Our Founder tells the story behind how ICC came to be, where the vision came from and what the International Christian Consulate is all about:
"It was over 22 years ago, just after my baptism at the age of 14, that God gave me a vision which so shook me that I told no one about it for almost 2 decades. I held it in my heart and carried it, not sure how or when it could ever reach fulfillment. But I knew that one day I would have to leave my country and head East. How that could ever happen was beyond me. I figured if God said it would be so, then it would be so... but from where I was standing it seemed impossible.
The vision was of the end of this age - the time just before and up to Jesus’ return. He showed me scenes of places in the Middle East, with His people being persecuted and killed. Although I didn’t know what an Islamist was or even what one looked like, I saw radical Islamists doing horrific things to believers. I saw Middle Eastern Christians being hunted and beheaded, others were taken into captivity, others still were running from place to place hiding from persecutors.I saw believers being hauled before authorities and then condemned to death.
I saw Satan’s army frantically hunting believers everywhere and I was aware of a great, deep darkness that had filled the earth.It was like hell had come on the earth. In the midst of that, God was calling me... he was sending me to do something important in preparation for Jesus’ return...
But the vision was not for then, it was for a time ahead of me. I asked Him “how long?”.Instantly I had a profound understanding that these things would begin after my 30th year.
From that point on, everything else in my life sort of seemed empty. I knew my King was coming and my eyes were always fixed on that day... everything else was secondary. Everything I did was filtered through this understanding that God had a job for me to do. As the years went by, and my life went from one difficult situation to another, I began to doubt what God had shown me. I began to question - maybe it wasn’t from God, maybe I just had a very active imagination. Yet through every trial and circumstance, I couldn’t shake this vision. It was deeply etched into my very being, and in my innermost parts I knew.
It seemed Satan knew too. He tried to destroy me time and again. He filled me with fear and dread, convincing me that I was going to die a horrible death by the time I was 30. Satan is a liar. Despite his efforts, he could not shake this vision and calling out of me. God is so gracious. He knew that by giving me that vision, I would be able to withstand what the enemy threw at me.
The first 30 years of my life were full of suffering. My family was very dysfunctional and I grew up deeply damaged and alone. There was only one person in the whole world I could trust and there was only one person with whom I felt safe, and that was Jesus. He taught me so much as a child, and we had conversations about everything.I was a painfully shy girl, with no self confidence or esteem. The traumas of my childhood left me with post-traumatic stress disorder and by the time I was in my late teens, I was self harming and also suffering from anorexia. These things continued through my twenties, when I found myself in yet another damaging situation. I felt so trapped and controlled. I was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted.I felt as though Satan had bound me up so tightly with chains that I could never get free. The fulfillment of the vision couldn’t seem more impossible by that point. How could I ever get free? Many times, things were so bad I thought I was going to die... but the vision gave me hope. I couldn’t die because God hadn’t finished what He showed me. He still had a job for me to do.
In all these things, Jesus became my refuge - my safe place. As a young child, I would sit on the bedroom windowsill with my bible, behind the curtain and pour out my heart to Him. And He would answer me - He was always there, comforting me, teaching me, correcting me and strengthening me.I learnt to rely on Him. Through the years of trial and testing, I learnt how to submit and to serve. I learnt how to patiently endure trials and sufferings of all kinds. I learnt to surrender all my rights and wait for Him. Then, just as He had shown me, after my 30th birthday my freedom came, and the final stage of preparation for the calling began.
It was 2013, and God pulled me out of captivity and planted me quite literally in green pastures. I was lovingly cared for by a God-fearing church, who gently picked up the broken little bird that I was. I was like a delicate dove, whose wings were completely broken, and full of fear. Satan had done all he could to destroy me. Without God faithfully by my side through every single trial, he would have succeeded.
Over the following year, God began to heal me, piece by piece. I learnt how to fight spiritually and to stand firm on God’s word. Slowly, with the help of my church, God dealt with all of my wounds, some of which had been there for a lifetime.And he healed every one of them. Before I knew it, anorexia was gone, post traumatic stress disorder was gone - no more fear, no more anxiety, no more panic attacks or nightmares, no more terror filled nights, no more self harming... all of it was dealt with and healed. At the same time, God put me in a family and I was adopted as one of their own. All of this was final preparations for the next stage of my life. Still I told no one about the vision I was carrying.
In 2014, something significant happened. The Middle East was beginning to explode. Saddam Hussein had been removed from power in Iraq and the whole region had become unstable. Then in the power vacuum that had been created, a militant Islamist group began to take over. That group became known as Islamic State.
Suddenly, our televisions were flooded with horrific scenes that were exactly what I had seen as a 14 year old - the same types of people that I had seen in my vision were killing Christians, destroying churches and homes, beheading believers who refused to convert to Islam, taking women and children into captivity. I began to get restless. It was a year after my 30th birthday. Finally I was free and healed, and the things God had shown me all those years ago, were beginning to happen before our very eyes, right at the very time in my life He said they would.
I knew it was time.I knew it was just the beginning, but now was the time to begin what God had spend 30 years preparing me for. How though? I was nobody, and I had nothing. Worse than that, I’m a woman - who was going to pay any attention to what I have to say? Who in their right mind would look at me and think “she is just right for the job, send her!”? It seems God makes a habit of choosing the people the no one else would choose. I wouldn’t have chosen me either. Still, when the Most High asks you to do something, you don’t get to question his wisdom in asking you to do it... you are wise to just say “yes Lord, use me as you will”. So I stepped out in faith and tried to be obedient to His call. If He was calling me to do it, He would have to make it happen.
Being completely hopeless at articulating things verbally, I struggled to share the vision with the people around me for the next year or so. And they struggled to understand why I was so restless and stirred up.Eventually, I asked God to give me some words to help me explain what I needed to start doing. His response was clear and immediate: “Establish My Consulate for My people from the Middle East”.
“Consulate”. Why didn’t I think of that word before?! It perfectly described some of what he had shown me. As His people, we are citizens of His kingdom - not of this world’s kingdoms. The world hates us, and as we get closer to the return of our King, the world will despise us more and more. ISIS is a shadow of what’s to come. A consulate is an official representation of one state in the territory of another, and it exists to protect the interests of its citizens who are in a foreign land. A consulate is a piece of state territory on foreign soil. Therefore a consulate for the Kingdom of God, is a piece of His territory in a foreign land (the world’s kingdom), and is a place of safety, provision and authority for citizens of God’s Kingdom, who find themselves in need of sanctuary and help. A safe place in the day of trouble. A place that is ruled by Kingdom principles. A place that equips its citizens when facing trials and charges. A places that teaches its citizens their rights and responsibilities, and their authority. A places that sends out emissaries to far off countries, to protect the interests of its citizens there too. And a place that serves as an outpost in the day of war.
This vision... this calling... this ministry.... is an end times one. The King is coming and will establish His Kingdom over all the earth. But before that, all hell is going to break loose, and citizens of the Kingdom are going to be hunted and persecuted like never before. Multitudes will die... but some will be kept safe. The Bible speaks of places of safety in the wilderness prepared by God for His people. Jesus said “the gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached to all nations, and then the end will come”. A consulate speaks on behalf of its Kingdom. This consulate will preach the gospel of the Kingdom to many nations.
I did not have the words to express all that the vision contains, but I had to step out in faith and obedience. So I began to share, first with my adoptive family and then slowly with other believers. I was given the opportunity to share with other large and well established ministries, and I prayed that perhaps one of them would help me to do what God had told me to do.I was faced with another test. They looked at me and told me “You can’t do that”... “you cannot do that as a woman”... “you cannot call it a consulate - you must call it something else”... “no-one will recognize you if you call it a consulate”... “the established churches will never take you seriously”... “you’ll never find any Middle Eastern Christians”. It was knock back after knock back. Discouragement after discouragement. But I had to keep trying.I managed to share with some small groups here and there, and some faithful people gave a donation here and a donation there.
Eventually there was enough to make an exploratory trip.In April 2016, God sent me to Greece, where refugees were flooding in by the tens of thousands, fleeing the horrors that were occurring in the Middle East. Even as I set off people were telling me “you won’t find any Christians amongst the refugees”, but I knew I had to go and look.
There were of course Christians, but they were in hiding. They were afraid and exhausted. Persecution had just followed them into the refugee camps. They could not escape what they had fled from. The camps were full of ISIS supporters and other Islamist groups, and they were actively hunting for the Christians among them. Believers were being beaten within an inch of their lives. Their tents were being slashed with knives, or set on fire. Women and children were threatened with knives and told they would be beheaded. Others were raped, and all of them were daily harassed. All of this I knew was just the beginning. And they were ignored, despised and unprotected - even by official agencies like UNHCR who were supposed to protect them. Of course this would be the case - we are citizens of God’s kingdom and the world will hate us. This will only get worse.
No-one was listening, and no-one was helping. These people who had suffered so much already for their faith, were exhausted and out of hope. They needed a safe place to go. They needed help and support.
After that first trip, God moves mountains and performed miracles. To all the people who said “you can’t do that”, God said “watch this...”. By the end of 2016, the International Christian Consulate was registered as a charity, with no question or dispute about the use of the word “consulate”. It’s accepted objects were “to advance the Christian faith, anywhere in the world, by whatever means the charity sees fit”. We have the freedom to advance the gospel of the Kingdom to all nations!Before we were even registered as a charity, we had received pledges of a couple of large grants - enough to get us established, with safe houses and a centre - a Consulate. God granted us favor with the Greek Orthodox church in Athens, which is nothing short of a miracle.
Satan was so mad.His attempts to stop me from doing this thing were relentless. But when God ordains something, no one can prevent it from coming to pass. And so it was with the International Christian Consulate. The work has begun. It is by no means yet fulfilled, but it has begun.
The ICC currently consists of a safe house programme which is used to house persecuted Middle Eastern believers who are in need of protection, as well as a central hub in the form of a day centre called the House of Faith. The House of Faith is a safe refuge for Christian refugees, and it provides, practical help as well as pastoral care, language classes, integration support, community fellowship... and most importantly discipleship. The House of Faith is like a Kingdom boot camp.It is a piece of the Kingdom to train and equip believers from all over the Middle East, many of whom are very recent converts from Islam. We teach the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation. We teach them how to be disciples of Christ and citizens of the coming Kingdom. We teach them about bible prophecy and what is coming soon on this earth, so that they will be ready and equipped to stand firm and to bring others into the Kingdom, in the midst of hell on earth.
The believers who come to us have been tested in the fires of persecution. Their faith is strong and they are so hungry for the truth of God’s word. Many did not even have a bible until they came to us. What God is doing in these people’s lives is nothing short of a miracle. People from nations that hate Israel are learning Hebrew and understanding God’s purposes.They are learning the ways of the Kingdom and are living them out. They are producing the fruits and gifts of the Spirit and are already far surpassing many western believers in their knowledge and understanding. They recognize the times in which we are living and they know that the King is coming soon. Some have been with us for a year or so and then moved on to other countries, taking with them all they have learnt. They have gone out like emissaries with the message of the Kingdom, and are teaching others and making disciples. The gospel of the Kingdom is going out to all nations.
The consulate also now owns a piece of remote rural land in Greece, which is in early stages of preparation. If you understand what is ahead, you will understand more the significance of this piece of land, but for now, we are working on preparing it as a healing retreat. God is preparing it.
The Consulate is a prophetic mission, which is already having a reach across many nations, despite its small size and lack of resources. It is opposed by the kingdom of this world and by Satan... I’m sad to say it has even faced opposition from those within the church. The lack of support from believers in the west is a sad reality, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will wake people up and stir hearts to help their brothers and sisters, as they are able. Worse persecution than ISIS is coming, and the UK will not be exempt from that.
Ultimately, the cry of my heart is for all people to hear the gospel of the Kingdom, and for the church to wake up to what is coming on this earth. My heart’s cry is also a plea to believers in the West who have far more than I do, to join this mighty work of God, by contributing to this work in whatever measure our King asks of you. When the people of Israel were building the tabernacle, all the people brought their contributions, and God was so glorified that all the surrounding nations were terrified of the living God. All the wealth in this world belongs to Him anyway. He will provide and He will be glorified in all that He is doing! The King is coming!"
If you would like to support this vision and play a part in its fulfilment, please prayerfully consider making a donation towards it. We do need financial support! You can find out how to make a donation by visiting our give page (click here)