Ali’s Baptism

On Sunday the 8 May 2016 I had the privilege, alongside Eddie, of baptising Annelie from Sweden and Ali from Iran.

Ali comes from a very religious family in one of the main Islamic cities in Iran.  His father is very high ranking in the Islamic regime.

While Ali was still at school his father wanted him to attend the Islamic School to study to become an Imam.  Ali did not want to become an Imam and stopped studying altogether.  Ali was approximately 14 years of age at the time and his father was not happy with him.  He felt so alone and discontented, and he started questioning Islam.

Ali started searching on the internet about Christianity. He found the Bible online and started reading it.  As he read the Bible Word of God touched his heart and he started to question Islam more and more.

In order to keep his family happy Ali continued to follow the Islamic traditions by praying and fasting etc.  He asked his father questions, his father was not happy and wanted to know why he was questioning Islam.  Over time Ali realised that his life was in danger and he left Iran in a roundabout and very dangerous way.  He eventually arrived in Dublin.

When Ali arrived in Dublin he was told about me by the other Iranian at the Refugee Centre and he came to see me.  When Ali first met with me he was very eager to know more about Christianity as well as requiring answers to questions that he had been searching for whilst still in Iran.

Ali started attending Sunday Church services, the Monday evening Skype Church as well as group Bible studies with me.  I was so encouraged to see the hunger in this young man to learn the truth.

One day Ali told me that he realised that Jesus was the one true God and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.  He felt the love of the Lord.  Although Ali had lost his whole family he now had a new family and he would no longer be alone.

After a few months of attending Church and Bible Studies, he was ready for baptism.

Ali’s baptism was one of the most emotional baptisms for me.  I could see how much God loves Ali and as he came up from the water he was set free from the past and felt the tangible presence of God all around him.  It was beautiful to see this.

Some of the Iranian Ministry supporters were at the baptism and they were so touched and blessed by the day.  We are so grateful for their support and the fact that they showed their love by coming to the baptism.

Please pray for Ali as the Government has now sent him to Tralee where he does not know anyone.  We will keep in daily telephonic contact with him as well as through the weekly Skype Church.  We will continue to look for a good church for him in Tralee.

Posted 10/05/2016

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Dublin Church Service

At the beginning of May we re-launched the Iranian Church Service in Dublin.

Some of the families who were sent to other parts of Ireland have now returned to Dublin.  We are happy to advise that there were 14 Iranians at this service which was very encouraging.  This was the first time that some of them were able to worship the Lord together in song in Farsi.

After the service we enjoyed a meal together which was prepared by one of the Iranians.  It was a most encouraging day with wonderful fellowship.

The next day some of the people either texted or called me to say how much they enjoyed the service as well as the fellowship, and that they were so encouraged and built up.

In the beginning we plan to have at least one service a month and then hopefully twice a month.

We thank the Lord as it is He who is building His church not us, we are only servants of God.

Posted 10/05/2016

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Arash Baptism

Arash arrived in Belfast from Iran.  He is a young man and born into a Muslim family.  He had to obey and practice the Islam faith.  He did not have any confidence in Islam and knew that he could not please God with his life. He felt that he was not good enough to be right with God.

One day a friend of Arash spoke to him about Jesus and told him that Christ died that we may have life.  Arash found this difficult to understand and he had a lot of questions.  Arash’s friend took him to a home church and he started to read the Bible, and he began to see the light.   The police raided during one of their Home Church meetings and arrested some of our friends and some others ran away.  He arrived in Belfast after having to leave the country.

Arash started attending our Church services and Bible Studies as well as the weekly Monday evening Skype church.  He gave his life to the Lord during one of our church services and we prayed together.  He was eager to understand more and to grow in his new and true faith.

After a while Arash wanted to be baptised and we baptised him in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Posted 20/01/2016

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Hossein Baptism

Hossain grew up without a father as his father had died when he was 7 years old.  He longed to have a father figure in his life.  Due to his loneliness he started to call on god as his father.  He was brought up in a Muslim family and they taught him to obey and fear god.  As an adult Hossain has started his own family.

Two years ago one of Hossain’s close friends, who had an illness, told him someone had given him a Bible and prayed for him, and the God of the Bible healed him.  Hossain’s friend told him that he was praying for him and asked Hossain to read the Bible.

Hossain started to read the Gospel of Matthew and came to Chapter 6:9, the Lord’s Prayer, which read “our Father in Heaven”.  This touched his heart and he remembered that he was calling God father.  The Word of God touched his heart and he continued to read the Bible.  After reading the Bible for a while he started talking to God as his Father and this resulting in him having a relationship with God.

He experienced problems because of his faith and he had to leave Iran.  He arrived in Northern Ireland and started participating in our weekly Bible Studies and our Monday evening Skype Church as well as our Sunday church services.  He gave his life to the Lord during one of our Bible Studies and we prayed together.

Hossain was eager to understand more and to grow in his new and true faith.  After a while he wanted to be baptised.  We baptised him in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Hossain has now found employment in Manchester and has subsequently moved there.  He is part of an Iranian Church in Manchester.

Please keep Hossain and his family in your prayers.

Posted 20/01/2016

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Baptism & Harvest Service in Sligo

Neda is an Iranian believer who arrived in Dublin a few months ago.  She has been attending our Church in Dublin since she arrived here.  We were very happy and we welcomed her.

At the time she was living in Balseskin which is a refugee or asylum centre where many people from different backgrounds and nationalities live together.  She was happy as she could be part of the Church and read and discuss the Bible in her own language which was very important to her.  However, after a while the government informed her that they need space in Balseskin and they sent her to Sligo.  She was very unhappy about leaving Dublin and disconnected with the Iranian Church.  We ensured her that we would keep in contact with her and she could continue taking part in our Skype Church which would enable her to have fellowship with other believers.

When in Sligo she was very down.  We introduced her to the Presbyterian Fellowship Church.  Rev Mitchell who is the pastor of the Church welcomed her and the people there tried to show her the love of God.  After a while she felt at home there.

She continued to be in contact with us by phone as well as taking part in our Skype Church.  She decided that because she was a believer and due to the fact that she could not be baptised in Iran she would like to be baptised.

Together we spoke to the Pastor Alan Mitchell at the Presbyterian Church about baptising her and the date was set for Sunday, the 1st November.  On Saturday my wife and I travelled from Dublin to Sligo.  We met with Neda who was very sad as a few days before a lady in the refugee centre started beating her.  Neda was very scared and did not feel safe.  We tried to comfort her with the love of God and reminded her that she was not alone The Lord is with her and that she should continue to trust God.

On Saturday evening we took her out for dinner.  We spent quality time together and we prayed together.

On Sunday the 1st November, a lovely sunny morning, I prayed for her during the service whereafter my colleague, Allan Mitchell baptised her in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.  With Neda was a South Korean lady who was also baptised.  After the baptism we bought flowers which we gave to both Neda and the South Korean lady.  The lady from South Korea was nearly in tears as she said that it was the first time in her life that she had received flowers from a man.  I told her that The Lord Jesus Christ gave her eternal life which cannot compare with the flowers I was giving her.  She was very encouraged.

After the service eight of us went for lunch where we had good fellowship together, we prayed together. In the afternoon we spent time with Neda and the lady from South Korea and two other ladies.

The Minister of the Presbyterian Church gave me the opportunity to share in the Harvest Service in his Church.  The Church was full and the Sligo Gospel Choir was with us as well and we all enjoyed singing along with the choir.  It was an amazing atmosphere in the Church.  You could feel that The Holy Spirit was moving.  I shared the Word of God with the people and I saw they were very interested how The Lord God is saving the Muslims in Iran and outside Iran.  I reminded them of the Word of God which says “man does not live by bread alone but by every Word of God” and I encouraged them to work with the people around them and to share the Gospel with them, especially foreigners as they feel so lonely here as The Lord says the Harvest is many but the worker is few.  I encouraged them to be an example of love of God and to take every opportunity show the love of God and to share the Word of God to people.  It was a very blessed evening but also somehow tiring as we ended at 10pm and we had to travel for 3 hours to get home.

It was amazing and I enjoyed it, and hopefully we will have more baptisms in Sligo.  We are still in contact with Neda who continues to be part of our Skype Church.

We give thanks to God for His love and the way in which He calls people home to Himself.

Posted 21/11/2015

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Every Monday from 7-9 pm.  The Skype Church has been going for over a year now and has been so fruitful as well as helpful to all involved.  Iranians from Ireland, Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Iran and France connect to the Skype Church.  The Skype Church has helped many Iranians to hear the word of God and to understand it. They are then able to respond to God and His word. We encourage those living in Northern Ireland and Ireland to attend their local churches and to become a part of their communities even though most of them do not understand English or are in the process of learning English.

Posted 30/10/2015

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Nassar, Musumeh & Sarah’s Baptism – South Hill Evangelical Church Dublin

On the 20th September 2015 NASSAR, MASUMEH and SARAH were baptised in South Hill Church by Vincent of the Fellowship Church, Walkinstown.  Hassan and Sheku came to Ireland many years ago and they were one of the first Iranian families when the Church started in Dublin.  Over the years we have been good friends and in the last year they have introduced me to Hassan’s brother in Turkey by phone.  He became a part of the Skype Church.  Hassan’s wife, Sheku started talking to her parents and encouraged them to pray to Jesus.  They started watching Christian television channels.  One day while listening to an Iranian pastor, the Holy Spirit touched them and her father and mother knelt down and gave their lives to the Lord Jesus.  That was the beginning of their new life in the Lord Jesus and they were not the same.  They have been retired for many years but they know that they now have a new mission.  They want to know more about the Lord Jesus and spent many hours in front of the television watching and listening to different pastors.  However, this was not enough for them, they wanted to read the Word of God for themselves but they did not have a Bible.  Naser and Masumeh started to pray and ask God for help.  They prayed for many days, and still, they could not find a Bible.  After a period of time the Lord answered their prayers and they received a Bible.  They came to Ireland and have been a part of Skype Church since their arrival.  After having been in Ireland for a few months they asked to be baptised.  Their granddaughter, who is a believer, asked to be baptised with them.  It was a beautiful day and very encouraging for me.  I saw Hassan and Sheku come to know the Lord and be baptised as well as their daughter Sarah, and Sheku’s parents.  What a testimony of the Lord’s mercy and love for His children.

Posted 20/09/2015

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The next baptism of REZA and NASIM took place on the 13th September 2015 during the Iranian Service at Windsor Baptist Church.  Reza was brought up in a Muslim family, but after moving to the United Kingdom he ceased to practise his religion.  When I met Reza in Dublin I gave him an Iranian (Farsi) Bible.  I suggested that he should read it with faith and ask God to reveal Himself to him.  I never saw Reza for a long period after that.  About three years later he attended an Iranian Service in Belfast.  Reza said that he had many questions and had many dreams.  I prayed with him and encouraged him to attend Church regularly as well as to continue reading the Bible.  A few weeks later Reza with his fiancée, who is also Iranian, attended church.  She wanted to come to the Bible Studies with him and we welcomed her to our weekly Studies.

They are both very eager to know more about our Lord Jesus.  Reza and his fiancée approached me after attending our service one Sunday, and said that they believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus died for their sin.  We prayed together and they opened their hearts to the Lord Jesus, and confessed, repented and asked the Lord Jesus to come into their lives. I asked Ivan from Windsor Presbyterian Church to be a part of this special day by sharing Gods word.

Posted 16/08/2015

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Sarah was baptised on the 21 June 2015. She arrived in Belfast on her own and connected with other Iranians in Belfast who introduced her to the Iranian Church.  She left Iran for a better life.

She wanted to know more about Christianity and who Jesus really is.  She attended the Bible Studies in Belfast and over time, through the Holy Spirit, started to understand.

Her interview in Northern Ireland didn’t go very well and she was very worried.  We prayed with her and encouraged her, she immediately felt the peace of God.  Ten days later she received a letter advising that her permanent residency in Northern Ireland had been approved.

She was so touched by this that she confessed that she had only wanted to know about Christianity to enable her to get her residency. However, God has touched her heart and she accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour and she wanted to be baptised.  She continued with Bible Studies and five months later she was baptised at the Iranian Service in Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast.

Posted 21/06/2015

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Baptism of Rasul & Pedrum – Windsor Presbyterian Church Belfast

On the 14th June 2015 I was asked by Ivan, the Minister of Windsor Presbyterian Church in Belfast, to be a part of the baptism of 2 Iranians.  PEDRUM and RASUL were baptised and they are now a part of the Iranian Bible Study which are held every Thursday in Belfast. Pedrum has been such a blessing to the Iranian Church.  For the last few years we have been using a projector and sound system to play Iranian worship songs.  We had been praying for the Lord to send us musicians so that we could worship Him in Farsi.  When Pedrum began attending church he wasn’t very confident to lead the worship, however, he has since written some worship songs and we now have live music to worship the Lord during the Iranian Services in Belfast.

Posted 14/06/2015

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