With remarkable vulnerability, Andrew Brunson shares the extraordinary story of his wrongful imprisonment in a Turkish prison for two years and the faith journey that occurred in that dark place.
Brunson describes the loneliness, anxiety, doubts, desperation and despair that characterized his first year, pushing him to deteriorating health, inability to sleep, brushes with insanity and thoughts of suicide. It is the story of a missionary serving in Turkey for 23 years sharing the Gospel of Jesus and pursuing God’s presence who suddenly found himself being pushed toward Islam and unable to sense the presence of God.
Brunson explains that his first year was a process of being broken, and his second year was a process of rebuilding. He shares how he made the transition by deciding to keep pursuing God even in God’s apparent absence. Through daily surrender to God’s mysterious plan and through perseverance, Brunson began to understand the nature of his ordeal, the nature of God’s love, the preparation he was undergoing. Brunson describes how, through it, he discovered a profound new love for Jesus.
Brunson observed that the valley of faith testing is “full of skeletons”–every test of faith we encounter is enough to grow our faith or to knock us out of friendship with God, depending on how we respond. He was determined not to be another “skeleton”.
Brunson also explains why he believes that he was “on assignment” in that prison–being trained to encourage others. He relates his persecution to the changing climate in the United States toward Christianity. Brunson offers advice on how, as followers of Jesus, we can prepare themselves for increasing hostility, shaming, canceling and marginalization so that we are ready to stand firmly in faith against the threat–always turning to God in trust rather than turning away in fear
The talk is just over 30 minutes followed by an extensive Q&A.
Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine have started a new ministry called WaveStarters. More information can be found at https://www.wavestarters.org. Below is a video about their journey and WaveStarters.