Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Let us praise our Lord together for His faithfulness. God has indeed revealed his power this week in 222 Hellas and we are left utterly speechless, standing in complete awe of His grace.
Many of you know our dear brother Arash personally, many just through the prayer requests, but all have a crucial part in the answered prayer of Arash being released from prison. He arrived to the Center on Sunday, without a word he went straight up to the altar, knelt and praised the Lord. He then greeted us, and testified the following to everyone in the Sunday meeting:
“Some of you know me, some don’t. On Christmas Eve I went out to evangelize and sing praise to the Lord, I was the only one without documents and was arrested. Every single one of us know that no one leaves that prison, and that now there is even a law which states that no one can leave before 3 years, and there are no exceptions. But let me tell you the truth so you won’t be confused with the stories. Jesus is above all, even the law. It was not by money that I was freed. I don’t have any money, but it was Jesus, because I trusted in Him. I continued to praise him even in prison. Everyone in the prison knew me for my faith in Christ, I told them all confidently that I would be set free. The day I was, when the guards took me outside I fell to my knees and shouted praise to God. Everyone in the prison looked out at me, and I shouted out to them that it was Christ who set me free. I trust in Him and He is faithful. They all knew it was impossible for me to be set free from there, they all saw the miracle. And now you know too, that Jesus is God and above all.”
Later on he shared more with the team:
“I can’t even begin to explain how bad the conditions were in the jail, even if I spent all day trying, you could never imagine what it was like. But in those 6 months I learned more than I could have in 10 years outside. I saw things from God I have never seen before. I know it was His perfect will for me to be there”.
He told us about the Bible studies he started in his cell every day, how it kept on growing and how the prisoners are all hungry for the truth. Arash even made an impact on the guards who watched him. One guard asked him why he was always reading the Bible.
“You’re not a Christian like I am,” the guard ignorantly told him. Arash read to them from the Bible, and told them that soon Christ will set him free from prison, something that all guards knew to be impossible. Word spread about Arash’s faith. Even though the prisoners were not allowed to enter the small chapel in the prison camp, Arash was invited personally to go and take communion. The priest asked the guards to take his handcuffs off so he could take the bread and wine. They could not allow it. A lot of people and staff who heard about Arash gathered in the Chapel to watch this rare event. As our brother praised the Lord and took the bread and wine with his handcuffs on, he noticed that the guards holding him had tears in their eyes. We know God used Arash greatly inside that prison, for both the prisoners and the guards. Arash continues with the daily Bible studies via phone for the inmates. Soon we hope for David Powell to be granted access inside the cells to have Bible studies. Many of the prison mates who saw and heard Arash praising the Lord on the day of his release have since then gotten in contact with him so they also could join in the Bible studies.
We praise God for His perfect plan that is greater than we can fathom. Do not forget my dear brothers and sisters, how powerful prayer is. Let us continue to use it, for it is our greatest weapon and shield.
As you know brother Farzad is travelling in the States. Thank you for all your prayers for his health and journey , please continue to pray for the complete healing of his broken ribs as he has been in a lot of pain.
God has blessed us with a precious time of fellowship with two of our brothers from America, friends of Clark who came to visit last week. And Sasha with a team from AVC, who visited Arash in prison. One of the brothers from the AVC team is a doctor and invited the sick to our center so he could see and help them. This was greatly needed and we thank the Lord for sending people with such hearts of love and service. We greatly enjoyed serving and worshiping our King together with both teams and we look forward to more visits.
We are also waiting and praying that the landlord will sign for the new extension of 222 Hellas. The house will be used for our discipleship training program and to house the men taking part in it who have nowhere else to live. Even though we both agreed to the contract, the landlord is not willing to move forward with it at this time.
May God be glorified and His will be done in all things.
With peace and blessings,
222 Hellas team.