Turkey (Part Three).
[Risks No. 770 - 775] I’ve never experienced anything quite like No Longer Music. For over 30 years they've been traveling to the craziest of places proclaiming the love of Jesus - free of charge and always as musicianaries on mission. They're about as radical as anyone I've met. If you've never seen or heard of them before, they're somewhat of a rock-theatre meets dynamic-Gospel-presentation. On the night of this first show they set up their stage - which took nearly 2 hours just to put together. There may have been 12 people waiting to see them, a meager turnout compared to what they're used to. By the end, hundreds were there and even more had come but not stayed. The Gospel was powerfully preached and listeners were invited to learn more about Jesus. I began walking around the crowd and praying/talking with people. Five great conversations abut Jesus and five great prayer times asking the Holy Spirit to open hearts to Jesus. As powerful as a couple of my times were, none of these 5 were quite ready to give up their Muslim roots to embrace a friendship with Christ. They were, however, all very open to dialogue and prayer. Come to think of it, I can't recall a single time where we were rejected.
Max stood out to me at this show. I saw him across the way from where I was seated and sensed God was going to do a powerful work in his life. I ended up talking to others but felt encouraged when I noticed some of the other NLM team members hanging with Max. Later that night, one of the NLM crew, Josh, mentioned a great conversation he had with someone that night. I asked if it was the guy with the bushy ponytail. "Yeah, his name is Max, he speaks great English and is really open to learning more about Jesus." Josh mentioned the name of the club where Max was scheduled to play that night and I thought it sounded like the one right next to our hotel. Sure enough, it was. Six of us went in to find Max playing drums to a wild Turkish rock band. Three people were in the club aside from us. Three of our Aussie pals had begun dancing and much to our surprise we were all quickly asked to leave. Apparently dancing was not appreciated nor was the fact that we didn't buy any alcohol. I finally weaseled a way back in for 3 of us, and in-between breaks in Max's playing, we were able to share Jesus with him. He was super interested and open but stated clearly he was a Muslim. By the end, he had agreed to allow our local contact to follow-up with him and allowed us to pray that if Jesus was who we said He was, his heart would open to him. He couldn't deny or ignore the strong feeling that he felt compelled to the show and was normally not in that area. It was a late night - but so worth it!