Guest makes decision to accept Jesus while attending women's conference

Women of various nationalities living in Turkey can reach areas others cannot reach.

Middle East and North Africa Union Mission (MENA)

[Istanbul] A young woman made an important decision to believe in Jesus when she received a small memento at a women’s conference held in Turkey. She had already been visiting an Adventist Church for almost two years but was struggling whether or not to accept Jesus because her family is Muslim.

What caused her to make the decision? A heart-shaped card with a Bible verse printed on it. Every church group attending the West Asia Field Women’s Ministries (WAF WM) conference, August 31-September 3, 2017, brought a special gift for each participant. The prayerfully chosen verse on that particular heart-shaped card she received was, “And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:31).

A beautiful mix of women living in Turkey, many of whom are from different home countries, cultures, and backgrounds as they are ex-patriots from Russian-speaking countries, Africa, and other Middle East countries working in Turkey, gathered at a hotel in Istanbul for spiritual nourishment and to train for evangelism.

At the end of each day, women took the opportunity for visiting the “Prayer garden,” an area of five tables with different prayer activities. One popular station was the “Tears Tree.” On teardrop shapes of paper, women listed things that saddened them and hung the teardrop on the tree after praying about it.

Titles of seminars included “Friendship Evangelism,” “Faith of Our Neighbors,” God Knows My Name,” A Woman of Worth.” Each inspiring presentation taught the women that they are needed in evangelism for reaching areas that men cannot reach.

Women learned how God loves us; how to approach non-Christian sisters by respecting their cultures and befriending them; how to find joy in every situation; and how the devil is behind bad things that happen and therefore we should pray and trust in God.

One of the guests (a new believer) reports: “Since I left the city where I live to attend this conference in Istanbul, problems began to happen between my husband and me. This made me think I shouldn’t have come. But then I heard the sermon about how the devil is behind every bad thing. Now I understand the devil created this problem with my husband and me so that I wouldn’t enjoy the meeting which was causing me to decide never to participate in one again. I prayed to God and calmed down, and when I arrived home I walked into a peaceful and happy home.”

One of the speakers, Ute Alkan, director of Women’s Ministries for WAF, organized the conference. West Asia Field President Hyosu Jung welcomed the participants with an introductory speech on the first evening.

Guest speakers also included Heather-Dawn Small, director of WM at the General Conference, and Amal Botrous, WM liaison for Middle East and North Africa Union Mission (MENA). A short health message on breast cancer prevention was presented by Djamilato Djalo, recently graduated medical school student from Guinea-Bissau and living in Turkey.

The conference was a blessing for all the attendees. It was an opportunity to get to know each other and to be inspired and encouraged by one another’s testimonies.

Reported by a member of the Ankara Church, West Asia Field, Middle East and North Africa Union Mission

Published in Mosaic newsletter, Winter 2018