By Mark Ellis
He was uncertain and purposeless when he immigrated to the UK from Iran as a Muslim. But eight years later, God is using Shapoor to build His kingdom among the refugee population.
“When I was a Muslim I didn’t believe God could talk to ordinary people and have any relationship or use ordinary people,” Shapoor told a ministry leader with Pioneers.
When Shapoor began to read the Scripture for the first time, it changed his life. “When I came to Christ and read the bible I found out God has a heart for sinners and everybody,” he says.
After Shapoor first believed, God filled him with a contagious zeal to spread the Gospel. “When I saw this unconditional love and the grace of God in my life I couldn’t keep this Good News to myself,” he told Pioneers. “Because we came from darkness to light we don’t keep this to ourselves. As you receive freely, give freely to other people.”
He began to share in the refugee camp, populated with immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Africa, many of them Muslim.
“I came here every Saturday to give them food. Also during the week we came and evangelized and talked about Jesus.”
With God’s help, Shapoor has led over 600 Iranians to faith in Jesus.
“One of the exciting things is to pass the Gospel on to the next generation,” he says. “As Paul said we try to find the people who are faithful and teachable and teach them.”
While there is a backlash against immigrants arriving in western Europe and the UK, Shapoor sees God-designed opportunities. “The nations are coming to us,” he observes. “In Iran people are arrested because they are sharing the Gospel, but when they come here we have freedom to share the Gospel and read the Bible and invite them to church.”
“No one wants to arrest us (here) because we preach the Gospel, so this is an amazing, amazing opportunity, to see how God is using this hard situation for His good.
“All people are made in God’s image and we should see them as human beings. We should see them with the love of Jesus. Jesus died for every person on earth. Jesus loved them unconditionally.
“My question is the same one God asked in Isaiah 6, ‘Whom will I send?’”
To learn more about Pioneers work with refugees, go here