Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:35-38 NIV
Korean Culture Center
We started out today by visiting the Korean Culture Center that Hana and her husband Toprak ran. It is located next to a university so they can easily engage the students there. The center occupies a good-sized apartment. The rooms are decorated with paintings, books, photography of different time periods of Korea, traditional Korean clothing, drums, and even posters of k-pop stars. Toprak also teaches traditional medicine here.
We participated in their prayer meeting. Toprak told us that more workers are needed there. They welcome short term (e.g., 3 months) workers that can teach any aspect of Korean culture. The workers will need to raise their own support.
After a delicious lunch prepared by Culture Center staff, Hana and her husband took us to tour Ephesus.
We took the scenic route overlook the beautiful coastlines and the sparkling Aegean Sea. We even got to stroll on the beach and waded in the water.
We arrived at Ephesus late in the afternoon, when the sun is not so blazing hot and the breeze from the sea started to blow.
Ephesus was first founded in 2000 BC. It was one of the most important cities because of the harbor, location on the trade routes, and abundance of agricultural crops from the surrounding areas. In the first century BC, Ephesus was the second largest city in the world with population of 250,000.
Apostle Paul stayed at Ephesus for 2-3 years. The city was the center for spreading of Christianity throughout the Asia Minor. Along with Apostle Paul, there were also Luke and Timothy, Jesus’ mother Mary, and Apostle John, who stayed or settled at Ephesus.
We had a great time exploring the archeological remains of this ancient city.
While we were in front of the Celsus Library, Hana called us over, and showed us the breaking news on social media:
“Andrew Brunson was released from prison to house arrest”
We finished our day at Ephesus with an authentic Korean jajangmyeon at the Korean-Chinese restaurant in the town of Sulcek. We bid goodbye to Hana and Toprak and returned to our hotel.
Faith and the Holy Spirit
Kent was waiting for us when we entered the hotel lobby. We talked about today’s event related to Andrew. Then he shared with us how he was inspired by Reinhard Bonnke’s autobiography, Living a Life of Fire. He shared his vision for a ministry by faith and by the Holy Spirit. We were all encouraged and inspired by talking with him!
What a day! We came to Turkey thinking we can encourage the missionaries here. But when we saw their faithfulness, obedience, and perseverance in the mission field, we are the ones that are encouraged and inspired!
The harvest are plenty and the workers are few. We pray that our church will raise up new generation of missionaries to harvest for the Kingdom!