Like Paul and Silas, Pastors Saeed and Farshid Praise God from the Depths of Prison in Iran
Aimee Herd-Commentary : Mar 29, 2013 : ACLJ.org
"Yet we rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of our salvation. Because, neither the walls nor the barbed wires, nor the prison, nor suffering, nor loneliness, nor enemies, nor pain, nor even death separates us from the Lord, and each other.'" –Pastor Farshid
EDITOR'S NOTE: On the Facebook page "Pray for Pastor Saeed" there is an address for those who would like to write to him in Evin prison in Iran. There is no telling whether or not he will receive any mail, however, if enough letters come in to the prison, an impression will no doubt be made either way. Here is the address: Saeed Abedinigalangashi, Evin Prison, Saadat Abad, Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran. -Aimee Herd, BCN.
For those of us fortunate enough to live in countries where we are free to believe and express our faith, we may have days where we feel uninspired, or that life is tough...but when you consider what two Christian pastors imprisoned in Iran for their faith are dealing with—it kind of puts things in perspective. (Photo: Evin Prison, Iran/Wikipedia)
One of those two is Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. Citizen who was born in Iran, but who had been visiting his homeland last year, in an effort to establish an orphanage there. He was arrested, tried and sentenced to 8 years in the country's most notorious prison.
Also in that prison is Pastor Farshid Fathi, who was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to 6 years at Evin Prison, also for his Christian faith.
Pastor Farshid writes: "The narrow way, that I am passing through, I see as a cup that my Beloved has given me, and I will drink it to the end, whatever that end might be. What really matters is that I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine. This possibly is the sweetest truth of my life that I am His and He is mine..." (Photo: Pastor Farshid/FreeFarshid.org)
"...Please convey my greetings to all dear brothers and sisters who have been praying for me and my family and tell them; 'In our land the fig tree does not blossom, the produce of olive has failed. The flock is cut off from the fold. Yet we rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of our salvation. Because, neither the walls nor the barbed wires, nor the prison, nor suffering, nor loneliness, nor enemies, nor pain, nor even death separates us from the Lord, and each other.'"
And from Pastor Saeed, from one of his most recent letters, written on scraps of newspaper:
"...Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation? (Photo: Pastor Saeed/ACLJ.org)
"Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free and we become messengers of peace and reconciliation and goodness. And whoever stings us, we can take into our embrace and love them. And in this dark and evil time, we can live full of love and full of peace and full of joy and shine like the stars! Glory be to His Name.
"I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death...
"I could not fall asleep one night due to the pain when all of a sudden I could hear the sound of dirty sewer rats with their loud noises and screeches. It was around 4 in the morning. It sounded like laughter in a way.
"Even though many would call me unclean and filthy and would not even want to pass by me and they had abandoned me and they were disgusted to touch me because they were afraid that they would also become unclean, but I knew that in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I am like the sewer rat, beautiful and loveable—not disgusting and unclean—and like the rats I can scream with joy within those prison walls and worship my Lord in joy and strength.
"The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen."
These two brothers of mine—of yours, in the faith—are standing firm in the face of regular beatings, interrogation, separation and no doubt hunger and pain. They're able to do so because the King of Heaven is right there with them.
I'm praying for the soon release of these Christian brothers, and that the Lord will continue to help them to "having done all to stand, stand therefore," rooted in God's all-powerful Love and surrounded by His Peace that passes understanding.
To find out more about Pastor Farshid, log onto: FreeFarshid.org
To read the full, recent letter from Pastor Saeed, follow the source link provided.
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