Ismail Serinken, pastor of Church of Messiah in Ankara, Turkey, shares his story from continents away. It is inspiring how the Lord has spread IPHC’s reach across the world!
The Lord was not always a part of Ismail’s life. Though raised a Muslim, from an early age, he hungered for the “things of God.” In high school, he walked away from Islam to search for the Lord and for truth. It was while he was in university that the Lord found Ismail, and he was overwhelmed with joy. Even though he did not know exactly what he was doing, Ismail began spreading the Gospel and ministering to other Muslims.
“Once I was blind and deceived like many others in the Middle East. The Lord has found me with His saving grace. I experienced His amazing grace, and I know so many people who are searching for the exact same thing: the truth and the salvation that comes through Christ,” said Ismail.
As a pastor, Ismail is blessed by how IPHC and his church are reaching Muslims in Turkey. Over the years they have baptized many, especially young people. Through God’s grace, they continue to touch lives through television ministry, social media, and other tools. He is grateful that God is reaching people, touching lives, and building his church in the darkest of places. As 1 John 1:5 says, “God is the light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Ismail shared how revolutionary this idea is for Muslims revealing that, in Islam, all good and evil come from Allah which makes one fear him constantly, so he can never be trusted. The Lord God, however, is pure good and there is no evil in Him, and this is a solid foundation of Ismail’s faith.
Ismail’s family are a large part of his ministry as well. He and his wife, Angela, planted the church 20 years ago, and their three children serve with them. Roy, their oldest son who was recently married, does all the TV productions, social media, websites, and is a member of the worship team. Rafael, their 19-year-old son, is a part of the worship team and helps his older brother edit social media programs, and their daughter, Siyona, has sung in their church since she was 3 years old. It is inspiring to see them live out Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”