Building Pastors +
Planting Churches

in nations hostile to the Gospel

Doubling The Number Of Churches In Iran

Church Planting and pastoring is important work, but the person behind it is even more so. 

In the next 60 days, our team will be hosting a Pastors and Leadership conference in the Middle East designed to develop, train, and refresh pastors from Iran. These leaders will travel out of the country to a safe place where they can worship freely, be inspired, and also connect with one another.

These are the men and women who often face persecution and great risk. You may have read some of our recent communications about 3 of our leaders who were arrested just before Christmas and have now been released. These are the types of people you have an opportunity to help attend our upcoming conference.

Several of these pastors are the ones who coordinate our Bible distribution efforts across Iran. It’s a significant and highly impactful week of ministry, relationship building, strategizing, and vision casting.

Currently there are 60 house churches in the network of churches we work most closely with inside Iran. Our goal is to double that to 120 by August of 2025. This is audacious, and it all starts with the people who will lead them.

Building Leaders

The investment needed into building the local church in Iran is not as much seen in bricks and mortar, but rather in building leaders. These are leaders whose names and faces you will likely never see, but their obedience, faith and courage is fanning the flames of revival in Iran.

The Iranian church has been growing around 19%. One of the greatest needs in the midst of revival in Iran is that of mature pastors with strong marriages and families, who are strong in the Word of God, carry a spirit of resilience, and possess good leadership skills. We have to make disciples who become disciple makers! The local church is the vehicle we accomplish this through.

Having church gatherings is not allowed in Iran, so believers use their personal houses for secret meetings that safely include anywhere from 10-30 people at a time. With the growth of the Iranian Church comes the need for more house churches and pastors.

To accomplish this, in addition to conferences like the one our team is preparing to host, we provide weekly leadership and training calls – providing structure and support, especially during times of opposition and persecution. We also work to develop their gifts and character for the tough task of pastoring that lies ahead of them.

The Bibles we continue to smuggle in reaching both Muslim seekers and new Christians are important. We need to keep sending those too, yet, we cannot stop there.

4 years later….The Fruit of Church Planting

In 2020, we shared the story of a boxer turned pastor named Juandry. Pastor Juandry and his wife – facing economic struggles, political obstacles, physical threat from neighbors, and a pandemic (to top it all off) – persevered and moved forward planting the church God was calling them to build. World Compassion helped to provide their new facility during this time and the fruit of this church has been unbelievable.

Although just four years old, the church they planted is extremely strong and has already helped to plant nine other churches and home groups in neighboring communities! With a focus on outreach, the church has donated paint, chairs, cement, and tables to the primary school of the community – impacting kids, teachers, and their families.

Over 30% of the church comes from addictions and Santeria (black magic) and are now walking in freedom. We met one young leader there, Yusniel, who is preparing to be a pastor and raising up others to carry the same vision – to see people healed and transformed because of the Gospel.

A Rural Cuban Church

Our team was recently in Cuba visiting some other church plant and expansion projects World Compassion is helping with. One church we ministered at is in a rural area. Pastor Jorge (you may remember him) was running a kids ministry of over 30 kids in their master bedroom. A few years ago, World Compassion helped them expand their house church to build out a sanctuary for the adults and added rooms to host kids’ services. This has allowed them to reach and disciple more families in their area.

We spoke on a random Tuesday night and they had over 100 people in attendance with people standing outside the door listening in. Maybe not large by our standards, but for a rural Cuban church – this is impressive!

As the service let out, we witnessed a single-cylinder tractor towing a trailer full of 22 people that came from 3 miles away! What was amazing is that it was actually a cold night for Cuban standards. Yet, there were bodies hanging on every part of the trailer just to get to church. 

The length of time it took them to travel this distance was an inspiring reminder of the hunger to hear God’s word, to be in church, and connect with one another!

The image of this tractor served as a stark reminder that most Cubans walk to where they’re going due to unreliable public transportation. Because of this, there is a need for a life-giving church about every 1.5 to 2 miles.

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World Compassion Terry Law Ministries d/b/a World Compassion and its affiliates are not a part of nor associated with Compassion International. Your gift will be used for these projects and many other outreaches of World Compassion.

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