Saving Students Through Bold Faith: Part 2
By Emma Reeves
In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
09/10/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Behrem and Ayara, a Christian couple from Muslim backgrounds, live their faith boldly in central Turkey. Running a campus outreach ministry in the middle of a pandemic has presented different challenges, including new restrictions. The couple is determined to move forward with new ministry opportunities.
Earlier in the year, Behrem and Ayara hosted several cultural nights to welcome groups from across the world. Although Behrem’s heart condition kept him from attending, he is still filled with joy at the results.
“We did a culture night with [a New York] team. It was a really fun time and it was so crowded. We had 22 new people come for the first time to church and hear the gospel,” explained Behrem. Right after that… 50 new students in all came to these and heard the gospel. I really wanted to go to a cultural night in July, but the doctor told me to be careful because I could be at risk for potential infections in a large crowd like that.”
Beyond those 72 new attendees, Behrem and Ayara have seen dozens of young adults come to Christ during their ministry. The couples often focus on college students from Muslim backgrounds, as both Behrem and Ayara experienced the same trials when they became Christians. Part of their ministry works to help young adults navigate difficult family situations after coming to Christ.
Behrem told ICC the story of a 20-year-old university student who came from a strict Muslim family. His father was a retired Imam, so he never strayed from visiting the mosque or reading the Quran. However, as he grew older, he began to question Islam and become more interested in Christianity. This was when he met Behrem.
“I met him through a friend of mine, and I invited him to church. Because he loves to read, I gave him the book titled, ‘More Than A Carpenter.’ He read it immediately and said that he loved it,” said Behrem. “Later, he started reading the Bible, and we started meeting to talk about what he was reading.”
Surprisingly, he came to the church’s outreach event.
“The Lord has begun to make a change in his heart with every passing day. All of the prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus being the Messiah affected him very deeply, and about four weeks ago, he gave his life to the Lord at a meeting,” Behrem continued.
This college student is not the only incredible case that the couple has witnessed. Recently, Ayara saw a 37-year-old woman come to Christ. This woman was also raised as a Muslim and believed deeply into God. As a high school student, she was given the New Testament, but she never understood it. A few months ago, she met a student from Ayara’s church who gave her a new Bible.
“One night, she woke up and heard a voice that was warm and full of love, ‘go and cover your child.’ She immediately went to her child’s room. The covers were off her child, and her child was freezing. She covered him with the blanket. She was surprised and excited to hear this voice. She continued reading the Bible and praying,” said Ayara.
More time passed, and again the woman experienced a dream where “she saw an angelic figure holding out its arms to her and telling her to come. She thought deeply about this. Then the next night, she saw the same angelic figure, and there was an army of angels behind him. The army was so crowded that they went on as far as she could see. Right after the second dream, she placed her faith in Jesus.”
Behrem and Ayara’s ministry has touched dozens of lives throughout central Turkey, proclaiming the name of the Lord. Their sacrifices and hearts for Christ are a blessing to the community around them and a reminder that God can use anyone in any circumstance.