Shortly after Sami’s dream, the Azads were baptized in their own home, Farzin doing the honors. After baptizing his family, Farzin asked his wife Nayyar to baptize him as well. The Azad family felt the sweetest of joys knowing they were being obedient and showing their love for Jesus the best they knew how, even despite their unorthodox beginning. After a month of reading the Gospels together, they started reading the book of Acts. It seemed a natural step for them to wait together for the Holy Spirit to come upon them and fill them with power. After 3 nights of waiting in prayer, the Holy Spirit came and filled them.
Farzin continues to be a spiritual leader to his family as he walks in the humility of a lifelong learner. Every morning, Farzin awakes to the anticipation of spending time in the Presence of God. He still pours over the Injil and continues to learn the height, width, and depth of his salvation through Jesus. What he learns from the Word, he shares with his family. What his family learns from him, they share with those who will listen. Farzin also shares the Gospel at work with those who will listen. He knows it is dangerous and any day, someone could betray him to the government. But the hope Jesus has given him keeps spilling over and he cannot help himself. He must share this joy with others!
Farzin is thankful for the peace in his family and the joy in his relationships. He and his wife savor sweet communion and are now starting to plant churches. A co-worker he led to Jesus asked Farzin to help him share with his own family. Farzin was humbled to sit beside this man in his home and watch as he led his whole family to Christ. What started as a co-worker coming to faith has already multiplied to 7 new believers! Farzin encouraged the new believing family to baptized by their own father, since he was the one who led them to Jesus. Now, Farzin meets with this co-worker weekly to encourage him to keep leading others and to share lessons from the Word that he can easily memorize and share with others.
Nayyar’s friends recognize her as a shining, radiant woman. Many have asked her about the change in her life, how she moved from depression to abiding love and hope. She shares the truth of God’s love and the inner healing she experienced from her new life in Jesus. Every week since she first believed, Nayyar has visited the Imam Reza Shrine to share the source of God’s healing. She approaches women as the Holy Spirit prompts her. Though some have rejected the message, six women have said “yes” to Jesus in just 4 months! Nayyar meets with these women as a group weekly, discipling them to have the mind of Christ, and encouraging them to be strong and bold as they share their stories and the hope of Jesus with others. One woman who Nayyar led to Jesus is already leading two other house churches: one consists of all women and the other, two young families.
Elham is 15 years old now and has grown in her sensitivity to the Voice of the Holy Spirit. God often flows through her with words of knowledge and prophecy. She has become an intercessor for the country of Iran. Elham feels that God has given her His heart and shown her how He feels for her country. Through her times of prayer, the Lord has increasingly called her into deeper abandonment and a willingness to suffer for the sake of Christ. As she shares these impressions with her family, they feel challenged that the day may come when the Lord will require them to pay a great price.
Sami has found his purpose. Sometimes his head still spins at the 180 degree change his life has made. His friends often ask him why he doesn’t party with them anymore. He tells them simply, “I have found a different purpose for living. I no longer live for myself, but for my Savior, Jesus.” He often sees a spiritual hunger in the eyes of his peers, and he gladly shares the Gospel with them. Because of his boldness, Sami is now being carefully watched by the government.
God has blessed Sami with a perfect job combining his interest in people and cars. He decided to use his car as a taxi. And because of the watchfulness of the government, Sami feels it is a safe platform from which to share the Gospel. Sometimes people are in his car for two full hours in bad traffic. Sami plays worship music while connecting with the person and sharing Jesus’ love for them. After sharing the Gospel with hundreds of passengers, Sami recently experienced a breakthrough. Two weeks ago, an older gentleman was in his car and commented on the beautiful worship music. He asked Sami if he was a believer, and Sami boldly said that he was. The older gentleman rejoiced! He and his wife had been baptized but were struggling as they longed for community with other Christians. Sami and the gentleman decided right there to meet once a week in Sami’s taxi, drive around for a few hours, and have church. The gentleman brought his daughter and wife the first time they had “taxi church,” and all four of them rejoiced when their daughter gave her life to Jesus at a long stoplight!
The Azad Family are fully living up to their name: freedom. They long to see their country transformed by hope and love as they have been. They want to see others freed from their depression, fears, and selfish ambitions.
Please join with us in prayer for a spiritual breakthrough in Iran. May strongholds be broken as thousands upon thousands of Persian families discover freedom in Christ.