London: Iranians in Diaspora Trip Blog - Tired but Hearty
Our First Day in London: Tired but Hearty
from Tom Widmer, for the team
The Iranians in Diaspora team arrived in London today, arriving from California, Idaho, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina separately. But with God's grace, we found each other! The purpose of this trip is to meet Iranians who have left their home country and are living abroad, actively doing ministry to others in diaspora but also to those still in Iran. Our team is small in number (seven), tired from overnight flights, but curious and eager to get started.
And we did get moving quickly. We loaded up in the mini bus and headed first to the London Central Mosque at Regent Square. Our aim was to become more culturally aware of the Islamic community in London. The mosque is the largest in England and quite active. From there, we drove to an Arabic area of London, complete with street markets, stores, ethnic restaurants and of course a cacophony of languages and dialects. We had dinner in a Lebanese restaurant where we serenaded Tracie Stewart on her birthday. And, the entire restaurant joined in!
We were joined at dinner by two Iranians, Amir and Rashin, who are Muslim Christian converts and are deeply involved in ministry to Iranians in London, Iran and many other countries. Rashin shared with us about her father, who was also a Muslim convert and became a pastor while still in Iran back in the 1970's. So strong and impassioned he was for sharing the Good News with Iranian Muslims that despite death threats, he remained in Iran to be a witness. However, in 1990, he was picked up by the police, put in jail, and was executed for his belief in Jesus. He was the first Christian pastor to be officially executed by the government regime, and others followed. As a result, Rashin became dedicated to sharing the Truth to other Iranians through a unique and powerful ministry, in London and the world!
We sign off on this first blog tired but excited about learning more from and about our Iranian friends.
Blessings from the team