Alevi Campfires are the personal reflections of John “Jack” Sorensen and his almost twenty years spent living in the Anti-Taurus Mountain range along Turkey’s southern border with Syria. Beginning where Volume I leaves off, with John having matured as a frontier missionary seeking to establish a spiritual community in a city once known as the “place where Christians were first called Christian,” but long abandoned to the dust of the past, this second volume covers the years 2005 to 2016, and details John and his family’s experiences among the Arabic-speaking Syrian people group called Alevi, or “House of Ali.” It is rich in insight into the religious, social and cultural beliefs of this fascinating sect of islam, and provides many glimpses into the faithfulness of the One who had led them there. The genuine warmth of the Alevis they knew and came to love stands in stark contrast to the harshness and nationalism of a police force bent on seeing them leave and the honesty and humility with which John relates these two contrasts leaves no doubt as to who it is he came to serve. His family’s experiences there, from 9/11 and its aftermath, the brutal murder of three of their colleagues in 2007 to the unbelievable and tragic influx of refugees from Syria’s civil war are filled with hope, heartache and compassion, and will leave a lasting impression upon you.
John “Jack” Sorensen was born in the far north woods of Upper Michigan, on a peninsula that juts out like a long bony finger from the southern shores of Lake Superior. A second-generation American by birth, Jack grew up listening to Finnish and Norwegian being spoken around him all day. Though he never really took a liking to school or more formal gatherings the largely unpopulated, unsettled and wild surroundings of the “Copper Country,” as people there called their beloved homeland, created in Jack a love for frontier settings that, although buried for some time, never died out.