In Global Stories

We hope you are all doing well and taking advantage of the summer weather. As much as we love that there are so many more activities during the summer months, we are already longing for cooler days. What are some of your favorite summer activities? 

Every month as I take time to write out some of our wars and wins to share with you, it challenges me to reflect…

I have started a bible study with a local friend of mine!

And I will be starting another bible study soon with a different local friend. It’s so encouraging to be in the word of God with others. I’ve realized, that as Christians we are not reading the Bible as much as we should be—so this has been a great encouragement for my local friends and me. I’ve often found that when I (or someone I know) is struggling the Bible is a great place to turn. Reading the scriptures helps make you turn from sin and turn to Jesus. How wonderful is it that we have the scriptures and can freely read them? 

Please pray as my friends and I start these different Bible studies. Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom as I am leading these studies. Pray that the Lord would reveal to us the different areas we need to change and grow. Pray for a willingness to be more like Jesus. 

This month our church had baptisms. Our dear friends were baptized—the guy who Roni has been meeting with and the girl who this man just led to the Lord! Its been so neat to be a part of their journey and watch how they have been welcomed into our community. He is now on our church’s evangelism team and she is helping with kids ministry. It was so beautiful to be able to attend their baptism and celebrate with them afterward. 

I have witnessed many new believers and friends be baptized—they are some of my favorite memories here!

Please continue to pray for these friends that they would continue to grow in the Lord and all that He has for them.  

I also helped out with the ladies and children Afghan program that runs once a month.

It was so fun to spend some time with these kids and you could tell they had so much fun too! We coloured, played with playdough, had snacks, and played games like Hide & Seek. I am reminded of how important it is to have the opportunity to love these kids and show them kindness.

This month we had 16 kids and 20 women who came. Since this center is close to where the Afghani families live—we have such a great turnout. As we spend time with the kids it gives the moms the ability to have uninterrupted time with each other. The ladies who run this ministry are starting to see the women grow in caring for their community as they get to know one another.  

Please continue to pray for this ministry. Pray for the women and children. Pray that the Lord would bring healing to each of their hearts. 

Last month was one of the biggest Turkish holidays called “Kurban Bayrami.” This holiday is in remembrance of the story of Abraham and his son and God providing the sacrifice for him. During this time Muslims celebrate by sacrificing sheep and sharing the meat with neighbors and the poor. The belief is the more you give, the more points you earn to enter heaven.

In our city it is not as common to see sheep being slaughtered; however, this year Roni and I traveled to the East to visit his hometown. One morning while standing in the garden, an elderly man came to the gate with a bag in his hands. The bag contained meat that had been sacrificed, and he came to offer it to the family. Roni’s father had the opportunity to share that Jesus Himself was our sacrifice. His father is greatly respected in the community, and therefore, the man willingly listened to everything he had to say.

For the last several months we have been watching a couple very close to us go through a divorce. Sadly after only ten months of marriage, our friend’s wife decided to leave him. Unfortunately, there are hardly any counsellors. In fact, I do not even know of any local marriage counsellors. So when people are considering marriage there is little to no help to prepare them for this new life transition.

In North America, many churches would be prepared to help couples who are struggling in their marriage, but that is not the case here. These last difficult months of watching our friends’ marriage fall apart has stirred a hunger in Roni and me to encourage those around us who are married or considering it. Although we have only been married for one and a half years we see such a need!

Please pray for Roni and me as we continue to disciple couples around us. 

Roni and I are excited about a new role we have taken on in our team—we will be helping new teammates settle as they make this country their home. We are thrilled to see more people who are willing to leave their own country and all the comforts to start a new season of life in a foreign land. 

Please pray for those who have already made the commitment to come as well as for those who are considering it. We would also appreciate prayer as we have never been in a role like this before. 

Another exciting opportunity that is in the planning process is a coffee shop that our church is looking at starting. I had a meeting last week with a man who is helping start this— sharing my interest in being a part of this new ministry in some way. I am looking forward to seeing how this will come to life. 

Please pray as they gather people who are interested in being a part of this ministry. There are so many steps in opening a cafe; pray for wisdom for those who will run it. 

Personal Update:

My closest friend here is also married to a local man. They have been waiting for over a year to hear if his visa application was accepted or not. The first part of the process was accepted and they are waiting for interviews. Once the interviews are over and everything is accepted they will begin a new season of life back in her home country for an extended time. I am beyond happy for them as they finish up this long and tiring visa process.

At the same time, I am going to miss this friend of mine so much. We have been through a lot together and she has been there for me in some of my hardest moments. I can remember when I first moved overseas. I had to say goodbye to my family, my friends, and my country. What I did not realize then was this would become a constant challenge—hard goodbyes have become a regular part of my life.

I have also had a couple more family members pass away. I would really appreciate prayer during this season as I am so far away from my family right now and I am not able to attend these funerals. I find sometimes it can be challenging to process what is going on back in Canada whether it is exciting or sad news since I feel so far removed. I find myself constantly reminded of the cost when I said yes to this life adventure of living overseas. 

Please keep me in prayer as I have more difficult goodbyes to make. 

As always we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to write us back. Let us know how we can pray for you. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. We love that we have people all over the world who partner with us and the work that the Lord does here. Thank you again! 

Much Love, 

Sue & Roni