Traveling Along the Trigris River

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries, is currently Turkey. He is traveling with Kurt Uhen, a member of the Global Ministries Leadership Team who is from Emmanuel UB in Fort Wayne, Ind.

We’re on the road headed for Mardin. Our route follows the path of the Tigris river headed south and is flanked by cotton fields, flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle. Stork nest on telephone poles and the roofs of homes.

The headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are located in Turkey. It is here that the Garden of Eden is believed to have been located. We spoke with Turks who have traveled that region extensively, but none have encountered any angels with flaming swords.

We’ve had some great conversations with the very few pastors and church planters in the area. All are eager to make disciples and plant more churches. We’ve also discussed some “business as mission” opportunities that would help this take place.

Mardin overlooks the northern plains of Syria and has a mix of Kurds, Turks, Assyrians, Syriacs, Arabs, and a few Armenians. Tonight we’ll stay at a 5th century Assyrian Orthodox monastery. Originally a sun temple, it became a Christian church when believers from Antioch moved north and the region was won to Christ.

Thanks for your prayers. God is at work in Turkey. We’re praying earnestly for discernment as we consider whether the United Brethren have a part to play.

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