Matt recently served a 4 week internship alongside the LDSR team this summer. He enjoys quality time with friends and being outdoors.
So here we were face to face with an Islamic culture. A culture that was new and unfamiliar to us. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that I wanted to be recklessly abandoned for Jesus, so I became open to learn. I immediately noticed how loving and quick to serve the Turkish people are and learned how genuine and selfless their serving really is. Something that amazed me was how much they really value friendship and conversations, especially over tea. The longer I was there the more I began to love being there.
When we set out for our trip across the country, we stopped at an older gentleman’s house in one of the towns. He welcomed us in very graciously and eagerly and was glad we were there at his house. He proceeded to show us in and made sure each one of us was sitting down and comfortable before he began to bring out dinner for us. Our team leader explained to us that this action had a meaning. He went on to tell us that it meant that we were very important to him. After we had began to eat, I noticed that this gentleman was so focused on us having everything that we needed that he hadn’t began to eat until after we were halfway through our meal. He would stop eating just to make sure we had tea to drink or bread to eat. He was still taking care of us with no regard for himself.
Our Honorable Host
After we had finished our meal, all of us sat around and talked for a while. We discovered that this gentleman was a Christian and the only one in his village. He told us how no one came to visit him because his family had disowned him for being a Christian. I started to tear up because I recognized that this man was giving everything up for Jesus. Even though his testimony was heart breaking, it was so powerful and moved me so deeply that I couldn’t help but look at my life and wonder if I was laying it down for Jesus the way he was.
I never imagined Turkey would change my life the way it did. I was looking to be the one that impacted the lives of Turks, but they left the same impact on mine. It broke my heart once I found out how oppressed this people group is from hearing the Gospel, but that’s why I’m going back.
I know that God loves this people group and wants to pour out His Spirit on them, but Turks need people who will tell them about the name of Jesus Christ; people that want to be a part of what God is doing there.
I highly encourage anyone to take the invitation that the Lord is extending with summer internships as a part of Live Dead Silk Road. See how the Lord is moving in Central Eurasia. I hope you take those steps of faith and fall in love with the culture just like I did.