I was still working for World Relief as a project manager in the Derince area, outside Istanbul. World Relief was also adversely affected by the anti-Christian sentiment in Turkey at that time. There attempts to register as a NGO in Turkey were thwarted on every front and it became more and more apparent that they will have to withdraw from Turkey when the last projects ran their cause.
The parent cooperative school board found a new private school in the same geographical area where the building that was evacuated were. This school was looking to expand their international capacity and had the facilities to accommodate this expansion. After negotiations and prayerful consideration, a partnership agreement was entered into allowing the learners from our parent cooperative school to join this private school in August 2002 at the start of the new school year.
Magda had the great task of moving the books to the new premises and to set up the library, She was also asked to run a body awareness and safety program for the junior grades from the library. This was a steep learning curve for her but she enjoyed the interaction with children from different nationalities, after home schooling our children for 3 years.
World Relief withdrew from Turkey at the end of 2002 and I was approached by the chairman of the board of a ministry serving the Turkish Protestant Churches. The Turkish Protestant Church adopted the goal “the gospel for every home and a church for every province” in 1995 and SILAS ministries was formed in order to coordinate the relationship between Turkish Fellowships and Mission Organizations that started partnering efforts in planting new churches. Silas Ministries was established to be a means of information and education as new cooperative relationships between fellowships and worker agencies were formed.
I became the International Coordinator for SILAS Ministries and worked with two Turkish nationals attending to the day-to-day affairs of the ministry. This included encouragement visits to leaders and believers in remote areas of Turkey, conducting a Worker and Church survey to gather information about the status, number and focus of Turkish fellowships and Worker agencies in Turkey, a monthly Prayer Letter as primary communication tool for the needs of believers in Turkey, organizing consultations and conferences in Turkey, and presenting seminars in cooperation with Tyrannus Bible School.
I served almost a year as International Coordinator of SILAS Ministries. During this time 9 new fellowships and / or church planting efforts were started, and the survey was completed by 54 mission agencies and 70 fellowships in Turkey. I was able to prepare and present a Church Administration and Office Management course to the Turkish fellowships. I was also privileged to share in many life-changing stories and testimonies when my brother Orhan returned from quarterly visits to remote leaders and believers.