Norfolk dentist Barrie's book published in Iran
A book about the life of a former Norfolk dentist, now an author and chairman of the FGB in both Norwich and the UK, has been translated into Farsi (Persian) for an Iranian audience. Barrie Lawrence tells how it happened.
Iranian journalist Mazdan bought my book online and then contacted me out of the blue online with his unusual request.
“I’m an Iranian journalist and really like to translate your book to Persian (Farsi) so my fellow countrymen can read about your amazing journey. it's your kindness to give me permission to do it,” wrote Mazdan.
So started for me one of the strangest happenings since I started writing books around a decade ago. Mazdan had been to my internet site and bought the book, A Dentist’s Story.
It is autobiographical, but written largely as light humorous anecdotes. My childhood fascination with wildlife, and of how I would catch wild mice with my bare hands (once) and then with gloves, taking them home in my jacket pocket. And of my pet frog, snake, leeches and so on.
“Amazing,” wrote Mazdan. “What a wonderful story.”
This fascination with creepy animals curiously led me to train as a dentist. I write of my first injection, my first filling, and first extraction. I remember them well, and suspect the patients have not forgotten them either. And then into dental practice, where during my first year, a patient fled, and I chased him through the town till he hid in a woodyard. I would probably be struck off these days, I told Mazdan.
Interwoven into the fabric of the story of my childhood, teenage and adult exploits is my testimony - of how I was a convinced atheist who had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. In fact, loads of encounters, involving answered prayer and miracles. And I am still on that journey.
“I want my countrymen to read of your amazing journey,” wrote Mazdan.
I write books in order to tell my story, and for the pure joy of writing. I often sell them at half-price, and rarely make a profit. Except when there was a season of reasonable sales in North America, resulting in a decent royalty cheque.
But that is not what it is about, and is instead part of my mission in life is to let people know that there is a God who loves them and changes lives because of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. He does pretty much what He has always done and which we can read about in the Bible.
I told Mazdan he was free to translate and do whatever he wanted with it.
A wealthy dentist in Iran had already promised to underwrite the cost and pay for its distribution with most of the readers Muslims.
There are not many books on sale in Iran because of American sanctions and it first had to be approved by the Islamic Council – which it was (helped by my prayers).
Now the book is on sale throughout Iran, and I have two copies in my study. What an amazing God we serve. And maybe you would join me in asking our amazing God to use the book to really bless its readers.
Pictured above is Barrie Lawrence and the Farsi edition of his book A Dentist's Story.