Our call to Turkey goes back a long way!
In the 1960’s Turkey was considered a ‘closed country” to missions, but God laid this nation on the heart of the then leaders of OM, Operation Mobilization, and in 1965 George interrupted his Bible College studies to go to Turkey for two months.
Two months turned into two years with intensive language acquisition on the streets and tea houses of Istanbul. In those days there were less than five known muslim background believers – and no church for them!
We met each other on the way to India with OM. George soon found himself longing to be back in the country he felt God was calling him, and Alison followed eighteen months later. We were married in Turkey and began to lead teams of young people from the USA and all over Europe to learn Turkish and spread the Good News in a culture hardened over centuries to knowing that God is a Father and sent His son to die for the world.
Love for Turkish ( and later Turkic peoples in Central Asia) began to burn in our hearts. It wasn’t easy – constant harassment from police and government, imprisonment and attempts to deport us from the country have continued to this day. But, Turkey has a secular constitution, which in theory, supports freedom for all religions, so we found ourselves setting precedents in court for the establishment of legal, above ground churches.
And during those years we had three children, all born on three different continents and having lived in the UK, USA, Turkey, Iran and Germany. The question they still dread being asked is, “And where do you come from?”!
Our philosophy can be expressed in three words: TURK TO TURK. Wherever possible we take Turks with us on pioneer church planting ventures. We also help Turks financially to continue works that have begun. From hard learned experience we see that Turks sharing their new faith in Jesus with other Turkic ethnic groups don’t have to scale the walls of prejudice we do.
TURK TO TURK and its LINKS with ANTIOCH NETWORK and GLOBAL NOMADS
We have been privileged to have known the founders of both Antioch Network and Global Nomads before the respective organisations were birthed.
In the case of AN we served together with George Miley and his future wife, Hanna in OM India, 1968-1971. Much later in 1995 we were invited to come under their covering in the USA. Since then AN has widened its scope considerably whilst holding the most basic of tenets in common with us, living by faith, and seeking to expand the Kingdom of God through church planting and other acts of reconciliation.
Global Nomads was born out of our original Silk Road Foundation’, a charity registered in the UK. It’s name was changed under Swiss law with goals of church planting across the entire Turkic Window. Global Nomads is also diversifying, yet holds in common with us the passion to see churches planted right across Central Asia.
We are enriched and encouraged by both these organizations.