Friday, January 18, 2013

"A tragedy avoided by Police in Turkey"

Given the events of yesterday in Izmit, first we want to thank you for your interest, support and prayers. And above all, we want to praise the Lord for his protection, because a major disaster has been prevented.
Yesterday Emre stayed almost five hours in the anti-terror police department in Izmit, being informed extensively about the details of the plan to murder him. I would also say that the police behaved excellently and that something is changing for best with them here in this country. In the past they repeatedly insisted that Emre should accept a police bodyguard 24 hours a day. But now they say there is no danger and he doesn't need protection. They have been investigating the subject for several months and have acted now because these days the team brought a person from Diyerbakir, apparently for attacking Emre.

Most people in Izmit are peaceful, without nasty plans
One "brother” and one “sister" of the church of Izmit, that attended for the last one and a half year, are implicated in the events. They became very close to Gulsen and Emre, and even had watched their children several times! Following the arrests of 14 people in various parts of Turkey and searching the homes of the detainees, abundant material has appeared: weekly church reports, photos of the brothers who came to preach, floor plans of the house and the church, Emre's personal documents, details on threats missives to Emre... The police in turn has recorded all telephone conversations of the plan.
It is no place here to dwell on the details. But the day before, a man threw several stones to the church and several expletives for several minutes. Yesterday we had a meeting of a week of evangelism that we have called "3rd week of meeting of cultures" where several volunteer brothers and sisters from various countries come together; people who have come for a short term trip to help in Izmit. We also had an activity yesterday where all political personalities were invited and I gave a seminar. Everything went very well, many people attended... When I left the church a group of 7 or 8 young people moved away down the street screaming in English "f. you." This shows the general reaction of a pressing sector of this community.

All the national press was calling yesterday so today we will issue a press release in which we reiterate our thanks to the police, our love for this country and our determination to continue serving Him according to the directives of the Gospel, with the firm intention to glorify God in these circumstances.

Emre and Gulsen are well sustained by Lord's peace. The brothers / sisters of the church are good as well. Now we know that those who left in the church are "clean". Of those who may come tomorrow only God knows. In reviewing the details of the police file there is material for a thriller, or for become a paranoiac, and suspicious even of your own shadow. We serve in a high-risk context, especially in "small" cities of a million inhabitants like Izmit. Especially if, contrary to the norm in these places, the church is growing and witnessing with courage... We realize that our struggle is spiritual so thanks in advance and again for all your support and prayers.

A tragedy has been avoided and we reiterate our thank to God, to the security forces and for the shield that your prayers give us.

May God bless you,
Carlos Madrigal

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