Just four weeks ago Deniz, an OM worker in London, had approximately 50 people from the Turkish community attending a church he leads. On Sunday he had over 1,600 people tune into the live-stream of their service. He says, “this one of the biggest opportunities we have to reach unreached people with the Gospel.”

“I have never been busier with telephone calls, new social media, writing and recording online sessions,” Deniz shares. New situations are arising all the time and Deniz knows he needs God’s wisdom as he adapts and responds quickly.

Deniz is aware that some people in the Turkish community are afraid. “One man I know has tested positive for the virus,” he says, going on to share that this man’s family were panicked when they found out. Although this gentleman is now recovering well at home, Deniz is worried about the long-term effects this will have on the congregation. “My concern is that it could mean people don’t want to meet up again when it’s all over,” he explains, recognising that many are fearful of the consequences of gathering together, “this would be a huge struggle for the church.”

But Deniz sees this as an opportunity to be a voice of peace, hope and reassurance; now more than ever, with so many of the Turkish community listening to the services his church is streaming online. Many in the Turkish community where Deniz serves have unexpected time on their hands. “Over 80% of the church are barbers,” he says, “Most have hung up their clippers for the next few months.” Although it means a lack of income, Deniz notices that many are remaining positive and embracing this opportunity to rest, spend time with their families and engage with God.

“I cannot express the hunger people have for God’s Word at the moment”, Deniz says with great joy, referring to the Bible studies he is hosting over video call, “we have new people joining every day.” Deniz is confident that God is at work, taking a challenging situation and shaping it for His glory.

Please pray for God’s provision for this community and for Deniz as he seeks new ways to engage with his church online. Pray for non-believers who are watching and listening to the Sunday services and engaging with the virtual Bible studies, that they would respond to what they hear and that many would come to know the truth of the Gospel.

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