The Iranians seemed so much more open to discussing the Gospel this year. They would talk openly without fear of being seen or overheard. The other day, I had just replenished the supply of Gospels I keep in my bag when we met a group of 15 Iranians. We started talking to them and then began passing out the Word. All of them, even the more conservatively dressed women, were snatching the Gospel of John from our hands. I had a few New Testaments in my sack as well. Those books happen to be red. Someone noticed the red books in my bag and starting saying “garmez, garmez” or “red, red”. They recognized the red books in my sack as being the whole New Testament and were begging for those books. I gave out all I had in short order and could have given out a lot more if I had had them. We can only carry so many books!
Most Iranians we meet recognize that Islam is a sham. They are looking for something real to replace it. They are very open to the Gospel.
This summer, we saw Iranians carrying their Gospels around with them later – in broad daylight, openly carrying the books in their hands. They were not at all ashamed or afraid of being seen with them. Only once this year did I talk with and pass out several Gospels to a family sitting on a bench, and when they left, their books were laying on the bench. I gathered them up to pass out again.
The Iranians we meet like to take pictures of us, so in turn, we take our picture with them. A couple of groups held up their Gospel books for the picture. They were proud of them and did not mind being seen with them in public. This boldness was in spite of signs at the border telling them not to accept books, DVDs, thumb drives, and such from people like us. They just seemed to be all the more curious.
Not everybody was open to the Gospel and that is to be expected. At least they had the opportunity to hear. We stay polite and smile, wishing them a good day.
This year, we were attempting to witness to one younger couple when the husband pulled me aside and said, “We are believers.” We met another extended family outside at a shopping center and when we tried to witness to them, they said, “We are already Christians.” They then asked us to pray for them right out in public in front of the shopping center. Of course, we prayed for them. God has been and is working in Iran. Praise God!