SAT-7 viewers Sedat and Gülay Torun are among the comparatively tiny number of Christians in Turkey, a country of almost 80 million people. At a time of great hardship, they turned to Jesus – and since then, He has done miracles in their lives. Here they share their remarkable story and their love for SAT-7 TÜRK.
“I was so scared. I kept hearing a voice saying, ‘Don’t be afraid’. Then I saw him so clearly, dressed in white. He said, ‘I am He. Don’t be afraid.’”
With tears in her eyes, Gülay recounts the moment she encountered Jesus in a hospital room. Seven months pregnant and facing the possibility of lifelong disability, she was at rock bottom.
STARVING FOR LOVE
This moment was not the first time that Gülay and her husband, Sedat, had faced adversity. Brought up in Turkey’s majority faith, they found little meaning in what they had been taught. So, when they struggled financially and life became overwhelming, they couldn’t see a way out.
“We were completely lacking love from others,” says Sedat. “When we realised what was missing in our lives, we started searching.”
“OUR HEARTS WERE READY”
The couple wondered if Christianity might hold the meaning they were looking for. At first, it was difficult to find a church. But when they visited one congregation in their home city of Antalya, they received a loving welcome.
“We found what was missing,” Sedat remembers. “Our hearts were ready. We had been longing for so long.
The church continued to show them God’s love, supporting them when Gülay developed debilitating back problems. Any remaining doubts the couple had were eroded, and while at a church picnic, Gülay gave her heart to Christ.
LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
Soon afterwards, and while heavily pregnant, Gülay was hospitalised. Told she faced permanent paralysis and should undergo an operation, Gülay was terrified. She planned to discharge herself – even if she had to crawl out.
“I was just about to leave, but there were no lights on,” she says. “It was very dark as I tried to get out of bed. Suddenly, a bright light shone on me, and I heard someone say my name. I could clearly see a figure in the light.”
Gülay heard the Lord tell her not to be afraid, because He would heal her. “My heart felt so pure,” she says. “I was so scared, but at the same time I felt so peaceful.”
When Gülay woke up after the operation, she was able to walk down four flights of stairs. The doctor told her it was the most successful procedure he had ever carried out.
GOD IS FAITHFUL
This was only the beginning of God’s work in Sedat and Gülay’s lives. Although they have continued to face hardship, they have seen His hand at work many times, from unexpected practical provision to healing for family members.
When their two-week-old daughter fell ill with bronchitis, Gülay told God, “I can’t do this on my own.” That day, some friends from church arrived. After they prayed together, the baby made a full recovery.