Hi! I’m Yaren. I’m meeting my best friend, Kayra (kih-rah), inside the Grand Bazaar. Imagine a gigantic mall with a maze of more than 60 covered streets lined with 3,000 shops. There are four main entrances and it’s important to remember which one you came in. Accidentally exit through the wrong gate and you’ll end up in a completely different area of the city. My family’s stall is on Copper Street, clustered near the other merchants selling copper items – cooking pots, serving dishes, pitchers, and a long-handled Turkish coffee pot called a cezve (jehz-veh).
Kayra, still in her blue school uniform, smiles at me and holds out a small bag of Turkish Delights, our favorite candy. I select a yellow cube covered in powered sugar and pop it into my mouth. As I bite into the chewy candy, the sour taste of lemon makes my jaw zing. Still licking white powder off our fingers, we head for my family’s shop. Kayra and I love straightening the shelves and overhearing my brothers lure potential buyers into our stall and barter with customers hoping to purchase the best shiny pot in the Grand Bazaar for the least amount of lira!
After my brothers close the shop, we all walk home where Kayra’s whole family joins us for a dinner. We feast on grilled lamb shish kebabs, roasted eggplant, and yogurt sauce. Afterwards, Mother brings out a platter of baklava and pours thick Turkish coffee, foaming and steaming hot. The adults drink Turkish coffee plain, but Kayra and I add sugar and spices that give ours a sweet, cinnamony flavor.
As Mother clears the table, Grandfather sets out twelve teacups, upside down. I run to retrieve a very important item for this game – a ring. We divide into two teams and begin the first round of this guessing game. It could be a long night.
Play a version of the Ring Game like Yaren’s family and friends. Place six cups (not clear) upside down on the table or floor. Divide into two teams, the Guessers and the Hiders. While the Guessers turn their backs, the Hiders place the ring under one of the six cups. Then the Guessers turn over the cup under which they think the ring is hidden. They must keep guessing until the ring is found. Every incorrect guess gives the Hiders one point. As soon as the ring is discovered, record the score and switch roles. The Guessers become the Hiders. The first team to earn 20 points wins.
- Antioch, the city where early followers of Jesus were first called Christians, is in Turkey. (Acts 11:26) Although many Turks were Christians long ago, today more than 95% of are Muslims. Pray that the gospel will spread throughout Turkey and that many Turks will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
- Turkish law forbids adults from sharing the gospel with anyone under age 18. Pray that God would soften the hearts of government leaders so that every Turkish child will have the opportunity to hear about Jesus.