April 10, 2006
The following was written by our Iranian co-worker Nader...
In the Tea House Ministry...
Joel 2:28 - "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughter shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also on My manservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."
It was Thursday, same as any other day we are open at the A.R.C. Before we open the door we have a prayer time. Scott said, "Time to talk to Father!" And in that time we are prayng for the people who are lost to come to know Him. And for several months we are praying for the Arabic-speakers to come to the Lord. Recently, an Iraqi came to Jesus and continues to grow in Him, but on this particular day God answered our prayers again.
Another Iraqi guy came to the Lord and told us his story. His story will show you how God is working among the refugees, and also how in this ministry we need His active presence, and apart from Him we are nothing.
"Nh" is from northern Iraq. He was a communist and his father was a fanatic Muslim. They were always arguing about God and His existence. Here is his story in his own words...
"I left Iraq for many reasons, and I went to Iran. After one year I left Iran and went to Pakistan and applied for political asylum. They accepted me at the United Nations, and they gave me a small salary but my life was insecure. Many Islamic groups have activity there and many of them invited me to their meetings and spent time with me. But they were not successful. I never accepted that God exists and I thought for myself to have a good life and come to Europe.
10 days after I arrived Greece, I became very sick. I was shaking, coughing, with fever and I couldn't eat nor drink. It was difficult even to swallow. My roommates brought me medicine but it did not work. I thought I was going to die.
After 7 days in bed, I saw a dream. A voice said, "Open your eyes and look up." In my dream I opened my eyes and looked up. Somebody was standing there with a white robe shining bright around him. He told me, "If you want to get up from that bed, you should open your eyes and stop what you're doing. If you want to be healed, you should follow me." He showed me a beautiful garden, and he said, "If you want to experience this garden you should be my disciple." And I asked him, "Who are you? What is your name?" And He said, "I am the Christ. He said, "There is no other name in heaven or earth for salvation except Me. Whatever you have, leave and follow me. If you please the earth, the earth will please you. If you please me, I will please you." MANY things He said to me, and in the end He put his hand on my head and said, "Peace be with you." And I woke up.
When I woke up I was sweating and started to cry. Not from sadness, not because of pain, but crying with PEACE and JOY in my heart! After I told my roommates (who are communists like I was), they could not believe it! They said, "Go back to sleep--you have a high fever".
A couple of days later, I woke up from my bed and told my friends again that I saw Jesus! And I told them the things He said to me. I promised Him that I would follow Him so I needed to find out from the Christians how to do that. I went to the Orthodox Church and I did not find the answer. An Iraqi friend told me to go to the "American church" (Helping Hands is frequently called the American church by the refugees). So I came here to ask some questions. What did He mean when He said, 'Follow Me?' What does it mean to be disciple of His? How can I be good disciple? Who is really Jesus? How can I know Him better? What did this dream mean?"
Eddy from the short-term team and I gave him the information about the Truth of Jesus, and Scott also joined us in the conversation. He accepted what we shared with him and prayed to receive Jesus! We were also able to show him places in the Bible that echoed the words Jesus had spoken to him in his dream. "Nh" said that he had never read the Bible before. We prayed for him and gave him Bibles in a few of the languages he speaks. He asked for more Bibles for his friends who live with him.
The next opening day Tea House, he brought with him TWO MORE people and they all attended the Bible study, and then stayed after to talk with me about the Bible! On Sunday, at Persian Christian Fellowship, he came with his two friends! They are hungry for the Truth. He told me, "All that I heard from you in the preaching was very new to me. I have never heard that."
He has never read the Bible but the Word spoke to him in His dream. We have an amazing God! We are seeing the wonderful works of God among the refugees. He is always adding souls to be saved for His glory. Apart from Him we can do nothing. He alone is worthy to be praised. For to Him alone belongs all the glory, all the power. Once again we see that the Lord is the one working in this ministry to refugees.