As I noted in my previous post, Smyrna (a.k.a. “Izmir”) was the hometown of one of the three martyrs from Turkey, Necati Aydin. The Protestant Church of Smyrna sent out a widely circulated letter describing the martyrdom of the three Christians in Malatya. The church has recently sent out another letter correcting inaccuracies in the first letter and reporting that at least three people have come to faith as a result of the testimony of the three men. Here is the letter in its entirety (HT: Peter Head):
We are amazed at how quickly the Global Church communicated the message of our friends’ deaths. Thank you for your continued prayers for Semsa, Susanne and the Church in Turkey.
We need to make a couple corrections on the letter we sent out.
First, if you forward the letter again, due to sensitivity issues please take all the details of the torture off, replacing it with “They were brutally tortured for 3 hours” and ask your friends who you have forwarded the previous email to do the same. Also, later in the article where it says their throats were slit “from ear to ear, practically decapitated” we are not sure of the actual size of the cuts, so please delete those words from the letter as well. We won’t know actual details until autopsy reports are made public; news reports and articles we were basing our information on were possibly exaggerated.
Second, my faulty estimating mistake put the word “thousands” when in fact there were only about 800 people at NecatiÃ¢’s funeral.
Third, I made mistakes in names. Susanne Geske (not Susanne Tilman), and Tilmann not Tilman.
If you can make those changes, and pass on the information I’d appreciate it.
As a wonderful follow-up, we know for a fact that three people in the last week have committed their hearts to Christ in response to the sufferings our friends went through: John 12: 24-25 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds. The man who loves His life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
for The Protestant Church of Smyrna
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole â€“ four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months â€“ I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist  on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away â€“ but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my â€œpsychological prison.â€ I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. Heâ€™s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 â€“ 17].
Peace Be With You