Evan recently returned from a TLI short term trip to Athens, Greece. While in Athens, he had the privilege of teaching Iranian pastors. These men live in Athens for one of two reasons: 1) Some are fleeing certain death for being pastors in Iran; 2) Some immigrated to Greece in search of work and became believers through the outreach center where Evan was teaching. They desire to plant churches among Iranians in Europe or back in Iran. Some of these Iranian pastors will send the curriculum they were taught back to Iran to circulate among the house church there. The men have already had the three foundational courses TLI offers--Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Attributes of God--and they had requested to be taught the book of Genesis. Evan, along with TLI's Vice President, spent the fall writing and editing this Genesis curriculum, so the information was fresh in Evan's mind for teaching. While on the trip, Evan shared the following encouraging story as part of a trip update on TLI's website:
On Tuesday an Iranian man was walking around outside in a nearby plaza, praying to Allah for help with all his struggles. He walked by an Orthodox church and thought he would talk to some Christians. One of these Christians asked him to the Bible school I have been teaching in. He met some of my Iranian students, and they led him to the Lord. Later that night they asked him to give his testimony during our class. And then on Wednesday night, another young Iranian man became a Christian. I have been so encouraged by the evangelistic zeal of my students and the deep hunger they have for the Word. Tonight as I taught them how to preach Christ from Genesis, they were literally on the edge of their seats and taking notes furiously. They are so hungry for the Word, and they respond to it as though it were of greater value than priceless treasure.
Evan came back from Greece all the more eager for the work God has called us to in Northern Thailand, training pastors from our former country of residence, as well as many other pastors from SE Asia.
Evan and his Iranian students (below)