The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry in the Netherlands that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. The fictional story is told from the point of view of a boy named Stef in the Netherlands who has Christian Turkish neighbors. (It has been translated, edited, and condensed for clarity.)
Turkish people make up one of the largest minority groups in the Netherlands. Most Turks are Muslims, and many believe that all Turks should be Muslims. Turkish Christians are often persecuted by Muslim relatives, teachers, bosses, and neighbors.
Yes! I have a job! I am allowed to earn pocket money doing chores for people in the neighborhood. Now I’m working on a neighbor’s woodworking project in our shed.
It is getting warm in the shed, so I open a window. Hey, there is visitor in our garden. They are speaking Turkish — I also speak a little bit of Turkish. I can hear from the voices that they are people from our neighborhood. Mom and Dad often drink tea with them and then talk about big-people things.
I try not to be an eavesdropper, but I can hear them anyway. It’s so bizarre. I hear the gentleman say he had to go to prison as a child in Turkey. And a person who tried to help him was badly beaten. Sadly, the person died of their injuries.
What is that all about! I wish I had not opened the window! I didn’t want to hear that story at all. I sit quietly on the floor and hardly dare to breathe. Let’s hope I don’t get discovered. I hear people praying. Now it won’t be long until they leave. As soon as everyone gets up to leave I sneak up to my room.
When my father takes me to bed at night and asks what we will pray for, I can no longer keep it to myself: “I was in the shed this afternoon… ”
“And you have heard everything,” my father adds. I nod and ask him if this happens to all Christians in Turkey.
“You couldn’t help it, but you really shouldn’t have heard this story. When people have been through something really bad, you can describe it with one difficult word – trauma. Shall we pray Stef, that God will take this trauma from our Turkish friends and that they will heal? And shall we pray for Christians in Turkey that they are close to Jesus and teach many people about His love?”
I nod, relieved.
To Talk About
*What did Stef and his father pray for their Turkish neighbors? Will you pray for Turkish Christians?
*Turkish people make up one of the largest minority groups in the Netherlands. In the story, Stef is not Turkish, but he has learned some of the Turkish language. How might knowing their language help Christians in reaching Turkish Muslims with the Good News of Jesus? (Note: Many Turks in the Netherlands speak Dutch as well as Turkish.)