Apart from the other boys and girls at the orphanage, cross-cultural workers and their children are the only family Medhi* has ever known. He arrived at a children’s home run by Christar workers in Iran in the 1950s, when he was very young, and has no memories of his mother or father. But, through the faithful ministry of these workers, he continually experienced the love of his Heavenly Father.
Throughout his childhood, as these workers cared and provided for him, Medhi not only heard about Jesus but came to know the joy of being part of a family of His followers. He even went to live with workers who’d moved to another area of the country so he could attend a better school, and to this day he considers both his fellow orphans and the children of the orphanage staff his siblings.
However, it wasn’t until Medhi completed his mandatory military service as a young man that the seeds of faith that had been planted in his childhood began to fully blossom. While carrying out his duties in a small village, he gained an understanding of the religion that the vast majority of his countrymen followed. As he watched the villagers perform the requirements of their Muslim faith, he sensed a new level of commitment to the God he’d learned about at the orphanage. He resolved, “I don’t want Islam; I want to be a follower of Christ.”
Mehdi’s newfound understanding of the faith most of his fellow Iranians embraced not only solidified his trust in Jesus, but gave him a desire to introduce others to his Savior. After completing his required stint in the military, he joined a mission organization and served among the least-reached in his homeland, seeking to give them the opportunity to know and worship Jesus.
But God had a plan for Medhi that reached farther than his homeland and even beyond the Middle East. Through his ministry in Iran, Medhi met a German believer who would become his wife, and after completing Bible school, he joined the German mission of which she was a part. Together they served for four years at an orphanage in South Asia, then moved on to ministry in North Africa when their host country would no longer allow them to stay.
Eventually, God brought them to Germany to await a new assignment, and while there Medhi and his wife made a marvelous discovery: Iranians were not only plentiful in this country, but were anxious to hear what Christianity was all about. Many placed their faith in Christ as the couple shared the good news, and the two sensed God calling them to remain in Germany to minister among these least-reached people who were so open to the gospel.
In the early 1980s, Medhi stepped out in faith and formed his own mission board, and since then he’s served full time among Farsi-speakers. In addition to seeing many Iranians trust in Christ, many Afghans have responded to the gospel as well.
Medhi praises the Lord for the continued receptiveness he sees among these people. “Today Iranians and Afghans need almost no encouragement to come to church and even come on their own,” he shared in a recent prayer letter. “Much to the amazement of many Germans, they want to become Christians.”
When he first began serving in Germany, it was rare to hear of someone seeking to share the good news of Christ among these people groups, but now it’s much more common. By God’s grace, ministry among these least-reached people will become even more widespread as the many who’ve come to faith through Medhi’s witness reach out to their fellow Iranians with the hope found only in Jesus.
God has used Medhi not only in Germany, but in countries throughout Europe as he’s been invited to partner with others reaching out to Iranians across the continent. Thousands have been impacted for Christ through his ministry.
Though he’s now at an age when many would retire, Medhi is still going strong, discipling believers one on one and teaching a group of Iranians on Wednesday nights. And, he’s not the only one. A number of his “brothers and sisters” from the orphanage have also devoted their lives to ministry and are serving the Lord around the world.
Through the faithfulness of Christar workers over a half-century ago, God continues to produce a bountiful harvest for His kingdom! We praise God for bringing forth fruit that continues to multiply and trust Him to do the same through the service of the present generation.
How can I get involved?
- Praise God for using the faithfulness of past generations of Christar workers to bring forth a harvest that continues to multiply.
- Ask God to continue to use Medhi and his wife to reach many Iranians with the hope of the gospel.
Your gift to the Persian Outreach project could help a Persian hear the gospel for the first time!