I was born into a religious family and my father taught me to do my prayers and fasting. I tried to do my religious practices on time, but I always had this inner feeling that I can’t get close to God. I felt that there was something missing in my heart, that my life was incomplete. That’s why I started drinking and going out partying all the time. We drank every day and night but I still felt that hole, that emptiness. Something was missing inside me.
I was a fighter. I started fights even for small and worthless reasons, and since I had a history in martial arts, the hole inside me made me show my anger using those martial arts. I was in numerous financial problems, I was about to get married but had no money, I had failed in my business and I just couldn’t see a way out of all these problems.
One day, I bumped into an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. He’d just returned from Tehran, and I saw how he had changed, both mentally and intellectually. He had been addicted to drugs and didn’t have a good mental condition, but when I saw him this time I saw he’d changed 180 degrees! He was happy, smiling, talking with love – that attracted me.
'I thought to myself, "If this Christ has healed
my friend with problems on the outside, he could
do the same with me and my inner problems..." '
I asked him, ‘What’s happened to you? You were always so angry but you’ve changed.’ He said, ‘I’ve given my heart to Christ. He’s my Lord and Saviour and he’s changed my life.’ I thought to myself, 'If this Christ has healed my friend with problems on the outside, he could do the same with me and my inner problems, maybe Christ can fill this emptiness in me' – so I told him I want to give my heart too. He placed his hand on my heart with a bible and he started praying. When he was praying I started shaking, and when I said, ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ a feeling entered my body, I felt something. A peace entered my life.
In 2005 one of my work partners hurt me in a financial way and it took me into debt. This messed up my thinking and mental state and I entered my worst financial time, I couldn’t even sleep at night.
One evening I was at a house-church with my friend and God spoke to me from his Word about making a strategy to move forward. With my friend’s help, I created some strategies for my business and within 3-12 months incredible things happened. We had many successes, my workshop expanded and I became very successful in my business.
Soon after, God spoke to me about starting a church. We started with two people, and with God’s help it grew. It turned into a 180 member church! The principles God taught me with my business I applied to the house-church. I used the strategies I’d learned to divide the church into 18 groups of ten people, and each ten-member group had a deacon who served them.
'I only saw 100 meters ahead, but God saw
way beyond that and prepared the way.'
What I’ve learned in my life is that my perspective towards God was different from the truth. I only saw 100 meters ahead, but God saw way beyond that and prepared the way. The holes in my life were filled with Christ and I learned how to love. I learned how to have peace and patience, but most of all, what I’ve learned is that God is my father. I am not a subject to God, but a child. God wants the best for his children, and all those sleepless nights ended in my life because of the peace I found in God.