bilge Ileri - Hamburg, Germany
I grew up as a third culture kid of Turkish descent in Germany. Though I was born in Hamburg, I have been raised according to the Turkish culture with Turkish being my mother tongue and first language. Due to family, friends and regular visits, I always had a strong emotional bond to my country of origin and its people.
My wife Silvia and I are married for 12 years and have two kids: Yunus Elias (5 years old) and Leyla Mathea (2 years old). Our third child is due the end of September.
Although I had a secular upbringing and did grow up irreligious, I always searched for God. During a time of personal crisis in 2002 I was introduced to the Christian faith by a friend, started reading the Bible, and going to church. By God's grace, I realized that I was a sinner in desperate need of a savior and embraced Christ as Savior and Lord that year.
My calling to full time ministry happened after years of studying and working as a physicist and postdoctoral researcher in the field of quantum optics at the University of Hamburg. Witnessing the plausibility of the Christian faith among my atheistic, secular friends soon became an integral part of my daily work. When God's calling became a burden that I couldn't suppress anymore, I started my theological studies at the Martin Bucer Seminary to earn a Master of Theology in addition to my main vocation.
Since 2013 I work as a church planting trainee at the Hamburgprojekt church in order to reach Turks for Christ wherever possible.