Opening Young Hearts to Know Jesus in Turkey
April 12, 2018
When the director of an indigenous Christian ministry in Turkey was a small boy, his Muslim family used to watch the television show, "Little House on the Prairie."
"They were so kind to one another, and spoke so nicely about one another, that my mother once said, 'Look how nice these infidels are to one another,'" he said. "As I grew older, my mother's words remained deep in my heart and caused me to think positively about getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ."
If an unlikely U.S. TV show could influence a Muslim child's heart, then God can use the food, clothing and other relief items the indigenous ministry leader's team provides to Syrian refugee children in Turkey, he said.
After seven years of civil war in Syria,
the children in makeshift refugee camps
are already deeply influenced by Christian care.
"Our gifts of hazel nut butter and small blankets to these families now will not be forgotten," he said. "They will remember that Christians helped them during these cold days and will open their hearts to search for God."
The children of Syrian refugees will remember their mothers pleading with him for help, especially as pneumonia and skin ailments from lack of hygiene are rampant. After seven years of civil war in Syria, the children in makeshift refugee camps are already deeply influenced by Christian care. When an elderly woman got an infection and swelling on her foot from a rat bite, her granddaughter told her she should receive prayer from "Jesus," as she loosely referred to the ministry director.
On his next visit, the girl brought her grandmother to him. As the director opened his eyes after praying for her, he found children standing in front of him.
"They were looking more for us to pray over them than to receive food packages, it seemed," he said. "People in such a hard place no longer were hard-hearted but were reading the New Testament and looking for the healing power of Jesus Christ, with softened hearts even before looking to be fed."
Children who receive special items such as hazel nut butter may think the Christian God loves them more than they realized, he said.
"Please pray much that we have the resources to continue this help," he said. "We are dependent upon your kind and giving hearts to continue planting these seeds of God's love in the hearts of the young children."
Christian workers in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East are serving refugees and their children in the same way, opening young hearts to hear about Jesus. Please consider a gift today to help them meet the needs of hurting children.