Two Iranian Muslim converts recently told us about their work in Iran. Both told similar stories. They became Christians while university students in the United States.
One of them said. The family that led me to the Lord had prayed for two years that I would go back to Iran and serve the Lord there. All during that time, I had so many struggles, I always told them, 'No. You are wasting your time. Don't pray about that! There are better things to pray about"When I was ready to go back I was really excited to go tell the family my news. The civil war was raging in Iran at the time and it was very dangerous. (It still is, even more so.) But I went to the family and said, 'The Lord answered your prayer. I am ready to go back and serve Him in [ran." And they said, "Oh no! It is too dangerous there!" And I said, "No! You cant take your prayers back!'
Welt, both converts went back to Iran in the Islamic revolution. They describe what they have seen and experienced since that time:
Because they thought they had the best religion, the people were asking for an Islamic government Now they have it and they regret it so much. Before they read the book (the Q'uran, the Islamic Bible) they asked for it. But now that the country is ruled by Islamic laws they are disappointed and even angry with themselves that they made such a mistake just blindly following their religion and asking for that kind of government
For instance, the majority of people don't want the war with Iraq. They feelsorry for the Iraqi soldiers and they pray for them. Even the devout Muslims are unhappy, about the war. They are fed up with war and hatred and Islamic everything like that. The war has done alotof good in preparing people's hearts for Christ.
They don't like what they see. There is bombing day and night We just heard a hundred houses around us were destroyed. No one knows if they will be alive the next day. People go to bed confessing their sins, not knowing if there is a savior. They askGodtobring peace to the country. They ask Christ to do something. They say, 'if somebody is going to help us, it is Christ." The Lord has been working in their hearts.People now see in action what Islam is all about, and we can say that hundreds of thousands, even millions are fed up with Islam and want to know Christ. It is a white harvest now.
We see people in the street wearing crosses. They hang crosses from their cars. They have pictures of crosses on their books. We ask them if they = Christians and they say, 'No. We are not We wish we were, But because we were born in a Muslim family them is no hope for us."
They don't know the plan of salvation.
They have never heard it. But they have heard the name of Christ and they know He is loving. lIe never had any battles or fights. He always talked about forgiveness and love. They know that this is in stark contrast to Islam. But that is as much as they know about Hint They want Him and they love Him and they wish they were following Him.
The government is virtually unable to oppose these things. They understand there is a high interest in Christ But they already have enough people to catch and put in jail. If your scarf is low, they take you and put you in jail. If you wear white shoes they take you and put you in jail. You are always guilty for what you have on. Men and women walking in the city have to show that they are manied, You have a lot to do when you try to enforce Islamic laws. So the prisons are full. They would have to kill some to bring mote in. Sotowear across is a very small thing to get in trouble for.
No music of any kind is allowed in Iran. Q'uranic chanting is the closest thing to music that is allowed But in our home fellowships (home fellowships of course are not allowed, so we rotate homes) ...but in our home fellowships, at the cost of their lives, people come and sing. I say 'at the cost of their lives' because when they sing, people outside can hear. But the Christians love to praise Jesus in songs. They come to the fellowships and they are so interested that hours and hours go by and they don't get tired. The speaker gels tired, but they don't
There is such a spiritual hunger at this time that we need prayers that the Lord would raise up workers. All the missionaries left Iran after the revolution. Foreigners had to leave. But the Lord has raised up young believers, people who have only trusted Him a few years. Most of them are under 25 years old. Their options were either to close the churches or to continue the work of the missionaries. So they teach and preach and do anything they can. But since they don't have much education or experience, they are forced to trust in the Lord. And because of the spiritual warfare that is going on, they realty learn the power of prayer!
We start our day with hours of prayer andtime intheWord. Itistheonly way we can get the strength we need to go out.
And the Lord answers our prayers. He gave us a miracle in answer to prayer concerning the summer conferences and camps we have for believers. There is a famine in Iran, hardly any food. If you want to make a meal, you have to stand in line an average of seven hours to get the different things you need. But we asked the government authorities to allow us to hold our camps and conferences. And it was very interesting to us: not only did they allow his to hold our camps, but they gave us allthefood weneeded! It hadto be the Lord, because the government is against anybody who is not with them, anyone who is not Islamic. They persecute them, they take away their homes. But for Christ's name, they gave his all the food we needed, and allowed us to go and worship our God!
One of our best opportunities to share the gospel is to give a taxi driver a little New Testament or a part of the New Testament The Gospel of Luke is usually easiest to begin with. Because of the situation in the country it's best to give the book while you're still in the car, so we usually give it sometime early in our trip. But then the driver will start reading while driving in heavy traffic in Tehran! So if you hear that we died in car accident youll know why ....