Friday, June 14, 2013
Yavuz Sakbas (25 June 1940 - 07 June 2013)
"Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." (James 1:18)
"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (...) But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."(1 Corinthians 15:20 , 23)
We are very sorry to receive news of Yavuz agabey's passing.
Our hope is the surest of all hopes anchored in the reality of the resurrection and the reality of our living Lord Jesus Christ who walks with us day by day.
From my limited perspective over the years i was privileged to know him especially during some of my most precious years in Turkey.
Yavuz agabey's life was a significant example to me and a significant role model in an era where Turkish Christian role models were very rare indeed.
In our generation, the Lord Jesus started a new work calling us Turks to Himself. Now there are a few thousand Turkish Christians.
Back in history somewhere in Canada Yavuz agabey heard and answered the call of the Lord Jesus to be a "member of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19).
Yavuz agabey became one of the Lord Jesus' "first fruits" among Turks. He was in many ways a pioneer. As it is the case with all pioneers, life is not easy. His life was a struggle in many ways, perhaps chiefly a health struggle; but also a struggle in how to be a Christian among his Turkish Muslim natural family, a struggle in how to be a Christian citizen in a Turkish country and society and so on ... .
When i was 17 years old, my high school yearbook had this quote from Yunus Emre under my picture :
"Up up to the Caspian Sea and down to Damascus i have wondered around yet never found a wanderer like me".
Well, it turned out 9 years later, i did find a fellow "wanderer" : my brother Yavuz.
He wandered from Canada to Turkey and then to Sweden.
But now he wanders no more ... he is home .... he is with our beloved Saviour and Lord Jesus.