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Study on Religious Freedom

Sunday, November 27, 2005
    U.S. President George Bush recently made a visit to China where he attended a worship service at a Protestant church in Beijing. Part of the President's agenda for the China visit was to address the shortcomings of the Chinese government on the subject of religous expression. In a statement given following the church service, the President remarked that "a society that welcomes all faiths and gives people a chance to express themselves through worship" is a healty society.

    On November 8, less than two weeks before the President made these statements in China, the State Department issued the International Religious Freedom Report. This report gives an overview of the official legal positions, societial attitudes, and problems and improvements of countries around the globe on the issue of religious freedom. Because we are followers of Jesus living in a land that is predominatly Muslim, several of our friends and famlily have asked us questions about this issue in Turkey. In our opinion, the specific report on Turkey is fair, accurate, and well worth your time to read.

    Thanksgiving 2005

    Thursday, November 24, 2005
      Obviously, Thanksgiving is not a holiday celebrated here in Turkey, but as Americans we enjoyed getting together today and sharing in our Thanksgiving traditions. We had all the fixins' - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and even some pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce that we had sent in from the states (thanks, Mom!). We aren't sure which came first, Turkey-the country, or turkey-the bird, but you can click here (read the second paragraph under "Quick and Fun Facts...") to learn one theory. We hope you all enjoyed this day of giving thanks, He has surely blessed each of us!

        For those of you who know me well, you won't be surprised that I was extremely excited to have pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving!

        Baby Shower

        Monday, November 21, 2005

          This weekend, we threw an "American" baby shower for our language teacher and his wife, as they are expecting a little boy in December. This was probably a first for them since baby showers are not very common in this culture (maybe we'll start the trend)! Everyone had a wonderful time. After spending a year in the classroom with Mustafa Bey (our teacher), we all feel like a small part of his family. The picture above is Mustafa Bey, his daughter, Busra and wife, Hatice. Please remember them over the next month as they prepare for this new arrival!

            There must be something in the water! Here is a picture of our language teacher's wife, and four of us who are all expecting in February and March. It has been such a blessing to have three other girls to talk, exercise, shop, empathize and EAT with!

            Our House

            Sunday, November 20, 2005
              This is a view from our salon window. If you look closely, you can see the minaret from the mosque closest to our apartment. Click here to listen to the call to prayer, which summons Muslims to pray 5 times each day.

                A shot of our salon/dining area with Jeff lounging on the couch.