Kocaeli's capital, İzmit, was founded in 262 BC making this a rich historical area. However, it is known primarily for the devasting earthquake that took tens of thousands of lives in 1999. There is now a church with its own building.
A dynamic team of young people from Sweden spent the Easter weekend in İzmit to do an evangelistic cultural evening at the church. They headed out in small groups, loaded with hundreds of invitations and were so surprised how friendly people were and that almost everybody who was offered an invitation took it. The pastor had already warned the group that there would be people from the municipality around who might tell them to stop distributing invitations – and sure enough that happened after the first 10 minutes. The officers tried to confiscate the invitations (which were a lot – considering they had only just started!), but then suddenly a police officer in plain clothes stepped in and asked the municipality officers why they were giving trouble to these people and that it was perfectly OK for them to do that! Many prayers were answered that day! That night at least 12 people came to church for the first time and heard the Gospel. Some came back the next day for the Easter service, and also stayed for food and long chats after that.