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At the moment that American pastor Andrew Brunson was kneeling in the Whitehouse and praying for President Trump, a Canadian-American was being arrested in Turkey. 

David Byle has volunteered with a Christian organization in Turkey for 19 years, and over the course of those years he's been arrested and detained multiple times. The most recent arrest came just one day after pastor Andrew Brunson was finally allowed to leave the country after being in custody for two years.

"Suffering for Jesus' sake is an honour" (tweetthisclick to tweet)

"According to the book of Acts suffering for Jesus' sake is an honour," Byle says about his many arrests. "And I don't feel like I've suffered a lot because I know there are people around the world who are really going through hard times in places like Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea."

Byle's favourite thing to do is also the thing that gets him in the most trouble, he says. That's street evangelism. But those arrests lead to what he says is "a joy for me.

"It really is ... evangelism heaven." (tweetthisclick to tweet)

"Of course it would be different if I was in there for two years," Byle says, pointing out he's usually detained for a few days at most.

"But when I'm only in there for a few days, it's great. As I tell people, it really is, sort of, evangelism heaven. I've got all these people around me who need to know about Jesus, who can't get away because they need to stay and keep an eye on me. They can't get away, and they all are curious . . . it's non-stop gospel for a few days."

Byle has recently returned to North America. He's currently staying at his mother's place in Washington state.

However, he's hoping to return to the country that continually throws him in jail. "We're at the mercy of what's happening in the political sphere. But I'm hoping to get back in and be there with my family." Byle says he would then apply for a resident's permit, though whether he would actually receive it or not remains to be seen. 

Why would somebody want to return to a place that he's faced so much opposition and trouble? "I love the people of Turkey," he says, with emphasis on 'love.'

"What I preach about all the time on the streets of Istanbul and other places is that there is a God that loves them with the greatest love imaginable. Namely, a love that would lay down its life for its friend."

 

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