Teresa Botkin (Illinois,USA)
I first heard about Saeed and began praying for them at the beginning of his imprisonment. I became friends with Naghmeh and would read her posts on Facebook, listened to her interviews on the news, radio and YouTube.
All this time I was going through a lot of personal difficulties, and hearing about this and praying for them helped give me purpose in my prayers, taking the focus off myself and finding God giving me words of encouragement to share with Naghmeh.
When the time came for the one year anniversary and the announcement about prayer vigils, I wanted to attend one, but there wasn’t one near us. I began to pray about it and knew that God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and coordinate a vigil in my city. Naghmeh was so sweet, saying she didn’t know how and we would do it together.
I saw such strength and courage in her, knowing that she was in such deep sorrow, but still pressing on, stepping out of her comfort zone, traveling and speaking,
I committed to coordinate the vigil here, and found God giving me what I needed to do the task. The presence of God was so strong on that day, the prayers around the world unified, at the end of the prayer time we sang “Overcome” and 7 eagles came out from the clouds and circled over the prayer group! It was amazing!
Praying for them and speaking out for them has become a part of me. I have had the opportunity to share my testimony of broken to beauty and include how the Abedini family has been a part of my healing and finding the message that God has for me to share with others. I always avoided speaking to groups but now, I’m going wherever He leads and sharing the message of how forgiveness and repentance along with gratitude will lead us to healing. How God can fill the broken places with gold and cause those places of mending to be magnificent!
I will pray and speak out for the Abedini’s until he’s safely home. And after that, for all the brokenness to be made beautiful, healed!
Thank you, Teresa for sharing your testimony as it has also inspired us. It is so encouraging to see others joining in prayer and speaking out for our suffering family in Christ. The Abedini’s and the persecuted, globally need our support so desperately.
I too have had the pleasure of meeting Naghmeh and now call her my sister and friend. She demonstrates a grace that surely comes from divine assistance. Truly an inspiring woman and no doubt one being used by God. Saeed has been a great witness of what it means to follow Christ. His faithfulness in persecution is inspiring Christians, globally and causing them to look inward at their own faith. Many have drawn closer to God.
I am in contact with Christians facing extreme persecution in some of the hardest hit nations. I am continually inspired by their great faith in horrific trials. They may be seen as the weakest members of the Body, but in my eyes—they are the strongest. There is a mysterious thing that happens in times of persecution, the Church grows. We can all be encouraged by them.
As you have mentioned, it is amazing to watch God move when we step out onto the water where we are called. Often, we believe a task impossible with no chance for accomplishment. We begin to doubt and wonder if God is truly calling us. “Why me? I CAN’T do this!” But when God leads—mountains move! And there is no denying where our help comes from. May all the glory go to HIM. Keep moving forward sister. He goes before you and clears the path. And you will be continually awed by the power of our Great God!
We will keep you in our prayers.
Lois Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate
Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.
Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize. Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.
Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE