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Iran: Sara

A secret Sunday school in Iran

Seven-year-old Sara like to watch Christian satellite TV programs at her home in Iran. One of the programs explained the Good News of Jesus, and Sara trusted Him as her Savior!

Iran is a Muslim country, and most people don’t have Bibles. Sara really wanted a Bible of her own. She began to put aside money little by little in a piggy bank so she could buy a Bible.

One day, her Muslim uncle came to visit. Sara showed him her piggy bank and said, “Uncle, you won’t believe what is happening! I am going to get my first ever Bible. I’m so excited!”

Her uncle was furious. He broke the piggy bank, took the money, and hit Sara.

“God Is So Good”
It was Christmastime, and some Christians were praying for Sara’s town and for her family. They knew that Sara’s family and others in the town were very poor. The Christians decided to give Sara some food, supplies, stationery — and a Bible!

Sara’s mother called the TV station and let Sara talk to the Christians there. “I just want to tell the whole world that God is so good,” Sara told them. “My uncle broke my piggy bank and took all the money. But yesterday God brought me a Bible, a notebook, and some crayons!”

Pray that all the children in Iran will be able to learn the truths in the Bible.

(Source: Elam Ministries)


Amin

The October 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter tells stories of Christians in Iran who remain faithful to Christ even in times of persecution for their faith. Christian children, as well as adults, can be victims of bullying and persecution. Watch the video below to learn about Amin, a Christian boy in Iran.


Iran: God Has a Purpose

Ali and Soro’s family

Ali and his family follow Christ in a country where most people follow the teachings of Muhammad. (Learn more about the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad here.)

The family used to live in Iran. They started secret Christian house church groups where Iranian Christians could worship God together. But the government doesn’t want Christianity to spread in Iran.

One day, Ali’s wife, Soro, was cooking chickpea patties for their sons, ages 5 and 7. Suddenly the secret police burst in through the front door. The police were dressed all in black with their faces covered. “Mommy, who is that?” the frightened boys asked.

“It’s OK,” Soro answered. “We knew they were coming sometime.”

Soro and Ali were arrested, taken to prison, and separated. “Who is caring for my sons?” Soro wondered. After a while, God took away her fear, and she felt His presence. “I knew it was a privilege to be there with the Lord, so that was sweet,” she said. “But I also wanted to go be with [my children].”

Soro was released, and delighted to go home. But she refused to leave her sons, sleeping between them every night. Later, Ali was also released, but government watchers continued to watch and follow their family.

Several months passed, then the family moved to a nearby country and continued to witness to Muslims. “If we are one,” Soro said about their family, “then God called our kids, He called our family, and the Lord knew what He was doing with our kids.”

Their sons are teenagers now, and they have a younger daughter. Soro knows that God is at work in her children. She is waiting for the time when they will say, “Wow, God let me go through that, and He had a purpose for me, not just for my parents.”

Pray that God will give Ali and Soro’s family peace and unity as they continue to serve Him. Ask God to help their children understand His purpose for their lives.

(Source: October 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)


Farsi

Farsi New Testament

Farsi, also called “Persian,” is the official language of Iran. Farsi is written in the same script as Arabic, but it is not the same language as Arabic. This is similar to the way Spanish and English are written using the same letters, but they are different languages.

The government of Iran fears that Muslims who hear the gospel in their own language will become Christians. Christian ethnic groups that speak other languages are not as much of a problem to the government.

“Pastors who preach in Farsi are ordered to give a report to the government,” said an Iranian Christian. “Also, the government sends spies into the Farsi-speaking churches to take pictures and evaluate the activities of the church.”

Farsi is read from right to left instead of left to right like English. Look at the chart below to learn how to pronounce some Farsi words and phrases. (Pronunciations are approximate.)

English

How to say it in Farsi

Praise the Lord KHOH-dah-rah SHOH-kr
Jesus loves you EE-saw doos-taht DAH-reh
Mother Mah-DAR
Father Pay-DAR
Yes BAH-lay
No Nah
Please LOHT-fan
Thank you Mam-NOON-ahm
Good bye KHOH-dah hah-fehz

Iran: “Love My Enemies? No thanks!”

Dan Baumann

Dan Baumann is a Christian worker who was imprisoned in Iran for nine weeks. He experienced the love and presence of Jesus helping him endure the harsh treatment.

But Jesus taught Dan another important lesson. Dan said, “One day, I felt that God spoke to my heart. [God said] ‘Dan, I want to teach you to love your enemies.’ I remember thinking, ‘No, not now, thank you.’”

Every day, one of Dan’s captors hit him. Dan was not interested in loving the man. But he felt God saying to him, “Dan, ask Me what I think of him.” Dan realized that God loved his attacker. So every day, he prayed, “God, change my heart.” Little by little, Dan’s heart began to change, and he began to care for his captor.

One day, Dan said to the man, “Sir, why don’t we become friends?” The man answered, “You are crazy! We will never be friends.” Dan asked him twice more, and said, “Let’s start by exchanging names.” And he reached out his hand to shake the man’s hand.

“It was then that he froze,” Dan said. “Then he starts looking around, and then he took his hand out of his pocket and shook my hand. He said, ‘I would love to be your friend.’” The two men told each other their names.

Then the man asked, “Is there anything you want in the prison?” Dan had been living in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell. He asked his new friend if he could have a bigger cell.

“I never saw that man again in my life,” Dan said. “But later the night guards came to my cell and said, ‘We have orders to move you to a bigger cell.’ I knew that God had changed the man’s heart.”

(Source: Kids of Courage archives and VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

To Think About
At first, Dan was not willing for God to teach him to love his enemies, but he became willing to be made willing. He asked God to change his heart, and in turn, his obedience helped change his captor’s heart.
Is there anything that you know God wants you to do that you have been unwilling to do? Will you ask God to help you become willing?