“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities…over this present darkness…” (Eph 6:12). This past year, Reverend Doctors J. Bombaro, A. Just, G. Martens, and I—along with some very talented people in the LCMS International Center—have been working on a stunning project, to produce three ten-minute videos on the basics of Christianity. These videos have been dubbed into various Middle Eastern and South Asian languages and will be distributed to those regions via YouTube, TikTok, etc. I was responsible for the Farsi translation—tasked to find native speakers to do the translation work. But where to find them? Over this past year, I talked to five potential translators, with Rev. Marko Turunen and his wife Siiri, Finnish missionaries who speak excellent Farsi, finally getting the job done. But we still needed proofreading by native speakers. We finally found some, all connected to Trinity Lutheran, Berlin, with 1,400 Persian members probably the largest Iranian Lutheran church in the world. Dr. Bombaro and I planned to travel to Berlin this past weekend to record the dubbing with a Trinity member. About to catch my train to Berlin, I got a message from Dr. Martens, their pastor, that our reader was sick and would not be able to make it. I messaged Dr. Bombaro, and we prayed that they would be able to find another reader. An hour later we got a thumbs up: the reader was going to come in after all. Once we got to Trinity, we had to deal with some layout issues but four hours later we wrapped up our work (see image, with Dr. Bombaro)—one year of labor condensed on a tiny blue SD card. Satan may have tried hard to prevent this work from succeeding. But what he meant for evil, God has meant for good (Gen 50:20) because considering the revolution in Iran, the delay in our Farsi video project is making the joyful news of the Gospel even more glorious for those being persecuted by the mullahs.
(Our reader’s face is hidden to protect his privacy)