There is no doubt that one of the key darts the enemy throws at us is spiritual blindness. I was just reading about spiritual warfare this morning in Ephesians 6. If he (the enemy) can keep us from seeing where Jesus is at work in our world then how are we going to follow him. Following him means that he is in the lead and we are going where is he going.
One of the places that Jesus is at work in our world is Iran. Over the past year I have been developing a relationship with a ministry that trains pastors and translates and distributes bibles in Iran. I will be going along with a small group of people from our church this fall to support the Iranian people.
I am going because it has become real apparent to me and others that perhaps the next great revival is happening right now in Iran. I had been hearing rumblings of it for months and perhaps longer, but seeing I didn’t see. However, over the last few months God has been showing me his love for the Iranians. I have met a number of Iranians followers over these months and these are some of the most gentle and beautiful people I know.
At the same time there is great oppression and persecution in Iran for followers of Jesus. In a recent meeting I met two young men committed to Jesus and his ways whose fathers had given their lives for their faith in Iran. I met another young lady who lost her daughter because she refused to deny Jesus as she stood before the Moral Court.
Here is an e-mail I received from the founder of the ministry we partner with. The ministry is called Elam. Go ahead and check it out and start praying how God might move you to get involved.
I am praying that God would use Elam to place a million bibles in Iran. Each Bible cost $5.
Here is the e-mail they gave me permission to share.
On March 5th 2009 two Iranian Christian women, Miss Marzieh Amirizadeh
Esmaeilabad (30), and Miss Maryam Rustampoor (27), were arrested by the
Iranian security forces, according to reports received by FCNN. Their only
crime is that they are committed Christians who follow the teachings of
Jesus. They are being unfairly labeled as ‘anti-government activists’,
because of the hostility of the government towards practicing Christians.
Their shared apartment was searched and personal belongings confiscated.
They were hand-cuffed and first taken to the Police and Security Station 137
in Gysha, West of Tehran for interrogation. Later they were taken to Vozara
Detention Centre. Then they were taken to the Branch 2 of the National
Security Section of the Revolutionary Court. Afterwards, several sessions of
interrogation took place. Finally, on March 18th, after appearing at the
Revolutionary Court, they were sent to the notorious Evin Prison where they
are being held without charge.
They have been told they could be freed on a bail of US$400,000. This
excessive bail level is unrealistic and is designed to intimidate and make
the release impossible. The families have subsequently been told on several
occasions a judge is not available to discuss the case.
Both women are allowed just a one minute telephone call every day to their
immediate families. Both are unwell and in need of urgent medical
attention. During their last call on March 28 Marzieh said that she was
suffering from an infection and high fever. She said ‘I am dying’.
There has been a noted increase in government intimidation of the
Christians. Last year they were over 50 known cases of arrests and
imprisonment. They were some cases of torture.
Iranian Christian leaders from around the world are calling for the
immediate and unconditional release of Marzieh and Maryam.
We ask world governments to put pressure on Iran to ensure freedom of
Prayers are being offered for their safe release. We ask Christians around
the globe to continue to pray.
The Elam team