It took tens years of effort to arrange our first engagement with the Kolbars. There are about 300,000 of them living on the Iran – Iraq border. “Kolbaring” is a desperation job. You Kolbar or starve.

They trek up and down 14,000′ snow covered mountains with upwards of 150 lbs on their backs bringing goods between the two countries. One side needs this, the other that.

They are shot on sight by Iranian border guards. They also fall off the mountain, suffer from frostbite and exposure and on it goes. And all this for $12 a trip. There are Kolbars, men and women, in their 70s.

When we had our first meeting at a border town cafe, they were guarded and mostly silent. Eventually they asked, “Why are you here?” I responded, “Because we want to help you.” “Why?” came right back at me. “Because God loves you and he sent us to show you that He cares. How can we help you?”

After more silence, they huddled up. After some whispered conversation their appointed spokesman said, “We don’t now how to answer that question. No one in our history has ever offered to help us.”

We drove back home and they crossed over back into Iran. A few weeks later they re-established contact and said, “Well, if you want, you could help us to provide food for the families of Kolbars who have been killed. They are destitute.” So that’s what we did.

The Iranians know that no one has any extra money or food so they can’t be caught with food baskets. They deliver food to the doors in the middle of the night, knock and run.

A little while later they asked if we could help with hospital bills for injured Kolbars. Broken bones, frostbite, gunshot wounds. “Sure.”

After building trust and delivering on our promise, Iranian Believer friends started to share the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom, disciple and train them. This is the first known large scale Gospel engagement with the Kolbars in history. We’ve baptized about 50+ of them to date.

One new Kolbar Believer, “K,” pictured to the left, was given 2,400 Bibles. He distributed them all in no time and is discipling others like mad.

Special thanks to Christ Church in Midland, TX, for funding our initial engagement with these amazing people. Please pray for “K” and the others to persevere, share the hope they have found in Jesus and multiply.  Pray for their safety.

Would your church like to help reach an unreached, unengaged People Group? Drop us a line.

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