- MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Farsi-speaking service one-year celebration
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – ‘Man in White’
- ALBANY, USA – Internet: Holy Spirit fighting ISIS
Salvation Army Farsi-speaking service church first year’s celebration
Robert and Maureen McQuillan report good results from a Holy Spirit challenge.
Colin Elkington was astounded when he heard the Holy Spirit clearly challenge him to commence a badly needed church service for Farsi-speaking converts to Christ. Recently that church joyfully celebrated its first anniversary.
But this story has its unusual beginnings back in 2015. Colin tells it this way…
Since mid-April, 2015, this Salvation Army Asylum Seekers Support Service chaplain has had Iranian asylum seekers coming to him asking to become Christians.
Converted Iranians need a good church
‘After I got over the shock of the first such request’ Major Colin says, ‘I was able to lead the enquirers to faith in Christ using the Christianity Explained course.’
That initial conversion brought joy to Colin’s heart, as well as blessing to the asylum seekers. But it also immediately presented him with a major follow-up problem.
He explains: ‘Good news, yes. However I now had difficulty linking them into a church because their English was limited. I just didn’t know of any Iranian churches in the area.’
However, shortly after this, the chaplain happened to visit an Iranian couple in a neighbouring suburb on a pastoral call. They had converted to Christianity about 10 years earlier and, as they chatted, the husband told him, ‘I go to a church here but I don’t understand what they say.’
Colin Elkington recalls how in that very moment, he clearly heard the Holy Spirit challenge him: ‘Start a Farsi-speaking congregation.’ It was out of this world, he says.
Accepting the challenge
But it was the beginning of a door opening not only for Colin himself into a new area of his ministry, but also for sincere asylum seekers and boat people seeking a new life. Several salvations would follow.
‘Within a few months, on Sunday June 7 we held our first Farsi service,’ Colin shared. ‘The Lord provided translators, Farsi language Christian songs, people to make PowerPoints – and a beautiful, precious congregation. Since then more seekers have joined us, coming to faith in Christ, and the Lord has taught me to sing in Persian and even how to type in that language!’
Major Colin smiled as he reflected on this: ‘Some people may talk in tongues but I had to learn to type in tongues!’
He also shared, ‘Prior to this the Lord had guided me to learn some of the language which has paid off as I visit Iranians during the day, and at night too, sharing the gospel and discipling new converts. Mixing with them taught me much.’
He mentioned a winning key: ‘I deliberately make a point of not insisting that anyone seeking Jesus has to travel to me at the church – I relax them and gain their trust by visiting them in their own home. To me, helping these “boat people” from Iran is the greatest pleasure in the world.’
Joyous first year celebration
June 5 just past saw the Farsi-speaking congregation in Coburg happily celebrating its first anniversary.
Praising God for his provision of saved souls, willing workers and marvellous results, Colin commented, ‘We’re expecting even greater things from the Lord in the months ahead. The asylum seekers we encounter are precious and genuinely searching for a new life of hope. True meaningful hope is more than just helping them settle here but the salvation and security found only in Jesus.’
He added, ‘As God opens doors of opportunity, we share the good news of this great hope as we seek to help these people.’
Major Colin Elkington’s sincerity is immediately visible the first time anyone meets him. One can readily and easily read the compassion in the heart of this extremely busy gospel minister. His practicality, thoughtfulness and willingness to go the proverbial second mile are exemplary.
Converted Iranians, weary of imposing, demanding religion, who have found hope and genuine love in Jesus, need a caring church where they’re understood and loved, and can grow in their Christianity as well as learning English.
Brunswick’s Salvation Army Farsi-speaking church, led by Major Colin Elkington, is such a centre.
AS MUSLIMS PRAY AND FAST DURING RAMADAN: ‘MAN IN WHITE’ APPEARS IN DREAMS AND VISIONS
As hundreds of millions of Muslims fast and pray during Ramadan this month, with many seeking to grow closer to Allah, others are finding Jesus.
‘God is moving very powerfully using dreams and visions Muslims are having of the Man in white, of Jesus Himself,’ author Joel Rosenberg told CBN recently.
Quoting a 19-page study describing an extraordinary move of God among Muslims, he said: ‘From 1960 to 2010, the number of Muslims that have converted to faith in Jesus Christ has grown from fewer than 200,000 to some 10 million people.’
Rosenberg said many Muslims have become disillusioned by turmoil in the Middle East: ‘In the last 10-15 years, many Muslims are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that ISIS, or Iran’s leadership, or Assad are the type of people that represent Islam.’
Powerful encounters with Jesus
While Christian outreach is difficult and dangerous in many restricted countries in the Middle East, some Muslims have powerful encounters with Jesus through dreams, visions, and even personal visitations.
The God Reports website has featured numerous accounts of Jesus making such appearances:
— Jesus appearing to a boat of Muslim refugees crossing a stormy Aegean Sea
— An imam who hated Christians until Jesus appeared in his dreams
— A vision of Jesus that stopped this Islamic fighter attempting to kill a Christian pastor
— Jesus appearing to a bedridden Muslim mom
— This descendant of Muhammad finding Jesus through a dream
— Jesus appearing to a Muslim family
These are just a few examples, but even if God is revealing himself to Muslims through in these miraculous ways, Christians must still be involved in completing the Great Commission.
Specific prayer invited
‘In a world of 1.6 billion Muslims, we have a long way to go. So if we are going to fulfil the great commission and reach every nation with the gospel, we are going to have to pick up our game and be much more faithful,’ Rosenberg told CBN.
Rosenberg says that Ramadan is a critical time for Christians to engage with Muslims, ‘This is a moment to be praying for them, that God would open their eyes.’
One opportunity for believers is to participate in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, a prayer movement that guides Christians with a specific prayer theme for the Muslim world during Ramadan.
Christians around the world are invited to take the opportunity to pray for the Muslim world in hopes of seeing more people encounter Christ.
Mark Ellis is a seasoned senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and founder of the acclaimed www.GodReports.com a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world.
Aimee Herd, Breaking Christian News – firstname.lastname@example.org – reports good news …
Global Media Outreach … has registered more than 167 million indicated decisions for Christ in the last twelve years. They are reaching thousands of Muslims every day with the good news of God’s love.
According to a Denison Forum report in http://www.christianheadlines.com/ , it’s been found that ISIS and other terrorist organisations’ use of the internet, to draw potential jihadists, has been a pipeline of sorts for disseminating their dangerous ideology. In fact one of America’s ‘most wanted’ terrorists is the director of external operations for ISIS, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.
According to the report, he is believed to have used the internet to inspire many violent and deadly attacks, such as the San Bernardino massacre. He reportedly called for more violence during Ramadan, which is likely to have been the inspiration that tipped Orlando killer Omar Mateen into action last weekend.
But there is hope on the horizon
ISIS is actually ‘losing ground’ in some core areas in Syria, the report states. And while it’s being pushed back physically, there is an even greater spiritual battle that is being waged by Christians online.
Notes the ChristianHeadline.com report: The group [ISIS] is losing ground in its three core areas – northern Aleppo province, Raqqa, and Deir el-Zour. All three are critical to sustaining flows of money, fighters, and supplies. The Wall Street Journal reports that Libyan forces are advancing on Islamic State strongholds there as well.
Here’s even better news
The Holy Spirit is using the Internet against ISIS and for the glory of God. So-called ‘cybermissionaries’ are reaching people in countries where missionaries are not permitted to work or even live. Online ministries are penetrating across Europe and into secular nations such as Japan. And they are reaching Muslims around the world.
Let this news encourage you today. Do pray for these ‘cybermissionaries’ that God is strategically using. In the end, ISIS is no match for the Holy Spirit and the transformation power of the gospel!
Full Denison Forum report. Link: http://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/denison-forum/good-news-in-the-war-on-terror.html
Disclaimer: Articles, as well as linked sources do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ConnectingwithYou! Our thanks mainly to Dan Wooding, ASSIST (www.assistnews.net) and other news sources for timely gleanings