From Assyria
to Egypt -

The Isaiah 19 Vision

Martyrdom in Turkey
By Miguel Kerem and Asher Intrater

On Wednesday, April 18 three Christian evangelists were brutally murdered in the east Turkey city of Malatya: Tilman Geske a 46 year old German missionary and father of three; Necati Aydin a 35 year old Muslim background believer (MBB), pastor of the local church, and father of two; and Uzur Yuksel, a younger MBB, (already engaged to be married).

Five hundred Christians came from all over Turkey to attend Necati's funeral in Izmir. There are only a few thousand evangelical Christians in Turkey, a Muslim country numbering over 70 million people.

The front pages of all the largest newspapers in Turkey carried an interview with Susanne (Tillman's widow), saying "I forgive the ones who did this" (see Luke 23:34). In a nation where blood revenge is a normal part of the culture, Susanne's statement of forgiveness came as a shock to many. One newspaper columnist wrote: "She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do."

The funeral was covered by five of the major Turkish television news networks (as well as being filmed by the Turkish secret police). In a powerful message, Ishan Özbek, head of the Protestant Churches in Turkey proclaimed, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:23)

At the price of the blood of these martyrs and by the sacrifice of these Turkish Christians, the gospel has touched an entire nation (of which 99% are Muslim) in an unprecedented way. At the very time this speech was being given, the Holy Spirit fell upon our fellowship in Jerusalem, with Jewish believers falling to the ground, weeping in prayer, crying out for the salvation of the Turkish people.

Let us continue in faith and prayer at this turning point in the history of the Turkish nation. As it is said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the gospel."

Cry Out
By David Shishkoff

Recently I had the opportunity to travel with Miguel and his son Yosef to be part of a prayer and strategy consultation held in Egypt. This is one of many initiatives inspired by Isaiah 19, bringing together believers from Israel and Muslim countries.

In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria - a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless saying, "Blessed is Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel My inheritance."(Is. 19:24-25 NKJV)

While in Egypt we learned some of the realities of living in a totalitarian regime in which Muslims are not free to become followers of Yeshua. In addition many elements in Egypt are not exactly thrilled that their state, comprised of an Islamic majority, has diplomatic relations with Israel.

This was an "out of the box" experience for me. Taking place in the shadow of the martyrdom that rocked Turkey, it drove home the realization that many have and many will yet give their lives for what they believe. It was amazing to meet men my age from Egypt and Assyria who grew up as Muslims hearing anti-Israel indoctrination, and are now praying for Israel! Through our fellowship we came into a new dimension of taking the burden of caring and praying for each other's peoples.

Isaiah 19:4 talks of Egypt being given into the hands of a harsh master. Islam has been harsh on the Egyptians and many other peoples. But "In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt ... for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them." (Is. 19:19-21)

Will you join us in crying out with them? This is part of Israel's call in being a light to the nations.

 

By Asher Intrater, Miguel Kerem & David Shishkoff



Please continue to pray for Congregation Ahavat Yeshua, the discipleship training center, regular evangelism ministry, preaching ministry throughout Israel and abroad, our fund for needy believers in Israel, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel, outreach center in Jerusalem, etc.

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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Loyalty and Lasting Relationships
Martin Shoub: Raising the Banner for the Gentiles
Moshe Morrison: Brought from Afar
Eddie Santoro: God's Favour on Man