Sometimes the Lord uses secular circumstances—past and present—to draw His chosen people to Himself. Last Sunday I had a fascinating conversation with “Hans,” a young leader in the local German congregation. I mentioned in passing that I would soon be leaving Kaiserslautern to share the Gospel with Afghan and Iranian migrants around Hamburg. “I’ve actually been to Iran,” he said. “Really—on business?” I asked. “No, as a tourist.” Now, Iran is not exactly your average vacation spot—given its strict implementation of sharia law and difficult economic situation. “Why did you go *there*?” I asked. Hans explained: “Persian history goes back over 2,500 years and I have always been fascinated by it. About ten years ago I traveled to Iran to see its history first-hand. Even though I was not a Christian at the time, I still knew that several Persian kings are mentioned in the Old Testament–in 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ezekiel, and Daniel. So, to understand Persian history better, I started reading the Bible. I soon discovered that Cyrus the Great was the very same Persian king who conquered Babylon and released the Judeans from Babylonian captivity. Because of this, Isaiah calls Cyrus God’s anointed (Isaiah 45:1) and shepherd. I even got to visit his tomb! Then you have Persian kings Darius I, Ahasuerus I (aka Xerxes I), and Artaxerxes I—again, all real historical figures—who play important roles in Scripture. I gradually realized that secular history and archeology corroborate the Old Testament. Reading on, I came across the promises of the Messiah and eventually comprehended that the New Testament reveals Him to be Jesus of Nazareth—true man and true God. Not long after this “clicked” with me, I started going to this church and soon got baptized.” “What a powerful story, Hans. Thank you so much for sharing it!” I replied. Indeed, the Lord has myriad ways of calling His chosen to Himself—using ancient Persian kings and even the Islamic Republic of Iran. As the prophet exclaims, “[The LORD]…says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill my purpose’” (Isaiah 44:28)!