My name is "Mn" and I was born in
In spite of all this, my parents provided a good and happy home for me and my three siblings. My father was a wonderful man who loved me and taught me many things. He died when I was 13, and it was a huge loss to me. I loved him and admired him greatly. My mother held our family together, and we were all very close to each other. I liked school and loved to study, and I received a good education.
After finishing school, I worked for a civil engineering firm and also had my own restaurant. One day, a scandal erupted because of some supposed tainted meat. It became known later that it was entirely false and politically motivated, but nevertheless my partner and I got caught in the middle of it. I was arrested and put in jail. I hired a very good lawyer, who advised me that due to my father’s history as an officer in the royal military under the Shah, things would probably not go well for me in a trial. He said my best choice was to flee the country. Not only that, I was extremely tired of the difficult economic situation and lack of democracy in
After living in
I finally made my way to
Helping Hands and the Persian Christian Fellowship were planning a retreat for seekers and new believers, and they invited me for a weekend outside of
At this time, I had a good friend from
I was absorbing all this but was still not ready to become a Christian. I needed to think about it some more. I thought about Christianity for three months and read several books. At the end of that time I put my faith in Jesus as my savior.
Part of the reason I waited for three months before accepting Christ is that I was trying to bargain with God. I told Christ that if He is the truth then He should bring my wife to join me in
I began to grow in my new faith and developed a desire, more and more, to serve the Lord. I enjoyed the Bible classes that were held at Helping Hands. I met many wonderful people who helped disciple me in the Word of God and the Christian life. I enjoyed serving at Helping Hands and reaching out to other refugees. Telling others, especially other Iranians, about what God had done for me through Jesus Christ, was a great joy to me. When I first came to
In the fall of 2004, Helping Hands and another organization in
A little over a month before AIMS started, I had surgery (for the fifth time) for a pilonidal cyst, a very painful and debilitating condition. Many times I was unable to sit through the classes and had to lie on my side on a couch. The physical trials I experienced during this time were intense and severe. But even worse than that was the news that my wife was divorcing me because of my faith. She told me that our ways must separate. The pain was almost unbearable, but God’s grace helped me through even this. Now I had lost my country, my family, and my wife, but I had gained Christ, and I knew that no matter what, I would follow and serve Him.
After graduation from AIMS in February, 2004, an American friend named Dwight with Entrust helped get me enrolled in the English language program at the Greek Bible Institute. I audited the remainder of the semester there, and entered the program that fall as a full time student. My year of study there was difficult but wonderful. I learned many wonderful things, and made some deep and abiding friendships.
Meanwhile, I was waiting on an answer from the Canadian government concerning my application to immigrate there. I had decided from now on the seek help through only legal means and leave things in the hands of God. A friend had helped me fill out the application in late 2003, and I was very honest with them about my life in
In the fall of 2005, while I was in my studies at the Greek Bible Institute, an opportunity arose for me to start an outreach to Persian speaking refugees on Saturday night at another small refugee center. The Lord blessed us greatly. Two other men and I help lead the services, and usually I did the preaching. Many people started coming to Christ! Over the next year, about 100 people put their faith in Jesus, most of them Iranians. We did our best to teach and disciple them, but many of them moved on quickly to other countries in
On October 5, 2006, I received some fantastic news. The Canadian immigration authorities had accepted my application! The Lord had heard my cry and answered my prayers. In the spring of the following year, I moved to my new home in the
The Lord has blessed me so much over the past five years since I became a refugee. Even though I have endured great pain and trials, I have come to know Him who is life itself. His forgiveness and love is the greatest treasure anyone can ever know. How can I do anything less than serve Him with all my heart and soul?