Family and friends of pastor Andrew Brunson, the American pastor imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016, request renewed prayer ahead of his court appearance on 16 April 2018.
Andrew’s wife, Norine, thanks the many people praying and writes:
“I believe that this is a huge spiritual battle over this country (Turkey) and what God wants to do here. Andrew is at the tip of it, but it is much bigger than us. So that is very intimidating to me and I have really struggled with fear. I am trying to keep coming back to the encouragement of a huge cloud of witnesses praying and fasting.
“I am humbled and touched by the outpouring of love from the body of Christ. Who are we that God put us on so many people’s hearts (when so many are in prison and possibly no one even knows)? I have some hope for next week, but am afraid of getting my hopes up too much – hope deferred makes the heart sick. I so miss Andrew. I so want this to be over for my kids’ sake. We want to be together again.”
Encouragingly, Senator Tillis of Andrew’s home state of North Carolina and Ambassador Brownback (US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom) are travelling to Turkey and have applied to the Turkish Justice Ministry to attend the court hearing.
Andrew and his wife Norine were originally arrested on 7 October 2016 and held in an immigration holding facility pending deportation. Norine was subsequently released, but Andrew was detained without bail due to allegations linking him to both the “terrorist group” connected to Fetullah Gulen, held responsible for the 2016 coup attempt against the Turkish government, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The charges rely heavily on the testimony of unreliable witnesses.
Please pray that:
a. the Lord will strengthen Andrew, and that he and his family will know God’s peace and presence
b. Andrew will be given the right words to say in court and that Jesus Christ will be glorified
c. the Lord will give Andrew’s Turkish lawyer wisdom in the defence of his client
d. the Turkish court will uphold justice and reject the allegations of Andrew’s involvement in outlawed terrorist or political groups
e. Andrew will be released soon and that those responsible for his imprisonment will repent of their actions