By Dr. Jim Seward (Iowa)
It was December 2012, when I saw Naghmeh on Fox & Friends, and she told me (and the millions watching) the story of Saeed. My heart was sad, he had a family similar to mine, little kids the same age. I ran to the other room and with urgency told my wife that we MUST pray, I shared Saeed’s story, my wife was not “sold”…but we prayed anyways, but I began to pray with passion, with love for Christ, confident that on January 27, 2013 he will be set free, instead he was sentenced to 8 years in prison…UGH!!! My heart was so burdened, my wife saw my continuous prayer, it motivated her to look at the story and she began to pray. She came along side of me and we began to teach our girls to pray for him…my family circles, holding hands and we ‘pray in’ before school, and at the end of the day…and we include Saeed …I know the power of prayer…I have seen it, tasted it, and proclaimed it. Knowing prayer warriors when I needed them I reached out to them through facebook and created “Praying for American Pastor Saeed Abedini” group. I am inspired as Saeed’s story has inspired my wife and I to pray more “together” which has strengthened our relationship.
Daily, since December 2012 my family has prayed…morning, day, and night. What has inspired me through this is Gods answering prayer and we are able to see it, i.e., Saeed’s use of a bible, souls saved through his testimony, my heart to hunger for souls in my town like Saeed’s does for his countryman. The greatest inspiration is I like seeing my girls learning how to pray, for Saeed but for everyone…they have seen the results of prayer…and when they are disappointed I show the scripture that teaches them they don’t have to be. My girls remind me to pray for Saeed…when asked to pray they pray for him, Naghmeh, Rebekkah, and Jacob.
Pursuing Christ through this (Matthew 6:33) has allowed doors for me to share and help Naghmeh be an advocate for Saeed in North Central Iowa. Inspired by our friend in Boise Ryan, I have co-coordinated with my wife Amy, “Endure for Saeed 5K” where 160 people endured the Iowa cold and a 3.2 mile run raising $3500.00 for the persecuted church. Naghmeh blessed us with her presence and conversation at Oakhill Baptist Church, in Humboldt, Iowa where another 225 people heard Saeed’s story. I have stepped out in faith to coordinate the Iowa prayer vigil, where over 30 people prayed. Community Christian School (CCS) in Fort Dodge, Iowa has adopted Saeed and his family as their missionary family…letters have been sent, monies raised through an event called “Indoors for Saeed” where another 150 people gathered in their chapel, worshiping and praying for Saeed and his family…I have been on radio, in the newspaper, sharing Saeed and when doing so sharing Christ. The facebook page now has 1024 people committed to pray…I will not stop until he comes home.
I make Saeed a part of my conversation and it opens up opportunity to share Christ. I was in training in Des Moines, Iowa and I told of his story and through I confirmed the lady i was talking too was a born again Christian and she shared with me how her church has been praying for him and family. …until he does, I will pray. Pray without ceasing and I will be there to great him when he comes home.
You want my testimony? It is this; had I not followed God’s leading to pray, if I ignored the burden and hurt for Saeed that I felt in December 2012 then none of the above would have happened…What inspires me is that God can use ALL of us through another’s story…be willing and open to be used. I can confidently tell you that God is good, his ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8) and have confidence in what we say…because God already has this…as it is stated in Isaiah 65:24 (KJV) “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”
Christ is our Hope…pray on.
“Christ is our Hope” indeed Jim. We “pray on” praying for you as well.
Steve Anderson, Project Leader
If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE