Alive in ChristOn Wednesday April 18, 2007, the fledgling Christian community in this nation of 70 million Muslims, suffered a devastating blow, when three of its finest, were brutally murdered for their faith.  One German and two other Turkish brothers were found in the print shop, in south central Turkey, where they published and sold Bibles.
They had been tortured, stabbed repeatedly, and bound with their throats slit. Sadly, it was at the hands of five trusted young men, who had claimed to be seekers of our LORD. The murder was skillfully pre-meditated and ruthlessly carried out.  Needless to say, as members of the Body, we have been deeply grieved by this terrible tragedy.
Yet, what appeared to be a victory for the enemy has since resulted in the most OPEN DECLARATION of the GOSPEL this nation has seen since the Apostle Paul!  Therefore, we rejoice that not one drop of blood shed by these dear saints has fallen to the ground in vain. Last Saturday, approximately 500 believers gathered in a demonstration of solidarity, to honor the lives of these colleagues. Despite the heavy police and media coverage in a country that is 99.9% Muslim, each of us had determined that is was worth the risk and exposure, to stand together for our LORD.  After all, it seemed a small sacrifice, compared to the loss experienced by the wives, children and fiancé of the deceased.
What we witnessed has FOREVER changed our lives! As the body was carried into the courtyard, high upon the shoulders of our Turkish brothers, spontaneous applause burst forth! I leaned over to my national friend and queried, Is this normal for funerals, in your culture? No, he asserted, it’s because he a martyr! As the casket continued its journey toward the front, ethereally beautiful worship music erupted somewhat reminiscent of a Gregorian chant. Then everyone joined together in the singing of Turkish praise songs.  However, what followed nearly took our breath away!  Approximately ten Turkish leaders proclaimed openly the GOSPEL in front of television cameras, newspaper reporters, police officials, the Deputy Governor of Izmir and several other important officials.  FEARLESSLY, yet with GENTLE STRENGTH each shared his faith in CHRIST, and HIS FORGIVENESS of those who had committed the heinous murders! Additionally, they shared that CHRIST had won the VICTORY, and at this very hour the martyrs were standing before the very throne of GOD! Several mentioned that the lives of these men were perhaps the seeds that must be planted in order for a harvest to come forth.  One pastor passionately exclaimed, We will spread this message, Gods Word, because we are children of the Word! You may kill us all, but we will spread this message, because we love you and because Jesus loves you! We forgive the attackers, because we too, have been forgiven. Powerful applause, Amens and Hallelujahs erupted from among the scores of nationalities represented there!  It was awesome!

However, what happened next…..can ONLY be explained by the SUPERNATURAL LOVE and STRENGTH that GOD ALONE can give. Spontaneously, in an unplanned moment– Necati’s wife asked if she could speak. Amid her tears she spoke of her forgiveness of the very men who had tortured and killed her precious husband, and the father of her children! In an emotion filled voice, she asserted: I know my Necati was praying for them, even while he was being tortured. She also spoke of the wonderful love they shared as a family and their joy in serving the LORD together. Lastly, she stated I loved my husband very, very much—but, I love my Jesus even more.  And that is how I can face tomorrow. Again thunderous applause burst forth!  We were spell bound!

In the closing moments of this incredible service, one of the pastors shouted Afferin Necati!!! Afferin Tilman!!! Afferin Uur!!!— Which translated means— Well done Necati!!  Well done Tilman!! Well done Uur!!  We are certain the LORD echoed those same sentiments, as he received those precious men into HIS heavenly kingdom!!!  Then, as Necati’s body was lovingly ushered onward to its final resting place, applause and praise resonated throughout the garden!  As we looked up, we noticed that the media stood utterly dumbfounded!  We were quite certain they had NEVER witnessed anything like this before. Yet, as believers we knew we had been in the very presence of the LORD!  It seemed as if we had observed church history in the very making.  Most importantly, we believe that the precious blood of these saints was NOT shed in vain, but will be used to further GODS KINGDOM in a manner that has not occurred since the time of the apostles!  So let it be written— so let it be done!!!!!!


6 Responses to “A Powerful Witness in the funeral of the Turkish Martyrs”

  1. 1 Jillian

    How wonderful! This has made me cry for joy that our Lord can take a tragedy and turn it into victory to the glory of His name.

  2. 2 Pastor Robert Dimlich

    Greetings in the precious name of Jesus Christ,

    Thank you for keeping the world informed of the happenings in Turkey. The faith and courage in the face of intense persecution is a testimony and inspiration for the rest of the Church of Jesus Christ. May we be inspired to be gracious and bold in our witness of our living and glorified Savior. Our prayers ascend up to heaven on behalf of the church in Turkey.

    Grace and mercy from the all sufficient God and Savior,
    Pastor Dimlich

  3. 3 Kim Weber

    Thank you for your report from Turkey! Praise the Lord for what He is doing in many Islamic countries! I have Christian friends in Israel that have taken Bibles to two Muslim families, when they go to Turkey for their 3-month visa renewal to continue staying in Israel. They’ve been in Israel nearly 5 years and Turkey is their favorite place to visit. Two years ago, a neighbor of these Muslim families told authorities of the Bibles. They came and took them away. My friends brought them more Bibles on their next trip. They love the Lord and welcome my friends with food and fellowship each time they visit. They know these encounters and Bibles they cherish are from the Lord.

    Even in this difficult experience for the families of the martyrs, it is encouraging and evident that God is on the throne. As Daniel told King Neb….”they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, TILL YOU KNOW THAT THE MOST HIGH RULES IN THE KINGDOM OF MEN AND GIVES IT TO WHOMEVER HE CHOSES. Your kingdom shall be assured to you, AFTER YOU COME TO KNOW THAT HEAVEN RULES.” Daniel 4:25,26

    Prayers for the families and unsaved, and may He bless your ministry,
    Kim Weber
    http://www.doveartworks.com Art & Truth blog

  4. 4 Ruth Payton

    Yours is a message of power and inspiration to the Western church. We praise Him for your faith and courage, dear brothers and sisters in Turkey, and we weep with you in the midst of your suffering. May our Lord & Saviour, God Almighty and King of Kings continue to strengthen, empower and use you to proclaim His truth and reap the harvest to His glory.

  5. 5 ebru

    Hi

    I am a turkish female brought up with muslum faith, it has been 5 wonderful years since i have been a christian.

    I get upset and very happy to hear and read when miracles as this happens.

    May every person have that kind of strenght and faith in the lord.

    God bless

  6. 6 Detroit

    We are what we repeatedly do.

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