My wife and I went to Adana, Turkey in 1974….
My wife and I went to Adana, Turkey in 1974. A Christian Servicemen’s Center had already been established by a prior Airman who was in Turkey. He had bought an Opel Rekord in Germany and had driven it to Turkey. His wife had gained employment with the Incirlik Air base and that allowed them full access to the base with US Armed forces ID including all the privileges associated.
We mailed our personal goods to American Servicemen’s postal addresses. A loan had been procured for me, involuntarily, to purchase the car. A young single Airman assumed the title to the car and I had to provide the insurance as well as the car payments. I was driving a car registered to the Airbase with Armed forces tags. I had an international driver’s license translated from my Tennessee DL.
We were there on a tourist visa and had to leave the country every ninety days. We had NATO/Turkish authorization to enter the base to perform pastoral functions at the chapel.
The young airman had been coerced by the previous director to assume the title to the car. Needless to say our relationship soured because of his “justifiable” anxiety of the illegal aspects of this.
There were so many customs rules that were violated and my wife and I lived under these illegalities. The ends justified the means. We were not fully aware of the problems we were in. We lived by fate and not faith. God blessed us through this and we had a good ministry and a good rapport with the base and chapel personnel.
There were always police roadblocks, everywhere and I froze in fear every time. I had to pray through all these roadblocks and God granted us favor. This made me nervous! I may have been too sensitive. On one occasion the base vice commander pull me aside and said, Charles, you are going to get caught and you will end up in a Turkish “caboose”. There would not be any Armed Forces intervention. I was a tourist visiting the country.
The Lord must have blinded my eyes to the severity of this situation. Inside I was in turmoil, living in fear and anxious. I couldn’t go to my overseer about this. I was three countries away from communication. I was trapped! I could not share this with my wife or anyone.