CGM: Cross Cultural Minis

September 12, 2022  |  Mark Burns

A man walks through a typical Turkish town surrounded by factories and the sprawling growth of Istanbul. The main road into the town is a small service road that passes between two large factory buildings. The buses and cars traveling in and out of the town have to wait for forklifts and factory vehicles to pass before continuing.

There are only a few old buildings in this town. The old buildings used to be summer homes where Istanbul residents would escape the busy life of the city. Now there are new apartments and new construction everywhere – Instead of being a town for slowing down and escaping the city, it is growing to accommodate the influx of workers who are needed at the nearby factories. Hills and narrow streets make it hard to keep your bearings but there is relief on the coast. 

The coast line of this little town has recently been renovated. A bike and pedestrian path stretches for miles. There are public beaches and parks filled with people. There is a real sense of rest and relaxation on the waterfront. 

A mom and son pass by riding electric scooters. 

A family with arms filled with picnic supplies looks for a shaded place on the grass. 

The government park staff drive by in a golf cart with a load of trash. 

The beauty and relaxed spirit of the waterfront is in direct contrast to the cramped necessity of the town and factories located just above. This town and waterfront give a glimpse into the spiritual atmosphere of most typical Turkish towns. There is economic growth and governmental order. People enjoy modern conveniences and have good lives. There are even places of natural beauty and enjoyment. However, there are no Christians around. 

God’s general grace is seen all around in this town, yet no one is praising the name of Jesus. There are churches in both directions about an hour away but it is unlikely that a Christian would walk these streets. My heart breaks that the people of this town do not know Jesus and that they don’t know anyone who knows Jesus. 

Please pray with me for this town and for the hundreds of Turkish towns like it that don’t have a Christian witness. May God send out workers for the harvest.