Prayers for Turkey
Gospel Lectionary Text: John 12:20-33
"Unless a gain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
We pray for Turkey, the land that has nurtured saints--Paul, Thecla, Nicholas, and a host of mothers and fathers of faith, all who yesterday and today inspire us to faithful living. They have died, but in our lives they bear much fruit. Let the many different peoples of this ever-ancient and ever-new land open their hearts to each other and hear joy and gladness. We especially ask you to be with our partners who work daily in the schools and hospitals founded by the American Board. Many have died so that these institutions may bear fruit today. Also give vision and hope to the people and congregations that work together ecumenically as IIMP. They struggle with few resources but great energy and love to serve hundreds of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants trying to survive for a time in Istanbul.
- We thank you for the strength and resourcefulness of the women of Turkey. We ask that those who run for public office be sustained with a willing spirit to increase their public influence.
- We pray for the schools of Turkey. We thank you that the gender gap in schooling has been closed by 15% in recent years but know that the struggle for true gender equality must continue.
- Make us aware of the gender gaps in our own society. O God, we tend to see faults in other societies, especially Muslim ones, more easily than we see our own. O You who desire truth in the inward being, cure us of this arrogance and blindness.
- Be with the refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Turkey. Be with the Turkish government as it develops policies affecting their lives. Help the people of Turkey never to lose their value of hospitality.
- We thank you for Christian ecumenism here in Turkey – for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the World Day of Prayer and the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program. And may our Christian witness in Turkey go beyond Christian ecumenism to an interfaith witness of all who share a "Common Word" – a belief that God is one and a desire to love God with all their heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves.
(Prayer by Ken and Betty 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 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 more than 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, especially 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. GM personnel are officers on the IIMP Board.
- 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.
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. They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP).
Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey.