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#41 Stranded in Istanbul

My heart sunk as I pulled my hand out of my backpack empty, I couldn’t find my wallet!

We had just flown in from Odessa less than an hour ago and already things were going bad.

In this episode of Now Is the Time I share with you the how I got stranded in Istanbul and the amazing way it all turned out. I also share with you 5 important lessons on the value of mission partnerships.

Hagia Sophia Istanbul

It all started when we exited passport control. Ahead of us the large sliding doors slid open to reveal the usual crowd of drivers and tourist agencies, all holding signs scribbled in various languages with last names on them or the name of their organization.

I was traveling with Misha, a Ukrainian pastor friend from central Ukraine. This was his first time on a plane and first time in a country were Russian wasn’t widely spoken.

Our eyes scrambled from one sign to the next searching for our names, our organization, or at least a familiar face.


“Hmm, maybe we missed it.” I told Misha, “Let me walk by the line of sign-holding drivers again and see if I can spot our driver.”

This time I made sure not to miss a single sign! I even ran my eyes across the signs with Chinese characters and the others signs with curls, swirls and dots that I thought were probably Arabic.


“No problem,” I said, “I’ll just see if I can get a wi-fi signal, then I can call our contact.”

There was no wi-fi and it was about that time I remembered that I had failed to write the contact info for our hotel anywhere!

We ventured out onto the street just to see if we could find anyone. All we found was a swarm of yellow taxi cabs broken up only by the occasional shuttle van.

It was already nearly midnight and at that point I realized our situation was getting desperate. If we were going to find a bed for the night we were going to need some money.

I swung my backpack off of my shoulder, unzipped the main compartment and shoved my hand in. My fingers pushed through the contents in a desperate search for my wallet.

It wasn’t there!

We were stranded in the middle of the night in Istanbul!

What happened next taught me one of the greatest lessons on the value of partnership in missions. If you want to know what happened you’ll just have to listen to the podcast!

Lessons on Partnership

Partnerships in missions play a vital role. Here are a few reasons why they are so important.

1. Partnerships accomplish what neither side could do alone.

2. Partnerships are mutually beneficial.

3. Partnerships connect with locals better.

4. Missionaries who parter with nationals tend to last longer.

5. Ministries started through partnerships tend to last longer.


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Ask me anything anytime you want or give me a call and leave a message (747) 221-6478.

Question: What other benefits are there of partnerships in missions?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • You’ve got guts to jump the turnstiles in Turkey! That sounds like the beginning of a movie that ends up with you guys in prison, haha. Glad you got there, and I laughed when you mentioned that you were convicted about being worried after writing a book on worry.

    • Loren, it didn’t really take guts because when the policeman tells you to jump the turnstiles then that’s what you do!