Saturday, October 3, 2015

Martyrs of Malatya

A review of Martyrs of Malatya by James Wright:

Publisher's description:

"This is a thrilling and yet sobering true story written by a missionary to Turkey.
In the preface Todd Jamison (International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church) says:
On April 18, 2007, three men gave their lives for Jesus Christ. Two Turkish Christians and one German . . . began their day simply wanting to spend time with local men they thought genuinely wanted to study the Bible. Instead, five hostile young men met their kindness and hospitality with betrayal and treachery.
Very few followers of Christ in the rest of the world heard the story. Lost in the flood of news in our information age, it appeared to be just another senseless murder. But the deaths of Necati Aydin, Uğur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske, while perhaps ignored or quickly forgotten even among Christians around the world, continue to speak. They proclaim the truth that there are still those among us committed to witnessing to the gospel in difficult locations. They speak loudly of love for Christ and obedience to Him. They testify above the din about their commitment to share Jesus’ own experience of betrayal and sacrifice that purchased salvation for people from every tongue, tribe and nation."

I was already familiar with the story of these three martyrs, so I wasn't expecting an uplifting, easy to read book.  I did appreciate getting to know these three men better.  Interestingly, the author's name, James Wright, is a pseudonym, as he still works in Turkey as a missionary.

For most Christians in the west there really isn't much of a cost for professing faith in Christ.  This story reminds us that their is a cost, and that in parts of our world today, Christians are paying that cost, often with their lives.  I was challenged as I read this book to ask myself if I, like those three faithful servants, am ready to be faithful, even unto death.

What a privilege to get to know these men, to hear their story, and to see that despite what the news may tell us each day, God is working across the globe to call men to Himself, and He is using men and women who faithfully share the gospel with their neighbors.

This isn't always an easy read, but reading this book will challenge you and leave you much to think about.  Christian are you prepared to profess Christ, even if it costs your life?

Before I talk about what I found lacking with the book, please keep in mind that this book was originally written with a Turkish audience in mind and was written by a working missionary, not a professional author.
Which takes me to my next point.  I found the Mr. Wright's writing style at times a bit hard to follow and found it distracting from the story.  That being said, I understand he is a missionary, not an author, and his writing style doesn't detract from this fascinating story.

Thank you James Wright for telling the story of these three faithful martyrs of the Faith, may their story inspire all of us to be faithful even to death!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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