Nader was born in a small city in Iran. In the mornings Nader would study to be an auto mechanic, and in the evenings he attended high school. During his military service, he worked in forgeries making false documents, but he also got into trouble for forging some papers for some friends and he had to leave the country. From Turkey he phoned his father who told him not to come back because a five-year jail sentence was waiting for him.
In Turkey, Nader continued to forge documents and also started using drugs. One night, he was using heroin when the police raided the hotel where he was staying with other Iranians. Nader was arrested, and after 8 days in jail prayed, “God, if I get out, I won’t use drugs and I won’t spend time with the Iranians who are bad influences on me.” The next day Nader was released.
Nader kept his promise. His time in prison had detoxified his body from the heroin and when he was released he could not find his friends. He worked at a job for 19 months cleaning machinery by hand because the owner couldn’t afford cleaning chemicals. But the temptation to start forging again could not be resisted. Nader made a passport for Germany.
Before he had a chance to use the passport he met an Iranian named Abraham who wearing a cross necklace. Nader asked the man if he was a Christian. He answered “yes” and told Nader that he was attending an Iranian church in Istanbul. When Nader asked him how he had changed his religion, he answered, “I don’t know how. God changed me.” He encouraged Nader to read the Bible and to bring his questions to the pastor of the Iranian church. Nader had a two-pack-a-day smoking habit so he stayed up late the night before going to church, smoking and reading the New Testament, but he was not able to understand it. In the morning, he got up early to go to church, but as he looked in the mirror while shaving he thought in his heart that God is holy and so he should take a shower to cleanse himself. And suddenly the Bible made sense to him, and he believed it!
When Nader walked into church that morning, a believer named John approached him and asked if he was a Christian. “Yes”, answered Nader. Had he been baptized? “Yes!” answered Nader again, thinking of his morning shower after understanding the meaning of the Bible. “I was baptized in the house today.” John looked
at him strangely, but he and the pastor prayed for Nader. They told him that he really ought to be baptized “again”. Two months later he quit smoking, but was still not baptized.
Nader wanted to use his false passport to leave for Germany, but the pastor told him, “God told us He wants you to go to Greece…go, pray, ask God.”
Initially resistant to the idea, Nader eventually agreed to go to Greece with Abraham. Arriving with nothing, they slept in the park and began attending an international fellowship. He met Ella there (a Filipina to whom he is now married) and she introduced him to HELPING HANDS volunteer Joel Scarborough.
Since then, Nader has grown stronger in his faith and has been a faithful servant in the various programs here. He has been a house leader in our Nest ministry, he shares the Gospel with all who will listen, trains new believers in discipleship and evangelism, and is currently the primary leader of, the Persian Christian Fellowship in Athens. Through his character, behavior, and use of his spiritual gifts we are seeing the kingdom of God advanced in him, and through him, for the glory of the Lord.