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The heat and burden of the day

River Euphrates in Turkey

River Euphrates

During our eleven-day visit to south-east Turkey in August we covered 3,000 km by car in temperatures of 40-45 C. We were able to make contact with a third of the total of 64 members nationwide.

This little flock is scattered over a wide area. We met together with small groups for breaking bread and fellowship and held Bible studies with the brothers and sisters and the contacts to whom they have been preaching the gospel.

One thing that struck us was that, wherever we went, there were always one or more contacts who had been invited to meet us in the homes of members. It is clear that the Turkish Christadelphians are keen to pass on the Word of Life to their friends.

The heat was exhausting and it made us appreciate the difficulties that would have been experienced by the Apostle Paul, who covered this vast area without modern transport or air conditioning.

Arriving at Diyarbakir airport we were met by Brother Ramazan, who was to be our translator for the trip. We saw Ramazan's family and broke bread at his house. They plant and irrigate cotton, keep chickens, grow their own vegetables, and bake their bread in an outside stone oven. Unlike so many parts of the world, this area is blessed with an abundance of water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and each district seems to specialise in growing a different fruit or vegetable.

Leaving Diyarbakir, the watermelon growing area, we crossed over the Tigris passing orchards of apricots, then pistachio trees and fruit stalls at the roadsides as we made our way to Antakya-Hatay - Biblical Antioch.

Munching fresh pistachio nuts, we passed over the Euphrates to Antakya, the city where the largest number of brothers and sisters in this south-eastern corner of Turkey live and work. We saw them in their homes and found them keen to continue preaching and to have a Christadelphian meeting place in the city.

David Willey and Elizabeth Willis
from The Bible Missionary, no. 178, October 2005

Information about Turkey