An Insider’s Take on Afghanistan, Persecution, & What’s Likely Ahead

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Episode Summary

Why Afghanistan matters for your family and Biblical perspectives on how God may use these situations so more come to know Him.

We aren’t a guest show, but sometimes we make an exception for worthy discussions. This is a must-listen as Isaac interviews Andrew Yeghnazar as they discuss the fastest growing church in Iran, Biblical perspectives on the current Afghanistan situation, and how we can be a part of God’s solution as Muslims relocate. It will stir up courage in you to reject passivity and raise up courageous Christian kids. 

Andrew Yeghnazar was born in Iran, lived in Asia and the middle east before moving to the UK, and finished high school and college. He then immigrated to America. He has worked in the corporate world helping grow American businesses globally yet has a passion for missions. Andrew’s father founded Elam Ministries (Elam.com) in the UK serving Iran and the Iran region. Andrew serves on the board of Elam in the US. Andrew is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Owner/Management Program. An internationalist, Andrew has been to over 50 countries and loves languages, culture, and cooking international foods. But his most cherished title is Dad – and his favorite pastime is spending time with his wife Laura and their three boys – for real. Just a normal guy/dad trying to make a little positive difference and encourage “Familyship”.

Main Points In This Episode:

  1. Andrew shares about growing up in Lebanon playing with bullets and shrapnel as toys.
  2. His journey immigrating to America and his passion for getting Bibles in the hands of Iranians and Afghanistanis and supporting the underground church.
  3. Why freedom is important and the need for Americans to reject passivity and become faithful doers.
  4. A prediction that the Afghanistan situation is going to get much worse based on his first-hand experience with the Iran hostage crisis of the past.
  5. Why the Biden administration is only allowing Muslim Afghans to come to America while rejecting Christian Afghans.
  6. How God may be able to redeem this situation by people spreading the Gospel to newly arriving immigrants. 
  7. How they are using technology to equip the underground church.
  8. A new plan to use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to reach more people for Christ.

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Scripture In This Episode:

Acts 1:8 –But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2 –Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

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Thank you for being part of this movement to equip 1 million families and their legacies with Biblical truth to raise confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous

Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our kids biblically based on the raw truth found in the Bible.

We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith. By age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting. Welcome back to the podcast, everyone. We’re so glad you’re here. Now, I don’t have Angie with me today. She needed a little break, but we have a special guest, which is rare because this isn’t a guest show. It’s usually Angie and I doing our thing. But every once in a while, when there’s a worthy person with a word worthy cause, we make an exception. Bring them on. And Andrew Yeager, Nizer YEG Desert, Youngness, Earth. Yeah, I just met him, by the way. That’s why I can be OK with that right now. We literally met yesterday,

Yesterday, day before

Yesterday for you out there. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. So go ahead. Yeah, go ahead. That’s right. You came down. They came down on TV. I mean, the kids were getting ready to go as if you know about gearheads. You know what I was dealing with. It’s horrible. But anyways, yeah, we briefly met then and then. Are your friends in our new friends? And you are. Our new neighbors were baptizing their son in the river and we came down, had some fun together. So anyways, Andrew’s here because he’s just got an incredible story. And maybe we could start you just sharing a little bit about your background. Sure.

Well, it’s just it’s great to be with you and to to get to speak to to some of your friends out there. Yeah. And just to share some stories. My name’s Andrew and my wife’s name is Laura. I personally grew up and was born in Iran and have lived in a number of different countries, the Philippines. My mom is English from India. My dad is Armenian from Iran. And so those of you are not sure where that is. We can go to the you can go to Google and figure that out. But the born in Iran and then moved to Lebanon. And and since then, I’ve lived in a number of countries. But about 26 years ago, I came to the states and I’m a very proud American. I have when I became an American citizen, my wife actually arranged for our local congressman to fly the flag over the Capitol, D.C. So they flew the flag. I’ve got that in my office. It’s always been whatever office I’ve been in. Yeah. And so that’s kind of the background. My wife grew up all over Africa. Yeah, she’s from Italy. And so we’re kind of an international family. Very much so.

But you had an interesting childhood. I mean, just a little bit I heard, because, you know, your formative years, you’re in Iran and then you’re in Lebanon while there’s a war going on.

So that Lebanon was really the what for me. Yeah. Growing up in a war torn country. And I remember going to school sometimes sometimes like going to school for like four or five months. And then sometimes you go to school and the friends were not there the next day. And so you grew up quickly because you never knew if tomorrow would come. A lot of the folks in my parents’ family were like, why are you living in Lebanon? It’s a danger zone. And I always remember my mom and dad saying it’s always safest to be in God’s will. Doesn’t matter where you are. It could be total turbulence and calamity going on around you. But if you’re in God’s will, you actually feel his peace. And so that to me, I grew up in Lebanon and I saw what it was like to be affected by war. My collection, my toys, I remember climbing on, you know, Humvees and personnel carriers. There was a time when we had three chieftain tanks and a couple of jeeps with laser guided missiles in our backyard. And so that was kind of you know, that was just what we grew up in, collected, you know, for toys. We collected shrapnel, bullets and all kinds of stuff. So it’s a different upbringing. Yeah. And nowadays we live here. We don’t want our kids playing tag because they might get hurt. Right. Right. And so it’s the world of states.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, people are a little soft and they’re very

Like, that’s OK. Just rub some dirt.

But you’re talking to courageous parents here, so. Exactly. This is a different crowd. You have these people. So in Andrew’s coming on because he’s part is on the board of an organization, Elum dot com. You can look it up Eelam dot com. But there’s so much going on in the world right now. The church in Iran is spreading like you wouldn’t believe the Christian church. It is unbelievable. And they’re not allowed to exist. It’s literally an underground church. And we’ll talk about that. We’ll talk about, you know, what’s happening in Afghanistan. He’s got a you know, a bird’s eye view into some of those things. And I just thought this was fascinating because you see what’s happening in the news. And, you know, Christians are being persecuted at greater levels than ever out there. But at the same time, God’s church is also growing in an accelerated rate. Yeah. Especially in these war torn areas, in these areas where the persecuted. Yeah, it’s well,

It so this is where our pastor, you know, sometimes says that we live here in the states. We live in a the Disneyland of the Christian world. In a sense, and I’m from California, and so we can relate to that. What we’ve seen happen in Iran and we’ll share a little bit about that now is. What’s going on there? What’s happened there since 79 in the last 40 years and now what we see transpiring in Afghanistan, very, very sadly, we see, you know, people who are helpless. We see people being harassed, tortured. And while we see all of that. The question is, is there another side to what? Is there another purpose that God can bring something good out of this situation? And that’s kind of what we went through when we looked at Iran. And I always like to go back to the Bible because we’re not reinventing anything. And what we’re seeing today is not very different than what’s happened many times before. You look at the Bible and we’re sitting here, how, you know, whether you’re in Idaho, Chicago, L.A., wherever. What do I know about what’s going on in Iran? You just need to look at your Bible. We have the luxury. I guarantee you, you probably have more than one Bible in your home right now. Whether it’s dusty or not is up to you. But the fact is, you look at the Bible and you see how is that related to Iran. You look at the book of Daniel.

Daniel was the prime minister of Iran. Now, he was a Jew who was appointed prime minister. Think about that other foreign country. Yeah. You see Joseph now. Joseph was not in the same kind of test. Joseph was an Israelite who became a ruler in a foreign nation, not Iranian. But just the idea that how God takes people and puts them in awkward situations and then comes through for them and builds good out of it. You see, Esther was the queen of Persia and who saved her people. And so you see Iran in that region, you know, all spread throughout the Bible. And you see, OK, Lord, you obviously had a plan for that part of the world before you look at Nehemiah. It was the funds of the the Persian Empire that actually paid for the rebuilding of the temple. Nehemiah Esra, you’re like, wow. It’s amazing how God can turn things around. And as we look at the situation today, we can share a little bit about what God is doing in Iran. Yeah. But as we look at the situation today, whether you’re watching, you know, no matter what news network you’re watching, what podcast you’re listening to, what what what you’re reading. It’s not good news. Mm hmm. And how can we see God’s plan come through this? And how can he use us to actually be his disciples, his witnesses in this situation and to try and bring good.

Amen. And it’s interesting because we can get so down if we read the headlines and all these things, and you can start to lose hope. But then we’re always reminded by what the Bible says. We have the greatest hope they exist. God is sovereign. He is in control. He is not purposely making every single thing happen. There’s sin in the world, but he is the redeemer. And he can work out these things for good. As you’ve seen in history, there’s so many things in biblical history that have happened in that way. And so, you know, it’s interesting when I was so excited when I met you. Well, you have a great smile and you’re fun to be around. But other than that, it was I find out you’re from Iran. And I’m like, wow, this is really interesting because I was reading this article about how the church is spreading over there in such an oppressed place right now. And literally evangelists will be going to speak to somebody and God will appear to them before they show up. And then literally the person that they were going to speak to says, are you the ones that are going to share about God with me? And I’ve read these things, and a lot of times even the guys are getting killed over there and there’s things happening to them. And then the women pick up the baton and are going out and evangelizing and helping run churches. And it’s just really remarkable. God’s going to do it. However, again, Wright is here.

So this is where I love the title. Courageous Parenting. Yeah. So courage. Right. That is the one thing that we need in the church today. And that’s the one thing that we see in the church and have seen in the church in Iran for the last 40 years. There was a time where there were missionaries who were there. We had sent missionaries for years from the UK, from America. The revolution came. All the missionaries had to leave. So the national church had to stand on its foot, on its feet. Very similar in Afghanistan today. There were thousands of people there. They’ve all left for the most part. Some have been left behind. Right. But they’d be leaving in Iran. What happened is this when Khomeini came to power. And introduced his version of what Islam is all about. The people reacted to that and what the Christians on the ground were able to do was share the love of Jesus. It wasn’t going in there and fighting and debating, but it was as believers living day to day life in a sacrificial way and in a very bold way. So now, you know, as a minister, Islam is involved in taking the gospel to Iran and the surrounding region. We’ve been doing that for many years and doing it with different groups. And the stories we could tell you, I mean, amazing stories of generally of genuine miracles that have been happening, but God using everyday, ordinary people.

Hmm. Moms, dads, children who have the boldness to be able to take the scriptures, which is one of the things that we have really invested in the most, in which the American church has been unbelievably generous in helping us print. We’re on our second millionth printing, taking in the gospel, sharing it where people are then able to take that Bible and put it in the hands of a total stranger, ask them if they can share something with them. Typically wrapped very nicely as a gift to give to people. Hmm. And people will welcome it. I can tell you story upon story, when somebody receives that gift, puts it kisses, it says, I’ve been praying for this. I’ve been looking forward to this. Stories of friends who have driven out in the middle of the night, one o’clock in the morning, stopping at a red light, and the Lord says, OK, that’s the car. I want you to go give it to having the boldness to get out at that red light. Tapping on a window saying, I have a gift for you. And the guy’s like, I knew I was going to get it. I didn’t know when I was going to get it. I’d be waiting for this gift. God told me I was going to get this gift and then taking it.

It’s such an amazing story because you probably are aware of this, but there’s tremendous risk for that person in the car to roll, even roll his window down and give this away because he can be killed. He could be. Oh, you know, you’re not supposed to do that. You don’t know who that person is.

You don’t know. And you’re not

Supposed to be listening to the spirit. Roll the window down. Give the read the they can’t read books, right?

Yes.

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.

I wish I had one with me. It’s actually this scam. You know, it’s a it’s a maroon color. Yeah. I wish everybody knows it because even at the airport, when they’re leaving their signs to make warning, passengers leaving the country do not bring this book back in. Well, guess what? When the government tells you not to do something, guess what you going do? We’re doing it. But know that that and. But the boldness, having gone to jail. People have lost their lives. And we were just chatting before, you know, here in the States, it’s difficult for us to understand how somebody loses their life, loses their family. We just sometimes can’t understand that. But they lose their jobs. There’s that economic persecution. They’re totally ostracized from families. But amazingly, what happens when these folks come to know Jesus? Yeah. They can’t but share and literally their families by the whole families, they will bring their families to the Lord. Yeah, because they’re sharing very openly. Yeah, we get embarrassed going down the street and saying, hey, we want you know, if somebody comes into your office, do you have your Bible on your desk or do you put it into your drawer? Do we not want to be known by that? And so from a perspective of being courageous. Yeah. Courage needs to be backed by action. Yes. And that’s what we’re seeing there. And God is blessing and protecting through that action. And you’re seeing now in Iran, actually the largest growing church in the world in many ways. Many God is using different groups. There isn’t just one group, but God is using different groups. And part of our ministry is to help equip the church.

We have a lot of listeners in Australia, in Canada, obviously, ton in the United States and all over the world. But to our Canadian friends and Australian friends, where there’s lockdown’s right now, where churches literally aren’t allowed to meet. This perhaps could be an encouragement for you guys to meet in homes and to defy what they’re saying and have small groups in the underground church could be going there. We are not to forsake the meaning. Right. We’re supposed to continue to meet. And so maybe this will be encouraging to you to take action if your family is not meeting for church and the government is telling you not to. That’s not OK.

That’s OK.

And let’s think about our brothers and sisters in Iran. They’re losing their lives. Yeah.

So we we went through this whole pandemic. Yeah. And I’m not here to say that you should have done this. Shouldn’t have done this different places. Did it differently in our church back in L.A., you know, we stayed open. And I’m speaking as somebody I don’t think you even know this. I had Covid. I was in hospital twice. I was actually in ICU as well. While I was in ICU. My family could come and see me. Covid, really? Yeah. And so but we came up with like, you know what? We dealt with that. Hmm. And for us, the meeting with the believers, I can’t tell you how precious that is and how important that is. Yeah. And so as we’ve been separated, we’ve been taught to stay in our homes. We have to have fellowship. Yeah. We are created for fellowship. God created us for fellowship with him. And in the same way, that’s how we are, actually. I mean, you need to be in fellowship. I would encourage you to be in fellowship. And that’s how our folks in the country are are able to stay connected. Yeah. Now they’re bold. Yeah, they’re bold because they’re meeting. They’re not supposed to be meeting. Yeah. And we’re able to use technology to communicate.

How are you using technology?

So we have move through different through different websites to different through different channels that might be used to counsel people here in the states or we’re using to connect with people over there. Ok, so what is used for a cancellation here? We’re using for connection on that side of the world. Love it. And so, you know, just like they couldn’t keep Jesus in the grave, you can’t keep a good thing down. Yeah. And so we will use technology. We have to be smart. Yeah. And we will use that. So but what is happening is, is the hunger on the receiving end. And I would just encourage, you know, wherever you are and. Don’t just turn the TV on or the podcast on when that happens, when there’s a few of you in the room, spent time in prayer with each other, spent time encouraging each other, spend time getting to know each other beyond just turning on the TV and shutting it off, because that’s great that we feed our mind. But we also need to have that fellowship with each other, too, and then help each other in the communities that we are through practical things. I think those times are coming, too.

Yeah, totally. Let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening in Afghanistan. You have a little bit of a bird’s eye view into that. Obviously, there are more than 150 Christians left behind. As you know, some of the State Department people would say so. But what’s just give us a sense for what’s happening over there.

And and so the whole our focus has been on Iran. And as we look at Iran in the region, you have similarities in language and with the Dari and the Pashto. But when you you know, as we’ve been looking at Afghanistan since for the last 20 years, and then you look at the history of Afghanistan under the hunger of the people, there’s actually so many different people, groups that make it up. The situation that we’ve seen on television recently, it’s been very sad. I’ve been following things. I’ve had friends who’ve been going through. Whether it’s with with the State Department or through other groups that are, you know, going on the ground, they’ve seen the atrocities that have been taking place. Some we hear on the news, most of it we don’t. And whether we like it or not, we’re out of Afghanistan now, in a sense, my personal concern is that we haven’t seen the worst of it. I think we’re going to see things transpire and we will be exploited. They will use the media to exploit it. And my heart goes out to people who are still on the ground. Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that some people just felt the calling.

And I’m not talking here about American citizens or Afghans who worked with the U.S. forces to help. But there’s there are believers on the ground who could have escaped, who chose to stay. Interesting. Who are saying who are suffering. Hmm. But for them, there was that that was their calling. I think there’s many people who wanted to leave who simply could not leave. Yeah. And that to me is is just a travesty. Yeah. That being said. We we we serve a God of impossibilities. Mm hmm. And who takes a tragedy and can make something beautiful come out of it? Yeah. We plant a seed. That seed has to die and then it produces that fruit. Yeah. And the blood of the martyrs has always been what has propelled the church forward. Mm hmm. We can’t understand that. But in Afghanistan today, unbelievable challenges going on. There’s groups trying to help people get out in very clandestine ways. We’re supposed to be courageous. Right. And so we have people of courage, genuinely trying to help people outside of certain parameters.

Well, I know there’s many veterans that are still there right now trying to help people through their client, the Underground Railroad. I was just reading. And they have these interesting routes and ways to get in and try and find people. And you can get them out, right? Yes. And they’re right. As we speak right now, it’s in the news that there’s six, I believe, six planes on the tarmac at the airport that are not allowed to leave, that have American citizens, Christians, Afghans who, you know, Christians and so forth, that they want to leave and they’re not being allowed to leave. So it’s a total blockade. It’s there’s not cooperation happening with again. And and that’s what’s boggling to me, that our State Department, that our president could believe you could actually get along with trust and the Taliban to to do anything.

Yeah, that is wild. There’s so much history packed into that statement. Yeah. And so much you could go into. Well, the answer is no. Yeah, you can’t. You can’t. That’s a very simple. And I wish we had your audience looking back at us right now. Right. And we could see their face like I can’t believe that we we thought this would happen. I think I think the way we did things, whether we should or shouldn’t have and the way we did things will be studied for four decades, actually. Yeah. But what we know is this is I mean, basically the administration, the White House, the State Department, these guys, it doesn’t seem that anybody was actually talking to each other. Mm hmm. But that being said, you have these folks on the ground. There are people trying to get them out. Mm hmm. If we can’t stay organized in our in our country here, how do you think they’re going to stay organized over there? So you’re going to have all kinds of factions coming about, which then creates opportunities for people to do things that are creative, to help people access freedom, which is really what this is about. Yeah. This whole concept of freedom, which we take for granted, where we have taken for granted, except in the last couple of years, with all now the the mandates and controls and where this stand here, do this do that. We’re starting to see just a little bit of that going away. But and that side of the world in Afghanistan, when you talk about freedom, there’s no such thing anymore. And so how do you do that? This is all access to freedom. Yeah. Which we are. It’s freedom loving people. Yeah. Understand. We see that we are we value that and we want others to have it, too. And now when that is snatched out from under them and you see now what their life is going to become if they’re allowed to live, it’s a different world altogether.

Let’s talk about freedom for a second. Obviously, it’s a God given thing that we’re to to be free, we feel, and inside our selves that we desire to to be free, to be creative, to to do good things in the world, to be productive, to marry, to to raise family and safety in these things that we feel a desire who you want. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And we desire these things. And, you know, countries that infringe upon human freedom, all we see is destruction when that happens. But what do you see happening in America? Because you have a unique perspective because you weren’t born here. You know, what do you see happening to the freedom here and why do you think it’s happening?

Great question. Well, first of all, I’m a I’m American now. Yeah, I’m not a something American. I’m American. Yeah, my kids are American. And to me, America has always been this this ideal of freedom. Right. I’ve lived in countries where people are not free. I’ve traveled you know, I’m a I’m a businessman. I’m in the marketplace. And I’ve traveled to over 50 countries. I’ve had the privilege of being in some places that are free and others where you’re told to stand there and you will. Otherwise, you’re going to be you know, you’re that freedom will be taken away. And the. It’s so precious that so much blood has been poured for this freedom that in some ways it’s just being taken away left and right from us here. To me, as I look at freedom, we’re chatting about this earlier. You know, the first like almost the first writings on human rights are in the Bible. You look at Daniel and King Cyrus was really writing that his decree on freedom and civil rights. That was a Persian king, an Iranian king writing about freedom back in the book of Daniel that has then been taken and developed. And now here in the States, we have the you know, we have this God given right. And the pursuit of freedom and happiness. If we’re not very careful. Right, I see those being eroded. Anybody looks at it. But even if you live in the states, you have all these regulations from state to state. You can see where you have more freedoms or less freedoms. But from a from a national perspective, the way we’re being attacked and you seeing these mandates coming down, pressures being put on corporations, the government becoming much bigger and the individual becoming much smaller. Hmm. We actually have to stand up and again, be courageous. It actually starts with parenting, because if we’re not bringing up our kids to be courageous and to be bold, very soon they’ll take away other things and the things that we know we should be doing, we won’t have the courage to do. And eventually, that all goes away.

And the only way your kids are going to learn that is if they witness it. You can’t teach courage out of a textbook. Yeah, it is them watching you endure hard things, trusting God in the process and sharing about it with your kids so they can help pray in their part of the process of watching God answer those prayers and come through and watching you stand in faith and walk forward and courage to do what is right. And so you can’t teach that any other way than by example.

Yeah. But again, I don’t know if you guys can see us, but you can hear us. The first time we met. Yeah. You were leading your kids out in that field by example. And it’s important for your listeners to hear that what you and Angie are saying. I think you’re actually living out. Oh, thanks. Because you were out there showing them how it needs to be done. You had three of your boys out there. Right. I saw that because we drove up and this was just literally two days ago. Yeah. And you hadn’t sent them out there to do something. You were showing them how to do how to get rid of these goat heads. And so to to to the folks out there listening and who are following Isaac and Angie, from what I’ve seen, they practice what they preach. And I saw your kids interacting with our family the other day. I’m telling you, the most well-behaved family and kids. A big series. Yeah. You didn’t pay me to say this, right? No. No. And so what happens is not because people who are investing time and listening to you need to know that this is the real deal. We have so much fake stuff out there. Yeah. And so I’m just genuinely looking at you in the face and saying your family’s beautiful. Thank you. Your children respectful. Right. Able to sit there with discipline and engage your son, telling me about what he wants to do, how he wants to start his business, what he wants to do here, what he wants to do there. And I just I just want to commend you. So if you’re listening to this, whatever Isaac and Angie are actually sharing with you, they’re actually living out. And I’ve seen firsthand the last couple of days and I’ve heard about it from our mutual friends. I just want you to know. Thank you. I mean and I mean.

Thank you. What’s been a delight to meet you and your family, too? So it’s been it’s been super fun. I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that will has some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family, no matter what time of year. It’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to Craig’s parenting dot com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a courageous parenting dot com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at courageous parenting dot com.

Steven, I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children, but Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal. This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just a really great practical application. This class has just really rocked my world. It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise their kids physically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things at the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the. Questions that have been in our mind, it’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is. Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more, no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise the lights

To be leaders for the next generation.

Appreciate that. So we have these. So right now we have the Afghanistan challenge. And what I understand is that they’re not letting the Christian Afghans come over there, letting only the Muslim Afghans come over. And that’s why there is kind of controlling that. Whatever the reason is. And whoever is controlling Biden, we don’t need to go into that. Everybody has theories on that. That’s right. But what’s interesting is God is the redeemer. And so you have all these Muslims coming over in. What is the solution? What’s the opportunity? What’s the harvest? It’s opportunity here. And I was so that’s one of the most exciting reasons I think I brought you on is because I’m like, wow. Sometimes we get caught in the challenge, but we need to shift and go, what is God going to do here? And if we’re looking for what God may be doing, we can be part of God’s solution is right.

Right when our present. So the way I like to look at it and by the way, we’re sitting here, beautiful mountain scenery. We look at the landscape. God looks beyond that at the Inskip. Right? I’m reading here. Can you share scripture? And we do from Acts chapter one. Verse eight says, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and the ends of the Earth. We see the situation happening. I don’t know why this administration is letting one person and not another. It seems that they’re letting people of one faith in and trying to restrict those of another that’s between them and God. Right. But what I do know is we’ve all seen people. Clamoring to hold on to those planes, some of them actually falling to their death, tragic. Which just tells you about the situation, just that one picture

In the fear of staying in that country

Or staying is so that’s clear, right? Yeah. Now they come over here. You and I had no control of who comes over here. In times in our life, we are dealt things that we have no control over. But a reaction, we do have an ability to choose how we respond. And now all of a sudden, we have. And by the way, this is what I love about this. It says you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You saying, I know in your own power you may not be able to love this person who comes from Samaria. The Sumerians were were other than the Jews. They were they were different. We have many times in scripture you will see how the Jewish person would not even walk through Samarian if you had to or she had to. They would wipe the dust off their feet. Hmm. There’s people who are different than us that God sometimes brings into our lives. How we respond to those people is important. And, you know, as we were talking earlier. To me, America has always been this place where people came to had a dream to come to and they assimilated,

Meaning they learned the language. They learn the ways of America. And they joined us with everyday joint.

That’s why they came. Everybody was equal. Everybody everybody had the equal opportunity. Yeah. In the sense that my wife is from Italy. Right. The Italians came over here. Yeah, right. And and I teach them because they’re Italian. I said every every Italians named Tony because they would stamp on his forehead to New York. Right. And so they go to New York. Right. The Italians would come here, but they wouldn’t allow their kids to speak Italian because they wanted them to assimilate the Poles. The Germans would come here. They would speak English.

I love you. For example, you say you want the Ferrari example.

Oh, yeah. I mean, so I’m from England, right in England. You see somebody driving down the street with a Ferrari. You’d say lucky so-and-so. Right. His dad must be rich. His mom must be rich. Yeah. In America, you see somebody driving a fancy car or living in a big house. The concept was, you know what, if I work hard, save up, I can actually go and do that myself. To me, that was the American way. And you assimilated and then you actually influenced the culture. And I think people listening here, you know, based on my understanding of your because these are influencers who are listening right now. Yes.

Well, meaning there are a lot of incredible moms and some dads. We have more moms listening than dads, but we’re trying to work on that. Get the dads on board. But yeah. And that’s in you know that that’s what you’re saying. When influencers you’re influencing the next generation have an incredibly productive.

Oh, very. No, no. And this is where but this is where my problem with America is, is we’ve become we’ve shifted from this melting pot. Yeah. And become a salad bowl. Yeah. In the sense that we’re all the same bowl. But tomatoes don’t mix with lettuce. Lettuce doesn’t mix with the cucumbers and this and that. Right. And that to me is is scary. Hmm. Because what happens is America was about coming together, about this freedom to be here, but then to cooperate, to collaborate and build something together. And now what we have going back to the Afghan issue you have now, you know, we’ve had history of different people, groups coming here and suddenly being dispersed to different locations. Mm hmm. Yet they all stay

Together and being encouraged to keep their language and not learn absolutely. English.

Look, I. We should be speaking English. Yes. In America. I agree. No, and this is a somebody who I speak six, seven other languages. I love languages. Amazing, right? I’m a person of the world. I get a book and learn other languages. But. We need to be able to communicate. Yeah. And so now when these people come here, we can’t leave it to the educational system. Right. Because they already shown us that they can mess things up. So if the church doesn’t respond with these people that are coming here now, these Afghans that are coming here with the love of Christ, you know, and not to say that we’re better than you, but to say that this is what we believe. This is our worldview. This is why we believe what we believe. This is the things that what motivates me to serve you when you come into my community. I want to tell you about Jesus, because he changed my life. Mm hmm. My my politics is informed by what I believe. The way I act as an employee or as an employer to the people that I have working for me is based on my faith. It has to inform everything I do. To think that we can segment things in America, we don’t. We until recently, we didn’t talk about God or politics. The rest of the world, there’s only two things to talk about God and politics. Right.

And so I keep telling everybody those are the most important things to talk to your kids about everybody else.

Right. But those are the two things. We just don’t. That’s, you know, that’s you know, we don’t we can’t do that. But that’s like guess. And now people who do that because we haven’t done that, families are not getting together anymore. But we have to go back to this is like if we can’t that the mission field is coming here now. Mm hmm. You didn’t order it, but it definitely landed right on a plane here,

Our southern border. Also, the Afghanistan. And what happens is they’re coming in all different states. Yeah.

You and I can’t stop somebody coming from the southern border, right? I’m an immigrant, right. I came here legally. Right. Right. My wife and I came here legally. It’s incredibly difficult process to go through, an incredibly expensive process to go through. But so I’m an immigrant. But we have people flowing through the border. So we have our government not enforcing our laws. Yeah. Right. But when those folks are here, whoever they are. Right. They have to we have to engage. We have to engage our community. Otherwise you put people in a corner and we’re going to start seeing what happened in other countries being replicated here, because I guarantee you, everybody who was on that plane is not a saint. Right. Right. Yeah, that’s for sure.

Right. What an easy way to mix in some terrorists.

I mean, it’s not rockets.

Get them across the country. Yeah.

No, no. And that’s that’s that’s why I say we haven’t seen what those decisions are going to impact on us. Yeah, I think we’re going to be reaping those. But guess what? They’re not just going to be attacking Republicans. Right. Or they’re not just going to be attacking Democrats. They’re going to affect Americans.

So I love the concept of, you know, reaching these people. But when they come over, they’re all in a group at first, I believe. Yeah, right. And then at some point, they’re allowed to be in society. So what do you and they speak a different language. So how does that happen? How do we share the gospel?

So, first of all, I think there’s there’s different Christian organizations that are being called on right now to try and help in the places that these refugees are being being held right now. Yeah. Right. So if we didn’t share the gospel with them over there, they’re being brought here. We have to do that. We do that in a practical way. And this is where, you know, it’s you know, Jesus came. He also healed the sick and he fed people. So there’s two practical things that we have great example in. Jesus is not just like people say, I don’t want to get involved in politics. Well, no, we have to, as we read in the Scriptures and Jeremiah, it says, you know, we work for the benefit of the city. We want to help. We want to pray in Galatians. We hear about praying for our leaders. But then practically, there’ll be groups that you may know of and maybe you are involved with that will be able to get involved in that. We’re trying to do that ourselves here with a couple of organizations to be able to offer our services, because Farse and Dirie, there is similarities between the Persians and the Afghans to be able to serve them. And the fact that they can’t communicate with these 5000 people in a in a holding camp at camp, wherever one of the tells you that they’re not all translators. So just in case you were wondering, but the fact that they can’t be communicated with, we’re trying to actually find folks who speak the language, who love Jesus, who can go in and be sharing the gospel. Well, then what’s going to happen is they’re going to come to cities. Mm hmm. Right. And they’re not going to be sent to L.A. or New York or Chicago. They’re probably going to end up in places like Arizona and Nevada. You know, New Mexico, places that have certain colors referred to a certain colored state. Right. Right. With longer term ambitions. Right. That being said, they’re going to come into the community and we need to be able to show the love of Christ in a practical way.

You’re saying kind of behind the scenes of what you’re saying, I think is let’s influence future elections.

I think that’s what I meant to say. Yes.

For the Democrats. Yes. Yeah.

I think it’s. So that seems to be the case. That seems to be the playbook. Yeah. Right. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Yeah. However. If that was the plan, yet the person that engages with me is somebody who believes a different way and puts their faith into practice and is courageous enough to to engage with a person different than their own culture, color, background, whatever. Right. I think that’s where you get to influence. Yeah. And what will happen is. I think there’s many more I haven’t seen the stats yet, but I believe there will be many more men based on what I saw than were women. How that’s going to impact is going to be a different story. But I think the women need to be reached. The children need to be reached. The people coming across the border. Absolutely. In the same way, they’re not all from one country either. Right. There really aren’t. But are we engaging them and are we inviting them into our world? As opposed to allowing them to change the world around us. I think there is a difference

Now on the tech side of things. You were talking about something really interesting with A.I. So artificial intelligence. Right. And what are you guys working on in that regard, too?

So as as I mean, as a ministry, we use technology to communicate with children’s programs, with satellite TV, with books, et cetera. I personally, as a businessman, I’m involved in a startup that does an AI startup that is using dialectal speech. Transcription. So when something is spoken, being able to turn it into a script and then having that can be translated to English as well. So it’s transcription and translation. I’m involved in that. And that we’re actually doing in Arabic right now, but then looking at other languages as well. And that’s just as a business. So the technology is there that will be used that we’ll be able to communicate with people. But and this is why we just encourage whoever’s out there, whether you’re a mom that’s taking care of your kids or a dad who is trying to come up with ideas. They’re, you know, got the same spirit that was there at creation when God created the world. Yeah. And brought clarity and then went through the process of creating things that same Holy Spirit actually lives in us. That’s what I was referring to, an X1. Yeah, that seems creative spirit. We should be asking God, give us the ability to be creative, whether it’s to start a business that can reach these people groups, whether I can do this to to to create some wealth that I can then invest in your kingdom. Yeah. To help print Bibles, to do whatever. It’s that we cannot separate these things. So as a business person, I cannot say that it’s more it’s the pastor who is who’s doing God’s work. No, no. If you are not doing God’s work as a mom in raising your kids as a dad, raising your kids as a dad, being an example, being courageous enough to lead and be the spiritual leader of your home, which is another massive issue. Yeah. That where we’re seeing dads abdicate their responsibility. I’m sure you’re passionate about that. And we’re not leading from the front. This leading from behind Nunsense. Right, is what is that?

Where did this. I mean, people are so passive. It’s remarkable. Dads are passive. Not all some of you are amazing, but a lot of dads are passive. And that’s a big problem. Pastors are passive. They’re not willing to talk about the hard issues. They’re closing down. The churches are caving to authority, you know, these kinds of things. It’s there’s there’s there’s this misunderstanding of doctrine that’s happening that because God is sovereign, he’s going to take care of everything and we don’t need to take action. And all I hear from you is I trust God. And we take action. We listen to God and we take action. And I love having you on because you’re such an example to organizations, such an example of taking action, encourage despite the risks and in moving forward. And I just think we need that to rub off on more people in America and the other countries around the world. I agree. And so I love your.

No, no, I love it. I get all my examples from the Bible. Yeah. What you just described is David, son of Jesse. Yeah. Had brothers. Yeah. Who were fighting. Allegedly fighting. Right. He goes and takes them some stuff is that says take this bread and cheese to your brothers. How does he take it? He runs. He runs. That’s the obedience that this young man had. He goes there and he sees these guys looking and there’s this giant in a ridiculing his God. And he’s like, hello.

What are you guys doing? Nobody doing anything. Why? Nobody doing

Anything. Now, he could have said, OK, I’ll take care of it. I should be doing what these guys are these jokers are doing. And he’s like, no, nobody’s going to insult my God. Yeah. He didn’t wait for God to put those five stones in his pocket. No. Give him the slingshot. No, he was ready and he had a bias for action. And I think that’s what’s missing in the church.

His faith was ready. That’s what was right before Bible Earth was there. His faith, his trust, his relationship with God was so close, he’d seen God because he was taking steps in courage beyond his own strength and protecting and taken on a lion or whatever he was doing. And he had already been living that faith of God’s going to take care of me. God’s going to show up and and he’s going to provide and all these things so that when Goliath was there, he’s already ready and he was ready. Now he’s ready to go.

And we need to be ready, but we need to be ready. Right. See, I love your passion, because that to me is what this is about. And we’re expecting God to do stuff. God’s like. I gave it to you. I put you in that job so you could reach this person. That’s right. I gave you these kids so you could be an example. Yeah. I think one of the things to the dads. And but I think one of the biggest things that we’re dealing with is busyness. It’s the curse of busyness. And I was saying before, the biggest fallacy, a slower day is coming. We’re sitting here thinking, you know, what will we I’ll do this when I do this and do this and then I’ll give talk. Now, God has put that battle for you today. So fight that. And it doesn’t have to be a giant.

Oh, that’s like the dad, which I’ve been this person before. Oh, I will spend more time with my kids once they conquer this thing, because then I’ll have more money and I can create more freedom for my family and provide and all these things. And then that moment comes in. You’re already in a rhythm and things get more busy. It never, never, never, never arrives. So we just need to be intentional, diligent to the jurisdiction’s God has given us right now, first and foremost, our families and whatever else God has called us to do.

And there’s no better way to influence people around than doing things with your family.

Yeah. Right.

When you engage your kids, I mean, that’s one of the biggest struggles I have. I mean, I still remember my first pair of Adidas soccer cleats, right? Until that, I was about 13 or 14. All my friends had these fancy shoes. I had these shoes that, you know, were embarrassing, had holes in the bottom kind of canvas. And I still remember that. Right. We want to give our kids everything, but we’re actually hurting them by doing that. And rather than being that example to them and giving them the tools to fight the battles that we know are coming down the road. Yeah. Today we know we’re talking about Afghanistan. We’re talking about the people that are coming here, how our world is changing. We’re talking about the pope. But actually, it starts in the home. Yeah. And I think if as fathers, we cannot be the example, if I cannot look my kids in the face and say follow my lead, then I need to be getting down on my knees and asking God for forgiveness, you know, asking for his grace and for the courage to be able to confront the things in my life that are not right.

Yeah. And then as a parent, as a as a couple being that example, how do you teach your boys? We have three boys, so I don’t have daughters. How do I teach my boys to take and respect their mom so that one day they will respect their wives and to serve in a sacrificial way? That is just how Christ died for us. Amen. And that’s really what we’re talking about, is being able to share these things with people here in another world that’s kind of like the other parts of the world. But we have to do it in our own Jerusalem if I don’t do it at home. Yeah. How can I share it with an Afghan family who moves down the street? Right. I’m not going to be able to do it because they will look at me and say, your life doesn’t match up with your words. Right. And that’s, you know, a lot of times they look at us as a nation saying, you say you’re a Christian nation, but look at what you’re doing. Yeah. And so I think, no, you’re spot on.

It takes courage, too. Well, any final encouragement or actions you want to ask people to take up to?

First of all, this has been fun. Yes, this has been super fun. Did you should tell you how I showed up for this wearing my mascot?

Oh, yeah. He was messing with me. He were in the little courageous parenting headquarters, the little studio. It’s like 300 square feet on this land, you know, and he comes up wearing a mask. And I’m just like instantly new. You’re making fun of me.

Yeah. No, no. This has been great. This is I would say, from a ministry perspective, if you guys want to learn the audience, what’s known about Islam Ministries, they can go to Elum dot com, Eelam dot com to see in many of the different things that we’re doing in in the states, in other parts of the world. And, you know, some of the biggest churches in America are supporting the organization, different mission agencies, different foundations. And we truly appreciate that. The focus right now is in getting scriptures into the hands of people. So there’ll be some stuff they can look at there and educate a little bit more when it comes to the issue of Afghanistan. There’s challenges we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. Yeah, I think I’m scared in a sense that of what we’re going to see happen. I grew up with the Iran hostage crisis. I see all of this replicating itself. I see things going on TV. And the fact is, though. Sadly, you touched on this earlier. We are so apathetic as a nation right now. I think it may take us seeing things on television screens in our living rooms that we would dread to see until we wake up to actually what’s actually happened is going to transpire as a result of the decisions in the recent past few weeks. That being said, I think there’s the other side of it, and that is the opportunity that’s being placed in our laps or the challenge to share God’s love. And you don’t need to wait for an Afghan family to show up on your doorstep. You have people from all over the world. They might be from the Middle East. That might be from other places in your community. You might have people from, you know, parts of Africa, parts of Asia.

And and then we have our own, you know, local Americans. I mean, in L.A., we have thousands and thousands of homeless people on the streets. This is the United States of America. And we have a homeless pandemic, the likes of which are I don’t see in other parts of the world. So I would say we need to engage in society. I think our pastors need to preach with a Bible in one hand, but also a newspaper in another. Amen. In the sense that guys engage, engage the culture. Yeah. If you don’t engage the culture, the culture is going to take over you and you are going to be not only irrelevant, but nobody’s going to care. Yeah. And I think pastors need to develop a boldness to speak up. And then finally, I think so, you know, just and then really when it comes down to bringing it back to the the family, whether you’re a family in Irvine, California, whether you’re a family and you know Wichita, Kansas, or, you know, Calgary, Canada. What kind of an example are you as as a father? Are you an example that your kids that you want your kids to follow? Are you the husband that your wife needs? And it all starts by getting on our knees. I have messed up badly in my life. Right. I’m not the perfect dad. I’m not the perfect husband. You know, and I know we’ve all we all have fallen short. Yeah. But God’s grace is there for us. And if you don’t know Jesus, you know he wants to get to know you. Yeah. He he even though we have taken the gospel to the rest of the world, it’s funny now how people in America are finding Jesus through through other people from different nationalities.

People are coming here, too, and they’re coming as

Americans and they’re coming here to evangelize us. Yeah. So, you know, God has a plan for you. And that’s the exciting thing. When when you get a glimpse of what it is and you start to have purpose and meaning in your life outside of what you do to put food on the table, that’s when you know you will be able to live a life full of joy and then you’ll have the courage to go after things that are truly meaningful, purposeful and worthwhile.

And I just want to encourage you moms listening that what you’re doing with your kids is the most important thing, and it’s their seasons. And right now, if you have young kids at home, it might be a season where that is your main focus in your way to contribute is to pray. Yeah. And there’s different seasons to do different things. And so but just be encouraged that raising up your kids to love God, glorify God with their lives and be part of the solution for more people. Knowing him is is a big deal.

I have to tell you this, I would love to me, I think the moms in America are one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Yes. A lot of the moms who have actually many of been in the workforce have chosen to stay home and invest in their children. Yeah, man, I’m just telling you what a mom can do in two hours will take a dad 10.

Seriously. They’re so productive. It’s awesome. All right. Thanks for joining us and thanks for being here, Andrew. This was a delight. This was really good. Yeah, I enjoyed it.

Thank you very much. Yes.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom dot com for free online workshops, blog posts and bestselling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes. Most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, live webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line Ranji. And I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at courageous parenting dot com. That’s CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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