It is hard to summarize all that God has done here in Izmir and in our lives in the past months. This newsletter will simply serve as a brief overview to hopefully stir up your hearts with God’s vision for this amazing place.
We moved here last winter, along with Pastor Mat and Morgan, and spent the following 4 months getting settled into our apartment, getting acquainted with our neighbors, applying for residency permits, continuing to learn the language, as well as ministering to our Turkish friends and a handful of Turkish believers with Bible studies and one-on-one times. We returned to America with the intention of only staying for the summer, but God had other plans.
Time to start
We were delayed in returning for several reasons (one of them being the “Visa Ban” between the USA and Turkey last fall). So, we finally returned to our home in Izmir this past January with so much joy and anticipation! Since then God has done amazing things and, much to our surprise, we felt it was already time to start holding regular Sunday services in our home.
We had been intentionally slow to jump to action, wanting God to guide our every move and decision. Since starting our humble Sunday gatherings, we have been so blessed with Turkish believers joining us to worship God and gather around His Word. Our goal is to be prepared to start renting a church space by September 2018.
Vision for a Large Team
In addition, another answer to prayer arrived this month – more team members! Charles and Brittany, two talented single people from Baltimore, are amazing blessings to us already. Our prayer and vision has always been to have a large team full of all types/ages in order to reach the broadest group of Turks – this is how our spiritual role model, Pastor Matti S., taught us. Please pray with us that more men and women; for families, couples and singles, young and old would be called to join us here!
We will be hosting our second annual Arvalya Retreat this May titled “From Smyrna to Ephesus” for all our Greater Grace Turkey churches, as well as visitors from Hungary, Finland, and perhaps other countries. It will be held at a Christian campground an hour outside of Izmir and just one hill away from the beautiful ancient ruins of Ephesus. The schedule will include meetings, music, prayer time, baptisms, and plenty of joy! We will have special guest speakers like Pastor Brian L. as well as hearing from Pastor Roger R. of GG Istanbul. It will be a full and joyful time! God is doing amazing things in our midst and our prayer is that this time would glorify God and leave us feeling overwhelmed with the Reckless Love of God.
Please consider supporting our new pioneering work here in Izmir.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
– Roger & Liz Robbins