here: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/turkey/
Global Ministries Personnel in Turkey:
Ken & Betty Frank serve with the American Board in Istanbul, Turkey. They share the job of General Secretary of the American Board and follow closely the historical institutions now managed by the Health and Education Foundation. They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP) and work in its programs.
Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey. She also represents, along with Peter Makari, Global Ministries on the Near East School of Theology (NEST) Board in Beirut, Lebanon.