MARTYR MONDAY – Tilman Geske (1961-2007), Necati Aydin (1975-2007), and Ugur Uksel (1978-2007)

The day began like any other.  On his way out the door, 46-year-old German missionary and father of three Tilman Geske kissed his wife goodbye and departed for a morning Bible study.  In another part of Malatya, Turkey, 35-year-old Turkish native Necati Aydin, a pastor and father of two said his morning farewells. Ugur Uksel, a 32-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity like Aydin, was the third man joining the group for the Bible study at the church office, which doubled as a Christian publishing company.

The three men were going to worship and study together, along with some Islamic “seekers” who had expressed interest in the Christian faith.  It turned out that the “seekers” weren’t interested in Christianity at all.

(The following story is VERY disturbing.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.)

“What unfolded between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 18 could add another chapter to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.  As the three men joined together for Bible study, the young islamic men got guns, bread knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah.  They knew there would be a lot of blood.  They arrived in time for the Bible study, around 10 o’clock, the letter said.  Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible, the assault began.  The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilman’s hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they tortured our brothers for almost three hours.  Tilman was stabbed 156 times, Necati 99 times and Ugur’s stabs were too numerous to count.  They were disemboweled, and their intestines sliced up in front of their eyes.  They were emasculated and watched as those body parts were destroyed.  Fingers were chopped off, their noses and mouths and anuses were sliced open.  Possibly the worst part was watching as their brothers were likewise tortured.  Finally, their throats were sliced from ear to ear, heads practically decapitated.”

But the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.  Shortly after the massacre, the story hit the front pages of the largest newspapers in Turkey, and the widow of Geske was able to tell reporters she did not want revenge against the Muslims who killed her husband.  ”Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do” she said, agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23.34).  In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne [Geske] has changed lives.  One columnist wrote of her comment, “She did in one sentence what 1,000 missionaries in 1,000 years could never do.”

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Writing that the Muslim world may know the love of Christ, and that YOU might live and die – as these 3 men did – for something that counts.

Matt

Necati Aydin, Tilman Geske and Ugur Yuksel, (L to R)  

Necati Aydin, Tilman Geske and Ugur Yuksel, (L to R)