Brunson describes the spiritual habits that helped her face persecution in Turkey.
Officials arrested Andrew and Norine Brunson in 2016 when they applied for permanent visas in Turkey, where they’d lived and ministered for 23 years. Authorities released Norine 13 days later, but Andrew remained in prison for two years, accused of being a spy.
Norine stayed in Turkey after her release, advocating for Andrew’s freedom and helping to lead the church they’d planted. Andrew’s forthcoming book, God’s Hostage(Baker, October 2019), details the Brunson’s story of imprisonment and perseverance. CT spoke with Norine about the spiritual habits that strengthened her during her years of ministry and that sustained her marriage and her faith during persecution.
Your husband, Andrew, has said, “Norine was stronger than I was.” This strength came from a reservoir in your soul because of your daily time spent with God for years prior to the ordeal. What did that spiritual habit look like for you?
Well, it’s looked different depending on the season of life. There’s no single prescription. But I always include time in prayer and the Scriptures. And when I read the Word, I try to align myself with it. Like when I read, “Arm yourself with the same attitude” as Christ, in his suffering, I say, “Yes, Lord. Let me have that.” I also make it a habit to write down answers to prayer, blessings, things I am thankful for.
There were days during Andrew’s imprisonment where I would say, “Okay, Lord. I have prayed everything I know. Here I am again.” There is something about just sitting in the Lord’s presence. Just being. Does my mind wander when I spend time with the Lord? Absolutely. Do I check my phone? Often. That’s just …