Zahra is from a minority unreached people group in Azerbaijan. According to most reliable tracking sources of UPGs, Zahra’s people group has so few believers, if any at all, that the percentage is listed as nothing. Recently, we were able to have a conversation with her, which was wonderful because sometimes it’s hard to catch her online at the same time we are. We chatted for a bit about life and other things before moving into the spiritual.
I sent her the story of Nicodemus and the first half of John 3 in her own language. She immediately responded to the story of Nicodemus by reiterating some of the main parts to us, which helped us know that she understood what she read. She said she was so touched by the story and asked if I believe it is possible to be born again by the Spirit. She also said that it doesn’t seem we would have enough strength to go through spiritual rebirth. My heart leapt for joy, as it takes true opening of the spiritual eyes to begin to understand Scripture.
I shared with her that because we are all sinners, we have dirty consciences and can’t come to God, and then I asked her, “How can we have a personal relationship with God if He can’t be near sin?” She replied, “Through Isa [Jesus]?” I was able to share that this spiritual rebirth is possible because of Jesus’ sacrifice and that we are born again, not from our own willpower, but through the power of Jesus and our belief in Him. I told her a little of my testimony about when I first believed in Jesus and how it was like a shining light filled my heart and soul because she had shared how she liked the part of John where Jesus talks about the differences between the light and darkness.
My teammate also shared some Scripture with her about spiritual rebirth being the key moment of salvation.
At the end of our conversation, she said, “Ваша Вера в Ису меня вдохновляет,” which means, “Your faith in Isa inspires me.” Wow. Jesus is truly at work. She was already understanding herself, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, and simply asking more questions. I was in tears today, in wonderment, at the incredible privilege it is to witness the transformation of a hungry person’s heart by the Holy Spirit’s own wooing.
I told Zahra that I believe God is beginning a new work in her heart and soul, the beginning of rebirth in Him, and that He would be faithful to complete it. We told her we are continuing to pray for the truth of Jesus to speak to her heart. Please pray with us. There is such power in prayer, and Zahra needs your faith to battle on her behalf. As we prayed together for her, my teammate said, “We are joining alongside You, God, in the work You are doing in Zahra’s heart, through prayer.” Pray that Zahra won’t simply just love Jesus and recognize Him as God from afar, but that she would realize He is calling her out to follow Him, to make a decision for Him. Pray for Zahra’s entire family to come to faith together and be empowered to take the story of Jesus to their entire people group.