Our Missionary Column: Mr. Hagopian in Persia

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
OUR readers will be thankful to see by the following letter how good God has been to our friend Mr. Hagopian. We mentioned recently that he was wonderfully and marvelously saved from death during the terrible Armenian massacres, and that he had proceeded to Persia in order that he might preach the Gospel to his own countrymen and women on the frontier.
We are certain there are many who will be interested to observe how God seems to have opened a way for our brother’s usefulness, and we are sure that they will look to God for an abundant blessing to rest upon his service for our Lord.
July, 1902
MY GOOD FRIEND,—I praise God for all the kindness and mercy He has shown me throughout my journey and since I arrived here. I am sure it was the will of God that I should come to this wild and savage country, if simply to testify of His great mercy and love to me, in giving me to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and to trust in His most precious blood.
The people of this country are very ignorant about the Gospel and about eternity. They are very poor, both bodily and spiritually. Everything is corrupt and under the influence of either Roman Catholicism or Mahommedanism. May God have mercy upon them and let His light shine upon them, lest they remain in darkness and in the shadow of death.
The people seem to respect me and value my help as a medical man. I have performed successfully several serious operations, and my success through the goodness of God has carried my name amongst the inhabitants, and they come to me from all parts for relief.
I am glad to say that many come and also hear the glad message of the Gospel of Christ, and thus get healed both in soul and body. There are many who have never before come across a Christian missionary. Many are much surprised to hear about the Bible and concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, from a medical man, but I am thankful to say that already several have been converted to God.
I enclose a plate of an old man over eighty-two years old who was recently saved. It happened thus. I was away at another village to see some people about a Sunday School. I found a few of the villagers waiting for me, and amongst them this old man. He noticed in my hand a Bible text. He appeared to be greatly interested, and asked me about the words, which were:
He sighed as he looked at it, and confessed that he was a great sinner, and that it was impossible for him to approach Christ. He said he was cast out altogether like a useless rag. He was too poor, he added, to pay an “indemnity” for his sins, as once a Roman Catholic priest told him it was necessary to do.
I was very glad to meet this poor old man at his great age, for I felt that Christ Himself was knocking at the door of his darkened hear t: and I tried to put him in the right way, and told him that Christ will never want any “indemnity” for salvation, and assured him that no creature could pay for God’s free gift. I told him he was exactly the right person to meet the Saviour: all he needed was to truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Saviour, as He said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:1313But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)).
He could hardly believe my words that Christ was such a living, loving Saviour for lost and ruined sinners. I spoke to him for over an hour, and at last he confessed that he had been a miserable sinner for eighty-two years and an ignorant wanderer far away from God, but now he heartily thanked God for His saving and redeeming power and grace. It was a great surprise to the rest of the people when this old man wept bitterly before them and repented of his sins, saying over and over again that he had never heard such wonderful things before: afterwards he desired to learn to read, so that he might be able to read the Bible, and of course I gladly offered to teach him, commencing from the alphabet.
When I returned from this village I found several peasants waiting for me. They besought me to go to see a sick woman. It was a ride of several hours on horseback, but I went and found the patient in great agony. I thank God I was able to relieve her pain, and then spoke to her about the Son of God and eternal life. She appeared to be amazed at my message, and became truly anxious about her soul and about salvation. I explained to her, as far as I had wisdom and power, the simple way of salvation: and I remained as a guest for a day or two, and praise God, I am glad to tell you, that before I left she rested in perfect peace upon Christ as her own personal Saviour.
If it please God, and the necessary means are provided, I propose to establish a school for friendless children in this district, for there are so many who wander about here without friends, or help, or care of any kind.
I am,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
(Signed) A. A. HAGOPIAN.
[We have received donations for the work carried on by our brother, and shall be glad to further the object he has at heart in any way possible. The story of our friend’s escape from the terrible Turkish massacres was marvelous indeed, and we hope to have space at some future time to give particulars. Anyway, we feel sure that our brother’s life was thus wonderfully spared in order that he might carry the wondrous story of the Cross to the interesting land in which he is now laboring.—ED. S. W.]