Sasan Tavassoli (Outreach) - April 2016 Update
U.S.A. and the World
Happy New Year (Norouz Mobarak)! Today is the first day of spring and also the beginning of the Iranian New Year! My prayer for all of us, whether we started our new year on January 1 or March 20, is that in this new season of life we continue to grow in our knowledge of the love of Christ and to reflect that love in all our relationships.
2016 has been an exciting year so far, both in my ministry and personal life. In January I had the privilege of preaching at a number of churches in Georgia and Tennessee as well as teaching at the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries conference in Atlanta on how to witness to our Muslim friends about the Holy Spirit and the presence of God in our lives. My teaching was broadcast over the web to over 125 locations in the U.S. and around the world.
The highlight of my ministry in January was to speak to over 1,100 pastors, elders and church leaders at the National Gathering of the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians in Newport Beach, CA. I shared the exciting message of how God is at work in the Muslim world, specifically in Iran, drawing people to Christ and how Jesus is faithfully building his church in the midst of all the suffering and persecution of Christians in Iran and the Middle East.
February saw me traveling internationally to London and Vancouver. I spent a week in England with other faculty members of our Iranian Bible college, Multimedia Theological Training, working on developing and revising our theological curriculum. We want to be very intentional in developing courses and training that meet the needs of Iranian house church leaders. We desire to be more effective and focused on equipping and resourcing leaders for their ministry in the context of Iranian society. I also had a wonderful time in Vancouver where I taught a weekend seminar on the subject of dealing with shame for over 150 Iranian Christians from a number of different local Iranian fellowships and churches in that city. I was able to spend some quality time with a number of Iranian pastors and provide some counseling and encouragement to them.
My main focus in March was to produce the fourth season of our successful TV program called “Our House, Our Church,” where we model for our viewers in Iran, Afghanistan and others in Diaspora how to form house churches and how to conduct a meaningful worship service. In this season, I taught about the importance of having a Christian worldview if we want to grow as individuals and also if we want to engage our society with the Gospel. In the first three seasons of these programs, we covered the book of Philippians, the Ten Commandments, and the “one another” passages in the New Testament.
These programs have been some of the most popular programs that I have produced in the last ten years, and I am very humbled by how God is blessing these programs to encourage and mobilize the house church movements in Iran. In fact, as a result of the audience response to these programs, I have now started teaching a weekly online class for Iranian church leaders focusing on church planting, church multiplication and leadership development. This is a new platform for me, and I am excited about being in more direct contact with believers inside Iran coaching and mentoring them in their ministries.
On a personal note, we are looking forward to two important graduations in our family coming up soon. Our daughter, Karisa, is graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. She is planning to stay and work in St. Louis for a year while she looks into various graduate school programs. Our son, Kalen, will be finishing high school and is in the final stages of deciding where to go to college. My wife, Kenna, and I are preparing for the next chapter in our life as “empty nesters!” We are thinking, praying and seeking counsel about our future and the adjustments that I need to make in my ministry focus so we can spend more time together and even travel together more often. I have also been attending to my health and have lost 40 pounds since August of last year! So overall, we are well and excited about life and what God has planned for our future.
I write all of this with a deeply grateful heart, knowing that I am where I am in my life and ministry because of your faithful love, support and prayers over many years. Please continue to pray for us as a family as well as the growth and the divine protection of the house church movement in Iran.
Your co-laborer in the Gospel,
Amount needed in 2016
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