In a Middle Eastern hotel in the balmy heat of early summer, a big, burly man named Akbar gives a moving testimony. Akbar bravely shares about his past lifestyle of promiscuity, violence and addiction, and the consequent rejection he suffered at the hands of his family, and especially his father. A hushed gathering hears how, broken and alone, Akbar called out to Jesus in a moment of utter desperation. Because of that moment, Akbar declares, he discovered an acceptance and love that has changed his whole life. ‘My earthly father may have rejected me, but I discovered that my Heavenly Father accepts me,’ he beams, ‘and now I want to live for Him.’
The next day, as a sign of his new life in Christ, Akbar is baptized in the hotel swimming pool. During the two-day celebration-conference hosted by Elam Ministries, 245 more Iranian and Afghan Christians share their personal stories and are baptized by church leaders and graduates of Elam's training programs. Overflowing with joyful worship, excellent teaching and humble prayer, it is the perfect occasion for Akbar and his new brothers and sisters to be officially welcomed into the accepting arms of Christ’s church.
In the Iran region, baptism services occur on a regular basis, such is the hunger for the gospel. Do join us in praising God for his wonderful work and praying for plentiful workers for the harvest.
• Protection for Akbar, all those baptized and their churches
• Encouragement, further training and maturity for the new believers
• More mentors and teachers for the Iranian believers and more church planters.