Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Praying Hands...

Amelia made these praying hands on Sunday.  I don't keep everything she makes because I would likely need a storage building just for Amelia's crafting - but this we will keep. Her list made me smile. She prays for the people listed on these hands every.single.day.  

We find out tomorrow if Pastor Saeed is on the list of prisoners who will be granted Clemency for the Iranian New Year.  

Pastor Saeed's story grabbed my attention and heart many months ago.  We've been praying for Saeed and his family since I first read of his arrest on social media.  He's usually the first person Amelia prays for at bedtime.  

(sign that hung over Saeed's prison bed)

I remember when Saeed was transferred to a different prison last year.  It was near the holidays.  He would now share a prison cell with murderers and rapists.  

And his crime?  Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I just laid on my bed and cried.  I really feared for his life and my heart broke, once again, for his wife and children.  I remember telling Alex, "I don't know if he's going to make it out of this prison."  I was just sick to my stomach when I heard of the conditions.  I googled the name of the prison and had to stop reading because I became physically ill from the pictures.  Alex laid there silent for a while.  He had that look on his face - I could tell he was praying.  I asked if he believed Saeed would be released from prison and come home to his family.  He believed he would be released and that it would be around the New Year.  

The New Year came and went and Saeed wasn't released.  

We continue to pray.  Every.single.day.

And then we recently read they release prisoners over the Iranian New Year which is in March!  

I'm so hopeful that Saeed's name will be on that list.  

His story has changed my life.  I view the privilege to worship God whenever I choose in a different way because of Pastor Saeed.  I can share God's love freely and I will never take that for granted again.  I no longer worship with my church family without thinking of Saeed and all persecuted Christians around the world.  I want my daughters to grow up with that same awareness.  I want them to have a heart for their persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.  They may be halfway around the world but they need us.  They ask for our prayers. 

And even though there are so many unknowns - this I know for certain - they can take Saeed's freedom but they can't take his faith.  

"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3

Love to all,

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