We were getting more and more comfortable in our new environment. It felt good to belong to a vibrant faith community. We were making new friends weekly. We became very good friends with one of the South African families. They were from colored background and the friendship was something strange for some American friends in the fellowship. They new that we were from the Dutch Reformed Church which was the “Apartheid” church. How is it then possible to be friends with a colored family? We just laughed at the comments because we found friends that we new were friends for life. Our children were within the same age range and we just got along well. They lived in the same neighborhood where the church building were. We would spend many Sundays with them before we returned to our neighborhood late afternoon.
Dr. Arseven and his partners were getting frustrated with the slow progress we were making with the feasibility study. They felt that the feasibility study had already enough information to validate the registration of a legal entity. The Carewell directors were hesitant. It was therefor important that the issue must be addressed. This was the main point of discussion when a Carewell Director came to visit us and to meet with Dr. Arseven in the beginning of May 1999. Unfortunately the meeting between the Carewell Director and the Turkish partners did not settle all the differences and I was again left in the middle!
At that meeting it was decided that we could search for a better apartment for the same rent. We were paying US$500 per month and we learned from friends at church that there were larger apartments available for that price in new neighborhoods towards the edge of the city. This appealed to us because we were growing tired of the inner city noise and we were longing to see a horizon. Our rental contract were expiring at the end of May and we immediately started to search for a new apartment.
We were also starting to learn Turkish. We followed references from other foreigners and we started with a Turkish language helper. She and her husband was new believers in one of the Turkish fellowships in Ankara. This was our first formal contact with Turkish believers on a regular basis. We were very excited about this development. It was always our desire to serve the Turkish church and this was an important step to acquire the necessary language competency and knowledge about the culture.
By the end of May 1999 we were ready to move to a new home. It was a big apartment with 7 rooms and a large roof patio with a view to the horizon! It was just perfect!
The first night in our new apartment, we discovered that we had missed an important detail. Fixed to a lamp post behind a tree, at the height of our living room, were a small load speaker. This was wired to the local mosque and we were very aware of the call to prayer that evening. This happened five times a day and we became accustomed to it and hardly noticed it after a while.