yes’s mean maybe, and maybes mean no…decoding Turkish responses


Turkish Bible study on Tuesday afternoon. Pausing. Reflecting before hand. I wasn’t sure just how I did making relationships while here in Turkey. There are so many different communities here: at the school we were a community. The church community. The Turkish community in different areas… so many! I never really thought about communities in such an intentional way before! And yet? Even after the course was over and I am the last student remaining? I am tremendously blessed to have people I care about and love still here and wanting to spend quality time with me.
We were waiting at a Turkish couple’s home for the rest of the Turks to arrive in their beautiful and warm house. There are slip covers over the couches which encircle the living room. Photographs of their children and recent baptism stand in the center of the room on a table. My reputation for drinking coffee has preceded me, and instead of traditional chai? They give me nescafe. I smile somewhere between delight and embarrassment.

While we wait, the conversation is replayed about the words that were exchanged earlier in the day with the  Turks who are (maybe) coming.
Paul, “They said they would come.”
Lynda, “So that’s a maybe then.”
Paul, “Yes. If they would have said maybe? Then that is a definite no.”
Hahaha! Learning a little bit of the language subtleties. They didn’t end up showing up as it turned out.
There was sooo much food put in front of me! The three highlights from Turkish bible study? One: The blue with heart shaped slippers I wore once I came inside. In Turkish culture, if you have guests come? There absolutely MUST be enough slippers for them to wear. You take your shoes off at the door and put slippers on inside. If you are not wearing socks (which I was not) you get funny looks!
Rice pudding!
Two: The Turkish wife? Made a SLEW—a cornucopia–  of snacks and delicacies for us to eat. My favorite being the soft bread sticks formed into the letters of our first name.  Give me a “C” for Carla! YUM! Eating a LOT is expected in the culture as hospitality is HUGE here. The next time I go to a Turk’s house? I will not eat at all that day before I go. I am so full!
Three: I got to pick out one of the Turkish songs we would sing!
Yesterday? I wrapped up and presented my Turkish pottery friend with a gift of a Turkish bible when I said goodbye. Praying they read and learn more about Jesus being his Savior (Muslims believe that Jesus was just another prophet).

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