In 2014, the Turkish Baptist Union was established, which includes four congregations. Under the leadership of Pastor Ertan Cevik, we support a team of five pastors. The congregations are all heavily involved in working with refugees. Here is some insight about Adana in Southeastern Turkey.
In June, General Secretary of EBMI Christoph Haus was able to travel to Turkey and visit the churches. The reports from Adana, not far from the biblical city of Tarsus, were particularly impressive. The city with its 2.2 million inhabitants is a bustling metropolis of contrasts. Endless alleys of skyscrapers, green parks and impressive buildings can be seen. The mosque Sabancı-Merkez with its six lean minarets has for a long time been the largest in Turkey. Roman Emperor Hadrian built the antique bridge across the river Seyhan. It is still in use today. As the Apostle Paul in history, Reverend Sükrü is building bridges to the people by telling them about his faith.
Two congregations in Adana
Pastor Sükrü and his wife Petrina are working in this constantly growing church. In May, five people were baptized. Three of them come from the new group in the district of Yüregir. Brother Murat already founded a small daughter church there. Through good contacts in the neighbourhood, new people keep coming to the church services.
It is impressive to experience how this new house community in another district is already being advanced from the church in Adana. During Christoph's visit, a meeting was organized with Adana city officials to move forward with the purchase of a piece of land for the church. For a short time, the brothers and sisters can still meet in a commercial building. However, this building will soon have to be vacated due to planned renovations. Now the Adana congregation would like to build its own building and is already collecting initial funds for this purpose.
Leadership: Sükrü and Petrina
Sükrü, pastor in Adana, and Petrina report enthusiastically about their trip to the USA, to which they were invited by a friendly church: "We received training on what it means to be a godly leader. We are grateful for the teachings and the teachers; we talked about sensitive topics like "sin" in our daily Christian lives, we had separate groups of men and women, and many of us really felt like we took a step forward in doing ministry that is more in God's image and truly honours Him."
Petrina is originally from Romania. She lived and worked in France as a doctor for several years before meeting Sukrü. After marriage, she moved to Turkey and sought recognition for her medical studies. Due to this, she had to do different trainings. Siblings from the community are happy to help with the care of her two-year-old son, Arman.
EBMI-Mission Council 2023
After pandemic-related postponements, the EBM Mission Council (General Assembly) is scheduled to take place in Turkey in 2023. More than 100 guests and delegates from 30 different countries will then make their way to Adana. Christoph Haus was able to visit the premises in Adana with the Turkish pastoral team for this purpose and conduct important negotiations. Many in the EBM INTERNATIONAL family are already looking forward to this opportunity to see the places where Paul ministered at the beginning of the Christian church.