Two dreams about Jesus
Two dreams from Iran about Jesus and the New Church in Delft.
Two dreams. Two people. The same church in a different country.
Delft, 30 June 2015
Can you imagine a Muslim in Iran dreaming about a church in Holland? A church they have never seen in their life? Yes, God can do the impossible. In fact, he can even do it twice! When God does these things twice, you know it is Him and it leaves you in awe. This is the story of a my friend mine, a Christian Iranian refugee, who recently moved to Holland. Six years ago she was Muslim and she dreamed about Jesus and a church. It was this dream that led her to accept Christ in her heart and eventually brought her to Holland. Two weeks ago, her sister in law in Iran, dreamed about the same church again and she found out it was in Holland. Today I went with her to visit the church she, and her sister in law, had seen in their sleep and relived the dream that Jesus had given her, pondering over the meaning, both for her and for the future of the Dutch church.
Six years earlier my friend had been a divorced Muslim woman and had three very hard years. She remarried but this did not change anything in her life. Life was very hard and she had lost all hope. She didn’t really believe in anything anymore and was angry with God. She complained to him: “If you exist, Why is my life like this?” Then one day, on Tesua-Ashura, a holiday for Muslims, she was at her husband’s family during a ceremony in the garden. They were cooking food and her husband’s aunt said to her: “Today is a special day. Come and ask the Imam Hussein what you would like.” So she went and asked God to change her life and save her. She was emotionally exhausted. It was Sunday, and sometimes she also visited a small Christian shrine where people lid candles. After the family gathering, she asked her husband to bring her to the shrine and they also went there. She cried there and asked God again to save her and change her life. On the way home her husband started laughing at her and said: “If God answered you and gave you your wish, Which God did it? The God of the Muslims or the God of the Christians?”
My friend was so angry at him and yet answered him very relaxed: “My God knows how to show me himself. But I don’t know which God.”
That night she had a very vivid dream. She was in the desert without a plan or goal. She was so tired and dirty and had a very heavy bag on her back. As she walked she started to search for a place to rest. But there was nothing all around her; only desert. Without water. Without people. Suddenly, she saw a cross in the far distance and she went towards it. She thought it was some kind of building when she arrived she saw it was a big and tall church with a high tower. She went into the yard of the church and noticed that it was full of people. It was very crowded and the people were all just like her, tired and dirty. She searched for a place to rest, but couldn’t find it in the building. Slowly she went towards the stairs. It was a spiral stairway that led up a tower. She kept going round and round and grew more and more weary. Her load became heavier but she was determined to reach the top, to find a place to sleep. When she arrived on the roof, she slept under a big cross. But as she slept she prayed to God and cried, saying:
“What kind of God are you? Why don’t you see me? Why don’t you pay attention to me? I am not your child. You didn’t create me! You are not responsible for me.”
As she complained she saw someone coming toward her. She couldn’t see his face because it was so shiny, and had glory all around. She did see that he was wearing a long white robe. Gently, he reached out to her and she could see the holes in his hands. Then he put his hand on her head and told her:
“Don’t cry, get up and follow me. I will save you.” He wiped her tears and she got up and followed him.
When she woke up her husband asked her: “Why are you crying? What happened to you?”
She answered him and said: “Do you remember what you asked me last night? Which God will help you? Well, my God showed himself to me. He is Jesus my savior.”
Her husband was shocked by her story, but believed her. Sixteen days later, without any plan they left Iran for a new life in Iraq and quickly found work and a change of life. They both gave their heart to Jesus and found an amazing evangelical church in Irbil. Initially, the Iraqi government only wanted to give them a three month visa, but miraculously they were able to stay and get a resident card. However, five years later the Iraqi government again wanted to send them back to Iran. They knew that they could not go back and prayed for the Lord to show them where to go. Many miracles occurred and they were sent to a country they had never heard of: The Netherlands.
Now I went with my friend to a church with a spiral staircase in Holland. Three weeks earlier she had prayed to the Lord and asked him to show her a place for a workshop. A place that God would give her that she could hold prayer meetings and conferences, read the Bible, and have workshops for Jesus. She prayed that the Lord would show her a big building to serve him in. Then one week later her husband’s sister, a Muslim in Iran, called and told her she had a dream about her. In the dream she saw that my friend had a big house, full of famous Christian pastors, preachers, and leaders. Meetings were being held in the house and Bible conferences.
As the people were eating and drinking they started taking pictures of the house and her sister in law also started taking pictures. However, every time she took a picture she saw a church with a long steeple in the photo. But when she walked around the house she didn’t see any church. She asked another person if this happened to them as well and then she noticed that everyone that took pictures of the house saw a church in it, as if it was a reflection of the house itself. When she woke up she remembered the church very clearly. Determined to find it, she searched Google for famous churches all over the world. Then she found it… in the Netherlands, near to where her sister in law had recently moved. It was a church in Delft! She sent a picture to her. But when my friend saw the picture she was stunned. It looked very similar to a church she had also dreamed about six years ago. A dream that had changed her life.
Today, we went to that church. When my friend saw the towering steeple she immediately knew.. this was the church she had seen in her dream. She entered this church not knowing anything about it. She didn’t know that this is the church where the royal Dutch family was buried! That this church was one of Holland’s major symbols of the protestant church (PKN). My friend entered only to relive her dream and find answers as to why she was here. But though she felt good when she entered, a feeling of emptiness came over her. She became very quiet because there was hardly anybody there. and though still in use, it looked like a museum. The protestant church which had so vividly been in two dreams in Iran was turned into a museum, and the people were outside… not inside.
After a quick look around the building, we headed for the stairway. Step by step we climbed the small spiraling staircase. My friend was quietly observing the ancient stones, lost in thought. Through her dark Middle Eastern eyes I could tell she was nearly crying. She told me that as she walked she remembered the dream that first led her to Jesus, six years ago. Though she had been a Muslim in Iran, she had climbed this same narrow stairway in her sleep. She said it felt like she was watching a movie for the second time. This was more than just a memory. This was a dream that had been so intense that six years later she could still tell it word for word. This dream had changed her life, brought her out of Iran into Iraq and again out of Iraq to Holland. As she went up the staircase she told me she remembered the dream clearer and clearer.
The “New” Dutch church
As my friend went up the stairs in the New Church in Delft the same emotion went through her, reminding her of the staircase she had climbed six years ago. Before the dream she had never seen such a church in her life. She thought about how God had led them out of Iran after the first dream and how they couldn’t even stay in Iraq. Somehow it had something to do with this church.
But there was something different about this church. The church she had seen in her dream was in the desert, but was packed full of people. The church she was now in was exactly the opposite. Around the outside of this church were streets packed with many people, but inside the church was empty. What had happened? As she entered this church it felt strange but also familiar and good. But slowly she started wondering: Why was there nobody here? Why was it used as a museum? It should be more active! It should be like the dream her sister in law had: packed full of Christians serving the Lord.
My friend knew her flight to Holland had something to do with these two dreams and this church. In her dream the church had been used as a real church, where people came for safety. It was lively. In her sisters in law’s dream her house was filled with people, but when they took a picture of it they saw this church: one of the most important protestant churches in Holland.
We pondered what the Lord might want to tell us. On the one side we thought it might have something to do with the Dutch protestant church coming to life again. One the other hand, My friend also saw her own spiritual desert that she had reached in Holland. In Iraq her life had been very good. They were strong believers and often experienced miracles and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but since she had come to Holland she said she missed one thing most: The Holy Spirit. So what does that say about our churches?
After 376 steps we finally reached the top of the steeple, where once my friend had seen Jesus coming to her. There she looked out over Holland and thanked God for saving her life. She asked God to show us His plan and what to do and we prayed that the Holy Spirit would truly come back to the churches in Holland. And fill the beautiful buildings with people, hold Bible conferences, workshops, seminars and most importantly worship the Lord!