Dear friends and supporters of our ministry to Germany—and across Eurasia In the Christmas season, our lectionary readings demonstrated our Lord’s human nature—as He manifested Himself as a baby in a manger. Now, in the season of Epiphany, our focus expands: the lectionary readings illustrate how the Lord manifests His divine nature by working a variety of miracles—for instance, … Continue reading It’s 2023 – Expect Miracles!
Last Sunday in Bible class we discussed the Gospel lesson of that morning’s Divine Service—Jesus turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). My Iranian parishioners asked me why the Lord hadn’t prevented that embarrassing crisis from occurring in the first place, with the host running out of wine. I explained that this is the first miracle … Continue reading Mullahs for Christ?
Last week in Bible class for our Persian friends at Zion Lutheran in Hamburg: While enjoying German stollen cake, lebkuchen, chocolate Santa Clauses and Iranian chai, we discussed the Old Testament lesson of that morning—Isaiah 40:1-11, which opens with those beautiful words of “‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God.” Here the Lord promises consolation … Continue reading Babylonian Captivity
“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 … Continue reading The Good News in Persian
In Bible class we recently discussed how amidst the tumult of Jesus’ arrest our Lord rebuked Peter for cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Jn 18:10). Applying this to the ongoing revolution in Iran, I showed that we need to remain peaceful and pray not only for the protesters but also for … Continue reading The Mullah Question
Yesterday one of my Iranian parishioners asked me: “The Prodigal Son…who is Jesus talking about?” “ I replied: “The Prodigal Son in Luke 15 is you, me, and every Christian who recognizes his or her sins and repents. But the main character here is the father who had been waiting for his son to return. … Continue reading The Perfect Father
Thanksgiving Day, a quintessential American holiday, is not celebrated in Germany—and certainly not in Iran (although one of my Iranian parishioners texted me “Happy Thanksgiving” this morning!). Even though this man lives in a crowded room with several other Iranian migrants, he is still grateful for how richly the Lord has blessed him. For starters, … Continue reading Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!
One of the highlights of my week is our baptismal prep class. Even though it was cold, wet, and dark, my Iranians showed up for class last Thursday evening. I began the lesson: “If your doctor told you that you had to die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day on earth?” After some … Continue reading Your Last Night
Last week I was preparing “Omar” for his asylum hearing: “Why did you leave Iran?” Omar explained that he had always had reservations about Islam because of its severe legalism. But then in 2013, even that tenuous connection to the Muslim religion dissolved when his 17-year-old nephew was abducted by three Muslim men and brutalized … Continue reading Why Did You Leave Iran?
One of my tasks is to prepare Iranians who have converted to Christianity for their asylum court hearing. In that interview, the judge will try to assess whether Jesus Christ is at the center of the applicant’s life. If he or she is not able to demonstrate an authentic Christian faith, extradition to Iran is … Continue reading For My Father and Mother Have Forsaken Me