Thursday, December 15, 2005


Yasmin shivered in her cell as she reviewed her desperate circumstances. Her husband Rezar was confined in another part of the Greek prison. What was he thinking right now, she wondered. Did he regret fleeing persecution? Was he remembering the time he'd spent in an Iranian jail for playing in a band at a Christian gathering? Though a Muslim, he was still beaten for the offence.

Yasmin, a teacher of the Islamic catechism for women and children, had also run afoul of the government. She had gotten into trouble for wearing the wrong colour of clothing and for allegedly teaching little girls to remove their head coverings, though in reality she was only checking them for lice.

The couple finally decided to escape to the West. On their way through Turkey Yasmin had a dream about Jesus, where she saw herself walking behind Him as His servant. Several months later, the couple arrived in Athens, and that's when their hopes began to unravel. First they lost all their money, and then the police arrested them.

"Greece is a Christian country," Yasmin reasoned in her cell. "Perhaps I should pray to Jesus because He will have power here."

Later that night, Yasmin's cellmate told of a dream she'd had in which four great shining angels surrounded Yasmin as she was praying. The angels prayed for Yasmin and Rezar and then the dream ended. Twelve days later Yasmin and Rezar were released from jail together.

After their release, the couple went to the only friend they had in Athens, who just happened to have a Bible in Farsi as well as the address of the Athens Refugee Center. Yasmin couldn't stop reading the Bible, and even read parts of it aloud to Rezar. It seemed so wonderful! At the A.R.C. she met others who also believed in Jesus.

One night Rezar had a dream where the Lord came, placed His hand on Rezar's head and said, "Follow me." That was all the man needed. He woke Yasmin, told her of the dream and decided that he too must become a Christian.

On a sunny Athens beach not long afterwards, a crowd of refugees, believers and curious sunbathers listened as Rezar passionately sang his confession of faith in his native Farsi. Then he and Yasmin were baptized as the multitude looked on.

Since that moment, Yasmin and Rezar have continued to grow in faith and are finishing their second term at the International School of Ministry. During this time they have suffered through two miscarriages, haven't had a permanent place to live, nor been able to find work. Despite the problems, when asked how she felt about being in Athens, Yasmin's face lit-up. "We have lost everything, but have found Jesus," she said.

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