My dear friends, may God richly bless you in this new year. I thank you for all you have accomplished through Iran Alive Ministries in 2015 even as I pray for what God will do through us all in 2016. I pray earnestly for the year ahead because in looking back over what God has done in Iran and the world in the past year, the word on my heart for 2016 is “urgency.”
Major events are happening in the world very fast. Look at ISIS and the spread of terrorism in 2015 alone! Yet there is also another growing trend of which most of the West is unaware. Iran is the most open Muslim country in the world right now to the Gospel. It is the only Muslim country where Christianity is growing and Islam is experiencing its greatest defeat in its 14 centuries of existence. The government is threatened by this, but they haven’t been able to close the door of Christian growth.
“A great door for effective work has opened to me,
and there are many who oppose me.” (1 Corinthians 16:9 NIV)
But because the western Church is afraid of Muslim terrorism and has no working strategy to stop it, many in the Church have stayed spiritually blind to what God is doing in Iran. God wants to save the nation of Iran and make it a light in the Middle East.
We must work with urgency while this great door is open.
“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day;
night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4 ESV)
I fully believe that Iran will be the first Muslim country to bring the Jews to jealousy according to Romans 11:11 (“salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious”). The Iranian government has continued to proclaim that its greatest enemy is Israel, shouting, “Death to Israel!” and “We will wipe Israel off the map!” But I believe when the Jews see that the country that threatened their existence has suddenly turned friendly and started loving them, they will wake up to Christ’s message and become jealous of Christian faith among Iranians.
This transition is already happening.
In a country where Christianity is forbidden,
Muslim hearts are turning to Jesus
by the thousands every month.
Let us praise God for these Christ connections in 2015:
32,902—Phone and email communications
9,750,914—Total website hits and views on social media
67,810—Evangelistic chat room attendance
8,760—Hours of broadcasts
The number of people who have prayed with us
to receive Christ since our first broadcast in 2001:
Praise God for His work in the lives of Persians through Iran Alive Ministries. Our overall strategy is working! Here are a few main parts of that strategy:
- We are working toward not just converting people but also transforming lives. We teach not “easy believism” through television (as most Americans think of TV believers) but total surrender of life even unto death.
- We are targeting not only the masses to come to Christ but also those at the top: government officials, marketplace leaders, high-ranking military commanders, and top clergy. Yes, these top officials are secretly coming to Christ and sharing with us that they have done so.
- We aim not just to train church leaders but also to develop society leaders in government, media, arts, the marketplace, and education. As an example just this past month, a secular media mogul came to Christ. He and his family own the largest network of secular satellite channels in Iran. I am discipling and guiding them to be effective for Christ right where they are.
God wants to save Iran. Pray with me that we can transform it into a Christian nation in this generation!