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"EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD, DARE TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR GOD" 
William Carey, 1790, the father of modern day missions 

This is a short testimony of our calling and our adventure as donkeys for Jesus into Iran and the birth of Christian Farsi TV.

donkey

When we started our church (Sion) in Sweden in 1987, we received a word from the Lord which has always been alive to us since then:

Isaiah 2:2-3 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

During the years, especially in the 90's, many people from different nations came to our church. Most of them stayed at a nearby refugee camp.
More than 1000 people from 55 different nations have experienced salvation, healing and deliverance before moving on.

One of them was a man from Teheran who was radically saved 1998. We can call him "Ali".
"Ali" was on fire for Jesus and won many other refugees to the Lord. After two years in Sweden, he was expelled and forced to return to Iran.

Six months later my wife and I travelled to Iran to visit him at the end of the year 2000 and beginning of 2001.
Several of "Ali's" family members and relatives had been born again and nine of them wanted to be baptized.

Will You Be My Donkeys?

On the first morning in Iran, my wife received a word from the Lord from Matt. 21:1-11. Jesus was planning his entry into Jerusalem and asked his disciples to get Him a donkey. Jesus sat on the donkey as He was riding into Jerusalem. The people cried out, "Hosanna in the highest" and the whole city was in motion. The people asked, "Who is He?"

The message from the Lord was that He needs donkeys to carry Jesus into Iran.
My wife thought this word was to the newly saved believers and shared it with them as a word of encouragement that the Lord wanted to use them as donkeys to carry Jesus to their fellow citizens. When someone gets a word from the Lord and deliver it, they usually get a release. But the word continued to burn within her and speak to her.

In the morning on New Year's day 2001, as I was before the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke quite clearly and explicitly: "Stay here for a longer period and build my church."

The same evening I said to my wife, "I believe God wants us to move to Iran to build His church." Her unexpected answer was, "Yes, why not?"
The following morning my wife told me that as she got up to pray, she immediately heard the Lord ask, "Are you willing to be my donkey in Iran?"
Her immediate answer was, "If you can use a donkey like me, then of course, I say yes."

We knew of course that this was totally impossible to accomplish from our human viewpoint. But when God comes with His word and His calling and you reach for it in faith, the impossible becomes possible.

The Donkeys Enter Iran

Nine months later on September 15, 2001 we moved to Iran.
All the practical details had been solved in a miraculous way. Now we were inside Iran with a two-week visa.

We knew that we were not to return home before May 2002. How we were able to stay for nine months without a visa, I will have to share another time.
After spending a few months in Sweden during the summer of 2002, we returned to Iran for a new period of nine months.

Hunger for God

The people in Iran are so tired of both the regime and Islam. When we told them that God is love, then most of them wanted to get to know the true God.
Of those we shared the gospel with, seven out of ten people received Jesus. We led more than 300 people to salvation and more than eighty people were baptized.

We met new people everywhere and shared the gospel. Small groups of new believers were formed and we visited them in their homes. We had gatherings in our apartment every Friday.

The "Bomb-Package"

The so-called "bomb-package" contained a New Testament, a booklet entitled "The New Life", a worship CD, and the film Jesus from Nazareth. It was a great material, all in the Farsi language. During our stay in Iran, we distributed 500 such "bomb-packages".

We took great risks by having this material in the car on our trips as there were various toll check points with heavy police control along the roads. At times we were stopped, but we managed to get through without having them search our car.

We saw God perform many wonders. I would like to share one with you:
"Ali", my wife and I, and a few Swedish friends who visited us, went to Esfahan to evangelize. On the way we stopped by a simple road restaurant. We just wanted to fill our thermoses with hot water.

A young man gave us water as "Ali" was sharing Jesus with him. He listened intensely. During the conversation a truck driver came in. He saw that the restaurant employee was busy, so he sat down to wait for his turn.
"Ali" said to him, " Come here and sit down with us. You need to hear this."
"Ali" shared the gospel with them and both of them wanted to receive salvation.

There in the restaurant, with the door open to the road leading to Esfahan, we prayed with them to receive salvation.

The day after on our return trip to Tehran, we stopped by the restaurant.
The young man's face was radiating. He asked. "What have you done with me? I haven't slept all night, I am so happy! What happened when you prayed for me yesterday? I felt such a warmth and joy come over me."

Then we called the truck driver and he said, "I am sitting here with my friends right now, watching the Jesus movie. They like it. I am so happy for what happened yesterday."
This is just one of many examples of how the people of Iran embrace the gospel.

The Arrival of the Security Police

At the end of our second nine-month term in Iran, the security police showed up.
A relative of one of the new converts had reported us and our closest friend to the police. 15 policemen entered our house and six of our friends were thrown into prison.

After interrogation we were put into house arrest, and after a week we were deported from the country. They said we would never be able to enter the country again. After a few weeks, five of our friends were bailed out. "Ali", our closest co-worker, was released after two months. The release of our friends was a miracle.
Later on I have applied for visa and by a miracle of God been able to visit our friends at a number of occasions.

"Now I Am Taking the Work to a Higher Level"

In 2003, while we were in house arrest, and six of our friends had been arrested, my wife and I spent time in prayer and worship. Then the Holy Spirit spoke, "Now I am taking the work to a higher level."
I knew then that it meant Christian satellite TV to Iran. I have carried this word as a small seed in my heart for 6 ½ years.

Back Home in Sweden

In November 2009, our church in Sweden had pastor Michael Kimuli from Uganda as a guest speaker.
Michael is one of the pastors God used during a very difficult time in the history of Uganda under the dictatorship of Idi Amin. A mighty move of strong spiritual warfare in prayer took hold of the Christians with Michael Kimuli as one of the front men.

The result today is a Christian majority in the nation led by a Christian president.
I told Michael about our work in Iran and our vision regarding Christian Farsi TV. He was deeply moved by what he heard and took it with him as a prayer request to their national prayer and deliverance conference in Uganda the week after.

After this prayer conference, several wonders have taken place and Christian Farsi TV has started to take form.

 

Christian Farsi TV partners with Network 7

Jan_Hormoz_Birger_326x329
Hormoz Shariat, Andrew Steen, Jan Danell

Network 7 is a 24 hour TV channel that serves the Persian speaking people. It started January 1st, 2012. The founder is Hormoz Shariat. He has ten years of experience with broadcasting satellite TV over Iran. Many thousands of Iranians have received Jesus as their personal savior through his ministry.

Today we have a partnership with Network 7, to broadcast programs on their channel every week. January 20th, 2012, we aired our first program. It is a half hour program, which we call "Studio Sweden". It is broadcast every Friday night 10:30 pm Iranian time on Network 7 (Shabakeh 7 in Persian). See the channel live here: http://www.shabakeh7.com/

When our financial situation allows, we will start a Bible school with basic teaching on subjects like, the beatitudes of God, righteousness, faith, prayer, the Holy Spirit, etc. The need is tremendously great since there are many new Christians in Iran who hunger for knowledge about the new life with Jesus.

We also want to broadcast a program each week about praise and worship. Jer.49:38:I will set My throne in Elam”. A throne is a place where people worship a King. God has chosen to raise up a nation very strong in praise. This praise and worship will expel the powers of darkness. But how shall a nation be able to praise a God they do not know? This is where the teaching from the Bible school comes in.

Your financial support will help us come a step closer to launch the TV Bible school and the praise and worship program (Please visit the Partner page).

"GOD'S WORK, DONE IN GOD'S WAY, WILL NEVER LACK GOD'S RESOURCES"
Hudson Taylor, 1850, founder of the China Inland Mission 

We as a church of about 80 members do not have the capacity to make this vision come into being by ourselves. But we know that the Lord has His servants all over the world who will respond and want to be a partner of this work, both financially and through prayer.

The vision is not satellite TV. The vision is: "Build my Church in Iran."
One of the tools He wants to use for this is Christian Farsi TV.

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