Intense Intercession. Intense Teaching. Intense Proclamation. This is a story from one of our 2017 Intensives:
We short-termers walk in groups of twos and threes, searching the tourist areas of this beautiful city for new friends. We look for Iranians who will allow us to talk with them and thereby lead them with questions toward the gospel story.
We were told that many Iranians are hungry and open. I’m praying I can find someone who knows English. Ahead, we see three families that are clearly Iranian.
There is energy in the air around them. They seem so joyful and lively as they take pictures of one another in front of a picturesque spot and laugh together. I give the short phrase I have learned in Farsi a try, “Hello! Are you Iranian?” Quickly, I realize they know 0 English but are happy that I have approached them.
Three of their children run around near the fountain and I pull a coloring book from my bag. With hand-motions, I try to communicate that I would like to give this as a gift to the children. I think about what a gift it is: a story of Jesus as the way to forgiveness in very simple words and pictures. When the book is received, I see one of the fathers sit beside his son to read the book to him. It isn’t long before the child runs away like he has ants in his pants. But the father… I see the father slowly turning the pages of a children’s coloring book, reading the beautiful story of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection for the first time.
I feel overwhelmed. I lift my heart in prayer, “Thank you, Father, for bringing the gospel message to this family. Even though I do not know the language of these people, You make a way for hope to be known.”