It was during my recent trip to Turkey that I learned about a most stunning fact during my tour of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. This originally was a church that was built in 537 AD and has a fascinating history. In 1453 it was converted into a mosque and then it 1935 it became a museum. But in 2020 it is being converted into a mosque again.
In the large room, which used to be the main sanctuary, there are now large signs with Arabic writing that state the names of God, Muhammad, the four caliphs, and two grandsons of Muhammad.
The Christian iconic symbolism and art is being removed as this would not be appropriate in a mosque. For example, on the south side of the room there are tall windows that go almost from the floor to the ceiling. The space above these windows is round and there you will find painted symbols for the mosque. But when you take a second look you have a “wait a minute!” moment. Bleeding through the current painting is most definitely a cross that has been there for centuries. I was stunned to discover that no matter what they do in attempt to cover the cross, the cross shines and is very visible. You cannot make the cross disappear!
This speaks loudly to me of how the image of God is stamped on the hearts of everyone, everywhere. No matter what people may do to ignore that image within them or their inner voice which is the Holy Spirit speaking to them, that image remains!
What we do at Network211 is we connect people at their stated point of need with the Truth of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit takes over to penetrate their hearts and pours out abundantly God’s love to them. For many, the moment of spiritual transformation occurs instantly! For others, they need time to process the decision and we honor them. We know that the Lord continues to seek a relationship with them and that each encounter is impactful (see Isaiah 55:11).
It is with your partnership that together we have presented the Gospel to over 42.5 million individuals around the world. Over 2 million made an evangelism response and over 354,000 wrote to us to begin a discipleship connection. When we begin a journey with them, we continually provide online content to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord as well as direct them to a local church, whenever possible.
Thank you for being a vital part of this ministry and for joining us in the journey to present the Good News to 100 million people worldwide. Your generous and strategic invest in Network211 is impacting lives for eternity. The message of the Cross is powerful! It is our honor and privilege to share it with everyone, everywhere!
Dr. Mark Flattery