February 2020 UK, Turkey
We strongly recommend you download the "Bible Companion
" app, from where you can access Carelinks
messages, daily Bible readings, Bible Basics
, commentary on every verse of the Bible and audio exhortations on every chapter of the Bible.
For Android / Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carelinks.bc
and on the App Store for Apple / iOS at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bible-companion/id1475914490
You can see the list of exhortations at http://christadelphia.net/audio.htm
Helps for the Bible Companion
readings this week: Exodus http://n-e-v.info/exoduscomm.pdf Psalms http://n-e-v.info/psalms.pdf Romans http://n-e-v.info/NEVRomansCommentary.pdf UK
This week we baptized FRANK in the UK. The Bible Companion
app has played a large part in helping people come to baptism who already had some association with us, but Frank is the first direct baptism from it in the UK. Frank is just the truest convert to the Lord Jesus imaginable. He's a 42 year old scaffolder, married for 22 years with 3 children. He was from a non religious background, and is surrounded by a similar background in his life now. But he felt that hole in the heart, that gap, which only Jesus and God can fill. He tried various religions and churches, but something just wasn't right. He had a serious accident at work, falling from a height and being impaled on railings- from which he miraculously survived. He felt he had been preserved by the God whom he had not yet known. So he decided to quit churches and religions and just read the Bible right through from the start. And so he found the Bible Companion
He listens to the audio on his journey to and from work by bus. And reads in the evenings, from cover to cover of the Bible. He used the app to explore further the issue of baptism- and realized intuitively this was for him. We did a short interview with him afterwards, in the lounge of his nice home in typical northern British suburbia. We tried to probe why he as a standard secular, typical British working family man... would come to have such a passion for God, Jesus and the Bible. He is rather nervous and it's only a summary of all he feels, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT4VXkije8s
And it was hard for him to explain, as it is for anyone. We all are born, it seems, with a hole in the heart and psyche which only God and Jesus can really fill. And He appeals to people through His word to accept that. But most just brush it off. Frank kept commenting that it requires humility to accept it.
But once you begin to, it all makes such great sense. It's great to hear Frank explaining what it feels like to read the Bible for the first time, having known nothing beforehand. He says how he was struck by the non judgmental attitude of the Lord to the woman taken in adultery; and how presently he is reading through Jeremiah and finding the New Testament opens it up.
So we thank God for His blessing upon the app, and appeal for your continued support. There are now around 50,000 people actively using
that app. Somebody boots up the app [according to our stats] about every 20 seconds. How many other secular, unchurched people are there out there like Frank, listening to the audio on their earphones as they get the bus to and from work, and finding it all makes sense. Probably there are very many
people doing that, and we just wait for them to be humble enough to accept the message, and bold enough to initiate contact with us. Let's pray they come forward. TURKEY
Brother Julian Baseley from Guildford ecclesia UK along with Duncan spent a wonderful time in Turkey with the Iranian refugee brethren. There were 42 baptisms... that's not something that happens every day. We've made a video about it where we discuss the issues of legitimacy of baptism, and both conclude that all these folks absolutely knew our doctrines. After all, hundreds of copies of Farsi Bible Basics
have been distributed in Turkey, probably over 1000 copies [for which work we always appreciate your donations]. These people had studied the book, used the online material we have at www.carelinks.net/fa, and attended house meetings with the various ones already baptized on previous trips. So, these were not at all random folks just getting baptized.
You can see the video at https://youtu.be/XtvPl9ycePA
We began with two hours going through the chapters of Bible Basics
, systematically going over all the doctrines. They are recorded as a series of videos under one playlist, at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqHWDPHDmR_wEKIzoPB1gjm3YidumPHtz
This may be a useful resource for those seeking to teach Iranian contacts, of whom there are now very many attending meetings in the UK especially.
Julian also talked about the Lord's parables- all talks were translated into Farsi.
As Julian comments in the video, the general level of education and previous social standing in Iran was very high. There were highly qualified engineers, lecturers, dentists... about 70 people squashed into a conference room, with some having to stand, and others sharing a chair:
This truly was sincere response to the Gospel after studying it for a period of time. And so we baptized the 42 candidates, all of whom had applied for baptism about a month before. Former nominal Muslims are really a blank sheet- they have none of the standard misconceptions about Christian doctrines which are prevalent in other groups. We increasingly sense that it is the total non Christians, the secular [like Frank in the UK], the nominal Muslims... who are more fertile ground for learning the Truth.
And so, we baptized 42 people in the hotel pool. One by one, rather than lining them up and doing them all together, in order to retain the personal sense of baptism and connection with the Lord Jesus. We were in the pool about an hour in order to achieve this.
We provided a meal for the nearly 70 present [those previously baptized along with the new ones] and then Julian led a breaking of bread service- the first time many had done it.
This large group are held together by online communication, and meet in smaller groups in each others' homes . They obviously can't all fit in any one home at one time. Turkish society is increasingly Islamic and xenophobic. It's very hard for them to find work, their children are bullied at school, and they face an unpleasant daily situation. We are looking at renting them a hotel conference room where they can regularly gather, but whilst hotels are open to one off meetings, something regular appears difficult to arrange. We're hoping brother Garry Hindmarsh from Australia will soon visit them and try to incorporate them into his attempts to get Iranians to Australia, let's pray he can pull that off.
All these folks are cell phone users, and yet few know English well. We're seeking to make the Bible Companion
app in Farsi and again appeal for anyone with ability in SQLite databases to come forward and help us. There are many challenges in working in a right to left alphabet with Persian characters. So much to pray for and support materially as far as you can. And do consider the possibility of visiting this group. PRAYER POINTS
- For those recently baptized
- For the large ecclesia in Denizli in all their issues
- For those now coming to the Truth from a totally secular or non religious backgrounds
- Thanksgiving for such huge response to the Gospel from the Persian community
- That more of those using our app will come forward and make contact with us