Wednesday, March 13, 2013

your help is still needed!!!

"Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate
and spiritually prosperous
(in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys
and finds satisfaction in God's favor and salvation,
regardless of his outward conditions)
are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake
(for being and doing right),
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!"
Mark 5:10 (Amplified Bible)

So much has happened since my last post. Geoff and I had the privilege to share the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini with our church family. I will tell you that I am much more comfortable expressing myself through writing than I am speaking publicly. BUT, my small discomfort is NOTHING compared to the brutal beatings and torture our faithful brother is enduring in Evin Prison in Iran. Our hearts' desire is to do everything we can to help spread the world and bring AMERICAN Pastor Saeed home to his family.

While Saeed's family is no longer able to communicate with him, the UN reported last week that he is enduring internal bleeding due to beatings to his stomach region. He has yet to receive medical care. Thankfully, our God can heal Saeed and that is our ongoing prayer.

I have been extremely blessed to connect with Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, via email. In the midst of all that she has going on (caring for her two precious children who desperately miss their daddy, while also doing everything she possibly can to help save her husband), my Sweet Sister took time to ask me to share my personal testimony of Christ's faithfulness with her. She took time to encourage me in the struggles my family continues to work through. This, my Friends, is what the Body of Christ is all about. I was deeply humbled and blessed. I encourage each of us to do the same to those around us who are struggling...even in the midst of our own suffering, let us reach out in love and support each other.

My heart is so very heavy and hurting. I am grieving the torture and abuse Saeed is enduring. I am grieving with his wife, children and friends who desperately miss him. I am grieving the sad reality that while other nations are speaking up on Saeed's behalf, our very own government refuses to address this injustice publicly. I am grieving that human rights and freedom of religion are so wrongly being perverted all across the world. 

BUT, I am rejoicing that other countries are standing up for the rights of our fellow American and brother. More-so, I am rejoicing in the strong conviction both Naghmeh and Saeed hold in their obedience and love for the One who called them His own. I am rejoicing that Saeed was able to embrace a fellow inmate who physically assaulted him when he sang worship songs in their cell. I am rejoicing that despite what the world sees and thinks, the God of the Universe is still very much in control. He loves every single one of His children, in every single country. And His plans are good!

As I write this, the petition has over 465,000 signatures. Naghmeh will be pleading her husband's case before for the United States Congress on Friday. She hopes to have well over 500,000 signatures. Can you please help make this a reality? If you haven't signed the petition, please do. I also ask that you would please help spread the word. Share this story with your pastors, churches, families, friends and co-workers. Even if you aren't a believer of the Christian faith. The freedom to choose what we believe and how we live that out is a right given to every human. The right to be treated with justice and goodness is a right every single one of us deserves– regardless of our skin color or nationality.

Naghmeh has completed countless interviews with news media and churches. Her grace and strength are incredibly inspirational. As she shares with CBN in one of the videos below, this has not been an easy journey for her, but God is faithful. Please keep praying for this precious family.

Below are a few of the videos that I feel most compelled to share:

Naghmeh speaking with Pastor Darren Tyler of Conduit. It's only about 10 minutes long. I had tears streaming down my face as I watched this. So deeply blessed and convicted. If you can't see the video, go to:

Naghmeh Abedini At Conduit from Darren Tyler on Vimeo.

Naghmeh also did an interview yesterday with Martha of Fox News, click here to view the five minute interview. 

A six minute interview Naghmeh did with CBN. REALLY insightful. Click here.

Another interview Naghmeh did with Fox last Friday, click here to view the four  minute video.

I encourage you to research this story and learn as much as you can. Fellow believers around the world are jailed, tortured, threatened and murdered daily. This is but one story of many.

Please, Friends, speak up. Please pray. For it is in Christ and through Christ, (especially in the midst of persecution and suffering) that we are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

With great hope,