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In 1998, Kojan, a young man living in Northern Iraq, found two Kurdish language copies of the New Testament at a local Bazaar. As a book-seller, he bought the two copies, one for his bookstore and the other for himself. Over the next month, he read the entire New Testament.
Kojan found that the book resonated with him in a way that the Quran never had. He began to experience life change as he followed Jesus. He started to tell others about the book he had read boldly and the difference Jesus has made in his life. He often lent his copy to others, though made them promise to return it.
In 2001 Kojan met a Kurdish Christan who had come to his town to distribute Bibles. This man helped Kojan understand that he was also a Christian. The man mentored him and provided him with more Bibles.
Kojan continued to tell others about Jesus, and some of them accepted Christ. He received an invite to visit the city of Erbil, where he met other Christians and learned how to start a church. Over the next seven months, Kojan planted a church in his town that quickly grew to over 30 people.
The local Mullah learned about the small church. He instructed the people in the village to no longer associate themselves with the people from the church because they were considered infidels. Persecution quickly followed this treatment. Kojan’s children were in danger; someone even attempted to rape Kojan’s 5-year-old daughter. Kojan was kicked out of his house, and no one would rent to him. His own extended family disowned him.
But Kojan’s passion for getting the New Testament into the hands of as many people as possible never waned. In 2005, God gave Kojan the desire to reach people in Iran. After visiting Erbil, Kojan found 35 copies of the New Testament in Farsi. He bought them, despite being very poor, and he wrote his name and phone number in each one. He travelled to the border of Iran, where he began to hand them out to people going back into Iran.
Two Iranians came to find Kojan. They received a copy of the New Testament and found him using the information he had written the Bible. They had many questions and stayed with him for a week. The men came to faith during their stay and even wanted Kojan to baptize them. They became the first of many to receive Christ through Kojan’s Bible distribution strategy into Iran.
Over the next ten years, Kojan and others who he had discipled, smuggled over 310,000 Bibles into Iran. Eventually, Iranian government officials called Kojan and threatened to harm him and his family.
“God chose me, as the first in my village to discover his grace,” Kojan shared. “He led me to himself. The Bible was the means he used to change my life. I want many other lives to be changed the way God has changed my life, regardless of the risk.”
Today, revival is taking place in Iran. Is it possible that Kojan’s bold faith, and commitment to get the Bible into the hands of others played a part in what God is doing?
Kojan’s life changed when he received the word of God in his language, and he could not keep this precious gift to himself. Like Kojan, you have the power to give someone a Bible in their local language and make an eternal impact. Visit HOPEINACTION.CA to give!