Film Update

Interview with an underground pastor from Iran

Interview with an underground pastor from Iran

Hello friends,

The documentary project continues…  

One of the interviews we conducted earlier this year was with a friend who is an underground church planter and pastor in Iran. It was a very powerful interview. One of the stories that he shared, I need to pass on to you all.  

My friend—let’s call him Ali—while in Iran had heard about a man who had become a believer in a fairly remote village with no other known believers.  Wanting to find out how this man had come to believe in Jesus, he traveled to the village to meet with the man. The villager related how a man had visited him; he wore a white robe, had longer hair and a very commanding presence. The man in white spoke at length to the villager and told him to write down his words. The villager agreed. After hearing the villager’s story,  Ali asked him if he could see what was written that had caused him to become a Christian. The man showed Ali a large journal.  In Farsi, the first line began as follows: 

“In the beginning was the word. The word was with God, and the word was God…”

The man was holding a hand written copy of the entire Gospel of John. According to the man, it was the man in white who had relayed this story to him, verbatim.

Stories like this are actually common in Iran, where many new believers are coming to faith through divine encounters, dreams and visions. Hearing some of these stories was extremely encouraging.

We were blessed to interview Umar Mulinde. Umar is a former Muslim Sheikh whose ministry in winning Muslims to Christ so distrubed local Muslims in Uganda that they attacked him with a bucket of acid. He lost one eye and half of his face. Please remember this faithful witness in prayer.

We were blessed to interview Umar Mulinde. Umar is a former Muslim Sheikh whose ministry in winning Muslims to Christ so disturbed local Muslims in Uganda that they attacked him with a bucket of acid. He lost one eye and half of his face. Please remember this faithful witness in prayer.

Tomorrow, my cameraman and I leave for Turkey. As many of you know, the protests that erupted there seem to be continuing. We expect to be able to capture some of what is taking place there. We will also be meeting with various leaders in the nation, some nationals and foreign workers. We will also be meeting with Adan Oktar, a Muslim leader with whom I previously have met in 2009. His television show is broadcast widely throughout Turkey and on the internet. Pray that the meeting is guided by the Holy Spirit. 

Protests in Istanbul continue

Protests in Istanbul continue

After Turkey, we travel to Bulgaria for three days to minister to the Church there. The region we are visiting is a Muslim majority region. Pray that the believers are strengthened and blessed by our visit. We will also be interviewing a couple of former Muslims there as well.  

Finally, we continue to have some significant financial needs remaining to complete the film. We have peace, but please do pray that all of the final funds come in and that all of our deadlines are met, etc.

If you are able to give toward the project in small or more significant ways,

There are presently two ways to give:

To send a tax-deductable donation by check, make it out to “I2 Ministries” write nothing in the memo line and send to the following address:

Joel Richardson
Grandview MO
PO Box 776
64030
USA

If you wish to make a non-tax deductible gift online, you may use the following button:

Paypal:






Thank you for your prayers and support. I look forward to sharing more details and updates in the days ahead. Blessings!
 

Remember our families as we travel. Our wives are genuine super-heroes!

Thanks again.  
Many Blessings!
Joel

9 Comments
  • Pingback:Joel's Trumpet | JohnsRevelation.org Prophecy Blog
    Posted at 07:22h, 10 June

    […] Film Update […]

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 15:20h, 10 June

    Joel, I came across the following on the facebook page of a priest in the Antiochian Patriarchate. His ancestry is Jewish, and therefore, I find it to be interesting.

    Blessings,

    David

    Today, while at the market in Konya, a man heard my wife and I speaking Arabic and English. He came over and introduced himself in fairly good English. He asked us about the situation in Syria and pitched in his own views. He mentioned that the US and Russia are supposed to meet in August in Istanbul to discuss the situation in Syria. In his view, the US and Russia are going to exclude Turkey from the decision making process. He didn’t say it, and neither did we, but what is well known is that Russia is insisting that the 12 Kurdish political parties be involved in the talks. Already, the Syrian Kurds have announced their desire to separate from Syria. After the invasion of Iraq, the north of Iraq, commonly known as “Iraqi Kurdistan” began a process (under the patronage of the US) of creating what is in an independent nation in everything but name. For example, Iraqi Kurdistan issues its own visas separate from a visa to Iraq, manages its own borders, has its own military (known as the “Peshmerga”) and really only pays lip service to Baghdad.

    For Turkey, this is a disaster, if they are cut out of the equation, this is a disaster for them. Though Kurds are officially only roughly 15% of Turkey’s population, most Kurds are hesitant at best to identify themselves as this to anyone outside of the Kurdish community or Americans – The Turkish government has even made it illegal to count Kurds. This is why so many believe that 15% is simply the baseline, not the accurate number. Expert opinions range as high as 30% of the population and with ethnic Turks having two children (to the point that the current prime ministry, Erdogan, has made it a mantra that each family is encouraged to have three) while ethnic Kurds have upwards of ten, it’s not long before Turkey’s ethnic landscape changes dramatically. For the Turks, the Kurds are the most vile enemy on earth and they’re looking at a future in which Turkey is numerically dominated by Kurds. Due to this, they’re freaking out.

    With those perspectives in mind, it should be realized that the Arabs haven’t been a main player in the Middle East since the mid 8th century. In 750AD, the Persians resumed power under the guise of the Abassid who promptly build Baghdad (old Persian for “God’s Garden”) and moved their capital there. Over time, the Mongols invaded and then the Turks took over and remained the dominant force until the end of WWI. Since then, it’s been Israel and Iran who have vied for power. Turkey has tried to regain strength, but it just doesn’t have what it needs. It has neither the organization nor the brainpower to do it (believe me, the vast majority of Turks are like sheep and – ironically – have NO desire to incorporate anyone or anything “non-Turkish” into Turkey. For them, having a part of the country or a population which doesn’t speak Turkish as their first language is a disaster/embarrassment). The Arabs have really just been something to control and direct vs. something that controls and directs itself (Simply since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, T.E. Lawrence organized them, the French and British colonized them, the socialists armed and trained them, and now the US and Iran are vying for influence/control in the area).

    Turkey missed its chance to become a major player in the region when it insisted on funding the unpopular Islamicists in Syria (particularly Jebhat al Nusra and the Islamic Brotherhood – which actually rules Turkey under the name “AKP”) instead of funding the extremely popular and largely secularist Free Syrian Army and Syrian National Council (which hosts a much larger number of Christians than the government as well as other minorities). What Turkey has allowed is for the US and Russia to carve up the area and establish a Kurdish state in Syria, which will automatically usher in a Kurdish state in Turkey in the near future. The Turkish Kurds live in the area that contains most of Turkey’s hydroelectric dams and natural gas reserves. If the Kurds break away or gain a level of autonomy, it will be a disaster for Turkey, just imagine if about a 1/4 of the US suddenly broke away).

    But it all makes sense. In the last several years, Israel has rekindled its normally happy relationship with Kurds and has even been rumored to have been sending weapons to various Kurdish groups. Also, Russia has warmed up to them and the US, of course, is the main friend of Kurds (when people ask us where we’re from, we asked them to say first. They’ll say Turkey and my wife says “Syria” but when I say “America”, they’ll usually smile, lean in, and point to themselves and say “Ben Kurdomanim!” (“I’m Kurdish!”). Israel is a strategic position, but the US attempt at creating an anti-Iranian buffer state in Iraq (the real reason for the invasion, just look at a map of US military bases in the world, they’re concentrated on the boarders of Iran), it needs a new friend in the area. Russia is also anxious about Iran, which it views as a possible loose canon. The solution? The Kurds. They’re treated badly and have national aspirations, they’re completely unorganized and thus fairly easy to take advantage of an, unlike the Arabs, they’re generally very loyal – and even better, there are huge numbers of then in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and – best of all – Iran.

    What is clear that is going on now is that the US and Israel and keeping the war going in Syria as a way to wear down Hezbollah and get rid of radical Sunni elements. The Sunnis and the Shia hate each other passionately. To the other, each one is the ultimate in moral filth, infidelity to God, and betrayal. The way the US and Israel look at it, let them battle it out for awhile and watch as the cream of Hezbollah’s military crop is eliminated. Several months ago, Hezbollah sent in 2,000 of their best soldiers and it’s believed that more than half have been killed or seriously wounded. Several thousand more of lesser skill are rumored to have gone in and are effectively doing all of the fighting as the regular Syrian army has completely atrophied due to KIAs and the majority of it defecting to the opposition or simply running away to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, or Iraq. It’s gotten to the point at which the government has begun to draft 15 and 16 year old boys as well as men in their 50’s (known as the (lijaan sha3bia) to fight.

    What all this means is that he defense of southern Lebanon (done almost exclusively by Hezbollah) has been stripped and will continue to be stripped in order to control Syria. It also means that Iran drains its economy supporting Syria and Hezbollah in what has proven to be an extremely costly war for both sides.

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:16h, 10 June

    praise God, that’s so awesome!

  • lucky
    Posted at 04:41h, 12 June

    Kurds were responsible for some of the most bloody massacres of the Ottoman Empire towards the end of WWI – particularly against the Armenians. (The news reporters at the time also mentioned the involvement of the Chechens, and possibly the Circassians.) They are also presently doing all the persecution of the Christian Assyrian population in Iraq, whose homeland is usually called ‘Kurdistan’ by those in the media.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 21:09h, 13 June

    Plenty of repenting that needs to be done in the area from Marrakesh to the Hindu Kush mountains.

    To what extent can the rest of us be a good example to them? I say, that is the highest priority for us.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 17:21h, 14 June
  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 19:29h, 16 June

    In regards to Erdogan, I came across this via facebook: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/01/wikileaks-turkish-prime-m_n_790449.html

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 02:19h, 18 June

    Lots to think and pray about here. Though the political issues are interesting they are too complex for me to fully understand let alone influence – but what I can influence, through prayer, is the hearts of men and women. God will ultimately have his way with the kingdoms of men, and what will be left at the end – the thing that cannot be shaken – is the harvest of those who have invested their hope in Him.

    Joel, the story from Iran about the man in white is so encouraging. I am assuming you won’t mind if I reblog that part of this post. I’ll attribute it to you.

    Blessings, praying for fruit from your trip.

    Peter.

  • Pingback:The Price & Weight of The Scripture « Jesus is the Justice
    Posted at 04:15h, 03 July

    […] hearing the Gospel—either by means of a missionary, or by the study of the scripture. Below,a personal friend who is regarded as a leading expert on Islamic Eschatology interviewed an Iranian Pastor who […]

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