My name is Reza*. For about seven years I considered myself an atheist, but deep down I knew there was a God who is real and I kept looking for Him. I was a selfish, intolerable, impure and mean person.
It was totally by accident that I came across Christian TV channels in Iran. At first they disgusted me, but amazingly, even though I was changing channels to avoid them, it seemed they were on every channel on TV. It seemed like even soundless channels had a picture of a cross on them!
I felt like I had no choice but to watch these Christian channels and that's what I did. Of course with a critical mindset at first, but after a few minutes I realised that the things they were talking about were the same challenges I was facing in my own life and the feelings I had at the time.
'The first time I called I got to know sister Leila*
from 222 Ministries. I felt so much love
in her voice and it was from her that I learned
what it means to be Christ-like.'
It felt so close to my heart that I could not stop listening day after day and then I saw a telephone number I could call to get in touch with Christian believers. The first time I called I got to know sister Leila* from 222 Ministries (whom I renamed aunty Leila). I felt so much love in her voice and it was from her that I learned what it means to be Christ-like!
I wanted to give my life to Christ, so we prayed the salvation prayer together and from then on a series of miracles started happening in my life; deliverance, healing, being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues – I experienced them all.
At that time, the best day of the week for me was Sunday because I could go to church, but by then I had lost my connection with aunty Leila. After a while the government started closing down churches one after another. Not being able to have the fellowship I’d enjoyed at church, the dark days in my life started again, except this time they felt seven times worse. I felt lonely and rejected, although I knew God was watching over me and that was the only hope I had.
'Once again my redeemer saved me and guided me to the right path.'
Day and night I cried out to God for help, but I felt so alone. One night, in a state of total hopelessness, I started writing about all the terrible things that were happening to me – all my negative feelings – and posted it on every Christian website I knew. I wanted to warn others about the dangers of the darkness in this world.
After a few days I received a telephone call from aunty Leila, the same kind and familiar person who helped me to know Jesus in the beginning. It felt like she breathed hope into my soul. She had read my letter.
I felt both ashamed and happy. Ashamed for what I had done and happy that God heard my prayers and sent aunty Leila and 222 Ministries. We started meeting regularly again to pray. Straight away I felt so light, it felt like tonnes of heaviness had been lifted off my shoulders. I began to realise praying to God opened heaven's doors to me again. The more I stayed in His presence the more of Him I could feel. I learned that even if I deny Him, He would never deny me because faithfulness is His nature.
Once again my redeemer saved me and guided me to the right path. This time I gave my whole life into His hands. Sometimes its hard, but I believe I am victorious when He is with me. Even in the darkest places He is always watching us and we are so valuable to Him.