Most have heard of the daily protests across Iran. The people are demonstrating against the government as they feel hopeless and that life will not get better. This is a key time for Iran and the Gospel.
Demonstrations have erupted in nearly every province and the main cause for
these demonstrations is economic pain and desperation. Last Fall, Kathy and I had dinner with Dr. Hormoz Shariat and his wife Donnell. He shared with us how God is using his ministry in amazing ways in that country. Out of 36 channels broadcast in Iran – secular and spiritual – his is the #6 channel viewed by millions.
Dr. Shariat shared that in the past six months, about 30 percent of the incoming prayer requests have been related to the economic situation. One viewer said that she and her husband are so financially desperate they were considering selling their 3-month-old baby to traffickers!
Here are some of the reasons for the rioting.
- Basic goods such as milk, cheese, and eggs are unaffordable.
- More than 85% of the economy is controlled by the clergy and the Iranian Guard. Those in power live in luxury. More Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Maserati’s travel the streets in Tehran than Beverly Hills.
- Unemployment is 25% and among young adults is as high as 40%. The highly educated have no jobs and struggle to find menial labor. Many must live with parents.
- Addiction is rampant.
- The Islamic government spends millions each month to support revolution in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
During this unrest, Dr. Shariat has broadcast every evening to the people. He has shared:
- God knows their pain and cares about what they are going through.
- God has a plan for Iran and wants the people to know his mind and heart for them.
- This plan is found in Isa al-Masih, Jesus the Messiah.
The people are crying out in pain and looking for answers. On January 25, I will be on the live, prime-time program. This will be noon to 1pm CST but in the evening in Iran. Later that afternoon, I will record a half-hour program to be viewed later.
Thank you for praying for these programs, for praying for Dr. Shariat’s ministry, and for the country of Iran.
– Jonathan Williams
WGS Ministries focuses on connecting mankind with the true story of the true God. Your tax-deductible donations help us tell the story of Jesus and the stories he told to the world in our program Stories of the Master, in our video The Renewal of All Things (now in 22 languages), and in our teaching programs The Heaven & Home Hour and Word of God, Speak. Thank you for your help! Use this link to give now.
A few months ago, an Iranian woman was watching the Iran Alive broadcast via satellite in her home in Iran. She was captivated by the message of new life found in Jesus Christ brought by Dr. Hormoz Shariat.
She called the number given on the screen to learn more and over the phone prayed to receive Christ. The ministry sent her a Bible and connected her to an underground church. Every week as she attended church with other believers, she had only one request, “Please pray for the salvation of my brother.”
Several months later, this young Christian woman said, “God is working in my brother! He is now watching the same program I was watching.” Two more months passed and this sister in Christ told her pastor, “I believe my brother is ready to receive Christ. Please, please come and speak with him.” The pastor agreed and this is his story of sharing Jesus with this woman’s brother.
When I came to the house, it was not a regular house. It was more like a mansion. I said to myself, “This man must be extremely rich!” And there I met the brother of the member of my church. He was a respectable and serious man. When we sat down, he told me that he had been watching Christian television and had some questions.
His questions were sincere and after hearing my answers, he looked down and thought quietly for a few moments. Then he lifted his head, looked into my eyes and said, “OK, I am ready. What do I need to do to become a Christian?”
I joyfully led him in a salvation prayer. After the prayer, he asked, “What should I do next?”
I told him, “You need to read your Bible and attend our house church so I can teach you the basics of Christian faith and life.”
With authority he replied, “I cannot and will not do that.”
“Why not?” I asked.
He replied, “Do you know who I am?”
“No,” I said, and then his answer shocked me. He then described his high ranking position in the government and how one of his tasks was to discover Christians and arrest them! I was scared and speechless because he could have ordered my arrest and execution at that moment!
But he said, “I cannot come to your house church because it will cause both of us a great deal of trouble. I will read the Bible and watch the show. However, we shall also do this. You shall come to my home once a week from now on and you shall teach me about the Bible privately. And one more thing, let me make it perfectly clear, if you do not come, I will send after you!”
This high ranking government official is still in his position and the house churches in his area are growing rapidly with minimal persecution.
I learned this story from the ministry of Dr. Hormoz Shariat who has been called “The Billy Graham of Iran.” This is one of thousands of stories of God’s mighty works in this important country that is so much in the news.
It has been our privilege to be on this show twice before and later this Fall we will be on it again to introduce our video – The Renewal of All Things – in Farsi. The video will be beamed via satellite into Iran and will be part of the outreach of Iran Alive to the precious Iranian people.
Do you have Iranian friends? Love them, share Christ with them, and show them this 16-minute presentation of the Gospel in Farsi on You Tube with this link.
Remember to pray for us and we thank you for your donations which make our ministry possible. As soon as we get a firm date when we will be on the show again, we will let you know. – Jonathan & Kathy Williams, Word of God, Speak!
One year ago I revealed to friends something God put on my heart. I had kept it secret for months. I had not told a soul for fear that people might laugh at me or think I was arrogant. I believed God wanted to turn our radio program, Stories of the Master, into a dramatic television series.
When I finally shared this – no one laughed. And no one thought I was arrogant. Instead, they joined me in prayer for the impossible. It was impossible because I had no resources or contacts in the television industry.Yet, a few days later my wife and I connected with secular television executives who are believers and who became very interested in exactly what I was praying – turning Stories of the Master into a television show! They actually walked up to us and started talking to us! God brought them to us!
Now, one year later, my son Nate and I will meet again in Nashville, TN on February 23 with Peter Lamberti and Myron Nash of the award winning Lion Mountain Media to shape plans for a 2-season, 26-episode television series where we will tell the story of Jesus to the world. Our prayer is to present the biblical, kingdom-of-God, Jesus in four ways:
Dramatically – Accurately – Thoroughly – Excellently
God has powerfully answered these prayers for his glory to bring us to this point. Now, please join us in prayer February 23 and beyond as we shape Stories of the Master into a television show that will reach the world with the Gospel.
One or One Million – Both are a Privilege!