"An Exciting Story from Turkey,"

A Testimonial Account by Gloria Patterson

From THE MOORING LINES Newsletter, September 2006

Preface by Editor, Ron Ginther: My mother, Mrs. Pearl Ginther, had been a member of the Auxiliary of the Seamen's Mission in the Port of Tacoma for many years, and she still attended at age 97. She always pays close attention to the mission magazine, and she showed me this article about the Turkish servant who saw Jesus on Mt. Olympus. That rang a bell! I had been on Mt. Olympus back in the Air Force, stationed in Turkey. A base excursion bus, for a dollar or two, took a group of us to the mountain and up to the skiing lodge in the snowy depths of winter. The snow was deep and fluffy, sparkling with many colors. I had my movie camera and got wet to the skin out taking pictures of the spectacular, cinemascopic beauty. It was freezing cold when the heat went out on the bus as we traveled the long hours home back to the base. But I wouldn't forget Mt. Olympus, this high mountain in the western part of Turkey (it is over 8,000 feet, high for that area).

How meaningful now it was to read this wonderful account after my leaving Turkey in 1968 to be discharged and enter civilian life. My mother and my sister have been there since, 30 some years after I was there, with memories of Turkey being their best of the tour to the Middle East--because of the great beauty of this country and its wonderful people. Though almost all Muslims, the people are warm-hearted, extremely hospitable, and very polite. They go out of their way to make you feel at home when a visitor, it seems, and my mother loved it there, taking many pictures of the people and the incredible gardens of the sultans in Istanbul's Topkapi and around St. Sophia Church Museum (it has since been "converted" back to a mosque, the museum status retracted by the Islamicist strong man ruler, Erdogan). It is so good, after praying some times for the salvation of souls in Turkey, to hear that God is indeed working there.

To think many years after I trod on that mountain this university student (who was about my age when I up the mountain and climbed all over taking pictures of it) came to the same spot, probably the same lodge, and Jesus appeared to him! Then his mother, becoming a believer like him in Jesus, has led person after person to faith in Jesus. His legacy continues, you see. His life was not in vain--all because of Jesus. I must take the liberty to share this in turn to students of the Emmaus Walk, for I know you all will be greatly blessed.--Ed.

Gloria Patterson for THE MOORING LINES, Newsletter of the Tacoma Seafarer's Mission, Port of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, 2006: "Two and a half years ago, a Turkish university student was home on winter break. He loved to climb mountains and he frequently climbed Mt. Olympus in Turkey (Turkish name is Uludag), near Antalya. He had been seeking to find out about Jesus and when he was on top of the mountain, Jesus appeared to him and said that He was God.

This university student shared the experience with his Muslim mother. She was puzzled, but not angry. Two days later, he went back to the university and soon was hit by a train and was killed. The details of the accident are not known, because he was alone. After this tragedy, the mother wanted to find out about Jesus; but where?

There are about 120 Believers in the city of around a million people (circa 2005). Her other son said he thought he knew where there was a church and so "let's go and try to find it."

Ramazan, the pastor, was there. He comes to the church every day with one day, Saturday, off. So he was there. He spent two hours with the mother and shared Jesus with her. He also gave her a Bible. A short time later, she came back and wanted to become a Believer; so Ramazan led her to the Lord. Her husband did not become a believer for 6 months, but came with her to church.

After that time, the mother has shared the Gospel with many, many people and around six people have come to know Jesus in this short 2 1/2 years.

Because I have experienced death with a loved one, we have become good friends. Even though I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a son, I do understand the loss of a loved one. Yesterday, they asked me if I wanted to go with them to the cemetery. I said, yes. What an experience I had.

We first went to Larry's grave, and they cleaned the marble and garden part and we stayed there for a few minutes. Then we went to their son's grave. The first thing I noticed was that their son's birth date was written on the stone but no death date. I asked why?

They said that was because according to John 11:25, 26, which is on Larry's grave, even though you die you live and he was living; he was just living in a different location with Jesus.

Wow, what a testimony. She said she has had many opportunities to share with people at the cemetery because they all ask why no death date.

Then she started to pray. She thanked God for taking her son home, even though she missed him so much, but it was worth it to find Him.

I was really blessed by the maturity of this wonderful mother. I am not sure I could do the same. Later she started reading the Bible out loud and then we sang some hymns. What a wonderful experience.

With each believer there is a story; but, this one I was privileged to be able to experience some of the sorrows and joys of this story. I thought you might like to read about it.

Just one side note. Often when a Muslim has a bad experience like a death of a loved one, if the loved one becomes a believer, then [they believe] God is punishing them for leaving Islam. So this story is extremely unusual."

From the Editor, Ron Ginther: The Gospel is very simple--it is man's sin that separates God and man, but God sent a Savior who loves the sinner and died for him, repairing the breach by paying the penalty for sin and becoming the Substitute taking all punishment for sinful man, and so a man or woman or child who believes in Jesus and asks for His salvation is forgiven and reunited with His Lord and God!

Whoever you are reading this account, whatever religion, if you have not done this yet, do it now, and you will rejoice with the young university student from Turkey in heaven, along with his dear mother! But be sure to tell others, your family first, and they will enjoy heaven and the fellowship there with Jesus too!

Just pray here what you read, if you are not able to think what to pray: Jesus, be my Savior and Lord. I believe you are God's Son. Please forgive my sins. I believe You were sent to take away all my sins, and pay the full penalty on the Cross by dying for me, so that I can be your child and be restored to fellowship with You and the Father in heaven. I also believe you rose from the dead, Jesus, and as You did, so I too will rise from the dead to be with You forever! Thank you for eternal life, and please lead me in my new walk with you from this point on. Give me courage and words to be a faithful follower of You and also a witness of You and your love the rest of my life on earth. Amen


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