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Iran - the beginning of the end?

A few days into the New Year, news broke of a US drone strike in Iraq targeting the Iranian general Soleimani. The incident was widely reported in the media and prompted much speculation over the impact of the attack. Our partner who has worked in Iran for many years was able to share his insights into what the strike means for the people of Iran and how we can pray.

“I have had several conversations with Iranian Christians about these matters. Here is a summary of what all have said: “This is the beginning of the end of the regime. Praise God!”

When I saw the news of the airstrike, my immediate thought was, “How is this going to affect the spread of the Gospel among the people of Iran? Will the people grow in opposition to it? Will it harm our planned outreach efforts?”

I’m reminded that God is fully sovereign over the nations and even over these events. Ultimately, how and when the Gospel advances is up to Him. My prayer is that He would use these events to further the Kingdom of God. 

Both myself, and others working with Iran are often asked by those living inside the country, “When will America attack Iran?” I believe wisdom has prompted myself and others to respond with a question rather than an answer: “Why do you ask?” The response is often along the lines of “We want to be free from this regime. America can set us free.” 

For those far away from the day-to-day life of those living in Iran, it is easy to craft an opinion as to whether or not America has acted morally or ethically. However, I encourage people to look at how the people inside are responding to these events. They are indeed angry, but most protestors are not angry at Trump or America, but instead toward their government. For over 40 years the people of Iran have been oppressed and lied to. Just a few weeks ago, two news anchors inside Iran resigned with one saying, “I apologise for lying to you for the past 13 years.” 

God, in His sovereign wisdom, has used the oppressive regime in Iran to cause the Gospel to advance. This regime has been the single greatest tool in turning the hearts of the people of Iran away from Islam, breaking its grip on their hearts and minds.

I’ve seen the pictures published in the Western media of great crowds mourning Soleimani. I would suspect that many have been paid or forced in some way to be there by the regime. I have also seen pictures and videos of thousands of others who have been tearing up pictures of Soleimani; who at great physical risk are protesting, standing face-to-face with police in hope for freedom, chanting against their government. 

Please pray for their freedom, but not primarily for political freedom, rather for freedom from death, sin and eternal darkness.”

New Bible school in Nepal

Our friend and partner, Bishnu, has been in touch with another update about his ministry in Nepal.

In recent months, Bishnu has hosted new believers seeking a deeper knowledge of God through His Word at a newly established bible school.

Among others, he has been joined by a man named Hasta who had been left wanting after receiving inadequate Bible teaching from other believers. They were also joined by a local singer and his family who had recently converted to Christianity.

Bishnu and his fellow teachers articulate the Gospel clearly to all at the school and are in the middle of a three-month discipleship programme. This course covers basic doctrines and also considers matters of practical theology. Those participating in the programme have a few days each week for self-study to prepare for teaching and discussion. Those participating in the programme work the school’s garden and sell its produce to sustain themselves. 

Bishnu and the other teachers praise God for the beginning of this bible school. They are planning to bring more youths to the school from the mountains and are expecting a large group to join them later in the year. 

Pray for Bishnu and the teachers, for students like Hasta and this local singer as they study and for the Lord to be glorified as more come to learn more about Him in coming months.

Support work in Nepal

Bibles for China

Our partners operating in China report that they were able to print and distribute over 1.1 million full Chinese Bibles last year. Our partners give all the glory to God recognising that in the difficult nation of China, each copy of the Scriptures given is a miracle.

Many have wondered if such a need for Bibles in China remains. One large printing press in China has recently been boasting that they have produced over 200 million Bibles in the last 30 years!

Sadly, however, the vast majority of these Bibles are exported out of China. At least two-thirds of this figure are sent to other nations in the world having been printed in all kinds of languages.

Therefore, over the last 30 years, it’s likely that only 60 million Chinese Bibles have remained in the nation. However, our partner tells us that these copies of God’s Word are only available to registered Christians government-approved churches. These churches are monitored closely by the government and are often little more than propaganda centres for the Chinese Communist Party.

There remain over 60 million house church believers that are strictly forbidden from getting one of these copies reserved for registered Christians. 

Recently the government has even reduced the number of Chinese Bibles allowed to be printed by this printing press so soon, even the registered churches will face a huge shortage of God's Word. 

China still needs the Bible. Millions of believers are without copies of God’s Word. Please pray for our partners supplying Scripture into this vast and dark land.

Give a Bible today

Christians arrested in India

Three Christians were arrested in the village of Vadi in central India on after fellow villagers accused them of practising illegal medicine.

The believers, the pastor of the local church and two of its members, spent nearly two weeks in jail before being released on bail. The trio was shocked to learn they were charged with medical malpractice after praying for physical healing.

Christians were gathered for worship when more than a dozen villagers barged into the home where the church was meeting. Some intruders filmed what was happening while others took phones, Bibles and other literature from those in attendance. Nine Christians in total were detained and then released on the day of the intrusion but the next day the trio were detained for 11 days.

Please pray for these three believers that all charges would be dropped against them so they can be free to continue in their service for Christ.

Summer Teams 2020

Every year we send teams to serve in Asia with our youth and young adults (18+) ministry, HistoryMakers. Applications for our summer teams have recently opened. Could you or someone you know serve the church in Asia later this year?

For more information and to apply, visit the HistoryMakers website.

Operation India | July 4 - July 18 2020

Delhi & Vijayawada

Serve in slum areas, lead at a camp for young people and run a programme at a children’s home. 

Operation Monsoon | July 21 - August 4 2020

South-East Asia

Serve the underground church by carrying God’s Word into a country with restricted access.

Operation Siam | July 29 - August 13 2020

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

Serve refugee children and work alongside people fighting human trafficking.

Past team members had the following to say about their time in Asia:

“God has challenged me a lot throughout these two weeks. I feel like my eyes are open to what global mission really is.”

“Being on an AsiaLink team has been a huge encouragement for my faith. It has shown me how enormous God is and how all of us can have a role in global mission.”

“I really learnt a lot about trusting God. He is faithful and will provide for us when we have the courage to go and work for him.”

Find out more

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