From Iran, with all its turmoil, unrest and repression, comes this amazing story. The story is not unique – there are many like it – but it is so wonderful that it’s well worth repeating. Joel Richardson of Kansas City, who has been involved in ministry to Muslims for many years, heard this account from a friend of his – we’ll call him Ali – who is an underground church planter in Iran.
Ali had learned that in a remote Iranian village, a man had become a believer in Jesus even though there were no other known Christ followers in his village. Wanting to find out how this man had come to believe in Jesus, Ali travelled to the village to meet with the man. The villager related how he had been visited by a figure wearing a white robe, with shoulder-length hair and a very commanding presence. The unknown man in white spoke at length to the villager and told him to write down his words. The villager agreed. The message spoken by the man in white convinced this villager to become a believer in Jesus, even though there were no other Christians in his village.
After hearing the villager’s story, Ali asked him if he could see the words that had convinced him to become a Christian. The villager showed Ali a large journal in which he had written down all the words spoken by the man in white. It was written in Farsi, but the English translation of the first line began with these words :
The villager who had become a Christian was holding in his hands a hand written copy of the entire Gospel of John which he had transcribed into his journal. He told Ali that the man in white had related these words to him, verbatim.
How amazing is that? Even a tyrannical Islamic regime cannot prevent the good news of Jesus from being revealed to hungry hearts. Stories like this one motivate me to pray, for surely it is the prayers of God’s people that move His heart to send messengers to the lost.
Joel Richardson comments that such stories are actually quite common in Iran, where many new believers are coming to faith through divine encounters, dreams and visions.