Nov10WedNovember 10, 2021 By the TWR Canada Team
Conferences are an important part of our Persian Ministry. They provide a safe location for believers to gather for teaching and fellowship. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences have been scarce over the past couple of years, but we have recently been able to begin holding conferences again.
At the most recent conference, one woman shared very simply with Persian Ministry Leader Tony the importance of these conferences: “The last time I was with believers was two years ago at your meeting.” There’s certainly challenges to being a Christian in the Persian-speaking world with the threat of persecution around every corner. Congregating with other Christians is not easy. This woman doesn’t want her own father to know about her faith, for fear of her own life. This combination of not meeting with other believers and living in fear of her father challenged her faith.
She continued: “I’ve been struggling. I was at war. I almost lost my faith. I am here despite of all the challenges I have because I want to strengthen my faith. I want to learn the Word. I want to add to my knowledge. This is the only place I can come. This is the only place I can be nourished.”
Tony also shared the story of another woman and her family who attended the conference: “She has been very active working among some of the local women by teaching them how to sew. She works with them and shares a little with them and she sees who is interested in learning more about Christianity.”
This woman is using her gifts to bring Jesus to those in her community. Tony continued: “She did not have many materials in hand. She has one Bible, a New Testament, but not much else. So I thought if she came and got the Discipleship Essentials materials and learned how to teach it, that’s a perfect situation for both of us.”
Tony and the rest of the TWR Canada team really wanted to see her come out to the conference but faced a challenge. Throughout the Persian-speaking world, the household is often controlled by the men, and no one else in her family were believers.
“But God prompted this woman to contact me. I invited her to the training and she said, ‘Well, I can’t come because my husband said either he or our son has to come with me.’”
Tony invited both to come and participate in the conference. Both attended and Tony shared with us a conversation he had with the son: “The son is 17 years old. On the fifth day, he came to me and said ‘Uncle, can I talk to you?’ He said ‘I don’t know too much about the Bible. But what I have heard, in the past five days, it persuaded me that I should follow Jesus Christ. What should I do next to accept Jesus? Do you think I can become a Christian with such little knowledge as I have?’”
McDaniel Phillips, TWR Canada’s Discipleship Essentials ministry ambassador, was at the conference as well. He and Tony prayed with this young man as he committed his life to Christ. While the father was not yet ready to give his life to Christ that day, he was very proud of his son and we continue to pray for him on his journey to faith.
Praise God for people like this woman who are a beacon of hope to her own community and family. Pray for people who don’t encounter Christians regularly, but still show God’s love to those regardless of their response. And join us in praising God for this new believer!