Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Released From Iranian Prison


READ: Christian pastor jailed in Iran for 3 years is freed

Proof that there is power in community, and leveraging the collective voice of social media. Blessings on those who worked so hard to see this amazing day come to pass! Now let’s continue to shower Iran with the love of Jesus, and see His grace extended to even the most underserving.

UPDATE: 9.22.2012 – Read story on his thank-you letter here.

ch:

Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death

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For those that remember, I first shared about the 2009 imprisonment and possible death penalty decision of 34-year old Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani back in September 2011.

Today international presses and human rights watch groups (all except the ACLU from what I can gather) are condemning Iran’s High Court verdict of passing down the death sentence for abandoning Islam.

Please read the Fox News piece in full here.

This is in no doubt part of growing international sanctions on the sovereign kingdom, further proof that these leaders require our sincere prayers, and need exactly what Youcef could now give his life for: a relationship with Jesus Christ. Although it could be argued that Youcef and his family have already been giving their lives for this purpose; it’s the lifestyle of preaching the Gospel, not a martyr’s death, that most aggravates the enemy.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently launched a Twitter campaign to bring awareness to Youcef’s plight, already hitting over 400,000 Tweets and 150 nations (#TheOfficialACLJ).

I would strongly encourage you to share this story – whether my blog or any one of the international pieces published – with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, email contacts, text buddies, classmates, and coworkers. And please pray for the salvation of Iran and the release of Pastor Youcef to keep doing what he was born to do; reach his nation for Jesus. ch:

Scotland: Days 2 & 3

ch-ichat-logo.png Saturday found Jenny and I headed northeast, across the Firth of Forth (that’s “The River of Forth” to all you non-Scottish speakers) to famed St. Andrews. As in the recent pic, we met up with more of the Meldrum clan and toured the sites of the beloved town where David and Helen met during their time at university together.

From traipsing through cathedral ruins over 900 years old, to standing beside stonework indicating the exact places where Protestant martyrs were burned at the stake, to overlooking castle ruins, it was a wonderful and yet profound experience. Following a delicious open-air lunch of trout and mullet (no, not the hair-cut), I had the chance to walk on the fairway of St. Andrews’ “Old Course” (birthplace of golf) and have my picture taken on the Swilcan Bridge. (Kirk, Noel and Steve…wish you were here!). While anyone can play (for about $350+ per game), it’s only by chance that you’ll get a go at it; want-to-be golfers enter their names into a daily lottery (given the fact that so many people want to play). If you’re one of the lucky few, your name and start time are posted on a board. Fore!

We returned later that day and David, Philip and I enjoyed a beautiful walk through a nearby forest here in Dalkeith and explored a local abbey, now turned college.

I am completely amazed at the sheer amount of history here–something I could get caught up in for weeks and still only have scratched the surface. The very ground leaks with profound legacy and tradition. But the Christians here are quick to point out that they are not proud of it all.

Their founding and world-wide exportation of Freemasonry is something they are grievously aware of. And the tentacles of the occult, witchcraft and ancient druidism have left their mark. We’ve discussed, however, that while the US lacks the length of years to wager the same atrocities, we are guilty of our own exportation of filth, just in different avenues; namely our movies and TV programing.

Regardless of the negatives, the Kingdom of the Lord is forcefully advancing here and Jennifer and I are overjoyed to share in its movement–no matter how small our roll may be.

Sunday we had the honor of taking the entire morning service at the Full Gospel Church (AG) in Dalkeith. The sanctuary was packed out as a youth dance team started off with Matt Redman’s “Dancing Generation,” a song that I believe speaks prophetically of what’s on the horizon for Scotland as a whole. Jennifer and I led worship for the next hour, the people easily entering with us into the presence of the Lord; their obvious hunger and experience made them one of the easiest congregations we’ve ministered to in a while. We could tell they’ve been well taught and genuinely desire to see a move of God in their midst.

I preached a short introductory message on being hungry for Jesus to be revealed fully in our lives, so that “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27) may have His way in the county here.

After meeting the people, and being truly showered with love and warmth, we returned to the Meldrum’s home for a delightful lunch (not before spraying the boys next door with high-powered squirt guns!). Here we dined with a new friend, John, who was recently miraculously saved and turned around from a hard life on the streets. This guy has such a tender and kind heart, proving that the Lord doesn’t wish that even one would perish, but that all would have eternal life!

Then, last evening, Jennifer and I returned to the church and spent a longer time in worship, singing prophetically over the people and watching the Holy Spirit meet with those present in marvelous ways. Once we felt the Lord wanted to move on, I shared on maturing in Christ, speaking out of Ephesians 4 and Philippians 3.

It’s clear that there has been a solid foundation laid in this church, and from everything David has shared with us, the pastor here, the people are very much ready for what God has for them next. While I was in the shower Friday night, the Holy Spirit spoke the word “building” into my heart and, unless God changes the direction, I really feel that we’re going to continue in the vain of taking your county for Christ. We want to see souls saved, the culture changed and the society at large affected by Believers who are being obedient to the Holy Spirit in their lives.

May the Kingdom of God be advanced because of the seeds we sow here and more so beacuse of His everlasting faithfulness!

Thanks for reading and for your continued prayers,

CH