We arrived in our third country a week ago! We started our time here off a little bit slower than the other nations. Since we knew a head of time that we were going to be adventuring out to two provinces, to partner with the Bible correspondence course here. They have a goal to send teams to every province in this nation.
The two areas that the teams went to were like night and day from each other. One city, as told by one of the long-termers said that they were the first team to come through. The atmosphere was very dark and most natives are radical Nationalists who are suspicious about Westerners.
Walls were put up by almost everyone as soon as they found out we were Americans. Through it all our team did an amazing job and were able to pray for 13 people in the name of Jesus, share the gospel with 11 more and handed out 14 pieces of material.
A testimony from one person from that team is that she had the opportunity to minister with E, one of our translators. She was able to share the Gospel in full and she said she was going to call the BCC for more material and information! This is huge! The team all persevered and worked as hard as they could to share the good news. Even though there was a lot of rejection they felt like just being in the city was shifting the atmosphere.
The other half of the our Explorer’s team had a completely different experience. They were in a town that was very hungry for the gospel. They ended up leaving the city five hours later than they planned to because there was so many opportunities to share with the people!
The first thing to share with you all is about our translator R. He has lived in this region for the last 20+ years. He has his PhD, is a writer and a holy spirit filled man. He told us that he just wanted to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what God was asking for our time in this city. We started off our time with prayer on the highest point of the city. Out of the blue, our translator turns around and says, “I’m going to say something radical. I think we are supposed to say we are bible teachers and you DTSers are students and Meghan is your teacher back in the states. I think we are supposed to invite people to a coffee shop for an Intel lesson. This has never been done before but I think we needed to do it this was.” This was an amazing answer to prayer as this is hugely related to our leader’s heart and this team was 100% equipped to share in this way!
After our prayer time we got to our hotel settled in and asked for a restaurant suggestion. They suggest a soup place or a kebab restaurant. When we got to the soup restaurant we meet a young man, who then invites us to his brothers place of employment. His brother ended up working at the main media office in the city. We shared the gospel in full with four young men! We gave out bibles and shared stories and testimonies. Right when the conversation seemed to be winding down, the parents that owned the building came in and started asking questions. They had seen the Jesus film and were very curious. We then we restarted the process again.
After this time we moved to another city. There were not a lot of women out and about so the girls prayer walked. The guys and our translator had some amazing conversations with the nation’s national wrestling team. One team member got the privilege to share his testimony with these men and to play hockey sack with them. Some of the guys we encountered and encouraged will end up going to the Olympics! That night our team had a chance to go to a concert where a music star was playing. There were over 5,000 people at the event. The girls on our team gave out tracks to women and had some conversations and invited them to come to the bible study in the coffee shop.
The next day we woke up and immediately went to the American language school. We talked with the teachers and got invited to share with a class of 10. We were then able to invite them to come to a class at 7 p.m! During this time we also meet the Secretary B who invites us to her home town. She then set up a meeting with a friend. Another cool fact that we found out on the third day was this secretary earlier in the day messaged a believer in the town and told him that she had some questions about God! She ended up coming to our study at the end of the day! Our team ended up going to B’s home town. We had lunch and prayed over the city. We then meet with B’s friend E. She’s super Islamic and actually had a demonic encounter when she was hospitalized for six months. She had a dream of the Qur’an being recited over her. We spent 2.5 hours sharing the gospel with her. At one point in the conversation she cried looking like she was going to open up. Yet, she was resistant to truth in that moment but she promised to come that night to our study. She also left us with a gift of henna.
Over the span of the night 20 people came to the coffee shop. Our translator says, “I’ve been here for 12 years, I’ve never seen anything like this.” One guy on our team saw a deliverance of a guy. Our leader was able to share her full testimony with a group of women. Another team member did an amazing job translating! The woman E was there as well. She came armed with her questions. She asked and asked trying to trap us in our words! Yet, the Holy Spirit protected us from falling into any snares from the enemy. At the end of the night E felt like she had won because of a miscommunication. Then a local believer came over and said one sentence and our team member pulled out her bible and read from it. E got up clearly having her whole faith shaken. She was literally shaking because she was so shocked. While we didn’t see a salvation of E that night. We know her whole world has shifted because of one conversation. We didn’t speak out of anger or a sense of rightness but out of a place of love and compassion. This was such a rewarding conversation!
From this meeting, we had some amazing fruit, one of our team members had a meeting with a man who is hungry for truth the next day. We met with him and were able to pray for him. He was almost openly weeping. The girls were able to speak prophetic words over him. Our friend was visually touched. He actually is friends with a believer in town and we told him that If your Muslim friends won’t talk to you about God, go and talk to your soccer friend, he said he would! He visually changed by the time we ended the conversation. Jesus’ love is so powerful!
We were also invited to have a meal with the Afghan pastor who has helped start a church 34 new followers in this city! The contacts thought there was one believer in this town! Clearly the Holy Spirit is moving there! The whole team felt an extreme sadness at having to leave the city. It is truly amazing to be a witness to the God of light and see darkness flee because of it!
Open Doors in a Closed Nation
Last week we had the amazing opportunity to preach to Gospel in a closed nation. Even though we were told that we had to be more careful with handing out tracks and praying for people, we found that most of the people we talked to were open to be prayed for and hear of the God we love! We were also blessed with two translators making much easier to initiate conversations and have longer conversations with people.
We were able to bless a lot of people, pray for them and give them encouraging words and mostly found that people were quite receptive to hear truth!
One of our evangelism teams found a Language School the first day. They were super open for us to come back and join them for an English lesson. They offered us tea and were super hospitable.
We came back, as we had promised, and saw how Jesus leads us to random places during random times of the day to touch hearts that are open to hear from him. One of our team members was able to talk to a girl, demonstrate the love of Jesus to her, get impressions and pray for her. We are able to witness the growth and change she’s going through as she texts us questions and revelations of God’s word as she’s reading it and prays. We are in intercession for her to become one of our sisters!
As we were walking around some of the souvenir shops close by, another team member got a word that one of the women of a tourist group has some problems with her knees. We talked to them through our translator and and it turned out that one of them had knee pain. We prayed for her knee and as she felt her knee be healed! We were able to explain that healing happened because of the love of Jesus! As her friends noticed that the pain of her leg was gone, they all began to surround us! Some of them even came off of their moving bus to receive healing! They wanted healing for their backs, necks, knees and feet. That situation got a bit chaotic, but so good because we prayed for a lot of people but were able to preach the Gospel to even more people! We saw a minimum of 10 healings that day and people being touched by our God moving.
We are so blessed to be part of the ground breaking work taking place in this region! We love to see Jesus’ radiating love and light in an area that’s so dark. God’s nature is to redeem and we get to see the redemption unfold before our eyes!
Salvations in Greece
Two of us had the incredible honor of leading an Iranian man to the Lord. Through a conversation that began with why we were in Athens and led to answering question after question about God–Who is holy and uncompromising but loves us and wants a relationship with every person–we had the opportunity to present the full Gospel to a man who had never entirely heard or read about it. It’s amazing that God always comes through to meet our hunger for truth, and that He uses not only the redemption story of Jesus’ death and resurrection to do so, but also through the power of our own stories.
At the end of the conversation as our team was getting ready to leave, we gave this man a basic 30-second summary of repentance, salvation, and God’s love for him, and I felt prompted to ask this man if he wanted that relationship with God.
Without hesitation, he said yes and accepted Jesus into his heart! We left the square that day with full hearts and thankfulness for the way God can change lives within mere moments! God is moving in Athens!