When his name was called, Pastor Qasem walked to the front of the room. It was dead silent, and all you could hear were his footsteps. He took a microphone, and his friend Pastor Laith stood next to him. Together, they began to sing.

The Persian lyrics (listen here) were impossible for our American team, and almost everyone else, to understand. But we heard something deeper than words go, something that we hear with our hearts, maybe, instead of our ears. There was a sweet, holy adoration to Jesus in their worship, a love of God displayed so clearly that many in the room held back tears. These men had given up everything to follow Christ in their home country of Iran—and many of us wondered if we had ever worshipped like that.

This happened last month as our team gathered from the United States, England, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia for our yearly Help The Persecuted conference. We enjoyed times of fellowship, prayer, and training. For the many who work in closed countries, it was a miracle that they could join us in person.

The point of these gatherings is to minister and encourage our on-the-ground team, but every time we attend, we feel like the ones being ministered to and being encouraged. We always leave with our souls lifted up, and this year was no exception.

No one would have known from the way Pastor Qasem sang that the day before, his church had been indefinitely closed by the government. No one would know that he was, after previously spending three years in prison for sharing the gospel in Iran, facing yet another round of persecution. In fact, it was as if something else entirely was on his mind—the constant goodness and faithfulness of our Lord.

Then, Pastor Qasem shared with our team the boldest prayer many of us has ever heard. “I believe that one day, Azadi Stadium will be filled with people worshipping Jesus.” Azadi Stadium seats 78,116…and it is in Tehran, Iran—a country where 99.4% of people are Muslims and converting to Christianity can lead to imprisonment or execution. It is a prayer that no amount of human effort or cleverness can accomplish. It relies entirely on the power of God to see it through. As we have returned to the United States, we are more certain than ever that we serve a God for whom the impossible is easy.

We invite you to join us in that impossibly bold prayer and to lift up our entire on-the-ground team to the Lord as they so faithfully shine the light of Jesus Christ in places of deep spiritual darkness.