The custom of celebrating the New Year already existed in Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC. As many countries, Azerbaijan celebrates the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar - on January 1. However, people in the neighbouring country Iran, according to their calendar, have to wait until 21 March for their New Year officially to start, when they celebrate Novruz.
Yet, near the end of December, many Iranians travelled to meet their friends and family in Azerbaijan and celebrate the start of 2018. The Azerbaijani government did a lot of preparation for the New Year celebrations. The centre of Baku city was decorated, a special New Year Bazaar was opened, with lots of lights and musicians and national food to create a special atmosphere.
Not only the government made special preparations. So did our outreach team that is serving the Iran people! With so many Iranians visiting Azerbaijan and enjoying the freedom to speak about spiritual life, the team prepared gift baskets with sweets, fruits and toys, and also a micro SD-cards with Derek's Bible teaching, a Farsi Bible, and a the Jesus film in Farsi. They prepared 100 gift baskets and 400 small envelopes with a micro SD card and distributed all of them to Iranians during the New Year celebrations.
From recent years we know that the Lord uses the teaching to touch people and bring them to Jesus. Will you pray with us for their souls to be saved?
Also, please pray for the Nowruz celebration at the end of March, where we will do more outreach.