"H" 's Testimony
Seven years ago, I was an atheist. I didn't believe in any god. I said there was no god, and I had a lot of reasons for why he didn't exist for anyone who asked. Then I realized I was lying to myself, that there was an empty place in me, a hole that nothing could fill. I sinned a lot, and I wasn't happy sinning. I wanted to stop, but I didn't have the power. Every time I would do something wrong, I would tell myself, "You said you would stop! Why are you doing these things?"
Four years ago, I left Iran to look for a better life. That was my plan, but I'm sure with all my heart that God had a plan for me to bring me to Istanbul to meet Jesus.
I traveled to Turkey, my life constantly changing as I constantly traveled. I was living sometimes in the joys of the world and sometimes in its sadness, but everything I knew was of the world. Two and a half years later, I was still in Turkey, living in Istanbul. I had money, but I had a lot of troubles in my life too.
I was walking in the street with my friends one day when two Iranians came up to us and began talking about Jesus. That day was Sunday, and I went to a church that evening. First, it was very strange for me, worshiping God with joy and happiness. All of my life I'd thought, if you want to know God, his way is full of sadness, and he will drag you far from joy.
From Istanbul I moved to Ankara, staying there for a month. I didn't go to church the whole time. When I returned to Istanbul, I went back to the church. They gave me a Bible in Farsi. I started reading it, and when I got to the miracles and the love Jesus showed, his kindness made me cry. Simply seeing this love of Jesus in believers drew me closer to accepting Christianity. They helped me, even though they knew I wasn't one of them. That made me believe in what they did.
From the time I believed in Jesus and accepted him in my heart, he has changed my heart and life a lot. My actions, thoughts, and words were completely changed. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't the same person, immediately! I could feel that all of my sins were forgiven. I felt like God had given me clean clothes to wear. That feeling kept me from sinning, because I didn't want to get those beautiful clean clothes dirty. From that time on, when I prayed to God and asked him for something with all my heart, he answered my prayers.
I can tell a lot of ways that he answered my prayers. A month ago my father came to Istanbul on business. He is very old and frail and doesn't know how to read and write. He didn't know that I believed in Jesus, and I was sure that he didn't know that Jesus is God. I prayed one night with my friends, asking God, "God, show him and guide him, since he will not accept anything from me because I'm his son." The next night, I was sitting with my friends, two other believers and a nineteen-year-old unbeliever. At about midnight my father woke up and told us, "I had an amazing dream. It was very strange. I saw that they put God on a cross." My father continued, "I was asking myself, 'How could they put God on a cross? It's impossible!'"
I said, "Well, what was God? What did you see?"
"He was light, very strong light." We told him that Jesus was the Son of God, but he said, "How can a man be God?" But he went around telling everyone that he dreamed God was on a cross anyway. He's not a believer...yet.
The nineteen-year-old unbeliever, one of the five people living with us in one house, had come to Turkey to pass the examination to go to university, studying for his last year of high school. One day as he was going to class, he told me, "I didn't study for my exam this morning, and I knew I wouldn't pass because I didn't study, I started to pray, I don't know why, but I said, 'O Lord Jesus, you know I can't pass this exam because I didn't study, but help me,' and I was crying as I prayed." He was not a believer, but he was praying in Jesus' name.
He went to school for the exam, and the principle of the school told him, "Sorry, we didn't have your phone number to call you, but the exam is cancelled, and it will be next week instead." He wasn't a believer, but he told us about how Jesus had helped him! But the most amazing thing is that this nineteen-year-old's father in Iran heard all these stories, about his son as well as my father, and he accepted Jesus! He's now reading the Bible and going to church.
I wanted to come to Greece but I didn't know how or which way I should come. Two of my believer friends and I wanted to come together, so we decided to leave on a Sunday evening after church. On Saturday all of us fasted and prayed, "God help us. Where we should go, where we should stop, you be our leader, and we'll obey you." Saturday night, I saw in a dream somebody telling me, "You don't have to go Sunday evening. You should go Monday morning."
I told my dream to my friend Ali, and he said, "That's amazing, because I had a dream that we left Turkey on Sunday, and on the way the police caught us." So because two of us had dreams that were similar to each other, we decided to try to leave Turkey on Monday afternoon. It was amazing because with just a little money, just a little time, and no problems, we were in Athens. It only took us a day and a half. That was a miracle! And we thank God because that was from him. He helped us to come here. Because he is willing to help everybody, he helped us because we asked him with pure hearts. We only paid for the train and bus tickets...that was the only money we spent. We believed he would help us because we gave our lives to him, and he knows how to take care of us.
I believe that anything God wants me to do, he will put along my way, and if I listen to him, I will do it. Anything that I decide to do in my life, if it's from my flesh, won't happen. But when I gave my life and future to his hands, I believe that in his hands all of my problems will be solved. So I don't know what will happen, but I know wherever God sends me, he has a plan to use me.