Words cannot describe the power and humbling nature of the outreach concert. Our friends at the church did an awesome job getting the word out to all of the other churches and we also handed out fliers on the streets. But none of us really knew what to expect for turn out.
The venue at the Maltepe Cultural Center
God came through and blew our minds in so many ways. The venue contained about 400 seats, and we were at about 90% capacity! Keep in mind the size of the Christian church — only around 5,000 Christians pushing forth the gospel in all of Turkey, and the church is pretty tight-knit. Everyone knows each other. The church leaders said about 40% of the people in attendance were not from the church! We even had representation from a few government officials in the crowd. Praise God!
Worshipping God in multiple tongues
During the concert, one of the pastors gave a great message about Easter and shared the gospel. Markus did an awesome job of sharing what it means to worship God through music. In Muslim culture, music doesn’t really play a role in worshiping Allah. It’s a totally different concept to them, and it was so great to be able to share what that is like — to worship God and sing praises to him through music.
We sang several songs in Turkish, the first one in Turkish was Here I am to Worship. When they realized we were playing in Turkish, everyone started singing and clapping along so loudly — it was one of the most precious moments of the entire trip. You could just feel God’s presence throughout the venue — it was so moving to be able to sing God praises in another language with our brothers and sisters in Turkey. Words cannot describe! Click here to watch some of the concert.
During the week before the concert, our friend Melis from the church worked with Evan on the Turkish lyrics and pronunciation. She served us all week and was an absolutely incredible blessing to us. Melis is also a musician and has an incredible voice. We invited her and Gizem, an amazing cellist we met at the church, to play and sing with us at the concert. It was so great to be able to sing and play music to praise God together. Music brings people together and unites people, but there is an exponentially stronger bond that is created when coming together as a global church for one purpose — to praise and serve The Lord.
We also played at their Sunday service, which was a total blessing to come together with the people of the church to worship God. Afterward we met more people from the church which was such an honor!
Please Pray for Turkey
We are still processing and praying about the experience God gave us in Turkey, and I think I can speak on behalf of the rest of the band that God truly changed and worked in all of us through this experience. It redefined and deepened our understanding of what it means to worship God through music.
We saw first hand a glimpse of the struggles and hardship of what it means to be a Turkish Christian in a Muslim country. We also got just a glimpse of what it is like to grow a music ministry in a small, but growing church. And we got to see how God is really working in Turkey. We continue to lift up our friends in the Turkish church, and pray for God to reveal to us how we and Park can serve the church in Turkey in greater ways. We ask so greatly that you would do the same.
The anniversary of the death of three Turkish martyrs
April 18th was the anniversary of the day that three Turkish Christian men were martyred in 2007.
They were the first modern martyrs in the Turkish church. The church and its leaders in Turkish have asked and called their Christian brothers and sisters around the world to observe this day in prayer for the Turkish church. Please visit www.prayforturkey.com for more details about the martyrs and how you can pray for Turkey.
Rab seni bereketlesin! (God bless you!)
The Turkey Band & Donna