Monday, February 22, 2010

A Conversation with B.

B.'s story:
Chapter One: Move an 18 year old Turkish Muslim woman half way around the world to Iowa.
Chapter Two: Bring her to Christ through a believing cousin.
Chapter Three: Nurture her faith through a college ministry.
Chapter Four: Call her to full time ministry.
Chapter Five: Move her back home to Turkey to reach her people.

But B's story reads more like a romance novel than a history book. Its a story of how God drew and wooed a tender heart to Himself.
Since most Turks aren't very welcoming to the Christian faithful(that's an understatement), I can't mention B's name in this post. But I can tell you that B. is a fireball; outgoing and zealous for her people to know and love Jesus just as much as she does.

She's zealous and jealous. Jealous for the emerging Turkish church to be pure and to not be swayed away from Jesus. I silently prayed for B. as we were sipping strong Turkish cay (tea) at Camlica Peak (see pic). Sitting nearby were women who proclaimed their faith with a head scarf. And if it is worn in a particular way, those scarves become Badges proclaiming their devotion to a certain political/religious sect (kind of like female gang signs? Is there such a thing as a Turkish Home-girl? Is this what it means to be from the 'hood'? (I digress).

B. doesn't have a badge. Her outward distinctions are a contagious smile, exaggerated hand motions with occasional soft hand claps, and a meditative "amen" (pronounced 'ah-main') used to humbly acknowledge a compliment thrown her way.

As I left B. I wondered, "What can one fragile young woman do in a major city of 15 million Muslims (Istanbul)?" This city is a huge megalopolis (yes, this is a real word. I don't know what it means, but its a pure-dee real word). This place with lots of buildings and people strategically rests at the connecting point of Europe and Asia."

Actually, B. also wonders what good one person can do. She dismisses any suggestion that her small team is out-manned by millions of Muslims. With a small shake of her head and an earnest, determined spirit she says, "I am hopeful that God will do great things. I need to be patient and love the Turkish people."

After a taxi ride back down brick streets to the 'feribot' (ferry) and a quick exchange of hugs, it was like God had used B. to man-slap into me a more determined spirit (I don't want to be sexist here ladies, but a man-slap is usually harder than a lady-slap).

So, thanks for the unintentional rebuke, B. I evidently needed it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday: the Grand Bazaar (some kind of underground shopping mall where vendors get really mad at you for not buying their stuff), the Blue Mosque, and another place that is unpronounceable (like everything else around here).


  1. Just prayed. I love the line from the old hymn... "Ponder anew what the Almighty can do..." I needed to read that.

  2. As I chip away at ice on my driveway it reminds me of the way God through B. is chipping away at Satan's kingdom in Istanbul. One day it will crack and splinter, then get scooped up and thrown aside. God makes all things new and what a privilege to be part of the process.

  3. Hagia Sophia. Think of it like you are greeting your good friend Sophie. "Hi-ya Sophia!"