A seminar with the theme "Cross-Cultural Mission Study" was held to mark the 120th birthday of a female British-born missionary named Gladys Aylward, with a senior cross-cultural evangelist talking about her preaching experience in Turkey.
On August 11, 25, and September 25, the seminar was hosted by the Chinese Servant Leadership Center, an overseas Chinese non-profit organization in Canada.
Called "Small Women", Gladys May Aylward came to Yangcheng County in China’s northern Shanxi Province in 1930 to preach the gospel and carry out charitable activities. Becoming a national of the Republic of China in 1936, she led more than 100 orphans in transferring to safe places during the War of Resistance against the Japanese Aggression. She died in Taiwan in 1970, with her missionary experience in China being made into the film "The Inn of the Six Happiness", which is widely known in the West.
During the seminar, a missionary named Isabelle introduced the situation of Turkey, where the Gospel once flourished, but it is an Islamic country now. She prayed to God to serve there as she was shocked when hearing that the thriving Christianity from the past had almost disappeared due to religious policies and the expansion of Islam. In recent years, she has seen the revival of Christianity in the local area. "When I went there, there were only a few hundred believers, but now there are four or five thousand," she added.
She also stated that with a rich history and culture, Turkey is the country in which located the Antioch Church and the ancient city Haran where Abraham had lived for a long time. Originally a nomadic people, Turks are particularly fond of picnics and cooking food in traditional ways in some families. Having a much lower living standard than rich people, many poor people often only eat cheap food.
Sharing her personal experience of service in Turkey, she said she first attended an intensive foreign language course after arriving in Turkey. Conducting daily communication with Turks after three to four months, she mainly focused on building good friendships with the locals.
Arriving in Turkey, lsabelle found that Chinese believers there didn’t have their own Chinese-language fellowship which they hoped to establish. Receiving such a request, together with three other believers, she formed a Chinese ministry, also involved in a refugee ministry.
Receiving abundant supplies from God during her service in Turkey, she did not feel homesick at all, though facing some cultural shocks. She was blessed beyond her expectations, she concluded.
- Translated by Abigail Wu