by Jeff Jeremiah
EPC Stated Clerk
Your continued, fervent prayers for our brother in Christ, EPC Teaching Elder Andrew Brunson, are most appreciated and much needed. February has been very difficult for him.
On February 7 (the day marking his 16th month in captivity), Andrew was questioned by the prosecutor. Although Andrew’s lawyer was present, the interview did not go well. Providentially, Andrew had a consular visit afterward and was able to get the following note to his wife, Norine, which she posted on social media:
“Today was a hard day for Andrew. The prosecutor called him for more questioning/statement. There was a previously scheduled meeting with someone from the consulate right afterwards so he was able to write me a note: ‘I am pretty shattered … I am very discouraged. Please have prayer for me.‘”
“Andrew has been walking by pure faith in the dark, but oh, for the Lord to break through with a sense of His presence.
May the lies—and those telling the lies—be exposed in the name of Jesus.
May we have the Lord’s perspective on all things—on Him, ourselves, eternity, suffering …
Thanks for praying…”
Relations between Turkey and the United States have a direct impact on efforts to free Andrew. A number of factors have led to this relationship deteriorating since the beginning of the year. The most prominent and pressing component is the situation in northern Syria, where an enclave of Syrian Kurds live. There are no less than seven armed forces and militia groups in this area, so there is the possibility of hostilities between U.S. and Turkish troops. Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, is meeting in Ankara, Turkey, with the Turkish President and Foreign Minister February 15-16 in an effort to defuse this potential crisis with our NATO ally.
Please pray for a productive and God-honoring meeting between these national leaders.
To conclude this update, I hope you are aware of the song Andrew wrote in prison, “You Are Worthy.” A recording and sheet music are available on the Free Pastor Andrew page of the EPC website. As we continue to pray and do what we can to work for Andrew’s release, our prayer and plan—God willing—is to have Andrew lead us in singing “You are Worthy” at our General Assembly in June.
Thank you again for your continued prayers for Andrew and Norine.